How many miles have you put on your ex500? - Ex-500.com - The home of the Kawasaki EX500 / Ninja 500R
 1Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-15-2016, 4:20 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 34
 
How many miles have you put on your ex500?

I am aware that there is an earlier thread on this subject How long will a Ninja 500 engine last?. I decided to start a new one because it is very long already, and quite a few years have passed since then.

I would like to know how many miles you've put on your ninjas, and how many major repairs were required to do it. (By "major" I mean something more than valve checks and other regular service things).

I love my ex500, but I plan on putting 20k miles a year on it. If this means I will most likely face a rebuild or other serious problems suggested in the earlier thread, I would rather sell now and get something that can handle high miles.

So, mine's a 2009. I have 18,000 miles on it. I have had no problems with it other than shoddy aftermarket stuff the previous owner put on it and an incorrectly mounted brake bracket by a bad shop. I do all the maintenance now myself.

Thanks!
brucewood is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-15-2016, 10:43 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 301
 
Garage
how long will a ninja 500 last "how long is a piece of string" it will depend on many factors. mainly to do with proper maintenance and how it is ridden. I only ever used mine for commuting so only put 3000 miles on it in 18mths. Saabnut has over 100k on his [I believe he is on the second engine] and a few member have over 75k on bikes that are 30years old.

no bike will do high mileage if it's not treated right. and every bike is capable of high mileage if it is.

we have a customer that runs a morris 1000 [may be unfamiliar in the US] but it is a very old British car] 50 years old has done 285,000 miles on the original engine, remarkable as they were built to only last about 10 years [or 50k miles] he is a ex army engineer. so knows how to look after it. and only brings it in for the jobs he cannot now do. [he's 85 now]

A ninja 500 should be no different if one person can get over 100,000 miles potentially they all could.

Jack
union jack is offline  
post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 12:09 AM
bpe
Senior Member
 
bpe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Atlanta,GA
Posts: 2,015
 
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by union jack View Post

no bike will do high mileage if it's not treated right. and every bike is capable of high mileage if it is.



Jack
^+1 My EX has over 88,000 miles on the original engine. Total disclosure: major rebuild done at 10,000 miles, do to a failed oil pump, and then frying the engine. Rings, cylinder, what have you, a bunch of crap. Nothing major after that, just routine stuff. Cams had to be replaced at about 81,000 miles, but I think that is almost routine on these bikes also, do to pitting cam lobes. You already have the EX, you should at least give it a chance.

2006 Ninja500R Purchased new July 2006, 0 miles. Miles as of January 2017 88652. It is a GO bike, not a SHOW bike.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
bpe is offline  
 
post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 1:35 AM
Senior Member
 
one_evil_monkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: North Carolina, US
Posts: 10,519
  
Garage
Saabnut has about 110k on his frame, and just installed his 3rd used engine...
His second engine was used with unknown miles and he squeezed 50k of his own out of it, and is going to undergo a rebuild.
(Hence the recent swap, so he can continue to use the bike)
He averages around 30k p/yr.

Mine, bought new with 1/10th of a mile on the clock... it's now 12 years old... granted it only has 11k on it (my other bike gets ridden more for errands and such and the EX is the "weekend" ride).
It's done well, literally only a battery and petcock rebuild.
Obviously tires, valve adj, fluid changes, and continual lubrication have been done regularly.
Fluids are done on a time basis rather than miles.
I'd have no issues jumping on it and riding cross country though.

As stated, maintenance is key.
My "daily" ride is a little 150cc.... and really wasn't meant to to do more than about 10-15k period before being totally trashed (and usually a rebuild or two in there)
I average close to 10k p/yr on it and it's still the original engine!

Good maintenance habits, not keeping the engine revved to the stratosphere, and that EX will last you quite a while.

