Welcome to bykrmom's Virago F.A.Q. Project   

Frequently Asked Questions about Yamaha Viragos

Many of these questions have been answered with more details in the Virago Tech forum areas, but I will list the question and the short answer here, with my own comments where applicable. Otherwise, you can search the knowledgebase of the forum and get the complete information on the specific question you have.

It has been brought to my attention that the wonderful background used on this Virago FAQ was created by David Denowh of
'Yamaha Virago TCI Ignition Module Reconditioning Service'. He created the image for his website.
I was unaware of this fact when the image was emailed to me some time ago, and I want to give credit where credit is due.

Please read this disclaimer if you haven't already.
Also, please take a moment to read the credits I posted, if you would.

Scroll down to choose questions 
Use this link back to Virago Tech forums

Tech Alert for '81 to '83 XV750 & XV920: Battery Ground to Chassis.

Q. I have an ('81 to '83) Virago, and the starter solenoid has stopped working. The stock replacement is around $50.00 from Yamaha! Is there a similar, less expensive solenoid available that I can put in it's place to get me back up on 2? 

Mistakes in published Virago documentation! Click here for more information.

Q. I'd like to know what the Horsepower and Torque rating is for my Virago. Where can I find that information? Here and Here

Q. I can't find bowl gaskets for the Hitachi carbs on my (84 to 87 Virago 700, 750, 1000, 1100). Where can I find replacements?

Multiple Part question and Answer

Q. We'll start here in response to: My oil light went on for few seconds when I started my bike this morning. I immediately shut it off and tried to look through the sight glass. I couldn't tell if any oil was showing or not.

Q. This part next in response to: I put my finger down inside and couldn't feel oil. Perhaps that's fine.

Q. And lastly: I added about 2/3 quart of 10W-40, but I'm not sure if I see oil in the site or not

Q. What motor oil is best to use in my Virago?

Q. Can I put a 1984 or newer fuel tank on my Virago to modernize the look?

Q. How do I adjust the ignition timing on my Virago?

Q.  What's the widest tire I can put on my Virago?

Q. Where is the Electronic Control Box located?

Q. Is it safe to add fuel injector/carb cleaner to the gas on my 82 750?  I've had people tell me no, and some tell me yes. The reason I'm asking is that I had an 87 FZ750 and put that stuff in the tank and one day BOOM. Engine blew a rod through the bottom. A friend of mine said it was probably due to the cleaner. I don't want that to happen again.

Q. Would the fuel tank off of an 87 750 fit an 85 1000?

Q. I screwed up. I took all the screws off the left and right crankcase covers and now I donít know where each screw goes. Can anyone help me please?

Q. I just purchased my 1982 Virago 920 with the cycom dash. Where can I go to read about all the features and options on the cycom? - Right here! Click the question,
     Thanks go to "Pat From Port" for posting this question in the Virago Tech forum.

Q. Can I put an 83 wiring harness on an '82 920 and go with an analog speedo and get rid of the Cycom? See also "How can I get rid of the Cycom unit on my [year, model] Virago?" below.

Q. My í82 XV920 has been failing to charge the battery adequately - Thanks to Stephen for his contribution to this F.A.Q.
     *Previously sent by the contributor to the German TR1 (Euro-XV920) site run by Manfred.

Q. What limitations will I have on speedometers with an 83 harness and 82 cable?

Q. How can I get rid of the Cycom unit on my [year, model] Virago? I want to update the bike but it won't run with it off the bike.

O. My Cycom display is so bad it looks like it doesn't work. Maybe it doesn't. What can I do?

Q. Is it safe to add fuel injector/carb cleaner to the gas on my 82 750? I've had people tell me no, and some tell me yes.

Q. I want to change my bike and build a [chopper/bobber/street fighter, other custom] out of it.  Can I change the dash to just use a tach, speedo, etc.? Can I relocate the ignition on this bike? Is there anything I need to know about it that's a special problem encountered on Viragos? See also "Is there a simpler wiring harness I could make to run the bike?" below.

