This text was initially printed within the August 2002 problem of Bike Cruiser.
In our first installment of Mission V-Max, we mentioned we had been taking a backside up method. First we’d deal with the bike’s shortcomings and, solely when these had been resolved, would we transfer ahead. The 2 weak sections within the V-Max’s armor had been its dealing with and braking. Earlier than we addressed the dealing with, we figured we must always outfit Max to put on new, grippy sneakers. Kosman Specialties stepped up with its V-Max Wheel Improve (Bike Cruiser August 2001). The brand new 17-inch hoops match a set of Metzeler MEZ-Three tires. Flush with the thrill of the brand new wheels, Sandy Kosman created a Brembo brake package for Max (Bike Cruiser December 2001), and all was proper on the earth—till we rode round corners.
Within the February 2002 problem, our V-Max’s case of the wobbles was addressed by the great people at Progressive Suspension. We put in the progressive-rate fork springs and a set of Progressive 440 sequence shocks. The brand new suspenders helped tremendously, however Max nonetheless acquired just a little hinky round sweeping corners or after mid-corner bumps. The inventory body simply wasn’t as much as the duty that the tires and suspension had been asking of it. In stepped T.A.W. Car Ideas, Inc. to the rescue with a Carbon Honeycomb Sub-frame package imported completely from Lively in Japan. With these attractive carbon fiber bits bolted on, Max was reworked into a brand new animal. Solely a small reminder of the earlier wobble remained.
Our V-Max was prepared for the stage I’d anticipated all through the undertaking.
Step one in any hop up undertaking is to search out what the baseline is for the present situation of the bike. In any other case all you may say is, “It positive feels quicker.” So off Max and I went to the journal’s dyno, which is calibrated to get numbers similar to the Dynojet Dynos discovered in lots of bike outlets. After just a few runs, we had the poop: 120.1 peak horsepower and 81.four foot kilos peak torque. Not unhealthy, significantly if you happen to’ve ever ridden a V-Max when the V-Increase kicks in. Who of their proper thoughts would take into account including extra?
My mission was to get essentially the most energy I may with out opening the inventory engine. So, there can be no huge pistons or fancy head work or clandestine grinding of the ports. No, we’d get energy the great quaint manner—free-breathing exhaust and burly carbs. We wished to ensure that once we cranked on the throttle, moms must hold on to their young children to maintain them from being sucked into the maw of the V4.
Common readers of Bike Cruiser could bear in mind Jon Cornell’s V-Max, featured manner again in August 1999. On this bike he gave us our first look on the V-Fuel system he developed for the V-Max. Since Jon had been tempting us along with his tales of bolt-on energy, I made a decision to let him show it. A couple of weeks later an innocuous field arrived on my doorstep.
The V-Fuel system consists of 4 Keihin FCR 39mm flat slide carburetors; 4 handcrafted, polished aluminum manifolds; 4 polished velocity stacks; and the entire cables, hoses, and doodads essential to be the lifetime of the social gathering. Set up is simple. You begin by turning the important thing that unlocks the highest of the fake fuel tank, begin eradicating components, and don’t cease till you attain the consumption ports. Alongside the best way, the airbox, carbs, consumption manifolds, and all of the accoutrements of the inventory V-Increase system take up residence on a storage shelf. The one glitch within the course of was getting the sq. rack of carbs to let go of their rubber boots. Slightly WD-40 and a few considered tapping with a useless blow hammer adopted by a heavy utility of muscle, and the carb rack popped off like a cussed cork from a wine bottle.
The V-Fuel’ directions are thorough and stroll the person via the method in a step-by-step method. The one sticking level got here with mounting the left pair of carbs. The cable mount for the bell crank on the rear carburetor contacts the body rail necessitating a great deal of wiggling to get the carb’s spigot totally seated within the rubber boot. As soon as the throttle cables are located, you get a possibility to pattern the hefty effort required to show the throttle. Maybe it is a security characteristic to maintain the uninformed from by chance releasing all of the ponies hiding within the V-Fuel system. The one notable absence within the package was a filter to connect to the crankcase vent to maintain abrasives from filtering down into the engine’s internals. A couple of dollars and a visit to your native bike store for just a little Ok&N filter will resolve the issue.
For the exhaust finish of the equation, we turned to Two Brothers Racing for one among its stainless-steel programs with a titanium canister. We’ve used their pipes earlier than, and have all the time been pleased with the superior match and energy supply of their programs. So, think about my shock after I couldn’t get the headers for the rear cylinders to mate correctly with the remainder of the system. After a fast telephone name, Max was at the back of my truck on the best way to TBR’s expansive new facility. Two days later, I used to be informed that one way or the other the rear headers had been made too brief to interface with the remainder of the system. In addition they mentioned that the employees had been so excited in regards to the look of the V-Fuel system that they’d redesigned the exhaust to extra swimsuit the model of this undertaking. As soon as this text is full, Max will once more go all the way down to TBR to allow them to measure the system and incorporate the brand new high-pipe model of this technique into their stock. It’s good to work with individuals who get turned on by equipment.
