The Yamaha Virago was one of the more popular entry level motorcycles, and so well loved that a few fans of small displacement V-twin engine even built custom choppers based off this engine or frame. With a great reputation for quality, the small V-twin engine design was even sold to a Chinese motorcycle brand, Lifan, who produced a number of entry level motorcycles using a cloned version of the very same engine, where all of the Yamaha and Lifan parts fit like a glove, nut for nut, bolt for bolt, piston for piston.
The Yamaha Virago was also Yamaha’s very first cruiser class motorcycle that attempted to mimic that famous American design trend that was popularized in motorcycles like Harley Davidson and Indian in the 1930’s to 60’s. First introduced with a mono-shock rear suspension, the larger displacement Yamaha Virago bikes eventually got a dual rear shock suspension set-up along with being upgraded to becoming the V Star line of motorcycles by Yamaha.
One look at the Chinese Lifan clone of the venerable Virago engine, you can see almost no physical difference between the Yamaha and the Lifan engine, although the far better workmanship in the Yamaha version of the engine would propel the little Virago up to 85mph with a single Mikuni carb, and even better with dual carbs or a bigger displacement version of the engine. The Yamaha bikes also returned an excellent 78mpg fuel economy as well, putting even modern hybrids to shame.
For a sheer fun factor as well as excellent fuel economy, the little Yamaha Viragos were a great little bike to own, and make for a great little chopper creation in the afterlife. For a whole lot less than a Harley or an Indian, rebel bike riders could look they had a similar bike for a lot less bread. And with smaller engines than the bigger and heavier creations from Harley, the little 250cc Viragos were much easier for a novice rider to handle and just pure great fun.