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Yes/No on buying a 94 Virago 535?


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I'm a new rider, just got my license and I'm looking for a bike with more power than the bikes I road in my MSF class, but smaller than a 750. I came across a 1994 Yamaha Virago 535 that from the pictures, appears to be in excellent condition despite having 38,000 miles on it. I'd really like to know if anyone has this bike, how long you've had it, and your thoughts on how it runs and any maintenance issues you've run into. I'm a 5'3 female so I need a bike that sits low and doesn't have too wide of a tank (the Honda Shadow 750 gas tank digs into my inner thigh when trying to reach the brake pedal and gear shift). I also want to avoid getting too heavy of a bike right now, hence keeping with a smaller engine. Some people have told me I'd outgrow the bike quickly, but I think 535cc might be just powerful enough to ride on the interstate if needed, but fine to ride around town. Any thoughts/advice/words of wisdom regarding this bike would be greatly appreciated, thank you!!

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I'm a new rider, just got my license and I'm looking for a bike with more power than the bikes I road in my MSF class, but smaller than a 750. I came across a 1994 Yamaha Virago 535 that from the pictures, appears to be in excellent condition despite having 38,000 miles on it. I'd really like to know if anyone has this bike, how long you've had it, and your thoughts on how it runs and any maintenance issues you've run into. I'm a 5'3 female so I need a bike that sits low and doesn't have too wide of a tank (the Honda Shadow 750 gas tank digs into my inner thigh when trying to reach the brake pedal and gear shift). I also want to avoid getting too heavy of a bike right now, hence keeping with a smaller engine. Some people have told me I'd outgrow the bike quickly, but I think 535cc might be just powerful enough to ride on the interstate if needed, but fine to ride around town. Any thoughts/advice/words of wisdom regarding this bike would be greatly appreciated, thank you!!

not my bag , but my uncle is a rep for the virago club, he is always going on about the starter clutch which is a problem with the virago,i think theres a mod you can do

low seat height so its ideal for you at 5'3 small fuel tank though , and make sure you have plenty of chrome cleaner

get a test ride if possible, on has many bikes as you can, but dont rush into getting a bike , it will be a bad mistake for you buy it then find something that really suits you later

cheers al

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Disregard the low seat height that everyone touts about Cruisers. Plenty of short female riders I know favour things like the Bandit and cope perfectly well. One did have to have her Bandit lowered, but that's because she's 4' 8"!!

My other half is 5' 4" and rides a 650 Dragstar (or V-Star in the US). That seems pretty heavy at 230KG, but very managable once you're used to it. The Virago is about as powerful, but considerably lighter. The weight on Cruisers is also much lower than other bikes.

What you really need to be concerned about with Cruisers is the distance from the seat to the foot controls and whether your little legs can reach easily.

Having said that, the Virago is indeed an excellent match for you. The controls are possibly the closest going. It's also pretty powerful and should top out at around 92MPH. It will do everything you need, is nippy enough for town, powerful enough to haul luggage on a touring holiday and comfy enough for the long hauls.

The standard fuel tank is only about 8 litres, but you can get a 13 litre one.

If you do go for the Virago, take good care of it. The price drops with age, as do all bikes, but the Virago reaches a set low and stays there. It will not depreciate further, so long as it's in good nick.

In summary - An excellent bike and a fantastic choice for you lovely petite lady bikers!!

