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Why Virago?

How many were made? What did my bike come equipped with from the factory? Questions, Answers and more!
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Re: Why Virago?

PostAuthor: Baja_Joe » Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:23 am

I went with it for a few reasons. Shaft driven (less maintenance), no radiator (unlike the 85 honda shadow 750 i picked up first), i like the stance of them, seem to be relatively cheap in my area (looked at 5 running ones from 300 - 900. I'm trading for the 900 was all there), cheaper parts, oh and the one I'm getting comes patina'd and white-walled. I do have to be honest It wasn't something i hunted out on craigslist, it was persistant on poping up while i was looking for a beat up harley to drop as I'm practicing on a street bike. (only been on dirtbikes before and i'm jumping in on a 1100 lol)
14881
1996 Yamaha Virago xv1100

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_Xd71QvnpU
theres how it sounds.
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Re: Why Virago?

PostAuthor: ensign83 » Mon Jul 04, 2016 11:45 am

faffi wrote:What was your motivation to buy a Virago? Was it just a suitable bike available at the right price at the right time, or did you have specific reasons that only a Virago could meet?


More the former than the latter, was looking for a lighter, longer bike at 60 yrs, and the XV is a V-twin. Looking for 14 months off n on. First 250 I could afford. I am 6' tall, 31" inseam. 1st Yamaha in my life, except for my acoustic guitar... :cl:

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Re: Why Virago?

PostAuthor: MMAmicah » Mon Jul 04, 2016 2:16 pm

This is my first virago, 82 750. And I bought it because 1 I got a good deal ($200 in good shape) and 2, I've always wanted to build a cafe racer, and I like the looks of the virago cafe's. I've always had sport bikes ( R1, ZX10, gsxr750) my last bike being a very heavily modified hayabusa, I knew this bike wouldn't be anything close to the power I'm use to, but thought it would be a fun project, and a good commuter bike.

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Re: Why Virago?

PostAuthor: Artie » Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:59 pm

After years of riding my Duke, heavy clutch, crouched riding position etc....I was the wrong side of 50 and it was taking me longer and longer to straighten up after hopping off the ole girl.... I wanted something with a more upright riding style but an unusual styling....then I saw Greg Hagemans Vinrago....it started there, now I've got a few of them, all dedicated to a particular styling...I've got years of work in front of me before I'm done...if I'm ever done..... :bg:
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Bike year & model: 1981 xv750 virago x 4 (too many??)
1983 Ducati Pantah
1954 Triumph Speed Twin (sold)
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Re: Why Virago?

PostAuthor: ensign83 » Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:51 am

Artie wrote:... heavy clutch, crouched riding position etc....I was the wrong side of 50 and it was taking me longer and longer to straighten up after hopping off the ole girl......if I'm ever done..... :bg:


Thanks, Mate. Forgot to add the 'straightening' factor in my 1st post! 61 in SEP, so I faced reality and 'passed on the Paso' I found...

Thankfully i have nothing to prove re motorcycling. Hoping all yanks had a good 4th :usa:

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Re: Why Virago?

PostAuthor: XV1100 » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:14 am

For me it was around 1990, i was in Crete with my eldest daughter and was looking to hire a bike to get around the island on...i'd noticed that there was a particular (popular) bike that was being used by quite a number of people; i thought it looked gorgeous and decided to hire one for the 2 weeks...turns out it was the 535; i'd never heard of them at the time but after 2 weeks i was "hooked", came back to England and decided to look for one....several weeks later i was the proud owner of a shiny new red/maroon straight barred 535 :bg: ....6 months later the laquer on the engine casings and forks was bollexed due to our "salted" roads in winter.

I'd already felt the need for more power but didn't like the style of the 750/1100 Virago's but as a used 750 came up at a price i couldn't refuse i part-exchanged the 535 for it; i despised the colour (navy blue) and the handlebars at the time but within another 6 months i'd fell in love with the bigger Virago's....as the years went by i purchased/exchanged the 750 for 3 more (2 new, 1 used) 750's...apart from the "used" one they all suffered from "laquer attack/decay" :;: and as i didn't have a garage it was a constant fight to keep them "looking pretty"; constant cleaning still didn't stop the laqeur fatigue.

