First ride, finally!!! - Kawasaki Ninja 250R Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-08-2008, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
edgary's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 227
First ride, finally!!!

So after a little delay I got my 250 this morning. Brought it in, tried to start it and nothing... oh boy! Went inside to get user's manual and in the pictures I see the engine cutoff. Silly me, I never turned that. So I go out again and try to start it; this time the engine turns but it doesn't start. I had already checked that there were gasoline in the tank and turned the choke on. My next guess is the fuel valve, but at this point we had to leave as we had an appointment somewhere else.

4 hours later I return home and look all over the user's manual for the fuel valve and I find it nowhere, so I can just assume there's none in here. I try to start it again and, voila! the engine starts and immediately stalls. I turn the choke on, try again and I have a "mean sounding" 250R running. I'm happy.

I let it warm up for a little while until I can turn the choke off and the bike keeps running. It doesn't take too long (less than 5 mins., easily). I turn it off and proceed to change the rear suspension from 5 to 3 (I'm not that heavy, and don't plan to ride with my wife just yet), which I cannot do because of limited space and I didn't want to screw anything yet.

My next assignment is to raise the bike, since the previous owner was a 4'7" lady and I'm 6' tall. She had someone put lowering links that I can just turn to raise back up. Which I do. Once I finish, I try the "power walk" exercise seen in the MSF course, to get familiar with the clutch on this bike. By this time, it's time to have dinner. After that I gear up. It's the first time I try all of my gear on and I start getting hot right away. I struggle to handle keys with the gloves, and look around with the helmet, but not too bad.

Get the bike started, open up the garage, go out and stop just outside the door so I can close it, and very slowly I go down the ramp as I am afraid of the sidewalk bump, but I get through that easily. I start my ride around the neighborhood. I have to admit that besides not feeling ready to hit major streets, the bike doesn't have license plates nor registration yet, so I definitely keep it in the quiet street of the neighborhood, and never got over 35mph.

So anyway, a couple of stops, a couple of rough gos, but everything is OK. There is a road that is very rarely traveled and has a couple of twists. This was by far the highlight of the ride, as I was able to consciously get a feel for counter-steering, even at 35mph. Oh, right along here I hit a dead end and as I am turning back the bike stalls in first gear; I start it back and go my way, but I do feel a little embarrassed.

On the way back I have a little hard time shifting gears smoothly; it's either a very quick clutch release or too little/ too much throttle. All of this time, the hardest part, by far has been using the turning signals. I have to think about putting it on, sometimes I have to look down and almost all of the time I forget to turn them off. However, the biggest revelation comes while approaching a stop sign I notice a vehicle approaching me, really fast. So I move over to the left of the lane, in case [s]he wants to turn right at the sign; at the same time I'm trying to measure the distance, since I'm not familiar with the mirrors yet, and when finally getting to the stop sign, I start to down-shift, but it feels very hard. I think about that and I realize that I'm not pulling the clutch lever... stupid me! I pull the lever and go all the way to 1st gear. I continue straight and the van keeps going behind me, so I consciously turn the turning signal on, down-shift once and make a right turn to finally get home.

I decide to try going up the ramp with my feet up, so I move wide left to get the ramp at a 90o angle and I do so without any problems. But as I stop close to the garage door, I forget to either put it in neutral or disengage the clutch, and of course, the bike stalls. Having a hard time reaching my pocket with the gloves I reach the door control, open it up, start the bike up, press rear brake (remember, I am uphill right now), slowly disengage the clutch while rolling on the throttle, and as the bike starts to pull, I release the rear brake; go inside and close the door. And I power the bike down.

So the revelation is, I am in no way ready to take the bike to traffic. I need to practice using the controls until I don't have to think about that and concentrate on traffic. It will probably take a week if I practice enough. Another thing is that I have been reading "Proficient Motorcycling" (about half-way done), and I also have to make those guidelines, such as scanning around for hazards, turn lanes, etc., second nature so that I don't have to think about that while also dealing with traffic.

Anyway, sorry for the long read but I wanted to share how I'm doing so far. If you have any suggestions or comments, feel free to post them here.
edgary is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-09-2008, 07:08 PM
Moderator
 
SubZero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Belly of the beast
Posts: 345
Send a message via Yahoo to SubZero
Congratulations on getting your bike finally.

