I’ve got a question I think you could help me with! The VW air filters I’ve looked at all have only one opening for an extra hose, but my Virago 250′s chrome pod had two hoses attached to it… How do you get it all to work?
Also, how exactly did you install yours?
1)The hose that goes from the upper left side of the carburetor is the one I would connect to the new air cleaner.
Or you could connect it to a small filter (on ebay, search for “crank case filter”).
2)The crankcase vent tube is larger tubing and connects to the crankcase vent (about 2 inches from the oil filler cap).
a) If you have a port under the tank near the back, you can connect it to that. (If the port is not currently being used, it probably has a plug on it that seals it)
b) You could connect it to a “crank case filter”.
c) You could just run the tubing behind and below the engine, without a filter. That is how I did mine. The crankcase vent does not need a filter in my opinion.
The VW air filter inlet is a little bigger than the stock air filter, so you need to wrap something maybe 2 to 3mm thick around the inlet on the bike’s frame. I used rubberized electrical tape which is thicker than most electrical tape. Attach the tape so that it seals well – you don’t want any trash to be sucked into the carburetor. Then you need something like a tiny bungee cord to hold the air filter tightly against the frame. The bungee cord is needed because the inlet clamp by itself will not hold the air filter (same is true for the stock filter).
I’ve decided to try this filter out:
I’m worried it might supply too much air, though, and that I would have to rejet the carb and lose a little bit of gas mileage in exchange for slight performance increase… It’s also a little bigger, but I like the idea that it has a cheap, replaceable foam element, and that it looks vintage and neat.
Do you have any advice? Should I stick to the louvered air filter you have instead of this one?
I don’t think too much air will be a problem.
At some point, you will probably want to check your jets anyway.
The size of the filter you are looking at is 6.375 inches diameter, 2.5 inches height, with a two inch inlet, so it should fit fine – check your bike first to make sure the diameter is OK. (I have a 2002 Virago 250, and it would fit mine.)
The foam will probably last a very long time. You need to oil it before use, and then clean and re-oil every year or so. When you receive the air filter, if you can’t wait to try it, you can just use motor oil if you want – but you should get real air filter oil (it’s more sticky) when you can.
If you buy that filter, you need to have some sort of cover over the top and front section to block rain from above and from the front. In a medium to heavy rain, the foam could get soaked. If you make the cover to be easily removable, you could keep it on the bike and just put it on if it rains.
Comment / Question:
I would like to know a little more about converting the forward controls to midsets. I too have a xv250 and have been wondering what the best way to go about this is.
I raised the seat up two inches and moved the pegs back 10 inches.
(The prior owner had reversed the front peg mounting for more forward extension; the change from that was 12 inches.) Moving the footpegs back on the left side was not too hard to do (for the shift lever, get a 1981 Honda CM400 shifter – it’s almost perfect). For the left side, I mounted 3/4″ x .125″ aluminum square tubing (6063-T5) 11.75 inches long to the swingarm pivot bolt with an additional support bracket about two inches behind it.
The right side was really difficult – I built/trashed two ideas before I finally got one that worked. I used a steel brace (1/4 inch thick, 1 inch wide, and 17 inches long) which had a 30 degree downward bend. The left end attached to the swingarm pivot bolt and right side attached to the rear brake support bracket (the hole that is directly below the last “a” in the “Yamaha” on the oil filter cover). The rear brake lever and linkage are removed, I bought threaded rod at Home Depot for the brake rod. I used a 1979 Kawasaki KZ400 rear brake pedal lever assembly and cheap “Motosport Super Sport” footpegs (ebay).
Comment / Question:
I got the LED tail light to add to my bike- how did you adapt the reflector mount to the 2 studs on the LED unit?
After you remove the reflector, you will see that the single hole that is already there lines up perfectly. Just drill a second hole and you can mount the LED light. Thanks for asking. -Les S.
Thanks! I got the LED tail light set up today, and it is working great! So much brighter than the stock light!
I cut up an 18 AWG IEC power cord (standard for desktop computers, monitors etc.) and used that to wire the light back to the snap connectors under the seat. The IEC cord is perfect because it has three conductors.
The whole job would have taken me only an hour or so, but I had a tough time getting the connectors for the LED light to fit under the stock tail light housing. I ended up having to take the TL housing apart and stuff the connectors inside, and then put it all back together again.
