After Honda gave the competition a gut-punch in the early eighties with the introduction of the V-4 powered VF series of cruisers, conventionals and sportbikes, Yamaha was one of the major manufacturers to respond with V-4 powered bikes of its own.Yamaha’s response in 1985 was the 1198cc cruise missile with two wheels known as the V-Max (called VMAX since 2008). The VMAX has been in continuous production ever since and in recent years has been made even more muscular after being pumped up to 1679 cc and nearly 200 hp in 2009.
To celebrate the 30 year milestone in the history of the VMAX, Yamaha has formed a new collaboration in the Yard Built world with cult German builder JvB-moto to create a tribute to the VMAX.Cologne-based custom builder Jens vom Brauck is a long-time fan of the VMAX, and credits the machine as one of the sparks that ignited his passion for motorcycles at the age of 15 in 1985.JvB-moto’s vision for the VMAX Yard Built special was to transfer the stock VMAX into a radical dragster meets café racer concept. A second key element in the design is the 30-year history of the machine, by incorporating design elements from the 1985 model.Up front, a custom-made aluminum fender sits below a JvB-moto signature style custom carbon fiber headlight unit integrated into the front forks with Motogadget turn signals above custom carbon wheel covers. Modified aftermarket clip-on bars add the café racer element and the rider looks down on an authentic American dragster tachometer by Autometer.A custom carbon fiber tank cover sits over a heavily modified airbox and electrics and is complemented by special air intake scoops crafted from stock aluminum units taken from the original 80’s VMAX.The bike is built around a handmade aluminum subframe crafted from bits of the stock unit and a custom fuel tank placed under the seat, also made from aluminum and holding the same amount of fuel as the standard tank.The rear is finished with another JvB-moto signature piece, a custom carbon tail unit, handmade by vom Brauk. The exhaust system is modified with a custom 4-into-1 collector and finished with a Termignoni silencer. For authenticity, JvB-moto chose a retro color scheme based on the livery of Yamaha’s 1985 GP team to reflect the history of the bike, and of Yamaha.Each custom aluminum and carbon part on this Yard Built special was handmade by JvB-moto, to blend the VMAX story with the German builder’s signature style.“The Yamaha VMAX has been an icon without rival since it burst onto the streets in 1985 as the ultimate drag racer inspired street bike,” commented Shun Miyazawa, Product Manager, Yamaha Motor Europe. “It was immediately a favorite with fans across the world, not only in its standard form, but also as a base for personalization and customization.“To respect the culture that has grown around this icon we’ve chosen to celebrate 30 years of the VMAX by working with three highly respected custom builders to create three VMAX specials that will inspire not just Yamaha, but also owners of the VMAX and those who maybe want to own one. We’re starting this exciting anniversary build year with cult German builder JvB-moto. We are huge fans of his work, and feel his minimalistic, industrial style fits well with the VMAX. The results are clear; the Yard Built ‘INFRARED’ pays homage to the origins of the VMAX but also hints at the performance of tomorrow.”The images above are uploaded in high resolution for wallpaper use; attached below is a video of the new Yard Built Infrared VMAX.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.