Thursday, June 19, 2014

hammer-wielding power trip

Extensive marketing secured the “manly motorbike” image for Harley Davidson, but that’s ironic.

Bikers know this little Yamaha from 1985 was the hairy-chested monster of its day. 

Still is. 
I found this gently worn V-max parked on lower Broadway.

Designed as a dragster, the V-MAX straight-line handling was just okay, like riding an upright piano with jet engines strapped to its sides.

In the corners this bike had a tendency to drift and wallow, and you can actually see the rear tire has squared off from modest cornering.

So it’s no canyon carver. 
Mr. Max is pure power; eyeball flattening, heart racing, ohhh-fuck-ME-I’m gonna die terrifying power.

A huge 1200 cc engine, four cylinders, 16 valves (!) gives no pretense: this scoot is ruggedly bolted together and all about getting there first. 

Yamaha used disc brakes front and rear-- two upfront in fact-- in the false hope of keeping this insanity under some control.

But whack open the throttle on this machine and you’ll see why the designers built a backstop into the seat, and used a passenger backrest as stock equipment. 

It jammed 143 horsepower to the rear wheel with a shaft-drive, unlike conventional chain-driven superbikes.

The air scoops were fake. 
They hid the horns.

The gas was actually under the seat to lower the center of gravity, so the gastank was fake, too. 

A keyed entry flipped it up for hidden storage.

My old Beemer was the high-speed, gentleman’s express.

The Yamaha V-max is god Thor’s, blunted war machine.
Here he is kicking Ducati’s effete ass at about 1:12 in: 


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