Which Gen should I get?

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A Vmax has always been a dream of mine. Since the early 90's. I've owned other bikes, loved them, but a Vmax is an unfulfilled dream. In the early years, I always gave the bike a demerit, because the air scoops were fake. Then Yamaha heard of my complaint, and fixed the problem. I've also always heard of the handling problems in the older versions of the bike.

I am now 57 years old, I've waited long enough. I can afford to live the dream, but because I waited so long, there are some additional things I have to consider.

I broke my neck in '98, on a snowmobile, paralyzed from the neck down, for two months. But unlike many, they actually brought me back to full functionality. Although I am far less "fit" than I was. But make no mistake, still functional. But to that end, I'm not buying this bike to run the twisties at 100 mph. Rather, I want to ride it as a commuter, noting the admiring fans of my new ride, and to spend my weekends washing, waxing, and fiddling with it to keep it in prime shape.

So my question is: Should I go the conservative route, and buy a Gen I, that would be probably be the easier to handle. Or should I buy a Gen II, that has the active scoops I always dreamed of, but may need to ask for help, if it ever falls over, as I doubt I'd be able to lift a 700 lb bike by myself?

I have found an "all original" "98", with low miles, that is very reasonable, and near my location. This bike is everything, except the handling and the "active" air scoops. Is the "98" a good year? Should I just go for it?

But there are some "cherry" Gen II's out there, that are every bit the bike I want. But, well, you get my dilemna.

I'd welcome any and all advice, along with things you think I may be missing in my thinking.

Pete
Lafayette, LA
 
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02GF74

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Mine is '98, Canadian model. (gen 1)

There was a list of updates to the model over the years posted recently, the only ones that bother me are the larger forks /4 pot front callipers and o-ring update.

You can read all about these by doing a search.

I'm with you about the fake scoops. I only found out they were fake after I bought mine. TBH it isn't a reason not to buy one. I also resent the hateful chromed plastic carb covers.

Prices on the gen 1 (85 first model, anniversary model and very last years are the most sought after) are going to increase. Gen 2 are going to go down in price but I reckon are close to bottoming out as Yamaha have discontinued it.

Gen 2 has far less problems, only 1 I'm aware of is hot starting but there's a few on the Gen 1, namely jumping out of 2nd gear and the aforementioned o-ring, and the pilot jet gets blocked easily when the bike sits round for a while (you become pretty proficient in removing and overhauling them)

The gen 2 is better handling.

There are good reasons to buy either, sorry I can't help you to decide.
 
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digin150

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I have both,85 gen 1 and 09 gen 2 bought both brand new, 09 for me is just better more power better handling etc, but I ride my 85 more love both of them ,get both !
 
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I have an option for a 98, all original, with 9700 miles, for $5,300, that is quite close to me. Or I know of a 2017, all original, with 2,700 miles for $14,000. Would both of those be considered reasonably priced?

I love the idea of the active scoops, probably way to high on my "wow" list, but they just hit me right. I feel the same way about the active scoop on the 2017 and later Chevy diesels. I also love the frame of the new bikes, and what is said to be much better handling.

My main worry about the larger bike, is the weight, mainly, were I ever to have to lift it. Though I suppose there is almost always someone willing to help. And the idea, is to never have to lift it.

The Gen I is obviously better priced, and lighter. that are it's big "pro's"

So does the price of either, help you guys form an opinion? Does either strike you as to "high"?

Thanks very much for the help. And I know I will be very active on this site. I love to tinker with my own stuff.

Pete
Lafayette, LA
Last bike was a 95 Kawasake Vulcan 1500. Loved that bike and put many, many miles on it.
 
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One other issue that has me a little apprehensive, is the 2nd gear issue mentioned frequently on this site. If I pay $5000 for a '98, and then find out I have this expensive issue, I would presumably be in for $1000 plus in repairs to fix the bike. And I'm not sure a small test drive on a bike, prior to purchasing from a private owner, would be enough to experience this problem. This owner, has only put 250 miles on the bike himself. He is supposedly the second owner. That makes me wonder "why"? Of course he has an excuse. But who would buy a bike like this, and put less than a tank through it, unless there was a reason? He comes across as a good enough "Joe", but ,,,,,, There are some bikes out there for a little less, but they have mods, and are further away, so, you guys get the idea.
 

Fire-medic

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has only put 250 miles on the bike ...put less than a tank through it

Er, that's probably two full tanks, pretty-much.

It helps if you post where you are below your screen name, someone close to you may know of local bikes up for sale, or be able to give you info on local market pricing.

Shifting into second gear and WFO will make it jump-out of gear, if that's an issue, and $1,000 is, as is said, "a good start," on paying for a reputable shop to fix everything that should be replaced for a bad second gear. $5,300 for a '98 is on the high-side in my opinion. It would have to be nearly-perfect and have some desirable extras to generate that price: sissybar, and OEM luggage rack, case guards, maybe 17" rear wheel and sporting radials, a good full aftermarket exhaust. That would all be worth the $5K.

A Gen. 1 at 1/3 the price of a Gen. 2 is a good buy for someone who doesn't want to spend 3X the Gen. 1 price. If you can afford it, I'd buy the Gen. 2. Be aware it needs lowering if you are much-less than 6 ft tall.
 
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Well said, I mean, that' s kind of my point. With a limited amount of "road time" to see if this "2nd gear" issue is a problem, I might be into some serious repairs on a bike that I paid $5000 for. Admittedly, that is not a lot of miles on the bike. But one might wonder, if the guy bought the bike, put two tanks through it, realized there was a problem, and is now selling it. That's just a negative way to perceive what might have happened. So the best way to test for this issue, is what? Put it in second and give it some serious throttle? And it does what? Slips into neutral? What does WFO mean? Sorry, I suck at shorthand.

