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Virago starting and brake improvement queries - please help

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by robsalvv, Jul 21, 2006.

  1. Hello Virago owners and savy virago fixer uppers.

    Need some help with my GF's 1980something XV250.

    Is this normal starting procedure:
    The bike will only start if it is in nuetral - if in gear it definitely will not start whether the clutch is in or out.

    Once started, until it reaches operating temperature, the bike will cut out whenever it's snibbed into 1st gear. The stand is up and the clutch is in when this happens.

    [Needless to say, if the bike stalls in traffic, having to get it back to nuetral to restart is NOT SAFE]

    Front brakes:
    The single disc brake on this bike is weak weak weak! There is more feel out of the rear. Is this normal for these XV250's? What can I do to improve the front brake feel?? There is plenty of brake pad and the fluid has been changed at least once in the last few years. The brake line looks ok - no signs of perishing or stiffness...

    Intermittent cutting out:
    Occasionally while riding along, the bike will just cut out... then after a kick in the guts in frustration, it will start and happily ride along... until the next time.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated... I'd like this bike to be in tip top shape and as safe as possible.

    I'm suspicious of the side stand and clutch cutout switches. I'm about to multimeter them. They do look old, so I might just replace them anyway. Is there a nuetral related switch?

    Thanks in advance folks.


  2. Re: Virago starting and brake improvement queries - please h

    Hi Rob,
    I'm no mechanic, but I am a virago owner so I can give you an idea of whats "normal" and whats not, but as far as fixing anything...umm errr, that's why I have a brother...lol.

    Anyway, back to ya bike issues, as far as starting in gear is concerned, my bike will not start in gear unless the side stand is up. I alway's start my bike in neutral anyway, so it's not an issue for me but I can see your point about what to do when you stall in traffic, I'd definately be getting it looked at cos that aint normal.

    The cutting in and out thing...sounds like you have a faulty side stand switch if ya ask me, I've never had any trouble with my bike with it cutting out( umm..except for the time I ran outta fuel)

    Brakes....my back brake is drum and front is disc, the front brake is by far much better than the back brake. I must admit I need a new rear drum, mine has got a big worn line inside it that I noticed the other month when I had the back wheel off.

    Well, I hope you get it all sorted out for your GF, the cutting out must be a real pain in the butt for her.
  3. Bleed your front brakes. There's prolly air in there.

    And a chair as well.
    And people with games.
    And stories to tell.
    Open wide.
    Come inside.
    Its....oops, flashback. Yeah, bleed your front brakes.
  4. The side stand switch is dodgy. Couldn't get a constant circuit...

    The clutch lever switch had already been bridged out!! Right at the switch. So as far as the cicruitry was concerned, the clutch was always in... plus by the looks of it, the switch hadn't been functional for a while - prolly well before the previous owner.

    Two new switches $200 and elbow grease.

    Still haven't located the thermal thing but the wiring circuit I have says there is a thermal switch.... but it's related to the signal circuit?????

    There's also a nuetral switch, with a sky blue wire... damned if I can find the blighter.

    The brakes probably do need bleeding... hate bleeding brakes - messy job.

    Thanks for the info Caz.

  5. Ok... here's the latest.

    Haven't done anything about the brakes yet.

    I've removed the damn switches and positively [and obviously] bridged them out. The bike starts and drives off as it should without needing a warm up. Yayy! That means, easy restarts if the bike stalls.

    The "bike cutting out when put into gear before it fully warmed up" scenario is gone. Looks like the heat of the engine had to get to the side stand switch before it would operate properly.

    Reliability here we come.

    I still wanna know if there's a way to add real bite to that single disc front brake. My GPX had a single disc and I could easily stoppy that thing...


    Thanks for looking.

  6. The best thing for the brakes would be to bleed them (as stated before), deglaze, or better, replace the pads.

    If they are sliding calipers (does the bike have two opposed pistons or one?), then the sliding pin can stick and the caliper doesn't move correctly. Only one pad ever touches the disc and the brakes are shocking. Normally removing the pin and using a specialised lubricant does the trick (I used to use Copperslip). This was a problem with the RD and the transformation when all serviced up was great.

    I don't know what the braking performance of a Virago would or should be, but a brake service can do no harm.
  7. Taa Cejay.

    Might attack the brake pads and calipers tomorrow arvo. Looks like a hot tip.

    The pads are fairly new though - kudos to the previous NR guys who serviced the bike and noticed new pads were needed!

    ...it could just be me... the brakes could be perfectly fine... but there's just not enough bite for my liking!!