"ROCKET SCIENCE. The VMAX has always been the muscle bike to end all other muscle bikes. Commanding respect, triggering fear. Now, the all-new 2009 VMAX. Re-thought, reloaded, with a major chip on its shoulder. The 2009 VMAX - We didn’t just improve a legend; We started a whole new one."
New exclusive VMAX: Power, acceleration and adrenaline.
Yamaha’s all-new exclusive VMAX offers 21st century engine and chassis technology delivering awesome power, an unrivalled acceleration feeling and the ultimate adrenaline rush. The new VMAX is a showcase for some of Yamaha’s cutting-edge engine and chassis technology – from the YCC-I and YCC-T engine control systems through to the aluminium frame and the radial-mounted 6-piston front brakes, all good for providing 200 PS and 167 Nm of torque.
1985 : The birth of a legend
Back in the ’80s the big V8 muscle car was the undisputed boss on the strip in the USA, and in both the car and the bike drag race scene, the large-capacity engine was king. A quarter of a century ago, cubic capacity ruled – and Yamaha captured the true spirit of the time with the introduction of the awesome VMAX in 1985. With its massive 1,198cc V4, 4-stroke, 4-valve DOHC engine kicking out 140PS, this radically-styled muscle bike became an instant legend which established itself as the definitive cult-bike. With around 100,000 units sold during its production run that spanned two decades, the original VMAX made history by being included in the Guggenheim Museum’s ‘Art of the Motorcycle’ exhibition while still in production. There has never been anything to beat it…until now.
2008: A new era begins
For 2009 Yamaha introduce the new VMAX which offers the very latest in advanced design and technology for an awesome acceleration feeling, combined with bodywork and styling that respects and enhances the iconic image of the original model. With its all new engine and chassis, the high-tech VMAX is ready to capture the imagination of a whole new generation of adrenaline addicts, and at the same time inspire the many thousands of loyal owners who made the original model such a huge worldwide success.
New VMAX. Acceleration never felt so good!
The VMAX development team identified a series of goals in order to create a worthy successor to the legendary original model. The four main goals that the team set out to achieve were:
- Awesome acceleration feeling together with strong performance
- Distinctive, precise and sharp handling
- A sophisticated chassis with unique bodywork
- Compliant to EU3 regulations
With these main aims in mind, the development team have developed an all-new powerful state-of-the-art 1,679cc V4 engine which features Yamaha’s G.E.N.I.C.H. electronic engine control technology such as YCC-I and YCC-T; an all-new low-profile diamond-type frame manufactured from cast and extruded aluminium which uses the engine as stressed member, and developed to deliver the right balance of rigidity for excellent straight line stability with sharp and precise levels of cornering; and a head-turning and forceful design that is best described as being “engine maximal, body minimal”, that is designed to focus the viewer’s attention on the muscular V4 engine. The new engine satisfies EU3 regulations with the use of fuel injection as well as a 3-way catalyser and exhaust O2 sensor.
With all this brute engine force, together with the most advanced engine and frame technology, as well as radically styled bodywork, the new VMAX delivers an unforgettable combination of innovation and acceleration.
All-new liquid-cooled 4-stroke V4 engine
Powering the new VMAX is an all-new 1,679cc liquid-cooled 4-stroke DOHC 65 degree V4 engine which has been designed to offer an unforgettable acceleration experience created by higher levels of power, and an imposing design.
Running with bore x stroke dimensions of 90.0 x 66.0mm (compared to 76.0 x 66.0mm for the existing model VMAX) and featuring a compression ratio of 11.3:1, this visually intimidating new powerplant develops 147.2 kW (200 PS) at 9,000 rpm, together with a huge torque output of 166.8 Nm (17.0 kg-m) at 6,500 rpm.
These truly impressive power and torque figures are the result of many factors, not least of all being the 40% increase in the new engine’s cubic capacity. In addition to the extra cubes, the completely redesigned VMAX engine also benefits from the application of some of the most advanced Yamaha engine management technology ever seen in the category.
