Yamaha XV535 Vırago

Shhhh..dont tell Montie but I think I have found my next Motorbike, I know I’ve not had my Mondial for long, but for touring I really could do with abit more engine power, Dave suggested the Yamaha XV535 as its still quite a lightweight bike and easy to handle.

I’ m liking this bike very much, so here’s a bit of info just in case you didn’t know,

Top speed      100mph
1/4-mile acceleration     14.2 secs
Power     38bhp
Torque     32ftlb
Weight     182kg
Seat height     720mm
Fuel capacity     13.5 litres
Average fuel consumption     47mpg
Tank range     130 miles
Insurance group     8
Engine size     535cc
Engine specification     4v V-twin, 5 gears
Frame     Steel tubular spine
Front suspension adjustment     None
Rear suspension adjustment     Preload
Front brakes     298mm disc
Rear brake     Drum
Front tyre size     3.00 x 19
Rear tyre size     140/90 x 15

All looking good!! personally I think ıt was made for a 45 year old Cornish woman….

The XV535 Virago is where Yamaha started giving Harley-Davidson a run for their money: it was the first of their cruiser motorcycles and it certainly lasted well. The Yamaha XV535 is basic, trusted, easy to ride and with unchallenging but enjoyable performance.


Unchallenging, smooth, torque enough and reliable, the Yamaha XV535 engine’s been going since 1988 and there are plenty of XV535s still running today. In other words: it’s good. The Virago has enough pull low down and strong in the midrange but you’ve got to work it hard to reach top speeds (but that’s not what cruising’s about anyway).

Ride and Handling

The Yamaha XV535 Virago has good brakes, adequate suspension and a smooth gearbox (although it’s a bit clunky between first and second). Handling’s not sharp but it is stable and predictable, perfect for a motorcycle like this, although the front gets a bit frisky at the top of the rev range. The Yamaha XV535 Virago’s low centre of gravity makes for easy slow speed work. It also has pretty good ground clearance and narrow enough for easy manoeuvrability.


The Yamaha XV535 Virago has a clear, analogue speedo but no fuel light or rev counter. However, the reserve switch is on the bars, which is a bonus. Good mirrors but they do vibrate at high revs. The XV535’s plush seat is comfy but the pillion perch is tiny. Riding position not as “cruisery” as you’d expect: the pegs aren’t miles forward and you ride upright. This is not an extreme motorcycle so it’s very easy to get along with.

Quality and Reliability

Both mechanically and cosmetically, the Yamaha XV535 Virago is a highly regarded motorcycle and has the longevity of successful sales figures to prove it. Gripes are rare but include carb icing and corroding regulator/rectifiers but, on the whole, the Yamaha XV535 Virago is a solid motorcycle to buy. But keep that exposed V-twin and all that chrome in good nick to maintain value.


The Yamaha XV535 Virago is excellent value and there are plenty of good used ones around to choose from. The XV535 is a simple motorcycle to work on, it’ll save you money at the garage, and insurance is low too. On  the downside, fuel consumption’s patchy: thrash it and it won’t see 100 miles to a tankful. Shaft drives keeps maintenance to a minimum.

Model History

1988: Yamaha XV535 Virago was introduced with very similar spec to the later versions. The first model had a tiny, 8.6 litre, underseat fuel tank which was ditched later that year for a proper, 13.5 litre version.
1996: Minor update, including new mirrors, an improved gear box and extended mufflers.
2004: Yamaha XV535 Virago discontinued.

We are hoping to do quite a few more tours as there is still so many places we want to visit, Montie would get me there, but of course, us humans always want bigger and better especially where bikes are concerned!!


32 Responses to “Yamaha XV535 Vırago”

  1. Interesting – Mrs N is looking for a bike too…. (The BMW has become a “project”)

    • montieandme Says:

      You must let me know Nikos how the BMW project goes.

      • nikos in the snow Says:


        It’s not going very well – Time scales are slipping and oil is leaking out of the rear hub. Costs are going through the roof.


  2. That’s a girly” name for a bike.

    You should get a pink scooter.

  3. Sorry about the extra “

  4. Or maybe you’re looking for a Yamaha Viagra 1000

  5. montieandme Says:

    The Pink Scooter days are over John 🙂

  6. Nice bike. You could sure do a lot worse.

  7. Niiiiiiiice…

  8. Linda:

    what happened to the Pink Scooter ? they happen to match my Pink Crocs. and what will I ride when I visit ?

    the Yamaha Viagra is a very nice looking bike. It looks like you have already purchased it. Are you keeping Montie for Guests ?

