Hardtailing the Wasteland Virago

It wasn’t something I originally planned on doing, but I ended up going the route of hardtailing my wasteland Yamaha Virago build. There were several reasons, mainly it allowed me to lower rear by quite a bit without having to worry about the seat hitting the wheel when the suspension compresses, and it allows me to more easily mount the fender in a way that “hugs” the wheel.

The process is fairly simple. I only had to swap the ~12.5″ shocks for (I settled on 10″) metal struts. I ordered a set of 10 inch struts made for Harley Davidson Super glide.

I did need to do some modifications to the struts to make them fit. The “eyes” (holes on either end of the strut) diameter was too small to mount on the Virago, Harley uses a 1/2in size, while the Virago uses a 9/16″ (~14mm) diameter. It was a little tricky to drill it out to that diameter with the tools I had on hand, but I was able to get it done with an ~$80 drill press from Harbor Freight on the lowest speed setting and plenty of WD-40 as a cutting lubricant.

The only other fitment issue I ran into is that the struts are a bit thicker where they mount to the frame than the stock shocks. It was only an issue on the bottom right side of the bike, where it mounts to the swingarm, since it has two tabs coming up on either side of the strut, and it needed to be a specific width. I was able to just take an angle grinder to the struts to make them a bit thinner, and it fit just fine after that.

Seat Suspension

Since the subframe no longer has suspension, and I wasn’t *that* hardcore, I decided on using a form of suspension for the seat itself. In the spirit of the tractor seat I’m using, I bought a set of old tractor seat springs to use as a method of mounting the seat. They seem to be quite comfy, I’m curious to see how they perform on the road.

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