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Friday, June 23, 2017


Be sure to read our Getting Started guide

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What's New or Recently Changed

Frequently Asked Questions about the EX 500/GPZ 500/Ninja 500

General EX500 information

Storage and Cleaning


Generation 1 EX-500 (1987-1993) vs. Generation 2 Ninja 500/GPZ 500(1994-2009)

Kawasaki called the first generation 500 the EX-500 in all markets. The second generation 500, introduced as a 1994 model, was not a complete redesign but a design change. The second generation 500 was called the GPZ 500 in European markets and the Ninja 500 in North American markets. They are the same bike. At some point Kawasaki marketing changed the name of the Ninja 500 to the Ninja 500 R. This was done because R is one of the faster letters in the alphabet, it does not imply any actual changes to the bike.

The Gen1 and Gen2 bikes have some differences between them. Purchasers and owners should be aware of these differences for maintenance, upgrades, and ordering compatible parts and accessories.
  • Interchangeable Parts - between Generation 1 and Generation 2 bikes
  • Difference in Gen 1 EX500s (pending) - aside from simple parts incompatibilities, the Gen1 has a 16" wheel vs. the 17" of the Gen2, a fork oil screw, 36mm vs the Gen2's 37mm fork diameter, and solid bars that do not accept bar-ends (unless you drill and tap them).
  • Recommended modifications to Gen 1

Alternate Parts

  • Non-OEM Parts - Substitute parts which may be desirable due to cost or availability

Maintenance how-to and modifications

Note these how-to's are best used in conjunction with one of the DIY Service Manuals. Highlighted items are recommended to all 500 owners except where noted.


Carburetor, Exhaust and Fuel System


Electrical, Gauges and Lights


Engine and Drive Train

Fairing, Frame, Handle Bars, Luggage, Mirrors, etc.



Tires and Rims



General Motorcycling

Gear and Accessories

Riding Tips and Technique


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