1990 Yamaha XV1100 Virago
Half the price of a Harley - and twice as good!
Very little has gone wrong since buying this motorcycle.
The clutch started slipping soon after purchase - the dealer installed a new clutch free of charge.
A persistent back-fire (notoriously difficult to diagnose and repair) was also fixed by the dealer.
Speedo cable worked loose and it lost the inner cable.
The Virago is a light-weight nimble cruiser, with classic "chopper" styling.
A shaft-driven V-twin with low seat height, it is easy to ride for the vertically-challenged (I'm 5'4").
It is equally at home on city streets, or cruising the highways.
It has plenty of low-down power, and seems to like the lower rev range best, developing an annoying "buzz" above 5000 rpm. But hey - this is a cruiser, not a racer!
The stock seat needs to be upgraded to give better comfort on longer trips, and the rear shocks run out of travel rather easily when riding two-up - a problem compounded by noticeable "shaft-effect".
A smallish fuel tank means regular stops, but that suits me fine. If I had a Harley I'd have to stop more often to pick up the bits that had fallen off...!
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 24th March, 2005
22nd Feb 2009, 07:46
Hi, how you doing over there?
I've had 2 250cc Virgo's before and really loved them.
I'm looking at getting the 1100cc. The one I want has got the persistent back-fire (notoriously difficult to diagnose and repair) problem so it has put me off buying it, and it also gets wet plugs.
Would you by any chance be able to tell me what the problem was and how they fixed it?
Or if anyone else out there knows, don't be shy.
17th Apr 2009, 09:50
Just thought I would throw my .02 in on the backfire - it can be caused by several things on the Virago - removing the air induction system, after market exhaust without rejetting (these are lean from the factory). Email me at email@example.com if you would like some advice on diagnosing your problem - I have owned two Virago's and am familiar with the carbs, etc. The Virago is a great bike, but they can be hard to tune.
15th Sep 2011, 14:16
Hi having owned a few Viragos, a common but easy to fix problem with backfiring or running on one pot, is to check the wiring harness on the left under the tank, and split the harness. You will find wires shorting out, good luck, hope this helps you out; it's better than stripping carbs down.
5th Aug 2015, 07:39
I have a 96 XV1100 Virago.
Bad back fire, one cylinder (tach works). Sometimes, when it's cold, it runs fine. It's definitely electrical. I noticed the red light on the dash came on when the bike stalled during 4000 RPM running on one cylinder.