If I could do it over, i would just have soldered the IEC cord on in place of the pigtails that the LED unit came with, and then pull that through alongside the existing wiring back to the terminals under the seat.
Comment / Question:
So are you not using the stock tail light? Or did you wire the LED with the stock tail light so they both illuminate at once? That’s what I want to do…
Any instruction on how to do this would be very greatly appreciated.
You should use both the stock tail light and the LED tail light. Using two tail lights (or more) makes riding safer.
You can 1) take the tail light apart and wire the LED using the wiring inside the tail light, or 2) you can run wiring from the LED under the fender to the wiring under the seat.
The second method is much easier, because the tail light is tight to work with on the inside and the wires are short.
Here are the Virago 250 wiring color codes – tail light is Blue, brake light is Yellow, and Black is ground for both.
Virago 250 wiring
Tail-Light positive is Blue.
Brake Light positive is Yellow.
Black is the ground for the tail light and brake light and the turn signals as well.
Comment / Question:
So for method two…
Do you need to lengthen the wires?
If so, what type of wire should I use?
I see a little plug that the brake light is connected into already… Do I squeeze the new wires into the existing plug or something different?
Could I splice said wires together under the fender?
I am a total noob when it comes to electrical systems.
connecting under the seat:
I just checked and found that the LED wiring is about 8 inches long, so you need to add some wire to it – you need about four feet total of wire.
(Since the wiring is short and already has the proper connectors, wiring it inside the tail light would be better than connecting under the seat, please see the bottom of this comment.)
LED’s draw little current, so you do not need thick wire – just use wiring that is the same size that came attached to the LED light.
I would not do anything to the plastic connectors – just splice the wiring where it is at least 2 or 3 inches away from the plastic connectors (so you do not affect the plastic connectors). If you want, for the black wire (ground), you can just attach it to the frame with a screw and not even plug it in to a black wire.
I would not splice the wires under the fender – there it would be exposed more to outside. I would do the splicing under the seat where it is more protected from the elements.
After you splice the wires, make sure you wrap them with electrical tape.
When you have the seat off, you should become familiar with the fuses. I have a 2002 Virago 250 which has a 15 amp Main fuse and a 10 amp Signal fuse. The Signal fuse is for the brake light, turn signal, etc. I think the Virago 250’s from the 1990’s have a 20 amp Main fuse.
connecting inside the tail light:
Your virago 250 uses 3.9 mm bullet connectors for it’s electrical connections. The best 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. Please see my post (updated) for a picture.
Comment / Question:
I am very interested in putting in this taillight as well so thank you for your blog (and thanks to James for asking the exact questions I was wondering too). I have two additional questions though. You mentioned not to splice by the fender since it’ll be more exposed to elements but I will have to splice the wires attached to the light with my own wires, right? Won’t that *have* to be by the fender since the lights’s wires are too short? And can I use wire nuts to connect them or just electrical tape? Keep in mind I haven’t actually ordered from eBay yet; I want to make sure I can definitely do this before buying (newbie as well).
I just checked and found the LED wiring is about 8 inches long, so since it is short, then, yes, you will need to splice them under the fender to run the wiring so you can connect it under the seat. Then I would use electrical tape to seal the connection – I would not use wire nuts. But instead of connecting under the seat, see the next paragraph for a better way to do it.
Your virago 250 uses 3.9 mm bullet connectors (auto parts store and Radio Shack have them) for it’s electrical connections. The best 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. Please see my post (updated) for a picture.
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. If you use the use quick-splice electrical connectors, then you will not need to seal the connection with electrical tape.
Based on my experience doing this tail light mod, Do not extend the existing 8″ wires- open up the LED tail light unit, and replace the 3 short wires with a longer set of wires (3′ or so should be sufficient). A perfect replacement is the power cord from an AC appliance that has a grounded plug. I used the power cable from an old desktop computer. Inside the cable are 3 wires (white, black, and green).
Once you have the new cable attached to the LED light, route the cable alongside the stock tail light wiring to the terminals under the seat and connect via the Y method that Les has detailed.
This should be the easiest and cleanest way to do this job.
Comment / Question:
I have purchased the LED light and 2-to-1 connectors.
