John Reed, an English designer who lived in California was contracted by Yamaha to design the ultimate custom bike. He designed a muscle cruiser based on the Venture engine.
Sold both in Japan and abroad, the V-Max has been on the market with only minor modifications since the 1985 model year, making it one of the best-selling Japanese motorcycles of all time. The Honda X-4 was created in response to its overwhelming success, but was in production for only six years, proving unable to shake the V-Max's popularity and exceptional reliability.
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.