The 1985 Yamaha Vmax had non-DOT approved exhaust canisters. This was corrected on the 1986 model and at the same time, (1986 model) the diameter of the VBoost tubes were increased from 30 mm to 32 mm. Allegedly, this was done in an attempt to make up the difference in the “loss” of horse power from the exhaust “correction”. I think it’s important to note right here and now that the rumor of the 1985 Vmax being the fastest model year ever made, is simply not true.

The 1985 Vmax also has different foot pegs than any of the other following years, which have gone unchanged since they were changed on the 1986 model. Also on the ’85, it was the only year to have the name “Vmax” pressed into the side covers verses the car like emblems you see on them from ’86 to present.

1986 the rear wheel changed to its present design.

In 1987 the Vmax was not available in the United States. I’ve heard two different reasons for this. One, it didn’t meet new EPA regulations and two, it’s been said that an over stock of ’86 models resulting from low sales numbers was the cause. The ’87 and ’88 Canadian models came with a chromed instrument cover. (The chrome instrument cover is not available through Yamaha dealers in the United States.)

In 1988 the only mechanical change of note is the front wheel. It went from the ’85 style to its present design.

The ignition changed to digital electronic in 1990, along with some modest changes to the wiring harness, pickup coils and the flywheel. Also the starter went from a 2-pole motor to a 4-pole motor in 1990.

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Last updated July 06, 2013

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