One day i had a go on my mates 1100 ...the 1st thing that blew me away was the "extra torque" but the most impressive thing was when i used the engine to "brake" ..wow it was amazing; i could be screaming along, knock it down a gear (or 2) let the clutch fly loose and it was like throwing out a boat anchor...someting i couldn't do on my 750 as they screamed (revved) like a S.O.A.B
I handed it back to my pal with a big grin on my face; i had to have the "biggest" Virago...a couple of months later (July 96) i went to the local dealers and purhased a brand new (not officially launched) S version of the 1100 that the sales brochure was showing what was due (for August time and new reg in UK) out....he called in a few favors (apparantly) and i got mine (one of the 1st in the country) before the showrooms had them....they were imported from Japan to Wales in "kit" form and assembed in Wales before being sent to the dealers nationwide.

That one was "neglected" over time and after a 5 year (divorce/health issues) period i eventually stripped it to the frame and restored it back to mint condition....2 years later some thieving bastards stole it and trashed it :o: ....not to be outdone as i was now a fully fledged Virago addict i purchased a 2nd hand near mint condition 1100 with the insurance money; this is my current bike and my 7th Virago :bg:
-1993 XV1100 Virago-my 7th Virago, -Engine bars and foot-rests, -Spot lights
-Pyramid Fenda Extenda, -Baglux tank bag, -Rear Saddle Bags (Virago original)
-Tool Rolls (front and rear), -Kuryakyn Hypercharger fitted (LED mod to follow)
-Laser Exhaust (changing a.s.a.p), -Clear brake lens and LED internals now fitted
-Mag wheel brakes removed and UPGRADED to spoke wheel dual pot caliper & BIGGER disc rotors for better stopping power
-Yuasa YTX24HL-BS High Performance AGM Battery, 12V 21Ah 350CCA

Forums have 1 or 2 growling dogs...posts need a C.Y.A. statement, mine being "i could be wrong :roll: "
Don't let the dogs bite you, C.Y.A. ;)
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Re: Why Virago?

PostAuthor: faffi » Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:47 am

You don't even need salt on the roads for a bike to deteriorate. My Vulcan 800 would start to rust the moment it heard the weatherman speak of rain, and my decently polished 1977 Z650 showed small specs of rust here and there after riding 1000 miles in the wet over 4 days lately. Takes a lot of cleaning to get it back up to snuff, as with just about any naked motorcycle. Hence I do my very best never to ride in the rain because nothing good comes from it - but sometimes, like on a planned vacation ride, it is not always possible to avoid.
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Bike year & model: 1982 XV750SE with XV1100 engine, XT600Z shock absorber, 18" Seca rear wheel
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Re: Why Virago?

PostAuthor: delirium » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:27 pm

I got my 82 XV750 due to my addiction to fixing up and modifying old bikes (it's much cheaper than old cars). Owner was selling her for $300. It was in good cosmetic condition and came with loads of extra parts. They were having issues with reliability. Sometimes it wouldn't start, or would start and run then cut out 30 miles down the road. I found it to be the fault of a chopped up wiring harness and after building a new one haven't had an issue to date. After finding this site and doing some considerable research on the bike I found that it had an after market single carb from KJS and MAC exhaust. So I really came out ahead. I really enjoy the bike but not as much as my Goldwing. The Virago is my around towner and the GW is my long hauler.

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There is a good chance if you take my advice, you may need to get a new bike.
If it doesnt fit, then you are just not using a big enough hammer!!
82 xv750 virago-KJS single carb intake, TM-40(HS-40) carb, MAC slash-cut exhaust, custom Fisco CZ bars, 84 xv700 foot controls, English saddle solo seat, bare bones wiring, bullet style indicators

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Re: Why Virago?

PostAuthor: jasko85 » Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:17 pm

I looked at pictures of motorcycles and like the Virago, then I went hunting for one. Very happy with it.

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Re: Why Virago?

PostAuthor: sequim » Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:52 am

I'm a non -conformist, so I wanted to own a bit of motorcycle history. It's cool; The bike that saved harley Davidson...
The attraction: large displacement, Mono shock, v-twin, cheap and easy to mod.
The Great Recession gave me the motivation to focus on something in the garage; while my financial situation worsened. The project was attempted on a budget of $1,000. My real investment, so far would be about $1500.
I went on the bike hunt!
I found the bike, 1982 XV920J, at the local Honda dealer. It had been stored in a back lot shed, the owner had traded it for a repair bill. During my inspection I could see the wiring harness had burned up. I jumped the starter was happy to see it had good compression. They wanted $500 and I paid $250.
Lots of fun and %100 worth the effort.

