1986 Yamaha XV1100 Virago from United States of America


Great ride and fairly easy to work on


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

19th Oct 2022, 19:39

I have a wonderful condition Virago XV1001986 model in near showroom condition. Really love the bike and would never part with it.