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I have a 1994 750 Virago, runs fine, running lights work, hi/low beam works ok, don't have horn, turning lights, or brake lights. Any suggestions on where to start to look for problems?

I am restoring a 1982 XV750 Virago and had a similar problem. Pull the left horn and blinker apart. Inside there a small breakdown sometimes occurs. Its really tight but proceed carefully looking for broken wires. If wiring breaks down there it can interfere with the brake lights. Also if you don't have a wiring diagram, I would suggest getting one.

Misfiring issue when idling

My 1991 XV1100 Virago had been giving the odd misfire when idling but was otherwise running OK until I decided to replace the front exhaust and remove the swing-arm for painting. A lot of stuff was stripped off the bike to do these jobs and on re-assembling I was surprised when it wouldn't start. I had fuel to the engine but no spark. After 3 days of frustration, checking and doubling checking I found the grey wire from the pickup coil to the igniter box had broken inside the wire about 2 inches back from the igniter box plug. This was where it bent back upwards to enter the wiring harness and being a sharp bend with general vibration had work hardened then snapped but because it was held together by the outer sheath had remained in contact until the movement from my dismantling. If it happened on mine there may be others out there with this problem waiting to catch them out.

Bob Dodds (Centre 4)

Wildstar fuel reserve and fuel guage shows empty.

Hi all, I felt the need to share this with all Wildstar riders as it confused the hell out of me! My bike - Wildstar, 4 years old with 31,000 miles on the clock.

I have recently fitted two cool looking fog lights under the headlight and rerouted the electrics though the handlebars. Job completed, test ride to Ipswich from Reading to drop 1/2 a Dragstar engine off for a mate.

Anyway, on the way back the fuel reserve light came on and stayed on and the gauge showed empty. Filled up at the next fuel stop... no change. Home = panic ! Was it the new wiring for the lights or the rerouted electrics.

Checked all the wiring for everything, everywhere but no joy. Put the bike back together, reconnected the battery and the engine started to turnover by itself !! Very quickly disconnect battery...
Sod it... while thinking cap on thought I would take the tank off and get the blocked vent pipe for the tank sorted out (ref imploding fuel tank FAQ).

As I could not find any issues with the wiring and as the first hint of an issue was the reserve light, I decided to remove the sender unit from the tank to inspect it (as you do ...)
Low and behold most of the pins/metal contacts (should be 6, 1 left) that connect the float arm to the circuit board on the sender unit were missing.

Fitted new sender unit... problem fixed... bike, fuel tank gauge and lights work fine.

Conclusion = Either the lost metal contacts had caused a short out within the sender unit or if the sender unit goes it causes problems with the rest of the electrics.
Who knows ?? Ride safe all, Steady

Ignition switch is unreliable

This info applies to the 535, but I suspect applies to most models. The problem was that the ignition switch became unreliable, and would not switch on every time. Sometimes it was found that turning the key on, and then turning it back slightly towards off would work. Then it failed altogether, in the dark on a busy intersection. Proceed as follows.

  • Unbolt switch bracket from bike.
  • Follow cable back to plug-in connector, and unplug. Using a marker pen, draw a line down the side of switch, bracket, and white rear cover to aid alignment on re-assembly.
  • From now on, keep the whole thing key-hole downwards. Carefully remove the two screws holding whit rear cover, noting position of drain hole. Beneath this are several wires soldered to terminals.
  • Gently tug/prod each one to check security of soldered joints. In my case, one fell off immediately, and was the cause of the trouble.
  • If you have same problem, scrape terminal clean with a small screwdriver, cut back wire about 5mm, and resolder using a BIG iron. If you don't know what you are doing, get help. It is not funny losing engine and lights at night.
  • Now lift off black plastic disc with terminals, and clean underside brass ends of terminals with very fine sandpaper. Also clean brass contacts visible down inside switch body.
  • If competent to do so , check continuity of each wire using an ohm-meter or a battery and test lamp.
  • Carefully re-assemble and refit switch.

I hope you have as much success as I did. (Ken Hardy).

I am really struggling with my charging system on my 1100 Virago. I have a new battery and a new rectifier regulator and the volts AC across the coils of the stator coils are about 20v at 2000 rpm. I have checked the earth of the rectifier regulator and all is OK - the fuse is not blown and the feed to the battery - red lead is OK - continuity to the battery - but only reads 3v DC out of the rectifier regulator. What am I doing wrong?

I think you have a problem!

I have a similar problem on my XV1000 though not as bad. I've asked around and have been given some info but I'm sure how reliable it is. The output from my alternator is 38 volts ac across any two windings and I was told that this has to be divided by 3 (3 sets of windings) to get the voltage after the rectifier. In my case this about right as I get 13-13.5 volts across the battery with the engine running, just enough. Apparently the alternator output should be nearer 45-50 volts ac but I can't find any confirmation of this in my service manual. First thing to check is the resistance of the alternator windings, you may have a break. Should be 0.5-0.55 ohms across any two wires (disconnected from rectifier) also check your wiring loom were it runs into the engine casing, may have got damaged. Another favourite is bad earthing particularly where the rectifier/regulator connects to the frame but if you're getting a low output from the alternator the best bet is the alternator wiring.

Best I can do (from 'Cashstrapped' on VSOC Online Forum)

Regulator / Rectifier

I recently had a rectifier go on my XV750, frying the battery. After obtaining a new one in France (sent out by Moores of Hemel Hempstead) I looked at the heat sink setup as I know these things dislike heat. I found the contact between the Rectifier and the footrest bracket negligible.

I therefore filed flat the aluminum bracket and made a simple aluminium heat sink from sheet and allowed it to protrude as much as possible beyond the rectifier bending it away around the edges of the rectifier. I also used heat sink paste.

As an extra cooler, I used an old small computer CPU fan (readily available) wired from under the seat to come on when the ignition is on.

Initial results are that the aluminium gets mildly warm but the rectifier is relatively cool and so far no more troubles.

If anyone wants more info on the arrangement contact peter.lipman@lineone.net

Keep it cool PL

Related Answer

XVS Vstar 1100

I too had problems with my Reg/Rec overheating and causing the battery to go flat. With a new reg/Rec I “swiss cheese” drilled the compartment where the regulator is bolted into, and also drilled the chrome plastic cover hat sits around it. Seems the heat from the twin exhaust is aimed straight at the chrome come, also the reg gives off its own heat making the reg overheat. I also use a old CPU computer fan as a exhaust fan to suck the air in through the holes I drilled into the covers and blow all the hot air out near the rear tyre.

XV1100: When I hit the starter button, I can hear the solenoid, which pulls a fork assembly to "engage" the starter motor, go off like a rattley machine gun. I've found that if the battery is fully charged, then no problem, but if the battery is 10% below full charge, this "chatter" takes place. Before I go off and buy another new battery, does anyone have a solution to this?

So, your starter is just clicking. Does you starter make a "click" sound when you try to start your vehicle?

Each time you turn the ignition switch to start, does the starter just "click" one time?

That is probably the starter solenoid.

If it goes, "click-click-click-click", and so on, it may just be a low or weak battery.

The voltage test without any load, may indicate the battery is fine, but when you put it under load, like starting, a bad cell (or two) may be the culprit, not allowing all the current (amps) available (up to 230!) to go through all the cells to reach the starter. To test for this, do a voltage check across the battery when you hit the starter... if it drops from say 12.2volts to 10volts, you've got a bad cell.

Go get yourself a new and high quality battery... Yuasa make the best high cranking current batteries... and don't forget to make sure you are charging your battery ok... the voltage measured at the battery terminals should show your bench charger or bike alternator to be charging the battery at 13.2volts to 14.2volts max.

If the battery is getting a bit old, it may loose it's charge. to test this... charge it up, stop charging, measure the voltage at the battery posts and it should be between 12.2v - 13.2v. Leave it for 2 hours and read again... if it's dropped below 11.8 volts, it's on the way out.

I am interested in fitting after market exhausts to my XV1100S. There are many products available from the Heine Gericke slip ons (really cheap) to the Highway Hawk products. Are there any other products available and what carburetion modifications are required.

I saw your query on after market pipes for your Virago. Living in Canada with the same bike I have a set of Vance and Hines Classics on my '95 Virago 1100. Great sound, very much like a classic Harley Davidson. You'll need to re-jet as well, which goes with out saying when you make your engine breath better. Check out the link to V&H's European site http://www.vheurope.com/

I have removed the speedometer from my ‘98 XV 1100. There are two wires that are connected to a some kind of fuse (I need to repair this). Is it possible to dismantle the speedometer ? It would appear that the speedo does not dismantle.

The fuse... It's a "reed relay" that mounts into the speedo as a pick up for speed to send a pulse signal to the indicator self cancelling system. Works by a magnet closing the contact each time it passes the reed relay as it spins round. If it gets broken then all that happens is the indicators don't cancel on their own and you have to do it manually. I've just bought these to try and repair one myself. You don't need to dismantle the speedo. Bob (Centre 4)

 

If you have headlight problems on your Virago XV750

I recently had some electrical probs on my '93 XV750; the bike was running well, but the headlight and speedo/tach wouldn't light up. After testing every wiring harness on the bike, I checked both handlebar switches. After determining that they were working well, I was about to give up when my hand brushed against the start switch... and the headlight and speedo-tach lit up again. After "playing" with the switch for a few minutes, I determined that it was indeed the culprit; it wasn't returning all the way back sometimes after depressing it.

After taking it apart, cleaning the contacts a bit, spraying a mist of WD-40 in there, and putting it all back together, it works fine. Hopefully, this will save someone else the 2 hours of work and troubleshooting it took me.

