Marcus's - 1982 Yamaha Virago XV 750 - Martini Café Racer


The 1982 Virago XV 750 you see below was the starting point for what would become an iconic AMW build. The Yamaha Virago was released in 1981 and was one of the first production motorcycles featuring a mono-shock rear suspension and was Yamaha's first venture into the lucrative V-Twin cruiser market. In production for 26 years from 1981 thru 2007 in displacements ranging from 125cc to 1100cc, there are numerous donor bikes out there to fit anyone's experience level just waiting for a café racer, bobber or brat transformation.

Knowing we weren't going to be keeping the rear subframe, one of the first orders of business was to remove the factory unit and fabricate a more streamlined version in-house. Not only did this drastically change the look of the bike and the riding position, it also exposed the rear mono-shock helping give it a more racy and modern appearance.

Once the new subframe was fabricated, the bike was broken down into it's individual parts and select components, including the frame, custom subframe, final drive housing, wheels and triple clamps were powder coated a high gloss black.    

While the parts were being powder coated the front forks were completely rebuilt, the lowers were polished and a Tarozzi fork brace was installed to help mitigate any twisting.  

Early versions of the Virago had a known issue with the starters planetary gear engaging. Knowing this we rebuilt it using a rebuild kit and shims.

With the starter sorted out we turned out attention to dressing up the mill by shooting the cylinders gloss black with contrasting silver heads and lower end.

The powder coating turned out amazing! The engine is in and the newly gloss black wheels were wrapped with Bridestone Spitfire tires and installed along with the freshly painted engine and bar riser clip-ons.

To give our client that aggressive café racer riding position, we installed a set of billet aluminum rear sets connected to an in house fabricated inner shift lever. To feed this beauty, a pair of XV 920 carbs were rebuilt using a Dynojet Kit. Ditching the factory air box they now breath through a K&N filter.

Here she is, buttoned up and ready to carve up the road. If you look above the rear set you'll see where we attached the suspension adjuster to the frame, giving the bike a more 'mechanical' feel. You also get a good view of the new chrome Mac 2-into-1 exhaust and polished engine covers.   

In this shot we get a better view of the stunning custom Martini racing paint scheme the client requested. The flawless gloss black, silver and white treatment of this bike pays tribute to the historic Martini racing heritage. 

With an aggressive but not too aggressive riding position thanks to the bar riser clip-ons, long rides are not a problem. The bar end mirrors and Acewell digital speedometer and tachometer keep our client informed of his surroundings and how the bike's performing. Click here to visit the build sheet.

Her's a brief video of the Martini Virago Cafe Racer up and running.

Build sheet:

  • Custom Fabricated rear subframe
  • Powder coated frame, wheels, triple clamps, final drive housing and subframe
  • Mac 2-into-1 exhaust
  • Rebuilt Starter
  • Custom paint
  • Billet rearsets and fabricated inner shift lever
  • Polished engine covers
  • XV920 Carbs
  • Acewell digital tach and speedo
  • Tarozzi fork brace
  • Bar riser clip-ons

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Woodstock, GA 30188

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