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-->I hope this thread is appropriate...I'm new enough that I may be missing where this should go, or whether there's already a thread I missed. If so, mods please feel free to move this :wink:

I'm new to bikes, and I have become somewhat addicted quickly. I own an 02 VStar 650 Custom. I DO love it, but would like MORE!

I am looking at an 85 Virago 700 as a light winter project to have some fun with, then sell to make some more $$ for the next bike/project. This bike looks to be in generally good shape. It runs but sputters out when revved too high. I suspect that the carbs need to be cleaned. If such a bike can be had for short dollars, are any of you familiar enough with this model to say it's worth spending a few hours on, or otherwise say "stay away?" I appreciate your input!
 

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Hi fF,
I'm building a bobber over the winter out of a 96' XV750 Virago myself. Engines are pretty stout on the Viragos, and they are the Star motorcycle line predecessors for Yamaha. I've had no problem finding parts, and they were reasonably priced. Riding it home was a blast. Felt like it was a feather weight compared to my 950t. If you're slightly mechanical, they're easy to work on. This is a photo of mine before the tear down.


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Hi fF,
I'm building a bobber over the winter out of a 96' XV750 Virago myself. Engines are pretty stout on the Viragos, and they are the Star motorcycle line predecessors for Yamaha. I've had no problem finding parts, and they were reasonably priced. Riding it home was a blast. Felt like it was a feather weight compared to my 950t. If you're slightly mechanical, they're easy to work on. This is a photo of mine before the tear down.


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Nice! And I do like the fact that these V Twins are supposed to be fairly decent. When it comes to being "mechanical," I'm one of the guys that always took a language rather than shop class in school, but I've also been known to do a break job or fix the power steering in my jeep or repair a snowthrower by tinkering until I understand it. Basically, if I don't have to buy "special tools," I'm happy to try it once.
 

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I'm similar in that way as well. I'd suggest getting a repair/shop manual, they're a huge help, and if you start a teardown, bag and tag even the small stuff. That cuts down on your rebuild time. Good luck and keep us posted. Once I'm done, I'll post pics. I'm rattle canning everything I'm repainting, and bought several parts thru ebay, Amazon, and motorcycle websites.

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I'm similar in that way as well. I'd suggest getting a repair/shop manual, they're a huge help, and if you start a teardown, bag and tag even the small stuff. That cuts down on your rebuild time. Good luck and keep us posted. Once I'm done, I'll post pics. I'm rattle canning everything I'm repainting, and bought several parts thru ebay, Amazon, and motorcycle websites.

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I can't wait to see it!

*looking up 'rattle canning'.....
 

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Just means I'm spraying the paint with the rattle spray cans that you shake, like Krylon, etc. This is how the swing arm assembly came out over this past weekend.


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There are a lot of the Virago's out there and in a lot of different CC'S too. But I don't think you can make much money* by bobbing them out.
You have to do it for the love and fun of it.

* only the Dealer makes money
 

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I agree farmlldanzil, I'm going to ride my project for business purposes and for the sheer love of motorcycling.

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Discussion Starter #9
There are a lot of the Virago's out there and in a lot of different CC'S too. But I don't think you can make much money* by bobbing them out.
You have to do it for the love and fun of it.

* only the Dealer makes money
I, for sure, would not be trying to make a bobber. Just get it running as well as possible, looking as good as I can, then have fun riding it around with a "for sale" sign on it. If purchased for $300, would anticipate selling as a running, inspected and registered bike for under $1k. To be sure, it would all be about fun, and the $$ that comes back would be for the next one >:)
 

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$300 sounds like a good deal if it runs, stops, and doesn't smoke like a freight train going uphill.

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Nope, not for fast getaways, lol. Just to ride something different, and enjoy the looks from others that appreciate motorcycles.

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you should expect to spend more than "a few hours" fixing up a 30-year old bike, unless you're an experienced mechanic and already know exactly what you'll be doing on it and what's needed.
Thank you, Bevo, this is the kind of information I need. My understanding is that the bike runs, stops, etc, it was used for short trips this past season but not for long trips as it was not registered. I understand that it is likely to want carb work and possibly a starter. Starter works most of the time. When looking at the bike I will be looking at obvious things like external oil, fork seals, interior of gas tank. What would you be thinking, Bevo?
 

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As others have said, I wouldn't expect to make a profit on it. The market has bottomed out on these older jap bikes so much there is no meat left in one. Yeah you might get lucky and sell it for a few hundred more than you paid, but if you have months of labor and parts did you really make a profit. You can most likely expect to "profit" more from the experience and knowledge learned that the cash exchanged. Even if you never sell it, if you can enjoy what you do with it then go for it.
 

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What would you be thinking, Bevo?
i'm not an experienced mechanic myself, but i have several friends who have taken on bikes as side projects where it just became too time-consuming for them to ever finish. even a running bike will likely need more work than anticipated if you really want to do the job right.
 

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I gotta agree with the guys that you might not make money on it; I think you'd be hard pressed to get what you put in it around here, but I'm guessing it all depends on where you are, and who you try to market it to. Good luck.
 
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