Difference between Harley Davidson and Yamaha
For a long time, it seemed as if Harley Davidson was the untouchable leader of the motorcycle pack…at least as far as the U.S. market was concerned. Over the years however, a number of contenders have come up over the horizon, all of which have attempted to grab at least a potion of the motorcycle market away from the venerable Harley Davidson to varying degrees of success. One of the companies that have gone head to head against Harley’s V-Max is Yamaha, and with its new V-Muscle model, it seems to provide enough competition to warrant a closer look…
While a comparison between the sheer brute power of both the V-Max and the V-Muscle may seem a bit unfair, you may be surprised to know that the Yamaha offers some pretty serious competition against what would seem to be the obvious Harley choice. It is true that the V-Max does boast of a powerful 1,697cc V4 engine that is capable of 200 horsepower and 167Nm of torque. At least on paper, the Yamaha’s 1,250cc V-twin engine which puts out 122 horsepower and 110Nm of torque seems severely under-classed. In application however, the V-Muscle does show impressive power that belies its less impressive specs.
Size and Position
While the Yamaha V-Muscle isn't exactly small, it does have a much smaller stance than the imposing Harley, which is interesting given that both bikes actually have a 1,700mm wheelbase, although the V-Max rides noticeably higher as soon as you get on. The V-Max’s has a seat height of 775mm versus the V-Muscle’s more manageable 640mm.
The two also requires you to adopt different seating positions. Again, it is interesting to note that the Harley places you in a more relaxed upright position, while the Yamaha with its foot pegs and handlebars places you into the more traditional Harley riding position.
In performances, the Yamaha is more akin to a sports bike as opposed to the Harley’s decidedly more cruiser-like bent. In any case, both provide more than enough power when pushed, with the V-Max going from zero to 100 in just 2.66 seconds, versus the V-Muscle’s 3.6 seconds. The V-Max also handles exceptionally well, in spite of its wider and taller stance.
Nevertheless, the Yamaha does present a strong showing in almost everything other than sheer accelerating power, with a better fuel efficiency rating to boot. The Yamaha also has a quieter engine and it offers an overall smoother ride.
- Hard to beat in terms of sheer historical weight and legacy
- A cultural icon
- Powerful engine
- Superior acceleration
- Taller and wider stance
- More ideally suited as a cruiser
- Plenty of power on tap
- More economical choice all around
- Suitable for a wide variety of riding situations
- Better at cornering than the Harley
- Smoother running engine with a lot less noise
- Forces you into the classic "Harley" riding position