I have an 85 Virago XV750 and had sporadic problems with Tach/speedo/headlights going out. Tested every wire and relay in the Headlight and instrument cluster. Many thanks to the solution provided by the owner of the 93 with the same problem. His post info saved at least 5 more hrs of work by 2 people as we were ready to gut and test the entire electrical system. Same problem, solution and result!

My XV1100 runs for a while and then dies.

I restored my bike a while ago. Once all back together, it started with no probs. Took it out for a run to clear the cobwebs. After approx 5 miles it started to hesitate and then died!

Decided to look at the coils by checking the ohms readings. I had done this once when the bike was stripped and they seemed within limits then. This time however , the rear coil reading had dropped, I had at last found the fault ! New coil now no probs, runs like a dream!

Hope this might save someone time and money , it doesn't take long to check the coils , I would have done that first if I had known!

My 1990 H reg Yamaha Virago 1100 has stood for a while and now won't start. Starter motor and solenoid gets hot and drains battery.

Although electrical problems are usually hard to pinpoint, I would guess that your problem sounds like a bad ground. I would check the ground wire coming off the battery for corrosion.

Check it not only at the battery but also at the frame. Sometimes the wires will get corroded inside the insulation also but will look just fine on the outside.

You can check this by bypassing the ground by just using some jumper-cables. Connect one end to your battery ground and the other end to a paint free area on the frame. If that does not work, you might check your starter gearing, if it sat for a long time and say water got in there, the gears may be locked up. Just take them apart, noting how they are placed in the case, and clean them.

I would recommend getting the manual for your bike first however, because you don't want to play guessing games with how parts go back together.

I'm thinking of putting an after-market exhaust system on my XV535. Has anyone done this and if so, can they tell me whether there are any increases in power or any weight-saving advantages? Also, if it's worth it, where can I get one from.

I fitted Jardine straight throughs to mine, they require no rejetting and are a lot lighter, No noticeable increase in power but sound great. From Custom Cruisers.

I have a Yamaha Virago 550 (1998) making a rattling noise. Checked chains, clutch rubbers, can't find the problem. Done 12,000 miles. My mate said put a cut exhaust on, to drown rattle! Anyone got a cut exhaust or an idea what problem is?

If the bike has been restricted in the past you might find the restrictors have worn and become loose, this is more apparent when you throttle back. Had this problem with the wife’s 535, instant cure when taken out and thrown away. All the best, Dave

Has anyone out there fitted a tacho gauge to the XVS 650 or similar. I am interested in fitting one of the commercially available small 44mm tachos to my bike but not sure whether to fit an electric or mechanical (if there is a drive for it). Any info appreciated.

I fitted a tacho to my XV535. I used an electronic tacho and mounted it by fitting the bracket under the handle-bar riser.

I fitted it partly to help diagnose bad running. It's not 100%, as vibration or electrical noise means that the needle wobbles violently at around 6-7000rpm (this might be due to a duff voltage regulator, see below). Also I've never seen anyone quote a maximum rpm for this engine. It's going to be between 8-9000 rpm.

The cable was just long enough to reach into the right side pod where the ignition unit is mounted, and I fitted a water-proof plug, then wire tails soldered into the loom. Most connections can be picked up from the voltage regulator plug, but the illumination had to run from the instrument lights.

Recently I have replaced the voltage regulator, too. The new Electrex RR48 unit does not fit where the original was, so I positioned it on top of the air-box (under the top fuel tank). There is just enough space, and the airflow feeding the engine should help to cool the regulator. After checking the clearance under the tank I drilled 2 holes in the top face, about 8-inches behind the air cleaner element (mind you don't get swarf in the carbs, though!!). Then I put M6 bolts projecting up, secured them with plain nuts and lock washers, and fitted the regulator with more nuts and washers to suit. This means you don't have to go into the air-box to remove the regulator, and the lower nuts space the regulator clear of the welded ridge along the spine of the air-box.

I'm 36 years old. How much to insure an XVS Roadstar 1600 in UK?

Insurance costs vary a great deal depending on your own individual circumstances. I have just checked an online quote from http://www.bennetts.co.uk/ giving reasonable answers to their questions, and I came up with £84.00.

You should try getting your own online quotes from sites such as Carole Nash (http://www.carolenash.com/), JMI (http://www.just-motorcycleinsurance.com/)

I would also suggest that you try some comparison websites as well.

The owner of a 535 Virago (1998) complained that the engine intermittently fired on one cylinder.

After much fault finding, I eventually found that the wires from the loom - just before they go to the coils - pass over a thin bracket. The bracket acts as a guide for the wires, but the bracket had rubbed away the insulation. This allowed the 'make a spark' signal to be shorted to ground. A piece of heat shrink sleeving over the worn through insulation fixed the problem.

Whilst poking around, I also found the connector to the coils to be almost completely corroded. (Bear in mind this is at the front of the bike, so road muck gets blasted to this area by the front wheel. A little plastic cover prevents some of the 'blast' but not much. In addition, the plastic cover stops anyone washing the area to remove any road salt.) I had to remove the original connectors and solder on new ones. Cleaned the (coil) spade terminals with emery paper and washed them with alcohol. Reconnected everything, and the engine ran without any problems. In an attempt to stop further corrosion, I sprayed the coil connector area with Waxoyl.
Hope this helps. Regards - Andrew Gadd

I am blowing light bulbs at a fast rate.

Check that the regulator/rectifier is working correctly. These are prone to failure on 535's. My fave mod is to fit a unit from a Honda - CBR600, Super Dream or CX500 are all suitable donors. This is a much sounder unit than the stock Yam item, once fitted it you will probably never see another failure again.

The rectifiers used by Honda do vary a bit from bike to bike, year to year etc, but they can all be used reliably on any XV's. Typically, there will either be five or six wires. If the unit has five wires, there will be three the same colour - often either white or yellow - these are the phase connections to the alternator. The other two will be either red with black or red with green. In either case, the red wire is the positive feed to the battery and the black or green wire is ground (frame). This six wire rectifier differs only in that the extra connection for voltage sensing. In this case, the three alternator phases are the same as for the five wire unit. There will be a red wire which is a positive feed as before. The green wire is ground and connects to the negative battery terminal. The black wire is the voltage sensor and connects to anything that is positive once the ignition is switched on. The feed to the fuel pump is a handy place to make this connection.

On a good battery, the voltage across the terminals should not exceed 14.5 volts with the engine running. Maximum alternator output is achieved at 5000 rpm, but you should see a steady rise from around 13.5 volts at tick over. A failed rectifier/regulator unit will either result in no charge at all, or the voltage rising to a very unhealthy 17 volts plus, without any control whatsoever.

Note that bad earth connections can also result in bulb failure. So if you're seeing the same one blowing all the time, then suspect a dodgy connection.

Passing lights XV1100SE 1998. Can anyone advice the correct way to wire up passing lights with a relay and switch? The relay has four terminals marked 85, 86, 87 and 30. I don't want to take the live connection straight from the battery as this would make the relay live all the time.

Hope this helps?! I do not (yet) have an XV but this is what I would do (auto electrician for 23 years). You have to have a meaty feed for these lights so it is advisable to take power from battery.

  • 85 put a wire from the feed (i.e. dead side of switch) to here if you want to have these passing lights on when headlight is on, get a feed for the switch from wiring at back of bulb (carefully choose the wire that feeds the dip beam if that is when you want them on)
  • 86 lead from here to earth (chassis)
  • 87 put a lead from battery or perhaps at the starter relay battery side to here via suitable fuse
  • 30 from here to your lights.

 

Where can I get a Yamaha owners manual from?

If you can't find a copy of your owners manual, try this little link from the USA's Yamaha website. Very useful for those little bits you need to know. Not all the manuals are listed.

http://www.starmotorcycles.com/star/owners-manuals

We just bought a 1984 XV700 with 7k miles on it. We ran it fine for the last 2 days, but got on it today to ride and when we put it into gear it died. It starts and idles fine, but once we put into gear it dies everytime. It seems to have battery power and all the lights and stuff are working fine, it just clicks and dies when put into first gear.

  1. It sounds very much like your side stand is down - or at least the side stand switch thinks that it's down. Most bikes are wired that way these days for safety (saves a nasty accident on the first left hand corner...) Try removing the switch and giving it a good clean, check the wiring around that area as well - a wire could have broken off or something like that.
  2. My 1995 XV535 did exactly the same thing. In the end the problem was with the clutch plates being almost glued together. Once they were freed and cleaned, problem solved.
  3. Hi, I have also had this problem, every so often the engine just dies, usually when in the fast lane, very frustrating and also lethal. After much swearing I returned my Dragstar to the shop, and it turned out that some water had got into the sidestand switch, shorting it out and telling the bike that the side stand is down therefore cutting the power. All they did was disassemble the switch, dry it out and pack it with grease, and since then I have had no problem.

Can anyone tell me what battery I need for my Virago 1100? The current battery on is has the code GM18Z-3A, and I've been told no one can find this battery.

I have just fitted a battery to my 89 Virago 1100 it's a sprint power max. Y50-N18l-A2 it fits and works a treat!

You can also use YTX24HL-BS or Y50N18LA. The best replacement is a wrapped glass mat gel filled sealed for life battery. They carry around 50% more cold crank power, work better in cold weather and can't spill. But they do cost a bit more.

I have a 1983 Virago. The problem is that the starter grinds when you go to start it. Can you tell me how to fix the problem or show me what I need to make to fix it.

The problem is usually the outer idler pinion and its friction clip. It slips and the gear tries to grind its way in.

Starter problems on the early bikes (mine's a 1982) are common. The friction clip on the outer idler pinion looses its grip. I put a jubilee clip on it and tightened it until it moved at 5.5 lbs on a spring balance. Works perfect. Then I found a place on eBay, "chopperbobs cycleworks" in America, who supply a laser cut clip that also does the job. They can also supply a 2mm washer to go behind the pinion to reduce how far it has to travel and stronger bolts for the starter and a shim. I bought the lot $38.40 USD and you also get a full parts list and items on the starter problem. I also cut the spring down to about half its size, carefully bent the ends so it does not foul up or snag, usually fires first time.