Yamaha’s G.E.N.I.C.H. technology is an advanced engineering concept which involves the application of cutting-edge electronic control technology in order to realise the dual goals of achieving increased performance and enhancing the riding experience.
The new VMAX benefits from this advanced Yamaha G.E.N.I.C.H technology with features such as YCC-I (Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake) and YCC-T (Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle) which are key factors in achieving the new engine’s high levels of power. This new high-tech engine is the first Yamaha V4 to be equipped with a sophisticated new fuel injection system, which, together with the YCC-I and YCC-T, ensures that the powerful 65-degree V4 engine is fully equipped to deliver previously unimaginable levels of standing-start and roll-on acceleration. But the engine offers a whole lot more than awe-inspiring acceleration feeling, and advanced chip-controlled technology. It not only delivers outstanding straight-line performance, but it also ensures instant pick-up at all engine speeds, and offers remarkable performance right across the rpm range, making the new VMAX a top performer on both the strip and the open road.
Compact pent-roof combustion chambers
In order to achieve the rapid and efficient combustion processes that enable the new VMAX engine to achieve its optimal performance potential, our engineers have designed a new 4-valve pent-roof combustion chamber. For such a large capacity engine of 1,679cc with its massive 90mm bores, these new high-efficiency combustion chambers are remarkably compact, and their space-saving design has been facilitated by the introduction of an ingenious new camshaft drive system.
On a conventional DOHC engine, the intake and exhaust camshafts are usually driven by one chain, but in order to create an even more compact cylinder head, Yamaha’s engineers have designed an all-new system in which the intake camshaft is driven by a chain, while the exhaust camshaft is driven by a gear mechanism. This innovative combined chain and gear cam drive minimizes the pitch between the intake and exhaust camshafts, which in turn permits a much more compact cylinder head design.
Iridium spark plugs
As well as the performance-boosting pent-roof combustion chambers and advanced chip-controlled technology, the new VMAX also runs with Iridium spark plugs. These special plugs are used on the majority of high performance motorcycles, and are designed to ensure extremely efficient combustion at all engine speeds.
Narrow valve angle
The use of the space-saving combined chain and gear cam drive has also allowed Yamaha’s design team to install the intake and exhaust valves at a much narrower angle of 14 degrees on the intake side, and 15 degrees on the exhaust side, giving a total of 29 degrees. (Compared to 18 degrees intake/18 degrees exhaust on the current model VMAX). This narrow valve angle helps to minimize engine dimensions, while also permitting the use of optimized port shapes for stronger engine performance.
At the same time as reducing the valve angle, Yamaha’s engineers have also reduced the overall weight of the valve train assembly by using an inner shim type valve clearance adjustment system, as opposed to the outer shim system on the previous VMAX engine.
65 degree V with centre cam chain
One of the major goals of the new VMAX design team has been to keep the new engine’s physical dimensions as compact as possible. Despite the fact that the all-new VMAX engine features a 40% increase in cubic capacity compared to the existing model (1,679cc vs 1,198cc), the new V4 powerplant’s overall dimensions are remarkably compact.
In order to keep the new engine’s front-to-rear length as short as possible, it adopts a 65 degree V bank, compared to 70 degrees on the original VMAX. This narrower angle between the massive cylinders serves to concentrate mass for more neutral handling performance, and makes the new powerplant 27mm shorter (from front to back) than the original model.
As well as the significant space savings achieved by the use of the innovative new combined chain and gear cam drive and 65 degree V layout, the use of a centrally located cam chain helps to minimize the new engine’s width. Despite the fact that the bore dimensions on the new larger-capacity VMAX are over 18% larger than its predecessor, the new engine’s overall width is approximately the same as the current model, and overall height is only 6.5 mm taller.
By adopting innovative new designs, Yamaha’s engineers have succeeded in achieving an extremely difficult goal, by increasing the cubic capacity of the new VMAX engine by 40%, whilst keeping overall dimensions to a minimum!
Forged aluminium pistons
Another example of the way in which sophisticated technology has been used to enhance the performance on the new VMAX is evident in the new forged aluminium pistons.
