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I bought a Canadian import 2000 model for about £5300. It was the full-powered version (about 145 bhp) and also had the V-Boost system (turbo clone) that kicked in around 4500rpm I think. I had it for a year before I part-ex'd it for a new Honda Blackbird. I believe it is the quickest accelerating unfaired bike on the market. There are 5 gears (as opposed to the usual six) but loads of torque that means you can comfortably accelerate from low speed in fifth! GOOD POINTS: I think the handling isn't as bad as writers would have you believe. Once you get used to the upright position and big front wheel, it shouldn't be too difficult to get your knee down. Straightline acceleration is awesome and this experience is further (though certainly not neccesary) exaggerated with the upright seating position. Basically makes you look like one of those early day NASA type experiments with the guy in the seat being catapulted across a runway or something (without the sudden stop). I fitted non-road legal cans to give it a bit more awareness. These were Lasers and the loudest muthers you will ever hear (available from a lot of dealers). My friend waiting for me from his garage said he heard me for literally 3 or 4 minutes upon coming to his house. This must have meant it projected basey sound waves across a radius of 2 miles! They cost just over a couple of hundred quid, but well worth it - I went through the Blackwall tunnel to work with it, makes you appreciate the acoustics even more. Insurance for this type of bike is lower than your average CBR600 (of similar power, though I think the VMAX can slaughter it from 0-60mph) given it's undesirability to ignorant thieves (plus it's weights a third of a ton). Highly improbable of doing a wheelie by mistake. The bike is too heavy and long for that to happen, even though your weight is less off the front than other bikes because of the rider's upright position. BAD
POINTS: It has a long wheelbase and not a particularly good turning circle. The clocks are a bit naff, but then again, if you ride this beast to extremes you ain't going to be looking what speed you're doing (though not advisable to say that to the pigs if they pull you over as I was - 70mph in a 30 and only a 3 points fixed penalty - the pig was a biker and loved the bike!). The front wheel starts to wobble approaching 120mph. If you duck your head onto the fake tank (the 'real' tank is under the seat for extra centre of gravity stuff), you should be able to 'safely' do 140mph. Runs out of steam if you push it to 155mph. You'll have to pop over to Germany unless you want to risk being thrown into the slammer to do that anyway. Tank range is only about 130 miles including reserve. Watch out for signs of corrosion. The Ram air thingies on the side are aluminium plated and can very easily corrode (as did in my case). Protect it as much as you can, unless you don't mind £500 easily coming off the value. Please note the following bad point is a bummer because I've heard this is the case with a lot of owners. On my bike, the second gear started slipping after about 9000 brand new miles. I hear it would cost between £500 and £1000 to replace the gearbox. The slipping is a gradual deterioration that gets really annoying after a while. It's very heavy. A bitch to roll back up the slightest of inclines if parking it. A fairing for the pansies wouldn't go amiss. Though if you ever go to NEC bike show in Birmingham, there is normally a VMAX stand that has a catalogue that sells loads of aftermarket accessories. Also there are plenty of websites to cater for that sort of stuff too. Although my greedy eyes wanted something more powerful (hence the Blackbird), I still miss the thing. I was hoping they would bring out the millennium version. Reputed to be 200bhp. I will look again, though it
should have been out a couple of years ago at least.
Definitely the most comfortable bike I have ever had the pleasure of owning, the Yamaha range continues to grow I managed to pick myself up one of these supreme Yamaha V-Max VMX1200 which is the best bike I have both riden, sat on and looked at. My Girlfriend nearly stole this off me, but I don't think she managed to work out where the key goes (lol!). My bike is almost exactly like the one in the photo you see above this opinion, in gleaming midnight black with a superb retro look and feel about the bike. The leather is comfortable, if a bit on the drab side, but I love the storage compartment - easily fit enough food in there for a day out! I've had my bike for around a year and a half now, I ride it as often as I can, and the speed! Wow! I won't mention the actual speed I have gone up to, as it's not in my best interests, but this bike is quick, and offers superb stability even at high speeds and winds. 0 - 60 in below 5 seconds, so it's not bad! I have to say that the VMX 1200 is mmore like a Harley, than a 'traditional' Yamaha, but it further affirms the quality and status of the world's leading bike brand. It cost me £5300, but you should be able to pick up one for £3000 or £4000, for an older model. Two words that describe my set of wheels?: Amazing - Astounding! Don't let Wayne borrow it, and if Harry if sits on it? Let's not think of the damages... Thanks - I recommend this bike to everyone! Some Guy!