Yamaha Cruiser Reviews on Cycle Insider (11)
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2003-09-20 1983 Yamaha XV500K Virago Cruisers View Listings

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I had been looking for a medium size cycle to start out on. After looking at some other used cycles that were not in good shape, I came across this XV 500 in a local add. It was in good shape and after test riding it once I bought it right away. I am having a lot of fun on this bike. It is really a nice little cruiser, but if you are over 5' 8", it may be a bit cramped. All in all, I am having a lot of fun riding this bike, and like it a lot. I feel like I can get enough power out of it. Maybe in a couple of years I will think of moving up to a bigger bike, but for now this will do just fine. Before buying a bike, I enjoyed reading the reviews of others, so I hope this helps.
- Jeff, Ventura, California

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2003-09-01 1983 Yamaha XJ750MK Mid. Maxim Cruisers View Listings

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I'm just a novice: bought my 1983 XJ750 Midnight Maxim with about 34,000kms on it, a couple of months ago. And I have just passed my certification as a novice rider - took the course on a Honda 125. The change is quite noticible in the obvious size and power differences - but the Maxim is also smoother and easier (at lower speeds, anyway)to control. The upright seating arrangement means that you really feel the wind as you travel along - but that's the joy isn't it?? What a nice smooth feel... Maybe I'll report back after I get more experience... Meantime, I'm having fun learning the feel of the beastie...
- Tommy, London, Ontario

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2001-04-26 1983 Yamaha XV500K Virago Cruisers View Listings

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I "inherited" my 500 Virago four months ago from my father in law, who purchased it new in 83. After putting a whopping 170 miles on it, he decided to give up on riding "never learned" and it sat for thirteen years in his house. I towed her home, cleaned up the carbs, and painted it. Now I ride the heck out of it (just turned 1200 miles). I myself am thirty-eight and after a fifteen year absence from riding, "have discovered my second childhood". Bike has been very reliable so far, after fixing all the minor problems. I'm ready to move up to something at least twice it's engine size, but it has been a perfect little cruiser to get back into riding. Now my wife and I are hooked on riding "forever". Worst part about this bike is that it was only made one year, so parts tend to be very hard to come by and expensive. Gas mileage in the 50-58 MPG range, and the motor is a bit on the taxed side with two up (adults) riding. Safe Journey's!
- B.Frailer, USA

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2001-04-02 1983 Yamaha XV920MK Mid. Virago Cruisers View Listings

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I bought this bike nearly four years ago from a local dealer who imported bikes from Canada,( he's since gone bust)and as I say, it cost me $2000 ( thats about $3ooo to you yanks)and it's never ever let me down.I've done quite a few rallies on it,done a six day tour in Ireland on it, loads of weekend ride outs with it, and of course I ride it to work every day,(thats 9 miles there, and 9 miles back.)through the British winters with all that salt & grit they lay down on the roads,and still it soldiers on.Its got a set of loud pipes on it, and sounds great,I personally love the dam thing, and I would say to anyone who's toying with the idea of getting one, "then do it" and see if it serves you as well as mine has.I know all about the problems their supposed to have(starter motors, mono shock etc)maybe I've been lucky, I don't know, but what I do know is that i'll give it another year, then have it stripped down, resprayed, new tyres, and see how much longer it goes for.Wish me luck. TTFN, Moffo.
- john d moffat, Wallasey, Merseyside, England

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2001-01-22 1983 Yamaha XJ750MK Mid. Maxim Cruisers View Listings

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I bought this with 7500 miles on it. It had been dropped twice and left in a corner. I paid $450 for it, and use it for my 100 mile commute daily. V-Twins are real pretty, with lot's of rumbling type sounds, but when the rubber meets the road...I fly by 1450's & 1600's. I smoke the twisties in the local mountain range, I kick my feet up on the highway pegs and I keep going and going and going.............I now have aprox 50,000 miles on it, and I can see another 50k on the way!! Go ahead and spend the $10,000-$20,000. Enjoy looking at my $450.00 tail lights.
- Rob, California

