The powerful Vmax is thirty years old this year. And it is still making the news– for both the right and the wrong reasons.
Its creator, Kenji Ekuan of GK Design, died a couple of days past. Ekuan isn’t as well known as European designers such as Miguel Galluzzi or Massimo Tamburini, but he should be. His portfolio contains the Kikkoman soy sauce bottle the Komachi bullet train, and tons of Yamaha motorcycles from the past half century.
Now for the happier news: Yamaha has swung the spotlight back on the V Max by commissioning a custom assemble from Jens vom Brauck of Cologne-based JvB-moto.
Called Infrared, it’s based on the current model VMAX, which ended the amazing 23-year run of Ekuan’s first ‘Vmax’ in 2008.
“Usually the VMAX wouldn’t be the typical JvB-moto bike,” says Vom Brauck. “But once you feel the electricity delivery, you’re hooked and forget about the weight. And you just cannot locate a better bike for a dragster-meets-cafe racer concept…”
With 174 hp on tap, the VMAX doesn’t require any performance upgrades. “When you accelerate, you feel the savage power of the V4 engine,” says Vom Brauck. “So I wanted to bring out the motorcycle’s dragster genes.”
The appearance is more level and more purposeful, with a low-profile carbon fiber tank cover and new air intake scoops modeled after the ones on the first-generation V Max.