1st Gen V-Max 1985 Vmax Cafe/Drag Build

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Redcardbob

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Bought this bike a few months ago and I'm in the process of converting it to a drag bike. So far, performance mods include a Morley muscle jet kit, VooDoo header, and auto meter shift light, and a PCW racing clutch. The rest is cosmetic for now, but the project is just beginning!Murder Hornet VMax.jpg
 

Fire-medic

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I like the paintjob, it reminds me of the TZ four-cyl two-stroke rockets which dominated roadracing back in the 1970's, and let us not-forget the Indy Mile flat track bike using the TZ750 (some say it was 'only' a 700) that was promptly outlawed by the AMA after King Kenny Roberts showed its potential. With that two-stroke four cyl engine, less-than 2/3 the displacement of a VMax, and almost the same RWHP (100) it weighed about half of a VMax. Now, ride that thing on dirt, a mile oval, and try to find traction. It helps if you're the defending Grand National Champion and 23 years old.

It used a special Chanpion frame, built around that engine, a total of five frames were built, though not all were to get engines, as Don Vesco didn't build his into a racer. The first one raced, it bent an engine mounting bolt and the rear axle, when Rick Hocking ran it at Ascot Park. Modifications were made to the frames, but no one could reliably get it to run well, until Kenny Roberts put on a show of raw talent and mighty power at the Indy Mile.

Kenny Roberts’ Greatest Ride – The Indy Mile | Fuel Curve

To this day, Roberts is shocked at how it played out. “The rear tire was done by the last lap. The only place it held was way up near the hay bales on the cushion,” he remembered. Somehow, he was able to muscle the bike into the straightaway groove and blast by Harley Davidson factory riders Corky Keener and Jay Springsteen for the heroic win. The feat left Roberts so weak he had to be literally dragged up to the podium. “They don’t pay me enough to ride that thing” he exulted in a post-race interview. The AMA banned the bike from competition shortly after the event.

Roberts-2009-TZ750 Indy Mile reunion.jpg


1975, the banned bike and (perhaps) the greatest race win – On Track Off Road Magazine If one story is good two are better! More details on the creation of that flat track terror.

Going to chain drive should get you into the 9's. Exactrep has a lengthened swingarm and driveshaft, I believe, if you want to just keep it shaft.

Read Paul Civitello's stories about his build, at one point he says, I'd have been better-off leaving it stock internally, and just converting it to chain drive, less/fewer issues, and less work. Remember that in the story about the turbo Kawi Eliminator, and the Byron Hines $$$$ built motor GSXR, the VMax was a stock internals engine with a Kosman wheel and wheelie bars. It got well-into the 9's.

He also has a variety of lengthened and widened swingarms and wheels for the Gen. 1.

Mad Max

NEW PRODUCTS (madmax.com)

Engineered so that it can be installed in less than one hour. There is no chassis or motor modifications necessary.

The rear wheel is in the absolute center of the chassis no off set .

The Kit consists of:

Show Polished 9" wide billet rear wheel, machined to your design or will

duplicate your front wheel design.

Your choice of 1" to 6" over swing-arm

Show polished billet custom tail light as shown

Show polished billet side marker mount

Side marker wire harness

Show Polished billet brake arm

Stainless steel brake line

Custom rear fender a duplicate to the original fender (no change in design,

just twice as wide)

Viper tire 250/40/X18

The Ultimate in handling, all necessary hardware to install Kit nothing else

to buy.

Additional Option:

5, 6, OR 7.5 GALLON GAS TANK


madmax site2 014.jpg (640×480)
 
Last edited:

Redcardbob

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Going to chain drive should get you into the 9's. Exactrep has a lengthened swingarm and driveshaft, I believe, if you want to just keep it shaft.

Read Paul Civitello's stories about his build, at one point he says, I'd have been better-off leaving it stock internally, and just converting it to chain drive, less/fewer issues, and less work.

He also has a variety of lengthened and widened swingarms and wheels for the Gen. 1.

