Questions and Answers to help fix your bike.

Search the FAQs

Use the form below to search the FAQs


Displaying 1 - 100 of 11212

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

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

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 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 (, JMI (

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.

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:


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: or perhaps here:

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:

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:

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

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.

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...

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?


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.

I replaced my engine on my 2006 xvs1100 with an older one not sure what year it doesn't have pipes from exhaust to fuel pump Reed valve ,it turns over but no spark is this because CDI won't match up to older engine ? Bob

Hi Bob,

It could be many things that are stopping the spark. The side stand switch thinking the stand is down is one of many reasons there will be no spark.

You’ll need to make sure that all the inputs to the CDI are correct – you need a wiring diagram (Google search or workshop manual) and a meter…

Here’s a link to one diagram that may help:

Hey guys. First of all thanks you for reading my mail. I own an virago 1997 750cc.. and the CDI died.. I was wondering if a CDI from an older model will work? new CDIs for 83-90 model are way cheaper.. so will an model 83-90 CDI will work on my 1997 virago? I belive if should they are almost the same I belive.. but you guys know best. Thanks you.. I will be waiting your answer

Hi. Electrics changed around 1986 and the 750 ones are not same as the 1100. It is a TCI not a CDI. A company in the Netherlands (Digitec) supply new but have never tried them. Good reviews on websites. Look up TCI on eBay, Facebook and YouTube. Also a C5 unit is expensive at 500 dollars from USA that changes to CDI. Overcharging on regulator can blow the TCI. Hope this helps

I have a 1982 Yamaha XV 750 virago and bought it not charging. I found the black wire in the wiring harness under the seat,,going to the reg/ref was getting hot on battery side of the plugin,,,,also the wires coming from the pickup coil plugin getting hot also. I put in a new stator and rectifier/regulator and still same problem. Checked the plugins and can't find anything. I did see where he had cut the wires and put in a headlight. I bought the stator and reg/ref as a set new on ebay. Any ideas appreciated

Hi Frank,

You should make sure that there is a good earth connection to the regulator body and also a good earth from the battery to the chassis. Anything that is loose or corroded can cause high resistance in the circuit which can create the problem you are describing.

Wires get hot because they are being asked to conduct more power (amps) than they have been designed to conduct. This situation usually means that their return path (the negative chassis or cables) are resistive or non-existant so positive cables have to carry that conductive load instead... so get hot.

Missing or poor earths are the usual suspects for creating hot cables.

Can I take a stator from a 97 750 and put in a 87 535? Also wheels?

I would buy a new 535 stator. Even if it fits the wiring loom will be different and if you get it wrong you could damage the rectifier.

Check the part numbers. Parts manuals are available online. If the numbers are the same, it will fit, if not DON'T try it.

No definitely not wheels.

You can put first generation XV750 wheels on a XV535 but with a few modifications. Front wheel bearings have to be changed to accept the 17mm XV535 spindle. 3 new spacers have to made to be made to line the wheels up correctly. You need the XV750 brake drum as well and the 535 front mudguard no longer fits.







Picture is a job I did on my son's XV535

My 1994 Yamaha 750 Virgo when I first started up in the morning I let my clutch out and the engine dies how long do I have to let the engine warm up

Hi. You shouldn't have to wait for the engine to warm up, is the choke working?

My 98 Royalstar's running improved greatly when I changed the spark plugs to Iridium IX DPR7EIX-9. Believe the extra cost would be well worth it. (I won mine at one of our rallies). It used to do the same when cold but not now.

Also, have you tried putting the side stand up? There a switch on it to stop you riding of with it in the support position.


I have a 92 XV750 with damaged fuel filters on the petcock. I need replacements but cannot find anywhere. Any ideas please?


I don't think the separate filters are available. You can purchase a new petcock assembly for about £55GBP from here:

Hi i have a 2004 Dragstar custom. after putting new bearings in the rear wheel I now have a knocking coming from it. it sounds like a bar being loose and wabbling about in the hub. Can anyone tell me what it might be it is so annoying.

That needs correcting asap! A rear bearing failure seizure is extremely dangerous. The bike should not be ridden in that condition. Remove, check sequence of fitting as something isn't assembled correctly. Refit.

In any case, you need to ensure that the spacer inside the the rear (in between the bearings) is a snug fit. The new bearings need to be pressed in against the spacer and flange. Take a look at the Yamaha Parts catalogue image from this link  or here:

Hi I have a Dragstar 650 2004. Does anyone know where I can get some alloy wheels as I don’t like the spoked ones I have at the moment.

You can get them respoked in stainless - I did that as I think polishing spokes is like punishment....... RTT Moto at Hoyland did mine (Julia Pignon)

Hi. I have an 86' Virago xv1100. I'm having a problem with the oil level indicator light coming on at different times. Usually when I get going down the road and get into 3d and fourth gear and roll on the throttle it comes on, then goes off when I let off. Also I haven't really ridden street bikes and this is my first one, but it seems like the motor gets pretty hot to me. Not really sure how you can check the temp of the motor or what it's supposed to run at. ? Thanks!