I ride a XV1100SE with 10k on the clock. Only recently bought bike. It is a 1999 model, my problem is this: when closing down the revs I am hearing a whine that seems to be coming from the drive shaft. As long as the throttle is on turn, no noise, only when coasting in gear. If I depress the clutch, the noise goes away.

Hi. Your question regarding the noise on your Virago... Unfortunately, the low mileage bike (average 1K per year) hasn't done you any favours! The problem is likely to be a dry bearing in the front shaft end in the gearbox. The reason this occurs is due to the lack of use or running of the bike regularly and I suspect the bike had sat a while without use. The cost of the strip down will be substantial if done by a bike shop mechanic due to the oil, gaskets , bearing and mostly labour.

The bike runs great on acceleration and whines when you shut off only. Low mileage "bargains" are not always what they seem!

I have a XVS1100 with 10k on the clock, when the engine is hot and you slow from a cruising speed to 30-50mph there is an odd sound comes from the front of the engine it is not affected by pulling in the clutch, or weather it is in neutral or in gear, a quick jab on the starter button or revving the motor, and will appear when you are stopped and disappear just as quickly sometimes with a flick on the gas, has any body come across this to give me some clue before I start stripping down.

I had a similar problem with my Dragstar XVS 1100A at about 8000 miles with a noise coming from the engine noticeable at low revs. I found that the starter solenoid was stuck and the starter was still turning. By hitting the starter button or revving the engine to cause vibration may be releasing such a problem. If it does stick and you do not notice, it will overload the battery and at night will flatten after 30 - 40 miles. The starter clutch allows the engine to go faster than the starter, bit even though it all runs in oil the starter clutch will wear. A stuck starter solenoid is most obvious when you switch the engine off and it continues to turn over on the starter. A replacement solenoid is about £40. Hope that this helps. Regards, Neil (Sting) Centre 8.

Our XV535 needed a new exhaust and after deciding against the after-market systems available we bought a genuine Yamaha replacement. It was staggeringly expensive, and I want to make it last as long as possible. I've read that I could pour two stroke oil down the spark plug holes occasionally. If I pour (thin) oil down the exhaust pipes, will it work its way into the collector box (the bit that rots first) under the engine?

You will probably find that the exhaust will rot from the outside inwards rather than from the inside out. That was the case with my 535 and my 1100 to which I now have an after market system fitted but the rear downpipe has just rotted through, again from the outside. They are as you say, staggeringly expensive. The rear downpipe section for my exhaust comes in at £90 alone! You might try putting some sort of underseal all over the collector box in an attempt to delay the corrosion process but it will rot eventually. I am now contemplating getting a custom made system made from Stainless Steel which should last the rest of the life of the bike.

Hi. I recently purchased a 750 Virago. It was popping in the exhaust. Took it off and did a lot of welding, hoping this would clear it. It did not so I purchased individual pipes and silencers. It still did not clear it but at least I now know it is the front pipe. Can anyone suggest a solution?

This could be a problem with your valve clearances being set incorrectly or perhaps a leak in the air intake weakening the air/fuel mixture. It may even be the exhaust gaskets leaking. I had to fit two gaskets to make one of my pipes seal correctly...

I have a P Reg XV750 Virago, it starts and ticks over sweet but as soon as I put it into first gear it lunges forward and kills the engine. Is the problem the clutch jamming??

Hi. Yes I would think it is most definitely the clutch sticking. To properly adjust that clutch you need to follow these instructions:

  1. Loosen the clutch cable at the clutch lever so there is significant free play.
  2. Follow the clutch cable down to the left side of the engine case where the clutch cable enters the side case and remove the access cover by removing the two screws.
  3. Loosen the lock-nut. The lock nut may be hard to break free but it will come undone with a little force.
  4. Using a Phillips screwdriver of the proper size, turn in the adjusting screw clockwise in until it just touches the clutch rod. You may have to practice this a few times to get the feel of where bottom is. NOTE: there is an O-ring on the screw shaft which will cause some resistance. Be sure the screw contacts the push rod firmly but lightly.
  5. Using the Phillips screwdriver, rotate the adjusting screw 3/16 to 1/4 turn out counterclockwise.
  6. Tighten the lock-nut while holding the adjusting screw in place using a phillips screwdrver to be sure the adjusting screw does not turn in.
    Caution: Do not operate the clutch lever until the clutch mechanism adjustment is complete. Otherwise the steel balls that are in the housing may disengage.
  7. Readjust the clutch lever free play at the handlebar so that there is 2-3 mm free play.

I hope this helps.

I recently bought a 1993 Yamaha Virago XV750 and would like to change the exhaust pipes for after market ones but I dont seem to be able to get the rear pipe off. I have cut the 2 bottom bends off and still no joy. Do you have to drop the whole engine just to change this rear pipe?

The usual problem is the steel ring (flange) causing your issue.

Take the front head pipe all the way off FIRST. There is no way to get the system off as a unit. Not without really messing it up that is.

Remove the two exhaust stud nuts from the front cylinder. Then loosen the clamp holding the head pipe to the rest of the exhaust (just to the rear of your right drivers foot peg). With the mounting flange loose (the part that the nuts hold up on the engine) gently pull the front head pipe away from the mounting studs. This should be relatively easy, but you might need to twist it gently back and forth. Once you clear the exhaust studs, twist the pipe to loosten the connection with the rest of the exhaust and pull the head pipe off. Set it aside.

Then remove the nuts from the rear cylinder that hold the exhaust flange on that pipe and it will all loosen up so you can get it off. There is a clamp where the rear head pipe connects as well, so make sure you loosen and remove that as well before you wrestle the rest of the system out from under the frame.

Be aware that the center stand will cause problems for you. If you can, lift the bike from the bottom of the engine and stabilize it, and then remove the center stand while you take out the expansion chamber. Otherwise you're in for a lot of pulling, tugging, hair pulling and cussing.

Carb leaks fuel from rubber pipe behind air intake even though new needle valve fitted

The problem may be your carburettor float is set incorrectly or stuck.

See this link for some useful information:

https://www.fix.com/blog/motorcycle-carburetor-float-height-adjustment/

 

I keep burning out my headlight bulb. Maybe someone out there can help? It's a 2000 V-Star 1100 classic.

Bulbs can blow for a number of reasons. If you're seeing the same one blowing all the time, then suspect a bad connection.

  • Take a look at your electrical connections to the bulb. Make sure that the contacts in the bulb housing are not corroded. Note that bad earth connections can also result in bulb failure. Make sure the earth connection is good. You may need to strip the wires back a little to see they are in good condition. Bright contacts and bright copper wires are want you want to see. Also make sure the bulb holder's sprung contacts are tight and that the bulb is not loose when it's fitted. A loose bulb can draw more current because of poor contact or even arcing.
  • Next, make sure that your regulator voltage is correct. On a good battery, the voltage across the terminals should not exceed 14.5 volts with the engine running. Maximum alternator output is achieved at 5000 rpm, but you should see a steady rise from around 13.5 volts at tick over. A failed rectifier/regulator unit will either result in no charge at all, or the voltage rising to a very unhealthy 17 volts plus, without any control whatsoever.
  • Finally, make sure you're not buying cheap bulbs as they will not last as well as quality branded bulbs.

I hope this helps you. Let me know.

Have Virago 535, 1998. Problem I have is my headlight keeps going out a few seconds after I turn it on, high beam work's fine, can anyone help ?

It is probably just your bulb with a loose connection internally. When the bulb warms up, the element gets hot and goes open circuit. Try changing your bulb and see what happens.

Failing that, try looking at the sprung contacts in the bulb holder and even the quality of the electrical wiring at the holder. It should be bright copper with no signs of corrosion.

I've gone through 2 replacement regulators for my 1992 XV1100 in the last year, both blew the main fuse. The original regulator had fins to deal with heat build-up but the replacement ones didn't. Can you suggest a reliable regulator for my bike?

I would suggest that it’s not the voltage rectifier/regulator that’s the problem if you’ve gone through two units so quickly.
I’ve had a look on various places and all new Yamaha rectifiers don’t have fins so you should make sure that the unit is bolted to a good heat sink on the frame so that the heat can be dissipated properly.
The real problem could be either the alternator/stator that gives voltage to the rectifier or it may be something after the rectifier that is drawing too much current.

My Virago 1998 speedometer and tach lights go out and come back on at random

This will surely be a problem with your wiring connections. You haven't specified which Virago you own, but if you can trace your wires from the bulbs back through the loom to the various connectors using a wiring diagram - perhaps from a workshop, Haynes, or Clymer manual then you should be able to spot the problem. If you don't have a manual then a good place to look for a diagram, is here: http://www.classiccycles.org/1852/597985.html or perhaps here: http://viragotech.com/wiring/Indexofwiring.html

Hi, XV700, do I have to drop engine to remove carbs?

Hi. No you don't. You do need to remove the carburetor rubber boots with them. Here's a link to some great instructions that will really help:

http://viragotech.com/newtech/removing%20the%20carburetors.htm

Good luck.

What length is the push rod on TR1 XV1000 Yamaha? The problem is with new clutch plates. I have too much free play on the cable and maybe the pushrod has worn over 125000 miles and not pushing the pressure plate enough.

I don't think the push rod would be the problem. I would first suggest that you check the thickness of the new clutch plates against the originals. It's possible that the new ones are thicker - perhaps aftermarket parts have been fitted?

