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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I'm a newbie. And when I say newbie, I mean it. Just got my motorcycle license today and have just started looking for a bike in earnest. Also new to this site, so apologies if this has been covered..

At any rate, I like the look of naked bikes, but I like all the reviews and reports and reliability ratings of the 500 ninja. To give an indication the main other bike Ive been looking at is the suzuki gs 500 E.

So here's the question: how do-able/expensive/etc is it to take the fairings & the windshield off to make this bike into more of a standard (but with the 500 guts)? I'm guessing a new headlight and from turn lights.. but I know there's got to be way more to it than that. Can someone help me out?

Much thanks!
 

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Chopper Charles' 500 is definitely the extreme, full conversion:
http://www.ex-500.com/index.php/topic,485.msg4539.html#msg4539

It's pretty much all just a matter of your imagination. I've got the parts but haven't had the time or tools in place to get things done, but I'm looking to go with standard handlebars and a bucket headlight myself.

In all reality, it's just a matter of removing the plastics (20 minutes), removing the bracket that holds them (another 20 minutes), and then installing the parts you want to use. Nothing you have to change is vital to the structure of the bike (forks aside from installation of the headlight bracket, frame parts, etc), so it's really not that involved. There's a little wiring, but it's pretty simple.

As an alternative to a standard headlight there's always the aftermarket mini-fairing option:

Photo courtesy of Chayos from the old forum.
 

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That's an excellent idea. I might do it myself. The only problem I see is the instruments (Speedo/Tach) as they are integral with the inner faring. Do a search here there is a guy who did one and I inserted a picture of an Sv that looks stunning and I am certain the 500R could look as good.
 

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gentlemanjim said:
That's an excellent idea. I might do it myself. The only problem I see is the instruments (Speedo/Tach) as they are integral with the inner faring. Do a search here there is a guy who did one and I inserted a picture of an Sv that looks stunning and I am certain the 500R could look as good.
Chayos actually kept the stock guages, which you can almost see in this picture ;) :


I think I'm going to try pulling the old style round gauges off my Suzuki parts bike and go that route, but I haven't decided what to do exactly.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the info. In the way of a follow-up, to what extent does the aftermarket mini fairing option (or the stock fairing for that matter) help with protection from the wind? I'm thinking something along the lines of the pic posted or something like you'd find on the buell blast or the suzuki sv650..

I love the look of the round headlight on chopper charles' streetfighter (that front shot there--er, here http://www.ex-500.com/index.php/topic,485.msg4539.html#msg4539 --is enough to make me want to try it out) , but if (even a smaller) fairing might have a payoff for longer trips or on the highway or whatever, then maybe I should do that instead..

Thanks for the help!
 

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I'm certainly not up on the latest styles of coolness, nor am I a very good judge of form. ( I'm more of a function guy) When ever I see a Bike stripped of it's normal livery, all I see is a poor /cheap bastard who trashed his bike and can't afford to fix it right. Am I missing something?, were guys strip a perfectly good set of body work to create something else? What?

FOG
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I guess for me it's not so much about coolness as having something that's mine. If I knew anything about the mechanical side of things, I'd probably prefer to get an early eighties standard bike (an old Honda CB or CX, say) and fix it up--make it mine that way. But since I dont know anything about mechanicstuff (yet) & since I'm a beginner, it seems like these lower displacement ninjas are a good way to go--in being reliable, manageable and performers at the same time. So, yeah, given my taste for the more basic or standard bikes (over sport bikes).. seems to make sense as a way of getting the best from both worlds, being able to customize a bike (even if it is just cosmetic) to my liking and something that will be reliable or mechanically sound (and not falling into the trap of over-extending myself and ending up with something in parts with no idea of how to make it run again)

And, not to be contentious or whatever, but it seems like it would not be so difficult to argue that the more stripped down thing is more about function than not--that, for my purposes, perhaps the fairings are more about look (coolness) than function. Maybe that should be a question, though, What function do the fairings play, for a bike like this, for use as a commuter and occasional road-tripping bike? This is intended as an open question--the same one, basically as in my last post.