The Bellow Of The Beast
Beginning Max with these carbs and exhaust elements is just not a socially aware exercise. All its unrestricted energy comes with a value: Noise. This bike feels like a dragster at idle. The clat-clat of the slides rattling contained in the carburetor our bodies and the lumpy whut-whut-whut of the exhaust says, “Don’t screw with me.” And that’s solely at idle. Crank on the loud faucet and you may really feel the drive in your intestine. The pipe clearly leans in the direction of the facility as an alternative of the sound-reduction finish of the spectrum, however the pipe is nowhere close to as loud as just a few V-Max programs I’ve heard, and doesn’t give the annoying blat of straight pipes.
Driving the bike instantly turns you into an outlaw—as if the inventory V-Max wasn’t already a ticket in search of a spot to occur. Rail away from a cease gentle, and also you’ll see 75 mph in an insanely brief time. Thank goodness for Kosman’s Brembo brakes. From the saddle, carburetion felt spot on with the package proper out of the field. The dyno informed one other story.
The primary dyno run revealed a wholesome horsepower studying round 130, however the exhaust fuel sniffer mentioned that the carburetion wanted to be fattened up. So, we raised the needles two slots and ran Max once more. The midrange flat spot I couldn’t really feel from the saddle improved and the height energy jumped to 133 hp.
A Bit Of A Makeover
Content material with our more-than-adequate energy supply, I moved on to dressing up our V-Max. For the reason that undertaking was directed primarily in the direction of purposeful modifications to the massive 4, you shouldn’t be shocked to search out that many of the vainness bits served a goal, as effectively. With the brand new, extra aggressive throttle response of the V-Fuel system, the primary change made was mounting a Flanders Drag Bar. The 28-inch bar incorporates a 15-degree bend and mates completely with the inventory controls. The using place is now barely extra forward-leaning, easing the rider’s job of hanging on in full boogie mode.
Since Max’s extra aggressive persona made everybody who rode it run the bike as much as redline within the first few gears, I figured that asking the pilot to look down on the puny tach on the tank wasn’t a good suggestion. Throughout our tachometer comparability in December 1998, I developed a keenness for the Auto Meter Tachometer. A fast name to Drag Specialties had the Professional-Cycle 19208 in transit. The five-inch tach isn’t refined, however what about this bike is? The options that offered us had been the massive, easy-to-read face and the adjustable shift gentle. So, whereas the G-force of acceleration was distorting our imaginative and prescient, we’d nonetheless be capable of shift on the proper level to maintain the social gathering going.
The 2 nods solely to trend had been the sultry Aeromach Sidewinder billet mirrors and the UFO Cycles clutch cowl. Why did we add the mirrors? Easy, the stockers had been ugly, and as soon as we noticed the Aeromach mirrors we needed to have them. Actually, the mirrors nearly despatched us right into a billet bolting frenzy, however sanity prevailed. Whereas billet grips would look tremendous cool, rubber is rather more efficient once you’re hanging on for pricey life! The clear clutch cowl is in contrast to something we’ve seen earlier than, and after seeing the response to it on the road, we predict that different muscle cruisers (Are you able to say Warrior?) received’t be full with out this trick merchandise. The one criticism we now have in regards to the cowl is that it’ll make you wish to powdercoat and polish your clutch elements.
The ultimate addition to our buddy (or is it fiend?) Max was a set of DPM rearsets from Planet Cruiser. Whereas we wished rearsets as a result of they add to the racy seems to be of the bike, they had been additionally necessitated by the speed stacks, which poke out proper the place the rider’s knees would naturally land. This wouldn’t be a lot of an issue if it weren’t for the truth that we’ve all spent years ridiculing riders who’s sense of fashion required that they splay their knees on the street like they’ve acquired such a sizzling ticket between their legs that they want the additional cooling. So, rearsets it was. Sadly, because the components needed to be ordered from DPM’s manufacturing facility in Italy, they weren’t on the bike for the images. Relaxation assured, devoted reader, we’ll ensure that these trick bits will grace the pages of Bike Cruiser sooner or later.
The Large Wrap Up
The 12 months with Max out and in of our storage has handed us in a flash. We’ve realized the onerous classes of customized tasks. We’ve felt the enjoyment at seeing levels of the undertaking come collectively. We’ve handled the frustrations of delays whereas ready for components or providers. And now, we’re struggling the unhappiness of bidding farewell to our undertaking. Time waits for nobody, and Max is off to its new residence. Thanks for the experience.