The 2016 Yamaha VMAX continues to build on the powerful and incredible legacy left by its predecessors. This power cruiser is both a hulking beast on the road and a relentlessly quick motorbike. The bike features a distinctive growl and when combined with its huge, muscular design, this is one bike that you really can’t miss on the road. The VMAX is built to combine power and comfort with breathtaking speed, and this is why the VMAX has built up such a huge cult following over the years. It really is a one of a kind motorcycle and it is perfect for long rides and regular commuting.
Engine and performance
This behemoth features a 1,679cc, liquid-cooled four-stroke, four-valve DOHC V4 engine that has a maximum power output of 197BHP at 9,000rpm and 166.8Nm of torque at 6,500rpm. When you add this incredible power with its wide 200-section rear tyre and a low and long chassis, the motorcycle hurdles down the road with amazing speed. The bike features fuel-injection and a butter smooth, five-speed transmission system that is classic Yamaha. The transmission system is comparable to Yamaha’s large lines of track performance motorbikes and it is unlike any cruiser available in the market.
Braking and suspension
The Japanese never seem to disappoint when it comes to motorbikes and the braking system of the VMAX enhances a long history of excellence. The front tyre features dual, muscular 320mm disc pads with radial six-piston callipers that are grabby at low speeds and progressively spectacular. The rear tyre features a large diameter, 298 mm single disc pad that combines excellently with the twin front discs.
The suspension is the only part of the bike that doesn’t live up to expectations and this has been the case ever since the current incarnation was introduced in 2008. You should be careful on which roads you ride the bike as the fully-adjustable, monoshock suspension system isn’t very bump friendly.
Design and handling
The powerful design is one of the bike’s biggest selling points. The bike features a strong aluminum frame and it boasts of incredible attention to detail. Don’t let the brash, brawny look fool you. It handles far better than any other heavyweight cruiser in the market and it is easier for a novice to handle than comparable cruisers or Yamaha’s performance bikes.
The compact riding position is naturally upright and fairly low. Don’t let the noises intimidate you as this bike is fairly easy to handle. It may be heavy, but most of the weight is ultra-low and all the controls are easily accessible to the rider.
The VMAX has a niche following in the market. The bike is quite expensive in typical Yamaha fashion, but the price is justified in certain aspects due to its exceptional performance and handling. It is not uncommon to see the VMAX used as a daily commuter, especially in areas with low traffic density. Maintenance can be quite pricey, but this is offset by a high degree of reliability.