Want larger saddle bags, but those darn rear turn signals are in the way?? It’s possible to do at almost no cost, by relocating the rear turn signals!!
Many Virago owners have windshields on their bikes and most windshields require the relocation of the front turn signals when the windshield is installed. This requires the removal or abandonment of the existing turn signal bracket. This is the bracket which you can use for the relocation of your rear turn signals. If you do not have an unused bracket, you can order one from your local dealer or contact any of the many salvage yards. You may even have a friend who has a windshield and does not plan to reuse his bracket.
Remove the seat, remove the rear tool box, loosen the rear fender and let it drop down to access the turn signal mounting nuts. Cut the turn signal wires at a convenient point so that you can splice extensions onto those wires later. Now remove the rear turn signals. Remove the license plate. Remove the license plate bracket from the rear fender.
Align the front turn signal bracket to the bottom of the license plate bracket . . . you will get approximately a 1/4″ overlap. This is sufficient if you are using a pop rivet or small screws and lock nuts. Drill 4 – 1/8″ holes through both brackets and mount together using 1/8″ steel pop rivets or #4 flat head screws with lock nuts, placing the nuts toward the fender side so as not to interfere with the license plate later.
Now drill a hole through the rear fender through which to feed the turn signal wires (caution: do not drill through your rear tire, as this can get very costly). Insert a rubber grommet in the hole or use sufficient tape around the wires so that the hole will not cut through the wires. Splice extension wires onto the turn signal wires using “in-line” crimp splices. Feed the wires through the hole and tie-wrap to the other wires under the fender so as not to rub against the tire.
Install the turn signals to the new turn signal bracket/license plate bracket assembly and reassemble all parts. Make the final splice of wires under the fender at this point and make sure that all wires are tie-wrapped tightly against the fender.
You can now install any size bags you want on your Virago, however, if they are extremely large bags, consider installing a set of saddle bags support brackets to keep them away from your rear tire. This is a fix which will virtually cost you only pennies.
Because of the difference in mounting of the turn signals on the 535 and the 250 models, you will not have the convenience of having a front mounting bracket to use and will definitely have to order one or find one at a salvage yard. Also, these two models will leave unsightly holes in the rear fender when the rear signals are removed and will have to be fitted with a chrome plug or just left to be covered by the installation of the bags. The basic concept of moving the turn signals is still feasible, however.
Here’s a picture to assist you in the process: