|Pre 1984: The mighty V4 was an adaptation of the long
running Venture Royale engine. To read more about the development, click
here to read a Yamaha Design Cafe article I can no longer find on the
||1984: The V max was created and introduced to the public in October. At
the time, the V-Max sported the world's largest production-bike rear tire.
It was a V-rated 150/90-15 with a V-pattern tread. The 1985 model was the only year the "V max"
was pressed into the side covers.
|1985: Aimed at the modern American Hot Rodder, the 1985 model
V-Max was introduces to the States.
Here is a press snip:
"Horsepower. America's four-wheeled hot rodders have loved the
stuff for years. Until now real power's been the exclusive property of
guys with blown vee-eights and hemi heads but at last there's a
two-wheeled equivalent to the big-inch vee-eights street rod. Enter the
I have also noticed they did not have rear view mirrors present for
1985 photo shoots.
||1986 A new 3D emblem added and the rear wheel was updated.
Aside from color changes, these two items will remained
unchanged until end of this versions production in 2007. The foot pegs are also
revised. The 1986 model was introduced for Europe in France, it was absent
the V-Boost mechanism. For the States, this model brought the following changes: The
diameter of the V-Boost tubes was increased from 30 mm to 32 mm. The non-DOT approved exhaust canisters
are corrected to be compliant.
|1987 models are hard, if not
impossible, to acquire in the States. The European model received an
updated front wheel that remained unchanged until end of production in
2007. Black air scoops, side covers and tail lamp mount. Canadian models were produced with a
chromed instrument cover. 2nd Gear problem received attention for the first time
|1988 the front wheel was updated and remained
unchanged until end of this versions production in 2008.
|1989 The valve covers have a gold tone
added to them.
|1990 model brought a drastic change to the
ignition system. The ignition was changed from a 4 pickup analog style to a single pickup
digital electronic ignition. The flywheel was changed as the number of magnetic
ignition events went from 2 events to 6 events. The starter went from a 2 pole motor to a 4
pole motor. The wire harness was changed to accommodate these upgrades. Back to aluminum
color for air scoops. Introduction for Japanese domestic market.
|1993 had some fundamental chassis
changes. Fork tubes diameter increase from 40 to 43 mm. The "air
joint" equalization tube was removed. It was equipped
with new brakes: the front brake rotors were increased in diameter from
282 mm to ventilated- drilled front brake discs of 298 mm. The front brake
calipers were also upgraded to the 4-pot system over the previous 2-pot
system. An upgraded more powerful generator was also added. Metzeler tires
instead of Dunlop.
|1996 A redesigned
engine block which incorporates a spin-on oil cartridge type oil filter element.
The engine was reported to have a new style connecting
rod. A new larger finned voltage regulator was adopted. Oil drain screws at the
bottom of the fork tubes was eliminated. A rubber plug added to the
bottom of the lower triple tree. The rear drive housing changed slightly.
The casting was machined down an additional ¼ inch at the axle nut area
to accommodate a shorter axle. The assembly included a larger diameter and
thinner washer with a lock nut. Black was added to the wheels, air scoops,
exhaust system and fork outer tubes. A helmet lock was added to the left
rear frame area.
|1998 Back to chrome exhaust
||1999 Back to polished wheels and fork
outer tubes. Carbon Fiber look for fenders. The shift segment which
fastens to the end of the shift drum was upgraded. Early models
would have pins falling out because bendable tabs retained them. A dropped
pin prevented you from being unable to shift/downshift from certain gears
depending on which pin(s) fell out. In '99 they changed it to a
single piece to prevent this.
|2001 Carbon Fiber paint scheme was
introduced on the tank cover. New fork seal guards are added
to the lower fork legs. There are slight changes to the forks damper rod and
||2003 The engine block was slightly redesigned.
The script on the speedometer, tachometer and temperature gauge was
changed. The paint scheme was a matte black with 2 silver stripes adorning
|2005 is the year of the 20th anniversary of the
V max and the motorcycle presented with a new flamed paint scheme and a numbered
anniversary badge to the tank of the 2005. The 3D emblem had a red underlayment
added. The wheels are back to black and this is the first year for the
wheels to have pin stripes. The engine block
was a dark matte graphite
||2006 brings a new
Raven/Shift Red Flames color scheme. Bottom is blacked on the scoops. The
engine is still matte black and the side covers are black and the 3D
emblem is still sporting the red underlayment. Production of this version
of the V-Max ended 2007 with this paint scheme.