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It was impossible to miss his debut - this event is akin to the Krakatau eruption (then, they say, the earth shook for several days). Its appearance has been talked about for decades. The lucky ones, who were the first to see his public appearance, at first could only squeeze out interjections (everything that was said articulate, crammed with censorship). Such power! Such a passion! Such a design!

Yes, yes, it's all about him - the fantastic Yamaha V-Max, which recently celebrated - it's scary to think! - quarter century anniversary. 145 h.p. from the V-shaped “four” - and even today, not all sportbikes can boast such power * Now imagine that it’s 1984. For the first time motorcycles tried on plastic fairings, aluminum frames - only on racing equipment (and even not on all). The most powerful and brutal bike of those times is the 122-horsepower Honda VF1000R, capable of squeezing as much as 250 km / h! And suddenly a thug appears and makes straight this “rocket" like a baby in diapers. And with all this, he does not look like anything! Journalists who definitely need to record a novelty in some sort of classification cell, having broken down, go into binge. Alas, Pushkin’s unfamiliar to them: “Like a lawless comet in the circle of luminaries lined up.” Yes, Alexander Sergeevich would live in our time - he would become a biker: how thinly he felt! ..

But no matter how much you drink, you need to put the upstart “in place”. And they recorded him in the category of choppers, cruisers, dragsters and other American-like evil spirits. Custom, in short. Though factory. And they brought a base for it: they say, with a beginner’s handling, trouble is (that the truth is true: this chassis could not digest the full power of an unbridled motor). And what other motorcycle shakes the rider along the entire width of the track, not blushing at all for his antics? Of course, "americos", his vile soul!

The owners of the "very skilled" pens immediately rushed to treat birth sores and launched the shamanic Showa, Ohlins, Spondon and a whole set of first-class tuning "potions". In their opinion, V-Max was created in order to remake it into something worthy. And too principled (or too lazy - often the same thing) yelled out that there was nothing to “fix” the icon, that a real motorcycle should be like this - unbridled, dashing and a bit unpredictable. And if you can’t cope with your car, you can’t drive and drive! ..

In such amusing discussions, she flashed a quarter of a century. And the fact that V-Max is now outdated, it became clear even to the most zealous apologists. He has not completely left the stage yet: in the USA, he is still on the market. But to Europe, with its strict environmental standards, the veteran is ordered the way.

The most fantastic in this story: for all time, no one challenged the king of V-Max. No one tried to reproduce, copy, parody, in the end. But there was a parallel flow: power-cruisers, “powerful cruisers”, with a more traditional “American” appearance, engines of decent power (from 100 hp and above) and with controllability for which it is not a shame (and with which it is not terrible) . Harley-Davidson V-Rod, Honda VTX1800, Yamaha Warrior, Kawasaki Mean Streak This season has brought a few more pretenders to the throne.


Here the corrosive critic will cry out: “Sorry, sorry! What the hell power-cruiser? This is the traditional "americos" - heavy, slow, low-power. " To which I will answer: “Cool down, dear! One hundred hp in two “pots” almost a liter each can jerk like that - it will not seem enough. Power is power, and torque and especially the nature of its change is a separate science. Think about it: the peak of power is at 4250 rpm (just something!), And the maximum torque is at 2500 rpm. One of my friends, a good engineer, says: if the motor has at least 60 N.m of torque, about flexibility characteristics can no longer be worried - this will always stretch. And here - more than 160 N.m! ”

Actually, it’s somehow not even in Japanese. A completely American approach: why bother with all sorts of high-tech stuff? Push the bigger motor - and you can solve all the problems in one fell swoop (well, except in addition to efficiency). But the Japanese would not be themselves (that is, they would lose face - and there’s nothing worse for an oriental gentleman) if they succumbed to the temptation to choose the simplest way and created something unique - a hi-tech traditionalist.

So what do we have? The "liter" power - 54 hp / l, it is less than that of the "pregnant antelope", sorry - VAZ "ten". And a whole bunch of defiant archaic decisions: air cooling, valve drive with rods from the camshaft located below (OHV circuit), gearbox in a separate unit. Straight, some kind of Middle Ages! But for all that - 4-valve cylinder heads with two candles for each, forged pistons, a sophisticated lubrication system with separate circuits and oil pumps for the engine and gearbox, fuel injection and, finally, the EXUP power valve in the exhaust system! And appreciate how the vibration suppression system is made - as elegant as it is smart. The traditional balancing shafts passing through the entire crankcase are massive and take up a lot of space. Therefore, they are halved: on the left is a load coaxial with the crankshaft, on the right is a short balancing shaft. The overall effect is the same as from two full shafts.

The frame, for all its “duplex” tradition, was woven from a material completely unusual for cruisers - aluminum alloy. Just like the swingarm of the rear suspension. Please note: the horizontal shock absorber is “hidden”, which makes the suspension appear stiff, but at the same time it is connected to the pendulum through a lever system that creates a progressive characteristic. In short, the designers showed generous concern for the driving performance of the motorcycle. The distribution of mass on the front / rear wheels - 49.6 / 50.4% - count as in sport bikes. The wheels are cast, 12-spoke and almost sportbike in size: 18 inches in front and 17 in rear. Whatever you say, the beginner is not simple, oh is not simple …