Thursday, July 2, 2009

Working on the Ninja 500...

I am currently on a weeks vacation and the weather has been rotten, rain, rain and more rain. As a result I have been working on the 2002 Kawasaki Ninja 500 that I recently purchased. I got a real good deal on the bike and mechanically and cosmetically it is in pretty good shape. The bike sat for three years and the only thing that the previous owner did was start the bike every once in awhile. There is some corrosion and rust on the bike, noticeably around the front exhaust and some of the engine bolts...heck, if I sat for three years I would be corroded and rusted in spots.

Earlier in the week, I removed the rear wheel, had a new tire mounted and reassembled the rear wheel can see the new rear tire in the pic below. Since the bike sat so long, I decided to remove all of the body panels so I could clean the bike and also get at the coolant, oil and top end engine. First was removal of the rear panels, the gas tank and the lower cowling.

Next, was removal of the upper fairing. I could not believe how easy this was; disconnect the mirrors, two more bolts, unhook the headlight/signal light electrical and off it came...too easy. Removing the fairing on the Ninja 250 Project was a much more daunting task! You can clearly see the rust on the front exhaust on this picture of the naked Ninja! If I decide to keep this bike, I will remove the front pipes over the winter, remove rust and re-paint the pipes.

With the body panels and fairing removed, I changed the oil/filter (dealer talked me into using synthetic oil), flushed the coolant, replaced spark plugs and attempted to clean the air filter. Notice I said attempted! I suspect it was the original air soon as I started to clean, pieces of the air filter just fell apart. I called the local Kawasaki dealer and they have to order the part in for me, a minor delay. I will replace to fork oil too, but am waiting for a friend to help as I have no experience replacing fork oil. Everything else on the bike looks good!

Late this afternoon, I reinstalled the side body panels, lower cowling and upper fairing. Now I wait for my friend and for the air filter to arrive. Overall, a productive day in the garage!

I don't go back to work until Tuesday, so hopefully I will get some riding in on the V-Star 1100 Classic and get the Ninja 500 on the road.

Ride safe!


  1. Wow...I can't believe he let the bike sit for 3 months!
    I think my pipes are starting to rust a little, which surprised. You said you're going to paint them...paint them as in how? What are you going to do?
    One more step closer to getting the 500 on the road!! :)

  2. Bike actually sat for 3 years. Received advice from a friend tonight, I think I will sandblast the front pipes & re-paint.

  3. you are a busy boy! Nice to have more than one "hobby" does get into the blood don't it...our addiction...ya can't beat how good we feel....

  4. Make sure you get that bike nice and clean so you can sell it to me for $1000 :)