Back in 1981, when the thought of a Japanese tandem V-twin was a perplexing idea for some, Yamaha had to sell the virtues of the design: narrowness, lightness (compared to the then-prevalent fours), simplicity and the sound and feel of a V-twin. Yamaha chose a 75-degree V-angle for its good balance, because it spread the cylinders wide enough to aid cooling, provided space for carburetors, and didn’t make the engine as tall as a 45-degree design. A single crankpin with two rods side by side is used, and the cylinder heads on both barrels are identical though the cams are different. Like the other Japanese bikes here, the XV750 drives its overhead cams—one for each cylinder—with chains. Like it’s 1063cc stablemate, the Virago 1100, the 750 inhales through a pair of 40mm carbs, and sends power to the road through five speeds and shaft final drive. The other three Japanese manufacturers followed Yamaha’s lead and made 750-class V-twins with shaft drive, though Honda’s original Shadow 750 is no longer available.