Yamaha_vmax_01.jpg?v=1685693968 BIKES
  • facebook.png
  • twitter.png
  • reddit.png

Creating Usable Turbo Customizations Through Years of Experience: Yamaha V-MAX Custom

  • facebook.png
  • twitter.png
  • reddit.png
 8 min read



With piping that wraps around the left and right sides of the engine, a turbocharger, and an intercooler that cools the supercharger, it is plain to see that this is a custom turbocharged bike. It is based on the VMAX, which was introduced in 1985 with an 1197cc 70-degree V4 engine and was available until 2007 (it was avaibale on the Japanese market from 1990 to 1998, while the FI 1700cc version was available from 2009 to 2017). The motorcycle custom shop ESPER has been working on VMAX models and supercharging systems for quite some time. Their turbocharging system was developed using the same technology used in automobiles, and was put to practical use at a level that can be used on a daily basis. They have also achieved tuning up to 300 to 400 hp.


This bike has stock connecting rods, so it is around 170 hp. The piping, exhaust, and lock-up clutch are ESPER originals. The turbine and intercooler are for a Nissan Z32, and the boost is 0.4 to 0.5 kg/mm2. Nowadays, supercharging systems have become more common in the motorcycle world with the Ninja H2 and Z H2 being equipped with a supercharger as stock, but ESPER has been working with turbochargers for nearly 30 years, so supercharging is a natural choice for them, and the turbocharging of this bike has shown some surprising results. The front and rear suspension are from an XVZ1300 Royal Star (the successor cruiser to the Venture Royal, from which the VMAX engine was derived). Because the front, with upright forks and cover, is a little lower it brings out the volume of the back, but the turbo piping and other parts strengthen the front side volume as well, so the result is well-balanced. If you want to stand out from the crowd, this kind of original idea is just what you're looking for.



The front end is composed of covered upright forks and 16-inch wheels, both of which are taken from the Royal Star. The handlebars are equipped with flat bars.



The tank cover, which is wider and more angular than stock, is by OVER Racing, while the side "dummy" air ducts and side covers remain stock.


When the tank cover is removed, a surge tank and fuel pump that holds the supercharged intake air can be seen in place of the stock air cleaner box.


The fuel tank placed under the seat is stock for the VMAX 1200 and the tail cowl is by ACTIVE. The exterior is styled with a classic Yamaha strobe line.



The 70-degree V4 1197cc engine has stock controlling rods, turbocharged to 170 hp. The turbine and blow-off valves are the bike's original parts, but the piping is made by ESPER. The durability and handling of the engine were also taken into consideration.


The exhaust from the four cylinders turns the turbo (front side of the unit) on the right side of the engine and compresses the fresh air sucked in from the rear (supercharging). Since heat is generated by the compression, it is cooled by the intercooler on the left side and sent to the surge tank, from where the supercharged fresh air is sent to the engine through the carburetor.

Intake & Exhaust


The exhaust is made by ESPER, who also manufacture and sell a 4-piece slip-on for the stock VMAX.



The front end taken from the Royal Star (with Sumitomo 4P brake calipers that are made for other Yamaha models) was installed after some minor modifications were made to the handlebars to secure the steering angle.


The 15-inch wheels, shaft drive cover/shaft, and other rear parts are also from the Royal Star. The rearsets are original parts made by ESPER.


Yamaha_vmax_01.jpg Yamaha_vmax_02.jpg Yamaha_vmax_03.jpg
Yamaha_vmax_04.jpg Yamaha_vmax_05.jpg Yamaha_vmax_06.jpg
Yamaha_vmax_07.jpg Yamaha_vmax_08.jpg Yamaha_vmax_09.jpg
Yamaha_vmax_10.jpg Yamaha_vmax_11.jpg Yamaha_vmax_12.jpg


Part Details
Engine ESPER Original Lock-up Clutch
ESPER Original Clear Clutch Cover
MORIWAKI Skid Pad Kit for V-MAX
Exhaust ESPER Original Stainless Exhaust
Brake NISSIN [OEM Lever] Brake Master Cylinder Kit [Horizontal Type 5/8-inch / Tank Separate Body Type]
Suspension OHLINS Rear Suspension YA427
Handle / Steering domino Street Type Grip
NISSIN Clutch Master Cylinder Kit [Horizontal / Seperated Tank-Type]
Bodyworks OVER Racing Carbon Tank Cover V-MAX1200
ACTIVE Drag Tail Kit

Original Source of this Article

Heritage & Legends




A foreigner who rides in Japan, Japanese call this "Gaijin Rider". Third year in the Webike global team. He feels and shares the real bike life in Japan then presents you how interesting Japanese customs are.