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

    • montieandme Says:

      Sold the pink scoot (barbie) ages ago Bob, oh please try and keep up 🙂

      Not got the VIRAGO yet, will sell Montie when the time comes…. should of kept barbie for you to use when you visit 🙂

  9. Linda:

    or could just sit on the back of your Viagra and hold on very tightly (when Dave isn’t looking) LOL

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

    • Bob (if I may)

      I expect that Dave will be sitting between you…

      It’s quite normal to go three up in Mediterranean countries (I’ve seen a whole gamily of four on a Harley in Athens)


  10. montieandme Says:

    I suppose asking for a constructive reply was too much to ask for 😛

    Yes Nikos it is quite normal for 3 to be one a bike here but…not me!!

  11. The Virago is an excellent choice Linda, for all the reasons you mention. That bike has a well-established (and well-deserved) following amongst riders, me included (it was one of the bikes I was looking for when I wanted to upsize from my 250cc as well).

    As the ad in the States goes (for the other product of slightly similar name) “viva Virago!”

    • montieandme Says:

      Thankyou very much for your comment Lance, I was after a second opinion, I feel that this bike would be a good choice as an upsize, not too powerful and easy to handle.
      As for the other product!! well shall stick to the topic of bikes eh 🙂

  12. Linda:

    The Virago is a good bike, reliable and friendly riding position. I would think there are lots of parts around as they were made for many years. One bike that the girls (Females) like over here is the Suzuki SV650. I traded my SV650 last August for my V-strom. The SV would be more modern and I believe they are very reasonably priced. There are two versions with different ergonomics. I don’t want to use the “N” word so to rephrase, don’t look at the “S” model

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

    • montieandme Says:

      Thanks Bob, the Suzuki you suggested is a good bike, was surprised to read how light it was, I do love my choppers though, got know idea what you mean by the N word, asked Dave NOPE! he’s got no idea either …please enlighten us 🙂

      Daves Ok, we have just stopped smoking AGAIN!!! Daves using patches this time, we have been cleaning the bikes all afternoon to try and keep busy!!!

  13. Linda:

    PS: what have you done to Dave. He’s missing . . .

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  14. Linda:

    The Suzuki SV650 is available in two models; SV650s and SV650n. The “s” model is more sports bike position, low and leaned forward with small sports fairing. the SV650n is the “naked” version and to ride it you have to be “naked” . More upright seating, no sports fairing and is the preferred model even though it is less expensive

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  15. montieandme Says:

    Seen the Suzukı s abit too sporty for me and as I never go anywhere without my baseball boots on the N would be know good either!!!! 🙂

  16. Hi Linda,

    Yamaha Virago….Eh up!!
    Does this mean that the next time we meet you’ll be wearing fingerless gloves, assless leather chaps and your wallet attached with a chain !!

    Not long now,


  17. montieandme Says:

    OH NOOOOOO hahahah NEVER!! Ian…. (whats a wallet) shall have to consult Dave 😛

  18. Looks like it might be a good choice…so long as it feel right

    Sorry I’m late but a summer riding accident had actually put me out of commission longer than I would have liked.
    I wish you and your family a Happy New Year
    All the best for 2010

    • montieandme Says:

      Hello Baron 🙂 now ı’m confused, did you have 2 accidents in the Summer? I thought you only had a few bumps and bruises…. you ok ?

      Happy New Year to you and your family xx

  19. Hi Linda,
    1- Yes 2 and yes I am fine now…Thanks…but it took a long time to come out of the woods.
    I agree with both Lance and Bobskoot..The Virago is a very nice bike and handles extremely well
    Good Luck

  20. Linda:

    I do keep peeking, though you’re not typing lately . . .

    too much fun on the Virago ?

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

    • montieandme Says:

      Hello Bob, No, not bought the bike yet, has been too cold to do much riding and I am poorly at the moment so staying in the warm. This not smoking is sooo unhealthy lol do not fear though, we will not start smoking again x

  21. Linda:

    Dave ‘caved-in’, did you have a weak moment or are you still smoke free

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  22. After family have all grown, decided to dust-off my leathers and start bikin’ again!
    Bought xv535 – nice & runs well – 1989 model. Was told by previous owner it had small fuel tank, I’ve not run it dry but would like to know if it has increased tank capacity, as its a 1989 model.
    Can anyone help please!
    Cheers…….. Pete

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