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Posted: 5/25/2021 8:40:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/25/2021 8:40:36 PM EDT by Nightwolf357]
Anyone around here into bikes?

Need some advice and maybe a little help.

in question is an 82 virago 750

Thanks guys.
Link Posted: 5/25/2021 10:28:04 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/25/2021 11:02:03 PM EDT
Yep. Whats wrong with it?
Link Posted: 5/26/2021 12:39:44 AM EDT
How hard is it to do an engine/transmission swap?

Story is (and yes I was a complete sucker.), bought a non running bike 82 virago from a guy. Wasn't running and all he told me is that it had been sitting for at least a year. He didn't say much else was wrong with it.  Ok So I rebuilt the carbs but knew I couldn't rebuild the fork seals and check some other stuff since I have never owned a bike before. Well, this year I finally decided to see about the other repairs and took it to a shop to check it over and a few other things.

Well The shop guy didn't check it out like he should have. the rear brake light does work with the front brake lever but not with the rear brake level. Simple check but obvious he didn't even look. The other thing he didn't check was to see if it moves.

Right, The guy that sold it to me never told me that he beat the snot out of the bike and really damaged the transmission. And the repair shop guy never checked. So now I have put about a grand into it this year for a nicely running paperweight.

I have a line on another motor/transmission to do a swap. That place told me that the cylinders have good compression and it shifts fine. But not knowing if it will transfer power properly under load, make me wary. I also have no idea on how to rebuild a motorcycle transmission and I know it is quite involved.

long story I know, and all I had wanted was a entry level bike i can ride without breaking the bank and the repairs are heading in that direction. If I scrap it I will be out about 1K that will hurt at this time. seeing that I had bought a house in Jan and have been doing some updating. things are a on the tight side at the moment.
Link Posted: 5/26/2021 8:07:38 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/26/2021 9:06:11 AM EDT
It's probably not that hard to do the swap but your going to need to make sure the donor engine is the exact same model and perhaps even same year. Electrical can vary from one year to the next. Given that it is an almost 40 year old bike the rest of the bike will need to be in like new condition as repair parts are now obsolete and next to impossible to find.

A newer running roadworthy ride can I'm sure be found under 2k. This would be my best advise. You can always parts out the virago or sell it for parts and cut your loss.

Good luck, ride safe.

Link Posted: 5/26/2021 1:21:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/26/2021 1:22:18 PM EDT by Grackle_killer]
I ride dual sports mostly these days but have rebuilt an engine including splitting the cases. Motor shouldn't be too bad to replace. You may have to remove a bunch of other stuff to swap the motor. I think on my bikes now there are only 3 attachment points to the frame but they are single cylinder. Like a previous reply, there are a lot of variables involved.

You may see if Clymer or anyone makes a manual, buy and thumb through it and see what is involved with either the motor swap or going through the transmission.

Another bike may also be an option. It may be a pain, but depending on demand, you could part the bike out on ebay to recoup some funds.
Link Posted: 5/26/2021 7:43:25 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Nightwolf357:
How hard is it to do an engine/transmission swap?

Story is (and yes I was a complete sucker.), bought a non running bike 82 virago from a guy. Wasn't running and all he told me is that it had been sitting for at least a year. He didn't say much else was wrong with it.  Ok So I rebuilt the carbs but knew I couldn't rebuild the fork seals and check some other stuff since I have never owned a bike before. Well, this year I finally decided to see about the other repairs and took it to a shop to check it over and a few other things.

Well The shop guy didn't check it out like he should have. the rear brake light does work with the front brake lever but not with the rear brake level. Simple check but obvious he didn't even look. The other thing he didn't check was to see if it moves.

Right, The guy that sold it to me never told me that he beat the snot out of the bike and really damaged the transmission. And the repair shop guy never checked. So now I have put about a grand into it this year for a nicely running paperweight.

