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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all!

It's been a while while I've been building this one... its already described in details on my blog (its in polish...) , however I will try to post here some more details. So - let me start from the beginning:

1. On summer 2016 I bought really nasty XV920 Virago - it was really a piece of shit... just painted before selling, so it looks good on photos, but it was a rubbish....
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2. I started disassembling the bike and cleaning small parts
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3. Next step was to build a "mockup" - do all the welding and most important body work
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4. Total disassembling and painting
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5. Spoke wheels ready:
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6. All small parts segregated and ready to be replaced:
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7. Engine painted and assembled again
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Looks like a real quality build!! Interested in the rear hubs as its shaft drive.. where did the spoke hub come from?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Looks like a real quality build!! Interested in the rear hubs as its shaft drive.. where did the spoke hub come from?
Thanks mate. The hub comes from Virago 535. It needed some small rebuild, however nothing serious. I just found a guy on web forum in my country who offered me to build such wheels. I had a chance to choose rims I wanted and he put it all together (new spokes, virago 535 hubs and rims of my choice). Hope this will all fit together , I will know in few days ;)
 

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Interesting as the hub looks similar to the XS750 and have been looking at spoked options and wondered if the 535 would fit.. ah just realised its a rear drum brake!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
love it. Not a mojave tank in sight!
I know its not anything super unique - but I love the mojave tank style and Greg Hageman's initial concept. Also: its my first such big build, so I wanted to focus on making this just right and perfect, kind of "brand new" bike, instead of looking for unique design. And I am happy with that for now ;)
 

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I know its not anything super unique - but I love the mojave tank style and Greg Hageman's initial concept. Also: its my first such big build, so I wanted to focus on making this just right and perfect, kind of "brand new" bike, instead of looking for unique design. And I am happy with that for now ;)
except that it isn't "perfect", it's just "pretty". Even Hageman figured out rearsets for his bike and I just don't see them here. I guess riding position is just not really important to you.

Even Hageman doesn't build these types of bikes anymore. A lot of his more recent stuff looks to be way more useable and a lot more thought is going into how they ride.

If you build a bike solely for look, you miss the point of this genre of the hobby full stop. In this case you are just copying a look (without even copying all of it's functionality) that you have no idea if it rides well or not. It's just another imitation chopper that doesn't know it's a chopper because it has low bars.

There were people who raced the chain drive XV in BOTT. I betcha you could learn a ton from their exploits about how to properly set up an XV to deliver a great riding experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
except that it isn't "perfect", it's just "pretty". Even Hageman figured out rearsets for his bike and I just don't see them here. I guess riding position is just not really important to you.

Even Hageman doesn't build these types of bikes anymore. A lot of his more recent stuff looks to be way more useable and a lot more thought is going into how they ride.

If you build a bike solely for look, you miss the point of this genre of the hobby full stop. In this case you are just copying a look (without even copying all of it's functionality) that you have no idea if it rides well or not. It's just another imitation chopper that doesn't know it's a chopper because it has low bars.

There were people who raced the chain drive XV in BOTT. I betcha you could learn a ton from their exploits about how to properly set up an XV to deliver a great riding experience.

well.. not exactly:
- front suspension with progressive springs: hope to have it harder and bit lower
- engine fully rebuilt, so its not causing any problems. There was some work put into it, however I don't know if my tech-english is good enough to describe everything.
- mono shock - checked, its ok.
- all bearings replaced
- all electricity - will be replaced with new one, much more simple
- sets - I will use rearsets, thats just the easiest solution for the start. if its not comfortable enough, I will try to move is a bit to front. But I want to do it optionally later, its still possible

Of course you are right saying that builders like Hageman go into more "practical" solutions... but they have been doing this kind of work for years, they know what works and what not, and its my first such complex project. And you will for sure find many issues with this project. I am trying to do my best here and get more experience for the future and next projects. Its just my hobby, not a day to day job, so don't expect results like from experienced builders ;) Anyway - hope you will like final result ;)
 

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well.. not exactly:
- front suspension with progressive springs: hope to have it harder and bit lower
- engine fully rebuilt, so its not causing any problems. There was some work put into it, however I don't know if my tech-english is good enough to describe everything.
- mono shock - checked, its ok.
- all bearings replaced
- all electricity - will be replaced with new one, much more simple
- sets - I will use rearsets, thats just the easiest solution for the start. if its not comfortable enough, I will try to move is a bit to front. But I want to do it optionally later, its still possible
A lot of this is stuff you would have done to the stock bike even if you didn't modify it. It's not racing stuff that improves it over stock, it's just making the bike less than junk.

you do understand that firmer forks and lower forks on a motorcycle are not always a good thing right? It's more important to have consistent damping and a spring setup for the weight of the bike and rider than it is to have "firmer" suspension. Lowering the front suspension alone changes the geometry - did you sit down and figure out the calculations to make sure you aren't going into dangerous territory? your front dampening needs to match the rear as well - so if you are changing the front shocks, what are you doing to the rear?

lowering a bike overall is not a guarantee that it will handle better. In most cases it reduces the clearance you have with the bike leaned over. mass centralization can cause a bike to handle better but that is moving heavier things toward the bottom, not the same thing as lowering.


Of course you are right saying that builders like Hageman go into more "practical" solutions... but they have been doing this kind of work for years, they know what works and what not, and its my first such complex project. And you will for sure find many issues with this project. I am trying to do my best here and get more experience for the future and next projects. Its just my hobby, not a day to day job, so don't expect results like from experienced builders ;) Anyway - hope you will like final result ;)
Actually what I am saying is that the bike you choose to model yours after was one of his first attempts, and that his subsequent attempts are probably better bikes. The bike you picked was not one built when he was doing "this kind of work for years", it was one of his first attempts at working with something out of his comfort zone (although it is still a v-twin cruiser so not that far out). Now he has been doing it for years but his bikes look and ride differently. What does that tell you? when you started this project did you email him and try to pick his brain on things he would have done differently or he doesn't like with that attempt? Just assuming he has been doing this for years and everything is hunky dory a-ok is a dangerous assumption.

Also - Hageman isn't a motorcycle racer, he's not an engineer. He is a trained Harley tech so he's a good mechanic, and he seems to have good metal working skills, but a lot of the stuff he does - esp the early stuff, you can see the cruiser influence. cruisers aren't performance motorcycles.

Personally - if you are going to have a cafe racer, it should live up to the "racer" part of the name and be a performance motorcycle. I just think you picked something because it was pretty - not because it was a good performance motorcycle. I am not expecting showbike out of anybody - but I expect awesome handling and a good mechanical setup out of all of them.
 

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Absolutely priceless quote from that steward-on-the-xv920 article:
"After he crashed at Sears a corner worker later came up to Yamaha’s Ken Clark and handed him a tool kit. “I think this belongs to your rider on the XV920,”"
 

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Discussion Starter #18
well... Geeto67 - you are for sure right - its not a performance bike... And I was never planning to make a performance bike, I don't have enough skills for that. Its just a tuned Virago (as you called my mods : "making the bike less than junk"). However - working on it is still a big fun - so stop hating please, share any thoughts that you have and I will do my best to make the project better ;)

PS: I didn't contact Greg H, but I have made some research on his project and C-Bass (similar one) as well. All the time following what they have done.

Cheers
 

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This picture tells you all you need to know about the guy that owns C-Bass. Imagine it with the fish bowl helmet on his head.
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