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I just bought an older '93 XV 535 myself and love it. It is a smaller bike than I'm used to (I'm 6'2"), but with a small budget this lightly used bike (only 10k miles) fit the bill. I was worried that it wouldn't be comfortable or fast enough for me, but It's turned out not to be a problem at all. It'll do highway speeds just fine, run mine around 80 mph on the way to work at 6:00 am on the freeway. Gas mileage is good and from everything I've seen these bikes just run and run. It is a bit small for my frame, but you'll find it perfect. It is pretty light and handles well. I think you'll be pleased.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm a new rider, just got my license and I'm looking for a bike with more power than the bikes I road in my MSF class, but smaller than a 750. I came across a 1994 Yamaha Virago 535 that from the pictures, appears to be in excellent condition despite having 38,000 miles on it. I'd really like to know if anyone has this bike, how long you've had it, and your thoughts on how it runs and any maintenance issues you've run into. I'm a 5'3 female so I need a bike that sits low and doesn't have too wide of a tank (the Honda Shadow 750 gas tank digs into my inner thigh when trying to reach the brake pedal and gear shift). I also want to avoid getting too heavy of a bike right now, hence keeping with a smaller engine. Some people have told me I'd outgrow the bike quickly, but I think 535cc might be just powerful enough to ride on the interstate if needed, but fine to ride around town. Any thoughts/advice/words of wisdom regarding this bike would be greatly appreciated, thank you!!

Hi Ladystriker

Google 'yamaha virago xv535 Custom cruiser, full road review' for an informative video on the 535. I have one and find it to be a great bike. My wife is 5' 1" and can sit on the seat with her feet touching the ground. It is light enough that my daughter who weighs 120 lbs can handle the bike.

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NO

I don't care what arguments for and against - its a XV535 that SHOULD be enough reason not to want one.

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NO

I don't care what arguments for and against - its a XV535 that SHOULD be enough reason not to want one.

NOT to want one?

I hope that's a typo.... otherwise your opinion is just meaningless and unquantified bullshit.

The 535 is fairly old now, yet no-one has made a bike that even comes close to matching it and the specific rider group it is aimed at.

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NO

I don't care what arguments for and against - its a XV535 that SHOULD be enough reason not to want one.

You sound like one of the Harley faggots over here hating on all "Jap" bikes just because they're not Harleys.

If you don't have something constructive to say - either for or against - then just shut the hell up.

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Hold horses there, 535Guy...

That could have been just a typo, hence me not kicking off immediately (and you know what a stalwart defender of Cruisers I am ;) ).

Even if it's not, it's just a statement with no reasoning or evidence given. He's entitled to his baseless opinion, even if he *is* wrong!!

Understand that a 535 is a tiny bike, designed for tiny people and a very old design. The fact that it's remained THE top choice for many, for so many years is testament enough.

But let him state his reasoning, or the correct version of what he meant.

Then have a go, if neccesary.

Also take note -

You sound like one of the Harley faggots over here hating on all "Jap" bikes just because they're not Harleys.

This guy rides nothing like a Cruiser, let alone a Hardly Movingson. That argument doesn't work here.

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Just buy one!

I ve had mine for nearly 15 years its been fine. Only the usual repairs needed brakes ,exhaust,fork seals and yes the started clutch needed some attention. But basically its great. Easy and very forgiving to ride,comfortable on long trips ,plenty of stuff to polish and bling to add if you want however.............this is a biggie.... the fuel tank is woefully small and any long trip requires numerous stops.And yes you will be looked down on by plastic bullet superbike riders but you will live a lot longer and with fewer broken bones.Its a great little first bike and a great little whatever bike.

Buy one and see.

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the fuel tank is woefully small and any long trip requires numerous stops.

Does no-one upgrade to the 13L tank??!!

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Does no-one upgrade to the 13L tank??!!

Can you? How much would that be? I love the pearlised paint on mine and probably couldnt afford a paint job but I could just fit the larger tank when I go on my travels.

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Yes you can - As I mentioned right there in Post #3!!

The info is a bit scant, but I believe the 535 models around 1990 already have the 13L tank.

You used to be able to get kits for pre-'90 Viragoes, from www.customcruisers.com. £150 + VAT.

Failing that, the models from around 1990 should have the 13L tank, so just get one of them and swap out.

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I say no as I assembled many new ones out of the crate and test rode so many of the damn things I bored myself to death with them. They were one of the least inspiring bikes, for me, to ride (second only to a Hardly which at least sounds good). I don't doubt the XV fills a gap in the market, they certainly are popular but I just don't get them, bland, middle weight, average are the only words I can think to descibe them! The Ford Escort 1.1L (in pale blue or grey)of the bike world.

