'82 cafe XV750


Been Around the Block
I 'inherited' a 1982 Yamaha Virago XV750 from my Dad - he just lost interest in it and decided he didn't want it anymore and didn't want to go thru the hastle of selling it. In the 10 years he owned it, he only put 700 miles on it ... so it sat a lot. I'm not much into the cruiser style so I decided to cafe it.

First off, this is my inspiration - Cafe Zero ... a heavily modded XV750 cafe'd by Zero Engineering (Japanese customizer). The bike now resides in the Netherlands I think. Not many cafe'd Viragos out there ...

Here is my XV750 as it rolled into my garage on 8/16/09. Dad repainted the tank years ago (IIRC it was dark red). I didn't try to start it since the fuel was nasty and the front brake wasn't working.

After stripping some parts and the first wash-down later that day. I now have a pile of parts that won't be going on (but will keep should I decide to ever return it back to stock).


About a month later ... in-cafe process (and lots of cleaning as I go)

I've cleaned out, de-rusted, stripped, smoothed and painted the tank (black). Cleaned out and re-installed the carbs (front was stuck open - flooded the intake port, rear was crusted-up). Cleaned out and rebuilt the M/C and caliper (brake fluid was gelled). Stripped and painted the handlebar switches. Polished up the rocker and upper chain access covers (still need to do the side covers). Now in the process of moving the battery, fuse box and lowering the gauges & headlight (~1"). I'm going with a clubman rather than clip-ons.

Next steps;
- Remove & paint rear swingarm & shaft (black)
- Lower & clean front forks (can't decide if I want to paint black or not)
- Adapt a rear wheel to the front (a Cafe Zero type mod)
- Raise the back of the fuel tank & new rear subframe (a Cafe Zero type mod)
- Modify a ratty XV750 seat to a cafe style (narrow, flatten, reshape and hardcover/bumpstop)
- Lighting

Wheels are either going to be black or gunmetal grey with a thin natural lip. If gunmetal, the tank/tail stripe will also be gunmetal. If black, the stripe will probably be silver or grey.

Hope to get it running and rideable for a bit before winter sets in. Over the winter I plan on making my own rearsets and will probably redo the exhaust similar to Cafe Zero.

Updates to follow ... let me know what you think.


Coast to Coast
Looks like a cool project. That Zero bike is very unique.

Those wheels aren't exactly cafe standard, but I like the curving lines. Should be a nice touch.


Der konig
they are running a rear wheel in the front.....strange.

you ever want to get rid of your stock seat, I need a 750 seat so I can run my sissy bar.



Been Around the Block
More teardown and cleaning ...

Good thing I decided not to try to start it when I got it to my garage - finally pulled the engine drain plug - nearly 2 GALLONS of fuel-diluted oil came out! I pulled the engine side covers anyway to polish - the oil/gas witness line was halfway up the stator and clutch! It is drying out now ... don't think there was any permanent damage.

More frame and part cleaning in-progress. I think I've nearly reached the turning point though - starting to put things back on ... always a good thing!

I've been thinking about moving the rear exhaust muffler to the LH side and then extending the front exhaust pipe & moving muffler back to where the rear was previously on the RH side. The centerstand will have to come off for this, but was going to do that anyway ... any opinions?


Been Around the Block
Custom adapter to mount the brake disc - 5-bolt wheel drive to 6-bolt disc mount. Cover to fill out the old drum space. Smaller ID bearings to fit to the front axle.

Fairly straightforward actually. A 130/90-16 tire is a tight fit (stock rear size and what Cafe Zero has on the front) - but it will work. I'm leaning more towards a 120/90-16 ... problem is finding a decent one (I've only found one 'universal' front/rear available).


Over 1,000 Posts
Are you going to fab up your own adapter? I like the look of the Zero bikes, but coming from the world of sport bikes, I am leery of big front tires.


Been Around the Block
Adapter will look something like this ...


Brake drum filler will look something like this


TBD how it will ride - can always change it back or do something different.


Been Around the Block
I think those Viragos look fuggin cool!! I have pics of a couple of them done like that. And what exactly is a "cafe standard" wheel? ::) I'm not too crazy on the big tire on the front look, but do understand why it's there. Couldn't another Yammi wheel be adapted from a different model making tire selection easier, and giving the bike a dual front disc? Hey Cafe... could you do me a favour? Take pictures of you smashing those gay hwy pegs with a sledge, and post them. Hwy pegs have to be the most ridiculous things ever put on a bike! Oh wait... tassels are gay too.


Been Around the Block
I hated all the 'cruiser' stuff on the bike - not sure if most of it was there when Dad bought it or if he added it - he used to be one of JC Whitney's best customers! I had all that crap of within minutes of it being in my garage!

I don't think the bike really ran right because the soft bags - which just draped over the subframe under the seat - covered the factory air box intake which was under there too. I'm planning on running a velocity stack/pod filter off the LHS frame feed rather than the factory airbox ... don't plan on riding this one in the rain.


Been Around the Block
I'm looking into making my rear-to-front wheel adapters now. If the cost is reasonable, I may be interested in selling a kit for other first-gen XV750 owners to do this on their own bike (cost TBD at this point).

If this interests you, PM me so I know you're interested and I can get a count.

Will continue to update this thread with progress pics when available ...


Been Around the Block
I've been toying with the idea of doing something with a virago after seeing the cafe zero bike about a year ago. It's such a great looking engine once all the saggy cruiser garb is taken off. I love bikes that seem dominated visually by their engines, like the guzzi, BMW etc and this appeals to me definitely.
I would love to see wire wheels on one of these, the front would be easy enough but the rear would be trickier.. Hmm! I'll be watching with great interest dude, best of luck!


Putting boot to ass since 1967!
Ya know......swap in a later model spoked Virago rear rim and an XS650 front and you're golden!


Been Around the Block
Been busy cleaning and refurbing a bunch of small parts w/o taking the bike totally apart - remove, clean, refurb, replace ... takes time. Also starting to fab up the new rear subframe / seat pan.

Also have some VERY lowered forks (3.5" out of 5.5" travel) ready to go on ... waiting til I get my rear-to-front wheel ready.

Finally getting some good quotes for the rear-to-front wheel adapter parts - hope to make a sourcing decision this coming weekend and make a conversion kit cost announcement soon!

Will get some pics up when more presentable.


Over 1,000 Posts
Clearance might be an issue. I haven't shortened my forks just yet but I did drop them through the trees to see what kind of stance I'll end up with. The stance I like has the tire pretty darn close to the front jug. And that's with out a header pipe attached! This might be a problem for my build...


Been Around the Block
Cafe Zero is damn close - just a couple inches I'd say. If you're comparing the OE 19" front wheel it will be close - anything you put on a 16" wheel is going to improve the clearance.

I might attempt stuffing a 140/90-16 in the rear with the 130/90-16 front - tight fit at both ends! We'll see ...

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