Owned my '99 V-Max for 3 weeks now and I'm still trying to decide if it's the bike for me (No, the dealer wouldn't let me test-drive it before I bought it......). I bought the bike over a FZ1 and Suziki Bandit, and had also looked at Valkyries and sport bikes. My previous ride was a Honda CB 900, and I'm 49-y...
Owned my '99 V-Max for 3 weeks now and I'm still trying to decide if it's the bike for me (No, the dealer wouldn't let me test-drive it before I bought it......). I bought the bike over a FZ1 and Suziki Bandit, and had also looked at Valkyries and sport bikes. My previous ride was a Honda CB 900, and I'm 49-years-old. I was not first impressed with the V-Max. I just didn't get the feel of all that power, torque, and "white-knuckle" acelleration that I had heard so much about. The V-4 configuration is also nowhere near as smoothe as the inline four-cylinders I was used to. The bike IS fast, and powerful, but I think a little exaggerated as far as some of the words I have heard to describe it ("Dangerously-fast," "rocket," "beast," etc.)I had no problems pushing the bike hard from day one; twisting the throttle, hitting the V-boost, and agressive cornering (for a sit-up bike). The power and speed was manageable and predictable (and as I mentioned -a little disappointing), and I have yet to scare myself with this cyle -as I was warned would happen. I am making this point for any of you that have considered this a "dangerous" motorcyle, and for that reason, were worried about buying one. I would say it would only be dangerous in the hands of a irresponsible rider, and all others would not have any safety concerns not associated with any motorcycle. My initial disappointment with the performance (or may too-high expectations)is waning quite a bit now after 3 weeks of riding. I like the bike more each day it seems, and I am very glad I purchased it. Good overall finish, good brakes, good balance, comfortable seating position, nice shifter, great clutch, "feel" of a big bike, best-looking motorcycle since 1985, and a good bike for riding two-up. I guess if I want more performance from my MAX I'll have to go the "mod" route (jet kit, headers, etc.), but for now I'm going to leave it alone and enjoy it like it is. It's plenty fast, -just not the F-16 I was expecting in stock form. The only other drawbacks I see at this time are the well-documented poor gas milage, and small fuel tank. -As soon as you fill it up you've got to start thinking about needing more gas! Like most, I think, I fell in love with the looks of this bike the first time I saw one, and I think it's only a matter of time before I begin to love everything else about it. East Tennessee rider says hi to everyone,and ride safe!