Virago Humor?? You be the judge

Some Virago humor. Dr. Piston holds a PhD in Motorcycle Theory and Practice from the Pismo Beach Technical Institute.  Earlier in his career he authored a widely read column based on questions from motorcycle owners and riders.  The following are excerpts from some of those columns.



 Dr. Piston in his youth


Dear Dr. Piston,
While riding around the other day I met a charming young lady on a motorcycle. She said she had “a thousand mile seat” which she enjoyed very much. My question is: what makes these seats so comfortable, and where can I order one?

Dear Curious,
This is a family oriented column, and I will not lower my standards by addressing questions of this nature.  But certainly, “ordering” is not the way.  If you want to know more about the young lady’s seat, I suggest you invite her to dinner.  Flowers might also help.

Dear Dr. Piston,
My little sister pulled the wires out of my Virago.  I live way out in the country where we don’t have wiring diagrams and things like that.  Now I’ve got this green wire, a yellow one, a red one, and a black one, and I can’t figure out how they connect up so I can get my bike running again.

Dear Confused,
You are in luck because either way you connect them up your bike will work just fine.  If you connect green to yellow, and red to black your bike will run normally.  If you connect red to yellow, and green to black, your bike will also run very nice, but note the following:

Your horn button now becomes your starter button. Check your high beam indicator light to see if you are in neutral, and turn on your reserve switch to get your high beam.  Your starter button gets you your fuel reserve so when your low fuel light comes on, you’ll need to keep it mashed down until you reach the gas station.  And of course, you must turn your ignition key to “Park” to sound your horn.  That’s about it, except that you’ll want to exercise extra care on left hand turns, since your side stand will have to remain extended for the bike to run.


Dear Dr. Piston,
I’m told that motorycle engines run in the opposite direction in the Southern Hemisphere.  Is that correct?

Dear Kiwi,
Absolutely.  Manufacturers insert an extra gear in the transmission called the “down under” gear to compensate for this, and it works very well.  The only problem you may experience is when driving near the Equator.  Here your engine can become unstable and you’ll want to be clear on whether you will be going backwards or forwards before you drop the clutch too hard.


Dear Dr Piston,
My bike used to run just great, but lately it sputters a lot, won’t idle, and loses power over 4000 rpm.  I’m so depressed about it.  What can I do?

Dear Sufferer,
Depression can affect us all, even motorcycle riders.  But there is help. For example, you can find a motorcycyle support group where everyone vents their troubles. You get to cry a lot and will no doubt feel better. Self-hypnosis is another good thing.  Put yourself under and say over and over “I am a happy rider.”  That will help.  If your problems persist you should definitely consider a program of psychotherapy, but this can be very expensive, so check your medical insurance coverage before you embark on such a course.  Finally, if all else fails, and you still feel totally miserable, as a last resort you might try cleaning your carburetors.


Hello Doc,
My bike is ill . What it is doing is getting half power it seems like.  That is, both cylinders are firing, but it has no balls.  Then sometimes it will get a hair up its ass and run great for a while.  Then it will backfire, blow a cloud of blue smoke and go back to same old same old.  I need help!!

Dear Frustrated,
This is a family column and I prefer not to use the somewhat crude terms employed in your question. Your bike needs new gonads, which are located under the seat.  Remove the seat, unbolt the gonads, discard them, and install a set one size larger (available from your dealer).  While the seat is off you will also have access to the behind of your bike.  Make sure that the hair is firmly implanted all the way up in there.  If the hair has worked its way out a little, your bike will not run properly.  At more than half way out, your bike will not run at all.

Dear Dr. Piston
I know you have a lot of seat time and experience with riding.  How would you have handled this situation?  I was moving along on a two lane road at around 65mph.  It’s dusk. Bushes hide a railroad crossing sign. I’m going around this curve with a decreasin radius, and just as it goes into negative camber (and I’m laid over pretty good) I see the tracks which I’ll now have to take on the bias.  And at that very moment it starts to rain, stirring up about two months worth of oil slung out of cars on that curve! (BTW the doc says I’ll be riding again pretty soon.)

Dear Crash Victim,
In my youth I encountered several similar situations.  Once it became clear I was in deep trouble  my strategy was always to start hoping for a cute nurse.  If you get a cute one, you can ask her to dinner later on, and if she accepts why then it may lead to something wonderful and make it all worthwhile.  On those occasions when I did not get a cute nurse, I’d just rationalized it and told myself, “Better luck next time.”


Dear Dr. Piston,
I’m starting to date this motorcycyle guy and he’s real cute, too.  But I have heard that motorcycles can be really hard on relationships.  Is that true?

Dear Concerned,
Quite the contrary.  An interest in motorcycles is a positive attribute you should be looking for in any life partner.  By way of illustrating this, I will tell you a little story.  I was at the cowboy bar recently where I do my line dancing, and was sitting next to four young women who were obviously on a ‘girl’s night out’.  They were laughing and talking when the juke box began playing that haunting country song entitled “Do You Know Where Your Man Is Tonight”.  Three of the girls became quiet and worried looks crept over their faces.  The fourth, however, just smiled and sipped her Bud Light.  Seeing this the other three jumped on her and asked “Well, if you are so sure, where IS your man tonight?!”  “Oh”, said the smiling girl, “I know exactly where he is.  He’s home in the garage rebuilding the starter on his 1982 Virago 750.  He does that every Friday night, so we can go riding on the weekend”.  So you see, motorcycles can truly have a stabilizing effect on relationships.

Dear Dr. Piston,
On the way to my haircut a couple of weeks ago, my bike starting running on one cylinder and then quit. I waited a few and then it started up.  After my haircut, it ran good on the way to my shopping, and good all the way home.  But last week my bike ran good to my haircut, but crapped out after my haircut on the way my shopping. Then it ran good again going home.  What’s going on here?

Dear Stumped,
We have just developed a wonderful computerized diagnostic system for motorcycles which has all the possible malfunctions in a big database and can easily diagnose most failures.  However it works on a “triangulation” theory which means it needs three inputs to do its analysis.  Wait until your bike fails at a point after both your hair cut and your shopping, that is, while you are on the way home.  Then contact us immediately, and with those three inputs we should be able to easily pinpoint your problem.

Dear Dr. Piston,

I am a senior that is having trouble with my open-class sport bike.  It just isn’t that comfortable for me anymore, but the cost of seats, bars, rear-sets, etc. is horrendus.  And since I’m only on Social Security for my money, I just can’t afford all these expensive mods.  What can I do?

Dear Uncomfortable Senior,
I myself expect to be a senior someday, and so can relate to your plight.  But it seems to me there is possibly another approach that could solve your problem.  With medicare and a good orthopedic surgeon, it maybe cheaper to adjust yourself to the bike, rather than the bike to youself.  And it might improve your dancing as well.

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