Make your Virago 250 faster – take off the weight

There are four ways to do this:

1) Do not buy accessories unless you really need them.

2) If you do buy accessories, make sure they are lightweight.

3) Take things off the bike.

4) Lose weight yourself.

– Adding weight when improving bike’s aerodynamics is “OK”
– Things that rotate are the best items to reduce in weight.  The weight on the outer edge of things that rotate are the most important, for example – reducing tire weight is more beneficial than reducing sprocket weight.

The constant mind-set for weight reduction
You should always consider the weight impact on anything you do to the bike. Even removing small amounts of weight is a good thing – they can add up.  The part of the front sprocket cover that I cut off weighs 2 ounces.  The left plastic cover (covers the voltage regulator) that I do not use any more weighs 3 ounces.  The metal that I trimmed off the triple tree when I was enlarging the carrying capacity weighs 1 ounce.  If this was all that I did, it would not help, but constantly keeping in mind the idea to reduce weight is what is important.  The next thing I remove might weigh a lot more than those.  I never removed the bracket for the rear brake pedal when I originally did the footpeg move – I finally removed it and it weighs 1.5 lbs (.68 kg).

The stock Virago 250 exhaust system weighs 13.6 pounds or 6.2 kg and consists of 3 parts – the front pipe/muffler assembly is 11.0 pounds or 5 kg, 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 or 3.6 kg.

On my Virago 250, I removed the passenger 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 or .73 kg (I just reinstalled this to hold tail bag)
helmet lock – weight 4.8 oz
left chrome pod – weight 11.2 oz
sissybar + backrest – weight 2.9 lbs or 1.3 kg
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 or .6 kg
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).
Stock Virago 250 10 amp battery replaced with  8 amp AGM battery – weight 4.3 kg vs 2.9 kg  (9.5 lbs vs 6.4 lbs).
(before this, I experimented with a 4 amp lithium battery – weight 4.3 kg vs 0.24 kg  or 9.5 lbs vs 8.4 ounces).
In the future – I want to convert my rear wheel to tubeless and replace my 140/90-15 Pirelli (17.1 lbs + tube) with a 130/90-15 Kenda Challenger (12.5 lbs) – weight reduction about 5 lbs.

I used to keep my raincoat (2.2 lbs) on the bike, but now I removed it and I bring it only when it might rain.

Other things that could be done
Remove 4.3 lb centerstand and use a 1.5 lb portable centerstand – but what I made so far is not working so good.
(I do not use side-stands.)
Replace steel 40T rear sprocket with 38T sprocket – steel or aluminum – maybe drill steel one for lightness

Racing chain (less weight) – 3.5 lbs compared to my current 0-ring chain 4.5 lbs

Weight watch – my 2002 Virago 250 – Les S.

The weight of my bike now with a full tank is about 129 kg or 284 lbs.
So far, I have reduced the bike’s weight by about 18 kg or 40 lbs.

This reduces the 0-to-60 mph time from 10.8 seconds to 10.2 seconds.
(Losing 20 more lbs would reduce the 0 to 60 mph time to 9.9 seconds.)
These are calculated – but I am going to time it soon.

Under a Virago 250…………


-Les S.

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