I started motorcycling in the early 1990s and remember seeing some of the first generation Yamaha VMax VMX1200 on the road. This 1991 example was recently imported from Japan and brings back all the memories of seeing a completely stock VMax tearing up the local dual carriageway whilst I was still wringing the neck of my little Honda CB125.

Many of the barn find examples you see for sale have been “modified” with various off the shelf cruiser accessories, whereas this example looks very original. The only modification appears to the be the tasteful remote reservoir rear shock absorbers.

Yamaha VMax Barn Find
Link to auction

This example is also showing a few signs of oxidisation on the alloy parts which could benefit from buffing and lacquering to bring back to original. Using a bit of Autosol will help being this back to life!

Yamaha VMax Barnfind
Link to auction

Restoring your Yamaha VMax

Fortunately the Yamaha VMax sold very well in North America and Europe, therefor spares and aftermarket parts should be plentiful. A popular modification was liberating the full power of the v-boost which came restricted within some countries due to domestic regulations of the time.

Yamaha Vmax Barn Find
Link to auction

Some owners went one step further by hollowing-out the fake petrol tank to install velocity stacks! The VMax fuel tank is located underneath the rider’s seat, so you could run the VMax without the fake tank. Be mindful of the limited tank range on these bikes if you are considering a long trip!

Yamaha VMax Barn Find
Link to auction

Joining an owner’s group is also a good idea if you intend the keep the bike and plan to tackle the maintenance and restoration work yourself. Given the age of these bike you’ll also need to consider possible issues with modern fuel causing problems with the carburettors. You also need to consider if you’ve organised your garage to service and restore the Yamaha, including any special tools and equipment to make your life a bit easier.

We recently published an article which could provide some useful ideas and tips for your workshop equipment. Please let us know if this gave you any ideas and let us know if you’ve also discovered any useful tools and equipment.

More Yamaha VMax examples for sale

This 1991 example would a great for someone looking to have a nice example to ride and sympathetically restore back to completely stock. Whilst we wish you all the best if you are bidding on this example, you’ll be pleased to know that nice looking examples do come up for sale from time to time. Let us know if you win the Yamaha and your plans to restore and ride.


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