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Old 06-11-2014, 07:10 PM   #1
tjburns1 OP
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Location: God's Country
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'82 Virago Dresser

I am in-between positions at work and needed a commuter vehicle, so I sold my '06 Street Bob and bought a Mini. I was anxious about being bike-less and within 24 hours had found and purchased this 1982 Virago XV920J from a 79 year old gentleman who was moving back into dirt bikes. $1300 later I was on my way home.

It's got 12k on the clock, the starter has been upgraded and it looks pretty darn close to new. It starts reliably (so far) and came with a Haynes manual. Power and suspension seem adequate although the front brakes are a little anemic. I had my wife drive me down and I rode it the 200 miles home. I'm sure I look like a super dork, but I don't know if I ever had as much fun on my Harley.

Short story told, I'm throwing on a tank bag and a gps mount, strapping on my tent, filling the luggage and hopefully hitting the road soon. Any tips, tricks, hints or words of advice on keeping this thing on the road?





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Old 06-11-2014, 08:02 PM   #2
andruboz
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don't know squat about them but it looks like you scored. is that shaft drive? i thought one of the 920 variants was an enclosed chain- which i always thought was a good idea.
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:15 PM   #3
k-moe
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Get the shop manual and do the required maintainance at the recommended intervals and that bike will last for a very long time (don't skip the valve adjustments). From the pictures it looks like the starter upgrade may have been new spring clips, and maybe securing the sun gear in the planetary drive. THe springs will weaken eventually and you'll have to replace them (fairly easy job every 25K miles or so). The more permanant fix is to swap over the entire starting system from an XV1000, or XV1100 (including the left side cover). It's a bit more work, but I think it's worth it if you can find the parts for a good price.
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Old 06-12-2014, 05:03 AM   #4
kraven
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The tanks like to rust out, so maybe take a bore scope and peek in there or just shine a flashlight in there and see what's up with the tank quality.

Replace all the fuel line with ethanol safe efi tubing, so you don't have all kinds of crap in your carbs or a fuel line emergency on the road.

Clean the carbs, even if it has no problems. If it has that little mileage, that old man didn't ride it. That usually means shellac and crap in the bowls that needs to come out before it gets sucked into the circuits.
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Old 06-12-2014, 05:16 AM   #5
Super Sneaky Steve
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Great lookin bike. You're stylin' for sure.
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Old 06-12-2014, 08:36 AM   #6
bk brkr baker
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Braided lines for the brakes help a squidge, but, it's a single piston per side set up ,so it won't do stoppies. That's OK ,just plan ahead.
On my XV 920 ,the set back knob for the tripometer was missing ,so, i would try and fail to keep up with the mileage. I carried a couple of gallons spare on the back of my panniers and used them more than a few times. My bike had a 5 gallon tank including reserve and would cover a little over 140 miles , then it was jug time. Your gas milage may be better , hopefully.
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Old 06-12-2014, 08:39 AM   #7
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You need a stereo with cassette and a bunch of Prince tapes.


Then... then you will be ready.
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Old 06-12-2014, 12:21 PM   #8
Higglesworth
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viragotechforum.com has a wealth of info on these bikes.
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Old 06-12-2014, 07:54 PM   #9
tjburns1 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k-moe View Post
Get the shop manual and do the required maintainance at the recommended intervals and that bike will last for a very long time (don't skip the valve adjustments). From the pictures it looks like the starter upgrade may have been new spring clips, and maybe securing the sun gear in the planetary drive. THe springs will weaken eventually and you'll have to replace them (fairly easy job every 25K miles or so). The more permanant fix is to swap over the entire starting system from an XV1000, or XV1100 (including the left side cover). It's a bit more work, but I think it's worth it if you can find the parts for a good price.
The elderly gentleman I bought it from was a machinist and created a kind of spring actuated push button. It's a tad cumbersome to start as you have to press the starter and keep a finger on the pushbutton on the side cover. As the bike catches you push in and hold the button in. When done correctly, it starts without any discernable racket. He provided me with pictures of the internals, when I figure it out, I'll add them here for interested parties.
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Old 06-12-2014, 08:00 PM   #10
tjburns1 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bk brkr baker View Post
Braided lines for the brakes help a squidge, but, it's a single piston per side set up ,so it won't do stoppies. That's OK ,just plan ahead.
On my XV 920 ,the set back knob for the tripometer was missing ,so, i would try and fail to keep up with the mileage. I carried a couple of gallons spare on the back of my panniers and used them more than a few times. My bike had a 5 gallon tank including reserve and would cover a little over 140 miles , then it was jug time. Your gas milage may be better , hopefully.
I got right around 40mpg with the first tank, all highway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dismount View Post
You need a stereo with cassette and a bunch of Prince tapes.
Then... then you will be ready.
While Prince or Queen might be the fitting choice of tunes, if this ever gets a stereo it'll likely be blasting Cake or some such.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Higglesworth View Post
viragotechforum.com has a wealth of info on these bikes.
Thanks, I'll scoot on over there.
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Old 06-12-2014, 08:02 PM   #11
tjburns1 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Sneaky Steve View Post
Great lookin bike. You're stylin' for sure.
Thanks, I think.
Quote:
Originally Posted by andruboz View Post
don't know squat about them but it looks like you scored. is that shaft drive? i thought one of the 920 variants was an enclosed chain- which i always thought was a good idea.
It's a shaft drive. Enclosed chain would be more fun to monkey with.
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Old 06-12-2014, 10:44 PM   #12
k-moe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjburns1 View Post
The elderly gentleman I bought it from was a machinist and created a kind of spring actuated push button. It's a tad cumbersome to start as you have to press the starter and keep a finger on the pushbutton on the side cover. As the bike catches you push in and hold the button in. When done correctly, it starts without any discernable racket. He provided me with pictures of the internals, when I figure it out, I'll add them here for interested parties.
That sounds like he made a manual "solenoid" to positively throw the secondary gear into place. Interesting. I'd love to see what he did.
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