1982 Yamaha XV920J Virago from United States of America


This motorcycle is just awesome


The only problems I have had from my Virago is the starter and a very frustrating oil leak.

The starter makes a very awful sounding grinding noise and sometimes won't turn over at all.

The oil leak is on the rear cylinder and makes everything hard to clean. I have re-tightened the head bolts and that worked for a little while, but the vibration loosens them back after about 500 or 600 miles.

General Comments:

This motorcycle is a blast to ride. The handling is awesome and it is very quick.

The only time it is remotely uncomfortable is when I have my wife on the back. Then the seat is not big enough.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th June, 2005

2nd Nov 2008, 21:10

The rear cylinder oil leak is actually a blown head gasket - these early model XV twins had no gasket between barrel and head, only a metal ring that sat on top of the cylinder liner. Tightening the bolts won't fix it - you need to replace the metal ring and pack up to O-ring that seals the timing chain tunnel with cardboard or similar to provide a better seal. This will give you about 15000 miles of breathing space before you have to do the job again.

1982 Yamaha XV920J Virago from United States of America


Beautiful bike with awesome power


Front fork oil seals: The front fork seals show signs of excessive leakage. Needs to be replaced.

Starter problems: The starter needs to be replaced. Seems to be drawing too much amperage while starting. There also seems to be a loud, grinding noise while attempting to start the bike.

Oil level switch: Needs to be replaced. Warning light comes on for a brief moment while driving on the highway.

Air filter inlet tube: My bike has saddlebags (installed by the previous owner), and had recently noticed that the wide straps for the saddlebags were partially covering the opening of the air inlet tube. This was remedied by cutting a notch into the straps where it sits over the tube, to allow better breathing for the carbuerators.

General Comments:

My Yamaha Virago XV920J was just purchased in February, 2005, and I am the second owner of this motorcycle. It has been 25 years since I last rode a motorcycle (a borrowed Honda 450), so this is the first bike I've actually owned in my lifetime.

Digital display: Although having the computer instrument cluster on this bike is nice, I'd prefer having a standard tachometer and speedometer.

Since the acquisition of this bike, I've added a windshield and a battery tender. Both are wonderful assets for a motorcycle, especially the windshield. Now I don't have to worry about eating bugs for breakfast or dinner while cruising down the highway. The previous owner had saddlebags installed on the bike, and had since found them to be a great asset. Not the nicest set of saddlebags, but it beats having nothing.

In general, I like the appearance of the Virago 920. It's got good power and great acceleration while pulling out of an intersection. Not to mention that it's got that H-D look while riding down the highway.

Had I purchased this motorcycle new, I'd probably have taken better care of it. Although the previous owner did an okay job in maintaining it, there were a few small details that were neglected over the years. With a little bit of elbow grease, an allen wrench and some auto polish, these minor details were taken care of right away.

Although I try not ride during rain, I have encountered rain on a couple of occasions. As they say here in Hawaii, a one hour's ride in the rain amounts to about 6 hours of cleaning after the ride.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th March, 2005

3rd Jul 2005, 09:49

What kind of windshield and how did you mount it?

28th Apr 2006, 18:55

I have a 1982 Yamaha Virago 1000. I drained my battery trying to start it after the snow melted. My husband and I are having a heck of a time getting the battery out to charge it (as you probably already know, the positive end is inside the motorcycle behind the reserve tank so it cannot just be boosted). There must be a trick to getting the battery out from the motorcycle without having to disassemble the bike. Any tips on how I can do that? Any thoughts would be helpful - my husband won't kick his bad mood until the bike is running!!!