How to make your Virago 250 look a little different from the rest – and at low cost

  You can buy aftermarket air filter covers,


but just modifying the stock air filter pods yourself is an easy way to help make your Yamaha Virago 250 look a little different from the rest.  You can add some small vents (see below) or velocity stacks to the stock air filter housings. 

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

Most of the stick-on air vents and emblems that you see are hard plastic, so they won’t fit flat on rounded air pods.


Stick-on air diffusers are available that are hard plastic, but are only 1/2 inch wide (or 13 mm) so they would fit your rounded air pods a little better than the bigger air vents.  With some modification, you might could get them to fit flat.

  They are not too common, but some of the stick-on air vents are flexible plastic, so they will fit your rounded air pods.  They can be used on gas tanks and sidecovers, but you might not want to put too many vents on your bike – they need to look natural and at least a little realistic and sort of blend in. 


Another idea is to paint the air filter pods, or add a decal.  Also, you can add a gauge to the air filter pod or to a cover you can put over the fuel pump.


This is probably hard to do – but making 3 or 4 cuts in the stock air filter covers to look like vents might look cool.


For other ideas for air filter mods, please see this posting:   Virago 250′s from around the world – Part 12 – Air Filter mods


Removing the stock chrome cylinder head covers will give your engine a different look and will reduce your bike’s weight by 2.6 pounds or 1.2 kg.

The bad thing about removing the chrome cylinder head covers is that it leaves the brackets exposed (the brackets that the chrome cylinder head covers are bolted to).  You should not remove these brackets because the bolts that hold the brackets are the cylinder head bolts. 

I do not intend to put my chrome cylinder head covers back on, so I broke off most of the brackets.  I would not recommend doing this, but if you do, be very careful.  No matter how careful you are, you will scratch or mark something, and you could damage the gas tank or engine.  If you remove the chrome cylinder head covers, most of the brackets, and the chrome hanger, you will reduce your bike’s weight by 3.05 pounds or 1.4 kg. 

   I like chrome, but I actually like the bike without the cylinder head covers.  I cleaned off most of the dirt and it looks better than I thought it would.  There are seven tiny fins on the top of the head.  Because I removed the brackets, there is a little more room for adjusting the valves.  For more room, I also removed the crankcase vent tube and the clip that holds it – the clip is located right by the rear exhaust valve so that will definitely add a little more room for valve adjustment.

       Most of the world’s Virago 250 owners have not put anything over the familiar stock six-sided fuel pump – so this is good area to make your Virago 250 look a little different from the rest.  You can cover it with a chrome air filter cover or something similar.



     If you have removed your chrome cylinder head covers, and you are not going to put them back on, you can actually use one of those to cover your fuel pump and another to cover your fuel petcock. 

The chrome cylinder head covers look great on top of the engine, but wait until you see how nice they look off the bike.  They are quite an art object, and there are four of them.  They are not made of steel – maybe some sort of aluminum – the chrome plating is excellent and using Windex they polish up great.  Use aluminum polish on the two washers to get them shiny like chrome.  They are plated on only one side, so only one side will polish to a shine.



Above is a Lifan LF250B with a chrome fuel pump cover.


Painting the front hub and/or front disc brake caliper gold (or other color) can make your bike look different – gold hubs or calipers are seldom seen on Virago 250’s.


Polishing can improve the looks of your bike.  There are many parts to polish, but these five made the biggest difference in my bike:

1) The fuel pump – Chromed Steel – use steel wool first, then polish, then wax.  It is unbelievable how nice it looks after you polish it (easy to do)
2) Front exhaust pipe and muffler assembly (remove first) – Chromed Steel – use Windex – by removing before cleaning you will clean areas that you cannot reach when exhaust is on the bike (easy to do)
3) Spokes and spoke nipples – Chromed Steel – use polish, then wax – polish until spokes feel smooth, not rough – spokes get corroded easily so you need to wax them after you have completed polishing (hard to do)

Polishing and waxing spokes improves the looks and helps prevent rusting

You can get a chrome starter for your Virago 250 with steel wool, aluminum polish, and about an hour of your time

4) Starter center section – Chromed Steel –
use steel wool, then polish (hard to do)


5) Front disc rotor – Steel – use steel wool, then polish (fairly hard to do)

For more about polishing the Virago 250, please see this post: Virago 250 – Do not buy chrome parts – just polish the parts that are already on the bike.

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15 Responses to How to make your Virago 250 look a little different from the rest – and at low cost

  1. Chad J says:

    What is under the chrome pod on the left side…and how can it be eliminated?

    • lstrick115 says:

      Hi Chad, There is one thing in the Virago 250 left chrome pod – the sensor for the carb heater. You can remove the chrome pod and push the sensor up into the area below the tank.
      Les S.

  2. Bradley says:

    Please email me if would like to ask you questions

  3. Jon says:

    What is the consequence to removing the cylinder head bolts and replacing them without the brackets?

    • lstrick115 says:

      Hi Jon,
      I did not do it because I did not want to open my engine, and I did not mind how it looked with part of the bracket left. But you can do it.
      I would not remove and reinstall the bolts one at a time, though.
      You need to remove all six of the head bolts, in stages and in a crisscross pattern. Do the same to reinstall. The torque setting for the larger M8 bolts is 16 ft lbs. The smaller M6 bolts are 8.7 ft lbs.
      -Les S.

      • Jon says:

        Thanks for the helpful reply. I’ve read also that it’s common to lube the bolts and that affects the required torque. I may need to research more before I attempt this but it might be a nice way to get more familiar with my bike and see the inside of a cylinder. I suppose the other option is to go at the brackets with a cut off wheel but I’m afraid I will cut something important. I’d like to say a big thanks for this blog as it’s taught me quite a lot and I’ve repeated many of the modifications on my own bike.

  4. Stephane says:

    Hi is itbok to drive with out the chrome cylinder head ? Dost damage the engine? Thanks

  5. Wayne says:

    Hello, how do you mount the air filter cover on the fuel pump ?


    • lstrick115 says:

      Hi Wayne,
      I just used wire. Also I used magnets (at the top, inside the cover) to help hold it in place better.
      Over the years, I used 4 or 5 different covers, so I wanted it to be easy to take off and put on. My favorite was an old HD round air filter cover. -Les S.

  6. Steven Coles says:

    I want to remove the cylinder head cover brackets too, however it seems impossible without removing the engine as the bolts are too long, they hit the frame before coming out.

    • lstrick115 says:

      HI Steven,
      Yes you would need to remove the engine to remove the bolts. In my case, I knew I would not be re-installing the chrome covers, so I just broke off the brackets. If you do this, be careful – it’s easy to slip and scratch or dent the bike.
      -Les S.

  7. aNiceName says:

    Hi, I’ve been wanting to put an air filter cover over the fuel pump and I’ve read your comment on how to do it but Im still not sure can you go over it with a little more detail please. Thank you.

    • lstrick115 says:

      I glue some small neodymium magnets to the top inside of the cover – just hang the cover on the fuel pump so the magnets hold it in place.
      Then attach a small wire so you won’t lose it if it falls off.
      -Les S.

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