This is my 91 Yamaha XV 1100 Virago. My first ever bike build.
(Why a Virago?)
Yes they are ugly as ass.
The engines on these go pretty well and can travel around Australia 6 times upside-down without a breakdown or rebuild. They just don't die. They also sound good with some pipes and a tune. The only major issue with these was the early 80's model had starter gear problems. Which can be fixed. Plenty of parts available too!
So I got one for its motor and rolling stock, not for its looks. Cause it was going to get cut! Haha
With the build I tried to do it a little different. I come from a Custom car/Truck/Air-suspension drag it on the ground throw sparks history. After having a little family. Funds and space does not permit any major car builds. I've always been a bike guy. Going back to rebuilding my dirtbike engines on the floor of the parents laundry when I was 16. So I thought I'd give a red hot go building my very own bobber.
I'm inspired anything dark, Kustom Kulture, Hot Rods (of course) and the main bike builders that catch my eye is the Japanese custom scene. They have been killing it with their Rods/Customs/Trucks for years. Their style of custom bikes always amaze me! They kill it on overy angle! Weather it be choppers or cafe racers to Brat style bobbers. Oozes awesome!
Instead of doing the typical catalog build or bubble wrap parts from ebay , bolted on then called a "Kushtom" build... I used as much of the stock parts as I could. I can't afford a Harley, nor do I really like them. Some some reason push rod engines don't excite me. I like a little evolution like overhead cams.
Thought I'd try use the lines this Yamaharley has and see what it evolves into...
Mid progress. Take one stock fender, mark out some section lines. Apply grinder with cutting disk..
After alot of hammer forming. Re shaping, Cutting, Shaving the holes up and some radius bent fender struts. This is the end result.
Sissy bar cut off. Rear end lowered 50mm by relocating the mounts 50mm higher up the frame spars.
Fork lowered internally 50mm. Some old Renthals MX bars on there temporary. I hated the bull horns.. I couldn't ride it being a dirtbike guy for the past 15 years.
Pair of black 10mm shorter shocks. Rear end lowere 60mm in total now. Cut frame cleaned up, end's rolled over and smoothed up.
New pipes fabbed up. Wrapped. Experimented with Drag bars mounted with pull back risers. Some rattle can satin to get the feel for things how it may look.
Forks, Triple clamps, Swing arm and wheels Painted 2k Polyurethane Gloss Black. Super hard wearing industrial grade stuff. Heads also painted Matt Black VHT paint.
Solo leather seat mounted. Hand bent up a solo seat mount/panel that hides all the fuses and relays.
New Mini-Z bars. Slips ons made with a sneaky crossover pipe hidden. Equalizes head pressures due to the rear header is so short compared to the front. Very small baffels in the slips ons. Just to quieten it just a lil... Not too much..
Here comes the fun part. Sporty tank! I'm not really a H-D fan but I love these tanks.
I had to cut the tunnel out, Hand bend and hammer form a new wide tunnel to fit over the wide backbone on the frame then weld it back in. Welded mounts on that utilize the stock mounting points on the frame. Pressure tested it, then epoxy sealed the tank for decades of rust free reliability.
Also made brackets and a adapter flange to mount the V star dome filter.
Taking a bit of shape now... Hand bent up a battery box up. Aim is to have it appear like an ammunition case.
Primed! Waved the spray gun around. 2k primer sealer. Smelt like coconut. Pleasant!
Painted. I made up my own Polyurethane satin brew. Wave te gun around again. The airbox painted gloss black along with its mounting brackets.
Pulled the airbrush out for its once in every 4 years exercise. The Battery box painted army green with some SKC logo's. Also the tank with some good old Kustom Kulture 13's.
Everyone likes a "before and after".
SKC and Meat Cleaver SKC logo on the tank = Street Kleaver Customs (Only me nothing fancy) Ha.
Walk around video. Mobile Phone sound quality does not do it justice at all!!
I've been on a few rides with it and always get awesome responses. First outing I took it to the service station to check how much fuel compacity the new tank holds. There was a huge group of Harley bagger guys on a ride pulled up at the servo for fuel and food. Walked in paid for fuel, walked out and there was a dozen of them standing around scratching their heads asking "what" was it. Commended me on a job well done.
For what I'm up to with it now. I've pulled off those stupid Twin carbs and now in the middle of installing a single carburetor intake manifold and brand new Mikuni VM 38mm. Soooo much easier to tune. I had this thing dialed but the twin carbs are just way to fiddly for me to be happy with it. The new mikuni and long runners on the intake will make this thing a animal torque monster. Not only better on fuel but reliable for the years to come.
The sad part its sold! It gets picked up as soon as she is tuned and ready to rock. I'm now in the hunt for my next build. It won't start till after we move and settled.
Thanks for taking your time running your eyes over the build.