When the Yamaha Virago was released back in my high school days it was commonly referred to as a "girls bike". This was primarily due to the fact that the 250cc version was most common in my state and also because of it's cruiser styling. The combination of these two things resulted in a lack luster response, no guts (compared to the Harleys it was modeled on) and it's Japanese bike...a point I never had a problem with but many seemed to look down on. Because of the negative attitude towards the poor old Virago at a time in my life when peer group pressure was an issue, I would never have considered one for a custom build.
Since launching Return of the Cafe Racers back in 2006 I have only come across two builders who have managed to do something worth writing about with this "girls bike" and have somehow managed to change my opinion of the Yamaha Virago. Admittedly they have been based on the 750 model which is a far cry from the 250's from my youth but it takes more than a bit of extra grunt to improve a Virago...and more is exactly what these guys have done.
This Virago was a project developed for season two of Cafe Racer TV which is currently airing in the states. Built by Greg Hageman from Docs Chops the 80's Virago underwent a full ground up face lift to achieve it's jaw dropping good looks.
|Before: Easy rider fail|
|After: Hand me the keys.|
Here's a break down of the work completed on the Doc Chops Virago Cafe Racer:
Bike: mid 1980 Yamaha Virago
Carburetion or FI System: Dynojet Carburetion
Rear Swing Arm: Stock
Rear Wheel (Size): 15 x 3″
Front Wheel (Size): 18 x 3″
Steering Stabilizer: N/A
Rear Shock(s): Showa
Clip-Ons or Bars: Tarozzi
Seat: Moto Lanna
Tank: Benelli Original NOS
Rear Sets: Tarozzi
Tires: Front 120/90-18, Rear 140/90-15
Paint: Custom by Kenny Chains
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