1981 XV750 Newbie (Wales) [INTRO.]

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motorhead13
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1981 XV750 Newbie (Wales) [INTRO.]

Post by motorhead13 » Wed May 11, 2022 6:05 am

Hi
I've just taken delivery of my 1981 Virago 750 which is a bit different to my usual modern Japanese bikes (I currently have a 2006 CBF1000). I do have a 1983 XS 250/400 (a 250 with a 400 engine in) so not too unfamiliar, though any general advice or tips would be greatly appreciated!

Mileage is around 42000. Its MOT'd and runs though the starter is very noisy, which I gather is a common issue? I'll look up previous threads on this but any tips on how to rectify would be great?

Also the previous owner said it doesn't like choke when starting, again I've read someone else having this issue. From the previous MOT's I can see its hardly been used the last few years, so would a carb clean and service be a good idea?
I'll do the oil and fluids myself. I'm looking to change a few cosmetic bits and may change to a single seat and tidy up the mudguard/back end, maybe change the handle bars.

Looking forward to chatting with you :)

Cheers
Paul
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ViragoJoe
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What Virago you Own: 1996 Virago Special XV1100SH

Re: 1981 XV750 Newbie (Wales)

Post by ViragoJoe » Wed May 11, 2022 8:55 am

motorhead13 wrote:
Wed May 11, 2022 6:05 am
Hi
I've just taken delivery of my 1981 Virago 750 which is a bit different to my usual modern Japanese bikes (I currently have a 2006 CBF1000). I do have a 1983 XS 250/400 (a 250 with a 400 engine in) so not too unfamiliar, though any general advice or tips would be greatly appreciated!

Mileage is around 42000. Its MOT'd and runs though the starter is very noisy, which I gather is a common issue? I'll look up previous threads on this but any tips on how to rectify would be great?

Also the previous owner said it doesn't like choke when starting, again I've read someone else having this issue. From the previous MOT's I can see its hardly been used the last few years, so would a carb clean and service be a good idea?
I'll do the oil and fluids myself. I'm looking to change a few cosmetic bits and may change to a single seat and tidy up the mudguard/back end, maybe change the handle bars.

Looking forward to chatting with you :)

Cheers
Paul
======================

Paul,
Also the previous owner said it doesn't like choke when starting, again I've read someone else having this issue. From the previous MOT's I can see its hardly been used the last few years, so would a carb clean and service be a good idea?
My Virago doesn't like to start with the choke either. Especially, in warm weather. The fuel atomizes just fine to fire her up. Any choke just over riches the mixture and floods her. Cold weather, she will need some choke for the fuel doesn't want to atomize then.

As for the carb cleaning, If they aren't causing any issues leave well enough alone. Enjoy the bike. Your bike looks to be in pristine shape and well taken care of for a 41 year old Virago.

If the fuel is a couple years old it will be stale if not treated with a fuel stabilizer. Drain the fuel tank and get fresh fuel into her. If she starts with this stale fuel, run her to burn the stale fuel out of the lines and carburetors to get the fresh fuel in them. When storing her for her winters nap. Store her with a full fuel tank treated with a fuel stabilizer and run her for a bit until that treated fuel gets into the Carbs, or drain the float bowls. Do not over tighten the drain screws. Just snug them up to stop the fuel flow. You don't want to crack the bowls. For a 41 year old bike replacement bowls may be a bugger to find.

As for cosmetics, I myself would leave her as she is. You'll probably never see another 41 year old Virago in stock condition anywhere. They are usually modified and all cut up. She'll be different from all the rest at her age. When I go to motorcycle rallies and coffee shop meet ups and happen to see old vintage bikes that look like yours as if they just came off the showroom floor it's a beautiful thing.

I've seen way too many hacked to HE## Virago's that run like S##T. Its refreshing when they are totally stock and running like they're new. I would never purchase a modified bike. You are just inheriting someone else's problems that they or others have screwed up. But, that's me!
ViragoJoe 🇺🇸
1996 XV1100SH Virago Special
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"
;)


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motorhead13
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri May 06, 2022 5:14 am
Location: Wales
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Re: 1981 XV750 Newbie (Wales)

Post by motorhead13 » Fri May 13, 2022 6:55 am

Hi Virago Joe, thanks for the reply and info.
Yes the choke is only used when needed like you say. I thought of getting the carb cleaned as its only done about 100 miles in 4yrs but I'll see. I've just got the reg document and can see it came from outside of the UK which may explain the good condition.

If it runs well then I'll leave the fuel like you and just replace it when needed, but will have to avoid the ethanol filled newer stuff. Winter shouldn't be an issue as I ride my bikes year round so shouldn't need to do anything, just plenty of ACF50!

I know what you mean about keeping it stock, it is a good looking bike and they can be butchered. I'd just want to change cosmetic bits that are bolt on so can be put back. I don't like the bars as they look a bit like its trying to be a chopper, and the rear light looks like a brick so will probably replace with something more stylish but in keeping with the bike. We'll see!

