I know I said 30 years, but we’re making an exception for the VMax, which turns 32 this year. Happy Birthday, old fella. Nobody knew they needed a musclebound V-Four hellhound naked bike at the time, but Yamaha must’ve had more Venture Royale engines than they needed, so what the hell. The VMax rocketed to the top of the charts in the go-go ’80s, then sort of faded. Though it never faded away entirely of course, since Yamaha still sells brand new ones. I’ll never forget the maniac I met on the Iron Butt in the early ’90s, who’d occasionally rocket past my Gold Wing on his loud-piped VMax with Woody Woodpecker graphics.

The one major redesign happened for the 2009 model year. As for me, I still see quite a few Gen-1 bikes, and almost no newer ones. With that V-Four now grown to a full 102 cubic inches (1679 cc), there’s still nothing quite like a blast on a VMax to unclog your pipes.

2012 Ducati Diavel Cromo vs Star VMAX