Classified Moto are just turning out winner after winner. It’s hard to believe the Richmond, VA-based hotshop has only been operating for two years, but owner John Ryland now has orders for 13 bikes on the go. This is his latest, based on a 1989 Yamaha Virago XV1100. The machine has a more aggressive look than previous CM bikes: it’s angular, muscular and low-slung. “We just had a gallery-type show in NYC, and everyone who sat on the bike put on their ‘mean biker’ face,” laughs Ryland.
“The Virago 1100 (like other stock Viragos) is pretty much a checklist of things I don’t like in a motorcycle,” says Ryland. “But there seems to be an unlimited supply of them for sale at reasonable prices, and people are starting to do really cool stuff with them. Greg Hageman is on a Virago rampage and we’re watching in awe. We love Greg and his bikes.” (So do we.)
Classified Moto’s signature gold forks are the strongest splash of color on this bike. They’re from a 2004 Suzuki GSX-R1000, and hooked up to a CNC-machined custom upper triple clamp. The tank is from a Yamaha XS400, and there’s a recessed compartment for a tool kit under the tank. Leather straps (or rather, Chihuahua collars) hold the kit in place. “I couldn’t find any vintage leather straps that were small enough!” says Ryland.
The footpegs are made from transmission shafts left over from Classified’s popular moto lamps. And yes, they occasionally scrape: “Not a ton of clearance, but not much less than stock. And the riding position is really comfortable, despite its aggressive appearance.”
Images by Adam Ewing.