Fitted new battery, Virago still won't start. The starter is swinging over, but the engine won't start. Lights working, except for right indicator (making buzzing noise in turn signal box) and horn. Also, when turning key, I don't hear the electrical pump starting up (or so I have been told that is what makes the tick, tick, tick nose when turning the key).Checked all connections, and replaced (main) fuse with new one (30) under the seat.Virago still not starting. Can it be the regulator/rectifier?

Two things to check:

  • Is there a spark from the spark plugs? Remove the spark plugs and place the body against the engine block. Then press the starter button. If there is no spark, you will need to diagnose further.
  • Is fuel getting to the engine? If the electric pump is not ticking, either the pump if fully primed or there is a fault with it. Can you smell fuel from the spark plug holes?

I have a 1990 Yamaha Virago 1100. When I put in the key the headlight will come on but the bike does nothing at all when I push the ignition switch. Any idea what can be wrong?

I would start by checking the Kill Switch on the handlebars and the Side Stand switch. After that, try the Side Stand relay or the Starter relay. Failing that, you will need to check the wiring.

You can find a wiring diagram at this link: http://www.viragotech.com/wiring/86_95_uk_XV1000_XV1100.jpg

I am intending to get the clutch case re-chromed but the casing has a ring of polished and lacquered aluminum fixed in it, it seems to be bedded in rubber, with a chrome dome over it.I have not been able to figure out how this ring or the chrome center comes out.Have you got any idea how to get the ring and the chrome center come out or do you know anyone who has managed to remove them.

I have done this, and it’s not easy.

On the outside of the casing, where the ring is, there is hidden a massive circlip like set-up. That’s what is holding it in.

What I did was use a dremel to cut the ring at the bottom, and the 1” wide ring “pings” away exposing the circlip. You will then see how it fits back again.

Get the ring alloy welded (5 minute job for an engineering shop) and tidy the weld up. In the meantime, get the casing rechromed.

Fit the ring and the chrome inner cover using the circlip once all the parts are back.

We own a xv 535, pushing the starter button it will not start. Connecting the starter relay directly to the battery is starts immediately and runs fine. I have no clue were to start looking. thnx for your help.grtz Hero Bos

There are a few interlocks and switches which may have failed which could cause this to happen. Make sure the sidestand switch, stop switch, Neutral switch and sidestand relay are all working correctly (you can try temporarily bypassing them to help diagnose the fault). Of course, it could be the starter relay itself is the problem. Can you hear it engaging when you press the start button?

Here's a link to a suitable wiring diagram that may help you (courtesy of Virago Tech.com):

I have fitted a set of cobra pipes to my XV1900A. I have had a Power Commander fitted and tuned but it still pops and bangs. Any ideas what else I can do?

I had the same problem a while back. It's probably an air leak at the exhaust outlet ports, due to the difference in some replacement manifold sizes compared to Yamaha's.

I found I needed to fit two Yamaha exhaust gaskets to make a good seal between the manifold and the cylinder head. Perhaps try some exhaust paste as well - just to ensure a really good seal.

Hi I have an 01 dragstar 1100 custom and for some reason my rear brake peddle is really stiff and with force does engage but does not spring back up I've checked fluid and pads and they are fine what else could it be.

There are a number of things to check...

Can you bleed the system easily? Does the pedal move freely and return to its normal position when you are bleeding the brakes? If not then...

Is the mechanical linkage working correctly? It would be a good idea to remove the rear brake pedal from the hydraulic system and see if the pedal moves freely - fix that bit first.

Secondly, check the brake calipers and ensure all the moving parts are in good order. Remove the dust seals and check the caliper pistons. There could be some corrosion that is causing the problem you are having. When you put them back together, lubricate all the correct points and replace the dust seals.

Thirdly, check the rear brake master cylinder. Again the moving parts may have corrosion and would need replacing.

If you're not sure about repairing your brakes, then seek someone locally who can inspect them and repair them properly if needed.

Hi all. I have an 2000 Wildstar (XV1600) with 12.5k on the clock. It's currently got Highway Hawk slip-ons (I've added baffles as the noise was beyond horrendous straight through). However, it is prone to a lot of popping etc. on closing the throttle. I've read that removing the AIS and plugging the ports on the heads with plugs made by 'Barons' is a cure for this. Has anyone here done this? Was the result worth it? I'm a bit nervous about hammering bits off but the general consensus seems to be the AIS is superfluous and only there to meet Californian emissions regulations... Any experience or views? THANKS!

Hi. I removed the AIS on a couple of my Wildstar and everything was great - no problems at all Baron's AIS plugs are really easy to fit. The bike looks a whole lot better as well.

The popping in decelleration may be an issue with your exhaust headers not sealing properly to the cylinder head. I used two sets of Yamaha exhaust gaskets to make a good seal, which stopped the popping I had. It should certainly improve things for you.

Where is the sidestand switch and what does it look like on a 93 750

Hi. The side stand switch is placed just above the sidestand of your bike. You can see an image of it at this link - you can also buy replacements there too.

http://www.cmsnl.com/yamaha-xv750-1993-4gk1-switzerland-234gk-361e1_model38708/switchside-stand_33e8256600/#.WIxrnfmLSUk

Hi What would you recommend as the Best Engine oil for my V star classic 1100. I live in the UK

Yamaha will tell you to use Yamalube 10w40 motorcycle oil or equivalent. So just get a good motorcycle oil that is 10w40. (Castrol is good, but there are other excellent manufacturers). Most dealers recommend not running a full synthetic oil but a part synthetic is okay. Just make sure it's motorcycle oil with no additives. Fit a new Yamaha oil filter and be sure to change your drain bolt sealing washer every time to prevent stress to the engine cases from over tightening.

Hi I have a Virago 535 and it has a leaking exhaust gasket at the head on the rear cylinder any suggestions how to get the elbow pipe off when studs at the head are mega corroded and just strip?

You are going to struggle unless you can heat and cool the studs enough to break the rusty seal. I took a good look on Google and most say lots of heat, on the affected part, at a direct impact to the stud. It may be better to ride your bike so the stud gets hot and then get off the bike when you're home and apply some direct force to the stud. Do this a few times and it should be enough to break the seal...

https://garage.eastwood.com/eastwood-chatter/10-tricks-to-remove-stripped-stuck-bolts/

Good luck!

My 1100 Virago has spark but won't start

Hi. You need to make sure that fuel is getting to the carburettors. As long as the engine is turning over, you have a good, strong electrical spark (and they are in the correct order i.e. not swapped over), then it can only be fuel missing. Make sure your fuel pump is working. You could try spraying some Easy Start into the inlet manifold to see if that helps diagnose your problem.

1996 1100 Virago. All lights work except the rear running lights. Is it a relay or short. where is the relay and how do i check it

From what I can see in all the wiring diagrams I have seen, there are no rear running lights on a Yamaha Virago. Please can you let me know what country your bike was made for - USA, UK, Europe etc...

My '92 Virago 750cc is showing no electrical activity with battery connected, charging cables attached from a running vehicle, and even when we disconnect the battery and hook the cables to the open battery cables and then run the other vehicle, there's no sign of life when I turn the key on. Is there a master fuse that might be burned out?

Hi.

There are two places that hide the main (or master) fuse.

  • The fuse box on the later models is located under the indicator light panel under the tacho and speedo. There are 4 little screws that hold the panel on.
  • Or,  check the main fuse located under the seat. It will be located in in a rubber case near the heavy red wire going to the battery +ve terminal.

I hope that helps.

Clutch gets stuck. Won't release normal or won't release. It's sticky on a 94 Virago Yamaha 750

Have you checked your clutch cable for free movement of the inner steel cable sliding inside the outer sheath?

You will need to disconnect it and possibly clean and lubricate it. In some cases it will require replacing.

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Carb leaks fuel from rubber pipe behind air intake even though new needle valve fitted

The problem may be your carburettor float is set incorrectly or stuck.

See this link for some useful information:

https://www.fix.com/blog/motorcycle-carburetor-float-height-adjustment/

 

Hi, XV700, do I have to drop engine to remove carbs?

Hi. No you don't. You do need to remove the carburetor rubber boots with them. Here's a link to some great instructions that will really help:

http://viragotech.com/newtech/removing%20the%20carburetors.htm

Good luck.

Has anyone heard of implosion of Dragstar 650 petrol tank as mine has had this happen. Any suggestions as to where I could get it repaired or replaced or maybe even self repaired?

  1. Yes, I've seen this happen to a friend of mine. There is a vent tube at the front of the fuel tank which has a rubber hose coming from it and routed under the fuel tank. It has been known for this hose to be kinked (e.g. when the fuel tank has been removed and then replaced for service work etc). Then, when the petrol is sucked out of the tank by the fuel pump an internal vacuum builds up. This is normally noticed as a hiss when the petrol cap is taken off. Sometimes the vacuum pressure is so great that the tank will implode. A good preventative cure is to get a replacement petrol cap that has its own ventilation. (Nick)
  2. Hi, I have just had this happen on my Wildstar. The problem was not the rubber hose but a blockage in the metal vent pipe that the hose attaches to on the tank. Resolved by forcing air down the pipe with a decent power air line. Apparently a common problem as the vent hole is so small that small particles of the dreaded rust from in the tank will block it. A must not do is to try and clear it with a piece of wire. Regards, Steady

I recently bought an XV 535. It has a fuel tap mounted on the bottom of the lower fuel tank. This is not mentioned anywhere in the hand book! It is shown in the Haynes manual as a schematic diagram, but nothing further is mentioned about it. It has a cable (pair) connected to it. When I turn the tap to the off position fuel leaks from it! Does anyone know any more about this device?

