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2009 Yamaha Star VMAX Comparison Photo Gallery
After two decades the iconic V-max returns as the completely redesigned 2009 STAR VMAX. The stretched-out power cruiser commands respect as it rests next to the 2008 Suzuki B-King.
Follow along as MotorcycleUSA takes a ride on the successor to the original muscle bike that started it all: The 2009 Star V-Max. Check out our editor's complete
2009 Yamaha Star VMAX Comparison
Yamaha VMAX vs Suzuki B-King dyno comparison, courtesy of Mickey Cohen Motorsports.
The Yamaha design team deserves a tip of the hat for producing a bike that inherits the distinctive looks of the V-Max, but with a more modern finish.
With a super-long 62.6 inch wheelbase, kicked out front wheel, and weighing in at a hefty 685 lb when filled, the 2009 VMAX forsakes the typical nimbleness of Japanese sportsbike in exchange for beastly brawn.
Yamaha VMAX versus Suzuki B-King
The old 140 hp of the V-Boost has been swapped for a more powerful 200 hp engine that carries an intoxicating whallup.
The modern aluminum chassis provides rigid support for the unruly powerhouse in a lightweight skeleton.
The hand buffed, iconic VMAX aluminum intake covers maintain the characteric nature of the Yamaha V-Max.
Four-into-one-into-two-into-four exhaust system with titanium end caps is in keeping with the V-Max look and delivers a wide, fluid powerband.
Luckily, Yamaha spared no expense in breaking this aggresive heavyweight. The rear disc is a thick 298mm wave design, with a single-piston caliper and Brembo master cylinder. ABS comes standard.
The front uses beefy 320mm wave-type discs with dual six-piston calipers. They quickly tame the bike's power while not overwhelming the rider's feel and control.
The solid, 1-1/8” tapered-diameter handlebars sweep back for sturdy handling. Yet, with conventional sized controls the rider still benefits from ride-tested ergonomics. Large LED shift timing indicators add to the VMAX's performance styling.
The 1,679cc, 16-valve, 65-degree V-4, with a 90mm bore and 66mm stoke couples with a compact header design to gives the VMAX plenty of thunder from a tight package.
The somewhat smallish 4 gallon fuel tank is mounted under the seat, with the filler under the rider’s backrest. This design allows for a lean profile with centralized mass that improves the V-Max's handling.
Forks have both compression and rebound damping adjustability plus spring preload. The high-performance engine is cooled by two radiators for efficiency and clean looks.
The rickety steel tube bedframes of the old V-Max have been changed out for a cast and extruded aluminum frame that makes the VMAX ride as solid as rock. The swingarm is also forged from cast aluminum.
The 2009 VMAX handles curves far better than its predecessor, with the lightweight aluminum chassis positioning the engine low and forward for better mass centralization.
The riding position of the VMAX has the rider squatting on his heels, which works great for stockier riders but might strain the knees of the long-legged.
The wide 200/50 R18 rear tire is harnessed by a specially designed shaft with two cross joints. The cruiser's brute power comes from a thickset drive shaft akin to the V-Maxes of old.
The original bike never was an agile handler, so the 2009 VMAX's smooth, stable steering is the bike's most praise-worthy improvement.
Caution: One should always approach 200 corralled horses with due care, least you be bucked out of town by their combined 123 pound-feet of spine-snapping torque.
Despite the Star VMAX's robust powerhouse it is still a practical machine built for the real world. It will handle the urban commutes and rural snaking back-roads that are the mainstays of chronic riding.
The instrument panel includes a large analogue tachometer with an inset LCD speedometer. On the dummy tank, there is an organic LED array, that displays trips, time, gear, throttle, temp, and fuel.
Replacing the old CV carbs are four-bore fuel injections with Yamaha's latest YCC-I intake and YCC-T fly-by-wire throttle techonologies. As long as you can maneuver an accelerating missile you're golden.
With a 29-degree rake and 4.7 inch trail it takes a little body weight to change directions quickly, but the sprawling bike always keeps its rear wheel gripping pavement. Overall, the VMAX is a much more confident turner than its forerunner.
The rider can take full advantage of the five-speed transmission's perfectly spaced gear ratios, which allow for awesome acceleration coming out of torturous turns and through lengthy, straight stretches.
The Star VMAX does not afford much clearance between the road and its low-set footpegs, so any sort of knee-scraping antics are out of the question. The crusier will however give you enough confidence to tackle most turns at dramatic speeds.
Using the slipper clutch the VMAX can bang down a few gears coming into turns and then unpack a heavyweight punch on the way out.
The fully adjustable front and rear suspensions are factory set to be soft enough for a comfortable journey.
The cast aluminium, five-spoke wheels come in an the unusual 18-inch diameter size, with Bridgestone Radial tires.
The Bridgestone Radial 200/50-R18 76V rear tire takes the brunt of the engine's destructive brute force.
The 2009 Star VMAX might not be as sporty as the Suzuki B-King, but it sets new standards for performance and rideability within the cruiser class.
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