Warn me, please... - Kawasaki Ninja 250R Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-18-2014, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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Warn me, please...

...I can take it.

I'm going to look at a '10 tomorrow in..uh...dubious condition. Price is very low to reflect its condition.

Having brought several dilapidated old bikes back to street-worthy condition, I may give this hulk a try, since there's a clean title. And I've always wanted a Ninja 250...
Carbs I can rebuild, and do bodywork, and paint, and seat covers, and fork seals, and valves, and wheel/steering head/swingarm bearings, and chains and cables. I would assume the bike needs all this, as it has been sitting up and seller admits that there's water in the tank.

But seller also admits that the bike will need a new ignition switch and tank lock, meaning somebody either lost the key and jimmied it, or the bike had been stolen and recovered.

All the plastic bodywork is there, mismatched colors but I do my own paint. Seems to have classic "sitting up" issues.

IF I get it to turn over and start on starting fluid, is there anything I can listen for to determine engine damage?
Do these motors eat cam chains? Will the valves manifest themselves if they're damaged?

Around here, we're finally having the little bit of cold weather we're likely to have, so now is the time to snatch up a super cheap bike and bring it back to life.

If ya'll could inform me of Ninja 250-killing issues that I can look for, I can make a better calculated guess as to whether I can fix this bike. Anything short of engine issues and a bent frame I can handle, if the starting price is right. It's bottom-end and top-end issues I don't know about with this bike.

Words of advice and wisdom much appreciated...heck I'll even take words of conjecture and derisiveness, if they illustrate a pitfall I don't know.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-18-2014, 06:23 PM
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Why not look for a better conditioned bike? I would Avoid bent frame/ or Any major engine problems. It will cost you so much more in the end. Engines are engines, look for the typical knock or check the compression first. If it fails the compression test walk away. It's a big hassle to take on things with a lot of problems even if you have time.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-18-2014, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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I hear you, but if I had $2k to drop on a bike, I would.

This one may very well be unwrecked with no engine damage at all, that's why I'm asking. There are some crappy cell phone pics but I can' see any rash or road damage in them at all.
Tomorrow's my chance to check for compression and listen for whatever I can hear. I figure I can just ride one of my bikes over there, and set the tank on it with a battery and see if I get spark.

I do know enough to walk away from obvious vandalism and/or theft; I was just trying to be prepared with knowledge for what I might find, to determine if it's a common issue that I can fix, or a sign of major damage that I can't.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-18-2014, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coffee_brake View Post
I hear you, but if I had $2k to drop on a bike, I would.

I do know enough to walk away from obvious vandalism and/or theft; I was just trying to be prepared with knowledge for what I might find, to determine if it's a common issue that I can fix, or a sign of major damage that I can't.
I understand, it's just like any other bike. If the frame isn't bent then your OK. Engine wise, if it runs check for ticking or clicking sound. You might need valve adjustment or cam chain tensioner replaced. It might be a lot of work depending on who you ask. If it does make that noise, try switching to a different oil, it might just fix it. Check the fork if its leaking oil, then you know you need to replace the seals. My friend fork seals went out at 15k, so if this bike your looking at is around that old, you might want to replace the seals. Chain should last 15-20k depending on how you take care of it. My friend uses the original at 19k and same for me at 11k.

Since you do your own paint, you will save $$$ on the paint job. Other than that you should be fine,as long as the engine is working of course to begin with. Little stuff like the wheel bearing, tires,pads,chain, and sprocket should be cheap.

Try to bargain with the seller, who knows he or she might give it to you for a deal.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-18-2014, 11:36 PM
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These bikes will absolutely eat up cam chains. And the valves will overwear themselves if the seller never did a single valve adjustment and the engine's got a good number of miles on it.

The engine will destroy itself is the bike is ridden often, but the engine is neglected.

Even if you can't get the bike to turn over, if you can just get the engine to rotate then you should be able to hear the valves and possibly skipping the the cam chain. If you don't hear any valve to rocker arm noise at all, then the rocker arms may be broken, which is an easy fix (that I've done, unfortunately).

It's gonna be tough. I'd take a mechanic with me, honestly.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-19-2014, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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Ha, I'm as close to a mechanic as this bike is ever likely to see!

This bike has not been wrecked. It was stolen and recovered 5 days later with less than 100 miles put on it.
There is absolutely no damage to the plastics other than the horrible rattle can paint over EVERYTHING including the turn signals, and missing/mis-matched fasteners.
One mirror cracked (no rash on the housing though), under-fender removed and a trailer light affixed for a tail light (actually would be ok-looking if mounted with strapping instead of a bungee cord), and of course the missing key set. The ignition wiring is all intact, just need the key cylinders.

Fork seals have a very slight weep, not even bad enough to replace yet.

Tank has not yet begun to rust, it's certainly salvageable.

I couldn't get it to catch on starter fluid but it turned over easily and quietly on my loaner battery.
I couldn't find a single cut wire or sign of any impact. Stock everything.


And....just got a call, bike's gone. It was well worth the money, too bad I missed it.
Maybe next time...
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