Yamaha Virago for a first bike?

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by D-FENS, Jul 11, 2006.

  1. D-FENS

    D-FENS New Member

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    Right now, I drive a Chevy G20. I love the thing, but considering it gets about 15mpg, I've decided that I need to get something with much better mileage. Since I hate driving small cars, I figured a motorcycle would be a good alternative.
    I'd like. After some research, I've set my sights on the Virago 250.
    I'm looking to spend no more than $2500 (I'm 17, so I don't have much money), so I'm obviously looking for something used. What should I be looking for? What is the maximum mileage I should settle on? What is the earliest model year I should accept?
    I know nothing about bikes, so please forgive my ignorance.

    I was also looking into the V-Star 650, considering I am 6'5"/230lbs, and that bike looks a bit bigger than the Virago. Though, it's also quite a bit more expensive, and I have no idea whether or not it might be too powerful for a starter bike. Like I said, I know nothing about bikes.

    Also, my dad seems pretty opposed to me getting a motorcycle, though he won't stop me from getting one as long as I pay for everything myself. Any body have any statistics that might make him feel a little more comfortable about me getting a bike? (Oddly enough, he holds no opposition to my plans of going into the military after college, and is even in support of my hopes of making it into the Army Rangers, which is clearly much more dangerous than riding a motorcycle)
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2006
  2. LocoStrange

    LocoStrange New Member

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    You want stats.... you have a less chance of getting into an accident. You have a higher chance of getting into an accident if you were taught from a friend or family member. However, you are twice as lucky to get into an accident if you teach yourself.

    Be smart, take an MSF class if you have no expierence
     
  3. Subie Driver

    Subie Driver Eye see what you did there.

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    From what I've been hearing, the Virago makes a pretty good first bike. You're looking for a 700/750cc, it sounds like? For one that size, I think you won't find anything newer than mid-to-late 90's (I think they stopped making anything that big in 96 or so), so milage will be a little up, but it depends on how much the owner rode it, really. Should be able to find on in that price range pretty easily. Are you set on that bike? Honda Shadow 750 is also a nice bike, I've been looking at those, although right now, I'm leaning towards a Harley-Davidson 883 Sportster. But the Virago and Shadow both have very good reps, and the reviews I've read where all very positive towards both of them.
     
  4. D-FENS

    D-FENS New Member

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    I was actually looking at the 250cc for gas efficiency, but from what I've read in the past half hour, it's sounding like it's pretty weak for an average sized person, so it would probably be awful when all 230lbs of me is on it. I'd be willing to try a 550, but if that's still too weak, then a 700/750 would be alright, but I wouldn't want to go any bigger than that.

    I looked at the Honda Shadow, that also looks decent, and I'd be willing try one. I'd like an American bike, but the Harleys and Victorys are just too expensive for a highschool student (unlike most of the fuckers in my rich/yuppie town, I actually pay for most of my own stuff.)
     
  5. Subie Driver

    Subie Driver Eye see what you did there.

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    Ah, yes, gas milage is nice on the smaller bikes. My first ride was (and still is, for now) my 200cc scooter there in my av (Piaggio BV200), and it's really nice, actually, does 80 on the freeway, handles nice, gets 65 mpg, all that. I'm 6' and about 185, by the way. But I've only had it a year, and am already looking for something bigger. Good thing is that if you buy a used 250cc Virago, you should be able to sell it for about what you paid when you are ready to move up to a bigger bike, so you'll be able to basically ride it for free, minus maintenance, of course.
     
  6. D-FENS

    D-FENS New Member

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    So you don't think a Virago 250 would be too weak, even for a 6'5"/230lb guy?

    I live in a somewhat rural area (Bolton MA, about 40 miles east of Boston), so I'd mostly be driving on main street, not much stopping. I go on the highway from time to time, but usually no further than 40 miles at a time. Though I might take the occasional trip down to southern PA, which is about 350 miles.
     
  7. Arsenal4rs

    Arsenal4rs BEES!!! MUTHERFUCKIN BEES!!!

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    hoenstely at your size a Virago 750 would probably be better.. and about that size is a good all around bike. Good to learn on, good on the highway, etc. search my name and you ll see my opinion.. :big grin: Even the larger size engine you will still get phenomenal gas mileage. Mine is an 84 xv700 (52hp) and I am getting 50mpg.

    Honestly, getting a used Virago really shouldnt be much of a problem. They are very dependable bikes. If you are real worried, anyone you would buy from, if they are confident in what they are selling, shouldnt havea problem with you getting it looked at first. If they do, then move on. eBay is a real good place to look for buying one. Thats where I got mine. Its pretty much like buying anything else.. you are going to want to look at the persons feedback. Most of the time if the bike has any problems they will list them there. When I was looking for mine I probably spent 2 monthes loking beforeI found the one I wanted.. I had to drive 9 hours to and from to pick it up, but it was totally worth it. :)
     
  8. D-FENS

    D-FENS New Member

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    I've been seeing alot of 535cc and 600cc Viragos and Shadows as well, I assume those would also be good enough to handle my weight? I'm not looking for anything too special, just something that's fun to ride that'll handle 70mph on the highway, and get decent gas mileage.
     
  9. Subie Driver

    Subie Driver Eye see what you did there.

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    A 600 would probably be fine for you. Like I said, my 200cc scooter does what you're looking for, I'm sure a 600cc bike will also. What a lot of people have told me is to figure what size you want, and then go one step up from that, so you'll have some growing room. When I started looked for a replacement for the scooter, I was thinking a 600cc, but am now looking for something in the 750-800cc range, probably the 883 Sportster. Maybe also look at the Viragos 700/750, Shadow 750, or Suzuki Boulevard c50, m50, or s50. You can find all those used, although might be a little more than your budget.
     
  10. Arsenal4rs

    Arsenal4rs BEES!!! MUTHERFUCKIN BEES!!!

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    a 535 would probably be fine as well. I just thnk a 250 might be a litle underpowered for your size. either way (between a 535 or 700/750) you ll get the fun to ride, handle well, and great gas mileage.
     
  11. Subie Driver

    Subie Driver Eye see what you did there.

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    Agreed. A 250 would be a great learning bike, since it isn't powerfull or large, but especially for someone your size, once you got comfortable learing how to ride, you'd probably be looking to get something bigger in about 6 months. Might as well start in the 600cc range, +/- 100cc.
     
  12. D-FENS

    D-FENS New Member

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    I saw an '87 535 with 6k miles in the local want ads for $1500. I'm interested, but would an 87 still function fine? Would I have any reason to worry about the age of it?
     
  13. Arsenal4rs

    Arsenal4rs BEES!!! MUTHERFUCKIN BEES!!!

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    Id look at it first if you can, but more then likely it'll be fine. Mines an 84 and with the exception of the time I fiddled with the dle unknowningly ( at the time I didnt reallize what the little knob i turned controlled) its been absolutely fine. Theres stuff I want to do to it, but its all cosmetic pretty much.
     
  14. ChatChai

    ChatChai OT Supporter

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    more talk about Viragos. I found a few in different areas using craigslist. Actually found a 1984 750 virago for about $1500 and a 98 1100 virago for about $2500. The 84 did have some cosmetic touchups and possibly bad starter and something about bad rings by the forks and the 98 was in almost perfect condition. Just to give you a range but this is in SoCal. Yeah Arsenal talks about them so much it just sounded so good. :bigthumb:
     

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