Mean Green: Yamaha Virago 750 Café Racer

Yamaha Virago 750 Cafe Racer

Jerem Motorcycles builds a mean, green XV750… 

In the early 1980s, Yamaha introduced the XV750 Virago, their first V-twin “custom”-style cruiser. Though the air-cooled V-twin seemed like a completely novel design, it was actually well-rooted in existing Yamaha DNA:

“A close look at the workings of that engine reveal it to be little more than two XT500 top ends grafted onto a single-crank bottom end, creating the simple, yet effective design.” —Classic Motorbikes

Yamaha Virago 750 Cafe Racer

The original bike looked quite clunky, with 16-inch wheels, buckhorn bars, and a shaft final drive. But despite the bike’s aesthetics, it handled better than anything the Milwaukee cruiser kings offered at the time:

“The ride is both smooth and reassuringly sure footed with handling not in any way like you might have expected for a soft and lardy cruise mobile. The weight is centrally placed, with the large machine feeling many times smaller than it actually is…” —Classic Motorbikes

Yamaha Virago 750 Cafe Racer

Surely the bike’s engineers never expected that, more than 40 years after its introduction to the world, the Yamaha Virago would become a darling donor of the customs world, serving as the platform for a staggering array of V-twin customs created in workshops all over the world.

Yamaha Virago 750 Cafe Racer

Today, we’re happy to present his ’83 Virago 750 from our friend Jeremie Duchampt of France’s Jerem Motorcycles, who’s been turning out a stable of high-level builds in 2022. He bought this XV in poor condition with the aim to disassemble and completely replace, refurbish, or customize every last part.

Yamaha Virago 750 Cafe Racer

The result is one of the most stunning Viragos we’ve seen. Below, he gives us the full story on the build.

Virago 750 Cafe Racer: Builder Interview

Yamaha Virago 750 Cafe Racer

I bought this XV about one year ago; it was in a bad state. I completely disassembled it to redo every single part, every bolt, and replace all the bearings. The frame and swingarm were modified to remove the useless dropouts, and after sandblasting them, they were painted gloss black in the oven.

Yamaha Virago 750 Cafe Racer

The fork comes from a Ducati Monster and the front rim from a Ducati Diavel. Fork crown made by USV Racing.

Yamaha Virago 750 Cafe Racer

The engine was overhauled for good reliability, but it had been tinkered with by the previous owner and had hidden problems, so I changed the engine for a 9800KM-only engine, TOP. I removed the original carburettors for two separate Dellorto PHF32 carburettors to have more power — the settings were entrusted to Les Belles d’Oc in Béziers. Green air filter for each carb.

Yamaha Virago 750 Cafe Racer

The KOSO counter has been integrated into the fork crown.

Yamaha Virago 750 Cafe Racer

The custom exhaust was made in the Jerem Motorcycles workshop. The rear section was also made to measure with a beautiful saddle made by the Point Sellier 34 workshop.

Yamaha Virago 750 Cafe Racer

Sachs rear shock absorber from an MV Agusta 800.

Yamaha Virago 750 Cafe Racer

The Solise lithium battery with voltage regulator is housed under the tank with the motogadget M-unit. The underside of the tank has kevlar protection. The LED headlight, mini front indicator, and the rear lights have been placed on a metal support for a suspended effect.

Yamaha Virago 750 Cafe Racer

The CNC aluminum front switchgear is coupled to an M-unit. Radial Brembo brakes with a Brembo master cylinder with Exact aviation hoses. Rearsets are grafted onto the modified and shortened original plates. Several different parts were engraved with my JM Logo. Tailor-made rear wheel flange in Dibond, Metzeler tires in 130/70/17 at the front and 130/90/16 at the rear.

Yamaha Virago 750 Cafe Racer

The carburetors have been refurbished inside / outside by bichromating, and all the original bolts were similarly preserved. Audi green paint by A2F.

I spent about 240 hours working on this bike.

Yamaha Virago 750 Cafe Racer

Follow the Builder

Instagram: @jerem_motorcycles
Facebook: Jerem Motorcycles


  1. Partire da questa basa virago non è semplice, ho visto tante trasformazioni brutte, ma questa sinceramente mi piace, molto bilanciata, bravo.

  2. jacques brodin

    Bonjour,je voulais te félicite pour ton ton travail,transformer un virago,il fallait y penser,cela fait plaisir de voir des anciennes motos remis au goût du jour,cette cela doit représenté un certain budget,mais l’idée est très bonne,je m’aperçois que nous avons de plus en plus de génies en France , même s’il y à toujours des personnes pour critiquer,,le travail est remarquable,bravo, continue ,tu as mon soutien ✌️

  3. Well I hope the starters are better on the 750 to the 900s cuz they were junk. And yet again Cafe racer was a derogatory term for the guys in England that raced from Cafe to Cafe it wasn’t a kind of motorcycle so all you hipsters out there understand that learn your history it’s so disappointing but you people don’t understand that and I actually kind of like that green color.

  4. Anthony Dawson

    I concur with the above comment. Also quite worrying is the loss of so many modern classics to the hipster craze. Oh well, I suppose cafe racers were guilty too. Nice bikes and a worthy repurposing of a reasonable engine. Starters were really bad when they were made too!
    These two bikes almost look like they were made like so by the maker, too.

  5. Dennis Lemley

    He spent all that time and money to build that bike and didn’t bother to upgrade the rear brakes to discs???

  6. Looking for ignation switch for a 1982 yamaha virago 920xv750cc it has has a 4 wire large pin plug wiers from switch are black red green and red& yellow. Do u have one? All plug pins face the same way. And are male

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