|Virago Facts & Trivia / Model Number
|Description Virago Facts & Trivia / Model Number Explain
Author Matthew Date Sun Apr 25, 2010 5:08 pm Type Type 1
|Virago Facts & Trivia
/ Model Number Explain |
The Million Mile Man
Dave Hingson from Florida and a retired quality control expert, has owned 29 motorcycles. He started riding before World War-II on a Wizzer motorbike. Back in 1939 Dave, at age 12, his friend let him take a 1936 harley for a spin. Dave's been burning-up the roads ever since. Besides ridng in the Continental US, he has had the fortunate opportunity to ride in Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Guam, Europe, and Saipan.
Hingson had 100,00 miles on harley-Davidsons and 300,000 miles on BMW's. The bulk of his million miles some 403,789; according to his detailed records. Currently, his mileage-maker of choice is a 1994 XV-1100 Virago. This is his third Yamaha cruiser - a 1986 Virago lasted 119,000 miles, his 1990 went 124,000 miles, and he plans on racking up 200,000 miles on the '94 Virago before his four year extended warranty runs out.
A Virago Powered Airplane
In April of 1991, Richard Giles started building his replica Nieuport 12, WW-I plane, serial number 00020. It was fitted with a 1986 XV-1100 Virago engine. His decisiion to use a motorcycle engine was based several factors. To begin with, Rich had 25 years of motorcyle maintenace and dealership experince under his belt. Some of the more important cosiderations were power, weight, sound, cost, adaptability, and most importantly...reliability.
There were several features of the Virago engine which made it ideal for aircraft use.
Lightweight aluminum construction.
A choice of five reduction ratios via the transmission.
A complete electrical system.
A pressurized oil lubrication system.
A means to disengage the propeller by use of the clutch.
An electric starter.
A torsional vibration dampening system built into the transmission.
Availablity of replacement parts.
The power range was between 3000 -7500 rpm. (ideal for this type of aircraft)
It turns out that the only engine problem encountered was what type of carburation to use. They couldn't use the standard constant-velocity type which operates the throttle through a butterfly openning, allowing vacuum of the intake system to pull the throttle. Instead, they used a set of carbs, properly jetted, 40mm carbs which were mechanically operated.
In October of 1993, the aircraft was inspected by the FAA and approved for flight.
The Nick Larson team, managed to set a class 1000 APSF speed record of 201.655 mph during Speedweek 1997 . It was done using a nitro injected XV920 Yamaha Virago!
1981 - 750 and 920 Virago, Euro model(chain drive) introduced to U.S.
- Monoshock rear suspension
1982 - 920 Virago (shaft drive) appears with computerized
(Cycom) liquid crsytal display.
- Adjustable fork dampening also introduced.
- Adjustable handlebars
- Dual front disc brakes
1983 - Euro model was dropped and the 920 Virago Cycom electronic
display was discontinued
- Only year for the XV-500 model
- Only year for the "Midnight" Virago models
1984 - Monoshock suspension system replaced with dual shock system
- A tear drop style gas tank was introduced
- A redsigned frame allowed for external air cleaner covers
- Wire wheels (750 0nly), chrome filter covers and chrome shocks
improved Virago styling
- Seat lowered and forks extended
- Displacement lowered to 699cc to avoid tariff regulations
- Displacement increased the 920 model to 981cc transforming it
- A half gallon reserve tank was introduced on the 1000cc model,
under the seat
1985 - 1000 and 700 remained unchanged
1986 - 1000cc increased to 1100cc
- Wire or cast wheels were available
- The fuel tank increased from 3.3 gal. to 4.4 gals.
- Two tone paint and gold-like plating was added
- For $100 less you could buy a monochromed colored bike with
wire wheels (model "S")
1987 - XV-535 debuts
- Seat hight was 28"
- A five speed transmission and driveshaft were main features
- Wire wheels were standard
1988 - The 700cc model was increased to 748cc due to changes in the
tarrif laws changes
- Increased carbs to 40mm bore
- seat width and shape was changed to improve riding comfort
- Route 66 model introduced (250cc)
1989 - 250, 535, 750, and 1100 models offered
1990 - N/A
1991 - Route 66 (250 model) and XV-535 discontinued. Only the 750
and 1100 models were offered
1992 - N/A
1993 - XV-535 re-introduced with a 27.3" seat height
1994 - XV-535 offered in regular snd 'special' models
1995 - XV-250 re-introduced as Virago and not Route 66 model
- 15th Anniversary of the Virago
1996 - XV-1100 Special offered. A total of six models available
(250, 535 (2), 750, 1100 (2)
1997 - Unchanged
1998 - Discontinued 750 model. 250, 535 (2), 1100 (2) available
The subject of Virago model numbers may draw a yawn from many riders, but a few of us aging diehards actually have an interest in this kind of thing. So for those of you who do--pop a fresh battery into your pacemaker, and buckle up your helmet! You're about to get into some really exciting stuff. Presented here is the result of a little research on how Yamaha assigned model numbers to its Viragos, followed by a rundown of all the US models. This information is as complete and as accurate as we could make it, and carries no warranty for being totally error free. Comments and particularly corrections will be most welcome. Now let's take one of the most complex and mysterious model numbers, break it down, and try to figure out what each letter and number means:
Our model is XV 700 CSC
"X" Back in the seventies Yamaha used XS to designate their bigger street machines by this model designation. Some of these bikes were were: XS650, XS750 triple, XS1100, etc. "RD" was used for two-strokes. "SR" was used for singles. Apparently when the V twins cam along, Yamaha decided to retain the "X" which I think we can assume means "street".