Mad Max

madmax site2 014.jpg (640×480)
I would love to convert to chain drive! I'm assuming that gains in ET would be more through the availability of taller gearing choices rather than parasitic drag from the shaft system?
I'm sensing that either way I need to open up my wallet :)
 

desert_max

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I would love to convert to chain drive! I'm assuming that gains in ET would be more through the availability of taller gearing choices rather than parasitic drag from the shaft system?
I'm sensing that either way I need to open up my wallet :)
Yes, your spidey senses should be on full alert...
 

Fire-medic

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A more-efficient transfer of power, primarily with better traction from a slick, assuming you're aiming for the strip rather than the street. Sean Morley should be able to fill your ear with options and pricing.
 

Redcardbob

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I like the paintjob, it reminds me of the TZ four-cyl two-stroke rockets which dominated roadracing back in the 1970's, and let us not-forget the Indy Mile flat track bike using the TZ750 (some say it was 'only' a 700) that was promptly outlawed by the AMA after King Kenny Roberts showed its potential. With that two-stroke four cyl engine, less-than 2/3 the displacement of a VMax, and almost the same RWHP (100) it weighed about half of a VMax. Now, ride that thing on dirt, a mile oval, and try to find traction. It helps if you're the defending Grand National Champion and 23 years old.

It used a special Chanpion frame, built around that engine, a total of five frames were built, though not all were to get engines, as Don Vesco didn't build his into a racer. The first one raced, it bent an engine mounting bolt and the rear axle, when Rick Hocking ran it at Ascot Park. Modifications were made to the frames, but no one could reliably get it to run well, until Kenny Roberts put on a show of raw talent and mighty power at the Indy Mile.

Kenny Roberts’ Greatest Ride – The Indy Mile | Fuel Curve

To this day, Roberts is shocked at how it played out. “The rear tire was done by the last lap. The only place it held was way up near the hay bales on the cushion,” he remembered. Somehow, he was able to muscle the bike into the straightaway groove and blast by Harley Davidson factory riders Corky Keener and Jay Springsteen for the heroic win. The feat left Roberts so weak he had to be literally dragged up to the podium. “They don’t pay me enough to ride that thing” he exulted in a post-race interview. The AMA banned the bike from competition shortly after the event.

View attachment 79222


1975, the banned bike and (perhaps) the greatest race win – On Track Off Road Magazine If one story is good two are better! More details on the creation of that flat track terror.

Going to chain drive should get you into the 9's. Exactrep has a lengthened swingarm and driveshaft, I believe, if you want to just keep it shaft.

Read Paul Civitello's stories about his build, at one point he says, I'd have been better-off leaving it stock internally, and just converting it to chain drive, less/fewer issues, and less work. Remember that in the story about the turbo Kawi Eliminator, and the Byron Hines $$$$ built motor GSXR, the VMax was a stock internals engine with a Kosman wheel and wheelie bars. It got well-into the 9's.

He also has a variety of lengthened and widened swingarms and wheels for the Gen. 1.

Mad Max

NEW PRODUCTS (madmax.com)

Engineered so that it can be installed in less than one hour. There is no chassis or motor modifications necessary.

The rear wheel is in the absolute center of the chassis no off set .

The Kit consists of:

Show Polished 9" wide billet rear wheel, machined to your design or will

duplicate your front wheel design.

Your choice of 1" to 6" over swing-arm

Show polished billet custom tail light as shown

Show polished billet side marker mount

Side marker wire harness

Show Polished billet brake arm

Stainless steel brake line

Custom rear fender a duplicate to the original fender (no change in design,

just twice as wide)

Viper tire 250/40/X18

The Ultimate in handling, all necessary hardware to install Kit nothing else

to buy.

Additional Option:

5, 6, OR 7.5 GALLON GAS TANK


madmax site2 014.jpg (640×480)
You hit the nail on the head as far as the paint job! Kenny Roberts was one of my racing heroes growing up, and I always thought the yellow Yamaha's black paint scheme was the coolest! Kenny Roberts was a great racer back in the day when you had to do flat track and road racing to be a true champion. Watching him go around a dirt oval with a steel shoe was incredible. Those big bore two strokes were not only rockets, but the power band would hit so fast that if you weren't ready for it, you were in serious trouble! I've always liked the V boost system because it reminds me of that two-stroke power band hit :)

As soon as the snow starts to fly here in Colorado, I will begin tearing the max down and changing the drive train, so I will keep everyone updated!
 

