2012 Star VMAX | Preview

2012 Star Motorcycle

When one mentions the words "power cruiser" or "muscle bike," its hard not to conjure up the image of Star’s VMAX.

Through its years its been a love or hate relationship concerning the bike’s style, but there’s no arguing about power. Crank the throttle wide open to bring alive the 174 horsepower from the 1679cc, 65-degree V4, and you’ll quickly encounter a breathtaking, hold-on-for-your-life moment.

The Star VMAX remained relatively unchanged since its major redesign in 2009, and this holds true for the 2012 model. The only changes on the 2012 VMAX, which is only available in Matte Black, are new side-cover finishes that match the bike’s distinctive intake cover, and gray stitching on seat cover.

But when things are optimal, there’s no reason for change. Besides the monstrous power, the VMAX is also known for its technology; the fuel-injection system features Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake technology and Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle technology, which provides for smooth and crisp response.

The lightweight aluminum chassis keeps the muscled VMAX to 683 lbs., and the beefy suspension (think 52mm fork) allows the bike to handle particularly well for a muscle bike. And slowing this beast of a bike is no problem due to ABS and dual 320mm discs up front with 6-piston calipers.

Following are the highlights, specs, color options and MSRP for the 2012 Star V Max.

2012 Star VMAX Highlights:


  • The thunderous 1679cc, 65-degree, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected four-valves-per-cylinder, DOHC engine pumps out astonishing power to reinvent the VMAX legend.
  • The superbike-proven Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake (YCC-I) switches nearly instantaneously between 150mm and 54mm intake funnels as needed for a broad powerband that delivers optimum performance at any rpm.
  • Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T), the fly-by-wire system, delivers optimum acceleration under all conditions.
  • Engine combines four-valve technology with a high 11.3:1 compression ratio, forged aluminum pistons and NGK Iridium spark plugs with R1-type direct ignition coils to extract maximum horsepower from the fuel charge.
  • Cams are driven by a combined chain and gear system to precisely control valves while keeping cylinder heads remarkably compact for such a large displacement engine.
  • Hydraulically activated clutch includes racetrack-proven ramp-type slipper clutch system that makes braking from speed while downshifting smoother.
  • Five-speed transmission has superbly spaced gear ratios to take full advantage of the engine’s awesome power in straight-line acceleration or through the canyons.
  • Delivering this power cruiser’s muscle to the street means a beefy shaft drive. Special shaft design includes two cross joints to accommodate the fat 200/50 R18 rear tire.
  • The high-performance engine is cooled by two radiators for efficiency and clean looks. Lubrication is via a simple, reliable wet sump system.
  • Four-into-one-into-two-into-four exhaust system with EXUP® delivers a broad, seamless powerband with the right VMAX look.
  • The iconic VMAX aluminum intake covers are hand buffed by craftsmen for superb quality and individuality.


  • The chassis is light and compact, with a cast aluminum main frame, Controlled-Fill die-cast and extruded aluminum rear frame and cast aluminum swingarm. The result is superb rigidity balance for both hard acceleration off the line and corner carving.
  • Cartridge-damper-type front forks have substantial 52mm inner tubes with oxidized titanium coating. Forks have both compression and rebound damping adjustability plus spring preload.
  • Link-type Monocross rear suspension has a piggyback reservoir and features compression and rebound clickers, plus remote preload adjustment.
  • VMAX uses Brembo master cylinders, the front with radial pump and reserve tank. Large 320mm wave-style dual front discs are matched to radial-mounted mono block 6-piston calipers. On the rear wheel, there’s a 298mm disc, also wave design, and single-piston caliper. These high-tech brakes also incorporate three-position ABS.
  • Tapered handlebar provides a muscular 1-1/8" diameter look at the triple clamp while using conventionally sized controls.
  • 18-inch radial tires, 120/70 R18 front and 200/50 R18 rear, are mounted on cast aluminum five-spoke wheels.
  • For mass centralization that contributes to the bike’s lean looks, the 4-gallon (15-liter) fuel tank is mounted under the seat, with the filler under the rider’s backrest.

Additional Features:

  • The Electronic Control Unit (ECU) uses three microprocessors to control fuel injection, ignition, YCC-T, YCC-I, meters and other electrical components.
  • Distinctive key design reinforces the unique character of this new VMAX.
  • The instrument panel includes an analog, step-motor driven tachometer, and digital speedometer with LED indicator lights. Prominent LED shift timing indicator adds to the performance character of the VMAX.
  • Organic electroluminescence multi-function display provides a more precise display vs. LCD and includes clock, fuel meter, trip meter with fuel reserve trip meter, transmission gear position, coolant temperature, stopwatch, and more.
  • H4 60/55W headlight provides excellent visibility and distinctive style, while the trick-looking LED taillight is light, bright and highly efficient.
  • Rare earth magnet AC magneto puts out a robust 420W at 5000 rpm.

2012 Star VMAX Specs:


  • Type: 102-cubic-inch (1679cc) liquid-cooled 65° V-4, DOHC, 4 valves/cylinder
  • Bore x Stroke: 90.0mm x 66.0mm
  • Compression Ratio: 11.3:1
  • Fuel Delivery: Fuel Injection with YCC-T and YCC-I
  • Ignition: TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
  • Transmission: 5-speed, multiplate slipper clutch
  • Final Drive: Shaft


  • Suspension / Front: 52mm telescopic cartridge fork w/oxidized titanium coating. Fully adjustable preload, compression and rebound; 4.7 in travel
  • Suspension / Rear: Single shock w/remote reservoir and remote adjustable for preload, compression and rebound
  • Brakes / Front: Dual 320mm wave-type discs; radial mount 6-piston calipers, Brembo® radial pump master cylinder
  • Brakes / Rear: 298mm wave-type disc, single-piston caliper and Brembo® master cylinder
  • Tires / Front: Bridgestone Radial 120/70-R18 59V
  • Tires / Rear: Bridgestone Radial 200/50-R18 76V


  • Length: 94.3 in
  • Width: 32.3 in
  • Height: 46.8 in
  • Seat Height: 30.5 in
  • Wheelbase: 66.9 in
  • Rake (Caster Angle): 31.0 in
  • Trail: 5.8 in
  • Fuel Capacity: 4.0 gal
  • Fuel Economy: 27 mpg
  • Wet Weight: 683 lb / 685 lb (CA model)


  • Warranty: 1 Year (Limited Factory Warranty)

2012 Star VMAX Color Option/MSRP:

  • Matte Black / $19,890

Available from November 2011/CA model December 2011