" Layla "

Harley's New VRod

The latest in Harley-Davidson technology, the V-Rod stands in a class all it's own! 1130 cc, 69 c.i., 115 h.p. at the crank, dual over-head cam, four valves per cylinder, this new machine is sure to turn heads where ever it is seen.

The Question is: How does Harley's 2002 technology stack up against the King of the Street; the 17 year old VMAX!

The V-Max above is a stunning example of the still popular VMAX. Its builder, a French mechanic and fabricator named Ludovic Lazareth, kept the engine modifications to a minimum, using only a Dynojet Stage 7 tuning kit and a homemade exhaust system that terminates in carbon-fiber silencers tucked under the seat à la 996. Among its countless other details are the seat/tailpiece section, which also replicates a Ducati's, and bug-eye headlights pirated from an R1 Yamaha, then capped with sinister little self-built "eyelids." The front end is largely GSX-R750, but with 60mm-shorter legs and duelling six-piston Tokico calipers. The single-sided swingarm is an alloy piece from BBR, fitted with a polished Triumph 955i wheel. We hope Yamaha is paying attention to bikes like this one and the others to following. With the current resurgence of power cruisers - the charge led by H-D's V-Rod, Honda's VTX1800, Kawasaki's Mean Streak and Yamaha's own Road Warrior - along with the obvious passion for the V-Max, the message for Yamaha should be rather clear: Its original power cruiser still can outrun all the latecomers, and it wouldn't take much to put the V-Max back on top of the heap in all categories.(Reprint from CycleWorld Magazine)

Nicknamed the “Orange Hammer,” this V-Max is owned by a popular nighttime talk-show host named Vincent Lagaf, France’s equivalent to Jay Leno. Though the engine is close to stock, the rest of the bike certainly is not. The red powder-coated engine and wheels are offset by sculpted carbon-fiber bodywork and a chrome-plated frame. Up front, twin perimeter-style brake rotors are squeezed by four-piston calipers, all of it from Braking. A Triumph rear wheel bolts to the customary single-sided BBR swingarm fitted with an Öhlins reservoir shock. The fork is from a GSX-R750, but lengthened with extensions also made by BBR. (Reprint from CycleWorld Magazine)

Christophe Genin of France claims he’s not a professional bike-builder, but he seems to have done rather well with his V-Max custom. Genin paid particular attention to the chassis pieces, using a GSX-R1100 fork and front wheel outfitted with Tokico six-piston calipers and rotors. In the rear, he eschewed the seemingly obligatory single-sided swingarm in favor of a much stronger twin-arm alloy unit made by Alu Tech Systems, mated to a GSX-R750 wheel and a pair of Öhlins reservoir shocks. Many of the components on his bike are handmade aluminum one-offs, including the canister for the 4-into-1 exhaust system.(Reprint from CycleWorld Magazine)

Andy Griffiths, a talented body-and-fender man from England, built much of this radical V-Max himself. Not only did he hand-form the swoopy, one-piece bodywork, he also fabricated both fenders, the extended alloy swingarm and the complex exhaust system, which uses 10 separate pieces of tubing to let the spent gases spin the Garrett turbocharger on their way to the outlet just below the right sidepanel. Other modifications to the nitrous-boosted engine include a displacement bump up to 1300cc, Carillo rods and a Dynojet Stage 7 kit. Griffiths claims 180 bhp, rendering the dual four-piston Brembo front calipers and EMC Pro-Lite rotors a wise upgrade.(Reprint from CycleWorld Magazine)

Crit Loomans of Holland owns this V-Max, which is a lot less stock than it initially appears. The engine has been punched out to 1500cc and exhales through a Yoshimura exhaust, a combination supposedly good for more than 165 bhp when Loomans kicks in the nitrous bottle attached to the WP fork’s billet lower triple-clamp. Like many modified Euro V-Maxes, this one is fitted with a single-sided BBR alloy swingarm that uses an outboard mounting system for an Öhlins shock specially modified by Tuning Formula’s Pascal Schlitz, the one-handed builder/fabricator considered the premier V-Max guru in all of Europe. Schlitz also made the fiberglass bodywork, including the little fairing surrounding the headlights. The rear wheel is a 6.5-inch-wide Fisher, while the front originally was on a Suzuki RG50(Reprint from CycleWorld Magazine)

Style is the primary theme of a V-Max called Harlekin, the German spelling of “Harlequin.” That word describes the medieval-era jokers who wore multi-colored, diamond-pattern tights, and a graphic of that type was airbrushed on the bike’s faux gas tank by Aéro-Styl, allegedly France’s finest custom-paint operation. The rest of the bike was built in Germany by Bad Max, a shop that specializes in modifying the V-Four Yamahas. The wheels are by the German aftermarket supplier Fisher, while the single-sided swingarm is from Tuning Formula.(Reprint from CycleWorld Magazine)

A Bright Future for Mr. MAX! Is 2007 the Year of the New VMAX?

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E-mail: Bill McReynolds