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2000-12-04 1983 Yamaha XJ750MK Mid. Maxim Cruisers View Listings

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Reliable I would feel comfortable taking my MAXIM anywhere.
- Jim Moon, Scottsdale, Arizona

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2000-11-27 1983 Yamaha XV500K Virago Cruisers View Listings

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We found this little treat while looking for a smaller bike for my son in the summer of 2000. An 83 VIRAGO it read in the local paper. I was dreaming 750-1100 CCs but she was a bit of a disappointment at first sight. Lights mirrors missing and electrical malfunctions. It had been a prairie bike for most of its life and needed T.L.C. The price was right and the repairs were somewhat cosmetic so we tricked it out to street legal again. After riding through The Rockies from Calgary on my brothers 82 650cc Yamaha I found the 500cc to have a very close relationship. Same wheel size -- four years two cylinders but 50 lbs. lighter. Not the same jam at highway speeds but a treat for you guys and gals wanting a taste for the bigger bikes. It's a bit of a sleeper and a pleasant surprise for anyone riding smaller bikes and a great transitional move up the cc ladder.
- Trevor, Okanagan Valley, Kelowna

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2000-11-17 1983 Yamaha XV500K Virago Cruisers View Listings

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This was my first bike, and is the one that got me hooked. Short wheelbase makes it very maneuverable, but the 500-cc mill keeps you out of trouble with Da Man. This light bike is really fun to throw around, and is a capable commuter. Although it's far from a moped, it's a bit light for extended highway travel. I did one six-hour ride (four of them in the rain) and did fine. It's a really comfortable ride: just not really fast. Characteristic Yamaha reliability (great). The breaks are really mushy compared to modern bikes'.
- CT, Gainesville, Florida

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2000-08-23 1983 Yamaha XV500K Virago Cruisers View Listings

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I bought this bike about 2 years ago. Previous owner beat it pretty bad. Reworked electronics, carbs, new pipes - much better sound (MAC), backrest (Honda ACE), new clutch, etc. One thing to be aware of is the difficulty to get accessories for this bike. Only built one year. Purchased after I took the MSF class and got my motorcycle license. Now it runs great! It's really fun around town. Likes to rev but not much umph. On the highway it is a little too lite for comfort, but it can do it. I would buy this bike again; it was the perfect beginners' bike and one to learn on. Now it will be the wife's bike since I moved up to a '74 sporty. Like the HD, but for effortless riding around town, the little Virago sure is fun.
- ron, Chicago, Illinios

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2000-05-09 1983 Yamaha XV920MK Mid. Virago Cruisers View Listings

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There are a couple of things to look for on this bike when purchasing. Starter, suspension. This model is prone to starter problems and, with its age, suspension problems can arise. It has a mono shock in the rear that should be looked at for leakage. Front forks should be obvious. The foam in the seat for this age is probably shot and should be rebuilt (Sargent, in Florida does a nice job for about $250) as there is vibration that will be transfered to the frame like any other Vtwin of its age. Great bike to learn on and keep, as the wheel base is short and easy to maneuver, plus plenty of power with 920cc worth of engine. Carrying a rider is no problem, but long trips are uncomfortable for two due to its short frame. As with any bike this age, carb carmelizing/gunking can be a problem along with rust in the tank if it wasn't taken care of. Not many after market options for this model as it was the last of its style made, 84 is totally different. For a single rider you will find this bike to have plenty of power and room, with some vibration, after market foot pegs for alternate foot placement is a must for those long trips. Gold chrome on this bike makes it expensive for any rechroming, due to corrosion.
- Anonymous, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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2000-04-06 1983 Yamaha XV500K Virago Cruisers View Listings

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I've owned my Virago 500 for about 5 years now and it's always been a great bike. Its strengths are its high level of comfort and reasonably good reliability. The bike is a lot of fun on twisty roads, but keep in mind that the 500 isn't well suited to highway speeds(55 and up).
- K W Larson, Portland, Oregon

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