O_E_M
one_evil_monkey is offline  
post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 9:16 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 34
 
Thanks for the replies. Just to be clear, I do the maintenance. I do regular oil changes. I have changed the coolant. I have checked and adjusted the valves. Cleaned and gapped the sparkplugs, replaced the air filter, serviced the swing arm and unilink, etc. all according to the book and manual--though I do change the oil a bit more frequently than the recommended 7,500 miles.

I'm just trying to figure out what major problems I could face despite the care. If it seems too much, i could sell it while everything works perfectly and get a bike that might take super high miles better.
brucewood is offline  
post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 10:43 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 21
 
I have almost 40,000 on my 04, bought with 1500 miles when it was a few years old. I use it on commutes, my two main commutes where about 30 miles each way. Type of riding where you get out on a toll road and can pretty much (if you wanted to) hold it wide ope-n for maybe 10 miles? You could have some days where you make it door to door without putting your foot down!

I ride this bike from a start to highway velocity, like I ride all my bikes. Short shift, dont rev the piss out of them, but when I get on the highway, I shift to sixth gear at 80-90 mph regardless if its a twin or a v-four. At that point, on this bike, I run it anywhere from 8000 to 10,000 RPMs. I feel bad for it when I am up to those "stratopheric" rpms, which equates to 120mph. I love the way this bike is set up, Key on, turn petcock on and give it a little throttle (no choke required) and it fires up very nicely. Warm it up lovingly and snick it in to gear and go.

This bike had the clutch fibres changed at 20,000 miles, starter clutch changed about that time, replaced petcock with a pingel on/off unit, gets 2000 mile oil changes with Amsoil 10-40, valves get adjusted every 7000 miles, and all the other consumable items, chain - sprockets / tyres etc. I had a diaphram F*** up on it and it would have a high speed stumble, a donor set of carbs solved that. Oh, changed the cam chain tensionor early in its life 20,000? Dont be afraid to rev it on the higher end, just not till it bleeds ; )
ridervfr is offline  
post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 12:39 PM
bpe
Senior Member
 
bpe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Atlanta,GA
Posts: 2,015
 
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucewood View Post
Thanks for the replies. Just to be clear, I do the maintenance. I do regular oil changes. I have changed the coolant. I have checked and adjusted the valves. Cleaned and gapped the sparkplugs, replaced the air filter, serviced the swing arm and unilink, etc. all according to the book and manual--though I do change the oil a bit more frequently than the recommended 7,500 miles.

I'm just trying to figure out what major problems I could face despite the care. If it seems too much, i could sell it while everything works perfectly and get a bike that might take super high miles better.
I like to change my oil a LOT more frequently than 7,500 miles. Every 2000 miles, I like it to look clean on the way out.

2006 Ninja500R Purchased new July 2006, 0 miles. Miles as of January 2017 88652. It is a GO bike, not a SHOW bike.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
bpe is offline  
post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 12:49 PM
Senior Member
 
Saabnut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 1,567
 
My ears are burning, people must be talking about me

Anyhow, you guys are close, chassis just rolled over 112,000. Original motor was questionably maintained by the time I got it at 21k and was thoroughly tired by 57k. Engine #2 went in with 12k and went out at 66k (111,000 on chassis) with a slightly warped head, suspected transmission issues and possible out of spec con rod bearings. Engine #3 went in about a thousand miles ago, and that has a gen2 bottom end with unknown history and an early gen1 top end with 35k miles, but the whole package sounds very healthy.

First motor I did not maintain well until it was too late, but the second one I really stayed on top of everything. Despite that, it still developed issues, but that may be due to still not quite being the maintenance expert yet when I first installed it. Third engine and I now really know what I am doing, so I have hope yet.

By the way, I never paid more than 300 bucks for a replacement engine, so if yours does go out at higher mileage, it's not terribly expensive to get a replacement engine and the removal and installation is quite easy far as engine replacements go.