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I say no as I assembled many new ones out of the crate and test rode so many of the damn things I bored myself to death with them. They were one of the least inspiring bikes, for me, to ride (second only to a Hardly which at least sounds good). I don't doubt the XV fills a gap in the market, they certainly are popular but I just don't get them, bland, middle weight, average are the only words I can think to descibe them! The Ford Escort 1.1L (in pale blue or grey)of the bike world.

Thanks for the reply SpeedShop.

I think you've summed up just what it is about the 535s that make them so popular - They are indeed bland, middleweight and average, but then there are many people who want this.

I used to say the exact same thing about a Honda Dull-ville, until a Police rider showed me just what you can do on the bloody things!!

I myself prefer my Drag because it can do some fun stuff, but on a long ride home after a long week at work, where I'm half asleep and just want my bed, the Drag is very forgiving and so is the Virago. Not everyone wants every ride to be a knife-edge, knee down thriller.

It won't be to everyone's tastes, but that's why companies make different bikes.

The 535 actually has more power than the 650 Drag, but for a new rider (and a short one at that), it is a fantastic machine. It's a genuine big bike and a proper Cruiser, but with all the features a newbie needs. Later on she may well get something insanely massive and fast, but for now this is a perfect match.

They're also cheap enough to be affordable, but good enough to hold their resale value.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm a new rider, just got my license and I'm looking for a bike with more power than the bikes I road in my MSF class, but smaller than a 750. I came across a 1994 Yamaha Virago 535 that from the pictures, appears to be in excellent condition despite having 38,000 miles on it. I'd really like to know if anyone has this bike, how long you've had it, and your thoughts on how it runs and any maintenance issues you've run into. I'm a 5'3 female so I need a bike that sits low and doesn't have too wide of a tank (the Honda Shadow 750 gas tank digs into my inner thigh when trying to reach the brake pedal and gear shift). I also want to avoid getting too heavy of a bike right now, hence keeping with a smaller engine. Some people have told me I'd outgrow the bike quickly, but I think 535cc might be just powerful enough to ride on the interstate if needed, but fine to ride around town. Any thoughts/advice/words of wisdom regarding this bike would be greatly appreciated, thank you!!

Hi Ladystrike

Just wondering if you purchased the Virago 535 or if you purchased a different bike.

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Hi

I recently bought a 535 Virago and am delighted with it , before it i had a triumph bonneville america didnt ride it much about a 100 miles in total found it extreamly heavy nice enough bike and all that , now that i have the virago 535 i go out on it lots of times so easy to use light as you like lovely to leen round the tightest of corners all round visability is excellent its a pleasure to ride not fast but neither was the triumph 85 to 90 with a struggle and not at all nice to ride even at that paltry speed , i never felt safe on it, the 535 i can ride all day and feel perfectly safe on it even at its near top speed of 70 odd miles an hour , the great thing i like about it is its not at all heavy and handles extreamly well , am probably too big for it am 6ft and weigh around 16 stone . I have also a XV750 which am endeavering to repair, after its previous owner dropped it , then stripped it of its damaged bits and left it for some one else to complete .

If you want a nice light bike get a 535 Virago lots of fun .

cheers charlies xv

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Whats this with all the low top speed quotes. Mine happilly accelerates all the way up to 90 i/mph and will register about 100 i/mph on the clock ,all this on a private track of course!.

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So, I came across this forum while googling for info on the 94 Virago 535 S...there's one for sale in my area with about 11k miles & for $1900. I had a 1987 535 & love the bikes but wasn't sure if it was wise to invest in a bike 16 years old. I take it from reading the other answers here that life expectancy on these bikes would be worth this purchase? I was considering a 2002 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 (11K, $1500) just cause it's not quite as old a bike, but I do like the v twin & shaft drive.

BTW, there's also a 1995 535 S, 14k miles & $1800 & a 1996 535 (not the "s") 20k & $1600 in the same area...they all look to be clean & well maintained...I was looking at the 1994, just cause it has less mileage but any thoughts on any/all of these choices?

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