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Old 06-18-2009, 10:09 PM   #16
MIOB
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Location: A cold, wet, flat place
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIOB
Thanx. We'll be using a fuel pump (we'll have to). But since his is a (s)low budget bike we'll first try if we can get it to run in this set up before we buy a pump.

We've gotten a bit further since this pic, but I didn't have my camera with me. I'll post some more pics next week.




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Old 06-21-2009, 06:27 PM   #17
OLDNX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MNellis
In the states the XV was a chain drive and the Virago was a shaft drive. There were lots of other differences as well since the Virago was more of a "Cruiser" style while the XV920 was more "standard".
In the US the drive shaft was the Virago model XV920 and the chain drive was the XV920R, nicknamed the EURO. In Europe the XV920R was called the TR1 and had a better starter system.

If you have starter problems, check to see if the starter has been shimmed, this was/is the best way to fix the crappy starter, or wack it with a small hammer
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Old 06-21-2009, 07:27 PM   #18
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were there any frame differences between the 920's in the states? (like suspension geometry) or if a guy wanted to build up a sporty xv920 could he find a cheap virago, get a 920R tank and go from there?
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Old 06-24-2009, 04:34 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G2mk3
were there any frame differences between the 920's in the states? (like suspension geometry) or if a guy wanted to build up a sporty xv920 could he find a cheap virago, get a 920R tank and go from there?
Yes, there are differences. I investigated doing such a conversion last year on my virago. I ended up getting an XV920 instead. Some of the parts are just not interchangeable even though they look like they might be. The front and rear suspensions are both different. Odly, the Virago has far more adjustability than the XV920. The toughest thing to deal with is foot position. None of the hardware is interchangeable and there are no aftermarket parts that I could find. If you want an XV, you would do much better to wait till you find one and buy it.
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Old 06-25-2009, 06:28 PM   #20
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do you recall what was different about the geometry? if i got one i'd be cutting it apart quite a bit, i'm fine with doing custom rearsets but messing with the fundamental design of the frame doesn't really tickle my fancy. this picture really opened my mind to the posibilities...
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Old 09-06-2009, 11:43 AM   #21
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Virago Geometry

I've got two and "a half" 1981 XV920Rh's. One has the innards from the later shaftie XV1100 in it (XV1100RH?) and a Pichler fairing. The other has flatter handlebars and a "traditional" rear fender. It took me about 6 months to "learn" how to ride this bike -- it needs to be ridden in a completely different way than my 1982 GS1100G, which is why I got it.

Anyway: The steering geometry is changed by the height of the rear tire: a short, fat 16" on the shaft-drive model, and a taller 18" on the chain-drive model.

Joe Minton did a great article on "Vitalizing the Virago" ( http://viragotech.com/ ).

Basically, the old-school method used to be: front and rear progressive springs, (choose your viscosity) front fork oil, swap the steering head ball-bearings (I know!) for tapered bearings, and add a fork brace. The enclosed chain drive is sheer brilliance. I love the giant headlight.

I, too, am intrigued by the "Zero Cafe" Virago. If you look closely, you can see that he left the original spine frame (I'd love to replace mine with a light-as-air Ducati style trellis: sigh. His sense of proportion and balance is perfect. Replicating his work should be rather "easy," since the rear/seat portion just unbolts.

Why do a Virago cafe? Good question. It's big: with that 58-inch wheelbase, it's no "flick" bike (convert a dirt bike to be a cafe racer, if that's the experience that you want. Another projecct that I want to do...). It's heavy: 500+ pounds. It's got a high center of gravity. Yada yada yada.

The reason "why" is the engine. It's torquey. It has a relaxing cadence that took me 6 months to understand; I kept trying to crack the throttle like on my inline 4 GS1100, and kept feeling frustrated and disappointed. Then, I learned how to let the bike teach me how it wanted to be ridden. Aww, man... The engine is nice to look at, too. (I never liked the look of the Suzuki VX800 engine...)

It's all personal preference: that's all that matters. Bike-hating is so irrelevant. What unites us is two -- sometimes three -- wheels. 20-30 years ago, the IIHS was making strong inroads to legislate motorcycles out of existence.

Anyway. Our bikes are platforms for creative and artistic expression. If a Cafe Virago/Gold Wing/Voyager/Rokon does it for you, then fine.

May the ties that bind us together be stronger than the forces that would tear us apart.

kentinstow
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Old 09-09-2009, 05:23 AM   #22
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I am a proud owner of the european version of the XV920, which is called TR1 and has 980ccm, instead of 920 in the US.

On the early models (81-82) the rear headgasket tends to blow, because of some edges on the cylinderhead. There are some companies in Germany, which can sort that for you by welding it up and then flattening it again.
Except from that, the starter is dreadful, but certain versions of the Virago 1100 starter will fit and these will also have a little more oomph.

Progressive springs in the front and in the rear (the air-assisted shock is basically alright), plus some steel-braided-brake-hose plus a good set of tyres and you have a nice bike for everyday use. But be aware of the fact, it will never be a true sportbike in that way.