Fracture-split carburized con rods
Fracture-split (FS) carburized con rods were first used on the 2004 model YZF-R1, and in order to handle the huge power and torque output of the new 1,679cc V4 engine, this technology is now featured on the new VMAX.
YCC-I - Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake
Generally speaking, a long intake passage tends to make an engine stronger in the low to mid-speed range, while a shorter intake passage gives the pressure wave a faster pulse for increased performance at higher speeds.
The YCC-I (Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake) system is designed to vary the intake funnel length so that it is ‘tuned’ to give a positive intake pulse that best suits the prevailing engine speed.
When engine revs rise above 6,650 rpm, electronically-controlled servomotors cause each intake funnel to separate instantaneously, effectively creating a shorter intake funnel measuring only 54mm, which enables the VMAX engine to deliver even stronger performance from the mid-range right through to peak rpm.
Fuel Injection and YCC-T – Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle
Another highly advanced feature seen on the new VMAX is the YCC-T Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle, which features the same design as that used on the current Yamaha supersport models.
This innovative throttle has a remarkably high calculating speed, and assesses the engine’s running conditions every millisecond, which enables the system to respond instantaneously to rider inputs.
The YCC-T system on the new VMAX helps to deliver awesome acceleration feeling together with the desired torque curve in all conditions, and also prevents the 1,679cc V4 engine from ‘bogging down’ if the throttle is snapped opened too quickly.
Aggressively-styled new aluminium air intakes and extra-large-capacity airbox
Aggressively-styled hand-finished aluminium air intakes mounted on the front left and front right side of the dummy fuel tank give the VMAX a muscular profile, and direct an intense flow of air straight into the massive new airbox which is approximately twice the volume of the design on the existing model. By delivering a strong supply of cool, fresh air, this new large-capacity airbox is designed to maximize the significant performance gains associated with the new YCC-I system.
Low-maintenance shaft drive
Existing VMAX owners looking to upgrade to the new model – as well as those riders who are yet to discover the thrill of awesome V4 acceleration – are sure to appreciate the low-maintenance requirements and superb reliability of the new shaft drive system.
To complement the machine’s more powerful 1,679cc V4 engine, a compact new system has been designed for the new VMAX. By optimizing the ratios of the engine-side reduction gear and the final gear, our engineers have designed a smaller-diameter rear gear case. Featuring 29 teeth compared to 33 on the existing model, the slimmer and more compact 188mm rear gear case gives the machine’s rear end a much more athletic look, and further underlines the muscular image of this iconic new motorcycle.
4-1-2-4 exhaust system with short titanium mufflers
For excellent all-round performance the new VMAX runs with a new 4-1-2-4 exhaust system featuring short, upswept mufflers. After leaving the cylinders, the four header pipes flow into a single chamber, where the system splits into a left and right side pipe, and then each of these divides again to give a 4-1-2-4 system.
An 02 sensor (Lambda sensor) detects oxygen levels in the exhaust system and regulates the fuel supply via the fuel injection system to ensure that emissions are minimized, while a 3-way honeycomb catalyser ensures the VMAX exceeds EU3 regulations.
The four single-expansion mufflers are short and upswept, and emit a strong and pleasing exhaust sound with a special pulsing sensation that announces your presence. The high quality silencers are manufactured from lightweight titanium, and finished in shot blast to complement the mean and moody look of the black frame and engine.
Lightweight magnesium covers
For reduced weight and a high quality finish, the clutch cover, AC magneto cover and drive shaft cover are all manufactured from lightweight magnesium alloy.