"V" Almost surely stands for "V-twin"
So, RULE #1 would be that XV stand for Street V-Twin.
700 The "700" is easy. That's the displacement of the engine; although, as we know, this number does not always reflect the exact displacement. In this case the engine was actually 699 cc., bringing it under 700 cc., to avoid import tariffs.
So, Rule #2 would be that the number stands for the 'nominal" engine size-the size used in ads.
But now the plot thickens! As a general rule, the letter right after the displacement number reflects the model year of the bike - the year the bike was made. Yamaha uses these letters for most of their bikes-not just Viragos Here are the letters for the years the bigger Viragos were offered.
1981-H 1982-J 1983-K 1984-L 1985-N 1986-S 1987-T
1988-U 1989-W 1990-A 1991-B 1992-D 1993-E 1994-F
1995-G 1996-H 1997-J 1998-K 1999-L
You will note that the letters don't run sequentially.
Also, if there was something special about the bike, a letter designating this would be inserted before the letter for the year.
So we have a number of models with these special letters inserted:
1981 RH (not technically a Virago, it was a chain drive. The "R' may have stood for "Euro".
1982 RJ Same
1983 XV 920 MK (where "M" stood for Midnight Special-an all-black bike with gold trim.) Also applied to the 81 750.
And years 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1997 where we saw the XV 535 SF,SG, SH and SJ models where "S" stands for "Special"
And years 1996,1997, and 1998 where we saw 1100 SH, SJ, and SK models where "S" also stood for special.
So, rule #3 is that the letter after the displacement tells us the year, except where there is something special about the model.
Finally, we come to the easy one. Rule #4 is that whenever you see a "C" as the letter after the year letter, it means "California Model." As in XV 1100 JC (1997 California model) (A primary difference - maybe the only one - between California models and other models is the addition of an evaporative emissions control system consisting of a charcoal canister which collects gas evaporating from the fuel tank and carburetor. This gas is then sucked into one of the carbs when the engine is running.)
So now you should be able to look at the model number: XV 700 CSC and rattle off exactly what it stands for. It's a Virago Series, 700 cc, Cast Wheels, 1986, California Model, Yamaha motorcycle.
Finally, a few comments on some of the models. From '81 - '83 all Viragos were shaft drive, mono-shock, with the exception of the "Euro" models which were also mono shock but had chain drive. In '84 Yamaha went to the more cruiser-like look. As part of this, the mono-shock was dropped in favor of dual shocks for all models from then on. From '83 on, all large models were shaft drive.
The 535 was first seen in 1987. It dropped out of the line-up in 1991/2, but came back in 1993 and lasted through the 2000 model year.
The 250 came into the lineup in 1988, dropped out from 1991 to 1994, and may still be a current model at this time.
A WHOLE DIFFERENT SET OF IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS/LETTERS WERE USED FOR SOME MODELS IN CONJUNCTION WITH SERIAL NUMBERS. FOR SOME OF THESE GO TO THE FRONT OF THE CLYMER MANUAL.
US Virago models by year:
XV920RH (Chain Drive)
XV920RJ (Chain Drive)
XV500K (Only one year)
XV750K, XV750MK (M=Midnight)
XV700SS, XV700SSC (Spokes)
XV700CS, XV700CSC (Cast)
XV700ST, XV700STC (Spokes)
XV700CT, XV700CTC (Cast)
XV250U, XV250UC (Route 66)
XV535SF, XV535SFC (Special)
XV535SG, XV535SGC (Special)
XV535SH, XV535SHC (Special)
XV100SH, XV1100SHC (Special)
XV535SJ, XV535SJC (Special)
XV100SJ, XV1100SJC (Special)
XV100SK, XV1100SKC (Special)
250 L, LC
535 L, LC
1100 L, LC
250 M, MC
535 M, MC
250 N, NC