Ah, and if you exchange the tail-unit with one from a SR500/XS400 it looks a lot nicer...






Cheers,
Greg
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Old 09-09-2009, 09:09 PM   #23
BIG ED XT FAN
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Wicked

Quote:
Originally Posted by nanno
I am a proud owner of the european version of the XV920, which is called TR1 and has 980ccm, instead of 920 in the US.

On the early models (81-82) the rear headgasket tends to blow, because of some edges on the cylinderhead. There are some companies in Germany, which can sort that for you by welding it up and then flattening it again.
Except from that, the starter is dreadful, but certain versions of the Virago 1100 starter will fit and these will also have a little more oomph.

Progressive springs in the front and in the rear (the air-assisted shock is basically alright), plus some steel-braided-brake-hose plus a good set of tyres and you have a nice bike for everyday use. But be aware of the fact, it will never be a true sportbike in that way.

Ah, and if you exchange the tail-unit with one from a SR500/XS400 it looks a lot nicer...






Cheers,
Greg
Great Looking 920! The rear fender looks good too. Enjoy!!
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Old 09-30-2009, 06:06 PM   #24
G2mk3
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well, I must have had enough good deeds saved up because a friend contacted me and said "I took on a 81 xv750 that needs a little work for my wife but I realized I'm just not about to get around to it..."

2 weeks later I took this from his garage





time to put my money where my mouth was, eh?
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Old 11-01-2009, 11:00 AM   #25
RedRocket
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My XV920R is getting closer to road ready.
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Old 11-01-2009, 05:50 PM   #26
spanky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kentinstow
............
Anyway: The steering geometry is changed by the height of the rear tire: a short, fat 16" on the shaft-drive model, and a taller 18" on the chain-drive model.

Joe Minton did a great article on "Vitalizing the Virago" ( http://viragotech.com/ ).

Basically, the old-school method used to be: front and rear progressive springs, (choose your viscosity) front fork oil, swap the steering head ball-bearings (I know!) for tapered bearings, and add a fork brace. The enclosed chain drive is sheer brilliance. I love the giant headlight.

I, too, am intrigued by the "Zero Cafe" Virago. If you look closely, you can see that he left the original spine frame (I'd love to replace mine with a light-as-air Ducati style trellis: sigh. His sense of proportion and balance is perfect. Replicating his work should be rather "easy," since the rear/seat portion just unbolts.

Why do a Virago cafe? Good question. It's big: with that 58-inch wheelbase, it's no "flick" bike (convert a dirt bike to be a cafe racer, if that's the experience that you want. Another projecct that I want to do...). It's heavy: 500+ pounds. It's got a high center of gravity. Yada yada yada.

The reason "why" is the engine. It's torquey. It has a relaxing cadence that took me 6 months to understand; I kept trying to crack the throttle like on my inline 4 GS1100, and kept feeling frustrated and disappointed. Then, I learned how to let the bike teach me how it wanted to be ridden. Aww, man... The engine is nice to look at, too. (I never liked the look of the Suzuki VX800 engine...)

It's all personal preference: that's all that matters. Bike-hating is so irrelevant. What unites us is two -- sometimes three -- wheels. 20-30 years ago, the IIHS was making strong inroads to legislate motorcycles out of existence.

Anyway. Our bikes are platforms for creative and artistic expression. If a Cafe Virago/Gold Wing/Voyager/Rokon does it for you, then fine.

May the ties that bind us together be stronger than the forces that would tear us apart.

kentinstow
What a phenominal first post! I'm late in responding but ever since I first saw this thread I've had it in my mind that the 920 could be the answer to my desire for a torquey V-twin. I miss my Ducati 907 but I don't miss the cost of maintenance.

I find myself lusting over Suzuki SV1000's then I saw a cafe'd 920 and can't get it out of my mind. Having spent my formative years (1965 - 1968) in Europe I'm all too familiar with cafe bikes and I want to live that life at least once before I hang up my helmet.

Thank for the great reply and insights!
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Old 11-01-2009, 06:16 PM   #27
RedRocket
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Here. Have some more motivation:







Here's another take on the rear fender:

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Old 11-02-2009, 03:27 PM   #28
spanky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedRocket
Here. Have some more motivation:







Here's another take on the rear fender:

Thanks for the moto-porn.
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Old 11-02-2009, 07:41 PM   #29
G2mk3
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does that bike only have forward controls??? or is my eye missing the rear ones?
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Old 03-31-2010, 08:04 AM   #30
Motoriley
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Xv920

A good friend of mine had an XV920 here in Montreal back in the early 90's. We went to a moto rally and he got it dynoed. It had a bad flat spot in the power curve. We removed the little intake snorkel that went from the air box to under the seat and the flat spot vanished. He also gained a noticeable increase in top speed. If I remember it put out something in the high 40's or low 50's in terms of HP. My GL1200 at the time cranked a mighty 77.......
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