Found an excellent condition tho' high mileage (96K) 1996 Virago 1100.  Help and Advice please!?

Found an excellent condition tho' high mileage (96K) 1996 Virago 1100 and reached a fair deal on it. Hadn't been ridden since oil changed and inspected in 2017 - garage kept. Oil glass showed nothing but owner started it up - 3 y/o battery on a tender and it started with little problem. Next day owner checked and the oil glass showed nothing because the oil drain was missing - meaning it was ridden back from the mechanic and at some point in the ten mile trip lost all of its oil as there was nothing on the floor of the garage. So do I walk away? No bad sounds from the engine while running. Is this engine strong enough to deal with this or is it one rev away from grenading? Any way to determine internal damage without tearing it down? How much to tear down and rebuild or replace with another engine? Help and Advice please!

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7 Answers

  • 5 months ago

    There are plenty of these bikes around.  Walk away.

  • fuzzy
    Lv 6
    5 months ago

    With bike running was the oil pressure light on the instrument cluster on? If not it still has some oil in it & a short ride wouldn't have done any harm. Does it have any nasty engine noises (rattles, bangs, squeals etc)? If not no probable damage.

    Drain the oil in it & check it. Does it feel gritty, have a burnt smell, thick & black? If no to both time to haggle over price.

    Dont forget a bike this age left standing will need new tyres, fork oil (& possibly seals), new brake fluid & a battery

  • 5 months ago

    Let's say you have no blood in your body. Is it a problem? The oil is the bike's blood, dude.

  • adam
    Lv 5
    5 months ago

    Virago. It has almost bullet proof motor. I have a 1981 750 virago with close to 200,000 miles on it. Mine is a hardtail chopper! They just run almost forever. Have a cylinder leak down test done on her. If it checks out good and she isnt smoking after she is fully warmed up buy it.its not worth much though. 500 dollars is all I would pay for it .As for running with zero oil ? I doubt it. It would have seized up before he got her home. Maybe its been treated with slick 50 before? That or another PTFE additive supposedly will allow you to run with no oil. That was there big selling point in advertising. I dont know. 

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  • Anonymous
    5 months ago

    If the oil plug fell off being ridden back from a mechanic then there would be some oil on the rear wheel and swingarm (shaft) and there would still be a tiny amount to drain out on the garage as the engine cooled. You could get the compression measured (but it would probably be down after 96k miles anyway) but that is only an indication. But a 24 year old bike should be cheap enough to take a risk on.

  • Bill
    Lv 4
    5 months ago

    Good looking bike, and a popular one 25 years ago.  But, I'd walk away due to the several factors you listed.  Mileage is high and the engine has been operated without oil.  At best this is a project bike and a money pit, at worse only a parts bike.

    Locally, NADA shows a value of $765 for one in fair condition, which is what this is.  There is is a 1995 1100 Virago  on Craigslist with fewer miles and a rebuilt engine:

    Spend some more time shopping, there are better options out there.

  • Anonymous
    5 months ago

     I do NOT believe this story about a missing drain plug.  Bike is air/oil cooled.  The engine would have lasted maybe a half mile without oil.  Bike is likely burning some oil due to bad rings and/or worn cylinders or has a bad oil leak.   Seller is telling some fairy tales.  Pass.

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