Page 1 of 1

94 Virago sitting for 9 years

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 3:32 pm
by pelli247
Hey everyone,

I'm a new rider and on a pretty tight budget. I, unlike all my friends my age (20), want a cruiser instead of a crotch rocket. Anyway, one of my father's friends has a 94 yamaha virago 1100 that has been sitting for about 9 years. Some facts:

Stored coverd, in a dry place
Southern California (no real temp change or humidity)
Maintained until he stopped riding
No body rust
Low miles
He did not do anything special before storing it (just parked and covered)

I know that I will have to do some work to get it running, but I believe it is worth his $400 asking price. Any ideas on what to do?

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 3:42 pm
by jonnythan
That's a great price.

Change the oil, the final drive oil (real easy, just like a regular oil change - a drain bolt, a filler hole, and about a cup of 80W-90 gear oil), tires, spark plugs, and put in a new battery.

Check the air filter, the throttle cable, and the clutch cable and make sure they work.

Drain the gas (be sure to drain from the fuel lines going to the carbs as well) and use a flashlight to see if the inside of the tank is rusty. If not, put in fresh gas, and see if it starts up.

If it does.. awesome. Enjoy it.

If not, you'll probably need to thoroughly clean the carbs, which isn't that bad. If the inside of the tank is rusty, you'll need to remove it, clean it, and reline it. You might also need to replace the fuel filter, rubber fuel hoses, that kinda thing. Good news is that the bike is super easy to work on.


The tires, battery, and oil will run under $300 total, but they are necessary. Get the tires at Iron Pony or Chaparral Motorsports. You want the Dunlop D404 - 100/90-19 on the front and 140/90-15 on the back. I don't think you need tubes on that bike - if the rims have wire spokes then you do. If they don't have spokes then you don't.

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 8:45 pm
by Sev
If there was gas sitting in the carbs you're going to have to clean them.

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 8:59 pm
by jonnythan
Sev wrote:If there was gas sitting in the carbs you're going to have to clean them.
Not necessarily.

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:12 pm
by pelli247
Thanks for the replies.

I am glad to find out that I can get away with some minor fixes. I wanted this bike to be "mine" so getting to play around with it won't be a problem. I assume that Virago parts are readily avaliable, however.

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:15 pm
by jonnythan
pelli247 wrote:Thanks for the replies.

I am glad to find out that I can get away with some minor fixes. I wanted this bike to be "mine" so getting to play around with it won't be a problem. I assume that Virago parts are readily avaliable, however.
Yeah, parts are very easy to find.

www.ridenow.com and www.mrcycles.com have complete part diagrams and sell virtually all of the OEM parts. They have the cheapest prices for OEM parts on the net.

eBay is also awash in Virago stuff.

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:56 pm
by Sev
jonnythan wrote:
Sev wrote:If there was gas sitting in the carbs you're going to have to clean them.
Not necessarily.
Stabilizer will not last for 9 years. Sorry, but by that time it'll have evaporated likely leaving behind all kinds of impurities. And the idle jets are FREAKING small. 10 to 1 odds you'll have to clean them to get them to work right.

Then again, you're the mechanic, what do I know?

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 11:08 pm
by jonnythan
Sev wrote:
jonnythan wrote:
Sev wrote:If there was gas sitting in the carbs you're going to have to clean them.
Not necessarily.
Stabilizer will not last for 9 years. Sorry, but by that time it'll have evaporated likely leaving behind all kinds of impurities. And the idle jets are FREAKING small. 10 to 1 odds you'll have to clean them to get them to work right.

Then again, you're the mechanic, what do I know?
I don't need to be a mechanic to know that I saw it happen.

Here's the story:

A 1989 Honda CB400 had been ridden into a garage in 1994, covered, and the owner died in a car accident shortly thereafter. The bike sat in the garage until 2006, when my friend bought it. He replaced the battery, spark plugs, tires, spark plug wires, fuel, and oil. He cranked it over for about 4 seconds and it fired right up. No mucking with the carbs at all.

Sometimes you get lucky, eh?

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 11:25 pm
by Sev
:roll:

I could very easily make the argument that the carbs had been drained prior to the bike being stored for 4 years. In which case they would not have gummed up.

Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 5:28 am
by Nibblet99
Unlikely the guy foresore his death, and set the bike up for storage Sev :wink:

Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:41 am
by Sev
True, but only rarely do bikes get covered going into a garage if they're going to get ridden again right away.

Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 11:39 am
by jonnythan
Sev wrote:True, but only rarely do bikes get covered going into a garage if they're going to get ridden again right away.
The garage was a workshop of sorts. There were some tables along the wall, tool chests, a couple of table tools, etc.

The bike had a tarp on top of it.

I can imagine that the guy probably tossed a tarp on top of the bike whenever he put it in the garage to avoid getting crap on it.

I'm just guessing though. The woman selling it said she had never taken the cover off since he passed. *shrug*

Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 2:36 pm
by flynrider
I'm not saying it couldn't happen, but it would be very unlikely. After 9 years, most any gasoline is going to have turned into a gooey varnish that smells more like turpentine than gasoline. I've resurrected bikes that were only stored for 3 or 4 yrs. and the carbs were a mess.