Custom Yamaha VMax – Motorcycle Find of the Day

Ever since the first Yamaha VMax rolled off the line back in 1985, this machine has been a tone poem to motorcycling madness. The VMax is and always has been about going over the top. From the styling to the performance specs, owning a VMax meant you were serious as a heart attack about going fast and looking like you’re going fast, even when you’re idling at a stop light.

Complain all you want about handling issues and soft suspension, but anyone riding a VMax will stare you straight in the eye with a look that says, “How about we race a half-mile for pinks, pal?”

Nuff said.

This year, Yamaha put the latest incarnation of the iconic Vmax, the Hyper, in the shops of a trio of serious custom builders. These guys, Roland Sands, Marcus Walz and Ludovic Lazareth were asked to take what’s already a brutish and wild machine, and inject it with the motorcycle equivalent of stanozolol.

And that took some doing.

The performance of the current iteration’s V41700cc (200HP) made it a wild ride right off the showroom floor.

For his version, Lazareth included a wider rear wheel, more efficient brakes and lowered forks, added new air intakes and headlight, new performance exhaust, a new radiator and chin scoop and finished it off with a revised tail section.

1999 Yamaha V-Max Specifications
V-Max Owners Association


  • Type: Liquid-cooled, 70-degree V-4
  • Valve arrangement: DOHC, 2 intake valves, 2 exhaust valves; adjusting shims
  • atop buckets Displacement, bore x stroke: 1198cc, 76 x 66mm
  • Compression ratio: 10.5:1
  • Carburetion: 4, 35mm Mikuni CV, V-Boost valve system
  • Lubrication: Wet sump, 5.0 qt
  • Minimum fuel grade: 87 octane
  • Transmission: Wet, multiplate clutch; 5 speeds
  • Final drive: Shaft, 2.851:1



  • Wet weight: 617 lb
  • GVWR: 1100 lb
  • Wheelbase: 62.6 in.
  • Overall length: 90.6 in.
  • Rake/trail: 29 degrees / 4.7 in.
  • Wheels: Cast, 18 x 2.15 front, 15 x 3.50 rear
  • Front tire: 110/90V19 Bridgestone Excedra tubeless
  • Rear tire: 150/90V15 Bridgestone Excedra tubeless
  • Front brake: 2, 4-piston calipers, 11.7-in. discs
  • Rear brake: Double-action caliper, 11.1-in disc
  • Front suspension: 43mm stanchions, 5.5 in. travel, adjustable for air pressure
  • Rear suspension: 2 dampers, 3.9 in. travel, adjustable for spring preload, rebound damping
  • Fuel capacity: 4.0 gal (.8 gal reserve)
  • Seat height: 30.1 in.
  • Handlebar width: 27.7 in.



  • Fuel mileage: 26 to 39 mpg, 34.0 mpg average
  • Average range: 136 miles
  • RPM at 60 mph, top gear: 3820
  • 200 yard, top-gear acceleration from 50 mph, terminal speed: 91.4 mph
  • Quarter-mile acceleration: 10.87 sec., 124.0 mph

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