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It's official! The 2009 Yamaha V-Max has been released

It's official! The 2009 Yamaha V-Max has been released after some 10 years in development.

The V-Max started production way back in 1985 and is considered a power cruiser class motorcycle. Previously it was powered by a liquid cooled 1,200 cc V4 engine, with shaft drive, and very distinctive styling that earned it the nick name "Mad Max." It's one of the best selling Japanese motorcycles of all time.

Well, for 2009 the 1,200cc capacity has been uped to 1,679 cc with a reduction in the angle of the V-engine from 70 to 65 degrees. The new engine is more compact front to back allowing the engineers to place the engine in the "sweet spot" of the frame. While no horsepower figures have been provided by Yamaha, there is a huge torque increase with the new model, Yamaha claims a monster 123 ft-lbs (presumably at the crank) while the old Max's rear wheel torque was just about 80 ft-lbs.

A hydraulic slipper clutch reduces rear wheel hop when making hard downshifts or under hard braking. You've got five gear ratios optimized for maximum acceleration and performance; fifth gear is an overdrive gear to reduce engine rpm at highway speeds for a comfortable ride. The final drive is a compact rear shaft.

The exhaust system is a four into one into two into four that retains the Yamaha patented Exhaust Ultimate Power (EXUP) valve while keeping emissions down with a catalytic converter.

Gone is the steel cradle frame, replaced with a lightweight cast aluminium model with detachable sub frame and extra long swingarm to keep the power to the ground. The frame is designed to offer optimized rigidity balance to maximize handling performance. This frame is very rigid or stiff at the head pipe, engine mounts, and swingarm pivot point. In other areas, material is less rigid in order to allow for "tuned flex".

In terms of suspension; up front you get conventional forks but they're a stout 52 mm and fully adjustable for preload, compression, and rebound. They're good for 4.7 m of travel. In the rear you'll get a fully adjustable mono-shock offering 4.3mm of travel. Seat height should allow for all size of rider as 775mm (30.5"). Just in case that low seat height has you thinking it might be good for new riders - think again. If those specs we just posted aren't convincing enough Yamaha offers a warning: IMPORTANT NOTE: The VMAX offers a significant level of power and performance. It is not intended for novice or inexperienced riders.

The 15l capacity fuel tank remains under the rider's seat, with the airbox making its home in the top of the bike where tank resides on many motorcycles.

How do you slow this rocket? In the front you've got 320 mm wave style rotors with massive 6 piston radially mounted calipers. Out back you get a 298 mm, single piston caliper. ABS is now also included to help maximize the safety and ability to slow the bike in all situations.

The wheels are 18" diameter in both the front and back. The rear tire is a huge 200/50 wide. That'll be an expensive one to replace when you smoke it off!

Yamaha has thought to include their immobilizer system on the bike as well. The key needs to be recognized before the bike will start (don't lose it!).

As for colors, as the old Model-T car joke goes - You can get it any color you want, as long as it's black.

No word on pricing yet but we'll let you know as soon as we do.

For more information and to see the full specs of the bike be sure to take a look at Yamaha Canada's website.


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