1981 Yamaha Virago XV750 Project

The 81 Virago is the one on the left, facing away from the camera. The bike on the right is my 1988 XV750.

Earlier in June, someone posted a 1981 Yamaha XV750 for sale on Craigslist for a whopping $200 – clean title and current registration, and he was even willing to drop it off. It wasn’t in a running condition, and it wasn’t entirely clear what issues it had. It barely started, and when it did it only ran for a few seconds. The owner said he had issues with gas leaking into the crankcase and mixing with the oil.

It was in poor condition, and looks like it hadn’t been maintained much, since a lot of minor things were broken or not working. I took it partially apart, removing the tank, seat, and carbs. I found the following issues:

  • Cranks but doesn’t start
  • Neutral switch wasn’t working (would only crank with clutch pulled in)
  • The forks were leaking, when I got it the suspension was basically non-existent
  • All of the rubber covers were falling apart
  • The throttle cable operation wasn’t smooth and should’ve been replaced awhile ago
  • The left turn signal blinked at an inconsistent rate, and the right turn signal just stayed on
  • The headlight wasn’t working (the PO had wired it directly to the battery with a blade fuse for turning it on/off)
  • The shifting lever was badly bent (it had obviously been dropped several times)
  • The turn signal lights were cracked
  • The left gauge backlight bulb was out
  • The tachometer (RPM gauge) only worked part of the time
  • Both tires needed to be replaced (the front tire had no tread left)
Carbs removed!

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