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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 09-02-2018, 01:54 AM  
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Default Couldn't resist. My '84 Virago XV700 cafe build

Evening all!

I finally did it. I've been wanting a Virago for the last several years, but with my GSXR build in full swing (albeit, a slow swing), I couldn't justify a second bike. Well, with any luck the GSXR build will be coming to a close pretty soon (if you want to check that out, visit that here) it's about time for another build. Hopefully this one won't take 10 years.



I picked up a wrecked Virago last month, and finally brought it home last weekend. It's a 1984 Yamaha Virago XV700. The bike was last titled back in 1994. The story goes that the rider was touring through Yellowstone National Park from California, and took the turn into the Old Faithful geyser a little too quickly. He laid it down pretty good; enough to destroy all of the fairings and tweak the steering stem slightly. The rangers pulled the bike out of the ditch, and through some set of circumstances the title was turned over to them by the rider. The bike sat for the next 10 years next to the ranger station until finally being auctioned off to a gentleman who planned on restoring it. After having it occupy space in his garage for 4 years with little to no working being done, he decided to sell it. I ran across the Virago on Craigslist, and over the next month watched him drop the price steadily from $990 down to $650. The bike was located in a neighboring city, and I got the chance to go check it out a month ago and talked the guy down to $460.

Despite the wreck the rest of the frame, forks, wheels, shocks, and most importantly engine are all in good shape still. It goes into gear and free wheels in neutral without issue. The goal is to cafe the bike out. I very much like Greg Hageman's XV750:



I'm also drawing inspiration from Capt. Obvious's build,Knifemaker's build, and the Dogma Motorcycles "Dragger".

Tonight I finally got started. Here she was at 8pm:



...and here she is as of 10:30pm:



...and of course new parts have started to roll in, starting with 2001 Yamaha R1 forks:



I have a few items on the list that I'll be picking up mid-month:
  • R1 Forks - Bought, 2001 $200
  • Cognito Moto fork conversion stem - Bought $196
  • Cognito Moto top triple clamp - Bought $159
  • Single-carb conversion
  • Clip-ons - Bought with Biltwell grips $60
  • 7" LED headlight and bucket - $45 headlight
  • Some gauge solution (looking at TrailTech)
  • Generic cafe fuel tank - $119
  • R1 front brakes rotors and calipers
  • R1 hand controls - $44 (won't work, DBW. Doh). Universal aluminum controls - $10
  • Cafe seat unit - Generic hump seat, $47
  • Integrated tail lights
  • Custom rearsets
  • Rebuilt RFY dual shocks
  • Exhaust (still unsure)
  • Tires

Other things:
  • Press the stem out of the lower triple
  • Adapt front axle to work with R1 forks
  • Build sub-frame
  • Powdercoat all of the things

Total cost so far (including bike): $1350

Doubtless there are items I'm forgetting there, but those are the big ones. Tomorrow's project is to cut the frame, get it ready for for the hoop, and get my neighbor with the welder to help me put everything back together. Here we go!

Last edited by Gixooligan; 11-02-2018 at 12:41 AM. Reason: More parts
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 09-02-2018, 03:16 PM  
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Default Re: Couldn't resist: my '83 Virago cafe build

Jelly, I can't find a deal on a Virago around here to save my life. Really want to do a cafe myself.

Looking forward to seeing this develop.

Isaac Newton was a bastard when he invented gravity!
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 09-03-2018, 12:22 AM  
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Default Re: Couldn't resist: my '83 Virago cafe build

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Originally Posted by TURNIP View Post
Jelly, I can't find a deal on a Virago around here to save my life. Really want to do a cafe myself.

Looking forward to seeing this develop.
It seems like these things are always up for sale in my area, but they are typically in pretty good shape and people want a mint for them. In this case I got lucky since the plan was to scrap just about everything anyways.

Thanks very much! Glad to have you along for the ride. Did a little work tonight; pulled the carbs and removed the sliders. The carbs actually don't look too bad; I thought that they were messed up since the throttle linkage was frozen when I got the bike. A little tweak with a screwdriver and they're free now. One of them has quite a bit of corrosion on it; the other it totally clean. I'm going to disassemble them and take a look at what we're dealing with. Word is that with the single carb setup you can just run one of these instead of two without detriment. I'm going to do a little more research, but if I can use one of these it'll save me a couple hundred $.

Onward and upward.
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 09-08-2018, 12:31 AM  
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Default Re: Couldn't resist: my '83 Virago cafe build

As I sit around waiting for the middle of the month to come so that I can start accruing more parts, I've found myself agonizing over what I want this bike to look like. A few things I'm thinking about:

Rather than the RD350 tank, going with a more generic 'cafe' style tank. The one illustrated is pretty common, but does look decent, and will take me a lot less time to refinish.

Adding a headlight fairing. The bike has a decent sized engine, and I think that the headlight fairing might balance it out. Still thinking 7" headlight so I can remove it if I want to.

I put together a rough chop of what I'm thinking:

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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 09-08-2018, 01:18 AM  
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Default Re: Couldn't resist: my '83 Virago cafe build

fwiw running two r1 shocks im guessing will probably result in almost no suspension travel.
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 09-08-2018, 01:45 AM  
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Default Re: Couldn't resist: my '83 Virago cafe build

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Originally Posted by Mongoose View Post
fwiw running two r1 shocks im guessing will probably result in almost no suspension travel.
Yeah, I'm having a tough time figuring out the direction to go with that one; I was hoping I could soften them up. Unfortunately Ohlins are going to be too cost-prohibitive for this build. I'm sure I'll be looking more deeply into options soon.

Thanks for the feedback!
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 09-08-2018, 01:47 AM  
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Default Re: Couldn't resist: my '83 Virago cafe build

there's probably millions of fauxlins on ebay for double setups just need the right length.
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 09-08-2018, 02:35 AM  
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Default Re: Couldn't resist: my '83 Virago cafe build

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongoose View Post
there's probably millions of fauxlins on ebay for double setups just need the right length.
Searching around it sounds like RFY is a popular knock-off which actually perform well after proper rebuilding. Shocks and rebuild service are about $200. That may be the way to go.
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 09-29-2018, 11:11 PM  
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Default Re: Couldn't resist: my '83 Virago cafe build

Not much recent progress. I'm working on accumulating all of the parts required before I start cutting. Fortunately, the tank showed up yesterday, so I'm getting pretty close to being able to start working on the frame. Here's the mock up:



With any luck I'll be picking up the top yoke for my triple soon, and get my new stem pressed into the lower.
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 11-02-2018, 12:58 AM  
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Default Re: Couldn't resist: my '83 Virago cafe build

Still moving slowly on this. However, I'm finally making some forward progress.

Rebuilt the carb. The XV700 comes with two of them; one per cylinder. I'm still planning on converting to a single, so I rebuilt the better of the two. Everything is looking good with this one, I can't wait to get it installed!



Got the frame cut down! The steel hoop came and, so I went ahead an cut the rear frame off. Looking at it, I actually don't mind the 'slump' in the original frame as much. That may get to stay, and I'll store the electronics and battery in there. Not 100% on that yet.



Next steps, I'm thinking about picking up a cheap welder and just doing this myself. I have to extend the hoop a little to reach the rest of the frame as well. The painters tape is holding the tank in it's proper position, as I need to add mounts to that as well.
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