Suzuki B-King vs. Star V-Max - Ready To Rumble

It's King Kong Versus Godzilla In The Intergalactic Heavyweight Title Fight Of The Millennium

By Tim Carrithers, Photography by Kevin Wing

2009 Star V-Max | Price: $17,990
Hard Parts

A quartet of 48mm Mikuni throttle bodies fuels the fire under orders from Yamaha's familiar fly-by-wire throttle. YCC-I variable-length velocity stacks measure 150mm to optimize torque until 6650 rpm, then shift to 54mm horsepower mode after that, creating a virtual V-Boost kick in the pants. A hybrid chain/gear cam-drive system helps keep the top end compact. Cam covers? Magnesium. Mufflers? Titanium.

The 52mm Soqi fork carries cartridge-type internals, with an oxidized-titanium anti-friction coating outside. A cast-aluminum axle carrier caps each extruded-aluminum slider. As with the Soqi shock, spring and damping rates balance control against compliance, but some harshness crashes the party on rough pavement.

The V-Max skeleton is cast aluminum. Yamaha's Controlled-Fill Die-Casting technology let engineers vary wall thickness from 3 to 6mm, concentrating rigidity exactly where it's needed. Swingarm is cast aluminum as well.

A Brembo master cylinder cues six-piston Sumitomo front calipers and suitably huge 320mm rotors. In the rear, a single-piston Akebono unit squeezes a 398mm disc. The reassuringly potent combination slows all 700 pounds down with minimal drama and no fade.

Tech Spec
Engine type: l-c 65 deg. V-fourRear brake: Akebono single-piston caliper, 298mm discCorrected 1/4-mile: 10.41 sec @ 137.40 mph
Valve train: DOHC, 16vFront tire: 120/70R-18 Bridgestone BT028FTop-gear roll-on 60-80 mph: 2.66 sec.
Displacement: 1679ccRear tire: 200/50R-18 Bridgestone BT028RFuel mileage (high/low/avg.): 35/26/30 mpg
Bore x stroke: 90.0 x 66.0mmRake/trail: 31.0 deg./5.8 in.Colors: Black
Compression: 11.3:1Seat height: 30.5 in.Availability: Now
Fuel system: Mikuni EFIWheelbase: 66.9 in.Warranty: 24 mo., unlimited mi.
Clutch: Wet, multi-plateFuel capacity: 4.0 gal.Contact:
Yamaha Motor Corp., USA
6555 Katella Ave.
Cypress, CA 90630
Transmission: 5-speedWeight (tank full/empty): 700/676 lbs.
Frame: Aluminum twin-sparMeasured horsepower: 169.6 bhp @ 8750 rpm
Front suspension: 52mm Soqi fork, adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound dampingMeasured torque: 109.7 lb.-ft. @ 6500 rpm
Rear suspension: Soqi shock, adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping
Front brake: Dual Sumitomo six-piston calipers, 320mm discs

Acres of bottom-end torque make the 'Max feel ridiculously quick on the street, but overpower the phat rear Bridgestone tire at the strip. Nothing else cuts a swath of triple-digit torque this wide.

More bar rise and legroom plus a lower seat sit you up straighter than on the 'King. That mammoth V-4 makes the 'Max thick through the middle, making short legs stretch to the tarmac.

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