Ex-500.com - The home of the Kawasaki EX500 / Ninja 500R banner

41 - 55 of 55 Posts

490 Posts
Looking good! (y)
It having a timing belt doesn't surprise me. But having 2 of them does. First time I've ever heard of any vehicle that has 2 timing belts/chains. I would be curious to know what the advantage is to having independent belts?
Ducat's use 2 timing belts as well. Likely other machines with cylinders in different configurations.

I imagine a single shorter belt is less likely to stretch and therefore keep better timing? Something to do with the higher compression of MC engines versus car engines? Hah....what do I know.

Premium Member
3,738 Posts
Discussion Starter #42
I think it might be a mix of technology of the time, early to mid 70s, cost, money etc... But it's a good system, Honda says replace every them every 60k miles or 5 years. Being mine an 84, and the belts haven't ever been done, I thought it was time.

It's better than adjusting valves, which isn't needed on the GW, hydraulic lifters, just like a car 馃憤

Premium Member
3,738 Posts
Discussion Starter #43 (Edited)
July 2018,

Upon returning from my trip to NC, I starting looking for a better seat.


I found a Saddlemen on eBay for a cheap price, and in decent condition.



As you can seat it's wider, more back support, thicker padding, even the passenger area it both wider, and thicker too.



It's a lot more comfortable to say the least.

One more thing for July, I changed out the white LEDs next to the headlight, with a pair of small switchback white/yellow LEDs. This requires a bit of work, but as you can see in video it was worth it.

  • Like
Reactions: FlipFlop

Premium Member
3,738 Posts
Discussion Starter #44
Rest rest of 2018,

After about a year of ownership, I finally came up with a name for it. I found out the official color is siren blue metallic, so it's called Siren.

Another name for a Siren is mermaid, so I found a graphic design, and picked the color.


I wanted something that wouldn't stand out unless you were looking for it. It's almost like ghost graphic, hiding in the darker grey.

What's your opinion?

At the almost end of the season the battery was getting weak, when I did use it for a couple of days.

I ordered a gel battery, and in the proper size, and when I removed the old out found out it was a18 instead of a 24, which Honda calls for.


So after riding it, I decided to keep it. Selling it was an idea in case I didn't like it. Hence why I didn't go all it with a lot modifications, upgrades, etc..... After all point in doing all that if I'm just gonna sell it, you never get all that money back.

At this point I had all winter to think about things I'd like to do it. Not only to make it better, but to make it mine.

Just wait til 2019 to see what I did.....
  • Like
Reactions: FlipFlop and bpe

Super Moderator
6,337 Posts
Love the fender graphic. (y)
  • Like
Reactions: ghostt

Premium Member
168 Posts
I also want to say kudos on the restoration. You've actually inspired me to add the LED reflectors to my 500 after I have it back together. I love the idea of more visibility.

Premium Member
3,738 Posts
Discussion Starter #47
Love the fender graphic. (y)

Thanks, it came out the way I thought it would. Nice and subtle, and a bit sexy.... In a mermaid way 馃槀

Premium Member
3,738 Posts
Discussion Starter #48 (Edited)
I also want to say kudos on the restoration. You've actually inspired me to add the LED reflectors to my 500 after I have it back together. I love the idea of more visibility.
Thxs for the kudos.

I did it on my orange EX500 aka "Phoenix" first early 2017. Which it was a lot easier to do that compared to the Goldwing was for sure.

As you can see in the picture below, yes it required that much removed off the front fairing

It was pretty straightforward, here's a few pics to give you an idea. Just remove the OEM one from the bracket, and install the LED one.
I don't remember if I had to drill the mounting hole bigger for the bolt on the back of the LED, but not a major thing.


As you can see 3 wires, easy to wire up to the front turn signals.


You can see it's still a reflector as well, in case there is any legal issues.



If you carefully you can see light up, unfortunately I didn't take a video, but you get the idea.

If you look on ebay you'll find these.

Premium Member
168 Posts
Nice! Definitely a lot more work on the GW! It may not be the prettiest mod, but definitely a step up for safety!

Premium Member
3,738 Posts
Discussion Starter #50
Nice! Definitely a lot more work on the GW! It may not be the prettiest mod, but definitely a step up for safety!
It's a subtle modification, almost no one will notice, unless you point it out, or a fellow EX owner might notice.