Runners:
1990 EX500 - 114,000 miles as of February 12th, 2017
1988 Honda XR600 - Street legal play toy
*I have a large inventory of used factory EX parts, both gen1 and gen2, feel free to PM me if you are looking for something*
Saabnut is offline  
post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 1:07 PM
bpe
Senior Member
 
bpe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Atlanta,GA
Posts: 2,015
 
Garage
^ I have decided when it is time for me to throw the towel in on my engine, I'm just going to get another EX. So that I will have a bunch of back-up parts on hand. I'll decide at that point weather to swap in the engine, or just start over with the new/used bike.

2006 Ninja500R Purchased new July 2006, 0 miles. Miles as of January 2017 88652. It is a GO bike, not a SHOW bike.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
bpe is offline  
post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 1:13 PM
fog
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Mt home, AR
Posts: 17,983
 
Standard 25 K per motor

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpe View Post
^ I have decided when it is time for me to throw the towel in on my engine, I'm just going to get another EX. So that I will have a bunch of back-up parts on hand. I'll decide at that point weather to swap in the engine, or just start over with the new/used bike.
I am critisized of my statement that the average life expextancy of the EX engine is 25 K miles. your experience is not unusual at all don't blame yourself all that much. You have gotten better than the average life from them.

Purist may now howl away

FOG

I hate PMs if you want to contact me, find my email address.
fog is online now  
post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 3:30 PM
Senior Member
 
one_evil_monkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: North Carolina, US
Posts: 10,519
  
Garage
To be honest, Kawasaki never intended for these bikes to be high mileage machines.
They built them minimal and cheap for newer riders with the expectation that people would come back to Mama K for a bigger, "better", longer lasting ride when the time came.

In corprorate eyes, it was almost considered a disposable motorcycle.
A few owners, a few thousand miles.... and retire it.
(Think Dodge Neon... haha)

Does that mean it's a bad bike?
Not at all.
A good maintenance schedule does wonders to extend its life... A LOT.
I'm sure some of the corporate overlords at Kawasaki are or would be surprised that there are a number of these bikes still on the road with amount of miles they have.

O_E_M
one_evil_monkey is offline  
post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 5:40 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 21
 
Gawd, the Dodge Neon, used to see them up the "wha-zoo" now... No where! Must have leaked and just self destructed. Had the same conversation about the Pontiac Grand Ams, Now...Zero of them on the roads. lol


Yeh the poor UJM gets tarnished as a disposable unit. With proper maintenance a honda rebel will run 50K...Oh it helps if the owners are not Neanderthals too. Peace
ridervfr is offline  
post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 7:05 PM
fog
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Mt home, AR
Posts: 17,983
 
Ah Ha! I sense a small consensus of agreement. Where are all the hard cases that think these things are go for unlimited miles.

FOG

I hate PMs if you want to contact me, find my email address.
fog is online now  
post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 8:20 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 301
 
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by fog View Post
Ah Ha! I sense a small consensus of agreement. Where are all the hard cases that think these things are go for unlimited miles.

FOG
nothing goes on for unlimited miles. there is no profit for the manufacturer in that. BUT a well maintained carefully ridden machine should not give any more trouble than any other bike made. the main issue as I see it is being a small big bike [if you get my drift] they tend to get thrashed as the top speed isn't spectacular and easily obtainable. such bikes also tend to be abused on the maintenance front. not to mention start up and full throttle within 5 seconds.

abused call it 7k looked after multiply that by 10. probably as much as you could possibly expect from a 4 grand [new] bike. mine was a 27 years old gen 1 had 42k on it. was maintained [as it should be] by the dealer for most of it's life [until I got it] used all it life as a commuter and had no engine problems at all. 100% reliable, still had the original CCT gen 1 flywheel, and didn't jump out of gear.

but then I never tried to take it round a race track did I!!

Jack
union jack is offline  
post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-16-2016, 8:54 PM
bpe
Senior Member
 
bpe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Atlanta,GA
Posts: 2,015
 
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by fog View Post
I am critisized of my statement that the average life expextancy of the EX engine is 25 K miles. your experience is not unusual at all don't blame yourself all that much. You have gotten better than the average life from them.

