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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Everyone,

I feel like I already know many of you, I've been spending a considerable amount of time on these forums since we purchased the bike last week, and you'll be seeing much more of me in the coming months.

My GF and I just bought our first motorcycle, and it's everything we imagined. She's an adrenaline junkie, and I've been dreaming about getting a bike for years.

The individual we purchased the bike from said that it hasn't been ridden since 2005, and I can't be sure how well he maintained it or what his winterizing/storage procedure was. The bike did need a new battery, and obviously needs an oil change, which I will be doing tonight - Rotella T 15W-40 (synthetic if I can find it) and Purolator or Bosch filter (whichever I can find). The bike has about 22,000 kms on it and it's a 2001, resides in South Eastern Ontario.

I have experience working on cars, so you can consider me a garage mechanic, but never before on bikes.

1) The idle is high. Around 3k RPM, and even after heating up required choke or else it would stall. How much choke is normally required to start, and for how long? Shouldn't the bike be able to run without any choke after it's warmed up?

2) Shifting isn't very smooth, and is very loud.

Both of those issues could be related to the oil, but I also suspect the carbs and I assume the fuel in there is also from 2005. But since the bike has been in storage for so long and I'm unaware of the shape the previous owner kept it in (combined with my inexperience with bikes), I want to be thorough and any advice would be appreciated.

I plan on checking the spark plugs and the carbs, (I have no carb experience, but look forward to learning). What sort of things should I be looking for? Should I get rid of that fuel? Since it's been so long, would it be better to just replace the spark plugs? What other things would you recommend replacing? Air filter? Coolant? Anything else I should be looking at, given the circumstances?

I'm aware of the regular maintenance schedule, and plan on following it as soon as everything else on the bike is brought up to snuff. The bike hasn't been taken on any trips, other than a few runs around the block, and I don't plan on taking her out until she's in good shape.

Thanks,

sYnth
 

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1) The idle can be adjusted once the bike fully warms up -- don't bother trying to adjust it cold or you'll be chasing your own tail. My bike requires about 3/4 choke to start, and I run it for no more than a minute with choke on. It's good to go after that.

2) Shifting does tend to be loud on the 500's. Make sure you're giving adequate throttle when you switch to keep it smooth after the shift, and you'll notice it less.

You definitely want to change the oil. Cleaning the carbs is quite simple (it should take you no more than an hour if you've never done it before) and is required if the bike hasn't run for several years.

You also want to drain the old gas (and drain the carbs, too) and replace it with fresh stuff. Old gas is usually bad gas. Spark plugs are cheap -- about $10 for both (CDN), so it's worth changing them.

Air filter is probably fine, but clean it anyways! Also, check the tires (I'm assuming they are fine since the bike passed safety) and make sure the chain is lubed. Obviously check coolant levels, too. Basically you'll want to check all fluids, vitals, etc., and do the work where necessary. Don't overlook anything major.

Have fun :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply.

Any spark plug recommendations?

Any good tutorials online about how to clean carbs? I'm a bit nervous about it since I don't have any mechanic friends nearby, and have never touched one before.

Thanks,

sYnth
 

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NGK are the factory ones, they're good :)
 
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Use the NGK ones, they're a few bucks at Canadian Tire.

Personally, I'd flush that old gas out of the bike. I'd also fluid all fluids such as oil and coolant, and likely ask the shop to do the brake fluid along with the pads if you're doing them. It's such a small expense for piece of mind.

And the shifting is loud normally, the gear boxes make a real clunk, especially when cold.
 

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Stick with regular NGK plugs.

Here's a few links you can use to guide you. http://faq.ninja250.org/wiki/How_do_I_work_on_the_carbs%3F

It's not the same bike, but close mechanically. The carburetor seems intimidating, but it's pretty simple to clean. Get a spray can of carburetor cleaner from canadian tire (red bottle with white lid).

My best advice is to do the following.
- Unbolt the fairing surrounding the gas tank, but don't take it off
- Turn gas off
- Pull off hoses & remove the gas tank
- Disconnect throttle cables and the choke cable
- Loosen the boot clamps, then just jiggle the carb out. Eventually it will come upwards so you can clean it.

I might have missed something, but you get the idea. Once you've got the carb in your hands, you'll want to clean outside and inside. Give it a good soak. Take off the bowl cover and clean everything in there (including the jets).

Again, it's pretty simple. The pictures from the Ninja250 site should be able to help a lot.
 

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The "Idle" (if you can call it that) is set that high because the bike won't run below that, because of #1.

FOG
 

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Make sure the speedometer cable is screwed on tight (if loose, lube it first).
Check chain tension.
 

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FOG said:
The "Idle" (if you can call it that) is set that high because the bike won't run below that, because of #1.

FOG
clean your pilots jets is what he is trying to type.

mine takes about full choke to start, but then after a little riding I turn it off.

the gear box is clunky but it's reliable for the most part.

do a search for "spark plugs" to find the right NGK part number, was recent topic about them.

use the Walmart supertech filter, it's just as good as the bosch, 7317 or something like that.

and check the chain/sprockets for proper maintenace
 
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