Q. I turned my Virago into a chopper [bobber, street fighter], and now there's just no place to put all these wires! Is there a simpler wiring harness I could make to run the bike?

Q. I would really prefer to learn something about wiring a bike from scratch, because all I used was the running gear and engine from a Virago so I don't need all those bells and whistles on mine. Do you have any resources for something like this that you could point me to?

Q. The paint job on my bike is getting pretty ugly...let's face it, the bike is [x] years old and it would cost more than it's resale value to have a professional paint job put on it. Where can I find some do-it-myself info on painting it?

Q. I keep hearing about the AIS system, and that I should disable it and remove it. What is it and how do I disable it?

Q. I love Virago Tech, but most of the bikes and questions and information are about stock bikes. I'm a chopper freak and I hate chrome. Where can I find information on chopping these old Viragos?

Q. My fuel tank petcock is [plugged/leaks/broken]. What should I do? Can I use a replacement? Can I leave it on Prime and run the bike?

Q. What's the widest tire I can put on the back of my  Virago?

Q. I really want to build a trike with my Virago as the donor. Do you have any information on Virago trikes you could point me to? 

Q. What do you call the covers on the exhaust on a XV535?

Q. Can I put a different year/size Virago engine in my [year] Virago? Will it fit?

Q. I found a Virago for sale with [miles] on it, but I like lower mileage bikes. Is this too many miles on a Virago? Should I worry?

Q. I found a post that talks about a single carb intake for the Virago. Where might I get info on where to get one?

Q. I switched master cylinders and cant get it to build pressure. Put the old one back on and cant get that one to build pressure either. HELP!?!

Q. I need to replace my (bent) swing arm. Is the XV750 arm the same? Is the 535 arm the same?

Q. I was wondering if the down pipes of other models will fit my '83 XV 750 SE, like the 920, TR1 or the newer Virago series (750 to 1100).

Q. I'm taking a trip for a month. Do I have to do anything like Winterize my bike if it sits that long without being ridden?

Q. How do I Winterize my bike?  I live in [name of cold, frozen, tundra like location] and winter is 13 months long!

Q. Who the heck are you, to answer questions in a FAQ about Viragos?

Q. What grade of gas should I run in my Virago? Ten friends have given me ten different answers! Help?

Q. What is the right lube to use in the final drive on my Virago?

Q. What kind of oil is needed in the fork tubes? What should I use to lubricate the cables and linkages?

Q. Where can I find quick information on my Virago so I can get her ready for Spring riding? you know, the stuff like fluid amounts, and what fuses go where?

Q. I think my TCI module is bad. What the heck do I do now?!

Q. I was reading about how to remove my triple trees in the Clymer manual I bought. It ways there are a whole lot of loose ball bearings in there! Providing I don't loose any in my driveway, can I reuse them? Is there a better bearing so I don't have to mess with the loose ones?

Note: The following question was posted in Virago Tech recently. This is a good example of why, unless you know and trust your local shop technicians, do most if not all of the work on your bike yourself.

Q. The front-end of my 1982 920J is extremely squirrelly when cornering. It feels real weak and not like out of control because I can handle her with a little bit of difficulty. I've done the axle, new tires, etc. and practice (at first I thought it was just my inexperience) to no avail. I've taken it to the only two shops who still work on older bikes in my area. In both cases I've been told that nothing is wrong and that the problem they 'think' I have, is that it's just the way these bikes are. I can't help but think that the guys at the shops are full of it. Is it true that the front-end weakness I'm feeling just a problem the 920J has like the shops say and if so, has anyone addressed this problem before? 

Q. I'm interested in getting some fork braces, but can't seem to find one to fit my 920. Any idea who might have them?

Q. What if I read this whole #!@%$#@!! FAQ and I didn't see an answer to my question?

Info: Virago TCI  - performance issues & fixes 

Handy Metric to Inch to Metric Conversion Formulas

As an addition to this FAQ, Here's a few important links you will most likely find useful.

Use this link back to Virago Tech forums