Purist may now howl away

FOG
Is this 25k based on street use, or track use. It seams a little low for street use, but a little high for track use.

2006 Ninja500R Purchased new July 2006, 0 miles. Miles as of January 2017 88652. It is a GO bike, not a SHOW bike.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
bpe is offline  
post #16 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-17-2016, 1:08 AM
Senior Member
 
one_evil_monkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: North Carolina, US
Posts: 10,519
  
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by bpe View Post
Is this 25k based on street use, or track use. It seams a little low for street use, but a little high for track use.
Street use.
And not really all that low in reality. About average.
Again, Mama K didn't figure on someone buying it new and putting that full 25k on it.
Think about it... go scour Craigslist... what EXs do you see with 25k?
Ones that are are on their what, 2nd, 3rd, maybe 4th owner by then?
And most of them have had the wheels beat off them from new owners who are mostly new to bikes and have no clue about keeping one up.
Cracked or missing body work, "street fightered", or "runs but needs..."

Another fine example.... The mid 90's thru early 2000's Cavalier.
Cheap and abused by lack of maintenance.... bought used for somebody's first car and dead by 100k a lot of times.

25k on a track bike.....?!
Maybe on the frame... After many MANY seasons.

O_E_M
one_evil_monkey is offline  
post #17 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-17-2016, 6:40 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 301
 
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by one_evil_monkey View Post
Street use.
And not really all that low in reality. About average.
Again, Mama K didn't figure on someone buying it new and putting that full 25k on it.
Think about it... go scour Craigslist... what EXs do you see with 25k?
Ones that are are on their what, 2nd, 3rd, maybe 4th owner by then?
And most of them have had the wheels beat off them from new owners who are mostly new to bikes and have no clue about keeping one up.
Cracked or missing body work, "street fightered", or "runs but needs..."

Another fine example.... The mid 90's thru early 2000's Cavalier.
Cheap and abused by lack of maintenance.... bought used for somebody's first car and dead by 100k a lot of times.

25k on a track bike.....?!
Maybe on the frame... After many MANY seasons.

O_E_M
I think that is a valid point, by the time most people get their hands on a EX it is already 10 years old and been thrashed for many years. sometimes without ever having the oil changed or the valves done. it is the type of bike it is.
you probably would not expect to find a more exotic model in the same condition.

that is not the bikes fault it won't automatically self destruct when a certain milestone has been reached. or is some trying to suggest they do. looked after there is no reason an EX should not last.
union jack is offline  
post #18 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-17-2016, 4:17 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 34
 
Thanks again to you all for sharing your experiences and information.

I have a few questions.

Bpe, why did oil pump on yours go? Is a bad oil pump something I should be worrying about? Won't a dash light of some kind come on if mine goes?

Did you do the rebuild yourself?

I know nothing about rebuilding engines, so this question may be "out there," but is rebuilding an ex 500 engine more difficult than rebuilding a comparable motorcycle engine?

I read about guys who rebuild old Harleys and some older Japanese bikes and keep them running pretty much forever. Would an approach like this work with an ex 500 or would it be totally impractical because of the nature of the engine?
brucewood is offline  
post #19 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-17-2016, 4:44 PM
fog
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Mt home, AR
Posts: 17,983
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucewood View Post
Thanks again to you all for sharing your experiences and information.

I have a few questions.

Bpe, why did oil pump on yours go? Is a bad oil pump something I should be worrying about? Won't a dash light of some kind come on if mine goes?

Did you do the rebuild yourself?

I know nothing about rebuilding engines, so this question may be "out there," but is rebuilding an ex 500 engine more difficult than rebuilding a comparable motorcycle engine?

