17th October 03
Warning for Wild Stars with Trailers
Thought I would share some info for the owners of Wild Stars with trailer hitches.
I had a tow bar fitted to my Wildstar some 15,000 miles ago and tow the trailer to all the rallies. On returning from the Southampton rally, the rear end of the bike was making some strange noises. The following week on the way to work I hit an average British pothole and felt something in the small of my back. I stopped the bike and checked the bike over only to find that the rear fender that had bounced up and the rear seat had hit me.
I took the bike into the guys who service the bike and I was informed that the rear sub frame under the seat had snapped, he also gave me the worrying news that if the bike was loaded with trailer and wife that are chances of survival would have been slim.
The tow bar was fitted to the saddle bag supports.
19th August 03
Remote Oil Filter for XVS1100.
Some months ago you gave me some valuable information concerning oil filter relocation kits for the XVS1100.
Just to let you know I bought a Jardine kit and have fitted it.
If any one needs some advice on this then point them in my direction.
Many thanks for your help.
Phone: 01908-611592 or Mobile: 07802-287265
"Age and experience will always overcome youth and enthusiasm"
15th August 03
So I got this email the other day... and had to respond!
- "Had to write to ask you as I have seen you everywhere on the web to do with Viragos. The right answer could get me or cost me several pints. I was riding my Ducati between Papworth and Huntingdon at 115 mph on Sunday when a Virago passed me. To make it worse it was an old E reg 1100 or 1000 with a bloke in denims. Was I tripping or is there a chance they go that fast when tuned up? To make it worse he just turned and smiled as though he was on a Sunday morning stroll. Your answer could either get me a few pints or a visit to the shrink. Ta Jake "
Well here is the list of responses to that email -so far...
- Okay then, who's going to own up to riding their Virago at ludicrous Ducati beating speeds then? And apparently looking so cool too...Tee hee....It can only be someone like our own Mr Tyson can't it? Send your replies to Speedfreak and/or me - I'll be most happy to report this little bit of 'daring do' on the web site.
- what's the betting that the Ducati was an import and the speedo was in Km/h
- It wasn't me. But I will re-affirm the capabilities of the 1100 cc Virago, as my 1986 1100 has been well past the 115 mph mark on the speedo at least three times. You make the guess as to if the speedometers are correct at that speed, as I don't want to be clocked by Johnny law to verify the accuracy.
- My 95 1100 has pipes and a jet kit (stock air filter) and I can run an indicated 115 as fast as I can twist the wick, but would need the Flying Mile to get much more out of her, I believe.
- I've just clocked 140 on my virago 750 but hey lets be real it was kilometres I wouldn't like to do 115 on a Virago - it's the next bend that would concern me a tad...
- I had an indicated 110mph out of my little XV535 and that was before it was tuned up.
- Yep - That sounds like Steve. He always rides in a set of those Gialli denims in the summer. He has a reckless abandon and total lack of fear when it comes to gravel and wet slippy roads. He'll jump at any chance to go off-roading - he did it last time we went to Denmark. All I saw was a sideways-on 1100, with Steve staring back at me, eyes wide open and grinning like a loon. Then he disappeared over the hill, and back onto the road ahead of us about five minutes later. More than 115mph on his Virago? It'd be a stroll in the park for him. No doubt in my mind - must have been Steve Tyson. Anne
- Sorry it wasn't me; I might wear denim and always have a grin from ear to ear but I would have waved as I went past, besides I'm not putting my hands up for exceeding the speed limit in any way and I challenge anyone to prove otherwise ;-) Be Lucky. Steve Tyson
- Now Helga seems to think it should be you, not that it matters. Still, it's good to know that you would wave - even at 115mph! What concerns me is that there's somebody else out there who seems to be copying you and putting your good name to shame! Let's find him! D'ya remember that newspaper competition that was run during the summer on the coastal resorts? "You are Chalky White and I claim my five pounds!" Could we do something similar? Or should we just say "Tsk, Tsk, Mr. Ducati Rider, calm down - have a Cadbury's Caramel... and worry about the bike you're riding - not us Virago Star riders." Mind you - I don't think I'll challenge any Duke riders to a duel on the race track.
- Of course all VSOC riders are very law abiding and would not do such speeds on an English road.:-) Autobahns in the pouring ran in zero visibility is a different matter.
- I have the answer to this one. Stan Stevens has created a few XV1100 Virago Specials. Bored-out hotted up in typical Stan Stevens style, these special "specials" had a job to keep the front wheel on the ground and was well capable of 120mph. One was featured in "Bike" magazine (I think it was) about 5 years ago. We did have one in the club too. Owned by Steve Hyde, the conversion of his Virago cost around £1,200 but I'll have to ask around to get a few more details (Dave B - can you help). Cheers all, Gary Daisley
Here's what Jake has sent as the finale to a most harrowing journey of speed.
Thanks for your learned reply. I have been pondering on this and doing a bit of digging of my own. After several phone calls, a few emails and more than a few beers, I have found out that the same thing happened to a bloke who is the proud owner of a new Triumph who was blasting down the Wyton straight near Warboys at 105 mph only to be passed by who we now have a nick name for " SHOVEL " because he seems to go like, well you know. Us leather clad sporty people can go faster but it's the shock factor of some denim clad Cheshire cat blasting past us looking as relaxed as if he was sitting watching football on a Sunday afternoon in front of the telly, while we are sweating our nuts off in full leather gear. All he needed was a pair of slippers and a pipe !!
Rumour has it the bike has been seen around the Ramsey area. If it was not tuned up he was giving it some!!! Well hats off to "Shovel" and us real bikers will fade off back in to the limelight and leave you mad cruiser people to do your weird and wonderful thing.
Well I thought it was the finale until Gary Daisley, our Clatter magazine editor and producer etc. sent me a link about Stan Steven's XV1200 Virago!! It's from an article written in 1998 and first placed on the Essex Crusaders website.
Here's the link to it and another from
It makes great reading - Enjoy!!!
11th June 03
Yamaha's USA Wild Star and Warrior models take to the Drag Strip.
Click on the following links to go to a great article about a press day of drag racing trials on the Yamaha Wild Star and the Road Star Warrior. It's fascinating reading and worth saving for posterity (which I may do later...)
5th May 03
Quieten Down those pipes!!
My XV750 recently failed it's MOT for having rather pretty but extremely noisy slash cut "silencers" fitted. Anxious to avoid the expense of buying a complete new set of pipes to pass our somewhat flexible noise regulations, I resolved to find a cheap solution.
And the answer to life, the universe and silent exhausts is..................Stainless Steel Pot Scourers! I discovered that 5 of these little beauties stuffed into the front end of each silencer, in front of the baffle, quietens the old girl down a treat. If you can't get them all in the back end of the silencer, just stuff 'em up the pipe.
Total cost of noise reduction is £5.00 for ten scourers.