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Bring your own conversation starter

PostAuthor: faffi » Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:19 pm

I entered a "gravel rally" in Sweden that went from Thursday to Sunday because I wanted to challenge myself - never liked big groups of people, nor riding on loose surfaces. However, I really learned a lot and went from hating gravel to sliding the bike around sweepers with plenty confidence and a relaxed attitude. Who would have imagined such an old man could still learn something?

I rode to the rally (about 500 miles each way on mostly narrow, bumpy and winding backroads) on my old Yamaha Virago from 1982. Among the 530 contestants, my bike was the oldest. It was also the only bike there based on a cruiser. Before entering, I wondered if there would be ridicule or genuine interest. Mostly, I was met with curiosity, big grins and admiration for bringing the relic along. The most common model spotted was BMW R1200GS in various guises, but there was also lots of KTM plus a smattering of other bikes, ranging from a Triumph Bonneville 800 (compared to that my Virago is a real desert bike) to old Suzuki DR Big and Freewind to near-competition material in the form of KTM P-D racers and Husqvarna 701s etc.

20170915_131444.jpg


I had no trouble keeping up with the fast group on Level 3 (out of 4) roads, and would often fall back so I could enjoy reeling them back in again. Once you get the confidence to relax and to the right things, it was really pleasant to ride on loose gravel, or fire-roads as I believe they are often called in USA.

Now I want to go further with the Virago project, getting a custom made, fully adjustable shock absorber that can add another 50 % to the rear wheel travel plus a longer-travel front fork. I'll also need a larger fuel tank, a taller seat height, a lighter exhaust system and a protective belly pan. Plus all the little things that follow with such a build. Can't wait until next year
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Re: Bring your own conversation starter

PostAuthor: faffi » Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:20 pm

Getting instructions
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Re: Bring your own conversation starter

PostAuthor: faffi » Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:20 pm

Taking a break

20170916_124912.jpg
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Re: Bring your own conversation starter

PostAuthor: faffi » Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:21 pm

Back home, bike looks about 10 times cleaner than it is
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Re: Bring your own conversation starter

PostAuthor: Jake » Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:11 pm

Moved you to Travel and Leisure.
Forum Tutorials can be found here http://viragotechforum.com/viewforum.php?f=177

Forward Control Templates ( FREE ) http://viragotechforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=124&t=21556


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Re: Bring your own conversation starter

PostAuthor: faffi » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:11 am

Thank you - I was too tired when I posted to think clearly.
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Re: Bring your own conversation starter

PostAuthor: mark75 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:25 am

that sounds like a load of fun! Congrats way cool!!

with proper tires and suspension, I think you could do Baja on an XV. :thumbs:
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Re: Bring your own conversation starter

PostAuthor: faffi » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:58 am

Most definitely - look at the stuff people rode through Baja way back, and there is no doubt a Virago could follow. It would probably make sense to fit the secondary reduction from a 750 to get more pulling power - although I'm not sure it would need it. I rode mine up a very steep hill, at least 10 % slope, in 4th gear doing 30 mph - this thing is a tractor!

Early Baja racer
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Re: Bring your own conversation starter

PostAuthor: CX Rancher » Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:21 am

faffi wrote:Back home, bike looks about 10 times cleaner than it is


Ahhh I want to put YamRod on a boat and join you Faffi! NOW!

Unconventional is in my UDNA. Even the leukemia has lots of anomolies. My Dad would haul cord wood on a bumper hitch with the '70 mach1 428SCJ and still race anyone even with the trailer attached. FieldSuperCobraJet1.

For me its not by choice, for good or ridicule....
I run my Olds 98 in the field and woods at times, still take it 140 miles expressway to clinic, nice squishy ride. O'course the YamRod gets his call too...
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Re: Bring your own conversation starter

PostAuthor: Peternieber » Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:10 am

Wow FAFFI,,,,awesome post and pics,,,,,,now that is definitely added to my bucket list,way to go,thanks Pete,,,that's without the gravel,way too intimidating for me

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Re: Bring your own conversation starter

PostAuthor: faffi » Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:57 pm

Thanks to all for the kind words :):
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Re: Bring your own conversation starter

PostAuthor: Hellgate » Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:16 pm

Man, too cool! I bet those BMWs couldn't stand an old Yamaha. We'll done!

Oh, gotta love Heidi tires. I had a set on my Stelvio. Amazing.

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