ENGINE – TECHNICAL HIGHLIGHTS
- All-new large-capacity 1,679cc liquid-cooled 4-stroke V4 engine
- Max power 147.2 kW (200 PS) @ 9,000 rpm (In France: 78.1 kW (106 PS) @ 5,250 rpm)
- Max torque 166.8 Nm (17.0 kg-m) @ 6,500 rpm (In France: 145.2 Nm (14.8 kg-m @ 5,000 rpm)
- Innovative combined chain and gear cam drive
- Compact pent-roof combustion chambers, 11.3:1 compression
- Iridium spark plugs
- Narrow valve angle of 29 degrees
- Compact 65 degree V bank configuration
- Front – rear engine dimensions 27mm less the current VMAX
- Centre camchain keeps engine width the same as current VMAX
- Lightweight and durable aluminium forged pistons
- Fracture-split (FS) carburized con rods
- YCC-I Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake for awesome acceleration feeling
- YCC-T Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle for precision control
- Fuel Injection
- Large capacity airbox
- Front left and right side-mounted air intakes
- Slipper clutch
- Low-maintenance shaft drive system with compact rear gear case
- 4-1-2-4 exhaust system
- Short, upswept titanium silencers
- Magnesium alloy clutch cover, ACM cover and drive shaft cover
Newly-designed low-profile aluminium frame
The new VMAX is equipped with a completely new advanced-specification aluminium frame which has been designed to deliver high levels of handling performance, allowing the rider to optimize the huge potential of the remarkably powerful 1,679cc V4 engine.
The beautifully-finished black main frame spars arc forcefully across the top of the mighty V4 engine and down to the pivot in a semi-loop, accentuating the massive engine’s handsome profile, and giving the new VMAX a bold, athletic and high-tech image. Although the frame is a substantial structure, it’s subtle low-profile design blends athletically with the bodywork and engine to give the charismatic “engine maximal, body minimal” look.
The VMAX’s new diamond-type frame has been developed using Yamaha’s industry-leading chassis design and manufacturing technology, and features an immensely strong yet lightweight structure that is made up from a variety of gravity-cast, CF die-cast and extruded aluminium sections. This innovative new design incorporates gravity-cast components for the main frame and pivot assembly, while the rear frame is made from a range of Yamaha’s exclusive CF die-cast parts and extruded parts which are welded together.
This combination of these different types of aluminium, each with a different rigidity level, is one of the major factors in achieving the desired balance of rigidity. To fine-tune this balance even further for excellent handling and accurate rider feedback, the wall thickness on the main frame varies from between 3mm through to 6mm.
An imaginary straight line drawn between the pivot and head pipe runs right through the centre of the V-bank, and this layout makes for neutral handling characteristics. And by incorporating the V4 engine as a stressed member – using cast-iron mounts at the front, the centre of the V bank, and at the top and bottom of the crankcase – the overall chassis rigidity balance is further enhanced.
There’s no doubt that the original VMAX established a reputation as one of the most awesome straight line performers, and this aspect of the machine’s character has been taken to an even higher level with the new chassis. With an extended wheelbase of 1,700mm – compared to 1,590mm on the existing model – the new model’s advanced aluminium chassis is built to handle the massive power and torque output that can be released with a twist of the throttle. Significantly, the new bike’s swingarm is over 35% longer than on the existing model at 662.5mm, allowing the rider to lay down the 1,679cc V4 engine’s power more effectively then ever.
Large-diameter forks with oxidized titanium coating
Virtually everything about the stunning new VMAX sets it apart from any other motorcycle, from its mighty V4 engine through to its radical styling and intimidating image. Featuring massive tubes, the front forks are like nothing else seen on any other machine, and are perfectly in keeping with this bike’s unique character.
The 52mm tubes offer excellent rigidity combined with smooth fork action – and they benefit from an oxidized titanium coating that ensures increased surface hardness and stiction-free operation – while the moody dark finish perfectly complements the black frame and engine. The new front suspension is designed to deliver a smooth ride with neutral handling characteristics, and is fully adjustable for preload, as well as rebound and compression damping, allowing riders to customise the ride to suit their own requirements.
It’s not only the massive 52mm tubes that put these forks in a league of their own – they also feature two-piece outer tubes. Featuring an extremely rigid cast lower section incorporating the radial-mounted brake calipers, and an extruded aluminium upper section which has been precision-machined for superior suspension action, these special front forks characterize the VMAX’s inherent style, first-class quality and advanced technology.
