YAMAHA V-MAX (1991-2004) Review | Speed, Specs & Prices (2022)

YAMAHA V-MAX (1991-2004) Review | Speed, Specs & Prices (1)

MCN rating 4 out of 5 (4/5)

Owners' rating 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)

SpecsOwners' reviewsBikes for saleFor sale

YAMAHA V-MAX (1991-2004) Review | Speed, Specs & Prices (2)


At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)
Annual servicing cost: £180
Power: 140 bhp
Seat height: Low (30.1 in / 765 mm)
Weight: High (578 lbs / 262 kg)



Used£2,500 - £7,000

View bikes for sale

Overall rating

4 out of 5 (4/5)

Mad Max. There, that tells you everything you need to know about the Yamaha VMX1200 V-Max, an ill-handling, raw powered Rottweiller of a motorcycle. The full power 140bhp model is the only one worth having, so skip the early 90s UK spec models with a feeble 95bhp.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine

2 out of 5 (2/5)

The Yamaha VMX1200 V-Max handles like a drunk office girl on a photocopier...and is just as dangerous. The frame seems to flex, the back end squirms under the engine's power and the front end loads up with the Yamaha VMX1200 V-Max's substantial 280kgs wet weight under braking. In a word, scary.


Next up: Reliability

5 out of 5 (5/5)

The Yamaha VMX1200 V-Max has a beautiful, almost liquid power delivery from just above tickover, with a crazed step up in poke from about 4000rpm as the V-Boost fuel charge system kicks in. The Yamaha VMX1200 V-Max motor puts a grin on the face of the most jaded speedfreak. It punches you in the guts with its sheer torque.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value

4 out of 5 (4/5)

You can turbocharge the motor, add nitrous, almost anything really and the V-4 lump will take it. The Yamaha VMX1200 V-Max's chassis is the weaker half of the motorcycle by far and as it was designed to race the strips of California, the V-Max can suffer if ridden too often in British rain.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment

3 out of 5 (3/5)

The Yamaha VMX1200 V-Max is a cult machine and good used examples go for very decent money. Many are customised and feature mad performance tweaks. The V-Max was never a big selling motorcycle when brand new, so supply of original examples will never meet demand, prices will keep rising. Don't bother buying a restricted early 90s UK model.Find aYamaha V-Maxfor sale


2 out of 5 (2/5)

The Yamaha VMX1200 V-Max's 15 litre fuel tank can run dry in 90 miles, the pillion seat is really just a bum stop for the rider and the brakes and suspension are indifferent, even by 90s standards. Apart from a few cosmetic tweaks Yamaha did almost nothing to develop the V-Max throughout a near 20 year lifespan. Bit poor frankly.


Engine size1198cc
Engine type4 stroke, V4, 5 gears
Frame typeSteel cradle type
Fuel capacity15 litres
Seat height765mm
Bike weight262kg
Front suspensionPreload
Rear suspensionPreload
Front brakeTwin 282mm disc
Rear brake290mm disc
Front tyre size110/90 x 18
Rear tyre size150/90 x 15

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption35 mpg
Annual road tax£101
Annual service cost£180
New price-
Used price£2,500 - £7,000
Insurance group15 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty termTwo year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power140 bhp
Max torque117.7 ft-lb
Top speed160 mph
1/4 mile acceleration10.9 secs
Tank range100 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

1986:Yamaha VMX1200 V-Max launched in USA.
1991:Restricted version arrives in UK.
1996:Full 140bhp version of theYamaha VMX1200 V-Max appears in UK.
1999:Cosmetic upgrade with `carbon look' bodywork.
2004:Yamaha VMX1200 V-Max discontinued in UK.

Other versions


Read more about the full YAMAHA VMAX range

Owners' reviewsfor the YAMAHA V-MAX (1991 - 2004)

5 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA V-MAX (1991 - 2004) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your YAMAHA V-MAX (1991 - 2004)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Engine: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Equipment: 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)
Annual servicing cost: £180

4 out of 5

22 April 2021 by DeWayne

Year: 1999

The looks alone will get you talking with strangers, let alone other bikers. 4 into 1 exhaust sounds like big block race car. so many options for performance its unreal. The only down side is the bike goes twice as fast as it stops.

