Showing some TLC to a neglected bike. - Ex-500.com - The home of the Kawasaki EX500 / Ninja 500R
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-27-2018, 5:25 PM Thread Starter
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Showing some TLC to a neglected bike.

The obsessive compulsive in me can't help but give every new bike in the stable, no matter how long their stay may be, a thorough 3-step strip / clean / rebuild process.

The latest bike to roll into the garage is a neglected 2008 EX-500 with just 7700 miles. It hasn't run in a year or two, but underneath all of the dust, dirt and grime is what I think may turn out to be a smart little bike just waiting to hit the road again.

First step....remove the plastics.





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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-27-2018, 5:37 PM Thread Starter
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Seems that in addition to the generous amounts of dust and dirt, we also have a few extra sets of wire underneath the seat area.







A PO added a cycle alarm at some in the past....







And we still have the PAIR system in place.

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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-27-2018, 5:41 PM Thread Starter
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Upper and Lower cowl removed for safe keeping.








Close up of the lower engine and header pipes. I think I will remove the headers and treat them to a fresh coat of semi-gloss heat paint.



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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-27-2018, 5:49 PM
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Cool find! As to the headers, have a look at KBS high-temp coatings. They make a primer, black (or colors) and gloss clear coating that will look almost the same as the OEM. Def not cheap, but good stuff and designed to neutralize and prevent rust.

1987 EX500-A1<br />K&N/Dynojet kit<br />Webcam 245 cams<br />Cobra F1 slip-ons<br />3rd airbox snorkel<br />Tapered rollers<br />Prog. Springs<br />Russell braided line<br />Galfer pads<br />Avon Super Venoms
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-27-2018, 5:51 PM Thread Starter
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By far the biggest challenge to making the bike look really nice again is the mufflers. This is going to take some work!!















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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-31-2018, 6:22 PM
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Looks like a good solid project, glad to see others giving the less loved EX's new life. Best of luck and I'll be keeping tabs on your progress!

I've got a similar deal in my garage right now, though it is in far worse condition. Has a hard 50,000 miles on the odometer. Spent it's life in San Francisco, so the the foggy and salty air has done a number to the frame and all other bits of metal. It was also in a hard front end crash which is what ultimately took it off the road and why I got it for free. With the engine needing a rebuild, the frame needing rust and minor accident issues fixed and the whole front end needing to be replaced, mine will be coming completely apart for a full restoration.
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1990 EX500 - 140,000 miles as of May 27th, 2019
1993 Ducati 900SS - The real canyon carver
2002 EX500 - Undergoing a full restoration
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 1-19-2019, 2:59 PM Thread Starter
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The project had to take a 2 week hiatus whilst I was back in England taking care of some urgent family business. I'm back now, so here is some fun I had with the carbs.

I bike this bike was stored in a pond at some point. Just kidding, but it is ugly for sure.

Green float bowl deposits and very crusty jets!




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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 1-19-2019, 3:01 PM Thread Starter
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But with lots of soaking, plenty of carb cleaner, and liberal amounts of elbow grease....that's better.


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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 1-21-2019, 1:12 PM
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Looking good!

Makes me grateful I know the carbs on my current project EX are in good condition as I rebuilt them a couple years ago, before I owned it. Still going to take them apart completely for an overhaul, but at least there won't be any residual pond scum.

1990 EX500 - 140,000 miles as of May 27th, 2019
1993 Ducati 900SS - The real canyon carver
2002 EX500 - Undergoing a full restoration
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 3-2-2019, 5:13 PM Thread Starter
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So, I've been going much slower on this project lately. My eldest son is taking power mechanics class at school, and has expressed an interest in learning maintenance with me as we rebuild the EX.
I also have a frozen shoulder, so that is seriously hampering progress (to do anything at all).

That being said, here is the progress since the last post. I set the float heights on the carbs and completely re-assembled them. The bike has received a sponge bath with WD-40 rag to remove all the dust, dirt and grime.

Today we adjusted the valves.
#1 cylinder
Intake clearances were perfect
Exhaust clearance were very tight.

#2 cylinder
Intake clearances were slight tight
Exhaust clearances were very tight.











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Last edited by Davenay67; 3-2-2019 at 5:16 PM.
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 3-2-2019, 5:54 PM
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Thumbs up

That bike is looking clean.

2006 Ninja500R Purchased new July 2006; 0 miles. Miles as of January 2019; 102,137. It's a GO bike, not a SHOW bike.
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 3-2-2019, 9:31 PM
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I agree, that thing is looking sharp! At least from the pictures it looks in pretty darn good shape. Nice work!
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 3-12-2019, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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The headers on the bike weren't terrible, but they weren't exactly nice either. The OCD side of me decided the effort wasn't too much to improve their looks.

Off the bike and you can see they are more scruffy than ugly or bad.









After some time on the wire wheel and some sandpaper they show themselves to be in great physical condition underneath their external patina.








Prior to painting I used a phosphoric acid solution to get at any fine rust and to etch the metal surface for painting.





And finally, the headers are painted in a high heat semi-gloss black color.

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Last edited by Davenay67; 5-16-2019 at 1:27 PM.
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-16-2019, 1:26 PM Thread Starter
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Been very busy and very distracted as of late, so I haven't had the opportunity or the usual desire to take incremental photos of the build.

