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1997 Kawasaki Ninja 500
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217 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm starting this thread to track the rebuild progress on my bike post accident 10/8/2020. I'm at work now, but am contemplating pictures and the beginning of tear down on this fine Veteran's Day. I did already dispose of the front fender, so that won't be in the pictures.

To date, the current mod list as follows



~ MZS Shorty Levers, Black with Red selector switch
~ Venhill Stainless Brake Lines, Black & Electric Blue (rear)
~
FOG Mod
~ Carb Inlet Filter
~ GenMar Handlebar Risers, Black
~ Schoolie 2.5" Bar Ends, 19oz, Black
~ Mirrors: 06-09 EX650 EMGO Matte Black
~ Brake Lights switched to LED
~ Front Shock: Race Tech 200-2938095 Fork Spring .95Kg / 15wt Fork Oil / Drain & Filler plugs added
~
Rear Shock: 2011 Ninja 250r OEM Rear Shock

On Thursday I seemed to have done many wrong things. Took an unknown corner a little too fast, and out ran my ability as a rider. Ended up low siding on the left side of the bike, the bike ended up headbutting the guard rail and I slid down the road a ways. Speed was between 35-40mph. Bent the right handlebar, fractured the Right Outer Fork Pipe front fender attachment point, bent the foot brake lever, with no exterior engine damage, and of course mangled the front fender and fairing.

J1W3Y

Edit: Let it be know, the bike still ran when it arrived at the house after the accident. It is likely my fault if it doesn't later on.
 

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Those plastics are a perfect candidate to go the the beauty salon for repair.
 

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1997 Kawasaki Ninja 500
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217 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
The rear plastic is definitely being repaired. The front fairing is split into at least 2 pieces, so the plan is to fix the spare I have which is only 1 spot of plastic welding and then maybe tackle the current one. But we shall see.
 

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The rear plastic is definitely being repaired. The front fairing is split into at least 2 pieces, so the plan is to fix the spair I have which is only 1 spot of plastic welding and then maybe tackle the current one. But we shall see.
Not sure if you have access to one already, but I bought one of those PlastiWeld staple welding guns that looks like a soldering gun. Walmart sells the kit here. I've had some good success fixing these cracks/breaks with it and ending up with a stronger body piece as well. The price is very reasonable for what you get and how often you'll end up using it...especially if you do track days.
 

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1997 Kawasaki Ninja 500
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217 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I got the parts bike for $500 after purchase and transport home this past summer. Prior to this past Thursday I had replaced my seat (would have cost $60 on eBay used) and the left fork ($50 eBay). I sold the carbs to Duc for $50 to benefit the EX-500 community. I also got a great condition lower cowl and a repairable upper cowl from it, neither of which I'm using yet. 60+50+50=160, 500-160= $340 cost for the rest of the parts so far. I hesitated to purchase this for fear of retaliation from my partner. She wasn't keen on it, but I'm happy to have done it.

Got some work started/done on Thursday (3/4/21). I pulled my replacement parts from the spare bike. Needed the right side lower fork ($50 eBay), the radiator ($30 eBay), & the rear break lever ($10-$20 eBay). Flushed the replacement radiator, and replaced the one on my bike. The old one had a slow leak, appearing to be from a crack in it. I started to run out of time so I then proceeded to get some of the quicker work out of the way. I replaced my gauge lights with LEDs, much brighter and I apparently had a bulb out. I switched my brake light and rear signals to clear lenses.

The fork replacement is next on the list, then the rear brake lever. I'm also planning to make my rear break lights into 3-way lights, connecting the running lights into the brake light wiring to enlarge the break light for visibility. The rear LEDs I have purchased for the signals are combination red/amber. The amber will be the signal, and red for the brake.

I also still need to make time for my yearly maintenance between work and school. I've attached some more photos of the radiator and the fairing damage.

Radiator
Radiator View 1.jpg Radiator View 2.jpg

Fairing
Front Cowling 1.jpg Front Cowling 2.jpg Front Cowling 3.jpg
The damage to the headlight mounts is what worries me. I'm going to fix my spare fairing which should be much easier and then take on this project.
 

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1997 Kawasaki Ninja 500
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217 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I found some time tonight. The garage was too cold so I worked some cosmetics. I repaired my spare front fairing, the rear left fairing, and the lower fairing. I got half of the blue fairing done, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to get it completed. I replaced all the pieces into my spare and decided I’ll use the black body parts this year so I can focus on getting the rest of the mechanical work done.