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5

The bike is alot of fun to ride.riding with your buddies or bouncin town to town awesoime, short rides are okay any more than 4hrs at a time gets uncomfortable.

Engine 5 out of 5

i have so much more than the stock unit, i love my V4..

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Mine is a 99 people every where mistake it for a new model it has held up amazingly well. Has never broken down or left me sit. never had to work on it except for upgrades

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Equipment 5 out of 5

The aggressive look and sound is always a head turner.my favorite has to be the 3 stage V boost control I added, and the 4 into 1 exhaust.

5 out of 5 Max fun

18 April 2020 by Graham waterfield

Version: 1200

Year: 2004

Annual servicing cost: £50

A real handful of a bike sometimes scary always exciting ,been very reliable quite cheap to maintain and run,owned it around 12 years still love it .

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Bike at its best on medium distance journey.can be surprisingly practical,can easily go 2 hours or until need fuel without needing a break.

Engine 5 out of 5

Closest thing to the excitement of an old two stroke with the 5000rpm powerband.very flexible engine ,efforless overtaking with out changing gear.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Only the usual wear and tear items ,only fault has been the starter clutch coming loose, which is a common fault of the factory not locktitn the bolts properly .

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Oil and filter approximately £ 30

Equipment 4 out of 5

For what it's intended for,little needed loads of parts available if you want to customise or bling it up,a screen is useful if you want to do motorway journeys.

Buying experience: Private ,when it was 2 years old .

5 out of 5

20 November 2017 by Mitchell DuBois

Year: 1996

The best feature of this bike is that everyone who is into bikes will come up to you and smile and have a comment or story about a vmax.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

The brakes need extra hand pressure than most to slow down this bike. The factory seat is not an all day sit and ride type of seat.

Engine 5 out of 5

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Equipment 5 out of 5

Having v-boost is my favorite feature of this bike. It sets this bike apart from all other naturally aspirated bikes. The Yamaha wind screen is a very nice accessory for this bike.

Buying experience: Very nice private purchase. Vmax is one of the few buyer / seller situations where the seller is jealous of the buyer for the purchase. The person I purchased my bike from is keeping my information so he can check with me later to see if he can buy it back.

4 out of 5 Great Used Bike

04 February 2017 by John E Lincoln

Version: 1200 (140 hp)

Year: 1998

Annual servicing cost: £300

Enjoy the seating, Upright standard. I'm 6ft 1in and it's comfortable. Bought it used 5 years ago with a Corbin seat, so comfortable (though removing the gas cap through a flap and hole in the seat is annoying. Weights 620 lbs wet, so harder to upright if tipped, but have done it myself (I'm 74 yrs old). I agree with the previous comment that the bike is what you make it. I enjoy it and would recomend it to a friend who is a responsible rider. Otherwise it could get someone in trouble. Also had to add an aftermarket smaller windshield (about $50.00 USD) to prevent "parachuting" at highway speeds.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Brakes are not up to the engine power, but adequate. I only ride for 1.5 to 3 hours and at that no problems. I use it as an all around bike, my only one. No problem with pillion due to power. Will need to replace back shocks (replaced front springs with Progressive shortly after buying due to diving during breaking).

Engine 5 out of 5

Great, smooth powerful engine, modded from Yamaha's Venture.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Bought this with 26K miles on it and have added another 25K in 5 years. Had to replace the stator, possibly due to low oil level / cooling problem. Was a year ago and no problems since. Only tires, normal wear as I don't ride over aggressively.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Costs for set of tires and oil/filter change. Each done yearly. See above also. Costs have been low so far. Just replaced a clutch switch.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Added stiffer front fork springs, saddle bags, and a mid-size windshield. Use Shinko Toruing tires for compromise between handling and longevity.

Buying experience: Bought used from a Yamaha dealer. Paid less than advertised base on blue book at time. V-max's tend to hold value - cult following.

