Until 2007, the original V-Max was offered for sale through the Star Motorcycles division of Yamaha Motorcycles. Apart from a minor freshening to the bike's specifications in 1993, when the bike gained a larger-diameter fork to minimize high-speed wobbling and drift, four-piston brake calipers, and other handling and safety related upgrades, the 2007 V-Max was almost the same as the original 1985 version.
Overall, the V-Max was 2,300millimetres (90.6in) long, 795millimetres (31.3in) wide, and 1,160millimetres (45.7in) high.
The engine was a tuned version of the double overhead camshaft, four valve per cylinder, liquid-cooled V-4 from the Yamaha Venture. Along with other modifications to the engine, the compression ratio was raised to 10.5:1, and the V-Boost system was added.
V-Boost is a patented System from Yamaha which opens butterfly valves between the manifolds of the 1st and 2nd and between the 3rd and 4th cylinder starting from 5750 rpm. The valves are opened gradually to match the rising rotational speed signal provided by the ignition system. The valves are at the full open position at 8000 rpm. There is a small black box that reads the rotational speed and sends a computed signal to a servo motor. The servo pulls a wire to open the butterfly valves. The V-Boost System adds 10 percent to the top power rating of the base engine.
In 2005, at the 39th Tokyo Motor Show, Yamaha displayed an all-new V-Max concept bike. It featured a new chassis, upgraded components all around, and state-of-the-art braking components. It is believed that the bike may be close to production and at dealers by late 2008.
On 4 June 2008, Yamaha officially released a completely redesigned 2009 VMAX in North America and Europe. The features of the VMAX include an all aluminium frame with its 1,679cm³ (102cuin) liquid cooled V4 DOHC engine used as a stressed member of the chassis, an electroluminescent instrument readout, Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake (YCC-I), fully adjustable suspension, anti-lock brakes, slipper clutch, a fuel tank beneath the seat, and a distinctive key.