FREERIDER

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That bike is HOT! Ive been thinking I need flat number plate side covers like that. Did you make those? Or baught from where?

That paint job! I also am a big fan of the TZ 750. I got to see Jay Springsteen and Chris Carr run two of them for an exibition run at the Del Mar Mile. Jay did an 1/8 mile burn out across the paddocks to get to track opening. I miss Del Mar Mile. I did get to run one of Max's at Return to Del Mar 1/8 mile oval in the arena. I did Hooligans and Run Whatcha Brung classes. It was not easy, I had to get kinda drunk to losen up enough to not white knuckle it so much.
The grey bike pictured still has 36 numbers on the side covers from doing that race series. Got my kid into doing it on his CRF50 too. We had so much fun.
Moto Starr podcast has a good interview with King Kenny and a bunch of the other champions of that older era. Check it out.

The second pic is my newest Max, an '06 built to canyon carve the way I like it. The yellow cover and tail are off of my Dads Max from the '90s that he had when I first started riding Max's on my own at 15. The yellow and black R6 had my thinking but now its all come together. I need that paint job on my bike.
 

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Tom Determan

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I've always enjoyed the KR TZ 750 HD flat track story. What a great ending !!

I picked up a pair of Gen 1's earlier this summer, one a parts rat that will eventually flow out to those in need here, and I've been working on how to rework the good one. I love the KR concept in the OP's photo. Nice job !

I might be plagiarizing that ! If any of the body parts are unwanted on the drag bike project i'd be interested.
 

Redcardbob

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Messages
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Location
Denver Colorado
That bike is HOT! Ive been thinking I need flat number plate side covers like that. Did you make those? Or baught from where?

That paint job! I also am a big fan of the TZ 750. I got to see Jay Springsteen and Chris Carr run two of them for an exibition run at the Del Mar Mile. Jay did an 1/8 mile burn out across the paddocks to get to track opening. I miss Del Mar Mile. I did get to run one of Max's at Return to Del Mar 1/8 mile oval in the arena. I did Hooligans and Run Whatcha Brung classes. It was not easy, I had to get kinda drunk to losen up enough to not white knuckle it so much.
The grey bike pictured still has 36 numbers on the side covers from doing that race series. Got my kid into doing it on his CRF50 too. We had so much fun.
Moto Starr podcast has a good interview with King Kenny and a bunch of the other champions of that older era. Check it out.

The second pic is my newest Max, an '06 built to canyon carve the way I like it. The yellow cover and tail are off of my Dads Max from the '90s that he had when I first started riding Max's on my own at 15. The yellow and black R6 had my thinking but now its all come together. I need that paint job on my bike.
That bike is HOT! Ive been thinking I need flat number plate side covers like that. Did you make those? Or baught from where?

That paint job! I also am a big fan of the TZ 750. I got to see Jay Springsteen and Chris Carr run two of them for an exibition run at the Del Mar Mile. Jay did an 1/8 mile burn out across the paddocks to get to track opening. I miss Del Mar Mile. I did get to run one of Max's at Return to Del Mar 1/8 mile oval in the arena. I did Hooligans and Run Whatcha Brung classes. It was not easy, I had to get kinda drunk to losen up enough to not white knuckle it so much.
The grey bike pictured still has 36 numbers on the side covers from doing that race series. Got my kid into doing it on his CRF50 too. We had so much fun.
Moto Starr podcast has a good interview with King Kenny and a bunch of the other champions of that older era. Check it out.

The second pic is my newest Max, an '06 built to canyon carve the way I like it. The yellow cover and tail are off of my Dads Max from the '90s that he had when I first started riding Max's on my own at 15. The yellow and black R6 had my thinking but now its all come together. I need that paint job on my bike.
Drunk or not, it had to take some major stones to flat track that bike! Very nice job on your newest one also. Love the flat Black on the scoops! Looks like you've got a voodoo pipe on it too?I grew up watching Kenny Roberts Jay Springsteen and those guys with their iron shoes blast around flat tracks! That bright yellow Yamaha paint job with the speed block stripe has always just reminded me of those days, so when I had the chance I had to paint my bike like that! The aluminum pieces including the side covers are fabbed by me. I cut down the seat to make the bigger side panels so that I can accommodate NHRA numbers and dial in. The tail section is actually an aftermarket BMW piece that I mounted on an aluminum fender so that I can retain the original Vmax lever system to remove for access to the gas tank.
I'll look for that interview with KR, it sounds interesting!
One major danger with this forum is that it's full of ideas, and I realize that my bike will never actually be finished :)
 

Redcardbob

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Messages
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Location
Denver Colorado
I've always enjoyed the KR TZ 750 HD flat track story. What a great ending !!

