The previous owner I have gotten this bike from let it sit for years, knowing this I rebuilt the carbs changed the oil and put in a new battery it also had a bad starter so I replaced that as well. The bike cranks and has spark the tank does feed gas when it's cranking and the plugs always smell like gas when I pull them out. I haven't checked for compression yet but I did get the bike running off starter fluid for about 30 seconds when I first got it now I have nothing any ideas would be great thanks.

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Jun 24, 2019 at 0:13
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    How did you set the jets on the carbs? What was the default position?
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 24, 2019 at 3:38

1 Answer 1


The virago carburetors are somewhat tricky to clean properly. I have an 86 Virago 700, which has a "tube jet" instead of just a pilot jet. I had to use the properly sized guitar string to clean these out. Carb clean wasn't enough.

Also, there's some bad advice floating out to drill out the pilot jets. It's possible your carbs have these drilled out pilot jets.

This link should help a bit: https://www.viragohelp.com/virago-hitachi-carburetors/

Many Viragos of that era have bad ignition units (TCIs) and intermittent spark at certain RPM ranges.

More about Virago ignitions: https://www.viragohelp.com/virago-ignition-systems/

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