Virago 250 rear tire sizes

Why do we want big tires for our Virago 250’s? The original size is probably the best choice. Next time I need a rear tire, I am going with a smaller size -120/90-15.

Approximate diameter, width, and weight – will vary by manufacturer (these are mostly Dunlop)

120/90-15 … 23.32” diam… 4.69” width..approx 11.5 to 12.8 lbs..stock diam x 97.4% (hard to find)

130/80-15 … 23.2” diam… 5.08” width..approx 11.7 to 13.0 lbs ..stock diam x 96.9% (hard to find)

130/90-15 … 23.95” diam… 5.15” width..approx 14.8 lbs (stock size)

140/80-15 … 24.17” diam… 5.87” width..approx 16.1 lbs..stock diam x 100.9% 

140/90-15 … 24.73” diam… 5.85” width..approx 17.1 lbs..stock diam x 103.3% 

150/90-15 … 25.60” diam… 6.05” width..approx 19.4 lbs..stock diam x 106.9% (requires modifications)

160/60R15 … 23.3” diam… 6.30” width.. 17.2 estimated lbs ..stock diam x 97.3% (requires modifications, easy to find)

 120/90-15         Will decrease gearing about 2.6% equal to increasing rear sprocket by one tooth. …… plusses:  less weight which results in slightly increased

Virago 250 with larger 140/90-15 – I should have gotten a 120/90-15 for more performance (weighs 5 lbs less)

performance(acceleration and stopping distances) especially since tires affect rotating weight and unsprung weight. The shorter gearing also increases acceleration slightly. ……  minuses:  shorter, less ground clearance for reduced cornering ability, looks not as cool due to less width.  Cheng Shin is the only source I have found in the U.S. that has this size, but I am still looking…..

 130/90-15         This is the stock size tire on the Virago 250. Many other brands are heavier than the stock Cheng Shin tire so you might lose some acceleration when you replace it even though you did not buy a different size replacement tire. For example, the Pirelli MT66 is about 2.6 pounds heavier than the Cheng Shin (15.4 vs 12.8 lbs).  Here are weights for some brands of 130/90-15 tires:

size … lbs … kg
130/90-15 … 12.46 … 5.65 … Kenda K657 Challenger
130/90-15 … 12.8 … 5.81 … Cheng Shin
130/90-15 … 13.65 … 6.19 … Kenda K671 Cruiser
130/90-15 … 14.00 … 6.35 … Dunlop D404
130/90-15 … 15.4est … 6.99est … Pirelli MT66

 140/80-15         Get this one if you want a tire wider than stock but don’t want to change your gear ratio. …. Just slightly taller than a 130/90-15.  About the same width as a 140/90-15.  It is probably lighter than a 140/90-15. ……   (Specs vary by manufacturer – another website says the Metzeler ME880 140/80-15 is .28 inches shorter, .43 inches wider, and 2.9 lbs heavier than the 130/90-15.)

 140/90-15         It’s probably a good idea to stick with the original size, but if you really want a bigger tire, a 140/90-15 is OK unless you are trying to keep your bike lightweight for better performance. ……  plusses:  taller, more ground clearance for cornering, will increase gearing about 3% equal to reducing rear sprocket by one tooth, looks cool (width 5 9/16” vs 5”), you can run lower pressure for softer ride (about 28 vs 33 stock).  ……   minuses:  more weight (Pirelli MT 66 is 2 1/2 lbs more) which results in slightly reduced performance (acceleration and stopping distances) especially since tires affect rotating weight and unsprung weight, and tighter fit. There is not much of a rubbing issue with the 140 unless your bike has rims that are out of true. With the 140/90-15 tire, clearances are: chain 10mm, chain guard 6mm, and brake torque arm 4mm (the last two could be modified to increase clearance).

 150/90-15         A 150/90-15 tire is approx 14mm wider than a 140, so it won’t fit a Virago 250 without modification – chain clearance would be only 3mm, and the chain guard and brake torque arm would hit the tire. I wouldn’t do this, but if you really want to put on a 150/90-15, add a 4mm washer to the left side, chain clearance would then be OK (6mm) and you would need to remove about 4mm off a short section of the chain guard and bend the brake arm enough to open the space by about 8mm. Your rim has to be perfectly true. You need to make sure the chain and sprockets are aligned. Also, some tires like the Pirelli MT66 have a ridge that you could shave off to gain a little more clearance.


           edit Jan 4, 2013
** 150/90-15 Not Recommended **        
I do  not recommend the 150/90-15 tyre for the Virago 250.  (I do not recommend the 140/90-15 either, but it fits without much adjustment.)

