Is V-Max value as a "classic" affected by common mods?

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Hi,
Recently someone told me the Gen 1 V-Max has value as a classic bike but only by keeping it as stock as possible for nostalgia's sake. I don't want to invest in anything that will detract from said value, but I've read a lot about mods for improved handling and how taken together they can all but eliminate wobble, which appeals to my safety-mindedness. I realize some aren't visually noticeable, so I'm not worried about those, but some important ones would be. Also mine already has a Kerker 4-1 and jet kit installed, so I wonder what ya'll think of the affect on value of common mods like:

1. Kerker 4-into-1 system + Jet kit + K&N High-flow filter:

There's no mistaking the pipe for stock visually or acoustically, but it has become such a go-to exhaust swap for the incredible sound.​

2. Frame braces:

Of course bolt-ons could be removed, and looks vary. I'm considering good looking mid-range bolt-ons.​

3. Front fork swap:

Again, options vary, but I'm just considering replacing the early forks with the beefier 93+ ones, not a full modernizing USD transplant.​

4. Brake swap

Haven't explored the options much, Venture is the only one I know of so far.​





 
Just save the OEM parts so you can swap 'em back on in 25 years, when gas-engined motorcycles are no longer produced, and you want to sell it as a 'classic.'

Swapping the '93-'07 forks (43mm) is I think a good deal, if you add Race-Tech or Progressive Suspension springs, the Race-Tech cartridge emulators, or RICOR's, or yss cartridge emulators and a fork brace. Because the sliders are different, you need the later model 4-piston (2 pair opposed) calipers, and the larger brake rotors. HH pads for the brakes, and stainless steel brake hoses help in the braking dept. Sean Morley offers a single-rotor Suzuki caliper (3 opposed pairs of pistons).

I believe the #1 best mod for handling is wheels allowing use of radial tires. That's an easy swap, just expensive.

Use the search function for opinions on anything you are considering. Save to a file the posts that you consider doing.

Honestly, I don't think there is much value in our bikes as 'classics' unless you own a 1985 or a 2005 bike, or something like the first bike from '85, or the last from '07. Maybe a bike where it's been raced by Jay Gleason, Jon Cornell, or someone where it has a known history ("Taking It to the 9's"), which Sean Morley has.
 
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Thanks for all that info Fire-medic. I do have a file going, thanks, both a summary list and excerpted quotes from forum posts with detail.

The list keeps getting longer so I have it broken down into levels of handling improvement, low-hanging fruit in stage 1, with increasing difficulty or cost for stages 2 and 3. Radials are a stage 3 item, so I'll probably skip that for the time being.

Yeah I wasn't imagining a high value, but the local guy I talked to is very into bikes and he said collectors he knew found them desirable. If I had to guess it's the unique factor, and it was the first bike to do a 10 second 1/4 mile he said. To me it's the vibe, look, and the sound. They just do it for me, dunno another bike like them.
 
The Suzuki GS1150E and ES of 1984 were knocking on 11 seconds flat. The '85 VMax blew right past that. Jay Gleason at the 1985 Yamaha dealer's show in late 1984 demonstrated the VMax's best of the field acceleration, and a few weeks later, at Baylands in the San Francisco Bay area, did it again.



VMax Jay Gleason 1984 dealer show.png

Screenshot (528).png
 
Firemedic said it all already, so not much to add. Perhaps just my observation over the years, which is used upgrade parts show up for sale steady. Not everything always available and not everything that has been made, but usually there is someone selling what you want out there if you ask. The parts come from bikes being parted out, but also from people who decide to sell their bike and remove the aftermarket bits.

From what I have seen, bikes with many expensive aftermarket upgrades and extras don't even come close in selling price to what you'd expect. It's always towards the bottom line what a stock Vmax would sell for. The upgrades add maybe 1/3 - 1/2 of their original value when on the bike. And often nothing except making the sale easier and faster. Nobody will ask or pay extra 100 bucks for having let's say Barnett's clutch installed, but you could sell it I bet separate for 100.

Just like Firemedic said, I am keeping all stock parts in a box, including even braided stainless brake/clutch lines, and I'd be replacing them if a time when I have to sell my bike arrives (well, I'd probably leave those, just an example). Unless someone would offer me significant extra by chance. Hopefully that time is far away, and in 25 years when a lot of things will be different in a good and bad way, I'll be still riding when in my mid eighties.
 
