Toolmaker's mirror extensions
For the continuation of this project, see Toolmaker's mirror extensions v3.
I haven't been happy with the mirror setup on the 250. Not being able to see directly behind me without moving my elbows is dangerous, I think. Twice in the last year or so I haven't seen a motorcycle coming up behind me on a highway and passing me in my lane. Both times I had checked my mirror a moment before. I think they were in the blind spot between my elbows. Even when I pull my elbows in, I do it one side at a time, which takes more time than I think it should.
I've tried a few things; the upside-down setup was the best. It allows me to see below the handlebars, and I can still see over the saddlebags I generally ride with, but I don't like the fact that they're about 45 degrees off horizontal, so they have a reduced width of view.
So, why does Kawasaki put them where they do? I think it's because they're pretty close to your line of sight; that is, you don't have to move your eyes very far nor refocus, and moving them further outboard wouldn't suit the aesthetic. In other words; to avoid lawsuits and not look ugly.
I'd trade ease of viewing access and looks for a safer setup.
My theory was that if the mirrors were horizontal and low, like the upside down setup, and perhaps a bit further out, I'd have a better field of view that wouldn't need any extra body movements. So I built two different mounts to test.
Here's a look at the setup from the front:
The right side uses the original mount, with a bit of hardware to hold the mirror that was swapped over from the left side further out, upside down, and more or less horizontal:
The only trick for this side is that the cross bar has to be angled so that the mirror will tilt up far enough to be useful. You can sort of see that here:
Here are the parts for the right side:
For the left side I built a new mount that holds the mirror upside down, slightly further out from stock, and horizontal: