Virago ‘studio’ shots

We’re pretty excited to finally be able to post the fantastic photos of the Virago that our friend Alan Brandt took several weeks ago.  We have been trying to keep these a bit under wraps until the bike was featured on the venerable motorcycle blog Bike EXIF.  The bike should be popping up on that site any day, so, here they are.  This is moto eye-candy bike porn at its very best.  Enjoy.

-Eric & Josh

We have to offer a huge thanks to Alan for the amazing photos and quite a bit of post production work to get them looking fantastic.  Alan is absolutely top notch in our books.  All photos are compliments of and copyrighted to Alan Brandt photo.


Once again, we have to offer a big thanks again to everyone that helped make this project possible:

Brandon at the Motoshop for hunting down all of the weird random parts we’ve needed.
Jaxon for getting the old girl running, and doing it under the pressure of a big deadline.
Andy Wachs for his welding help.
Tracey & the crew at Commercial Powdercoat for making the bikes shine.
Our buddy Wade at Vulture Cycles for some high quality TIG work.  Wade, we may have a big project for you to help us with in the future…
John Ryland at Classified Moto for performing the fork swap for us, and for providing the inspiration to start this project.
All of our good friends who have stopped by and offered encouragement during the course of the build.
Our rat-moto builder friend Lee that lent us his MIG welder.  Definitely could not have done it without the little Hobart.
Of course, Chris at Bike Exif for featuring the bike.
Our buddy Rex at Garage Project in Perth, Western Australia who builds cool bikes and encouraged us to start this blog in the first place.
and finally, Phil for helping us through some of the most challenging parts of the build.


Thanks all.  It was a super fun project, and it is a SUPER fun bike to ride!!




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  • 29 June, 2012 at 9:02 am // Reply

    Guys great work, am working on a project myself a CB 750 k transforming the rear suspension into a similar idea like the one of this virago but with a longer wish bone on the rear.

    Would it be possible to send me pictures or drawings of the rear set up and from which bike did it come off.

    Another thing is where did you get the classic handle bars off with the mirror and accelerator handles.

    I must say the idea of the front brake master cylinder brake fluid level in a sight seeing tube is fantastic as it is also flexible great ideas.

    We could maybe open up a workshop like that in Egypt it would go well with the amount of parts and old bikes, I can put all of this together here.

    Take care and look forward to hearing from you.

  • 5 July, 2012 at 7:13 pm // Reply

    awesome bike! I also like the brake line sight tube!

  • 10 July, 2012 at 4:29 pm // Reply

    Absolutely beautiful bikes. Just smokin’ awesome! Love them.

  • 25 July, 2012 at 11:45 am // Reply

    Just wanted to say that this is stunning. Many congratulations on building such a beautiful bike.

  • 16 August, 2012 at 12:59 am // Reply

    Wat a beautiful bike! Even my wife, who has a really difficult time feeling the vison of the vintage bikes, was blown away. It gives me a lot of encouragement that as I undertake a first time custom build, others have been extremely successful in their first attempt. So why can’t I?

    I took a different approach, using the Wrenchmokee’s customization of a Honda CX 500 as the impitus for my first build. I am hopeful that mine will come out as well as your creation. A build thread can be found here:

    Thanks so much for the blog, it was informative and well written. Best wishes to Spin Industries!

    • 16 August, 2012 at 9:00 pm // Reply

      Thanks Tom! Your build is looking great!

  • 18 September, 2012 at 10:51 pm // Reply

    Man, I just keep coming back to this bike. You did a great job, and I love it. Starter issues aside, I’ve always had a sweet spot for Viragos, and yours is one of my favorites. I think I need to talk the wife into letting me get a new bike….and of course I’ve got to have that classified moto fork swap….

  • 17 October, 2012 at 10:31 am // Reply

    is this the original frame of virago????????????

    • 21 October, 2012 at 4:27 am // Reply

      Yes! Hidden under all the junk is a pretty nice looking frame.

  • 20 February, 2013 at 9:33 am // Reply

    Hey i’ve been working on my own virago build, and have been referring to your blog, thanks for taking the time to do this. Quick question what size tire are your running on the r1 wheel? I am about to pick up a r1 wheel and want the rubber to match the rear as well.

    • 21 February, 2013 at 1:03 am // Reply

      Hey Jeff,
      We are running a 130-80-17 on the front and a 130-90-16 on the rear. Not a perfect match but as close as we could find while keeping the same tread pattern.

  • 13 May, 2013 at 4:28 am // Reply

    Stumbled across this beauty while on my weekly bike pron search. Stunning! and a first build, no less… “Viagro” indeed! Thanks for taking the time to post some studio pics, Alan does great work. I noticed the XS850 gallery had some juicy 3008 × 2014 rez pics – any chance we could get the same here – I’d love to have these shots for personal use as some inspiration of the desktop wallpaper variety.

  • 1 February, 2014 at 3:30 pm // Reply

    Did you made some modification on the virago (original) frame ?

    • 3 February, 2014 at 12:42 am // Reply

      We made a few modifications; we shaved a few wiring harness tabs and created a mount for the battery and voltage regulator under the tank. The biggest change was to add some 3/8″ thick plate steel tabs near the top of the rear shock to attach the new seat subframe to. Otherwise, no major modifications. The swingarm is completely stock, other than being painted.

  • 4 February, 2014 at 7:11 pm // Reply

    thinks for your answer, i really fall in love on this motorbike but you already sold it , you did a great job .
    if i nead more precision may i contact you ?

    • 4 February, 2014 at 7:46 pm // Reply

      Yes Seb, let us know if you have additional questions; we will do our best to answer.

  • 5 August, 2015 at 2:13 am // Reply

    So I noticed you have different forks, brakes, and wheel for the front end. I have a 2004-2006 r1 front forks and am wondering if a 2008 r6 front wheel and rotors will work and or if there is a conversion chart you found. Thank you

    • 5 August, 2015 at 4:47 am // Reply

      You are correct; the front wheel and disc is from an ’09 R6 and the forks and brake caliper are from a 2001 R1. I did not find a conversion chart. I just used trial and error. I had an R6 wheel around, so I tried it and it worked. However, the disc spacing was slightly different, so I had to use shims under the brake caliper. That worked on the old style calipers. It would not work on the newer, radially mounted calipers. You’ll just have to experiment.

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