Tanshanomi's Snap Judgments

Yamaha Maxim X

Fri, January 1st, 2010

1985-86 Yamaha XJ700X Maxim X
The 5-valve Genesis head and liquid cooling dished out high horsepower for its day, but rev-happy powerband and hypersensitive throttle response didn't suit the cruiser style.
Typically unimpressive for a shaft-drive, twin-shock cruiser. Neither sporty nor cushy on the highway.
Well-proportioned, elegant cruiser shape is ruined by conspicuously over-styled geegaws on engine that attempt to mimic the V-Max's gaudy 'flow through' styling language. The two-faced asymmetry of the vented disk rear wheel is just odd for oddity's sake.
It may not have needed the added complexity of 20 valves, but does not suffer from it. NOTE: This score was revised downward one point on 6/23/2010 in order to keep the score consistent with with later evaluations of other bikes of this era. This is strictly due to this model's age, and the convention I've developed of deducting 1 point for every full decade since the model was discontinued.
There are better choices for going fast in a straight line, and this is not ideal anything else. Fortunately, the riding position is more 'standard' than today's feet-forward cruisers.
Intriguing, but compares poorly with its more modest Maxim 700 sister. The 'X-less' Maxim offered the same riding position and general appearance with a slightly slower but torquier 2-valve, air-cooled engine and much more restraint in the styling department.
A quirky footnote in Yamaha's history, with undeniably strong but ill-suited engine.