5 out of 5 OLD RELIABLE

18 November 2007 by murphit

Having owned and ridden my Max for the last ten years in all conditions, including snow and ice, I find that comments of bad handling to be misplaced. Understand and respect what is under you and the machine csn return fast safe rides. No I'm not a slow rider, I use the Max to the Max. Reliable, fun, respected by others, reputation justified, only down side is the quality of finish, but with some effort this is easy to overcome. I still look for a replacement for the Max but fail to find a machine that has the ability to come close to it's stance, torque, power, and all round suitability. I have ridden 350+ miles in a day and enjoyed every mile, and still walked normally when I got off. My missus when a pillion passenger does not have to perch on a pad high above me. Basically it's as mean as a junk yard dog, and it's rear end dangely bits.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Engine 5 out of 5

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Equipment 5 out of 5

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Yamaha VMX1200 V-Max motorcycle review - Riding


Is the VMAX a good motorcycle? ›

The V-Max 1200 got high marks all around from the motorcycling community during its initial testing. Granted, the performance bar was much lower in 1985, but 143 horsepower is 143 horsepower anyway you look at it, and the straight-line performance is still guaranteed to thrill today.

What is the top speed of a Vmax 1200? ›

143 mph

What is special about Yamaha Vmax? ›

The 16 valve, 2.8 litre, double overhead camshaft (DOHC) layout with its increased cylinder capacity and large valves, results in optimum valve actuation, resulting in improved valve timing, acceleration and overall running performance.

Is the Yamaha V-Max fast? ›

With the above in mind, the Yamaha VMax can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 2.65 seconds and a 0-100 km/h time of 2.81 seconds. With more traction 'under' 2.5 is very doable for 0-60 mph.

How fast can a Yamaha V-Max go? ›

Yamaha VMAX
ManufacturerYamaha Motor Company
Engine1,197 cc (73.0 cu in) liquid-cooled DOHC 70° V-4
Bore / stroke76 mm × 66 mm (3.0 in × 2.6 in)
Top speed240 km/h (150 mph)
Power89 kW (120 hp) (rear wheel)
14 more rows

How much is a Yamaha V-Max worth? ›

Suggested List PriceAverage Retail
Base Price$17,999$16,645
Options (Add)
Total Price$17,999$16,645
2 more rows

What does VMAX mean? ›

Vmax: Vmax or a maximum velocity of an enzymatic reaction can be defined as the rate of the reaction at which the enzyme shows the highest turnover. Increasing the substrate concentration indefinitely further does not increase the rate of an enzyme-catalyzed reaction after reaching a certain point.

What was the last year of the Yamaha V-Max? ›

Yamaha VMAX (2009-2016)

A combination of laid-back cruiser styling and enough straightline performance to outgun a superbike, the final inception of the VMAX is an all-out brawler of a motorbike reserved for only the most experienced pilots.

What is the fastest 0 to 60 motorcycle? ›

15/15 2006 Suzuki GSX-R1000 (2.35 Seconds)

It has the fastest record on time for 0-60 mph— just 2.35 seconds. This crazy-fast crotch rocket is powered by a 999 cc inline four-cylinder engine.

Why was the VMAX discontinued? ›

The lack of Euro 5 compliance and falling sales led to Yamaha discontinuing the VMAX. Yamaha is typically known in the motorcycle world for Supersports and liter-class machines.

Is Yamaha V-Max discontinued? ›

Yamaha has discontinued the Vmax and the bike is out of production.

How much does a Yamaha 150 VMAX cost? ›

Yamaha VF150 I-4 2.8L V MAX SHO 20 • $18,190.

Is the Yamaha V-Max fuel injected? ›

Because the new Yamaha VMAX was fuel-injected and not carbureted, Yamaha had to devise a new V-Boost system. Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake (YCC-I) and Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T) were the replacements. At 6,650 rpm YCC-I shortens the length of the intake tracks from 150mm to 54mm in only 0.3 of a second.

How many cylinders is a VMAX? ›

V MAX In-Line 4 175 hp

2.8L high-output four cylinder.

Which is the fastest production motorcycle? ›

Kawasaki Ninja H2R: 240 mph

The world's only limited production supercharged hypersport model represents the highest level of Kawasaki engineering, with impressive acceleration and mind-bending top speed suitable only for closed courses. The Kawasaki Ninja H2R race bike has a top speed of 240 mph.

