Voyager V05 with handlebars in Deutschland, 1991

This is a rider's-eye view of the conventional handlebars and controls that were fitted to the Voyager demonstrator V05, for my journey to Munich in March 1991, where I operated the slideshow which accompanied the keynote speech that I wrote for Philippe Le Roux, MD of Norton, to give to the annual conference of the VDI, the German Engineers' Institute. It was called 'The Future Motorcycle' and was later published in Motorcycle Sport. These controls were far more user-friendly than the standard 'go kart' controls, with index finger throttle, which I had laboriously mastered over several hundred miles in my previous rides on the machine in 1989 and 1990. PNB
Photo: © Paul Blezard

Voyager V05 with handlebars in Deutschland, 1991

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Maybe it's you

You're the guy that ignored advice that the trigger throttle should be used without armoured gloves. All the Voyager owners continue to use the trigger. And it's worth noting that the testing that was done, many years ago, on 'access to brakes' indicated an advantage of around two metres, at 30 mph in the 'time to apply brakes' for the trigger.

But hey, who am I to question your immense experience in blagging rides on other peoples bikes. Remind me again, why did no road test of the Mk1 Cmax appear in the scooter magazine that you tested it for, over a whole week?

Easy solution for you - Avoid Voyagers, mutally satisfactory. And I have to point out that "Go" karts do not, and have never had, trigger throttles. They use conventional car-type foot controls - for reasons I'm sure you can work out yourself, eventually.

Maybe it's not for most people

1/ The gloves weren't the problem. I didn't like the index finger-only trigger throttle because: a) my finger got tired. b) I didn't like having to hold on with nothing but my right little finger when covering the front brake in traffic, or having only one finger on the brake if using two fingers to hold one with.
More fundamentally, I found it counter-intuitive to use a steering wheel type movement on a single track machine because moving the 'virtual steering wheel' down on the left turned the front wheel to the left, and so made the machine lean to the right above 'stall speed' whereas moving a conventional handlebar down on the left has the opposite effect.

2/ When I first had the Mk1 Cmax to test I went to the trouble of getting hold of a bog-standard Mk1 Tmax from the Yamaha UK press fleet so that I could swap between the machines and also ride them side by side with other riders whose opinion I valued. Unfortunately, when tested side by side, the Cmax proved slower on acceleration than the standard machine and no faster on top speed. One rider, whose abilities on road, dirt and track I regard very highly, said he preferred the standard machine. I preferred the riding position of the CMax and the general FFery, but it was not possible to conclude that it was superior overall, especially when the good looks of the standard Tmax were ruined by the conversion. When the conversion was completed by Andrew Gibbens three years later, with some really well made bodywork, it also added a great deal of weight in the least ideal place. The problem was compounded by the fact that Yamaha fitted a rear suspension unit with no adjustment, and this made the back end too 'soggy', especially in 2-up mode. Even when in solo mode, one rider described riding the Cmax as feeling as if there was a dead body in the back..A decade later, I really enjoyed riding the second Cmax, based on the Mk3 Tmax, when I borrowed it from Rohit Jaggi for the day to take part in the Distinguished Gentleman's ride. It was a relaxing breeze compared to Andy Tribble's Ecomobile which I borrowed for the previous year's DGR. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to ride it outside town, which I'm sure would have been a blast.

3/ I'm still keen on the idea of owning a 'quick & dirty' Cmax, since I still own a Mk2 Tmax. But for the reasons stated in 2/ above, and several others besides, I would recommend anyone else thinking of making a 'quick & dirty' maxi-scooter-based FF to start with a Burgman 650 rather than a Tmax. I also like the idea of converting a Burgman 650 to electric...