I read about guys who rebuild old Harleys and some older Japanese bikes and keep them running pretty much forever. Would an approach like this work with an ex 500 or would it be totally impractical because of the nature of the engine?

A common failure of the oil pump is caused by a fiber washer spacer the break up the allows the drive to the pump to disengage. A steel or metal one is a fix ,but still requires engine tear down.

FOG

I hate PMs if you want to contact me, find my email address.
fog is online now  
post #20 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-17-2016, 7:33 PM
bpe
Senior Member
 
bpe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Atlanta,GA
Posts: 2,015
 
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucewood View Post
Thanks again to you all for sharing your experiences and information.

I have a few questions.

Bpe, why did oil pump on yours go? Is a bad oil pump something I should be worrying about? Won't a dash light of some kind come on if mine goes?

Did you do the rebuild yourself?

I know nothing about rebuilding engines, so this question may be "out there," but is rebuilding an ex 500 engine more difficult than rebuilding a comparable motorcycle engine?

I read about guys who rebuild old Harleys and some older Japanese bikes and keep them running pretty much forever. Would an approach like this work with an ex 500 or would it be totally impractical because of the nature of the engine?
What fog describes above is exactly what happened to mine. The dealer did the rebuild, as it was still under warranty. I had only had the bike for 9 months, when it happened. An oil light will come on if this happens. In my case, when the light came on, I stopped and checked oil level, it was good. Since I have had several oil lights come on in the past (on several other vehicles), and it always turned out to be either low oil, or a broken oil sending unit, I figured this was the case on the EX. About 8 miles down the road I found out I was wrong. Of course I do feel real bad that Kawasaki had to flip the bill on the rebuild. BTW I think it would actually be cheaper for Kawasaki to just use a valid steel washer. So what is up with that plastic crap is beyond me.

2006 Ninja500R Purchased new July 2006, 0 miles. Miles as of January 2017 88652. It is a GO bike, not a SHOW bike.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by bpe; 12-17-2016 at 7:36 PM.
bpe is offline  
post #21 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-17-2016, 7:56 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 34
 
thanks to you both for the info on the oil pump problem. Wow. If that light comes on I'm pulling over fast.
brucewood is offline  
post #22 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-17-2016, 8:01 PM
bpe
Senior Member
 
bpe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Atlanta,GA
Posts: 2,015
 
Garage
That is a good plan. I don't think it is a real common problem though, I have only seen this come up on the website a couple of times.

2006 Ninja500R Purchased new July 2006, 0 miles. Miles as of January 2017 88652. It is a GO bike, not a SHOW bike.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
bpe is offline  
post #23 of 37 (permalink) Old 2-12-2017, 6:59 AM
Senior Member
 
dewey81's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 516
 
I've got a 2002 I bought in 2012. It had 4500 miles on it when I bought it. After 5 riding season here in Ohio It has 10,200 miles on it with no trouble. Regular maintenance with yearly oil changes (only average about 1200 miles a year). I have a 40 mile round trip commute to the hospital I work at and its perfect for it. Here's hoping she has a lot more miles left in her.
dewey81 is offline  
post #24 of 37 (permalink) Old 2-12-2017, 1:21 PM
bpe
Senior Member
 
bpe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Atlanta,GA
Posts: 2,015
 
Garage
^ I think they are just getting fully broken in at about 35000 miles. With 10000 miles and only doing 1200 per year, that bike may last a life time.
dewey81 likes this.

2006 Ninja500R Purchased new July 2006, 0 miles. Miles as of January 2017 88652. It is a GO bike, not a SHOW bike.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
bpe is offline  
post #25 of 37 (permalink) Old 2-12-2017, 10:07 PM
Senior Member
 
dewey81's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 516
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bpe View Post
^ I think they are just getting fully broken in at about 35000 miles. With 10000 miles and only doing 1200 per year, that bike may last a life time.
That's the plan!
dewey81 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Ex-500.com - The home of the Kawasaki EX500 / Ninja 500R forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome