1987 Yamaha XV1100 Virago from United States of America




Had starter problem when I bought the bike, $350 later and I was riding. No other problems encountered.

General Comments:

Great bike to ride, plenty of power, easy to control in and out of traffic.

I've read where some magazines comment about the looks of a Virago, but in my mind they are beautiful bikes.

This bike has been very reliable other than the starter problem, but I believe this to be a common problems on the early Viragos.

If a person is vertically challenged, then this is a good bike for them. With a low center of gravity, it's a breeze when coming to a stop.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd September, 2006

6th Sep 2011, 18:24

Shortly after I bought my 1989, I had to replace the starter clutch. I do my own maintenance when I can, the part was $170 and not very hard to replace. Problem solved.

1993 Yamaha XV1100 Virago from Australia


An enjoyable riding experience


Nothing. A very reliable bike.

General Comments:

Great bike. Easy to handle, reliable and a pleasure to ride. Heaps of power and seems to be quite economical. Also a nice looking bike with a classic Harley look. Very happy with this bike so far.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st June, 2006

22nd Jun 2006, 06:18

Why do you all want your Yamaha's to have a "Harley look"?

I'm happy with my bikes both looking like Yamahas.

They're great bikes!

I personally prefer the old in-line fours to the "Harley look" V-twins, but the V-Twins are very nice indeed!

12th Sep 2006, 05:52

I mentioned that the Yamaha XV1100 has a classic Harley look because it is a shape that is recognizable by all bike enthusiasts. Harley-Davidson put the v-twin motor on the map, so I am giving credit where it is due. The Japanese improved reliability, handling etc. but the romanticism of the Harley and their characteristic V-twin motor will never be topped. Having said this, my XV1100 is an awesome bike and I enjoy every minute on it.

1990 Yamaha XV1100 Virago from New Zealand


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.

General Comments:

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 cubg1@hotmail.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.

Regards, John.

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.