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Author Topic: gdavid's XV 920  (Read 1771 times)

Offline gdavid

  • Posts: 12
gdavid's XV 920
« on: Mar 27, 2014, 13:44:56 »
Like others have done before me I am rebuilding my virago xv920. I'll put some pictures up tonight.
My background (feel free to skip ahead): I have owned the bike for years and at one point the bike was my primary mode of transportation because I was broke and it was easy on gas. I grew up riding but it has never really been my “lifestyle”, I rode an antiquated hand me down XL70 around my yard from age 7 through middle school but never got into modern, long travel bikes or racing. My father always owned cruisers or touring bikes and bought an xv920 as a spare bike so my brother or I could join him on rides. An afternoon or day long was my typical riding. My father added saddlebags and a hideous fairing as he thought the bike should be as utilitarian as his FLHT. I kind of inherited the bike and road it a lot through college (each saddlebag can hold a 30 pack if allowed to stick out the top). I rode it intermittently after college and very little after I got married as my wife has no interest then I promptly had two little girls making my wife even less excited about me riding. 5 years ago I just cancelled the insurance and registration and mothballed the thing. Recently I good friend of mine inherited a bike and needs someone to ride with under his learners and get some miles under his belt. My wife and I came to an agreement that I would not commute on the bike and increase my life insurance in exchange for putting the bike back on the road. So now that I am not as broke as college I wanted to fix a couple issues with the bike like the slipping clutch, horrible handlebars and requisite tires, battery and carb cleaning. I turned online to research a clutch upgrade and stumbled upon what others have done with this platform.
I love the aesthetics of what some folks have done with this platform and admit I never could have pictured it on my own. Like many others I find the clean lines of the Hageman build as an inspiration. I am not planning an exact copy of Greg’s build but that is the general direction I am headed with this. I am accustomed to a bike being very functional so this will an iterative process figuring out saddle, peg and handlebar configuration before messing around with tank, instruments, lighting and aesthetics stuff. I hope that a forward leaning posture will make it comfortable enough to ride without a fairing without killing my neck. I am building a new sub-frame to raise the seat height, the current seat and peg positions hurt my hips after 30 miles or so. I will likely go through a couple of configurations before settling in on a final seat position and won’t mess with the tank till I am done with that. I don’t plan to go the Benelli tank route, it looks great but I want to retain or increase fuel capacity and that tank has been done enough. I am leaning toward buying a second stock tank to chop up and see what I can come up with or a tr1 tank if I can find one reasonably. Eventually I plan to do something with the wheels as well but that may happen later, I am a little torn on this. I would like to go to a 18" or 17” diameter rims front and rear to quicken up the steering and increase the effective gearing eventually but don’t want to rush into it. Getting the wheels settle early will help with my geometry and cockpit configuration stuff as well as avoid buying two sets of tires but wheel options are so limited that I will have to take my time shopping if I don’t want to drop a ton of cash. I am not going to mess with the frame. I will secure the front of the new sub-frame with the forward shock mount bolt somehow.

Offline gdavid

  • Posts: 12
Re: gdavid's XV 920
« Reply #1 on: Mar 27, 2014, 14:21:51 »
I have already come to my first question. I bought a wire spoke rear hub for a reasonable price so I decided to go down the rabbit hole of swapping out to wire wheels. Aside from aesthetics, I want to maximize the rear wheel diameter to increase the effective gearing (lower rpms). My first choice would be a 18" x 3" rim with a 130/90 tire which would give me a 27.2" overall diameter (stock is 25.2). 18" x 2.15" rims are far more readily available and this would limit me to a 110 mm wide tire and a diameter of 25.8". Based on my measurements any sizes under consideration would fit the stock swingarm without any clearance issues. I guess me question is would a 110 look ridiculous or is this whole exercise a fool's errand?