The combination of flex-resistant 52mm tubes, a cast aluminium upper triple clamp and forged aluminium lower triple clamp, as well as a wide pitch of 225mm and 30mm offset ensure that the VMAX rider experiences a neutral steering feeling for greater riding pleasure.
Link-type Monocross rear suspension
The rear suspension is a link-type Monocross system which is, like the new front forks, is fully adjustable for preload, as well as for compression and rebound damping.
For added convenience, the new VMAX is equipped with a hydraulic remote adjuster for preload setting, while a remote control dial beneath the tandem footrest adjusts the compression damping. Another remote control dial beneath the left-side swingarm allows easy adjustment of the rear shock’s rebound damping.
The full adjustability of both the front and rear suspension systems is more commonly associated with supersport models, and allows the VMAX rider to optimise the ride quality on their machine for outstanding roadholding.
2-piece radiator and liquid-type oil cooler
The new VMAX benefits from a sophisticated cooling system which consists of two radiators and an oil cooler. The two-piece radiator features a curved-type upper section which allows the engine to be situated closer to the front wheel for idealised mass centralisation. In order to achieve a maximum surface area for highly efficient engine cooling, the lower part of this two-piece radiator is a conventional flat shape whose unobtrusive design allows the massive V4 engine to be seen in all its glory – and at the same time permits the fitment of a fan.
And to ensure stable oil temperatures for consistently strong engine performance, the 1,679cc engine is equipped with a liquid-type oil cooler.
Large-diameter front and rear wave-type brake discs
The braking system that has been developed for the new VMAX is one of the most sophisticated and powerful designs ever seen on a Yamaha motorcycle. At the front end, dual 320mm diameter wave-type discs are gripped by radial-mounted 6-piston calipers for excellent stopping power – and for superb feel, the master cylinder features a radial-type pump.
And for strong, confidence-inspiring braking, the new VMAX runs with a 298mm wave-type disc slowed by a pin-slide type single-piston caliper.
Linear-controlled ABS system
The VMAX is equipped with a newly-developed linear-controlled hydraulic ABS system which is designed to enhance braking control over a variety of road surfaces and in varying riding conditions. The hydraulic control system is activated by a linear solenoid valve which prevents wheel lock-up during braking, allowing the rider to experience smooth lever action and achieve effective braking on different types of road.
This innovative and compact ABS system combines the ECU and hydraulic mechanism into a single unit which is situated under the seat. By keeping the system’s dimensions to a minimum, neither the machine’s aesthetics or weight have been compromised, and the positioning of the unit ensures that overall mass centralisation is enhanced.
18 inch front and rear wheels
For natural handling qualities the VMAX is equipped with 18 inch front and rear wheels which are shod with specially-developed tyres that are designed to offer the optimum balance of grip, shock absorption and roadholding. With a 120/70-R18 front and a massive 200/50-R18 rear, this outstanding motorcycle is equipped to lay down its awesome levels of power and torque like no other machine.
Lightweight bodywork for effective mass centralisation
Mass centralisation has been one of the key goals for the VMAX development team. During the machine’s exhaustive development and testing phase, every effort has been made to use lightweight materials wherever possible – and at the same time, to locate heavier components close to the bike’s centre of mass.
One of the most significant factors in achieving an idealised mass centralisation is the positioning of the 15-litre fuel tank under the seat. Manufactured from light fluorinated polyethylene, the tank is easily accessed by means of a convenient single-handed lever with a built-in damper which underlines the quality and attention to detail on this class-leading muscle bike.
These measures play an important role in shaping the neutral handling characteristics of this machine, whose roadholding, steering and overall chassis performance raise the bar in the muscle bike category.
Tank-mounted multi-function instruments
Mounted on top of the dummy fuel tank is a multi-function Organic Electro-Luminescent “OEL” instrument panel which displays a wide range of information on its 256x64 dot display. This newly designed OEL panel gives a bright, easy-to-read display and offers an instant response, and its functions include odometer, tripmeter, clock, fuel gauge, temperature gauge, gear position, running fuel consumption, intake air temperature and throttle opening, as well as a stopwatch with a countdown function.