I like this upgrade, it added safety, and in running light mode, it adds a nice amber glow on the sides at night, especially when you use the turn signals.

It's a cheap and easy enough to do, at least the EX.

Premium Member
3,738 Posts
Discussion Starter #51 (Edited)
January to April 2019,

Okay so once I decided to keep Siren, there were things I wanted to change and needed to be done.

First off the brake system. It uses a link system, so when you use the rear brake pedal, it engages the rear and the right front brake, when you use the front brake only the front left engages. Yes it weird, but it's a good system if you properly maintain the whole system, like any other system. The brakes always felt weak to me, it should stop better, it's wasn't unsafe, just should be better.

Second was the tires, I noticed a past owner used a rear tire on the front, which didn't help the heavy weight at all.


That's the major things, that needed to be addressed. Other small things too

So first thing was tires, easy enough, ordered Kenda cruiser K673s

Now the brakes, since I'm keeping it, I went all in, as i always do. EBC HH pads fronts, full floating rotors, new Apex stainless steel braided brake lines.

Other things, full caliper service, flush and fill with new DOT 5.1 fluid, and hydraulic clutch flush and fill with same DOT 5.1 as brakes.

So I'll let the pictures do the talking






As you can this is a major undertaking, nothing on this bike is light, everything fought me. Changing the brakes lines was especially difficult, because it's like a car mix of rubber and hard lines, and they connect in the hardest places to get to.

Things also done, drain and fill the rear end, yup like a car, it's shaft drive, new grips, stainless steel and titanium fasteners, louder horns and of course missiles.


It had a few pieces that were cracked, faded etc. One really bad one one the left lower control panel


Found one EBay, used but it has a cigarette lighter port, I used this for the missile launch button.


The cost of all this, almost what I paid for the bike($1,500 USD) plus my labor and time

There was a lot small nickel and dime stuff, but you get the idea

I call this well spent money, because I'm keeping it, and want it comfortable and safer than it was.

At this point I believe it has 35k miles, so I put roughly about 3k since I got it.

She's all ready for the 2019 season.

So what do you think so far, any questions, concerns, comments? All are welcome.
  • Like
Reactions: Devilsfan and bpe

Premium Member
3,738 Posts
Discussion Starter #52 (Edited)
Okay so while tearing into the bike, I noticed the coolant overflow tank was, well kinda fixed.




I'm sure you'll all agree, not a quality repair and it leaked a little bit. Let's face it this won't work, so thxs to eBay I found a good cheap used one.


Note the panel on the right, that's the controls for the adjustable air suspension.


Much better now, and piece of mind knowing it not going to give it up, and leave me stranded, maybe far from anything. Remember it's a touring bike.

All buttoned up and ready to go, again.


Premium Member
3,738 Posts
Discussion Starter #53
May 2019,

So now on to passenger comfort. The Saddlemen seat does do that as well, but my passenger wanted a bit more.

So back to eBay I found used armrests, and a cup holder from Amazon.







She was very happy, comfortable, and a cupholder. Which comes in handy more than you'd think, and the look you get from people in cars while your enjoying a drink is priceless 馃槀

Sidenote: anything that I want to do seems requiring taking off more parts than one would think.

Premium Member
3,738 Posts
Discussion Starter #54 (Edited)
August 2019,

It's MOSFET time, yup replacement of the shunt R/R. We all know the modification/upgrade, so I won't bother with the details, but I think it turned out good, even mounted to the OEM location.





Another thing I did was to add a USB port for the passenger. Once again it's a straightforward job.





A nice clean installation, to make it look factory. And it does come in handy.

Put about another 3k on it.

The rest of 2019 season the preformed flawlessly. The brakes work as they should have, and it's a satisfying feeling to know all the work and all the money paid off as just you thought it would.

New tires are great, putting a proper front tire on makes all the difference in the way this thing handles and behaves.
  • Like
Reactions: FlipFlop

Premium Member
3,738 Posts
Discussion Starter #55
April 2020,

I noticed at the end of the 2019 season the fork seals were leaking, after all they are 36 years old.



I've done a lot of fork seals over my years, but these were one of the hardest one I've done, but it got done.



Another issue fixed was an exhaust leak, most it came from a rusted out header. Thanks to eBay for a good used pair for cheap.



All fixed, and ready for the 2020, despite covid-19.
41 - 55 of 55 Posts