1982 Yamaha 920 Virago—XV920J
Mutant Project

« ^ »

Work log on my abused Virago

Update May 2 2009

Guess I should start off this project log by running down what I know of the bikes history. Not the model in general—my interactions with this specific one.

In 1998 I had been bikeless for more than a year and I found I was missing two wheel freedom. So I convinced the wife my sanity needed it and I started looking. In May of 1998 I found this 1982 Virago 920 sitting in the backlot of one of the Killeen bike shops—probably a trade-in—and bought it for $1400 or so—not really sure it's been so long. And no, I have no pics of it from then.

It was different. The bikes I had ridden before (not all mine) included my old '74 CB750, a Honda Hawk, a 750 Ninja, and a couple enduro-types—chain drives all. That Virago shaft-drive was smooth. Man what a ride!.

But I didn't like the "box-'o-rocks" starting. I don't like to draw attention to myself, and that got a look every time I kicked her over. I also noticed that if I rode for more that 40 miles my tailbone would get sore.

Then the day came about a year later when I was starting it and during the startup, it "clunked" and wouldn't budge. From the few things I tried it seemed it had siezed. So it traveled to the back of the garage and I bought a Concours.

Somewhere around 2000 or 2001 one of my brothers asked if he could buy it off me. I told him if he wanted it he could have it. So he took it to Houston and had it running within a month. Turns out the start had froze up while in contact with the flywheel—of course it looked like the motor siezed.

Now I'm finding that the constant leaning into Connie is getting uncomfortable—and dangerous when my elbow locks. I know you can relocate the controls and get a crusier feel but it's wrong. You can put running boards on a Ferrari but that doesn't make it a pickup—or pretty.

So I'm looking for a crusier this year—something I can sit upright on—take the pressure off the elbow and shoulders. But with the current economic issues going on, the funds just aren't there.

Then I remembered that my brother had said he hasn't used the bike in a few years—just starts it once in a while. I talked to him and he has no use for it now. He still has the title. He never transfered it.
Then he mentions that the last hurricane wan't nice to it but he had it running after it left. And then they had the flood early April this year.

While I'm trying to make up my mind to look for another bike or drag the Virago out of the mud, I ran across this information about the stock Virago seats and how they have a bar running up the inside of them. When I saw the pic I knew what made me uncomfortable on it. So I can either pull that bar and re-cover it or get a different seat.

And I noticed I was thinking as if it was already back in my garage. So the first weekend of May this year (last weekend from when I started this log) I snagged it and brought it home.

Now let's see how bad it is.

« ^ »

You are vistor