Questions about lost side covers answered by Joe Beautz & Chris & Stacey Coleman
One of the most frequently lost and most expensive pieces of trim on the Virago are the side covers. At most dealers, the side covers run about $50.00 each with the Yamaha logo.I have received no less than a half dozen complaints from members that they had picked up their bikes from the dealer after having it serviced and within a day or two noticed that one or both of their side covers were missing. Did the service man not put the covers on???? No !! It’s just that most people don’t take the time to make sure that the covers are snapped in place properly. Also, the studs or grommets tend to wear after a period of time and just don’t hold firmly.
So, what’s the solution??? Don’t lose your side covers. It’s a simple solution:
On the left side cover, there is only one stud on the lower rear inside of the cover. Take a 3/32″ drill bit and drill a hole at an angle through the flat portion to which the stud is molded. Feed a piece of nylon string through the hole and find a place to securely tie the string. I just loop it over the tool box before putting the left seat bolt in place.
On the right side cover, repeat the same procedure near the lower rear “C” shaped clamp.
You’ll never lose one again.
Another way to avoid losing side covers:
Stacey & I also had problems with loose side covers on our 81 750 Virago. Knowing full well how expensive these are, I pulled them and came up with a very workable solution. On the older Virago, the left hand side cover attaches to the air filter housing with small plastic studs, moulded into the case. With age, vibration or abuse – these break off and the cover will become loose.
The simple fix is to take a 1″ x #10 machine screw, drill a hole where the plastic stud broke off and insert the screw. Make sure the screw has two nuts, one on each side of the new hole in the air box. In this way the screw head sticks up away from the air box, not into the air box. Now take a short piece of fuel line and stick it over the screw. This will work in place of the broken stud.
Another alternative is to strategically place heavy duty, 3M Velcro strips on the covers and any adjacent stuff (i.e.: battery, air box, frame tubes, etc…). This has the added benefit of reducing any “shakiness” in the cover. As a last resort, I always keep a few zip ties and a Swiss knife in my saddlebag just in case.
Chris & Stacey Coleman
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