On the other hand.. I am in fact cheap bastard.. ;)

Take care
 

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Re: I'm certainly not up on the latest styles of coolness, nor am I a very good judge of form. ( I'm more of a function guy) When ever I see a Bike stripped of it's normal livery, all I see is a poor /cheap bastard who trashed his bike and can't afford to fix it right. Am I missing something?, were guys strip a perfectly good set of body work to create something else? What?
FOG

Fog, stop being so wishy-washy...let us know what you really think(LOL).
 

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Hooray for cheap bastards!

If a fairing's aerodynamics helps gas mileage, and it protects the rider from flying debris & weather, and only weighs a small fraction of the total bike/rider/gear weight... then it offers both form and function.

F and F is better than either alone, yes?

Now if a person is road or drag racing then minimal reasonable mass for maximal performance is cool. If a person is racing on the street... stoooooooopid.

Then there's the artistic thing: making it your own. Do what you want, the way you want, just keep it safe & think about the full range of uses that the bike will serve. Have it your way, but don't think/write that the mods are for form or function if they're really about appearance/ image/ art.
 
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If I had more time/energy I would buy a bikini fairing for my ninja. I don't think it's worth spending $500 (half the value of the bike) on one piece of plastic that could very easily be ruined. Just my two cents...
 
R

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I personaly don't like the un-finished look, like the front of the gas tank where it mates to the fairing. If you could figure out something to do with that area, maybe it would look good naked. If you just want to change the ergo's, just bolt on a set of dirt bike handlebars. That would be a start, just to see if you like the new riding position.

Rich
 

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In my 2,000 mile-ridden 1 year-rider opinion ...

It sounds like a Suz. SV650 :



Ninjas to me are basically designed to be sport / sport-touring hybridiSH - so You could def. do the street fighter thing - as you see above - it looks cool . but if you relaly like that look I'd get the SV650
 

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Personally, I love standards. The bike I learned to ride on was a 1978 Honda CB550 Four that I'd blast up and down our yard with (about an 1/8th mile). The first bike I owned (and my reentry into the world of riding after laying down the Honda) was the KZ550 I have now. I don't know if it's a "love what you've got" mentality or a true admiration, but I just have a big thing for a naked bike. My dream bike has got to be a green ZRX 1200, but I can't bring myself to pull the trigger on dropping that much cash. The EX I ended up with by accident, and incidentally can't bring myself to get rid of. I like the way it looks in full garb, but with my strong pull toward standards (not to mention the idea of having something completely my own, well at least in the local area ;) ) I just keep moving toward going with the streetfighter look.

And I am a cheap bastard on top of things, so it makes the move even more natural :D. The skins I have for my EX are far from perfect, so it doesn't greatly pain me to set them aside. I'd pondered repairing them and selling them down the road, but if they look too nice I might end up putting them back on.

I did ponder buying an SV just before buying the Ninja. It was a full faired SV1000, but it'd been dropped and I couldn't tell what the extent of the under-the-skin damage was. The EX popped up a week later, while I was debating, and it was so much cheaper I just went with it. No regrets here.
 

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When I was looking at bikes the SV650 was recommended a lot!
Wonder how it compares w/ the Ninja 650 twin?

Then I was looking at Ninja 250 & almost had one bought, but the eBay seller was holding out for the Buy-now price. That's when I found the 500 I ended up buying.

My first bikes were a late 70's Yamaha SX500 and an early 80's Honda Nighthawk 400. I like the standard type bike and always will... but highway commuting totally sold me on the value of fairings.

The standard bikes might be compared to a sturdy no-nonsense athlete.
The 500 w/ fairing might be like that competitive tom-boy neighbor who doesn't know she's attractive.
Anyway... 8)
 

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Art1989 said:
Where can you buy that fairing?
I was talking the stock or stock-like (Aerotech) fairing.
 

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dude, whres choppercharles? that kid has a siiiick street-fighter'd out ninja,
charles when you see this can you post those pics up again?
 

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