When it was first released in 1985, the Yamaha V-Max wan an instant hit that was named Bike of the Year by Cycle Guide. The first generation lasted a whopping 22 years with minimal changes, ending when this example was sold in 2007.
The technical highlight of the 1,198cc V4 was “V-Boost”, a system of servo-operated butterfly valves that connected the intake manifolds of each pair of cylinders. It simulated the effect of a supercharger at high RPMs as the cylinder in the intake stroke would get the air and fuel from two carbs at once. In conjunction with other modifications like larger intake/exhaust valves, bigger carbs, and revised camshafts boosted power from 90 hp in the Venture to a claimed number of over 140. For more on what it was like to ride the V-Max (all power, no handling), check out this “Retrospective” from Rider. The most significant changes over the first 22 years of production were in 1993, when the V-Max got bigger 43mm front forks and four-piston brake calipers, but for an excellent breakdown of year by year changes, check out this page on V-Max Guru.
This example is being offered by the second owner, who says that’s it’s great condition with the minimal mileage. I don’t care for the paint, but there are a few upgrades that aren’t bad/easily removable if you don’t care for them – engine guards that double as highway pegs, fog lights, and a back rest.
Find this V-Max for sale here on Craigslist in Ferndale, Washington for $9,500.