Yes, The manual fuel tap is between bottom tank and the electronic reserve solenoid which is controlled from the right hand handle bar switches. When you operate the switch you should be able to hear the solenoid click. The manual tap can be refurbished using a tap repair kit and is an easy job. Cost approx. £13.00 inc. postage from me if you want one. No need to remove the tank:-

Remove the seats and clamp the rubber hoses from the top tank to the lower tank. Make a funnel which can reach under the manual tap and remove the 2 screws holding the front cover. Ease the tap to allow fuel to drain from the tap into your funnel and (hopefully) a bucket etc.

When the fuel has stopped, pull out the tap assembly completely, clean and replace the 'O' ring seal. Ease the tap assembly back into place and replace the 2 screw. Your leak should now be cured.

If you need to replace the electronic solenoid, the bottom tank will have to come out and Haynes shows how to do this.

(In my case I actually took the tank out and completely dismantled the fuel tap and solenoid Assy. It was just seized up with dirt/rust etc. Complete clean and lubricate and then all Worked fine! no parts needed.)

I have a Virago 535 1995 model, and got a shock after the bike started slowing down and spluttering (yes I ran out of petrol). I turned the petrol reserve on and tried to start it, only to discover either the reserve did not work or it clicked in automatically without letting me know.

  1. I am not sure how long ago you posted this, but I am having the same problem with my Virago. After removing the fuel cock assembly from the underside of the lower gas tank (above swingarm), I found that a part was missing. On the fuel cock there is small tube that sticks up. This tube is the "main" fuel draw pipe. In theory, when you switch to the reserve, there is another hole in the fuel cock assembly next to the main pipe that will draw fuel. The main fuel pipe is elevated so that you can empty the fuel tank to the top of the main draw pipe. Once you flip to reserve, you are drawing fuel from top of the main fuel pipe down to the bottom of the tank. I have attached a parts catalog and a print of the specific page of the parts catalog that shows the fuel cock assembly. I am going to take my tank out of the virago tonight to try and shake it to get the main fuel pipe out. I think it just fell off the fuel cock assembly, so the fuel is being drawn to the bottom of the tank no matter what position my switch is in. I did check on the price for the fuel cock assembly and it is $220 US dollars!
  2. I had exactly the same problem and found it was indeed the reserve switch. (Although with mine it was back to front, Res was normal and normal was reserve). I think that the switch had broken so the previous owner changed it over so it was on permanent reserve.. Bloody nuisance or what!! Anyway, a quick visit to EBay and got a new handlebar switch for a tenner, problem solved.
  3. I had the same type of problem. You have to remove tap and take off rear cover, then give the plunger a good clean then grease everything up put it back together. Now when you flick to reserve there's no mistaking the tap switching over (loud clunk), the initial prob seems to start either because of jet washing or wet weather spray onto tap which is assembled dry, I did as above and had no further trouble my mileage per year was an average 60,000.
  4. I've had a 535 for 14 years now and ran out of fuel regularly in the early days. The problem is generally not with the switch on the handle bars but with the solenoid valve fitted below the fuel tank. Because of its location low down it gets attacked by all the road grime and seizes up, thus not moving to the reserve position. Unfortunately it's a messy job to get at it. Haynes manuals recommend removing the tank via the side of the bike but I was advised by a Yamaha mechanic at one of our rallies that it is easier to remove the rear wheel and lower the swing arm to get at the valve. This does unfortunately mean that, when you get the valve off the tank, you spill all that reserve fuel on the floor. I've done this twice now with the same valve over the years but it's now failed again and looks in bad condition. I've got into the practice of filling up every 70 miles now, just in case! I reckon this is one of the bad points of a 535.

TIP. With regards to the replacement of the reserve solenoid switch fitted to the base of the lower fuel tank on my 98 535 Virago. I had occasion to replace it a couple of weeks ago & according to my Haynes manual it was going to be a massive job. After following the instructions to the letter I got to the last thing & that was to remove the lower fuel tank, for some reason it just would not come out as if something amongst the mass of electrical wiring was stopping it.

Now after 2 hours I was about to give up on it. It was just too narrow a gap underneath it to get my hand under & take the solenoid off that way leaving the tank in situ. After thinking about it I put the 2 top tank fixing screw back in without the thick rubber washers on & this pulled the tank up just a little higher enabling me to get a hand under it with a short Philips stub driver in a small ratchet to undo the solenoid. I managed to fit the new one the same way.

It seems that as long as you don't have hands like shovels it's possible to replace this item simply by disconnecting the wiring to it, take off the side cover & frame section, clamp the 2 fuel pipes, unscrew the 2 top tank holding screws & replace them without the rubber washers to draw the tank up 1/4" thus being able to get a hand under. Job done in a fraction of the time. It's just not necessary to half strip the bike down every time a job needs to be done as suggested in the manual.

I am looking for some help. I have a 1997 XS 535 which starts OK. When it is warm the engine races and when you ride it has a driving throttle. Have checked the cables and they are free, the sliders seem to return ok. My local garage suggested I put in an additive (which he has sold me) in to the fuel. Have a can to a tank full. Run this for two tank full’s and see if there is any difference. Covered a hundred miles yesterday with no results. Can anybody advise me of a solution as I do not want to have to pay for a main dealer to fix it. PS. Are there any mobile bike mechanics in the Gainsborough Lincolnshire area?

I have had some excellent service from a mobile mechanic, Russ Thomas, who has fixed the problems on my 535. He came over to me and diagnosed another problem, sourced a second hand spare part to save me money, fitted the piece and carried out a first class job.

Russ tested the balance of my carbs, found they were miles out and re set them. The result was bike back to normal. I also had a problem with a new battery which charged up OK but after a run of say 50 miles was flat. Russ tested the voltage and found it was sending out 17 volts rather than 14 which was normal hence a second hand rectifier/regulator which he sourced at half the cost of new. He returned and fitted it for me. I was impressed. If this can help others in the club there seems to be a shortage of mobile mechanics around the country.
Russ Thomas is based in Rothwell Lincolnshire
Tel: 01472 371155
Mob: 07940 752 606

Professional Carb Servicing & Repairs

From time to time I visit your site, and thought I might have something to offer you in the way of carby help. I am a Virago Owners Club member from the USA.  After several years of working with European customers I though it worth the time to send you my link in case any of you chaps could use some help. My site and it's enclosed link will help explain much of what I do, but if you have any questions please feel free to ask.

http://www.classiccarbsandmore.com/

Thanks for your time and I hope you all enjoy many safe miles of road ahead.
Respectfully yours,
Michael D. Belluomo
VOC member #8014
Wichita, Kansas
USA

1) Just like to share a problem that hopefully I have now resolved.
Problem started with poor running and struggling to reach 55mph. Looking on your excellent website and other FAQ's realised that this problem with 535 Viragos was common. Did the usual, carb diaphragms no change, inlet rubbers no change, coil for rear cylinder as my local garage advised me it was only running on front at high revs and on demand, no change.
Black Box sent for testing... returned okay. Garage had bike for a month and were scratching their heads and although they had the carbs off twice and told me they were operating okay suggested I buy replacements.
Argued the bill for work done and got reduction on the basis that it had the same fault it went in with and took the bike home.
Ran electrical continuity checks on all circuits and found that one of the carb heaters and the thermostat was not passing current. Isolated the circuit and took it for a run. 70 no problem and response and accelaration unbelievable in comparison to before.
Strange thing is my 535 is a 1993 model and they were not fitted until 94 with heaters. Will get new parts when I can find a supplier (any suggestions greatly received). email mactarn@fsmail.net

2) As I know you get more than your fair share of carburetor-related questions I thought I'd add my 2 cents to your bank of information. If you ever find that any of your subscribers need extensive and thorough carburetor work, please feel free to consider offering my services as an option.

Currently I am a member of the Virago Owners Club and the VMAX Owners Association. In case you ever cruise to any carbs sites, you might find info on me out there. I am listed on the web page of Mac McCurdy (Technical Director for the Virago Owners Club) as a source for carburetor work. His site is found at www.drpiston.com. I am also listed on the web site of David Denowh, who rebuilds the Virago TCI ignition units for the older bikes.

Right now I own 5 "riding" bikes a '84 Yamaha XV1000 a '85 VMAX and a '84 V65 1100 Honda Magna, a '86 Yamaha Fazer 700, and a '84 Honda VT700 Shadow. In the past year I have also owned a '85 XV1000 Virago, a '85 Yamaha Maxim 700, a '84 XV700 Virago and a "83 VT500 Honda Ascot. I like bikes ya might say!

I'm closing in on my 200th carburetor restoration, and my customers are always very happy to recommend me as a source of professional carb work. I am very humbled to say that one of my recent XV1100 Mikuni restored carbs just sold on Ebay for over $600, and a similar set of XV750 carbs went for $320. When you invest in my services, you get your money's worth!

I hope that you do not consider me too bold in suggesting myself as a source of professional repair, But I do feel that I can offer a proven method of restoring excellent carburetor function and reliability.

Many thanks in advance,

Mike Belluomo/Classic Carbs & More

415 South Fountain
Wichita, Kansas 67218-1327
USA
My website www.classiccarbsandmore.com

Hi, I hope someone out there can help. I am new to all this, I bought my first big bike a few months ago (Virago 535 1997), the dealer told me that I should expect well over 100 miles on a tank of petrol. I do not over rev or go stupid on it but I can only ever get 90 miles before I have to switch to the reserve, is this normal ? I am not bothered about the cost in petrol, I do not want to damage the bike, if there is a problem then I want to get it sorted. I hope someone can give me some advice.

  1. I get about the same out of my bike, and it is the 'two tank' style. If you've only one tank it'll be less. Doesn't seem to matter how hard you ride either - I still fill up about the 90 mile mark. I don't use reserve very long at all, but it should be good for about another 15 miles or so before you're pushing... (from Andy Palmer)
  2. I have a 2002 535 and fill up around 110 miles and have never put more than 8 litres in (13.5 ltr fuel tank). From cold I turn the choke off after a mile or so. In your position I think I'd have the bike serviced and get them to check the carb settings. (from Robot)

1998 535dx when throttle just opened engine revs increase until engine races. Engine sounds like it has a slight miss, starts no problem and ticks over quite smooth. I have never had to use the choke to start the bike. The diaphragms look ok but one seems a lot less pliable than the other. Any help greatly appreciated. Also does anyone know where to buy reasonably priced spares, I have been quote £53-00 for one diaphragm.