I picked up a pair of Gen 1's earlier this summer, one a parts rat that will eventually flow out to those in need here, and I've been working on how to rework the good one. I love the KR concept in the OP's photo. Nice job !

I might be plagiarizing that ! If any of the body parts are unwanted on the drag bike project i'd be interested.
Thanks! I might have the original rear fender left, but most everything else has been sold off.
I've always loved that paint scheme, so when I got the bike, I knew I had to do it!
Good luck on your Gen 1 build. Looking forward to progress pics.
Bob
 

ATKPILOT

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I like the paintjob, it reminds me of the TZ four-cyl two-stroke rockets which dominated roadracing back in the 1970's, and let us not-forget the Indy Mile flat track bike using the TZ750 (some say it was 'only' a 700) that was promptly outlawed by the AMA after King Kenny Roberts showed its potential. With that two-stroke four cyl engine, less-than 2/3 the displacement of a VMax, and almost the same RWHP (100) it weighed about half of a VMax. Now, ride that thing on dirt, a mile oval, and try to find traction. It helps if you're the defending Grand National Champion and 23 years old.

It used a special Chanpion frame, built around that engine, a total of five frames were built, though not all were to get engines, as Don Vesco didn't build his into a racer. The first one raced, it bent an engine mounting bolt and the rear axle, when Rick Hocking ran it at Ascot Park. Modifications were made to the frames, but no one could reliably get it to run well, until Kenny Roberts put on a show of raw talent and mighty power at the Indy Mile.

Kenny Roberts’ Greatest Ride – The Indy Mile | Fuel Curve

To this day, Roberts is shocked at how it played out. “The rear tire was done by the last lap. The only place it held was way up near the hay bales on the cushion,” he remembered. Somehow, he was able to muscle the bike into the straightaway groove and blast by Harley Davidson factory riders Corky Keener and Jay Springsteen for the heroic win. The feat left Roberts so weak he had to be literally dragged up to the podium. “They don’t pay me enough to ride that thing” he exulted in a post-race interview. The AMA banned the bike from competition shortly after the event.

View attachment 79222


1975, the banned bike and (perhaps) the greatest race win – On Track Off Road Magazine If one story is good two are better! More details on the creation of that flat track terror.

Going to chain drive should get you into the 9's. Exactrep has a lengthened swingarm and driveshaft, I believe, if you want to just keep it shaft.

Read Paul Civitello's stories about his build, at one point he says, I'd have been better-off leaving it stock internally, and just converting it to chain drive, less/fewer issues, and less work. Remember that in the story about the turbo Kawi Eliminator, and the Byron Hines $$$$ built motor GSXR, the VMax was a stock internals engine with a Kosman wheel and wheelie bars. It got well-into the 9's.

He also has a variety of lengthened and widened swingarms and wheels for the Gen. 1.

Mad Max

NEW PRODUCTS (madmax.com)

Engineered so that it can be installed in less than one hour. There is no chassis or motor modifications necessary.

The rear wheel is in the absolute center of the chassis no off set .

The Kit consists of:

Show Polished 9" wide billet rear wheel, machined to your design or will

duplicate your front wheel design.

Your choice of 1" to 6" over swing-arm

Show polished billet custom tail light as shown

Show polished billet side marker mount

Side marker wire harness

Show Polished billet brake arm

Stainless steel brake line

Custom rear fender a duplicate to the original fender (no change in design,

just twice as wide)

Viper tire 250/40/X18

The Ultimate in handling, all necessary hardware to install Kit nothing else

to buy.

Additional Option:

5, 6, OR 7.5 GALLON GAS TANK


madmax site2 014.jpg (640×480)
It was actually kel Caruthers Kenny's mechanic that had the ama ban it so he wouldn't die on it
 
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