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Re: 1981 XV750 Newbie (Wales)

Post by ViragoJoe » Fri May 13, 2022 8:43 am

motorhead13 wrote:
Fri May 13, 2022 6:55 am
Hi Virago Joe, thanks for the reply and info.
Yes the choke is only used when needed like you say. I thought of getting the carb cleaned as its only done about 100 miles in 4yrs but I'll see. I've just got the reg document and can see it came from outside of the UK which may explain the good condition.

If it runs well then I'll leave the fuel like you and just replace it when needed, but will have to avoid the ethanol filled newer stuff. Winter shouldn't be an issue as I ride my bikes year round so shouldn't need to do anything, just plenty of ACF50!

I know what you mean about keeping it stock, it is a good looking bike and they can be butchered. I'd just want to change cosmetic bits that are bolt on so can be put back. I don't like the bars as they look a bit like its trying to be a chopper, and the rear light looks like a brick so will probably replace with something more stylish but in keeping with the bike. We'll see!
==========================

Motor,

If it runs well then I'll leave the fuel like you and just replace it when needed
, but will have to avoid the ethanol filled newer stuff. Winter shouldn't be an issue as I ride my bikes year round so shouldn't need to do anything, just plenty of ACF50!
Reread my post. That is not what I said. After you drain the fuel from the tank and replace with fresh fuel. Start and run the bike to burn the remaining stale fuel out of the fuel lines and carburetors. If you don't know the age of the fuel. Me, to be on the safe side, I would drain it and replace with fresh. If non-ethanol fuel is available go with it for sure, for ethanol attracts moisture (water) and will settle in your carburetor float bowls making the bike harder to start or not at all. Here in the U.S., sad to say, we have 10% ethanol added. Now the Government is going to supply us with 15% for $0.10 cents a gallon less (Big Deal) making it even worse for combustion engines. Where the fuel prices are today, makes no difference, one way or the other to save $0.10 cents. 2 years ago we were a leading producer of Oil and Gasoline. No need to ask what happened. Just watch the news.

If the fuel is really old. Get rid of it A.S.A.P.

How Long Will Gasoline Last?
On average, gasoline will last about eight months in a sealed container and three to six months in your vehicle's tank. Diesel fuel is rated for twice the amount of time, ranging anywhere from six to twelve months in the tank.
ViragoJoe 🇺🇸
1996 XV1100SH Virago Special
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"
;)


NOTE TO ALL:
:arrow: Please edit your profile with location (State/Country) & Bike Information. It will aid us in assisting you!


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motorhead13
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri May 06, 2022 5:14 am
Location: Wales
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Re: 1981 XV750 Newbie (Wales) [INTRO.]

Post by motorhead13 » Tue May 17, 2022 6:55 am

Ah right ok I see, will dump the old fuel then. In the UK we've got 5% and now 10% unfortunately so will use the 5%. Good to know the duration fuel lasts for to.

Any recommendations for engine and shaft drive oil? I've looked on here but can't find any info, I've also read the manual so can go on that, but wondered if you had any "real world" advice? The guide has two figures for engine oil so thought 10W/40 would cover the options best.

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ViragoJoe
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Re: 1981 XV750 Newbie (Wales) [INTRO.]

Post by ViragoJoe » Wed May 18, 2022 10:04 am

motorhead13 wrote:
Tue May 17, 2022 6:55 am
Ah right ok I see, will dump the old fuel then. In the UK we've got 5% and now 10% unfortunately so will use the 5%. Good to know the duration fuel lasts for to.

Any recommendations for engine and shaft drive oil? I've looked on here but can't find any info, I've also read the manual so can go on that, but wondered if you had any "real world" advice? The guide has two figures for engine oil so thought 10W/40 would cover the options best.
===================

Motor,

The 10W40 oil you mentioned make sure it has ZDDP and not molybdenum in it, it's bad for wet clutches.
Most blended oils today don't have ZDDP for Catalytic converters don't like the taste of it, destroys them.

Two different engine oil viscosities is due to ambient air temperatures (warm vs cold).

Warm weather riding best to use is 15W40 Diesel Engine Oil.

OIL and ZDDP - FLAT TAPPET ENGINES [INFO]

viewtopic.php?t=616

Consult your repair manual for Cardan Final Drive Gear oil viscosity.

Most importantly, everyone forgets to grease the Drive Shaft Splines, don't you forget, if you want to keep riding worry free. Heavy Torque and load pressures are placed upon them.
ViragoJoe 🇺🇸
1996 XV1100SH Virago Special
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"
;)


NOTE TO ALL:
:arrow: Please edit your profile with location (State/Country) & Bike Information. It will aid us in assisting you!


All topics are archived by vehicle families for easy perusing and to find answers.

Also: If this website was helpful, please consider donating to help keep this site here for yourself and future Virago owners.

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