Hi,
Recently someone told me the Gen 1 V-Max has value as a classic bike but only by keeping it as stock as possible for nostalgia's sake. I don't want to invest in anything that will detract from said value, but I've read a lot about mods for improved handling and how taken together they can all but eliminate wobble, which appeals to my safety-mindedness. I realize some aren't visually noticeable, so I'm not worried about those, but some important ones would be. Also mine already has a Kerker 4-1 and jet kit installed, so I wonder what ya'll think of the affect on value of common mods like:

1. Kerker 4-into-1 system + Jet kit + K&N High-flow filter:

There's no mistaking the pipe for stock visually or acoustically, but it has become such a go-to exhaust swap for the incredible sound.​

2. Frame braces:

Of course bolt-ons could be removed, and looks vary. I'm considering good looking mid-range bolt-ons.​

3. Front fork swap:

Again, options vary, but I'm just considering replacing the early forks with the beefier 93+ ones, not a full modernizing USD transplant.​

4. Brake swap

Haven't explored the options much, Venture is the only one I know of so far.​
Not all bikes have 'the wobble' and probably those that do are in the minority(?)

You don't say if the bike is new to you or not. If it is then suggest that you ride it for a while to assess the features you want to improve.
Suspension and brakes would be high on my list but whilst the bigger forks will be stiffer do you ride the ice sufficiently hard to benefit from this.
Racetech springs and emulators - yes. Set static sag - very yes, better rear shocks - yes, solid mounts - yes, 17" wheels - yes.
All reversible, keeps the bike looking near 6standard (if that's what you want) and you will probably have a machine that can go round corners better than you can.
Brakes - various options but which depends on what forks you opt for.

As for future value, if I knew that I'd still be selling off my stock of Vincent's, sand cast CB750's, Z900's and Katana's.
Just ride the bike and enjoy it. Should its value suddenly skyrocket then that is a bonus.
 
Thanks for those video moments of history Fire-medic ! And I get what you were saying, they're not a widely coveted classic, yet anyway, and it would be a while. Though I will note YT comments reflect that for some at least it's been a dream to own one for a long time.

And thanks for the observations StanVM2007 about upgrades and list price. Oddly, it seems to be the case with many bikes I've seen - I guess people have a price range they want to spend in mind and don't take into consideration the expenses they would rack up over time improving the bike? Or all the time and effort !

Thanks for the shortlist MaxMidnight, adding it to my doc. That's the impression I get, that a handful of upgrades will get most of the way there. Tony Robins says something like, "Do the 20% that get's you the 80%". It is new to me yes. And your insight is helpful and makes sense that riding the bike for a while is where I should begin. I don't plan* to take it over 80 so I may not chose to do more than minor stuff. I sure will try to just enjoy it, thanks !
*: I realize this might sound like a VMax is overkill then, but I enjoy acceleration and the sound has me.
 
Hey thanks TiwstedMax, I didn't know about those and looking into it I see a post by SpecOps13 who said his wife didn't like any seats until the Maxgasser:

"My Wife loves to ride but has hated every seat I've put on. Factory, Corbin, Sargent and Sportmax are a few. She's always had difficulty with a sore butt or sliding down and forward at every dip in the road. The MaxGasser keeps her in place and is cushy so she’s really happy that we have it. The front section in combination with the rear gives better back support than other seats I’ve had and comfort ranks very high IMHO."

I would imagine that where the bike meets the road and where the butt meets the bike are going to make outsized impact on ride experience.
 
I had my seat re-profiled and gel pads inserted which made longer rides more comfortable.
Mrs M rarely came out with me and was only comfortable once I had the sissy bar.
 
With a passenger leaning against the sissybar, my VMax wheelies like my 1971 Kawasaki Blue Streak 500 two-stroke triple did, two-up.
 
The Suzuki GS1150E and ES of 1984 were knocking on 11 seconds flat. The '85 VMax blew right past that. Jay Gleason at the 1985 Yamaha dealer's show in late 1984 demonstrated the VMax's best of the field acceleration, and a few weeks later, at Baylands in the San Francisco Bay area, did it again.



View attachment 88807

View attachment 88808

I have that May '85 issue of Cycle. I'll never give up that mag :)
Makes me fall in love with my bike again each time I go to the basement to look at that mag and read through what people first thought of that 'Goliath.'
 
One of my favorite VMax magazines!

Another magazine story:
The Turbo Kawasaki Eliminator and the GSXR1100 against the VMax is a good story. Both those had (for the time, $$$$ engines) while the VMax was a stock internals engine with suspension/wheels mods, the Kerker 4/1 and the Dynojet Stage 7 carburetor kit, so external bolt-ons. Interestingly, I also own the other big Yamaha named on the magazine's cover, the FZR1000. It was quicker and faster than the stock VMax.

VMax Taking It to the Nines Cycle World.png
 

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  • CycleWorldMarch1987 Jay Gleason taking it to the nines.pdf
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I would say that what it comes to classic valuation, it will be the same as classic cars. Best selling price will come from 100 percent original with low miles and as much documentation possible. My bike doesn't fall into this category and I'm totally fine with that.
 

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