I got the LED turn signals figured out in the front, but my green wire isn’t flashing the bulb. It definitely draws the power because it changes the bulb to the appropriate color. The same setup works flawlessly on the opposite side.

thanks @cocobware613 for the suggestion on the staples, they worked great!
07E56DAB-2C5C-4B1B-8369-0E644D11554F.jpeg 3AFF9AE0-E046-42D7-AB5C-659AE3F33254.jpeg 0E9F6EDC-0AF9-4D92-AA93-EEDFCA6FF401.jpeg
 

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Try pushing the bullet connecters together on the signal. They can come loose and still appear to be connected.
 

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1997 Kawasaki Ninja 500
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217 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Last night I found the time to remove the PAIR/California setup and perform a valve adjustment. After putting everything together the motor looks naked without all that excess crap on it. Hoping to finish the fork replacement today and start on the wiring.
 

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1997 Kawasaki Ninja 500
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217 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Finished the fork replacement yesterday. Took longer than expected due to my lack of organization. The fork with the broken lower was bent in the upper. Makes sense, so I pulled the whole one off the donor bike. Replaced the internals with my upgraded ones. Rocked the forks and replaced the fender and tire. Should be all set there.
 

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Looks like you're coming along at a good clip. (y)
 

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1997 Kawasaki Ninja 500
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217 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah, I've enjoyed the break from thinking about school. I don't have much time for it but I'm trying to get things cranked out when I can. Plus riding season is on its way! Still need to finish my lighting on the rear and the black tank from the donor bike needs some TLC on the inside. I could realistically ride it now, but I'd like to get things completely done first.

For the electrics I still need to purchase some of the OEM bullet connectors for the rear lights.
 

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1997 Kawasaki Ninja 500
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217 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Try pushing the bullet connecters together on the signal. They can come loose and still appear to be connected.
This worked perfectly. Although the connection may still be a little loose. I found the lights flickered intermittently, and never at the same time, while running the engine, but fine while stopped. I had to remove the front fairing again when I realized the Upper Cowling Bracket was bent and had to replace it with my spare. I'll address the electrical issue after I finish the rest of the work. I did get most of the rear lights conversion to 3 wire finished and added a flasher to the brake light. Fairly easy, and now I'm waiting on the bullet connectors to connect the rear signals into the brake as well.

To Do List
  • Oil Change, scheduled for tomorrow.
  • Replace right handlebar (Comes in Friday)
  • Replace front brake switch
  • Lube the cables
  • The String Thing
  • Clean & Lube the chain
  • Finish Rear lighting (& hopefully a writeup)
  • Add Amber lighted reflectors to replace my current reflectors.
  • Replace upper and lower cowls. (& Figure out front lighting.)
  • POR15 the Black tank, the bike looks really odd with a blue/purple tank and black/red body.
  • May work on painting the spare brake calipers I have with a complete service which will then replace my current ones to repeat the process on the old ones.
  • May replace my tach face with the other one as there is a worn spot in it.
It's almost riding time!!! 🏍
 

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1997 Kawasaki Ninja 500
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217 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Update! I have completed the oil change and finished the brake light mod. I'm not convinced I like it being in the strobe, but it is definitely noticeable. Here is a video of it. I also recieved my POR 15 kit, so hopefully that will get done Thursday. I have started a write up on the brake light which should be done this week. I will add the link to this post when it is complete.

 

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1997 Kawasaki Ninja 500
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217 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
@Devilsfan I definitely agree with having it. I was more questioning keeping the signals on the strobe too. I'll likely keep it for at least a season.
 

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1997 Kawasaki Ninja 500
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217 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
POR15 completed on the spare tank, just waiting for it to cure (Tuesday morning!). That stuff is amazing, though it was quite a process. There was a lot of junk in the old tank. I'm working on the side marker lights. The lights I received are a little larger in the bolt than stock. Also, my handlebar got lost in Tennessee, we'll see how long that takes.

IMG_2682.JPG IMG_2683.JPG IMG_2684.JPG IMG_2709.JPG
 

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1997 Kawasaki Ninja 500
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217 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
A few more updates for today. I finally cleaned the chain, installed @Custom Carb Service MOSFET upgrade, and a screaming banshee (mini-banshee) horn. It's definitely louder, though I'm not sure exact comparison. I'll try to compare it this summer side by side with a stock horn. I may perform the string alignment later this evening. I also found a coolant leak from the left weep hole. I've ordered new gaskets for the coolant down pipe going into the engine. If that doesn't work I'll take the hoses off and clean them internally as well as polish the down pipe.
 

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1997 Kawasaki Ninja 500
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217 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well, it's Tuesday morning. The tank is cured, I got @fog Rear sets in the mail yesterday along with my gaskets. At some point after class this afternoon I'm going to install all of them. Also, I managed to get the handlebar off the parts bike the other day. I drilled through the bolt until the head popped off, removed the bar end, and used vice-grips to grasp the bolt body and turn. Worked like a charm since the phillips heads were both stripped. I'll take the other one off in a similar fasion at some point as well just to have as a spare.
 
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