Offline PatmanBBE

  • Posts: 101
Re: gdavid's XV 920
« Reply #2 on: Mar 27, 2014, 15:17:35 »
If you are not a member over on the virago forum I would get signed up. They have done this type of wheel swap on there before and it is well documented. You might have to search to find it but its there. Here is a link to the forum home page.

http://viragotechforum.com/

Enjoy the bike, I loved mine. I would definitely buy another one in the future.
1984 Yamaha FJ600
2001 Vstar 650 (sold)
1982 Yamaha Virago 920 (sold)

Offline gdavid

  • Posts: 12
Re: gdavid's XV 920
« Reply #3 on: Mar 27, 2014, 23:13:31 »
I started pulling it apart before I thought to snap pictures, but you have seen plenty of them by now


Here is what has come off so far, note the fairing

This isn't a spring chicken, I have put most of these on it

I started cleaning up the carbs tonight, one done one waiting


Offline gdavid

  • Posts: 12
Re: gdavid's XV 920
« Reply #4 on: Apr 08, 2014, 23:49:13 »
I made a little progress and got started on my subframe. I will be securing it with a longer bolt for the top of the rear shock and the upper two stock mounting bolts. There will be another vertical support on the right side matching the left and diagonal cross bracing between them. It is just tack welded for now but it is sturdier than I expected a this point. I'm already planning to replace the plate up front with 1/4" but I'm only at a proof of concept stage.





Offline gdavid

  • Posts: 12
Re: gdavid's XV 920
« Reply #5 on: Sep 26, 2014, 18:59:15 »


Long time with no progress but I am picking back up on this project. I am fitting a RD400C tank onto the bike. It looks like it can be made to fit with some minor modification. It has a nice shape and a nice straight edge across the bottom which I think will look nice and most importantly it's not a Mojave.

Offline rundown

  • Posts: 260
Re: gdavid's XV 920
« Reply #6 on: Sep 28, 2014, 22:06:00 »
Excellent another Virago, love them.  Was the original tank shot, I believe they are significantly bigger than the RD 400?
What spoked wheel did you decide on?

Offline gdavid

  • Posts: 12
Re: gdavid's XV 920
« Reply #7 on: Sep 29, 2014, 09:32:25 »
My original tank is fine, I am keeping it and all of the other stock parts so I can put it back stock in case my efforts are a total failure. The RD400C tank is 13 liters and the orginal was 14.5. I would have liked to retain or increase capacity but I did want to change the look and I'm willing to make the tradeoff.

I have a xs650 hub that I am lacing to a wm2.5 x 18" for the front wheel. I bought the spokes and rim from mike's xs. The axle diameter is different so I will either turn one on the lathe or change the bearing size.

For the rear wheel I bought a wire spoked rear wheel from a 1993 virago 535. From what I understand I will have to machine down the splined coupler to make it fit and change the bearings or axle for this wheel too. This wheel is a 15" diameter and stock is 16", I would prefer to change the rim size to a 18" but can't justify the expense of another rim and custom spokes. There is alot of info on the web about swapping wheels on these bikes, I'll post my own results when I get it done.

Offline gdavid

  • Posts: 12
Re: gdavid's XV 920
« Reply #8 on: Sep 29, 2014, 23:38:23 »
Minor update. My new front rim and spokes arrived today so I put it together which is a little foolish because I haven't polished the hub yet so it will have to come back apart.[/

Offline gdavid

  • Posts: 12
Re: gdavid's XV 920
« Reply #9 on: Oct 10, 2014, 18:25:24 »
My new spokes for my rear wheel arrived so I finally pulled the wheel apart to clean up the hub and paint the rim. The hub looked like oxidized aluminum but it actually had a dull gray paint on it. I am going with polished hubs front and back so it had to come off. This is what it looked like before and after. Still a bit more to go but much closer. The 15 inch DID chrome rim had a fair amount of rust. It will be painted black but the chrome is almost salvageable.
« Last Edit: Oct 10, 2014, 18:27:48 by gdavid »