Virago Cafe Racer for a beginner - Where to start?
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Virago Cafe Racer for a beginner - Where to start?

This is a discussion on Virago Cafe Racer for a beginner - Where to start? within the General forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; Hey Guys, I have been looking for a wider higher set motorcycle for a few years now and i recently stumbled upon the single rear ...

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  1. #1
    Junior Member Eskamobob1's Avatar
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    Virago Cafe Racer for a beginner - Where to start?

    Hey Guys,

    I have been looking for a wider higher set motorcycle for a few years now and i recently stumbled upon the single rear spring Virago Cafe Racers and would like to build one myself. Here comes the problem. I have never worked on motorcycles before in my life (though I have been working on cars for years; primarily high performance engines and transmissions). Where would you guys recommend I start? I would assume motorcycles are aren't too different than cars, but in all honesty I don't know. Any help would be awesome.

    Thanks in advance,
    -esk

  2. #2
    Senior Member o1marc's Avatar
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    Got my tub of popcorn ready, here we go.
    www.CreativeCandy.org

    I carry a gun because I'm too young to die, too old to take an ass whooping, and a cop is too heavy.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Eskamobob1's Avatar
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    Lol... I'm looking for a place to learn more about motor cycles in general before I begin... I also need to finish putting the transmission back in my 1974 VW Beetle first (30min job max once it finishes raining )... Any books, or websites you would recommend I would check out to get a decent handle on motorcycle parts such as how to mount rear sets and such? I can ask how to do the more specific things like convert the front forks to fit a rear wheel later :P

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  5. #4
    Senior Member o1marc's Avatar
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    I would start by going through this website and reading every post that interests you before asking for such a widespread question. I"m not sure the Virago would be on my list of go to of bikes to start a cafe build with. It would be way below starting with a Harley Davidson Sportster which I proved could be done to the dismay many naysayers. But them I thrive on being told "it can't be done". Read all the threads here and understand the attitude you will be dealing with , learn to accept it and you will be off to a good start.
    www.CreativeCandy.org

    I carry a gun because I'm too young to die, too old to take an ass whooping, and a cop is too heavy.

  6. #5
    Junior Member Eskamobob1's Avatar
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    I am we'll aware of how hated they are, but with results like these (granted I am no where near as good ad these guys are) how could I resist? Plus that is the stance I have always wanted from a "vintage" looking bike







    all made from one of these


  7. #6
    Senior Member o1marc's Avatar
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    Now why didn't Yamaha think of that? Those are some nice examples some beautiful bikes made from what I consider one of the ugliest bikes made. i live by the notion that there is no box, your imagination is your only limitation. You have some good examples there to start your build with. Good luck. I will say one thing about all those bikes and that is I am not a fan of bike fat tires.
    www.CreativeCandy.org

    I carry a gun because I'm too young to die, too old to take an ass whooping, and a cop is too heavy.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    actually eskamobob - you are wrong. SOME viragos are hated, others not so much and one was even raced competitively back when it was new (by dave aldana in the 1980s). However, out of all those bikes you are fapping to, I think only two started out as that piece of shit cruiser you posted, the rest were xv920s (known as the TR1 in europe) - the standard yamaha built but sold few of. Also I don't think you have any idea what goes into any of those bikes, it is a lot of work for a mediocre result.

    the chain drive xv920 we are talking about is this one:



    plus all this talk about stance and look means you really don't get it. Let me put it this way, imagine I came to your datsun 510 club meet and talked about how I wanted to build an autocross and track 310 cherry with 13" wire daytons and candy flake money green paint. once you stopped laughing and saw how serious I was I am pretty sure you would say it is a dumb idea. that's kinda where we are at here.

    incidentally, this isn't a new idea - there was a guy in the 1980s who used to sell a vincent dress up kit for these bikes to fake look like a vincent.
    Last edited by Geeto67; 01-26-2013 at 10:58 PM.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
    - Samuel Beckett
    A tool is just an opportunity with a handle
    - Kevin Kelly

  9. #8
    Junior Member Eskamobob1's Avatar
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    Lol... I'll be the first to admit that my knowledge of motor cycles is extremely limited... All I have is what transfers over from my experience with cars... Also, from what I can figure out the only one bassed off of the 920 is the green build (last pic)... That said, the only difference I can find between the 500, 750, and 920 is that they have different sized motors (same frame from what I can find) and that the 920 had an electronic monitoring system

    As for your example of how crazy this is, I don't get it in the slightest :P... The main reason of this post is to find a place where I can learn more about motorcycles before I even get the bike to work on... I won't even have time until the beginning of next school year. I just figured I should get a head start as everyone I know works on cars, but not motorcycles ... And if you are worried about my mechanic skills, they shouldn't be a problem since I both already own a car that needs to be worked on every time you turn around, and that I work at an auto fabrication shop... The stuff I don't already know how to do, I will be more then happy to learn

    @marc
    Those wheels are one of my favorite part of those builds ... I actualy hate the look of most modern motorcycles and prity much all bobbers, but I have always loved the look of cafe racers

  10. #9
    Senior Member o1marc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eskamobob1 View Post
    Lol... I'll be the first to admit that my knowledge of motor cycles is extremely limited... All I have is what transfers over from my experience with cars... Also, from what I can figure out the only one bassed off of the 920 is the green build (last pic)... That said, the only difference I can find between the 500, 750, and 920 is that they have different sized motors (same frame from what I can find) and that the 920 had an electronic monitoring system

    As for your example of how crazy this is, I don't get it in the slightest :P... The main reason of this post is to find a place where I can learn more about motorcycles before I even get the bike to work on... I won't even have time until the beginning of next school year. I just figured I should get a head start as everyone I know works on cars, but not motorcycles ... And if you are worried about my mechanic skills, they shouldn't be a problem since I both already own a car that needs to be worked on every time you turn around, and that I work at an auto fabrication shop... The stuff I don't already know how to do, I will be more then happy to learn

    @marc
    Those wheels are one of my favorite part of those builds ... I actualy hate the look of most modern motorcycles and prity much all bobbers, but I have always loved the look of cafe racers
    The bike will not handle as well with those big tires as it would with normal sized tires.
    www.CreativeCandy.org

    I carry a gun because I'm too young to die, too old to take an ass whooping, and a cop is too heavy.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    you aren't going to learn anything from the internet. You think you are but you aren't. Here is what you do: Buy a motorcycle. Want to know what kind of motorcycle to buy we can help you with that (not a virago). Want to know where to start here is where you start: buy a motorcycle that runs, is ready to ride, and ride it. Don't buy a style bike like a chopper or a crusier, or an adventure bike, or any genre specific bike. Just a standard like any pre 1984 japanese superbike, or an sv650, or a ninja 500, etc... then put rubber to road. Don't mod it, don't fap to fake cafe racer pron, just ride it.

    The thing you are looking for is what you actually enjoy out of the hobby. Basically what kind of riding do you want to be doing all the time. what is enjoyable. You will begin to answer this question right about the 1000 mile mark, and if you are doing it right you will never fully get an answer but will think you have answered it many times.

    ca va?

    don't put the cart before the horse, you are literally a year away from doing anything remotely looking like those terrible viragos. terrible? I hear you gasp? yeah they fail at being motorcycles, but they are pretty. that's the poseur trap. It's easy to make something pretty, very difficult to make something worthwhile.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
    - Samuel Beckett
    A tool is just an opportunity with a handle
    - Kevin Kelly

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