MR. Max , the maximum Musclebike.....

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MR. Max , the maximum Musclebike.....

#1 Unread post by Shriker » Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:10 pm

Well I got an excellent opportunity to ride a 2014 Yamaha Star V-Max.

I rode this bike directly after climbing off of a 2013 Ducati Diavel Carbon (with Termignoni pipes and program). As you may have read in my review of the Diavel , I really liked the bike and it was tremendously quick. It had a feeling of brutal instant power (especially in the sport mode). It came with all the traditional Ducati sounds and and rumbles , especially with the aftermarket pipes.

Swinging a leg over the VMax, uh MISTER Max , as he deserves to be called (according to most on the forums), the bike initially feels quite large long and reasonably low. It has a wide comfortable saddle with the nice trademark rear step or pad (that hides the fuel cap underneath) later find out how functional that step/pad truly is. The riding position is not cruiser.....its close to the Diavel in that it is upright and your legs are in a more standard position. The enormous polished aluminum (real metal!) functional scoops splayed my legs apart a bit , but not uncomfortably. If you are taller than me (6'1") it might become more of an issue, but I have no problem with it.

Lifting the bike off its center stand , you realize this bike is heavy at nearly 700lbs gassed up . Turn the key and the secondary display tells you "This is Vmax - time to ride" and you feel the refined rumble and deep exhaust note of the huge V-4 (nearly 1700cc). There is a monster tach and shift light with digital speedo up front and center-these are serious clues about the mission of this machine . This bike , unlike the Diavel feels much more refined , immediately. It still has a lot of character with a nice rumble but its not as raucous as the Diavel (the pipes surely aided in this ).

The clutch action is reasonably light and smooth for such a monster and the gear box is superb. NO missed shifts each click up or down through the gears at any speed or rpm were excellent. The bike is equipped with a nice slipper clutch which aids in rev matched down shifts like some of the top shelf liter sport bikes have now, nice.

Well pull out of the parking lot and get ready ......there is NO traction control on Mr. Max ......YOU are the traction control unit, just like the good ole days. The bike has very good fueling via Yamaha's fly by wire throttle system. Because of this the bike doesn't have that instant and sometimes frightening initial crack of the throttle the Diavel had. This is a GOOD thing , any decent rider can modulate this beast pretty easily controlling its nearly 200hp (they dyno around 175 to the wheels). When you DO decide to grab a handful, it is truly as if GAWD himself reached down from the heavens and shoved you forward. With a wonderful deep V4 snarl, the big motor quickly revs offering unmatched low and mid range lunge. I have ridden a lot of fast bikes from first and second gen 'Busa's to ZX-14's (not the new 14R which is supposed to be a MONSTER) as well as top shelf liter sports bikes. NONE can match the instant massive low and mid range of Mr. Max when you grab a handful. It will put a stupid grin on your face EVERY time you grip it and rip it. Part of the reason this is so fun is that its accessible. Unlike the sport bikes or even powerful nakeds like the Diavel, this bike is long enough that it doesn't want to instantly stand on end and wheelie over making the rider have to back off and control it. Mr Max will burn the tire off if you want him to, but otherwise you can seriously accelerate with the utmost stability. This makes this bike king of the stop light drags......yes there are ultimately faster bikes but Mr. Max is relatively easy to get a serious pull from 0 to 100mph. From what I have read , these bikes are pretty limited from the factory as well. With a few bolt ons, folks are picking up an amazing 30 rwhp (over 200 rwhp) pretty easily. One of my favorite quotes " Mr. Max lives at the dragstrip and its where his adversaries go to die......". This bike is 5 years old now and its STILL impressively fast.

The Diavel by all accounts is nearly as quick and fast but doesnt feel nearly as refined . Mr. Max has the best engine in motorcycling IMHO . You can lug it around town all day if you want . Your MOM could borrow it and putt around controllably and enjoy it . But your crazy uncle could also go hammer it at the strip all day as well. Bottomless power with a great punch up top-via Yamaha's trick variable intake runners (that give it a big kick around 6600 rpm) as well, what more could you ask for?

Dont say fuel mileage......because you wont get it . This is the one place where Mr. Max could use a bit of help. Hey , you want fuel mileage go buy a Prius , right? Well this bike only has 4 gallons which doesn't sound that bad until you twist the grip a lot and average 20 mpg! You can run dry as early as 80 miles running him hard . Now , if you ride more normally you will see more like 30 mpg which at least gets you over 100miles on a tank. IF they could squeeze a bit more fuel into this bike it would help but given its muscle bike mission , its understandably limited in range.

Riding around normally is quite comfy with a good riding position , no bad vibes (though its not smooth), and good suspension action (which is fully adjustable at both ends) . The brakes are superb being equipped with top shelf components and a good ABS system....this bike NEEDS these and they deliver superb stopping and excellent confidence.

Mr. Max is in the middle ground as far as handling goes.....its too heavy to run with good naked or standard bikes through the twistys. It is very stable has decent cornering clearance-enough to have fun- unlike most cruisers. It has good suspension action and changes direction reasonably well considering its size length and weight. Compared to cruisers it DOMINATES it depends on what you are looking for. The Diavel definitely had an advantage here being much smaller and lighter.

Last but not least in this brief review I wanted to mention the Coolness factor and the quality. This is an expensive and limited bike. You see and can feel this , all the fasteners and small details are top notch . It has a lot of nice features like the fly by wire throttle, the variable length intakes, several magnesium and titanium pieces.....the top shelf suspension and braking systems. Its sounds and actions are supremely powerful but very refined. There really is no other bike on the market like it. You can ride up to any type of motorcycle event and everyone has something to say , most have great respect for the bike and the reputation that precedes it....the long running first generation models created that reputation and maintained it from the mid 80's .

I like the bike so much , I found a great deal on a '13 model and bought it. I was initially not really excited about Mr. Max ride and I was completely changed.....I now have the sickness for the quickness as Vmax pilots say.

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Re: MR. Max , the maximum Musclebike.....

#2 Unread post by montanalifter » Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:36 pm

Thanks for the review. 6 gallon tank and maybe they would sell a lot more.

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