littleprince's '01 freestyle build/mod log - Ex-500.com - The home of the Kawasaki EX500 / Ninja 500R
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 1-27-2020, 4:00 AM Thread Starter
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littleprince's '01 freestyle build/mod log

Howdy, gonna start this thread to have somewhere to log progress that allows for a bit more interaction than instagram. The bike's still pretty new to me, but I'm the type who can't keep things stock (probably gave my parents a headache with how much I played around with my Civic), and I've already got plenty of ideas in mind.

Picked up the bike in mechanically great shape but with quite a bit of cosmetic damage, which puts me in a great place to start replacing things and patching things up. I don't have much mechanical experience, but I've got access to enough tools to tear the bike apart if I have to and I'm thinking this'll be a very fun learning process.

the name's rex. happy to be here.
2001 Ninja 500R
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 1-27-2020, 4:21 AM Thread Starter
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Just to kick it off, the two mods I've done so far:

Took off the cheap aftermarket front fairing, temporarily ziptied the original headlight in place until I can find a round headlight that works for me.



A custom tail tidy! Wanted the plate to sit a little closer to the tail, might replace the turn signals with something a little lower profile in the future. Cost me a few hours and a $5 steel sheet.


the name's rex. happy to be here.
2001 Ninja 500R

Last edited by littleprince; 1-27-2020 at 4:23 AM. Reason: removed attachments
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 2-1-2020, 5:01 AM Thread Starter
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Realized I could use this thread to ask questions without clogging up the rest of the forum, so I'll throw these out here in case anyone has any answers:

1) Is it possible to swap in one of those round ebay LED headlights (yes, you get what you pay for, this is more hypothetical)? I know you can't direct swap LED bulbs into the current halogen housing, but I can't seem to find anything about full assembly swaps. Mostly concerned about wiring and voltage/etc.

2) My exhaust pipes have a green tarnish and quite a bit of "pitting", can anyone recommend a good way to clean it up? Was thinking about sanding/polishing and maybe coating with something, but I'm not sure what routes I could go.

3) There's quite a bit of up and down play with the brake and clutch despite tightening down the screws/bolts. Is it likely just a worn pivot? I don't know if these are stock levers (they're adjustable), should I just replace them?

the name's rex. happy to be here.
2001 Ninja 500R
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 2-1-2020, 5:37 AM
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I'll just address point 3, and let others help you with the others.
The stock levers are adjustable. Some up and down play should be fine. Mine have about 1/2 inch.

2006 Ninja500R Purchased new July 2006; 0 miles. Miles as of January 2020; 108,827 . It's a GO bike, not a SHOW bike.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 2-12-2020, 3:45 AM Thread Starter
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Picked up a set of weighted bar end mirrors, painted them black, and attached some cheap clip-ons. The weighty bar ends definitely help kill some vibration. Yet to test the mirrors, but I feel like they'll work well, especially with the weighted ends. Also removed the lower fairing and put the windscreen back on till I'm a bit more used to high speeds/wind.

Headlight, brackets, and turn signals from 4into1 on the way, and I'll finally be able to replace the mess that's currently on the bike.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpe View Post
I'll just address point 3, and let others help you with the others.
The stock levers are adjustable. Some up and down play should be fine. Mine have about 1/2 inch.
Appreciate the reply, mine have quite a bit more (around an inch of play maybe?), so I'll probably end up replacing them eventually, even though I've been riding fine with them. Brake lever's got a scuff from being dropped too, so might as well.

Also big thanks to @ZeroFret for both selling me the bar ends and the headlight recommendation lol
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File Type: jpg IMG_5261.jpg (256.1 KB, 10 views)
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2001 Ninja 500R

Last edited by littleprince; 2-12-2020 at 3:47 AM. Reason: details
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 2-12-2020, 6:43 AM
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How many miles did it take for your handles to get like that?

Curious of total miles
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 2-12-2020, 4:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigerepair View Post
How many miles did it take for your handles to get like that?

Curious of total miles
Handles? As in the lever play? I wouldn't know, they were like that when I got the bike, got it at around ~25k miles and I've only put on about ~100-150 miles. Was apparently dropped, don't know how much that would've affected it.

the name's rex. happy to be here.
2001 Ninja 500R
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 2-12-2020, 7:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigerepair View Post
How many miles did it take for your handles to get like that?

Curious of total miles
The levers will out live everything but the cockroaches, as long as you lube the pivot and don't drop the bike.

2006 Ninja500R Purchased new July 2006; 0 miles. Miles as of January 2020; 108,827 . It's a GO bike, not a SHOW bike.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 2-16-2020, 6:25 AM Thread Starter
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Headlight and turn signals finally came in and got installed. Taking everything off was easier than I expected, installing everything was little more difficult that expected.

Looks good and works well, even got the turn signal running light functionality back that the PO removed by replacing with a single filament bulb. However - the bulb on the left turn signal burned out, and whether it was my fault or not, it seems a bit shifty. Waiting on 4into1's response on the matter.

As for mounting gauges, I built a custom bracket to attach them to the triple clamp. Super bulky, pictures to come [now], but it's a good enough solution for now, don't feel like dropping a ton of money on new, smaller gauges quite yet. Temporary, even in the state it's in. Gonna shape and shine the bars to make them look pretty, considering 3d printing a custom bottom "cover" for the gauge housing so it's not as sketch-looking.
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File Type: jpg IMG_5284.jpg (301.7 KB, 15 views)
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File Type: jpg IMG_5288.jpg (259.3 KB, 14 views)
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the name's rex. happy to be here.
2001 Ninja 500R

Last edited by littleprince; 2-16-2020 at 6:34 AM. Reason: pictures now, i guess
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Today, 2:25 AM Thread Starter
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Two updates!
1) Started the process of wrapping the bike. Matte metallic black. Looks good, mostly done prep work, gonna get the actual wrapping done over the weekend when my girlfriend can help out.

Getting the front tire off was a pain in the ass, since it was an exercise in the gross misuse of tools. Wrapped the tiny plastic bit that goes over the taillight, and started the fender, and I can say: as a first timer, vinyl is harder to work with than I expected (which was already not easy)

2) My new speedometer came in from 4into1. Decided the stock gauges too much work to keep and still look acceptable. Mounted it using the existing hole where the bracket that holds the ignition cables goes. Keeps it lower compared to the triple clamp like I wanted, and I don't have to lengthen the speedo cable. All that's left is wiring, and hopefully that shouldn't be too hard.

Might pick up a new tach in the future, but given the trouble i've heard about with the wasted spark system and aftermarket tachs, i think i'll hold off for at least a little while.

Also, if anyone sees this and can chime in: Anyone running metal footpegs on their 500? Been considering switching for the look, was wondering if anyone had any experience with swapping the stock pegs.
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File Type: jpg 60456247869__8CEE3A90-3337-4FED-AD14-F63BD8138AC7.jpg (304.3 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0005.jpg (319.6 KB, 2 views)

the name's rex. happy to be here.
2001 Ninja 500R

Last edited by littleprince; Today at 2:43 AM.
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