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Yamaha XV 125 Virago – Louis special conversion

The project of a group of Louis apprentices has proven than even a baroque Yamaha mini chopper can form a super basis for a custom bike: they converted the XV 125 into a unique drag racer.

Yamaha XV 125 Virago Louis Special Conversion
Yamaha XV 125 Virago

Yamaha XV 125 Virago

– before the conversion

A project by Louis apprentices

On the workshop hoist stood a Yamaha XV 125 Virago, largely unmodified, fitted out with a baroque sissy bar and, both optically and technically, in far from top condition. Is it possible to take this as the basis to design a roadworthy, individual bike which is also stylish and attractive? Our small team of ambitious retail apprentices took on the challenge with enthusiasm.

Yamaha XV 125 Virago Louis Special Conversion
Yamaha XV 125 Virago Louis Special Conversion

The Louis youngsters had free rein when it came to implementing their ideas. The only condition was that the conversion had to be completed in five days and could not cost more than €2016. After a brief debate, the young customisers decided to aim for a vintage look, with a large amount of antique patina. However, under no circumstances did they want it to turn out as a chopper, but rather something like a racer. A bold plan!

Before the re-design, the little Virago had to be restored to roadworthiness. The chain set and the brake pads had to be replaced, the carburettor had to be cleaned and reassembled with new seals and float needle valve, the brittle intake rubber had to be replaced and a new battery had to be installed. A motor oil change on the old XV motor was overdue, and finally a fresh spark plug, along with a spark plug cable, made sure it was once more alive and kicking with its four-stroke melody. There were of course a whole load of other parts which had to be cleaned, derusted or relubricated in the process.

Yamaha XV 125 Virago Louis Special Conversion
Yamaha XV 125 Virago Louis Special Conversion

Then came the exciting part of the project: the Yamaha was to have a complete makeover. Chopper handlebars, for example, are no longer chopper handlebars when you simply install them the wrong way round, race style. The old seat was to make way for a cafe racer tail section. But how do you adapt it to the frame? What can be sawn off? How do you build stable metal mounts? Our master mechanic was on hand to provide the young creative team with help and advice. The rusty exhaust had to be kept for budgeting reasons, so it was cleaned with the wire brush, sprayed matt black and spruced up with a little heat wrap tape. That's right: a sinister black was also the colour of choice for the rest of the bike. But some contrast was needed, so both the side covers were sprayed rust brown at the front. Spray-painting was also a new experience for our young stylists – sanding back, carefully degreasing, guiding the spray can at the right distance, not too quick and not too slow, without leaving behind any drips, runs or orange peel effects – it's not as simple as it might seem!

Yamaha XV 125 Virago Louis Special Conversion

And then the electronics – small LED turn signals were required, and an extra-bright LED headlight. Controlling the turn signals with a suitable relay, and cabling everything carefully is really fiddly work.

After five days of concentrated team work, our apprentices then showed the final results off to their amazed colleagues – a once-more functional, sub-zero cool custom bike which, due to the low seat height and the extreme handlebars, admittedly handles a little unusually but without being unrideable. Who can top that in such a short space of time and with such little prior experience?

Go to the products of the Yamaha XV 125 Virago

All parts at a glace

Best in test

The classic!
Cleans and cares for
all metals

Rating : 4.84 out of 5

4.99

Professional tool
Increases service life
Makes the job easier

Rating : 3.38 out of 5

4.99

Sale %

Inexpensive replacement
OEM quality
Made in Japan

Rating : 3.08 out of 5

instead of 16.99

from 9.99

CHAMPION quality oil
filters from one of the
top brand manufacturers

Rating : 4.25 out of 5

from 2.99

Racing flag design (b/w)
Suitable for tank, helmet
mudguards. Length: 140cm

Rating : 4 out of 5

9.99

Sale %

Racing flag design
Ideal for tank, helmet,
mudguards and rims

instead of 9.99

7.99

Cool low rider look
Can be adjusted
In chrome and black

Rating : 4.9 out of 5

49.99

0.04 -0.08 mm in 0.01 mm
increments and 0.1-0.3 mm
in 0.1 mm increments

Rating : 4.2 out of 5

4.99

Electronic flasher
unit with 2 poles
for HO/KA/YA.

Rating : 4.05 out of 5

14.99

Unique and distinctive,
harmonious bar-end
turn signal.

Rating : 4.46 out of 5

99.00

Self-welding
Ideal for working on your
bike's electrical system

Rating : 4.62 out of 5

9.99

Louis Universal Cafe
Racer Tail Section
Type 03, made of GRP.

119.99

LED turn signal with
integrated tail light.
E-approved

Rating : 4.25 out of 5

from 79.95

Best in test

Small but loud!
Only weighs 150 g!
6 V or 12 V available

Rating : 3.87 out of 5

9.99

Motogadget rubber grips
m-Grip Soft for metric
and imperial handlebars.

Rating : 4.66 out of 5

from 29.00

Small, round bar end
mirror from Motogadget.

Rating : 5 out of 5

99.99

Best in test

High-gloss polishing
Proven for decades
The test winner

Rating : 4.77 out of 5

7.99

Sale %

Compatible with various
filters!

Rating : 3.25 out of 5

instead of 1.99

from 0.99

Best in test

For chrome and aluminium
High lustre in seconds
Exclusively from Louis

Rating : 3.75 out of 5

4.99

Organic brake pads
Exclusive to Louis
Made in the EU

Rating : 4.38 out of 5

from 9.99

Conventional batteries in
top brand quality
Ad. Euro 7.50 refund!

Rating : 1.82 out of 5

from 7.99

Universal seat cover
Anti-slip, leather look
Now in two sizes!

Rating : 4.57 out of 5

from 34.99

Many different uses
6 different brushes
Top value for money

Rating : 4.28 out of 5

9.99

For insulating manifold
pipes. anthracite, black
or messing-look,10 metres

Rating : 3.11 out of 5

from 29.99

Also suitable for porous
engine block aluminium
Reaches into every corner

Rating : 5 out of 5

2.99

Organic brake shoes from
Germany's major equip-
ment supplier TRW

Rating : 4 out of 5

from 14.99

Varioflex hoses can be
assembled by the customer
with Tüv-certification

Rating : 4.5 out of 5

from 24.99

high-strength aluminum
for the Varioflex lines
silver, black or titanium

8.99

high-strength aluminum
for the Varioflex lines
silver, black or titanium

Rating : 3 out of 5

9.99

Highlights logos
Weatherproof
White

Rating : 3.4 out of 5

4.99

Sale %

Dead tough look
Simple replacement
Long lifetime

Rating : 2.75 out of 5

instead of 7.99

2.49

Hard-wearing
canvas fabric!
Leather trim and straps.

Rating : 3 out of 5

59.99

Workmat, resistant to
petrol, oil,
brake cleaning fluid etc.

Rating : 4 out of 5

17.99

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