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Virago only starts in Neutral and the brakes howl.

Discussion in 'Cruisers' started by Ewan, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. Howdy folks!

    Well I just got my very first bike. A 1993 Yamaha Virago 250. And I have been riding for only around 20 hours so far. Anyway I have a few questions if you all could kindly answer them for me I will be extremely grateful.

    So firstly, my bike only starts in Neutral. Even with the stand up. To test the switch works properly I started the bike in Neutral, leave the stand down then put it in first and it stalls. Is it normal that it only starts in Neutral even with the stand up and clutch in?

    Secondly after riding for 10 minutes or so the brakes begin to howl. But only when I'm not braking. As soon as I set up and squeez they stop. Front only I believe. Is this something to do with them heating up and expanding? Is it a simple adjustment or something more sinister?

    Any help or advice is much appreciated!
  2. 1. Standard safety feature. Some bikes will start in gear if you hold the clutch. Yamahas seem to want to be in neutral. Suzukis will not start in neutral unless you hold the clutch. etc etc etc.

    2. Could just be gunk on your brake pads. Might go away with a good washing. Best get them checked to make sure they're not worn out though, or something else wrong.
  3. +1 and I'll ad if you're new to bikes and worried about your brakes get them checked.

    Some brakes (pads) make noises while some are quiet.
  4. Thank you for the fast replies. I will get the brakes looked at asap.

    Thanks again.
  5. Not a standard feature.

    Virago's have a clutch switch which is notorious for failing. Once failed you can ONLY start it in neutral. Sometimes it's to do with the side stand switch too. Anyone who has an old virago is well advised to replace the switches. It's fcuking dangerous to stall the bike then have to find neutral before you can restart.

    Howling brakes are a sign of glazed pads or something worse. Try some hard braking to break the glaze. Failing that remove pads and rub on rough ground. Failing that, get the brakes serviced. There's a good chance the calipers are in need of TLC.
  6. I can confirm Viragos DO start in gear with the clutch pulled in IF they're working properly. +1 Rob, the switch is notorious for failing and is freaking annoying when it does. It has the side effect of triggering "stand down" when you hit bumps too - so don't delay in getting it fixed.
  7. Thanks for the heads up on the switch ill get it looked at along with the brakes. Anything else I should look out for on the virago?
  8. If you will get those looked at then why not have the mechanics give it a once over?
  9. Clapped out suspension/suspension oil, worn chain and sprockets, timing chain issues, rusted out pretend second exhaust pipe, loose /rusted pretend side pods, loose/broken pretend rocker cover... get a major service done INCLUDING valves and timing chain and compression check and thorough towling down as Smee suggests.

    A virago will go for ever if it's been looked after... but since they tend to be noob bikes and tend to get mixed TLC, you'd do well to spend a bit to draw a line in the sand and know your bike is in serviceable shape.