If someone said “Voodoo Garage”, you’d immediately think of New Orleans, right? Maybe Haiti? Voodoo Garage, however, is located in Grenada, on the southern coast of Spain. You’ll probably agree with the name once you see what they’ve done to this Yamaha Virago, though; dark magics were clearly involved.
Every Virago out there started its life as what some call a “metric clone”—a Japanese copy of, in this case, a Sportster. The poor Virago was never known for its good looks, though they are reliable motorcycles. All the best custom builds, to my mind, come from motorcycles that came from the factory plain or downright ugly. It makes the transformation that much more of a stunner.
This Virago has certainly come a long way from its humble OEM beginnings. No longer aesthetically ruled by a teardrop tank and elkhorn bars, this creation makes you doubt the bike was ever really a Virago to begin with.
Victor Ortiz Ruiz of Voodoo Garage said of the bike, “it was a challenge since this chassis of the XV1100 is horrible to make into a cafe racer.” I believe him. What a transformation.
The custom shop had to rebuild the rear subframe completely, to work the low-slung cruiser-styled rear end into a hopped-up cafe-style butt. The shop bolted new YSS rear shocks onto the rebuilt frame to hold on the new 18-inch Excel rear rim. Up front, the bike holds onto a set of upside-down forks off a GSXR with a custom-machined yoke, and the axle rolls through an 18” Excel front rim.
For controls a set of clip-ons hang on those GSXR forks. Custom switchgear working Motogadget moblaze bar-end turn signals and a Motoscope Pro gauge completes the cockpit. The new brake lights are Kellerman 3-in-1 Attos, a big change from the honkin’ brake light housing the bike used to sport. The gas tank, teardrop unit summarily trashed, is off a Laverda 1000J, which follows all the bike’s lines straight back. Well done.
The builders replaced the bike’s typical-cruiser forward controls with some (of course) custom-mounted rearsets, with, I am sure, no small amount of effort. A surround and bracket for that new LED headlight, fender mounts, and brake stays are all custom made and laser-engraved with Voodoo Garage’s logo. They had plenty of opportunity to brand this bike with all the custom mounts it needed.
All told it took the Spaniards eight months to complete this build, start to finish. Though the end result may inspire some backyard builders to take a torch to their Virago, perhaps the obvious enormous amount of effort will steer just as many away from that classic cruiser as a starting point for anything this radical.