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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 08-09-2009, 08:43 PM
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Yamaha Virago 750 Good Starter Motorcycle?

I know this isn't a motorcycle forum, but people on here are always really helpful. Lots of people here seem to also own motorcycles!

I'm a new rider and have been searching for a good starter bike. I was looking at getting a 85 Yamaha Virago 750. I was wondering if this is a good starter bike? Here are the details of the one I'm currently looking at:

Virago 750 with 10,000 miles - $950
-Clear Title
-All Original
-Runs Good
-New Tires with 600 miles on them
-Needs Mirrors
-All Lights Work
-Mechanical Sound
-Chrome in Good Shape
-Paint in Good Shape
-Historic Tags
-One small dent on Tank
-Sitting for 3-4 months in storage unit


The reason the guy told me he was selling it was because he bought this for his wife to get her used to riding a motorcycle. He's been keeping in a storage unit, because he doesn't have space and wants to make a quick sale. He bought another bike, and rather just maintain one.

Do people think this bike sounds like a good deal The bike seems like a great deal! (I haven't physically seen it yet!) Is this bike too old for a beginner? Should I be looking for something newer? Could I find mirrors to fit this easily? Would it be hard to find parts for this? Would this handle well and be comfortable for a new rider?

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Old 08-09-2009, 09:26 PM
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how comfortable are you sitting on it? Seat height is important, especially if you're shorter.

Respect the throttle, as I learned on a 'standard' (ninja 650-r. Don't be fooled, it's a parallel twin that revs to 11k and is happy to putter around town at 3k, it's not a rocket with no seat and the tach starts at 3 and redlines at 14k). It was wicked fast for my standards (mid 12s in the quarter is what the 650r was magazine tested at) but not being a rocket meant it was docile enough to learn on.

I've upgraded to a vulcan 900 cruiser as the gf didn't like the slant forward seat on the 650, in its attempt to emulate the rocket look (operator sat more upright though, so think of it as a standard with the bodywork and a slanted up pass seat). I miss the 650, but the 900 is a lot more comfortable.

Don't forget safety gear. Ride with the lights on, they have different light modulators (that'll flash the brake light when you stop and stuff), get a reflective helmet (the 3m tape works well along the bottom, and doesn't give off the 'safety nerd' vibe if you're worried about that), good boots (not smooth bottom. They slip on sand), and armored jacket. Safety is wayyy beyond simple jeans and leather jacket.

-Snell approved helmet (full face)
- riding boots (armored around the ankle as thats what slides on pavement when you're down
- jeans at the minimum
-armored riding jacket
-riding gloves (have armor and padding)

I'd also bleed out the old brake fluid before running the bike much... they say every 2 years bleed out old and replace with new. It's amazing what kind of crap gets in there.
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:33 PM
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Don't really know about the
Virago 750..

I had a 1100 v-star,That is a very nice bike.And a great starter bike..The seat sit's low..If your going to be riding your wife,I would go a little bigger..
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:00 PM
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That's a nice looking bike, it should be fairly comfortable and light enough to be easy to learn on. Check your local highway patrol for safety lessons, a good way to get your m.c. license and stay alive. I've been riding off and on for years, I'm going to take the course this winter. I figure if i pick up one pointer to use that amay save my arse, it will be well worth it.

I have a V-Max, 1200cc, a rocket. Yours will run well, don't get speed crazy, you can lose the handle very quickly. I have to rein myself in often, it's just too easy. Save it for the occasional straight away blast when the road is clear, then back off. Take care of this bike and it will last forever. I don't think you will find a better deal than the one you have now, I'd buy that bike in a heartbeat.

You can find mirrors anywhere for that bike, check out Ebay. I got new ones for mine that are a bit longer on the stem so I can see past my shoulders.
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:57 AM
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Have

I have the same bike but an 1100. Love the bike! have it since 1988. Never had any problems. I think it is a good starter bike.
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:35 AM
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If I'm correct, the Virago only had a 5 Speed-it will be revving a lot at Highway speeds, so keep that in mind, and I think it is air-cooled, which in itself isn't too bad. I guess if you are going to do a bunch of in town riding you won't notice it, but if the Freeways are most of your riding, it might get a little "buzzy"-
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:52 AM
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carbs?

Just my 2 cents I bought a 750 virago from my brother about 8 years ago that he had sitting for awhile, and had problems with the carbs from drying out. If you do go with it, Make sure you run it Quite awhile before you lay down your cash.
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy79Z28
I have the same bike but an 1100. Love the bike! have it since 1988. Never had any problems. I think it is a good starter bike.
That's good to hear! I guess it must be good if you've kept it that long

What about the MPG? Is it pretty good? Or not! The 1100cc engine is a lot bigger, but they are the same frame and components just different engines right? Have you found the bike easy to work on? What about for a beginner?
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:25 PM
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I just bought one