Actual oil level can be established by checking the oil level window. If it is correct then the sensor is at fault or incorrectly mounted. The temperature of the engine could be checked using an infra red thermometer but as to the running temperature, and which part of the engine to check, I could only hazard a guess. Air cooled engines do run hot compared to liquid cooled and hotter still since the advent of lead free petrol. Make sure the timing and fuel mixture is correct as both can affect running temperature. Checking a few XV1100's could give you a guide but obviously it would have to be under the same running conditions. (Alan Johnson)

As others have said you can check the engine temperature with an infra red thermometer. To see if the engine is running hot as a whole, it may be an idea to fit an oil temp gauge. You can get them to fit into the oil filler hole. This can be a handy indicator if things are running too hot and additional cooling is required. (Ian Carter)

There is no oil temp gauge, it's a float for level only. Its not unusual they stick. Usually clear if oil is changed. Can buy temperature gauge cap from eBay I think. (John Knott)

Great answers from all above but i always ran mine ( back in the day ) above the level indicator as mine would also come on from time to time and particularly if the bike was stationary with the engine running and on the side stand, Try it with a little more oil in , it cured my oil light issues. (Peter Gauntlett)

If mine comes on its always in need of a top up. ( Phil Ælse)

Also the air filter will make it run hot check it and the air mix on the carb. (David Wilcox)

I,ve had some electrical work done on the lights of my 1986 XV1000 but now I,m not getting any power to the fuel pump , if I direct wire it then it starts pumping . I,ve changed the fuel pump relay but it made no difference . I,ve plugged in a brand new pump ,,no difference All worked fine before the work in the headlight ,could this be related? Everything else on the bike works fine , I,m suspecting a short somewhere , but where to look for it?

The simplest thing to do is get a meter to test the circuit according the wiring diagram for your bike. A service manual (Haynes/Clymer) should help you with a diagram. It could simply be a wire has become disconnected (open circuit). Don't forget that coincidence need not be ruled out and it may be something that was going to fail anyway. A wiring loom that is 34 years old could be failing due to the flex that it has to endure while turning the handlebars.

I have a 96 xv535 the speedo stopped working replaced it, also replaced cable and drive still not working is it the speedo clutch plate and can I replace it? Many thanks jb

I had similar problems on my 1100. Replaced the worm drive in the wheel hub for one I got via ebay, job done. (Phil Ælse)

Check in the wheel part no. 7 in this picture. I've repaired a couple of 535's with no speedo drive and it was always this part. There should be 2 tabs on the inside and 2 tabs on the outside. When wheels get refitted the tabs are often not lined up correctly and break off so no drive to the speedo coupling.

A full parts list can be found here: 

Hi..i have a 95 virago 750..all my lights are working perfectly except the dip on the right side passing light I replaced the bulb still nothing..anyone know what the problem might be..

Hi there. You should check that you have a good, solid earth (ground) connection to all your bulbs. Also, ensure the all connectors are free from dust and grease or corrosion. High electrical resistance in the circuit can cause the problem you are seeing.

Bad rattling are loud tapping from front of cylinder on 535 91 plate help

Check tappets gap with a feeler gauge, undo nut, adjust to the correct gap. That should give you a quieter sound then put the cover back. (Anthony Brockbank)


Virago 1100 Are the factory crash bars an essential part of the frame or can I run it without them?

Factory crash bars? Never seen any factory fitted ones. (Alan Johnson)

Will a xv750 cdi and harness work on a xv1100?

My parts listing shows a different number for the 750 and 1100 the 1100 has 12 connections in all the 750 only 10. Hope that helps. (Alan Johnson)

What are people using to support the XVS1300 Midnight Star upright for doing oil sight glass checks? I don't know whether to get the Clarke hydraulic motorcycle and ATV lift from Machine Mart, or whether a simpler screw jack motorcycle support would be as good or better for this regular task?

Hi. I have one of the Clarke motorcycle lifts and have found it invaluable for supporting my bike when I've been servicing, oil changes, removing wheels etc. The lift is really easy to slide under the bike frame and operates nice and smoothly. (Nick Lappage)

Hi I have a yamaha virago750, 4FY, year of prod.1992. My speedometer needle is working, but the odometer stopped. Any ideas what this damage could be and how to fix it? Thanks inadvance!

Hi. It is most likely that the internal gearing has broken. You will need to get inside the unit to find out more - or save yourself some trouble and replace the unit:

(This was a very quick check on Google...)

250 Dragstar Coils. I've proved one is faulty but genuine Yamaha coils are £90 each and on '12 week back order'. Both coils have a primary winding resistance of 3.8ohm. Good quality pattern parts have a primary resistance of 1.8ohm. Will the pattern coils do any damage to the ignition box? Regards to all - Andrew

Hi Andrew,

Try these: Price is the same but you may get them quicker.

The only other manufacturer I would try would be Dynatec, but you would need to contact them direct – I don’t know if they make them for your model.

Another answer...

I talked to a friend of mine who's an electronics engineer. I asked him if the lower-resistance coils would do any damage to the Yamaha ignition unit and if I could (perhaps) put a resistor in series with the new coils to make the ignition unit 'see' something like the original coils. His reply was:
"Early ignition systems used a coil that was being energised all the time the points were closed – so in your case it would have consumed about 80 watts. Given the points are closed for over 50% of the time then the coil would get pretty hot and the battery and charging system would sweat a bit too.
Your Yamaha system is CDI - capacitive discharge ignition, so once the capacitor is charged up no further energy will be taken from the battery. When the thyristor fires, the energy is dumped from the capacitor into the ignition coil - pretty much regardless of its resistance. The less resistance it has the quicker it will take the charge from the capacitor, but the coil won't get any hotter as it will spend less time taking the charge. What does matter is the turns ratio of the coil and its inductance. So you don’t need to worry about a series resistor."

Displaying 1 - 100 of 11212

Ask a Question

Use the form below to ask a question

Fill in your email address

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