2020 Yamaha VMAX First Look Preview

Yamaha continues to offer its VMAX power cruiser for the 2020 model year.

Yamaha returns its mighty 170-hp-plus VMAX to its US model line for 2020.
Yamaha returns its mighty 170-hp-plus VMAX to its US model line for 2020.Yamaha Motor Corp., USA

Yamaha's current-generation VMAX power cruiser celebrates its 12th year of production for the 2020 model year. Originally released in 2008 as a Star Motorcycle (Yamaha's old cruiser sub-brand), the VMAX has been rebranded and now slots in Yamaha's Sport Heritage motorcycle line. As always, the VMAX turns heads with its muscular stance and high-output 1,679cc V-4 engine.

The VMAX is powered by a huge 1,679cc V-4 engine that pumps out an absurd level of tire-smearing torque.
The VMAX is powered by a huge 1,679cc V-4 engine that pumps out an absurd level of tire-smearing torque.Yamaha Motor Corp., USA

We've ridden the VMAX a few times over the years, and everytime we take a spin on it, we're amazed at not only how quick it is from stoplight to stoplight, but how smooth and well-mannered, especially during urban rides. Keep in mind, this is a motorcycle that delivers more than 170 hp and upwards of 100 pound-feet torque at the back tire. Smoke show, anyone?

The VMAX is powered by a huge 1,679cc V-4 engine that pumps out an absurd level of tire-smearing torque.
The VMAX is powered by a huge 1,679cc V-4 engine that pumps out an absurd level of tire-smearing torque.Yamaha Motor Corp., USA

For 2020, it continues to offer the same sticker price as it did when it was released in 2008, but comes in a stealthy Matte Raven Black to help hide its silhouette when streaking across town. Of course, those looking to save a bit of money, can always opt for a used VMAX, which made our Best Used Motorcycles With High Torque Engines list.

Instrumentation on the VMAX is basic, however it does benefit from a huge shift light—a must when racing through stoplights on your way to work.
Instrumentation on the VMAX is basic, however it does benefit from a huge shift light—a must when racing through stoplights on your way to work.Yamaha Motor Corp., USA

2020 Yamaha VMAX Specifications

PRICE $17,999
ENGINE 1,679cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled, 65° V-4; 16-valve
BORE x STROKE 90.0 x 66.0mm
COMPRESSION RATIO 11.3:1
FUEL DELIVERY Dual-stage fuel injection
CLUTCH Wet multi-plate slipper clutch; hydraulic actuation
TRANSMISSION/FINAL DRIVE 5-speed/shaft
FRAME Aluminum twin-spar
FRONT SUSPENSION YHSJ 52mm fork adjustable for spring preload, compression, and rebound damping; 4.7-in. travel
REAR SUSPENSION YHSJ shock adjustable for spring preload, compression, and rebound damping; 4.3-in. travel
FRONT BRAKE 6-piston calipers, 320mm disc w/ ABS
REAR BRAKE 1-piston caliper, 298mm disc w/ ABS
WHEELS Die-cast aluminum; 18 x 3.5-in. front; 18 x 6.0-in. rear
TIRES, FRONT/REAR TBD; 120/70-18 / 200/50-18
RAKE/TRAIL 31.0°/5.8 in.
WHEELBASE 66.9 in.
SEAT HEIGHT 30.5 in.
FUEL CAPACITY 4.0 gal
CLAIMED CURB WEIGHT 686 lb. (California model)
WARRANTY 1 year
AVAILABLE TBD
CONTACT yamahamotorsports.com/
Dual front brakes with six-piston radial-mount calipers keep speed in check on the 2020 VMAX.
Dual front brakes with six-piston radial-mount calipers keep speed in check on the 2020 VMAX.Yamaha Motor Corp., USA
While cutting edge for its day, the aviation-style digital instrumentation readout above the fuel tank looks dated.
While cutting edge for its day, the aviation-style digital instrumentation readout above the fuel tank looks dated.Yamaha Motor Corp., USA