Once I left the front range of CO behind me, the trip (through eastern CO, KS and MO) became somewhat straighter, but nonetheless cathartic. There is something to be said for being alone in your helmet with your thoughts, while thousands of miles from home, on two wheels, by yourself, riding a 16 year old motorcycle that you've owned for five days! It was quasi-religious! When all was said and done, my adventure was a 10 day, 5,000 mile trip that I'll never forget!
Precursor to the big bore Viragos that would follow, the XV920R was a short run model, only imported for two short years in 1981-82. It was marketed as an alternative to the buzzy UJM's coming out of Japan at the time. It sported a 920cc 72º single crankpin v-twin, low-set handlebars, rearset pegs, pressed steel monocoque frame, monoshock rear, air adjustable suspension at both ends with 15 point damping adjustment in the rear, dual front disc brakes, dual horns, a large 5 gallon fuel tank, and a massive eight inch headlight that looked like a freight train coming at you on the highway. Most notable, however, and in keeping with Yamaha's tradition of being ahead of their time, the most interesting technical innovation was a fully enclosed #630 chain drive that ran in a bath of viscous lithium grease.
Yamaha had originally intended to market this motorcycle as a 1000cc model, but fell victim to the Harley Davidson import tariff rules of the era and thus had to be scaled down to a lower displacement for the US market. That same year (1981) Yamaha did launch a 1000cc version of the same bike in Europe called the TR1, which was and continues to be very popular.
My Favorite XV Links
Virago Owner's Club
XV tech info!