Bespoke Yamaha XV1100 Cafe Racer Improves the Virago Formula in Just About Every Way

Yamaha XV1100 Cafe Racer 11 photos
Photo: Voodoo Garage via Return of the Cafe Racers
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Founded by one Victor Ortiz Ruiz back in 2014, Voodoo Garage is a four-man endeavor operating right outside the Spanish city of Granada. The ‘’Garage’ part of that name was very literal during the first three years of its existence, because all the action took place in a crew member’s home garage up until 2017. After relocating to a larger and better-equipped workspace, Voodoo’s specialists were ready to step things up a notch.
They started handling all aspects of their custom projects and restorations in-house, never failing to impress or shying away from experimentation. Among Victor’s accomplices is Daniel Ruiz Roldan, an experienced mechanic with a background in industrial design and expert-tier welding abilities. Then there is Elvis Sanchez Serrano, who deals mostly with restoration jobs out of sheer love for classic motorcycles of all shapes and sizes.

Finally, Luis Bueno Martin is the firm’s in-house paint specialist, and you’d be right in saying these four guys make something of a dream team. For the build we’re about to look at, their starting point was the tried-and-true XV1100 Virago platform from Yamaha. As per Victor’s advice, the client did his best to find a pre-1984 Virago model with monoshock rear suspension, but all his searching was to no avail.

Even though the twin-shock XV1100 turned out to be the only available option at the time, the specialists over at Voodoo were determined to press on. A monoshock arrangement would’ve made their lives a lot easier, as it would’ve required far less tweaking of the bike’s rear-end geometry. Still, Victor and his teammates didn’t get into motorcycle customization to turn down a good challenge.

With the classic Yamaha on their workbench, the lads took it apart in preparation for a radical cafe racer makeover. First things first, they did away with the stock subframe which gave the Virago its slouched cruiser stance. A fresh, loop-style replacement was then fabricated from scratch, completely changing the donor’s anatomy for the better. There were many more structural changes on the menu, though.

Yamaha XV1100 Cafe Racer
Photo: Voodoo Garage via Return of the Cafe Racers
The Virago’s factory suspension equipment was deleted in its entirety, making room for a Suzuki GSX-R1100's inverted Showa forks at the front. They’re held in place via billet aluminum triple clamps and accompanied by adjustable YSS shock absorbers on the opposite end. Along with the forks, the aforementioned Gixxer also donated its Tokico brake calipers to Voodoo’s cause, and they’ve been paired with drilled 320 mm (12.6-inch) aftermarket rotors.

Down south, you’ll see the retrofitted braking hardware of an XV950 complete with Cognito Moto adapters. In terms of footwear, the specimen carries a pair of laced Excel hoops measuring 18 inches on both ends and sporting grippy Michelin rubber. These concluded the major structural work, so the Spanish gurus turned their attention to the XV1100’s cockpit area.

A digital Motoscope Pro dial from Motogadget has been embedded into the upper triple clamp, and it’s flanked by a premium set of aftermarket clip-ons. These bad boys come equipped with bar-end turn signals, underslung mirrors, and compact switchgear, as well as plain rubber grips. Front-end lighting is provided by a state-of-the-art LED headlamp mounted on custom brackets, while multi-function Kellermann units take care of illumination duties at the rear.

Yamaha XV1100 Cafe Racer
Photo: Voodoo Garage via Return of the Cafe Racers
Voodoo Garage finished off the rear end with a swingarm-mounted license plate bracket, and all the electronics were rewired through a Motogadget mo.Unit controller. As far as the powertrain-related upgrades are concerned, the crew performed an invigorating rebuild of the bike’s beefy V-twin mill. Then, they topped its carburetors off with some bespoke velocity stacks, before busying themselves with a good bit of exhaust fabrication.

The pie-cut plumbing was fashioned out of stainless-steel, gracefully snaking its way back to a gorgeous pair of custom silencers. We also notice a Voodoo clutch cover rounding out the engine mods, while some CNC-machined foot pegs complement the clip-on handlebars found in the cockpit. Moving on to the bodywork, it was decided that things ought to be kept relatively simple.

In the center, you will now spot the repurposed fuel tank of a Laverda 1000 Jota, cleverly tweaked to fit on the XV1100 Virago like it was always meant to be there. The only other piece of bodywork present here is a tiny front fender, which rests on tailor-made mounting hardware. Right behind the Jota gas tank, there is a stylish saddle upholstered in a mixture of standard black leather and suede.

Last but not least, the project’s authors came up with a stunning color scheme to tie everything together. The primary hue may appear to be black from afar, but it is actually a very dark shade of blue joined by a lighter tone on the fuel tank. White and gold highlights are also present on this component, with the latter being a perfect match for the specimen’s upside-down Showa forks.
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About the author: Silvian Secara
Silvian Secara profile photo

A bit of an artist himself, Silvian sees two- and four-wheeled machines as a form of art, especially restomods and custom rides. Oh, and if you come across a cafe racer article on our website, it’s most likely his doing.
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