I'm glade my wife understands me.
The members of this group helped me with the most difficult challenges I faced in building my own Bobber... Thanks Virago Tech Forum.
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Re: Why Virago?

PostAuthor: tankbuster » Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:41 pm

My wife actually the Virago on a local rummage site. The ad said 500 bux. I thought it would be a complete basket case, it wasn't! Although it needed the idler gear replaced, It suited both of us. We eventually replaced the gear and now she is mine.... all mine! Theres something about the looks and the sound when she rumbles to life. Last year I put 1100 miles on it and she never failed me yet. Back to the original question, why a Virago? Pure accident, but the very second I took her out, I found my second love of my life! I think im going to be buried with bike!
Never insult 7 men if your packin' a six shooter!

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1975 GL1000 Goldwing.
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Re: Why Virago?

PostAuthor: 51.50 » Wed May 17, 2017 1:43 pm

My first Virago, bought it from the original owner. He sold it because he bought a new CVO harley plus he has a KLR 650. He was super particular about oil change and maint. It looks almost new with 34K miles on it. It came with a $500 Mustang seat, the drag pipes were ceramic coated to prevent bluing. Also included was the service manual, 19 new oil filters plus some spare plugs. I have always liked the Virago but didn't look for one until I determined the later ones didn't have the starter problem. I will add a picture when I have enough posts to allow pictures posted.
My first motorcycle was a Triumph Cub 200cc in 1960. Then bought an AJS 600cc single. Then a 1957 Triumph 650 pre unit single carb. Yamaha YDS2 250 Twin, In 1970, Yamaha RT 360 Enduro which I put street tires on plus two teeth on the countershaft sprocket. I got divorced, she got the car and it was Yamaha or Walk. Then a 1965 Bonneville, K Model harley, 1100 GoldWing, Evo Sportster, in 1991 a 1973 harley Shovelhead ex police bike, in 1999 a new Victory V92C Sold in 2011. Six years later a Virago! I will learn to work on it. I have tools. The shaft drive is a nice touch. If I have any carb problems, I will spend the $600 for a single carb conversion.

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Re: Why Virago?

PostAuthor: Seth920 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:26 pm

I picked up mine just a couple weeks ago, (pretty much a disaster) but was able to get it on the cheap. Fun styling, easy to find parts, and most importantly, inexpensive. It doesn't hurt that because of its age (mine is an 85 with a 82 920 engine) and this forum, there is tons of helpful information about them concerning maintainance and trouble shooting and the like.

Looking forward to working on it and getting it back on the road where it belongs.
85 Virago frame, 1982 920 motor?

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Re: Why Virago?

PostAuthor: faffi » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:02 pm

Has it had the starter system from the original engine transplanted?
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Re: Why Virago?

PostAuthor: turbodog » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:57 pm

Back in '80 - '81, I was a senior in college. A friend/former room mate and I came across a motorcycle rag in the library previewing the '81 model year bikes. He was salivating over the Maxims, but all I had eyes for was the XV920R. A few years later ('83-ish) i finally had the coin to consider buying a new bike (was riding a CB400F SS...no car), but the XV-R was no longer for sale in the US. One day I went into Broward Motorsports in Ft. Lauderdale to look at helmets, and what do I see in a back corner? Yep, a left over 81. Tires nearly flat, dusty. Rear swingarm-mounted fender replaced with a virago chrome fender (?). Maybe they did it in hopes it would pretty it up enough to sell. I was all over that $hit. Made a great deal. The tech who did the prep was bummed. He had been waiting for the shop owner to lower the price just a little more, and I'd gone and bought it. He had a monster poster of it over his work bench back in the shop.

Rode that bike till '88, and traded in on a left-over '87 Concours. Did a trip back to Virginia on the Connie. Met up with my old friend, and what is he riding? A XV920RH, of course! I sold the Connie when I moved to Dallas in 2005. Traffic was just too crazy. And, that bike was just too hot for Texas. Of course within a year I was used to the traffic and Jonesin' for a bike again. The Connie was a good bike, but I never liked it as much as I did my old 920. I did, however, like having good brakes and ~100HP on tap, so I decided to find and resto-mod a XV920R.... might not get to 100 HP, but was counting on it being lighter. Of course, 10 years and lots of side-tracks (including a few powered by XV920 engines) later, I am planning to finish it this winter.
'83 XV920 Virago "Spare Parts Bike" Now sidecar tug with Vetter Terraplane hack
'81 XV920R, Resto-mod in hibernation while I finish the sidecar rig
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