Anyway, since the last post, I did the following. Pics are of the end result.

- installed the carbs (cleaned jets, cleaned bowls, cleaned all internal passages, set air/fuel screws, set float heights)
- installed the air box
- installed cleaned/oiled air filter
- installed the radiator
- filled with new coolant
- synchronized the carbs with my MorganTune gauge.











Last edited by Davenay67; 5-16-2019 at 1:31 PM.
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-16-2019, 1:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davenay67 View Post
By far the biggest challenge to making the bike look really nice again is the mufflers. This is going to take some work!!



\
















I "fixed" a set of mufflers like those with a sheet metal wrap. take you muffler s to a sheet metal fab shop . they can make wraps to cover all that rash from just about anything you want from shiny aloe to brushed SS
FOR A LOT LESS THAT ANY OTHER REPAIR

FOG

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post #16 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-16-2019, 2:06 PM Thread Starter
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I made a big improvement on the mufflers. Certainly not awesome, but pretty good for now. I will post some better pics when I get a chance. I'm going to run them as-is for a while.

Given the weight of the OEM mufflers (can you say boat anchors!) any money on upgrade would likely be new lighter mufflers....performance-wise we can't do much for power, but we can save weight
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post #17 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-17-2019, 5:37 AM
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I think you have something routed incorrectly.
In the top picture of post #14 what looks like the carb vent tube is routed underneath the rear tank bracket. A little bit hard for me to see because of the camera angle, but it appears that it is in the groove where the wire harness is supposed to go, and then the harness is moved off to the left ( also incorrectly routed) .

2006 Ninja500R Purchased new July 2006; 0 miles. Miles as of January 2019; 102,137. It's a GO bike, not a SHOW bike.
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post #18 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-17-2019, 5:31 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I think you have something routed incorrectly.
In the top picture of post #14 what looks like the carb vent tube is routed underneath the rear tank bracket. A little bit hard for me to see because of the camera angle, but it appears that it is in the groove where the wire harness is supposed to go, and then the harness is moved off to the left ( also incorrectly routed) .
Keen eye. Since those photos the wiring harness has been moved to the correct location. I found this out very quickly when it came time to install the tank. The carb vent tube is still in the same place, as it fits easily alongside the wiring harness.

The bike is done. The next pics when I get time will be the finished project.....
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post #19 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-17-2019, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fog View Post
I "fixed" a set of mufflers like those with a sheet metal wrap. take you muffler s to a sheet metal fab shop . they can make wraps to cover all that rash from just about anything you want from shiny aloe to brushed SS
FOR A LOT LESS THAT ANY OTHER REPAIR

FOG

Way back, in the old days, before the advent of the internet and shopping on Amazon, we had nothing but catalog mail orders to fulfill much of what we "needed" for farkles or actually fixing motorcycles.



One company that was relatively well stocked with the stuff everyone wanted and one of the more trustworthy to deal with was called Lockhart-Phillips.



Their catalog had a product known then as an exhaust bra, that pretty much covers what FOG wrote about.



The "bra" was just a curved sheet of aluminum shaped to look like an aluminum exhaust can that could be mounted to any stock exhaust.



Exhausts back then were just painted black from the factory and looked cheap as hell. Just the way it was.



The manufacturers already knew the first thing getting taken off was the factory exhaust anyway.



The bra mounted flush with the surface of the exhaust can on the visible side.



On the tire/wheel side, it was secured with a couple of hose clamps that remained out of sight to the passer by.



without bra


With bra


I looked for a great deal of time to see if they could still be found and I came up empty. All I'm saying is, FOG hit the nail on the head.



Short of buying a length of stainless steel tube and replacing the scarred up OEM part with it, I don't see a more viable method to "restore" OEM exhaust cans. ....sean


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post #20 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-18-2019, 12:07 AM
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Nice work! I suffer from the same obsessive-compulsive malady when it comes to machines. My problem is, I'll invest time and money fixing things up, only to sell them to somebody else who reaps the benefits. Talk about shooting myself in the foot.

Seriously, there's just a sense of satisfaction in rejuvenating a neglected bike, or whatever else it may be.
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post #21 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-26-2019, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Do you think the PO (REALLY) liked his rear brake? This level of wear happened in only 7,700 miles!!





Add new rear brake pads to the shopping list.
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post #22 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-26-2019, 4:01 PM
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^ That's pretty close to normal wear for me also.

2006 Ninja500R Purchased new July 2006; 0 miles. Miles as of January 2019; 102,137. It's a GO bike, not a SHOW bike.
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post #23 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-26-2019, 8:42 PM Thread Starter
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^ That's pretty close to normal wear for me also.
You're on your 13th set of rear braked pads?
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post #24 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-27-2019, 6:45 AM
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^ I would have to do the math, but yeah that sounds about right.


Edit: I also wear out the front pads at that rate.

2006 Ninja500R Purchased new July 2006; 0 miles. Miles as of January 2019; 102,137. It's a GO bike, not a SHOW bike.
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Last edited by bpe; 5-27-2019 at 6:47 AM. Reason: Front pad info
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post #25 of 31 (permalink) Old 5-27-2019, 8:44 AM
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stop using the rear brake, it is only for holding at a stop or to set the front.

FOG

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