Yamaha set to release world's quickest motorcycle
By Mike Hanlon
June 3, 2008
June 4, 2008 Yamaha will release what is expected to be the world's quickest accelerating production motorcycle at a press conference later today in Madrid. The production 2009 V-Max will come almost 25 years after the original and groundbreaking 1200cc monster custom was first seen, and is expected to be almost identical to the concept machine shown at the 2007 Paris and Tokyo Shows. With an 1800cc fuel injected motor, the new V-Max will produce 210 bhp and feature state-of-the-art everything.
The launch is due in Madrid later today and Yamaha is using the internet for a simultaneous unveiling here. If you can’t wait until then, here’s our photo gallery from last year’s Paris and Tokyo Shows.
Without doubt, the machine is a worthy successor to the 1984 V-Max, and the show model we saw in Paris and Tokyo were visually stunning evolutions of the original design, albeit updated – it’s hard to fully appreciate the presence of the metallic beasts we saw at those shows, as although the pics look good, they really didn’t do the machine justice – think a Terminator-like bearing with industrial proportions.
While we’ll know a lot more a few hours from now, we do know that the original V-Max, which used its 145bhp and brutal mid-range to become the fastest quarter mile motorcycle in history at that time, has had a power boost in the order of 50%.
The four cylinder liquid-cooled motor has two banks of 450cc pistons set at at 70 degrees, double overhead camshafts (DOHC), 16 valves, and is fueled by a ride-by-wire electronic injection system with “V-Boost”.
While the first V-Max was not the world’s best handling motorcycle when the road wasn’t straight, the massive torque and no doubt considerable weight of the 2009 V-Max has the best of everything for tackling the twisty bits – a cast aluminum chassis, fully adjustable suspension with 50mm forks, 320mm six-pot Sumitomo superbike brakes with ABS, and a 200 mm wide rear tire. Traction control is also rumored to be in the mix, and with the expected tank-like mid-range, one can only imagine what sort of quarter mile times the bike is capable of – on specs alone it is almost certain to be the quickest production motorcycle ever, and sub-10 second times are being thrown around.
Like the original, the fuel tank has been located under the seat to keep the weight low and controllable - well, sorta.
We’re also of the understanding that a variable valve timing system is part of the plot too – meaning that the bike will be extra torquey and clean-running at low and mid-range revs, in addition to the 210 bhp MotoGP-like top-end. It’s a lot of speculation mixed with some well-placed information leaks at this stage, but Spain's leading motorcycle magazine, SoloMoto, is reporting that there will also be a touring version complete with huge fairing available in the United States.