I have a line on another motor/transmission to do a swap. That place told me that the cylinders have good compression and it shifts fine. But not knowing if it will transfer power properly under load, make me wary. I also have no idea on how to rebuild a motorcycle transmission and I know it is quite involved.

long story I know, and all I had wanted was a entry level bike i can ride without breaking the bank and the repairs are heading in that direction. If I scrap it I will be out about 1K that will hurt at this time. seeing that I had bought a house in Jan and have been doing some updating. things are a on the tight side at the moment.
View Quote



If the virago is like most japanese bikes, the motor and trans share the case. You have to split the case to do trans work and while its apart you may as well put new pistons, rings, bearings, etc. Bikes like most HD's and some other models (ducati superbikes) you can do the trans without touching the motor.

Now swapping motors really isnt rocket science, it can be a pita with where things are mounted. SOmetimes the bike will need special sockets, but some of those can be improvised. You will need a way to support the bike upright (a table lift is great). Some motors come out rather easy, some come out from the side, some you just unbolt the lower cradle of the frame and drop it down with a scissor jack,  but remember they are around 75-140lbs so two to three people is a good idea. Also having more people adds more eyes to see the hidden wire, bolt, hose no one undid before trying to pull the motor.

Generally motors from the same generation of bike are interchangable. They dont change electrics much until the next generation model. Even then the electric parts from the old bike will bolt and work ont he new motor. Ie SV650's. 1st gen (99-02) are carbed, 2nd gen (03-09) are FI. Different electrics, but the motors are interchangeable and you just have to switch the electrics and fuel system on the motor.  

Fork seals are simple. With how old it is a fork refresh is a good idea. New seals (use OEM, forget trying LeakProof), slide bearings and new oil. Just need to find the correct oil level (usually in the service manual). Being its a standard style fork its not hard, cartridge forks on the other hand require special tools. Again to do them you need a way to support the bike with the front end off (fork usually will slide out of the triples when you loosen the pinch bolts). Since you redid the forks, may as well pick up a new shock(s) (denniskirk.com probably will have some that fit it). New brake pads/shoes, new brake fluid and tires if they need replacing (again dennis kirk for them). Bike then should ride like new. You really do need the factory manual for the bike to do the forks though. CLymer and Haynes ones usually are wrong about some things and suspension isnt a place to screw up.
Link Posted: 5/26/2021 9:50:01 PM EDT
Write it off as a life lesson and move on. Don't keep throwing money at it. A good running 82 Virago is worth what 7-800 bucks. How much do have into this one??
Link Posted: 5/27/2021 5:50:13 PM EDT
After thinking about it can you guys tell me if I MAY be on the right track?

Ok, here is to the best of my memory.

I had the bike on the center stand, put it in gear and the rear wheel only moves a little otherwise it would start to turn the motor. I start it up, still on the center stand and pull the clutch in and have it in first. I can let the clutch out fully and the wheel spins. and no noise while it is on the center stand.

Now when you put it back on the ground, if you start to let the clutch out, it WILL start to grab in the friction zone. But past a certain point letting the clutch out then you get that loud rattle noise and total loss of power to the rear wheel.

I am beginning to wonder if it might be the clutch?




As to thinking of getting another bike? not happening. at best I can muster about 400 for something else at this point. and by the time I am able to save up to 2K to 3K it will be next year already.
Link Posted: 5/27/2021 7:34:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/27/2021 7:41:18 PM EDT by Rob940]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Nightwolf357:
After thinking about it can you guys tell me if I MAY be on the right track?

Ok, here is to the best of my memory.

I had the bike on the center stand, put it in gear and the rear wheel only moves a little otherwise it would start to turn the motor. I start it up, still on the center stand and pull the clutch in and have it in first. I can let the clutch out fully and the wheel spins. and no noise while it is on the center stand.

Now when you put it back on the ground, if you start to let the clutch out, it WILL start to grab in the friction zone. But past a certain point letting the clutch out then you get that loud rattle noise and total loss of power to the rear wheel.

I am beginning to wonder if it might be the clutch?




As to thinking of getting another bike? not happening. at best I can muster about 400 for something else at this point. and by the time I am able to save up to 2K to 3K it will be next year already.
View Quote


Since its a shaft drive, its possible the drive shaft splines are worn away enough that under load they just skip but on the center stand it still can get the wheel to move.

A new clutch pack would be cheaper to try to see if that solves it, but it will cost a tick over $200 just for the parts. But those are still available. The middle gear spline shaft isnt, that would have to be sourced from a cycle salvage yard of fleabay unless you are lucky a Yamaha dealer happens to be able to find one.