When my diaphragms went it paid me to phone up Partfinder (09060 300 100, £1 per minute for about 2 minutes) and order a whole Carb. The carb was virtually brand new for £50. You are right that the dealers will charge near that amount for just one diaphragm. Wouldn't be so bad if they were reliable. One tip for you - try and run the bike as often as you can with good fuel, especially in the winter, the diaphragms crack if they're not used. (from Andy Palmer)

Confusing Engine Troubles.About 10 months ago I decided I wanted to ride a bike. 6 months ago I started some training and happened to find a '93 UK spec Yamaha XV535 that was quite tidy, cheap and with all the extras and looks I wanted. The bike was delivered, I was unable to ride it, but it started, sounded OK and looked sound. I didn't pass my test when I expected (I eventually took four goes to pass, examiners are so picky..) so the bike was stored in my garage for 6 months, started every couple of weeks, and went around the block once. In the mean time I bought a 125 to get experience riding.So I passed my test a few weeks ago. Knowing that the bike didn't start anymore, I took some advice and got a garage to clean the carbs, set them up per the manuals and balance them.To the problem. I got the bike back and was told that the exhaust was a replacement, non standard unit, hence the nice sound, and that the both carbs had '135'jets that probably weren't big enough for the exhaust. I was told that it was likely the bike would run hot, and that that may explain the bluing on the top of the exhaust. Fair enough I thought, I'll keep an eye out.The bike seems to hold back at low revs under load, then springs into life, then really holds back at higher revs. this to the extent that in fifth gear I can just about manage 70 MPH. I've been beaten at the lights by a boy racer in a Fiesta (god that hurt!) and I think I get a faster 0-50 from my 125!!.Now I realise this bike is a cruiser, so I'm not expecting to scare myself - but I expected a little excitement!! I recently checked the plugs, they are carbonised (and newly replaced) but other wise ok. I am also assured the carb diaphragms are ok too. Air filter was checked before I took it in, that was fine. Seemingly no air leeks either. Bike certainly sounds ok when idling and revving under no load. Haven't needed much choke to start it and the problems seem to get slightly worse when the bike is hotter. I think it did backfire once too. Only got 88 miles from full tank to start of reserve (2 tank system).Any ideas why it runs so bad, is the set-up wrong, something too rich??

This is a good 'un and one of my C19 buddies had a problem just like this fairly recently. Turned out that the low tension feed to one of the coils was hanging on by just a couple of strands. The effect was to limit the amount of current available to the coil, hence under certain load conditions the bike would either "hang back" or run on 1 1/2 pots. Also, look for any evidence of damage to the wiring harness. I had one detach from the frame and gently trail onto the rear pot exhaust header. This resulted in intermittent shorts in the ignition system and a lot of hassle.

With a problem like this, it's often best to assume that nothing can be trusted & must be checked. So if it were my bike, I'd run through the whole lot, in a slow and methodical way, taking care to leave no stone unturned. Assume nothing - it's easy to overlook small details if a fixed idea gets set in one's mind. Check all electrical connections very carefully and measure the coil resistances. Double check the carbs. Make sure that the fuel system is functioning properly. Check the battery and charging circuit. If the system voltage drops low enough when the engine is running, the igniter unit won't work properly and erratic running will result. The chances are that the fault is being caused by something quite simple, but easily overlooked. Most UK spec bikes don't need a lot of choke to start and will usually tolerate aftermarket exhausts fairly well - as long as there is a reasonable amount of baffle in them. Your problem may well not be generated by the jets or the pipes. Nonetheless, it is still worth getting the mixture checked properly once the main culprit has been found.
All the best, Scoops

PS. Hi guys,

Just thought I'd let you know how the story ends...

A few comments and some advice from Alf England Motorcycles brought the after market pipes into question. I was loathed to pay out and get different ones, but unfortunately I had no choice. The join between the front cylinder and the down pipe had corroded (you know that little crease joining the two) and suddenly one day I didn't have a front pipe!!
I managed to get a second hand exhaust from a 2001 XV535 that had been crashed - it was virtually brand new. Made a big difference to the smoothness of the top end, but the bike was still bad at the bottom end and would still only do 55 max!

While I was looking for the exhaust I used a company called Part finder (09060 300 100, £1 per minute for about 2 minutes). They fax about 100 bike breakers twice a day with parts people want. Using this I managed to get a nearly new carb for £60.
I was told new replacement diaphragms could cost over £100 so I thought this would do.

Anyway. Short of time, I got Alf England to fit the carbs. Apparently these carbs are designed for a new XV535 that used dual throttle cables and low compression cylinders, my bike isn't. So I thought all was lost. Luckily it seems that the body hasn't changed, so they changed all the jets and other bits, fitted a single longer throttle cable and did all the usual compression, balancing and other checks. They also had to replace the plugs - apparently the badly running engine had eaten the 2 month old ones!!

I'm currently well chuffed, bike did 55MPH in top. I can now do that in second!! It's a different bike.

Thanks to yourselves I've got my bike fixed and pinpointed the problems really quick. I suspect you were absolutely correct with the diaphragm diagnosis.

I'm now looking forward to being able to ride further, for longer. Thanks, Andy Palmer.

I have a Virago 535. It just seems gutless. It only seems to pull to 55 mph and that's it. When I go down the gear box from 5th to, say, 3rd it wont give me any more. I've checked the carbs and they seem fine, plugs have just been replaced and the air filter too. I've run out of ideas can any one help?

Did you check the condition of the carb diaphragms, not only for holes or tears but also for how well they fit to the slides? What you describe sounds like classic carb diaphragm failure to me. Does the bike run out of breath straight away, or does it run well from cold but get progressively worse as it warms up? If so, suspect the carb heaters.  You must remove the caps from the carburettors that cover the diaphragms. Then withdraw the diaphragms and the carb slides. The diaphragms must have no holes or tears in them. They must also be a tight fit on the slides. If they are loose or damaged, air will leak past them and give precisely the symptoms you describe.
Cheers, Scoops.

Why does my Virago 535 have a loss of full throttle power?

  1. My personal experience of running a 535 which suddenly lost all bite when opening throttle more than half, seemed like a breathing problem, so checked out filter, crankcase breather etc. Removed the carbs and found one piston would not push all the way back , and taking off the diaphragm cover found the diaphragm plus metal ring , plus two plastic washers to grip diaphragm had come apart...  Resolved this by wrapping plumber's tape (for pipe joints, one turn) round ring and re-assembled the whole lot. The second piston failed in exactly the same way. The boot over the carbs into the air filter box is a real pain, since it is ribbed, so I cut off the bottom two ribs and was able to shove the boot right up into the box. This let me re-install the carbs very easily.
  2. Re much-documented diaphragm problems. My '91 535 Virago recently started to perform really badly, not pulling, max speed 50 mph. I could not detect a mis-fire, it just wasn't pulling. The rear cylinder plug was VERY sooty, the front one was a bit sooty round the body, but the spark gap area was a nice light brown. The rear diaphragm assembly had simply come apart. The diaphragm is held on the black piston by a pressed metal collar. I simply superglued the collar back in and everything works. One point of caution: when you remove the piston and needle from the carb, check that there is a slight bit of play in the needle. i.e hold the piston in one hand and press the tip of the needle. There should be about 1/16th" of spring play in it. Hope this helps somebody one day. (from Ron Dobson)
  3. By way of a big thanks...  I'm not a member yet, (it depends on the bank manager. Hell, he didn't want me to get the bike in the first place.) I've got a Virago 125 and it had problems with the top end. The best I could ever get out of it was 50, and that was giving it all the welly I could.(55 downhill with a following wind). I've been reading some of your readers comments about Diaphragms and although most seem to be for bigger bikes I thought I'd give it a try. I got my son to check it out and he replaced the Diaphragm, put an in-line petrol filter in, tuned it up and hey presto. It's now got a 65 top end, it's swifter on the bottom and quicker to get up to speed. It ticks over with no choke, something it would never do before, and is running so quietly and smoothly it's like having a different bike. It looks as if it's here to stay. So if anyone has the same trouble with sluggish performance and slow top ends try it and see. Another thing, if you want to make a 125 look bigger take off the pillion seat. When I bought mine the seat wasn't fitted. Every time I put it back on my kids tell me it looks stupid so I take it off again, and you know, they're right. It looks different and bigger without it. Happy cruising, Sid.
  4. Just wanted to let you know, I have a '96 Virago. Last weekend I was having the same problems listed on your site under "Carb Problems"... my top end speed in 5th gear was 50, and it was backfiring and fouling out plugs. We found your site and my husband realised after reading some of the listings on your site that my carb diaphragms were in 3 pieces instead of all one piece. He glued them back together, and put them back on. We rode the rest of the day. We almost got caught out in a storm, but made it home 10 minutes before it hit. (had to ride 70-75 mph to make it home) Thank you all for sharing your experiences on here., sincerely, Brenda, Oklahoma USA
  5. Had the usual diaphragm problem with the XV535... Checked and found that the rear carb diaphragm had small tears around the very edge...patched it with some Loctite Superflex sealant spread thinly and built up gradually...that was 2500 miles ago and still no sign of problem returning... (Nessi)
  6. I've found this firm for replacement diaphragms on Virago and other carbs very useful .... www.nrp-carbs.co.uk Ride easy all. Nigel.

