1986 Yamaha XV1100 Virago from United States of America

Summary:

Great ride and fairly easy to work on

Faults:

The bike was already 25 years old when I bought it, but it was in fair shape. I only paid $1000 for it at the time.

It needed a new battery right away and I've found it needs a new battery every 2 or 3 years.

Problems have been with the speedometer, that has stopped working and I'm only guessing it has about 40k miles on it now.

I mostly ride in the city. I'm on my 2nd set of tires in 7 years and they are about ready to be replaced.

The turn signals have also stopped working, I removed the rear turn signals. The rubber just broke off. The front signals are there and light up for added safety, but do not turn on and off.

Tach still works.

No problems with head or tail lights.

The bike backfires occasionally.

Exhaust pipes came loose and had to hammer them back on.

Starter went out and had to be replaced.

I've replaced one clutch cable and the brake cable once.

Rear brake tends to lock up if you don't maintain it.

Biggest design flaw IMO, aside from starter problems which are common with this model, is the battery location. It is extremely difficult to get the battery in and out of the bike. I have rigged a coat hanger around it to help me pull it out.

Replacing clutch cables and brake cables is easy.

Changing the oil is somewhat complicated as you have to remove different components on the engine, which I screwed up. It cost $180 to have the shop fix my mistake.

General Comments:

For all the problems I've had, it is a great bike. It handles very well for such a big bike and is comfortable to ride.

The engine has performed very well in the 7 years I've had it. It is a little cold blooded in the winter. I ride year round in Nebraska. But I have found 2 or 3 minutes with a hot hair dryer on the engine to warm it starts it right up.

The bike is mostly easy to work on and the shaft drive is very low maintenance. My last bike had a chain drive and I went through 3 chains in 10 years.

Although the bike is 32 years old, I have no plans to upgrade at this time. It starts right up and does what it is supposed to.

It is a really good looking bike for what it is worth. Lots of chrome and lots of nice comments on it. I painted it with enamel paint and a brush, and it looks almost new.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th August, 2018

1996 Yamaha XV1100 Virago from United States of America

Summary:

Great styled, dependable bike

Faults:

I had issues with the emergency flashers/turn signals. It was weird. If I had the emergency flashers turned all the way to the off position, I couldn't use the turn signals. Not a big deal though as I just moved it a little bit from the off position, and all was well.

Other than that, the bike was quite dependable.

General Comments:

I really love the style of this motorcycle. I was in the market for anything 900cc or larger, and this motorcycle came up for sale in the middle of winter during a snow storm, so I got a good deal on it.

The first thing I noticed, and keep in mind, I am 6'2" at 240lbs, so a fairly tall, husky dude, was the seat felt like it was pushing me into the tank. It seemed that, no matter how I positioned myself, I couldn't get comfortable. So, I upgraded to a Mustang seat. It gave me added comfort and a better seating position. Also, my bike came with forward controls. I don't even know how I would have felt with the original since I wished the forward controls were a bit more forward. I also had a Memphis Shades windshield and River Road saddlebags/windshield bag.

I used to ride 4-5 hours at a time on this bike, but as I've widened and gotten older, I just couldn't get comfortable on this bike for more than 30-minutes, so I had to sell her. It was a very sad day, but someone else, more properly sized for this bike, is loving it as much as I did. I ended up trading for a 2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Classic LT.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th July, 2018