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  1. #1
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    Default 88 Virago re-chop

    I got this bike about 2 years ago and I chopped it up bobber style. I've decided to rework it in to a rat chopper. First steps are gonna be going 10 or 12 over on the forks and adding the frame back to the rear end to put a king & queen seat on. A slight hurdle is gonna be getting these fork tubes since Frank doesn't answer his phone or call me back whenever I leave a voicemail.

    Updates are probably going to be sporadic and slow. I'm finishing up my senior year at university and have a lot of shit going on. I figured I might as well do a build thread through anyways. Here's some old pics to start off.

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  2. #2
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    More pics. Last one is a shitty little paint drawing I did for what I want it to look like at the end.
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  3. #3
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    Finally caught Frank at the right time of day! Got some 12 over forks started and hopefully they'll be in the mail soon. I'm pretty excited.

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    Going to be following this, also have an 88 I've been cranking on with a similar end state in mind. Interested to see how your forks turn out.

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    I'm not super up to snuff on my knowledge on welding gasses. When I was trying to hook up my new bottle I realized I had two male fittings going to eachother... I asked Tractor Supply why the hell I would need an adapter and it turns out the guy pulled a bottle of Oxygen instead of a bottle of 75/25. My guess is that all my welds would either turn out like shit or I'd blow up. Glad I figured that out.

  6. #6
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    Got my forks in the mail from Franks. Super nice quality. I installed them on the bike to see about where the bike would sit so I can decide how much to increase the rake. The right fork is kind of tight in the hydraulic chamber and doesn't spring back like the left one does. I think this is because one of the retaining rings got a little marred on install. I'm trying to decide if I should take it all apart again or see if it loosens up with use and springs back better with air and oil in the forks. Any suggestions?


    Last edited by ScottArcher; 10-12-2015 at 9:13 PM.

  7. #7
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    I cut the neck off today. There's a mess of all sort of layers in there. Not sure what the deal with that is. The stock rake was around 38.5 degrees and I'm now at 43 degrees.

    This nut was a bitch to get off. Of course I couldn't find my big vice grips.

    After cutting off the downtube I built a square tube out if 3/16th material inside the backbone. The original material was 1/8th so I figure this should be pretty adequate.


    After welding all that up and welding the downtube back on I drilled a total of 12 plugs through to the square tube and welded them up. I'm no expert but I figure this is pretty strong. I'm finishing it up by welding some plate around the outside. I can't quite remember the thickness.



    Edit: oh yeah. You may notice a few random beads on top of the plate and some big ol ugly boogers in a few spots. I let some friends try their hands at welding. In hindsight it wasn't a great idea to let them practice on something I had to grind down and reweld.
    Last edited by ScottArcher; 10-12-2015 at 9:18 PM.

  8. #8
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    good idea with the plug welds. The virago is not only a stressed member frame but uses the frame as an air intake, not sure how you missed that lol.


    im glad you raked it a bit, the layed back look is pretty cool but yours was a little excessive haha.

  9. #9
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    Yeah that was an interesting set up using the frame for air circulation. The first things I took off were the giant air box on the right side and the giant air-recycling-emissions things on the left which were both circulating through the frame. I certainly hadn't missed that. What a load of unnecessary junk. I'll attach a picture of the bike with the forks on.
    Last edited by ScottArcher; 10-12-2015 at 2:44 PM.

  10. #10
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    Further procrastination on studying for my tax accounting exam. I checked all the material thicknesses and took a couple more pics.

    The square tube was made out of 3/16th. The original backbone varies between 1/8 and 14 guage material. The plating I'm welding around the outside is 1/8th. Attached is a pic of some more work on the backbone and the bike with the forks on at 43 degree rake. I drilled 2 more plugs from the outside plating to the 1/8th square tube inside. I figure this is going to be pretty strong.

    Last edited by ScottArcher; 10-12-2015 at 9:18 PM.

  11. #11
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    I had some time to finish up welding the rest of that plate around the neck. It's nice and ugly and ratty just like I planned. I slapped the forks back on but I need longer brake lines. I also need to put air and oil in the forks.

    Next step is to make some rabbit ear pull backs. I also think I'm going to move up the tank about 1 1/2 inches since that's about how much I added to the frame in the front. It'll also give me more room when I made a seat. I'll probably bash in the top sides of the gas tank too so it's a little narrower.


    Before

    After

  12. #12
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    I want to make a battery box out of an ammo box I have. The battery fits pretty tight and I don't want the positive terminal to ground on the side of the box. I was thinking of just painting the terminal with some liquid tape


    Anyone have any better suggestions?

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    have enough tolerance to bedliner the inside of the ammo can?

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    Quote Originally Posted by deathmetaldan View Post
    have enough tolerance to bedliner the inside of the ammo can?
    Was my thought too. If not the whole can maybe just the possible contact area?

  15. #15
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    Na the battery is actually a tad big. It bows out the sides of the can just a bit. I ended up lathering liquid tape all over the contact then I put a piece of gas line cut it half over the top of the contact and shut the lid.

    I put a plug on the end of the wires coming from the can and a plug on the ground and positive going to the bike. Not sure if that's a stupid idea but I guess if it's stupid and works then it's not stupid. It'll be nice for a quick disconnect from the battery. I figure I can also make a set of jumper cables out of an old extension cord that plugs straight in to the battery and have clamps on the other side. Maybe someone with more electrical knowledge can tell me if this is retarded.

    I also mounted my r/r to the side of the ammo can. Do you think this is alright since it's not sitting on a frame ground? I'm not sure if this r/r needs that since it also has a ground wire coming from it.

    Last edited by ScottArcher; 10-23-2015 at 11:17 PM.

  16. #16
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    now that you posted a pictures its easy to see. Cut some notches in the ammo can and drill a hole or 2 in the bottom to drain water just incase it gets in there.

    could also get a smaller battery, i used a ballistic battery on one of my viragos and it worked out pretty well. It was a 1/4 of the size and did the same thing.

  17. #17
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    You shouldn't need a frame ground for that R/R. Good idea going with the Mosfet!

  18. #18
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    I'm liking this...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by deathmetaldan View Post
    now that you posted a pictures its easy to see. Cut some notches in the ammo can and drill a hole or 2 in the bottom to drain water just incase it gets in there.

    could also get a smaller battery, i used a ballistic battery on one of my viragos and it worked out pretty well. It was a 1/4 of the size and did the same thing.
    Thanks for the suggestion I'm gonna write that down. I definitely will get a smaller battery when this one kicks the dust. For now I'm gonna be a cheap bastard and make due though

    Quote Originally Posted by Westboundbiker View Post
    You shouldn't need a frame ground for that R/R. Good idea going with the Mosfet!
    I went through two of the stock r/r's before I bought this Mosfet! The first time the r/r blew it somehow didn't blow the fuse. That meant 20+ volts going straight through my bike. Every single bulb was blown out and the ignition unit melted. Luckily there's a guy that fixes these ignition units I got hooked up with on viragotechforums. It also turned out he lived 2 miles away from me too, haha

    Quote Originally Posted by OleDirtyDoc View Post
    I'm liking this...
    Thanks man! I'm happy to get a few people commenting on the thread now I was getting a little discouraged for a bit. No love for a shit bucket virago
    Last edited by ScottArcher; 10-24-2015 at 10:20 PM.

  20. #20
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    Worked on a mount for the battery box today.

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