I was wondering if any body could help me. I have a Dragstar 650 bought new last September. When the bike has cooled down, there is a bad smell of petrol fumes, on my first service I mentioned this. The mechanic agreed there was a smell of petrol but couldn't find where it was coming from. At first I thought maybe it was coming from the petrol cap because it smelt of petrol through the keyhole, does the cap breath through the keyhole. Any ideas please?

There is a breather under the tank and this vents under the tank so any petrol vapour will filter into the closed spaces, under the speedo perhaps. When you have been for a run the heat rising from the engine will warm the tank making the petrol produce more vapour, hence the smell. I bet you only notice the smell on a still day (no wind), it is a sure sign that the tank is being vented correctly, be more worried if you cant smell anything, I had that problem on another bike and it caused no end of trouble. I hope this explains it?

I have a J reg Virago 750 which leaks petrol into the sump. It runs well and does not burn oil. Any suggestions how I can stop this?

  1. I had this problem on my 125. Eventually the problem was traced to the fuel pump, which it doesn't really need unless you run the tank right down. The fuel pump wasn't shutting off when the bike was tuned off, which meant when it was stood for a couple of days the sump would be full of petrol. This was discovered by attaching a tube with a stopper to the out bit of the pump and leaving the bike overnight, by the morning it was full of petrol. My pump has now been by passed and it has worked ok for the last year or so. Hope this may help
    Joanne
  2. The spring in the petrol tap corrodes and lets petrol get past. Eventually it gets past the needle valves in the carbs and floods them, petrol then flows down the bore into the sump. To check this is easy. Disconnect the fuel pipe from the tank - it should self seal. A vacuum pipe off the engine keeps it open and shuts when the engine is turned off. (XVTRALERMAN)

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I have XV750 (96/97) with wired spoked wheels, I would like to replace with alloys. Will alloyed wheels from an XV1100 fit without too much trouble?

I'm advised that the alloy wheels from the XV1100 are a straight fit onto the XV750 after 1994 (UK) with the caveat that the front brakes are different on some models so check the dimensions very carefully around that area. Alan Johnson (AJ)

I need to replace the rear tire on my XV750 virago 1987, my question is how difficult it is if I want to replace the tire myself? I do have compressor and some tools to do the job but is it difficult to remove the wheel from the motorcycle? The size is 140/90/15

It's certainly possible to change the tyre yourself but bearing in mind the performance of modern bikes and the safety aspects involved I wouldn't recommend it unless you REALLY know what you are doing. There are also balancing issues. I buy my tyres direct and take the wheel and new tyre into a local shop to fit them, they charge me around £5 including balancing.

To remove the real wheel. Support the bike securely, unless you like lying down with it on top of you, detach the link from the brake panel and the brake rod and move them out of the way, remove the cotter pin from the axle nut and remove the nut and washer, loose the axle pinch bolt, support the wheel and remove the axle and washer, pull the wheel to the right, it will come honestly but it's sometimes reluctant, remember to ensure the bike is secure, this should free it from the drive assembly. Reassembly is a straight reversal but carefully check and clean all components before reusing and ALWAYS use a new cotter pin. Torque for the axle nut is 105Nm.
Alan Johnson (AJ)

XV1100 Fork Seals. I have paid for these to be replaced (leaking) to often now. I'm told that it's because the machine is not used enough. I normally do about 2000 miles year when the sun is out, then it goes back into the garage Does anybody know of a seal that will handle this situation and not harden whilst stored??

I know this was posted a while back but having suffered leaking seals on the wife's new XV750 trike, I think it is because when parked for a while with steering lock on it puts pressure sideways on seal over time it distorts the seal causing it to leak all the time. I now park the trike in garage with steering straight no side loads this may help if parked for long periods. Ian M C14 VSOC

My mate has just bought an 1100 Virago. He tells me that it has a strange steering twitch when he accelerates or decelerates around the 60 mph mark. I've never heard of anyone else experiencing this and wondered if anyone could shed any light on the matter for him. He took the bike to Yamaha who could find nothing wrong.

  1. I had the same problem on my 535, although I didn't think it was a problem at the time, as I thought that that was how the bike handled, and just got used to it. But when I had the MOT the tester failed it, and asked if I was having problems with straight line steering and an uneasy turning arch going round corners and bends. I said yes. He showed me that the rear swing arm bushes were loose, to me they didn't even move, but when he showed me the travel horizontally at the furthest point at the end point of the rear wheel it turn into about 1 1/2 inches, which was more than enough to cause the problem, the bush nuts were duly tightened, and bike rides like a dream now, and a life saver. From Andy Bond
  2. Always check your tyre pressures are correct. Low pressure on the front or rear tyres can cause this effect - worse still they can overheat and blow out when at speed!!

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I have a '97 XV535 and since she got soaked a couple of months back she "chugs" at the slightest hint of damp weather. Starts off ok then accelerates and decelerates on a whim, I keep thinking I am going to end up in the back of a car. I have had the electrics cleaned and greased and the next step now is for new coils (so say the garage) but I am losing confidence in them because they can't seem to sort this out. Also the fuel consumption seems to have rocketed lately.

XV 535's have some little flaws any of which can give you this type of problem.
I would check as follows;

Rough running & heavy fuel consumption

If the bike starts ok but begins to run rough after a while on the road, suspect faulty carburettor heaters. XV535 carbs are prone to icing in cold and damp conditions - typically if the ambient air temperature dips much below about 12 deg C. The carb heaters are fitted to combat this problem. They can fail at any time during the summer and you'll be none the wiser. But come the cold weather you'll definitely notice that something is not right. The effect is rather similar to that observed when trying to run a hot engine with the choke on.

From your description, I would suspect the heaters first.

If the bike starts ok and runs well but inexplicably runs out off puff early in the rev range, or feels like it's top speed is restricted, suspect split or loose carburetor diaphragms. XV535's tend to suffer from this problem, though bikes that are used less often are generally more prone than those used frequently. Split or loose diaphragms hamper the operation of the carburetors resulting most usually in power loss, but can also cause rough running - especially if only one of the pair is affected.

Poor charging, or a duff battery can result in the igniter unit not functioning correctly. This will also cause the bike to run rough.

 

535 Virago - Problem with poor running and struggling to reach 55mph

  1. I did the usual, carb diaphragms no change, inlet rubbers no change, coil for rear cylinder as my local garage advised me it was only running on front at high revs and on demand, no change. Black Box sent for testing... returned okay. Ran electrical continuity checks on all circuits and found that one of the carb heaters and the thermostat was not passing current. Isolated the circuit and took it for a run. 70 no problem and response and acceleration unbelievable in comparison to before.
  2. Hiya. I had this problem as well (mine's an F Reg 89 model) - I was told Yamaha had cured the problem later on with heated carbs but people with heated carbs still report the problem. My local Garage said he was talking to someone in the pub and they suggested fitting a hotter plug in the back cylinder. I was up for the gamble and the bike runs real smooth now, is VERY responsive to a snap of the throttle and just goes brilliantly. That was 2 years ago and I have not changed the set up. It just works.
  3. The chaps at Motorcycle Services in Derby suggested that I take my bike to "Sam's Dyno" in Hatton ( www.samsdyno.com ) for a diagnostic run so that they would have a better idea of what to do. The first thing Warren did was to check that the cylinders were developing pressure, because if they weren't then there's no point putting it on the dyno he said. The pistons are supposed to generate 145 units of pressure. The front cylinder was generating 155 and the rear was 135. He said that this could be due to the valves being too closed at the front and too open at the back. He also noted that my spark plugs were rated too hot for the bike and these two issues could be contributing to my problem. The run on the dyno showed that the engine was delivering power smoothly up through the rev's. Also the air/fuel ratio whilst OK, was running from slightly rich to slight weak going up through the revs. This he said was probably due to the after market exhaust. Re-jetting would probably help the bike's responsiveness at high power, but wouldn't help with my problem. Motorcycle Services have now adjusted the valves and down rated the plugs. So far the bike has been behaving itself. So hopefully I've got it cracked.

Where can I get a Yamaha owners manual from?

If you can't find a copy of your owners manual, try this little link from the USA's Yamaha website. Very useful for those little bits you need to know. Not all the manuals are listed.

http://www.starmotorcycles.com/star/owners-manuals

I have recently fitted a National Cycle Heavy Duty Touring screen to my 2001 model 650 Dragstar which fitted perfectly, however there is severe wind buffeting at any speeds over 45mph (at 60mph its so bad that I cant even focus on anything). I have tried adjusting the screen from its lowest to its highest positions, adjusted the rake of the screen and even tried several different crash helmets to see if that would help but all to no avail. When the screen is in its highest position it is well above my eye level but the buffeting is still there.

  1. The problem with the wind buffeting on the Dragstar (V-Star here in the States) is the wind coming up from under the windshield and over the tank. The wind then hits you right in the chin and chest and bounces your head around. The way to test if this is in-fact happening is to fold an arm over your chest when going down the road. If the buffeting decreases or stops, then what is needed is lowers mounted just under the shield next to the forks. They deflect the wind out and around you when you are going down the road. It worked for me.
  2. I had the same problem with my Dragstar and the Yamaha screen. After a lot of messing around trying highest/ lowest and changing the rake of the screen I found that the rake allowed wasn't enough to pull the top edge of the screen back far enough to allow the wind to flow over the screen smoothly. I took a round file to the top holes in the brackets that attach to the forks and elongated them backwards towards the bike. This allowed me to set the screen back as far as its possible to go and this cured the problem. (Note that if you do this you will need to leave a small, 2 to 3 mill, gap between the screen edge and the brake master cylinder to avoid marking the screen).

I wanted to know if there is a cure for the incredibly stiff clutch lever on the big 1100 Virago compared to it's smaller sibling, or am I just going to have to build up some strength in my puny hands?

