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‘82 Yamaha XV920 – Hageman Motorcycles

Posted on May 21, 2014 by Andrew in Café Racer. 15 comments


In nature, metamorphosis is a process where by a creature will undergo an abrupt and rather startling transformation. During this process, it expends a whole bunch of energy in a rather short period of time. Tadpoles become frogs. Caterpillars become butterflies. And nymph cicadas become, erm, bigger cicadas. Now you could argue that in the custom bike world, just about any restoration is a metamorphosis of sorts. But you’d be wrong. Because if you think that your new seat and fresh rubber has transformed your bike, think again. There is nothing in the bike world that matches the frog-to-prince change you see when an old Virago sheds its faux-Harley skin and becomes a bike like this. And no-one does Viragos like Greg from Hageman Motorcycles, aka Docs Chops.


Here’s Greg. “Hi Pipeburn. Here’s a recent Virago build of ours. It’s an ‘82 XV920 which was commissioned for a gentleman from New Zealand. He basically gave me free reign to build what I wanted.” Sounds like most bike builder’s wet dreams. Ours too. “So I took ideas and learnings from all the past builds and then I added a few things I wanted to try out.”


Unlike quite a few of Greg’s previous Virago builds, this one has brushed alloy Sun Rims. In this particular case they’re from Buchanan, with a 17 x 3.5 rear hoop matched to a 18 x 2.75 front. Greg then shod them with fresh Kendas, running a 150/70/17 rear and 130/70/18 front.


“After building several of these, the most important thing I’ve learned is to take the stock carbs and chuck them in the dumpster. Then I just replace them with nice, new Mikuni VMs. They idle and run much more consistent than the stock (and old) CVs. In the end, you have more torque and horses with the bike also easily revving to 8500rpm. And it’s not just for the 920s either; they especially help the anaemic XV 750s.”


Taking a leaf out of Yamaha’s rather shiny racing history, Greg got to painting things. “Some of my favorite bikes have been the TZ race bikes, that’s why I used the decals and paint scheme I did on this one. You can’t go wrong with those colors on a Yammie.”



The final bits of the build included the rear sets, handlebars and fork brace. This time greg chose an all Tarozzi ensemble, and modified some of the parts to fit. The front suspension is also modified and uses progressive fork springs. The rear shock, with its nice little flash of red, is a Hagon unit from the UK. The seat is the same type Greg’s been using for a lot of his recent builds, but just to mix things up a little he made a removable seat cowl. “Just so I could give it some more colour,” as he puts it.


As always, Greg and the boys have knocked it out of the park. And if you like what you see, we’ve been lucky enough to receive another Hageman build, which is being ushered into the starting gates as we speak. Stay tuned for more.

[Photos by]

  • docschops

    Thanks for running this, and the center stand was only attached for the photoshoot, not normally kept on my bikes.

    • Kobo

      All stret bikes should have a centrestand…It’s one of the things I like about this unit….

  • Jacob Speis

    Well, that’s about as close to perfect as a Virago build is going to get…

    *furiously scans craigslist*

  • Fantome_NR

    This is absolutely perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing (ok maybe I’d add a small front fender), including the centerstand, because, why not? It looks fine tucked away there and they sure are useful. Not on every bike, but in this case, you made it work. Bravo.

  • Marcus Shanahan

    Damn! Love the bike….building one right now similar. Beat me to the punch on some design queues, but hopefully it will get some attention. : ).

  • Davidabl2

    Had i the Photoshop/illustrator skills it’d be fun to superimpose an outline drawing of the original bike over the same drawing of Doc’s bike.

  • Those big Virago motors look so cool. The VM’s are the way to go. This bike has so much visual appeal that it’s hard to look away. I’m glad I hung on to my Benelli tank. No matter what anyone sells they are one of the best looking tanks out there. Good job.

  • BoxerFanatic

    I love all of Hageman’s XV builds, and have been following them for quite a while now, from the first 750, and the 1100 dual-shock vincent-like homage bike, the green scrambler, and others. I love the air-cooled yamaha OHC V-twin hung from a concentric spine frame.

    This one is great, and with the standard forks, and the nice silver laced rims, it still looks quite classic, and just the right mix of vintage, and updates and a new finish. The red stripe on clean white also adds to the classic look.

    It is interesting that it is a shaft-drive XV920, rather than the rarer chain-drive XV920R.

  • Bultaco Metralla

    Gorgeous build. I always thought there was a bike struggling to get out from under the Virago. Congratulations, really well done.

  • S. Thompson

    Doc, what do you charge for one these baby’s? They’re darn near perfect modern cafes!

  • Joshua Jaren

    In all honesty, I have always hated Viragos. The first time I saw one of Doc’s builds, I knew I recognized the motor, but… it couldn’t be… could it?!

    Just like a doctor swears to do no harm- to preserve the purity of their life and arts, so the Good Doc has not only done no harm, but has truly preserved the arts of motorcycle beautification, time and time again.

    Absolutely stunning, as usual. Keep up the good work, Doc!

  • docschops
  • @ DOCSCHOPS, I’d like to comission a build like this, only a different color.

  • usedracer

    Got a RH model in the garage that is ready to be finished like this. It will be a lot easier since it isn’t a disco chopper like the Virago. Great excellent job folks!

  • gumski

    A fantastic bike – a pity about the mirrors though, just right for weaving through traffic! I was a 60s coffee bar cowboy and in my day only scooters had mirrors.