Making some real progress now but, with every two steps forward, there’s one going the other way. So, if you’re planning on increasing the rear ride height on your SR250 (or just fancy a snigger at my expense), read on.
The shocks you can see are 340mm eye to eye and, coupled with a drop of 30mm to the front forks, I think they’ve got the bike sitting just about right. However:
i) First problem is that the swingarm now fouls the exhaust “box”. OK, that’s not a huge problem as most SR owners will be looking to rid themselves of that restrictive, ugly, heavy POS anyway. I decided to keep the stock downpipe (but welded up the inner and outer pipes where I’d cut off the silencer to stop the inner rattling around and destroying itself) and bolted that up to a cheapo silencer (which looks a bit like the stock item) and an angled joint (aftermarket part for modern Bonnevilles apparently). Job done? Not quite.
ii) Without the silencer, the centrestand will be flapping about (and with the increase in shock length, both wheels would be touching the ground when you tried to use it anyway) so that’s another candidate for the scrap pile. We’re not done yet though.
iii) Attempts to use the rear brake lever will result in a very stiff action and a nasty grinding noise. That’s because the rear of the lever is fouling the swingarm and will need some delicate reprofiling to get things back to operational. While you’re grovelling about under the bike you’ll probably also notice the swingarm is bashing the brake lever’s return spring mounting. As I didn’t have access to welding gear, I went old school and shaped/ bent a suitable bolt, drilled/ tapped a hole in the bottom of the rear footrest loop and bolted it all up. So far, it’s stayed put but a dab of weld might be needed if it does start moving.
Other (non-visible) progress was to throw out my earlier efforts at fixing the battery box and use some scrap stainless sheet to make a more solid version which, more importantly, completely hides the battery and sundry electrics behind the new side panel. Oh, and I've started hacking a spare top yoke about to lose the stock Virago "wings".
Next step? It’s definitely going to need a proper speedo for the “stock” look I’m after and I’m hoping to be able to mock up some full length headlight brackets (i.e. that run from the top to bottom yokes) to give it the proper ‘70’s Yamaha image. Then ride it for a while to check it all works, then rip it all apart for a final polish/ paint/ clean. Then get it all filthy dirty again.