I just converted my Virago 250 exhaust from 2-to-1 to 2-to-2.
The stock Virago 250 exhaust is 2 – to 1 – to 2 with a mixing chamber. The rear pipe joins the front pipe at a 90° angle about 3 inches before the mixing chamber. After the mixing chamber, the upper muffler gets about 1/3 of the exhaust flow, and the lower muffler gets about 2/3 of the exhaust flow.
My Virago exhaust was 2-to-1 with a Supertrapp muffler connected to the front part of the original exhaust. Now I ran the rear pipe to a 2nd Supertrapp muffler for 2-to-2 with no interconnection between the two sides.
It improved the sound quality maybe 30% and the power seems about the same. By comparison, I just removed the mixing chamber from my other bike and it improved the sound 100% – but the Virago sounded good before the mod.
Effect of mod on sound of bike:
Below 3,500 RPM – The sound is much better at idle and at lower rpm (below about 3,500 to 4,000) – this is the best the bike has ever sounded.
Over 3,500 rpm – My first impression is that it sounded better when it was 2-to-1 with the Supertrapp muffler or the original exhaust system – but maybe the small exhaust leaks that I still have are sabotaging the sound.
Effect of mod on performance of bike:
It seems about the same so far. I just changed to 17/38 and it bogs somewhat in top gear – especially with a headwind – but it was doing that before I went to 2-to 2.
It would be cool to put on a stock exhaust to see if there was any improvement in torque or power in top gear.
Is 2-to-2 mod hard to do ?
Some people will find this mod to be difficult. It would be easier if you knew how to weld ( I don’t). My first attempt worked, but it did not turn out so great. If I could not do this, I was considering the exhaust system made by larish41 on the virago tech forum site.
How to do it
Connect one of these to your existing rear black pipe:
Method #1 – chrome fake rear pipe
step 1) Mount the flange end of the chrome rear fake pipe to the rear black pipe. You need to bend the flange inward so that it will fit. The rear pipe is one inch OD and the chrome fake pipe is about 1.5 inches ID – so you will need several layers of thin sheet metal so that the 1.5″ID pipe will fit the one inch OD pipe. Stainless steel radiator hose clamps are not the best for this purpose, 1 1/2 inch car-type exhaust clamps (Autozone $2.39 each) work much better – you need more force to reduce the exhaust leaks, so the SS clamps will become stripped.
step 2) You need to cut the fake shrome pipe end opposite to the flange end at about 5.25 to 5.38 inches. Then re-mount this short pipe to the longer section of the chrome (no longer fake) rear pipe. Angle it so that when the muffler is mounted, the muffler faces the rear the way you want. The angle will be about 35° to 40°. The short part that you just reattached is upside down now compared to it’s original position on the bike; the drain hole should face upward, angled just slightly to the right maybe 1° or 2°.
step 3) Mount your muffler to the chrome pipe. The chrome pipe is 1 5/8 inches OD, so if you muffler is larger than that you will need several layers of thin sheet metal to get a tight enough fit.
Method #2 – 7/8 handlebars (not OEM)
The key to making this work is: having or getting 7/8 inch bars (used is OK), preferably aftermarket not OEM. Once you remove the inner lip on the rear cylinder exhaust pipe, 7/8 bars will slide right on, with a fit tight enough you don’t even need an exhaust clamp. If you cut the bars so that the bend occurs right after the connection to the the rear cylinder exhaust pipe, you will probably have enough clearance to fit the new muffler over the existing muffler; the mufflers will be about one inch apart. When you slide the bars on the rear cylinder pipe, the bend should be immediately after the joint, and the bars will be aimed up and back.
If you can do this, the difficult part of the project is done.
The rear black one inch OD exhaust pipe
is about .875 inch (7/8″) ID. The factory pipe is made out of some sort of upgraded steel. If your pipe is exposed (moved keyswitch, removed fake pipe, removed passenger pegs, etc), polishing it is a good idea. It is quick and easy to polish – it won’t look like chrome but it is close enough. The rear black one inch OD exhaust pipe possibly has good heat sink properties – when the front and rear pipes are no longer interconnected, you will find that the rear cylinder muffler runs 20° to 30° F degrees cooler than the front.
May 18, 2013
I changed my Supertrapp “bottom-facing slot” from two discs to one disc – the bike is much quieter now – hopefully my ears won’t be ringing as much from the 1.5 to 2 hour ride home from work. Maybe it will increase torque, too.
