Things to look out for on a 2004 EX500? - - The home of the Kawasaki EX500 / Ninja 500R
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 2-6-2020, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
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Things to look out for on a 2004 EX500?

Hello, new to the forum and I was hoping to get some thoughts on this bike and what to potentially look out for when buying a used one.

I just recently completed my MSF course and am looking into by a 2004 EX500 as a first bike. I'm excited and really looking forward to continuing to learn how to ride. I'm slightly intimidated in buying a motorcycle though because I don't know much about bikes aside from what I learned in the course and I don't know anybody that does either. So, I'd really like to know what I might be getting myself into. While I don't mind getting my hands dirty and learning how to fix things on the bike, I don't want to have to fix some absurd thing you wouldn't expect someone who's never worked on bikes to tackle their very first time. Are there things I should look out for on this year/model when inspecting it before purchasing? The bike has allegedly been dropped but with only cosmetic damage. The previous owner has also recently rebuilt the carbs.

Hope you understand where I'm coming from and thank you for your time.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 2-6-2020, 2:00 AM
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I'm just over one year into to owning my 2007 EX500. I bought with about 1500 miles and it's now sitting at 6000. So far, the only necessary repairs I've made have been replacing the clutch cable after it snapped, redoing my fork seals, and changing the balancer shaft seals. These are all common issues that you may have to deal with when owning a second gen EX500. Clutch cable was easy. Fork seals and balancer shaft seals were manageable for me, but I definitely wouldn't say that they were easy. I had some experience working on cars (basic stuff) and I'm not particularly mechanically inclined. Over all the repairs probably cost me just under 100 dollars in parts.

That being said, I am really glad I bought my EX500. Honestly, there isn't a better commuter bike on the market today. The gas mileage is great, center stand makes routine maintenance a breeze, and the helmet hooks underneath the tail of the bike are ideal for strapping a cargo net to for carrying all sorts of stuff. Also, I regularly commute 30 miles a day and I can hit 70+ on the highway with no problem at all. It's just a good all around bike.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 2-6-2020, 4:28 AM
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Where do you live man? Perhaps it is a small world I am willing to go over your purchase and vet it for you?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 2-6-2020, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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lol tigerepair, i appreciate the thought. looking at your prev posts though i'm not in your area.

Thank you ifrit that sounds reasonable. I know these bikes are "indestructible" so I was already expecting to give it the best inspection I can muster and if I like the way it rides I think it's worth it.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 12:02 AM
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a few EX specific faults (some common, some not)

* loose rear wheel dampers (fix via shimming rubbers)
* vacuum petcock failure (replace or rebuild)
* sticking tank vent flapper valves (remove)
* tight exhaust valve clearances (sometimes within maintenance intervals)
* speedo cable nut loosening at top/speedo fitting (tighten)
* starter clutch spring fatigue/ bolts loosening at backside of flywheel (tighten/loctite bolts, replace or stretch springs)
* 1st gen flywheel magnet failure (upgrade to modded gen 2 version)
* 1st gen cam chain tensioner poor design (upgrade to gen 2 version)

all I can think of atm.

“Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba....” quote Hunter S Thompson

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Today, 2:00 AM Thread Starter
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very appreciated ducatiman. exactly the sort of things I was looking for.
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