When I first purchased my 1100 I too thought that I was being whimpish and suffered the same clutch problem, it also had a tendency to slip when I was in a hurry, until... don't you just love rallies... at the Gems I got to ride another and was amazed at how light it was. Taking the cable off immediately showed what the problem was, I could hardly move the inner. Liberal application of plus gas followed by WD40 has solved it.

My oil level light keeps coming on even though the level is correct.

I have own a 2001 XVS1100 Dragstar since August 2004 which then had 2000 miles on the clock , just after 3 months from purchase with a further 1000 or 2000 miles on the clock it started to develop the a oil level light problem. After about 10 mins of setting of on a journey the oil light would come on and stay on for about 10/15 mins. Eventually over the next couple on months and a further 1000 miles or so the oil light permanently stayed on after a few seconds from starting the engine. By the way the oil level is correct and i have even tried it over full.

Okay I thought, it's time to either to do one of two thing, either stick a plaster over the oil level light so i am unable to see it has it pretty much a useless piece of equipment given that you can very easily tell if the oil level is correct before a journey by looking at the crank sight glass, that's if you are able to manage to keep your bike vertical which in not the easiest thing in the word to do. Given that this fix may not look to good on a cruiser I decided my 2nd approach may be a better solution may be to replace the oil sender which is located under the crank case at a cost of £40/45 which is basically only a little electrical float thing. When I had done this to my delight the oil level light was working as it should, great but expensive!

Well after about a further 12 months and 4500 miles have now passed the little (+!&%$^) has started to act up again. This time I think I will try a different approach by remove the 12 month old oil sender clean it out with some oil dispersant and refit it in the hope it works for a further 12 months. Has I did notice with the first failed and original oil sender that there was thick black oily crud within the body of the sender (after thoroughly dismantling and destroying after testing) which just may prevent the oil sender float from working correctly. I will let you know how I get on soon after I service the bike next time.

Oil Level Warning Light Update

Well I am still the proud owner of a 2001 XVS1100 Dragstar and the last time I wrote on the subject of the oil level warning light I had replaced the oil sender approximately 12 months before and had just given the bike a service at 7206 miles in August 2005.

Shortly after this the dreaded oil warning light started to act up again so in September 2006 with 9300 miles on the clock It was time again to give the bike a service. This time I removed the oil level sender float (underside of the crank case front right which is held in place with a cover plate and 2 bolts) flushed it out with petrol and let it dry before reinstalling. I have now done a further 747 miles on the bike and the oil warning light is now behaving itself again, I hope it stays that way until the next service.

I have over the last 12 months spoken to a number of Dragstar owners and it appears that this problem is well known. One member from VSOC Centre 6 even confirmed that cleaning the oil level sender would cure the problem and apparently not all Dragstar's suffer from this problem.

I think in my own case it may have had something to do with time and how the bike has been used and stored. The first owner purchased the bike in July 2001 and the service book shows it had its first service at 310 miles in July 2002, Another service was carried out at 1593 miles in August 2003. When I purchased the bike in August 2004 it had 2900 miles on the clock and was again serviced prior to my collection, this bike was in mint like new condition and remains so to this day. Clearly the previous owners had devoted lots of loving care and attention to this bike. So why has the oil level warning light problem arisen given that the bike had generally bettered the Yamaha recommended service interval.

My theory is and it is only a theory is that the oil level sender needs regular maintenance. This is not advised within the owner manual or Yamaha workshop manual. Bikes with little yearly mileage as mine are general only used about 6 months of the year and then not on a daily or weekly basis. I assume that very minor particles of usually suspended solids within the oil settle to the lower part of the engine when not in use given time, it may take weeks or even months. Now where is the oil level warning sender, yes you have guessed right, at the bottom of the engine.

When you change the oil these settled solids remain in the engine around the oil warning sender float this being the lowest part of the engine just waiting to make the float malfunction. Just try removing the oil warning sender after you have drained the engine oil you may be very surprised to find out how different the oil is that comes out from the oil warning sender hole after its first removal than the oil you have drained from the engine. Now turn the oil sender upside down on your work bench and see how thick and black the oil is that comes out of it, now this really did surprised me (I now wish in December 2004 I had only cleaned it and not renewed the oil warning sender float as I would now have been better off by £40/£45).

After fitting the new oil warning sensor float and taking a test ride to make sure that it was working correctly I decided to bench test the old oil warning sensor as it seemed a very simple item. At first I was unable to get it working but after a little cleaning it worked.

Unfortunately the oil sender / red oil level light did start to act up periodically again just after I serviced the bike in August 05 (refer to first paragraph). I did think about removing and cleaning the oil warning sender float at this service but I had a laps of memory before filling the engine with fresh oil. Big BIG Mistake I have been kicking myself until I serviced the bike this September please refer to 2nd paragraph above. By the way this time the oil level sender was only very little contaminated and was much easier to clean out.

The moral of the oil warning light saga is that each time your change your oil you may as well clean out the oil level sender as it takes less that 15 minutes and its just reassuring when that little red light is not glowing in your face.

I have just recently purchased a Dragstar XVS650 Classic. I find the ride very hard and when I have a passenger, (I weigh about 14 stone and my wife is approx 8/9 stone). Is there an adjustment that could be made to the suspension to make the ride softer?

 

The adjustment to the rear shock is under the seat and easily accessible with the C spanner in the tool kit. Ensure tyres are at correct pressure, (they are sensitive) and try a couple of settings, I used to put mine on level 3 which suited me (somewhat on the chunky size) and occasional pillion. It's a matter of trying and seeing what suits.

If anybody is searching for a more comfortable pillion pad on the 650 Dragstar (not the classic) Yamaha will supply one: part no. STIR-4YV25-30-02. When mine came it was a Corbin seat. Cost is anything from £145 to £175, my wife said it was worth a lot more.

Where can I get a wiring diagram for a WildStar XV1600?

This is the best place to get the diagram pictures and the wiring key as you can download them without filling up your email box. Be warned, they are large files, but well worth it.

The files are for the United Kingdom/European (1999) version of the XV1600A Wildstar, but they should help you out for most of the other models.

XV1600 Wiring Diagram pt1

XV1600 Wiring Diagram pt2

Wiring Key for XV1600 (pdf file)

 

I tried to change the headlight bulb on my XV1100. Thought it was the 2 screws on the headlamp rim needed taking out - wrong! I undid them and 2 springs plus a kind of spring clip fell out. I now assume it's the single screw to the left of the lamp (as you face it) I should have taken out, but how do I get it back together again? I can see where the springs go, but can't get them back in, and I don't know where the clip goes.

There are two removal screws in the lamp reflector at about 4 and 8 o'clock positions. Once you have the lamp surround out you should be able to work out that the spring goes onto the long screw which then passes through a bracket and nylon nut. The two screws are then holding the lamp unit within the surround and the clip is used to finally secure it on the opposite side. This allows the lamp unit to move both vertically and horizontally within the surround to adjust the beam position. Alan Johnson (AJ).

Sparkplugs - Is there any advantage in fitting an iradium plug or splitfire? Would they be better than the standard plug NGKBPR7ES. If so, what part number would you recommend?

The standard plug is obviously designed for the engine. Iridium Spark plugs are a upgrade on standard plugs. The benefits are listed on the attached sheet.

Iridium-IX-Spark-plugs

While they are expensive compared to the standard plug over a couple of seasons the price equates to about the same. 10,000 to 12,000 miles on standard, 30,000 to 35,000 on the Iridium plugs.

I would steer clear of the splitfire plugs, they are made by Autolite in the USA and not fitted to anything as original equipment by any manufacturer (car or bike). It’s only a standard spark plug with the earth electrode split. This does nothing to improve the spark quality, performance, longer service life etc. and is really no better than a standard plug. Not sure about the pricing! Don’t see them in the UK very often. There were popular in the mid/later Eighties but the “technology” was soon out dated.

Std Plug BRP7ES
Iridium Plug BPR7EIX.

Hope that all helps.

Hi I have an 01 dragstar 1100 custom and for some reason my rear brake peddle is really stiff and with force does engage but does not spring back up I've checked fluid and pads and they are fine what else could it be.

There are a number of things to check...

Can you bleed the system easily? Does the pedal move freely and return to its normal position when you are bleeding the brakes? If not then...

Is the mechanical linkage working correctly? It would be a good idea to remove the rear brake pedal from the hydraulic system and see if the pedal moves freely - fix that bit first.

Secondly, check the brake calipers and ensure all the moving parts are in good order. Remove the dust seals and check the caliper pistons. There could be some corrosion that is causing the problem you are having. When you put them back together, lubricate all the correct points and replace the dust seals.

Thirdly, check the rear brake master cylinder. Again the moving parts may have corrosion and would need replacing.

If you're not sure about repairing your brakes, then seek someone locally who can inspect them and repair them properly if needed.

My 1994 XV 535 Virago has a knocking noise coming from the front cylinder area. What could it be?

HI. It may be your cam chain tensioner. Take a look at the Virago Tech Forum forum's fix at this link http://viragotechforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=23907

After various contradictory answers on eBay, what way round does the oil filter go on a 535 virago

Here's a great video explaining the whole process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nN5gUIROl0M but basically the end with the hole points towards the engine and the end which is closed side points away from the engine.

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I'm 36 years old. How much to insure an XVS Roadstar 1600 in UK?

Insurance costs vary a great deal depending on your own individual circumstances. I have just checked an online quote from http://www.bennetts.co.uk/ giving reasonable answers to their questions, and I came up with £84.00.

You should try getting your own online quotes from sites such as Carole Nash (http://www.carolenash.com/), JMI (http://www.just-motorcycleinsurance.com/)

I would also suggest that you try some comparison websites as well.

Use these extra links for even more information and handy hints from various clubs around the world.