How to add vintage style to the Yamaha XV1100

Yamaha XV1100
Nostalgia is a powerful emotion. And motorcycles are often about memories, as well as speed and aesthetics. The best retro throwbacks marry classic looks with modern performance, and this is a perfect example. It was built by Greg Hageman of Hageman Cycles, who also built one of the most popular machines we’ve ever featured—the 1982 Yamaha XV750 created for Cafe Racer TV.

So what was the idea behind this bike? “The owner had restored a Vincent back in the 70s,” says Greg, “and missed it after he sold it. I met him in Barber last year while riding my own XV750. He flagged me down and we exchanged numbers.” The owner is a young 70 years old.

Yamaha XV1100
This bike was originally going to be based on a 1982 XV920 that the client delivered to Doc’s Chops. “But after discussing what he wanted, I thought the Yamaha Yirago XV1100 would be a better candidate,” says Greg. “The client wanted a bike he could really ride, cross country if necessary, and he wanted an upright riding position.”

Yamaha XV1100
Greg mounted the Loaded Gun rearsets in a more central position for this reason—but the bike has a very sporting ride. By raising the rear and lowering the front, Greg has removed some of the original Virago rake, but the Yamaha XV1100 still has a long enough wheelbase to provide a smooth and comfortable ride. “Not sportbike handling at all, but similar handling to a stock new Bonneville, or Sportster.”

Yamaha XV1100
Greg also removed the stock Hitachi carbs and installed a 2-into-1 intake with a 2000 Harley CV carb. “The bike now has phenomenal bottom end torque,” says Greg, “and starts and runs smoothly. I’ve spent the last decade tuning Harleys at a dealer so I know these carbs inside and out: tuning was simple. Wicking the throttle on this thing will easily point the front tire to the moon.”

Images © Erick Runyon. For commissions, bookings and fine art prints contact Erick here.

Yamaha XV1100

1994 Yamaha XV1100
Front suspension: Progressive Suspension springs, lowered 2 inches
Rear suspension: Air-adjustable Showas, top mounts relocated
Bars: Norman Hyde M bars
Tank: modified Yamaha 750
Seat: custom made pan upholstered by Lances Tops, Holiday Florida
Paint: Black with gold pinstripe by Moe Colors. (The custom decal stands for “Hageman Custom Motorcycles” to mimic the “HRD” Logo)
Brakes: Dual disc front end, drum disc rear
Front rim/tire 19-2.15, 100/90/19 Bridgestone BT45
Rear rim/tire 17-3.5 140/80/17 Bridgestone BT45
Acewell speedo
Converted to a 2 into 1 intake manifold, Harley-Davidson 40mm CV Carb
Exhaust, 2 into 1 with Norton Commando replica muffler
Lucas Replica Tail light
Frame modified and sidecovers custom fabbed
Loaded Gun rearsets, mid-mounted