I just bought a 81 virago 750 (Bored out to 1100cc) from a friend
I paid 500$ but it needs tires, a battery, some carb work and starter shims. I am 16 and am working on my license. I have ridden it on a dead end road past my house and have to say that if your careful, and dont need to go on long trips, it will be fine.
I spent an afternoon sitting on the bike while my dad was working in the shop on his bike (82 virago 920) and the seat was not very comfortable to sit on for 3.5 hours. Would be a really good bike to commute on, or even short trips
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Old 12-01-2009, 02:20 AM
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IMO, a Virago is a nice bike.
i put in some seat time years ago on one that belonged to a friend of mine and i really liked it. we would take road trips of up to 200 miles one way and for me it was comfortable out on the road.
it did take me some time getting used to the shaft drive, raises in the rear under acceleration and the rear drops under deceleration.
it had a nice smooth ride and once i was used the quirks of shaft drive, it was predictable in turns.
IIRC, i believe it was up around 1800~2000 RPM @ 70 MPH. my bike was a Suzuki GS 550 and it was up around 3000 or so @ 70, so to me the Virago wasn't really spinning up that high.
even with a nice aftermarket seat, bars that fit me and some foam filled grips on my Suzuki, the all stock Virago was much more pleasant to ride.

when riding a bike on the road, people in cars and trucks don't see you. even if they look right at you, they still don't see you, or they just don't care. so always ride defensively.
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Old 12-01-2009, 06:41 AM
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The 750 Viragos were good bikes, I much preferred the first year ( '79? '80? ) styling though. It was more of a conventional layout than the later cruiser style but in the 80's it was either cruisers or all out sport bikes that sold.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soul_Hunter
when riding a bike on the road, people in cars and trucks don't see you. even if they look right at you, they still don't see you, or they just don't care. so always ride defensively.
These days people on other motorcycles don't even see you! Last time I was on a bike 2 guys on Harleys pulled out in front of me!
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:02 AM
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This is OT, but I can remember the mid '60's when a "beginner" bike was a Honda 50 or (if you were lucky) a Honda 90 w/'real' gears! LOL

A (barely) step up was the Allstate 125/150cc Puch "twingles". Vespa scooters were also around, along w/a motley assortment of el cheapo mopeds from various European countries- a lot from Italy.

If you rode a Dream, you were ****tin' in high cotton! A 650 Triumph B-ville was a Superbike, as was a Sportster. 74's were in their own realm.

To think that now a 750- that could outperform most if not all the motorcycles available back then (pre-UJM/Honda CB750/Kawa Mach III and Z1)- is considered a "beginners" bike, is something!

Last edited by cobalt327; 12-01-2009 at 08:33 PM. Reason: correct name.
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
This is OT, but I can remember the mid '60's when a "beginner" bike was a Honda 50 or (if you were lucky) a Honda 90 w/'real' gears! LOL
A (barely) step up was the Allstate 125/150cc Puch "twingles". Vespa scooters were also around, along w/a motley assortment of el cheapo mopeds from various European countries- a lot from Italy.
If you rode a Dream, you were ****tin' in high cotton! A 650 Triumph Daytona was a Superbike, as was a Sportster. 74's were in their own realm.
To think that now a 750- that could outperform most if not all the motorcycles available back then (pre-UJM/Honda CB750/Kawa Mach III and Z1)- is considered a "beginners" bike, is something!
Old Memories!
Nortons were the "super bikes", if it came from Great Britain or the U.S. you were a true biker. I had a Honda 50 "flapper" when I was 14, mowed a lot of yard for that one. Then came the buddy with the Zundapp 50 that was very quick, then a X-6 Suzuki Hustler that was smoking quick. Kawasaki came out with the triples not too long after that, the beginning of the crotch rockets. I had a 350 Honda Scrambler when I graduated from H.S. in 71, I loved that bike! Had to sell it to keep my pregnant wife from driving it everywhere, she was a very good M.C. driver!

I have a Yamaha V-Max now, it is truly a hot rod bike, I wouldn't recommend it to a beginner but I love the bike!
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinger
I have a Yamaha V-Max now, it is truly a hot rod bike, I wouldn't recommend it to a beginner but I love the bike!
When I first read about the '09 V-Max having 190 HP, I thought it was a misprint! Astounding! They did have to rebuild almost the entire bike/engine (tighter V angle, huge bore increase, more CR- 11.3! now, longer wheelbase and 100 lbs. heavier ) to the tune of a SRP of $18K...

Don't want to hijack this thread too badly, but I actually HAD an X-6 Hustler. For a production 250, it was quick. Before that was my first bike- a 200cc Bultaco Metralla that was an animal! Tuned for road racing, it kicked the crap outta a brand-new Yamaha 200cc twin, owned by a nemesis of mine .

After that came a '70 Yamaha R5 350 (predecessor to the world renown RD 350/400 series), an SR500 thumper, various and sundry street bikes and then a foray into H-D 1200's ('73 Super Glide and a beautiful '64 Pan).

All gone now *sniff*sniff*. lol
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Old 12-01-2009, 11:04 AM
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Zundapp and Bultaco..wow.. I haven't heard those names in awhile. I had a 250 Pursang that was an animal. I had another cool bike, the Rokon Trail Breaker. That thing was crazy. 2 wheel drive and would go pretty much go any where. My favorite was always my RZ350R Yamaha. That thing was ridiculous. Explosive speed bursts with the 2 stroke motor that was from the Banshee quad.

All the Viragos were good bikes and they had always been a popular starter bike. Good seat height, predictable throttle response, and reliable. Someone had mentioned the carb issue from sitting around, if it was put away properly and not just shut off and parked outside, it should be okay with just a little TLC. if it is all dry rot and very corroded, you'll be looking at a resurrection instead of a quick refresh. 3 or 4 months shouldn't be bad if it was covered.
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