Of course, you know this bike. When the V-Max debuted in 1985, it set the tone for the future power cruiser market segment. Fast-forward to 2018, and the second-generation VMAX—already a decade old—is still plucking the same high notes, with maximum gain and reverb cranked into its figurative amp. Its 1,679cc 65-degree V-4 is anointed with such high-performance hijinks as four camshafts, 16 valves, liquid-cooling, fuel injection, and a ride-by-wire throttle. Intentionally imposing with its squat profile, fat tires, enormous engine, and fake air scoops, the musclebound VMAX surely looks like 683 pounds (the VMAX’s claimed curb weight) of machismo stuffed into a 10-pound bag.
But real brawn backs up such braggadocio. Over 170 hp arrives at 9,000 rpm, and every bit of the contact patch of the 200/50-18 rear tire can and will be used to rocket the VMAX down the strip, across El Mirage, or anywhere you can lawfully rejoice in this rocket ride. Other features include an aluminum chassis, a slipper clutch to smooth the rear-wheel hop that accompanies fast downshifts, magnesium engine covers, and electroluminescent instrumentation.
Likes: Thirty-three years after its debut, the VMAX stays true to its original mission
Dislikes: The fake air inlets. Like, really, still?
Verdict: An absolute badass, dressed in black