Life started out as a standard off-the-showroom-floor red and white 1996 XV1100C Virago.
  • Added a Yamaha Mini-III shield (still hate the cheap plated stays), Yamaha mini-cargo rack, Yamaha engine case guards and a Yamaha driving light bar.
  • After about 200 miles, ditched the "deluxe" pillow seat for a gel-pad equipped Explorer Special saddle by Saddlemen (by Travelcade - ( Got back aches, so we added a ProTac back rest (http:// Also replaced the stock grips with some gel-type grips for dual-sport type motocross bikes by cutting off the tips, sliding them on, and replacing the stock plastic bar-ends with aluminum ones.
  • 1997 - V&H Cruiser exhaust system (, Progressive front fork springs (

    1998 - Bike went down - so had to replace a few scratch and ding parts. Added Leatherlyke ( hard-shell saddlebags (they're *lockable*) and a Slipstreamer Spirit S-02 windscreen (repl. the broken Mini-III - ( - repl. Dunlop Cruisemax(tm) tires front & rear ( Re-wired the rear turn signals using the left-over front signal wiring (from the driving light bar installation) to convert them into secondary brake lights with turn indicator.

  • 2001 - Switch to upsized Dunlop D404 150/90-15 rear, K491-II 100/90-19 front. This added approximately 4 MPH to the top-end due to the larger diameter rear tire. Replaced the brake lines, throttle, clutch, speedometer, and choke cables with stainless steel braided ones ( plus some wide-bladed brake and clutch levers. Now a significant customization - add a TankWorks(tm) auxiliary fuel tank ( -- this required cutting of the driving light bar to re-mount the tank using the fork cross-brace to fit all of the items on their proper levels Click here for a close-up - and another view from the side. The supplied mounting plate was drilled to mount to the fork brace mounts used by the driving lights. This adds about 30-40 miles of extra fuel range. There's also a Vista Cruise throttle lock added, with a modified installation by reversing one of the provided mount brackets and flipping it upside-down to provide the required retention clip for the bottom of the lock.
  • 2002 - Kuryakyn red powder-coat mirrors (, Trillient headlamp and driving lamps (, M/C Enterprises floorboards and H/T shifter (, K&N FilterCharger air filter (, Splitfire triple platinum plugs ( set of JC Whitney passenger floorboards ( p/n AAP069188Y - they fit perfectly in the stock clevis mounts and even clear the larger V&H exhaust pipes). Note: Installing the Trillient Headlamp required a custom mount because most OEM 5-3/4" headlamps have neat welded on positioning brackets instead of taking standard replacement lamps. I placed a 3-inch hose clamp around the base of the Trillient, and fabricated two bent Z-shaped brackets with holes for the existing positioning bolts and springs out of a couple of old PC slot blocking plates. The brackets go under the hose clamp, and the ends thread onto the aiming bolts with the stock nylon nuts holding them in place. There are so many extra wires packed into the OEM headlight case, the lamp stays perfectly in-place without further stabilization. For what it's worth, they do provide very even light patterns, without the usual dark shadows in the beam.
    The Splitfires seem to allow quicker warm-ups (now takes about 5 secs. versus about 10-15 secs. to go from 2K (choke on full) to 2.5K while the K&N gave a minor umphf to the sub-3K torque range (basically a little more drag strip-type performance - nothing on the top-end).
  • 2004 - Replaced the Slipstreamer (stress crack developed_ with a more cosmetically pleasing Memphis Shades 7-inch x 17-inch Slim in Ruby red.