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Used Motorcycles: Yamaha Vmax buyers guide

By MCN -

 13 September 2009 16:38

Used price: £2,000 - £5,200
Engine: 1198cc v4, 5 gears
Power: 140bhp
Top speed: 160mph
Weight: 262kg     

The original Yamaha Vmax is brutal - an ill-handling, raw 140bhp beast of a bike. One for speedfreaks who grin rather than yelp at a squirming back end and a 117fllb torque punch to the gut.

The Vmax's engine is legendary. The power delivery is smooth and fluid, but with a step up at 4000rpm when the V-Boost fuel charge system comes in. The straight-line acceleration is scary...

.... especially once that sharp corner looms up ahead, because the Vmax isn't built for bends. It jsut isn't enough to keep up with the motor. It flexs, it squirms and the forks can't cope with the bike's 280kg wet weight under braking.  

The Vmax is not especially practical either. The 15 litre tank is only good for 90 miles. The pillion seat is not much good and the finish can suffer in British winters.

But despite it's obvious faults, the Vmax is a cult machine and an experience to ride. As a result they still fetch good money. Just be sure to avoid restricted early 90s versions because they only had 95bhp.

MCN verdict

Handling

2/5

Engine

5/5

Reliability

4/5

Value

3/5

OVERALL

4/5

 

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