1985 Yamaha V-Max


The powerful V-Max was introduced in 1985, and it would be years before another street bike could match its brutal acceleration. See more motorcycle pictures.

The 1985 Yamaha V-Max motorcycle became the undisputed King of Quick immediately upon its release. Neither sportbike nor cruiser, the V-Max was simply a dragster for the street.

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The 1985 Yamaha V-Max's power -- and a prodigious amount it was -- came from a 1200-cc V-four with four valves per cylinder.

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The engine was based on a powerplant from the company's Venture touring bike but with numerous modifications. Among the tweaks was a variable intake system that opened an extra set of butterflies as rpm increased, allowing great low-end torque along with 145 peak horsepower.

Oddly, final drive was by shaft, which undoubtedly absorbed more power than would a chain, but the 1985 Yamaha V-Max motorcycle didn't seem to mind.

Fast the V-Max was; subtle it wasn't. What looked like a sliver of a fuel tank was actually just a cover for the electronics, as the tank itself was under the seat. Huge aluminum scoops beneath the tank looked like ram-air ducts, but actually hid the horns.

A lone speedometer sat atop the handlebars, with a tachometer, water temperature gauge, and warning lights situated in a "tank"-mounted instrument panel.

A stepped saddle helped keep the rider in place during throttle applications, and a duck-tail rear fender was there to...well...just look racy.

Though discontinued after a couple of years, the V-Max made a comeback in the late 1980s. But it would be some time before any motorcycle managed to top its straight-line performance.

Continue to the next page to see more 1985 Yamaha V-Max motorcycle pictures.

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1985 Yamaha V-Max Pictures

The V-Max was introduced in 1985, discontinued for a couple of years, then made a comeback in the late 1980s.
The V-Max was introduced in 1985, discontinued for a couple of years, then made a comeback in the late 1980s.

The 1985 Yamaha V-Max motorcycle had an interesting mix of design features, including a stepped saddle, duck-tail rear fender, mock air intakes, and a fuel tank located underneath the seat.

The mighty V-Max featured a 1200-cc four-valve V-four with variable intake runners and 145 horsepower.
The mighty V-Max featured a 1200-cc four-valve V-four with variable intake runners and 145 horsepower.
The speedometer was perched above the handlebars, while the tach, water-temperature gauge, and host of warning lights sat in a separate instrument panel.
The speedometer was perched above the handlebars, while the tach, water-temperature gauge, and host of warning lights sat in a separate instrument panel.
What appeared to be massive air scoops were really just covers for the horns, but they sure looked mean.
What appeared to be massive air scoops were really just covers for the horns, but they sure looked mean.

For more great motorcycle articles and pictures, check out:

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