Getting a Yamaha XV750 Virago
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  1. #1
    Senior Member markjs's Avatar
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    Getting a Yamaha XV750 Virago

    Unsure of the year but I think an '83, the bike runs and is not stolen (from trusted friend) but has title issues. It's complete and runs and drives though. Best part, getting it for a hundred bux!

    I love my old tired Nighthawk 450 but it sure would be nice to have just a touch more highway power without any added weight. IIRC the Virago is nearly identical in weight.

  2. #2
    Senior Member 76TWIN's Avatar
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    I used to ride one myself years ago. It's a strong bike to take on long road trips.

    That said there are a couple of weak points that you should watch out for.

    1. The starters on these bikes go out a lot. https://www.viragohelp.com/81-83-vir...arter-systems/
    And as you are aware, these bikes do not have a kick starter so if the starter goes out your only option would be to push start it, this is no fun and easy task to do given the weight of the bike.

    2. Always check your cam chain tensioner. I had one of the cam chain guides broke through the engine tab that held it in place because of a loose cam chain and the only way to fix that would be to replace the whole cylinder.
    Last edited by 76TWIN; 08-12-2019 at 02:28 PM.
    '76 CB500T Frankenbike
    '73 CL450 (basket case for now)


    Carpe narem.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Pops's Avatar
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    +1 what 76TWIN said - volumes have been written concerning the first gen Virago's starter issues! Not only do the starters themselves prove weak, but the starter idler gear between the starter and crank gear is the bike's Achilles Heel. The first symptom sounds like a can of rocks when you hit the start button - the starter idler gear will rapidly engage and disengage, gradually destroying the gear teeth. A strong battery and good primary wiring is imperative for getting sufficient power to the starter and keeping the symptoms at bay.
    Butch
    72 SL350 Basket Case

    Age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

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  5. #4
    Junior Member toomanytoyz's Avatar
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    i have owned two viragos over the years, a 86 750 and a 95 1100,both all stock
    I did like the bikes ,the 1100 ran out of gear at 172km( I read that somewhere ,yeah that's it !)
    I never had starter issues as I kept my batteries in good shape ,but I did read a lot about the issues on the 750 and 1000 cc and I guess a fix was to install the 1100 starter stuff

  6. #5
    Member Guylr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toomanytoyz View Post
    i have owned two viragos over the years, a 86 750 and a 95 1100,both all stock
    I did like the bikes ,the 1100 ran out of gear at 172km( I read that somewhere ,yeah that's it !)
    I never had starter issues as I kept my batteries in good shape ,but I did read a lot about the issues on the 750 and 1000 cc and I guess a fix was to install the 1100 starter stuff
    Your later Viragos used a Bendix type starter system that rarely had starter problems. The earlier slip clutch starter was an unfortunate cost cutting measure that cost Yamaha a lot of warranty dollars and customer goodwill. It was doubly unfortunate because the good style starter was available right from 1981 as used on the 980cc TR1 sold in Europe. They went with the cheaper system on North American models because of the expected higher sales volume of the models sold here. That said, the early starters can be made reliable enough to consider those models they were used on.

    Guy

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