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Discussion Starter #1
I'm purchasing my first cruiser soon and I've got some options and could use some advice. I've fallen head over heals for the mid 80s Yamaha Virago and seem them posted all the time in my area.

Right now I'm debating between two 84s - A 700 with almost no information (short term owner 33k miles) and a 1000 with some info about its treatment over the years (66k - 2 yr owner who knew the last owner personally).

The 700 looks beautiful, starts, rides, no obvious issues. $1100.

The 1000 starts, rides, but occasionally seems to idle high. Possibly needs some carb work per the current owner. He tore apart the carbs and cleaned out a lot of dirt to get it running, and it has been running for the last year but still has idle issue. $1000 dollars. Great shape for the age. Has sat covered in a garage for most of its life supposedly.

I hope to take several hundred mile trips with my wife on one of these (or another, these sizes come up all the time around here in alright shape). Probably not looking at any cross country, days upon days riding. I know I'm going to have to put work into either bike either way. Is the CC vs miles worth the trade off?

So what would you do. Better miles over the CCs? Or the other go around.
 

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Two questions that should be asked before purchasing an older motorcycle:

1) Are you familiar with repair and maintenance of these, or have located and can afford a competent mechanic that knows how to work on these?

2) Have you located a good source of parts for the model you are looking at?

Many dealerships and independent mechanics will not work on older motorcycles. There are still a few that do so.

Many parts for motorcycles over 25 years or so old are no longer made, leaving an owner to depend on the used parts market, knowing someone who can fabricate parts, or getting lucky with new old stock. Obsolete parts come at a premium dollar-wise in many cases.

Just some things to consider and research before getting too far ahead of the ball.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
For quite a while I worked at a local vintage motorcycle ebay scrap and sell operation. We tore bike apart and sold the parts on ebay. I've got lots of time tearing these guys apart and am not too concerned about the work.
I've never bought my own at this size, I'm comfortable with the work I'll be doing to keep older bikes going. I've had and worked on several 125-350 enduro style bikes from similar age.
As far as parts. Its sort of hit or miss and thats the gamble you take with vintage. Ebay is still a good source. There are a lot of these for sale pretty regularly for parts (there are ~ 6 listed in my area right now, these are the best running of the two). Lots of sources for used parts and some sources for aftermarket stuff even (though I've read many a terrible reviews for some of the carb rebuilds). Thats sort of the adventure and point in buying an 80s bike.
I was hoping for some insight on the size vs miles. Lots of people say with good maintenance this particular model and year can run easily through 120k miles. Unfortunately I'm going in blind not getting to put the first 30 years of history and maintenance. 750 appears to have plenty of power for two-up. The performance might be trival or make all the difference on a hill so 30k miles difference might be worth the smaller size. Any thoughts there?
 

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Carbs.

I would do some research on carburetor issues with these bikes. It is fiaxable, but not with the original carbs.
I have never owned one. Info is from other owners and bike shop the sells after market products.

Unkle Krusty*
 

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I have a Virago 1000. It runs like a top most of the time. When it doesn't, it's a cinch to work on.
 

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Carbs

Just found a note on the subject.
Virago 1100, 86 87 model year is what I was inquiring about.
Mechanic at the marine repair store has one.
You guys have newer bikes, and the issue seems to be fixed.

Unkle Krusty*
 
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