A little history on my exhaust changes:
a) Last year I changed my Supertrapp muffler from “side firing” to “rear-firing“. (For information on this, please see the end of this post: http://wp.me/p1LWaM-2T )
b) Later, I changed back to the Supertrapp endcap. I only used 4 rings and I removed 40% of the middle two rings to make a “bottom-facing slot” (so most of the noise will go downward away from the rider).
c) Then I added a fishtail exhaust tip to the Supertrapp muffler.
d) Removed fishtail and went back to “bottom-facing slot” (two discs)
e) Today I changed to “bottom-facing slot” (one disc) – much quieter.
April 28, 2013
It is good to have a second way to start your bike in case there is a problem with your electric starter or your battery. Did I ever tell you about the time I was at work with a dead battery and I push started my car on level ground by myself ? It was a four cylinder car and it started on the second try.
I removed the Fishtail exhaust tip today. The tip and mounting adapter weighs 2.7 lbs (1.22 kg) and the Supertrapp end cap I put back on weighs 6.6 ounces (0.19 kg) – so my bike is over 2 pounds (1 kg) lighter now.
Nov 12, 2012 ● Rode the bike to work today – have not ridden it in 3 weeks (the storm, rain, cold, etc.). I like the exhaust – it sounds a little deeper than the Supertrapp did alone. The bike ran great – one big hill I normally do in fourth, the bike went up in 5th at 50 mph. My Virago 250 has 17/39 sprockets, the best torque is about 70 mph, so 50 mph is well below that. ● The blue T5 LED speedometer bulb was too dim to see in daylight or twilight – you can only really see it at night. I might put a one or two inch visor on the speedo to make it show it better.
Oct 23, 2012 ● Yesterday I drove the bike to work but without the Fishtail exhaust tip, as the mount was still too loose. I just drove it with the Supertrapp muffler un-capped. I thought it sounded OK at home but actually driving it, it was way too loud. Last night I finished the fishtail exhaust mounting, but today it was going to rain so I couldn’t drive it to work.
Oct 20, 2012 ● Took me six days to think of how to mount the fishtail exhaust tip. I like to make adapters and parts out of things that I already have instead of buying something. The two 3/4 inch long spacers came from the rear sprocket damper of the CB-160 I drove when I was 16. (Since I weigh a lot more than when I was 16, my Virago 250 is not much faster than my CB-160 was – only about 10% faster).
Tomorrow I need to finish the installation. I need to tighten up the internal fit, and on the outside, add another bolt and two springs. The obvious joint between the fishtail tip and the Supertrapp muffler makes it not look as good as it should – which is too bad because the main attraction of fishtail exhausts is the looks – there is no performance increase. The sound is great, though – I think it sounds deeper than the Supertrapp alone did.
Oct 19, 2012 ● Since my 4 amp Lithium battery is toast, I need to re-install my old 10 amp battery – so now my bike is going to be 9 lbs or 4.1 kg heavier. Plus I recently got a used fishtail exhaust tip (weight 0.86 kg or 1.9 250 lbs) that weighs more than I expected. Because it is so heavy, it has to be mounted extra securely, and I have been looking at it the last 5 days trying to visualize how I am going to mount it. I usually make mounting adapters that I need, but this one has to be good. I do not name vehicles, but if I did, I guess now the bike would have to be called “Porky”. You don’t see fishtail exhausts on Virago 250’s very often. (The above picture is not my bike.)
9/16/12 ●Re-mounted lower fairings using rod from a old lawn fertilizer spreader and U-clamps instead of hose clamps. I added lower fairings to make the bike warmer in winter and it might help aerodynamics. Before I added the lower fairings, I was getting an updraft about 10 inches out from the bars – hopefully they will help. Mounting angles don’t match but that does not really matter – this way I can see if I prefer one over the other. At some point later I can make the mountings match. They make bike look a little like a sportbike – but already I am reminded that that is why I like bikes with no bodywork – they are easier to work on since plastic body panels are not in the way.
Virago 250 exhaust torque (10mm nuts) – about 7 foot pounds
(I have never found the Virago 250 spec, so I use the spec from the Honda CM400 – header pipe torque – 7 foot pounds (range is 6 to 9 ft/lbs). The CM400 exhaust studs are 6mm (nut is 10mm).)