Many people all over the world have put 150/90-15’s on their Virago 250’s, but they had to do a lot of cutting/grinding/modifications required to fit the 150 tyre.

               -Les S.

Dunlop D404a



added 5/08/12 –  My next rear tire might be a hard-to-find size, so I am starting to think about it now. 
(My current tire is: 140/90-15 … 24.73” diam… 5.85” width. 17.1 lbs. stock diam x 103.3% and I have 6,500 miles on it now)

These are the sizes that I am thinking about:

120/90-15 … 23.32” diam… 4.69” width  12.8 lbs or 5.8 kg. stock diam x 97.4% (hard to find)
130/80-15 … 23.2” diam… 5.08” width  13.0 lbs or 5.9 kg. stock diam x 96.9% (hard to find)
130/90-15 … 23.95” diam… 5.15” width  12.46 to 15.4 lbs or 5.65 to 7 kg. (stock size)
140/80-15 … 24.17” diam… 5.87” width  16.1 lbs or 7.3 kg. stock diam x 100.9%
160/60R15 … 23.3” diam… 6.30” width  17.2 est lbs or 7.8 kg. stock diam x 97.3% (requires modifications, easy to find)

If I had to buy it today, I would get a  Kenda 130/90-15  K657 Challenger (12.46 lbs or 5.65 kg) – about $68 in the U.S.  This tire is 2.3 to 2.9 pounds lighter than the same size Pirelli MT66.  I really wanted a 120/90-15 (very hard to find), but the Kenda 130/90-15 is so light, it probably weighs less than most 120/90-15′s.

Also, I could get an 18 inch rim and respoke my rear wheel to 18 inch.  A Dunlop K81 4.25/85H18 weighs 9.9 lbs and would be about the same gear ratio as the 140/90-15 that I have now.  But this change would not be near as cost-effective as just getting a Kenda 130/90-15.

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9 Responses to Virago 250 rear tire sizes

  1. Rich says:

    I know this would be very expensive, but have you researched carbon wheels for the 250?

    • lstrick115 says:

      Hi, Rich,
      Thanks for asking. Carbon wheels would be great for the Virago 250, if the prices ever come down low enough. Actually, I would like to get alloy wheels for my bike, but those are hard to find in the US. I just did a short posting about this.
      Regards, Les S.

  2. Rui says:

    Hello, you said you could put an 18 inch rim with that dunlop tire, would it be plug and play or would it fit without a problem?

    Because I have and 18 inch rear wheel on my virago but I bought a 4.00-18 Avon Safety Mileage, and the wheel won’t fit, it’s too big.

    Do you think that the dunlop k81 would fit?


    • lstrick115 says:

      Hi Rui,
      Without modifications, the K81 on a 18 inch rim will probably not fit.
      If by chance you have put on shorter shocks to lower the bike, putting the stock ones back on might help.
      The only size that is really plug and play would be the stock size 130/90-15.
      Even putting on a 140/90-15 requires some modification.
      Many people all over the world have put 150/90-15’s on their Virago 250’s, but they had to do a lot of cutting/grinding/modifications required to fit the 150 tire.
      Les S.

    • Sophorn says:

      Where can I get a 18 rear wheel for myself? Thank you, Sophorn

      • lstrick115 says:

        Hi Sophorn, A wheel shop could take the hub from your 15 inch wheel and respoke it to an 18 inch rim. Also, the Yamaha SRV250 had a 18 inch rear rim – if you could find one of those, it would probably fit or could be modified to fit.
        Les S.

  3. Jeff says:

    Hey Rich. I have a Yamaha 250 v star. I want to put wide white walls on it and I have to move up to a biger tire to get them. I want to put a 150/90-15 on the back. I seen this ad. You talk about adding washer . I need to know. Exactly where. Could you call me.706- 338-4103. Thanks. Jeff

    • lstrick115 says:

      Hi Jeff,
      Putting a 150 rear tire on a Virago 250 is pretty hard to do – I would not recommend it. (“Virago 250 rear tire sizes” describes what you need to do.)

      If you goggle “whitewall tires for motorcycles”, you will get a lot of information on adding whitewall inserts to motorcycle tires.
      Here is a link to a video on the subject:

      Les S.

    • Jeff says:

      Jeff you could purchase Maxxis WW in 140/90 – 15 a bit pricey shipping to US. 120 on tire 75 dollars sgipping but you get a correct fit in WW

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