You near Janesville?
Link Posted: 5/28/2021 1:18:48 PM EDT
Stupid question, but 1; is the clutch and cable adjjsted correctly?  2; is the correct type of oil being used?
Link Posted: 5/28/2021 6:27:28 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By MisterPX:
Stupid question, but 1; is the clutch and cable adjjsted correctly?  2; is the correct type of oil being used?
View Quote

This also.
Link Posted: 6/3/2021 12:25:41 AM EDT
Rob, I am in oshkosh.

The oil is 20w-50 motorcycle oil I believe I have in it currently.

Minor update here on finding some things out.

I tried to adjust the clutch cable at the handlebar and it will kind of work. Pulling the clutch in and then trying to shift is still a problem. I believe the clutch is shot. There is more but it is hard to describe. The bike will move but I think that shifting up what I think is second is actually in third.

Second thing I noticed is that I dont think the battery is charging, probably a rectifier I think, unless the stator goes bad too easily enough.

Last thing is that after the bike was at normal engine temps (for air cooled) the idle went up to about 3K.

I have more questions about doing the clutch.  I have watched some youtube vids about it but have not heard it really mentioned. Is there a throw out bearing? and should it be replace as well? Most rebuild kits I find have both sets of rings, new springs and a gasket.

How would I tell if the basket is toast?  Never rebuilt a clutch on a bike before and have no idea what to look for.

Is there a way to test the rectifier to see if that is the problem?   And how do I take care of the high idle issue, as when it is warming up it is in the normal range of about 1200 rpm.
Link Posted: 6/3/2021 3:47:29 PM EDT
Don't just use the bar adjuster, there's an actual main adjuster on the case.
Link Posted: 6/3/2021 10:08:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/3/2021 10:13:00 PM EDT by Rob940]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Nightwolf357:
Rob, I am in oshkosh.

The oil is 20w-50 motorcycle oil I believe I have in it currently.

Minor update here on finding some things out.

I tried to adjust the clutch cable at the handlebar and it will kind of work. Pulling the clutch in and then trying to shift is still a problem. I believe the clutch is shot. There is more but it is hard to describe. The bike will move but I think that shifting up what I think is second is actually in third.

Second thing I noticed is that I dont think the battery is charging, probably a rectifier I think, unless the stator goes bad too easily enough.

Last thing is that after the bike was at normal engine temps (for air cooled) the idle went up to about 3K.

I have more questions about doing the clutch.  I have watched some youtube vids about it but have not heard it really mentioned. Is there a throw out bearing? and should it be replace as well? Most rebuild kits I find have both sets of rings, new springs and a gasket.

How would I tell if the basket is toast?  Never rebuilt a clutch on a bike before and have no idea what to look for.

Is there a way to test the rectifier to see if that is the problem?   And how do I take care of the high idle issue, as when it is warming up it is in the normal range of about 1200 rpm.
View Quote

No throw out bearing. Usually the clutch release mechanism is on the opposite side of the motor to the clutch. Cable pulls a lever which in turn pushes a rod that pushes the pressure plate off the clutch pack (which is inside the basket). As PX said, theres a major adjustor there, one on the bar is more for fine tuning.

Checking the basket entails looking at the fingers for excess wear from the steels and plates. Just a FYI. When you put the pressure plate back on the basket, usually they have a mark on the basket that has to line up with a mark on the pressure plate. Steels usually go in one way (generally sharp edge towards motor, double check instructions/manual). Friction plates have to be soaked in oil before installation.

20w50 is a bit thick for a cruiser/standard. I use 20w50 in my racebike and sportbike due to high rpms.

charging system, theres ways to test both rectifier and stator (again the service manual will show this procedure). This can vary with different models. You should be able to find a pdf of the Yamaha service manual online free somewhere.

THe idle issue will be a pita to figure out without it right in front of me.

Heres a forum that is specifically for Viragos. https://viragohelp.com/phpbb3/portal Probably your best bet for more specific info.

Heres two of online parts places I've used with great success.
Dennis Kirk (lots of aftermarket and quick to ship)
Ron Ayers (OEM)

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