Beyond that, what is are your opinions on the pricings? Are they in the ballpark? I'm not looking to take advantage. I don't mind paying what something is worth. But do not want to be taken advantage of either.
 

Fire-medic

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I was using a bit of hyperbole in the 'WFO' comment. "Wide-f___ing open," though you can just quickly roll-on the throttle, and if 2nd gear is bad, as you pass probably 4,000 rpm, it will jump-out of gear, if it's bad. The engagement dogs and the receiving holes in the adjoining gear wear-out and there you have it, a 'neutral' just-where you don't want it.

Since the case is split to fix a bad second gear, you want to replace shifter forks, and the shift drum, and have a good look at the other gears. That's assuming you're gonna keep the bike. Sean Morley [email protected] will tell you about replacing the 2nd and 5th gearsets. If it's just a 'fix what is bad, only, and reassemble it for re-sale,' you're still gonna be upside-down on the price of the Gen. 1 and the repair, if you cannot fix it by case-splitting yourself. A shop may charge you $2K or more, depending on what's worn inside. FYI.

Someone who wants to sell a Gen. 2 shouldn't have an objection to having the bike examined by a Yamaha dealer, to include a road test, if you're willing to pay for the shop time. Avoiding a poor example may be the best-use of your time and $ when determining the purchase of a Gen. 2.

Most Gen. 1's are probably gonna need something: tires, brake pads, a battery, pilot jets cleaned (that can happen in a month of idle non-use), fork seals, downtubes if they're corroded/have broken chrome where the fork seals are sliding (look for oil on the aluminum sliders, the bottom of the forks, that's a $400 bill for a pair of steel downtubes from an aftermarket supplier like Race-Tech, and not including labor and use OEM fork seal kits, please). Seeing things like that can successfully drive-down an asking price.
 
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apsolus

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ride them both and make your decision. the gen 1 will wet your whistle just fine. i think when you hammer on the throttle youll forget the scoops are fake.
 

MaxMidnight

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I agree with Mr Apsolus - we all have different values and opinions that may or may not align with yours.
Listen to ten people and we will give you twenty opinions some of which will contradict someone else.

IMO you need to ride both to help you identify the aspects of the bikes that tick your boxes...or turn you off.

I would also try to stop convincing yourself to go for the Gen II because it has open scoops. Any benefit from ram air doesn't have any effect until high road speeds so in most circumstances is irrelevant. Even when it does have an effect the benefit isn't that great over a non ram air set-up.

Both have their pro's and con's and only you can decide.

That said if you have any specific questions you will get an answer.
 

Randy67500

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If you can handle the height and weight of the gen 2, go for one of them. I've had 3 of each model and I am currently in the process of selling what will be my last gen 1 in favor of my gen 2. This will start a firestorm of controversy with the gen 1 faithful, but realistically at the age of any gen 1 now available they are bound to give you problems you don't want. They really don't do anything well but shoot straight forward in a furious manner when the Vboost hits. Handling, braking and ride are all what you'd expect from a mid 80's design. While they still look very cool, the compromises you make for that look are far outweighed by the desirability of modern technology in the new ones. Fuel injection, ABS, radial tires and a much nicer seat on the new one will be a good friend to you as well. Stock seats on gen 1's try to cut you in half after 45 minutes of riding! Have a look at the countless posts about spark issues and carburetor troubles on this site if you need any more on convincing about what deficits the passage of time has to offer. Yes, as you are bound to here, you can spend thousands of dollars to improve many aspects of the bike, but at the end of the day, if you just want to get on and ride a reliable exhilarating bike that turns heads everywhere you go, the gen 2 would be my first choice.
 
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Thank you all for the information. I understand very well, that everyone will have different opinion. But as I read them, I can understand better how people have formed their opinions. I currently have found two Gen I, both with about the same miles, both about the same price. Both swear second gear stays engaged. And both are near me. One is a '98', and one is a '07'. I would assume that the later bike, would be the better buy? But I am still seriously looking at the Gen II 2017, it is just over twice the money . But it is just a beautiful bike. The all are. Thanks again for the information, and please, keep it coming. Pete
 

Redrum

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I obsess with my "likes" and "Don't likes." If having a "fake" scoop turns you off you will always have that in your head, at least I would.

I bought a Ram dually for no other reason than I wanted a dually (I justified it with being safer to pull a 5 th wheel, more tires to blow, and better stopping power). But in the end a 4 wheel truck would have been just as good. But I would not be anywhere near as happy.

The fake scoops on mine bug me a bit. But I like the looks of the bike. Frankly an active scoop does about nothing.
 

Redrum

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My main worry about the larger bike, is the weight, mainly, were I ever to have to lift it. Though I suppose there is almost always someone willing to help. And the idea, is to never have to lift it.

I've been riding for 50 years but not a lot of different bikes (still have my first MX) so maybe I'm wrong but my gen 1 seems top heavy to me Pushing it backward always makes me nervous, like it's going to fall over any moment. While it fell over a couple times and I popped it back up fairly easily. However it is not light. I would think putting a gen 2 on it's feet would not be much more effort.
 
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I guess I should add this. I am in Lafayette, LA. I'm willing to travel quite a bit, for the right bike. I'm really looking for a Gen II, as close to original as possible, and the lower the miles, the better.

Anyone that is considering selling a Gen II, please let me know. Thanks, Pete
 

patate657

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My .02cts worth. Read all of this and I would think that after you've bought a Gen 1, you would still wonder about the Gen II and feel as if you're missing out by not having it. I would strongly suggest, as the others have, buy both or go straight for the Gen II. But that's just me thinking out loud...
 

patate657

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Which makes me curious. What years had the 2nd jump issue? I had an 89' and now have an 85'. Neither had/have that issue.
 

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