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New Rider + secondhand Virago Steering probs?

Discussion in 'Bling and Appearance' at netrider.net.au started by DUK35, Dec 23, 2006.

  1. Hey guys how's it going? New kid in town here and a proud owner of a new virago 1994 model, everything about it is perfect, well for $3000, it is as good as it can be. the engine works fine, actually feels alot more stable than my friends 6,000km's Virago 2001.

    anyways, all that aside I do need to change the brakes on it. at the moment they are slow response... but my main concern is the steering. it feels heavy and is harder to turn U-turns comparing to my friends 2001 virago which feels like butter in u-turns..

    my question is, is my steering fked?? it does produce squeaks from time to time around U-turns and I feel that i have to lean almost like it was a racer to get it to complete a U-turn while on the other hand, my friends' virago I can just turn the bar's smoothly...

    my bar's and forks are slightly lower than my friends 2001, is that a contributing factor? or is it that my bearings are fked and my alignment isn't right?

    I spent $3000 on a very well looked after virago but for that age (1994) i am expecting to pay a little bit more to fix the flaws anyways so it ain't no problem.

    (no - my front tire is at recommended psi so it's not heavy due to a deflated tire)

    any comments or suggestions will be greatly appreciated, thanks guys!
  2. The forks can be adjusted to "shorten" the wheel base.
    check out the clamp and bolt at the very top of the fork(up at the very top!!!) and compare it with your mates. Also make sure that they are adjusted evenly.

    I had one of these once. The guys at HART recommend that the wheelbase should be as long as possible. It is a cruiser afterall! :LOL:

    Saying all of that, and if you are new to riding,(apart from low speed turns) you hardly "steer" the bike with the bars at all.

    hope this helps a little

  3. hard to tell if the bearings are shot.
    best if you ask your friendly yamaha mechanic to take it for a spin and they can tell you if you need to replace the steering head bearings. not a bad idea to give the bike a once over to just to make sure all the bits working properly.
  4. It's a cruiser. It's not supposed to steer. There's something wrong with your friend's bike.
  5. Compare your front tyre to yur mates. If yours is substantially more worn than his your steering will be "harder" due to the wear in the centre of the tread making it a bit flatter. I once had a BADLY worn front, when I put a new tyre on I nearly did a U turn when all I wanted was a little lean!
  6. Hey! Congrat's on the excellent bike choice!!! :wink:

    im.on.it said:
    I agree. Probably the quickest way to sort it out.

    One other thing though - when I bought my virago I had some trouble steering it in tight corners/roundabouts/u-turns. I thought it was me - just being a learner - but a couple of helpful netriders suspected it was the bars being too low. A quick and very slight adjustment (raised the bars a tiny tiny smidge) and it made a huge and noticable difference to my steering. If you're not sure how to adjust them, perhaps ask a fellow rider/netrider to do it for you, should you wish to try that before going to the mechanic.

  7. Thankyou so much guys! you guys are da b0mb!

    yeah my friends virago has higher 'bars and the forks are also a lill longer than mine aswell adding to the whole length so I might look into dong that.

    the tires are new so that shouldn't be a problem for now.

    Can this be done by myself? (heighten the bars and/or lengthen the forks?)
    if so then that'll be great.

    if all fails then it'll be with the friendly yamaha dudes giving it a check up.

    LOVE my purchase - couldn't be happier. It's a great learners bike and good enough to have some fun on it.

    btw - I thought cruisers were meant to steer corners with less leaning while sportbikes are the opposite?
  8. No, it's more a case of if we try to make those tight turns and lean to hard, we scrape stuff and crash.

    I went out for a long ride through the hills with a mate on a sports bike recently. At the end I got off my virago and was fine. He got off and hobbled like Dr House.
    Of course, he went through every corner faster, accelerated quicker and had a higher top speed. But my ass didn't feel like it was going to fall off.