Are Yamaha bikes fast? ›

Launched in 1998, the Yamaha YZF R1M is the fastest production motorcycle the company has ever made. With the Speed Wars of the 90s eventually leading to a gentleman's agreement to limit the top speed of pretty much all Japanese motorcycles to 300km/h or 186 mph in fear of a ban in Europe.

What is V boost on VMax? ›

The Vboost is a tube with butterflies between the manifolds on each bank that opens at 6,000 rpm. Does the VMax engine normally use 1 carb per engine side(or 2 cylinders), then when VBoost kicks in it opens an additional carb per side. or is it running off all 4 carbs all the time, if so where is the boost coming from?

Which Harley is fastest? ›

From a production standpoint, the fastest Harley-Davidson motorcycle is the FXDR 114. It has drag-inspired styling and a performance-first mission with its Milwaukee-Eight 114 V-Twin engine and light composite components.

What is the fastest 0 to 60 motorcycle? ›

15/15 2006 Suzuki GSX-R1000 (2.35 Seconds)

It has the fastest record on time for 0-60 mph— just 2.35 seconds. This crazy-fast crotch rocket is powered by a 999 cc inline four-cylinder engine.

What year did the Yamaha V-Max come out? ›

Way back in 1985, this incredible motorcycle debuted to rave reviews, even garnering a coveted “Bike Of The Year” from Cycle Guide magazine for its maiden year. The formula was simple: outrageous styling, a hellacious engine, easy cruising, and long-term reliability.

Is the 2006 VMAX fuel-injected? ›

Looking at the '06 Yamaha manuals you are correct. The VMAX was listed as carb and the VMAX HPDI was well Direct Injected.

How can I make my Harley faster? ›

To prevent this issue from happening, check out some of the best Harley mods to make your bike faster and get a few ideas for your ride.
  1. SE High Air Filter. ...
  2. Exhaust System. ...
  3. New Cams. ...
  4. Fuel Tuner. ...
  5. Fuel Injector. ...
  6. Quick Shifter Kit. ...
  7. Find Quality Harley Mods. ...
  8. Create a Faster and Cooler Bike.
18 Jul 2022

What is the fastest street bike? ›

Top three: World's fastest bikes in 2022
  • Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R Supersport: 249 mph.
  • Kawasaki Ninja H2R: 240 mph.
  • Conclusion:
9 Jul 2022

How fast is a Suzuki Hayabusa? ›

Yes, the Hayabusa, along with all other street-legal production motorcycles, has its top speed electronically limited to 186 mph (300 kph).

Which liter bike is the fastest? ›

The Streetfighter V4 produces 210 horsepower whereas the V4R makes 234 horsepower. The V4R uses the WSBK homologated version of the V4 engine, it is currently the most powerful, street-legal production motorcycle. As a result I would suggest it is the absolute ultimate liter bike.

How fast is a Hayabusa from 0 to 60? ›

Being able to power from 0 to 60 in just 2.47 seconds, the Suzuki Hayabusa has created a highly respectable name for itself. Its popularity is also credited to its exotic and unique look, which makes it stand out even further. The best part about this bike? It has a top speed of 186 mph.

What makes the Yamaha Vmax so fast? ›

The VMAX is built on a light and compact cast aluminum chassis that places the engine low and forward, resulting in a centralized mass frame. The chassis helps improve the bike's overall speed and handling capabilities and increases its balance and stability at high speeds.

What does VMAX mean? ›

Vmax (maximum voltage/velocity)

Vmax, the maximum voltage attained in the action potential. Vmax, maximum aortic velocity, the maximum speed of blood flow in the aorta of the heart, also less commonly noted as AoVmax. Maximal rate in Michaelis–Menten kinetics. See V Speeds for aircraft speeds.

Why did Yamaha stop making the VMAX? ›

The lack of Euro 5 compliance and falling sales led to Yamaha discontinuing the VMAX. Yamaha is typically known in the motorcycle world for Supersports and liter-class machines.

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