Virago 250 Street – seating position and safety mods

The blog is about modifications to the Yamaha Virago 250 to give it more of a standard seating position and to improve its safety.  If you are interested, please check the other postings.

My basic plan/goals with my Virago 250 are:
1) Minimalist
2) Functional – not stylish
3) Lightweight/weight reduction
4) Low cost of ownership.

The Virago 250 is a lightweight cruiser – I am trying to change mine to be more like a street machine and keep it minimalist – I only add things that are really necessary and I remove what I can (have removed 40 lbs).  One advantage of being minimalist and very selective about what you add to your bike is that you save money – you are not tempted to buy most accessories for your bike.  I have reduced my bike’s weight, but I could have done even better – if I would have added a different model fairing, I could have saved 3 pounds, and if I have gone to a smaller rear tire, instead of larger, I could have saved 5 pounds.  Because it is such a small bike, eight pounds less weight would have made a noticeable difference in acceleration.

  • Approximate weight – will vary by manufacturer:
  • 120/90-15   12.1 lbs
  • 130/90-15   14.6 lbs
  • 140/90-15   17.1 lbs

This picture shows the left footpeg moved back and the “Minimalist Virago” removed rear footpegs and 4 1/2 lbs of the muffler assembly removed

Click on each picture to make larger. On some computers, you can make the picture even larger or smaller by moving the page up/down wheel on your mouse while holding the “Ctrl” key.

When I first got my Virago 250, I found the cruiser seating position to be uncomfortable (I have a back problem).
On my other bike, the pegs are more under me so I can rise up out of the seat a little when I see a bump coming, which saves my back,
I raised the seat up on the Virago 250 two inches and moved the pegs back 12 inches.
It made a huge difference in the comfort.
Moving the left side back was not too hard to do (for the shift lever, get a 1981 Honda CM400 shifter – it’s almost perfect). The   right side was really difficult – I built/trashed two ideas before I finally got one that worked.

My bike came with low bars which I really like – they are about 29 inches wide, 4 ½ inches pullback, and 2 inches rise.

If you drive in traffic, this light could save your life, and it fits the Virago 250 like a glove – easy replacement of existing reflector

Here is probably the brightest tailight/stoplight that you will find for $9.99 shipped (price varies).  It is much brighter than the stock unit and some competing lights.  You can mount it right above the stock tailight – remove the reflector and mount it using the reflector’s metal bracket.  Check ebay for “Red Double Stop Tail LED Light for Motorcycle”.   Seller is in Hong Kong.  Dimensions are 3.9 inches wide  x 2.1 inches high.  It has 18 LED’s and it has three wires that are about 8 inches or 21 centimeters long.  Like most motorcycles, the stock tailight/stoplight on the Virago 250 is not enough, and the bike needs additional lights to be seen by other drivers.

Best way to connect – Most motorcycles use 4mm (3.9 mm or .157 inch) bullet connectors for their electrical connections.  (http://www.vintageconnections.com in California has OEM style bullet connectors.)  A good way to connect this LED light is to make two Y connectors – one side is male to plug into the factory connector, the other side is double female, one to plug the stock light into, and the other to plug the LED light into.  This way you do not need to cut or splice any wires.  You can make a third one for the Black (ground) wires if want, or you can just cut and crimp them.

Or you can use quick-splice electrical connectors to connect the wires instead of splicing.  The quick-splice electrical connectors are available at Walmart, auto parts stores, or Radio Shack.  This connector is actually  not as good of an electrical connection as a plug or a soldered connection, but they do work and are good for someone who is new at this.

This picture shows the footpegs moved back and the “cheap Virago 250 exhaust mod”

The stock Virago 250 exhaust system weighs 13.6 pounds and consists of 3 parts – the front pipe/muffler assembly is 11.0 pounds, the rear chrome non-functional pipe is 1 pound, and the rear black functional pipe is 1.6 pounds.  The mod described in the 8/31/11 posting: “The cheap Virago 250 exhaust system mod” reduces the exhaust system weight by 5.6 pounds – after the mod the exhaust system weight is 8 pounds.

On my Virago 250, I removed the footpegs and mounting plates.  The downside is that you can see a lot of the muffler parts that the footpeg plates cover up. But it makes that area easier to clean and reduces the bike’s weight by 4.3 lbs.

Items that I removed (and did not replace) include:
passenger seat + bracket  – weight 1.6 lbs
helmet lock – weight 4.8 oz
left chrome pod – weight 11.2 oz
sissybar + backrest – weight 2.9 lbs
left passenger footpeg assembly – weight 1.9 lbs
right passenger footpeg assembly – weight 2.4 lbs
chrome head covers – weight 2.56 pounds or 1.16 kg (for all 4 pieces)
mounting plate for rear brake pedal and the two 2.5″ bolts – weight 1.5 lbs

Items that I removed and replaced with lighter parts include:
front footpegs – weight 1.3 lbs
air filter assembly – weight 1.2 lbs + element (replaced with new air filter 9.0 oz)
replaced bars – reduced weight by about 1.5 lbs
shifter assembly – weight 3.5 lbs (replaced with shifter weighing 0.4 lbs)
I also removed the sidestand which is 1.5 lbs and I added a centerstand (4.3 lbs).
-Les S.