The Vmax first appeared in the mid eighties. Fairly quickly it became a cult bike with a strong following in Europe, Japan & the US.
In 1985 there was nothing much like it…bold, aggressive hot rod styling with 145HP & shaft drive. See here & here for the Vmax story and look at the 1985 USA Press Information.
In 1993 brakes & forks were up rated. List of updates here.
Yamaha kept producing the same bike to 2007.
In 2009 a brand new 200HP model was released. Similar styling, shaft drive and now with handling! Look about halfway down the wiki.
Check out the current model on the Star Motorcycles website.
Start your cult journey with the Vmax Owners Association here.
Or try the Google thing here.