After modifying the reflector bracket I discovered the short wires on the LED light and am in splice-heck now!
How hard is it to unsolder the existing short wires from the LED light, and re-solder on the 2-3 ft long wires? I have no experience with soldering but will try it if it is not too hard.
Since you have not soldered before, I would try to find a way to use the existing short wires and connect to the longer wires.
Connecting 2 wires is easier than soldering a wire to an LED.
If you do buy a soldering gun, it might help to practice soldering some old wires first.
Instead of soldering, you can use quick-splice electrical connectors to connect the wires. The quick-splice electrical connectors are available at Walmart, auto parts stores, or Radio Shack.
If you do end up soldering the long wire to the LED, try to not apply too much heat to the LED connector.
The butt-splice connectors are the easiest, but you may not have room for them inside the LED housing.
the safest (mistake tolerant way) to solder the wires would be to clip the wires leaving 2″ or so connected to the circuit board.
If you have room inside the taillight housing for the extra wire. Melt a little solder onto each wire end individually before connecting (tinning)- then hold them together and they will fuse with just a touch of the iron. Make sure the joints are taped to avoid shorting.
Soldering the new wires directly to the circuit board is the cleanest and will give you the most reliable service, but do not attempt If you do not have access to a small soldering iron (8-15 Watt). The risk of overheating your electronic components is too great IMO.
To de-solder the old wires grasp the old wire and pull gently on it while briefly touching the iron to the solder terminal- the solder should melt and the wire will come free. Remove iron immediately.
Tin the ends of the new wires before soldering to the circuit board terminals. Then hold the tinned end against the terminal and fuse them with a brief touch of the iron.
If you have a friend with some electronic soldering experience, he or she could help you do this in less than 10 minutes.
Comment / Question:
My current plan is to use sealed crimp-butt connectors, possibly the waterproof type, to connect the LED wires to the PC power cord wires. I am considering cutting the LED and PC power cord wires to different lengths, so the connectors will be staggered. The staggered connectors should allow the connected wires to fit into a smaller diameter containing tube.
For the containing tube, for weather protection, I plan on using 1/2″ split polyethylene tubing, compressed down to the smallest width so as to best fit into the tail light housing with the least leakage, or heat shrink tubing if I can find some wide enough for the connectors.
I guess the butt connectors will end up in the containing tube, not inside the tail light housing, but I’ll see.
I am a little concerned the wires will separate inside the butt crimp connectors.
Comment / Question:
I installed the light finally… See my link for what it looks like and how I did it
Comment / Question:
I was just curious as to how you went about raising your seat 2 inches.
I used aluminum to make thin brackets for the rear of the seat. Bolt hole spacing I made about 2 inches. You should use two or four strong bolts to hold the two brackets, because the front is not bolted down. You need to drill the frame for these bolts; these holes will be covered up by the brackets. For the front, use two “L” brackets to make a “U” bracket and use the tank mounting bolt to hold it. The tank mount is not changed, you just remove the bolt temporarily to bolt the U bracket down. Use a long bolt to close off the top of the U. Then to install the seat you slide the front tab into the U bracket (add rubber spacers to the front so it is not loose) and fasten the rear bolts. Make sure the front of the seat is raised the same amount that the rear is raised. If you look at the pictures (in my other posts also) you can see what I did.
I was able to successfully install the LED light as described here.
I used the PC power cord, the connectors from vintageconnections, and heat seal butt crimp connectors. The crimp connectors are outside both the tail light assembly and the fender. They are protected from the elements by their heat seal, and are inside a short length of 1/2″ split poly tubing from Home Depot. This is further wrapped in some Gorilla Tape.
I suggest people buy at least one TS1 4mm Triple-Socket Terminal from vintageconnections, which I used under the seat for the ground wire connections. Also NOTE that getting the 3 fine-threaded bolts that hold the tail light assembly to the fender to reconnect, even if you did not run the new LED light wire under the tail light assembly as I did, is an incredible pain in the ass with the rear wheel in place. I spent the vast majority of my time on this project getting those f*@#$ers to reconnect. All in all the LED light is very bright and a fine mod.
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http://brucesweatt.wordpress.com/ Bruce Sweatt – who was he ?
Bruce Sweatt – 1953 to 1990 – Okeechobee, FL