Muscular new design
The fact that the styling on the original VMAX has remained largely unchanged for 24 years is a tribute to the immense strength and unique character of its original design. Creating a worthy successor to this iconic motorcycle posed many challenges for Yamaha’s team of designers, and the new VMAX utilises the latest designs and materials to create a truly modern work of art that is clearly the 21st century manifestation of the old master.
While the original VMAX embodied the spirit of the drag strip – combined with a brutal bodybuilder-style image – the new model has been designed to radiate a feeling of massive internal strength which hints at the awesome power just waiting to be unleashed at any time.
Key to this imagery are the four massive air intakes, the muscular V4 engine, and the four short upswept mufflers, which serve to underline the intimidating beauty of this single-minded high-performance motorcycle.
CHASSIS – TECHNICAL HIGHLIGHTS
- All-new diamond-type low-profile aluminium frame
- Longer 1,700mm wheelbase for outstanding straight line stability
- Longer swingarm ensures optimal roadholding during acceleration
- Massive 52mm conventional forks with oxidized titanium coating
- Link-type Monocross rear suspension
- Fully-adjustable front and rear suspension
- 320mm dual front wave-type brake discs with 6-piston radial-mounted calipers
- 298mm rear brake disc
- Linear controlled ABS with compact one-piece ECU/hydraulic unit
- Highly-efficient 2-piece radiator, curved upper, flat lower with cooling fan
- Underseat fuel tank and lightweight bodywork for increased mass centralisation
- Tank-mounted multi-function Organic Electro-Luminescent “OEL” instrument panel
- Muscular new next-generation VMAX bodywork
- High-specification components and lightweight materials
The new VMAX will be available in Solar Black.
Yamaha have developed a range of high quality functional and cosmetic accessories for the new VMAX, as well as an exclusive range of clothing. Information on the new VMAX accessories and clothing line can be found on www.new-VMAX.com which goes live on 4th June.
Online reservation of the new VMAX
The Yamaha factory in Japan will manufacture the new VMAX on a limited yearly production schedule providing the new VMAX to the whole world. As a big demand is expected in Europe, Yamaha Motor Europe has made available an online reservation system for this long-awaited motorcycle, which will operate on a first-come first-served basis. All information can be found on www.new-VMAX.com.
Type: Liquid cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valve, V-type 4-cyclinder
Bore & stroke: 90.0 x 66.0 mm
Compression Ratio: 11.3:1
Max. power: 147.2 kW (200 PS) @ 9,000 rpm
Max. torque: 166.8 Nm (17.0 kg-m) @ 6,500 rpm
Lubrication: Wet sump
Carburettor / Fuel supply: Fuel injection
Clutch type: Wet, multiple-disc diaphragm spring
Starter system: Electric
Transmission: Constant mesh, 5-speed
Final transmission: Shaft drive
Primary reduction ratio: 1.509
Secondary reduction ratio: 3.082
- Gear ratio-1st gear: 2.375
- Gear ratio-2nd gear: 1.810
- Gear ratio-3rd gear: 1.400
- Gear ratio-4th gear: 1.115
- Gear ratio-5th gear: 0.935
Frame: Aluminium, Diamond-shaped
Front suspension: Telescopic forks, ∅ 52 mm
Front wheel travel: 120 mm
Rear suspension: Swingarm (Link-type suspension)
Rear wheel travel: 110 mm
Caster angle: 31°
Trial: 148 mm
Front brake: Dual discs, ∅ 320 mm
Rear brake: Single disc, ∅ 298 mm
Front tyre: 120/70 R18M/C (59V)
Rear tyre: 200/50 R18M/C (76V)
Overall length: 2,395 mm
Overall width: 820 mm
Overall height: 1,190 mm
Seat height: 775 mm
Wheelbase: 1,700 mm
Min. ground clearance: 140 mm
Wet weight (including oil and full fuel tank): 310 kg
Fuel tank capacity: 15 litres
Oil capacity: 5.9 litres