Great and descriptive read. My thoughts are that you're just getting started and already over thinking everything and try to watch and pay attention to too much at one time. Cut that out. That's the toughest part is trying not to over think. You're going about it right in that you should take the bike out to a parking lot and practice practice practice. If you have someone with riding experience that is willing to go with you then even better. They can help you with using your clutch levers and all the basic mechanics of riding. You can also get road cones cheap and start practicing your starting and stopping skills. The best thing is to take one goal at a time. Not try to learn all the mechanics in week. Know what I mean? Best of luck.

Yes I'm a
08 Monster Energy (replica) 250R
WARNING! Psychological Nudity. Adult content. Viewer discretion is advised.
Be mischievous. It feels good.
SubZero is offline  
post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-10-2008, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
edgary's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 227
The problem is that I keep missing the controls, but I understand is part of the learning curve; later on, everything will come natural I'm sure (based on practice, of course), but so far, like you said, I have to think about doing everything. Turning lights are the worst so far, both turning them on and cancelling them.

Another thing I found strange is that every time the tachometer hit ~4000 I felt the need to shift up. Only once, and I had to do this consciously, did I make it to ~6000.

Bad part is, I found an oil leak yesterday, so I took the left fairing off (took me a while) and I think I have tracked it down to the front sprocket, but I'm still not sure what/where it is.

The bike still has warranty until March, so I'm going to call some local dealers to ask about that, but I wanted to see for myself as I want to learn how to fix it myself, but I don't even have a rear-stand so it's a bit hard.
edgary is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-10-2008, 09:15 AM
Moderator
 
SubZero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Belly of the beast
Posts: 345
Send a message via Yahoo to SubZero
Quote:
Originally Posted by edgary View Post
The problem is that I keep missing the controls, but I understand is part of the learning curve; later on, everything will come natural I'm sure (based on practice, of course), but so far, like you said, I have to think about doing everything. Turning lights are the worst so far, both turning them on and cancelling them.
I know this is a dumb question but have you done your MSF yet? Forgive me for asking but I don't remember. One thing you can do right in your own garage is practice feeling out your clutch /throttle. Very slowly roll on the throttle as you very slowly let out the clutch (make sure you're in first gear) until the bikes starts to creep forward and move then pull in the clutch and let off the gas. Practice that until it's perfect. Take each task one at a time. That way when you get to the point of riding you can incorporate all the tasks together smoothly. Oh and when you try this task be sure both feet are on the ground. For right now don't even worry about your turn signals. Get down the basic riding mechanics first then worry about adding multi-tasking functions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by edgary View Post
Another thing I found strange is that every time the tachometer hit ~4000 I felt the need to shift up. Only once, and I had to do this consciously, did I make it to ~6000.
This sounds to me as though you're trying to ride your motorbike like you would drive a car. VERY common mistake. You could go all the way to redline before you need to shift. Yes the bike might sound a little upset but really it's not. Above 5-6000 rpm is where you're going to get the torque out of this bike. By all means if you're hitting 5k rpm and feeling uncomfortable then shift. But the bike is more then willing and able to take that kind of treatment.
Now one thing I have learned with this bike is that shifting too early (aka too low rpm's) can and usually causes you to go into neutral. So it may not be that you're missing gears only that you're not pulling the bike to a high enough rpm for a smooth shift into second. Yes you can get it into second at low rpm but you have to be super smooth and slow with letting the clutch out and turning the throttle to enusre it engages or is all the way in that gear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by edgary View Post
Bad part is, I found an oil leak yesterday, so I took the left fairing off (took me a while) and I think I have tracked it down to the front sprocket, but I'm still not sure what/where it is.

The bike still has warranty until March, so I'm going to call some local dealers to ask about that, but I wanted to see for myself as I want to learn how to fix it myself, but I don't even have a rear-stand so it's a bit hard.
Definitely contact a dealer and take it in.

Yes I'm a
08 Monster Energy (replica) 250R
WARNING! Psychological Nudity. Adult content. Viewer discretion is advised.
Be mischievous. It feels good.

Last edited by SubZero; 11-10-2008 at 03:48 PM. Reason: Brain cloud. Shouldn't work and post at the same time.
SubZero is offline  
post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-10-2008, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
edgary's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 227
No worries, I don't mind questions.

Yes, I did take the MSF course, and the very first thing I did after being able to turn the bike on was to get familiar with the clutch doing "power walks" (that's what they call them) in the garage. The problem is that the garage is a small place to try, but I didn't have any trouble, in the beginning, using the friction zone.

I have called a local dealer and it's due for check tomorrow afternoon. I just finished putting the fairing back together. It's amazing how little time it took me to put it back compared to taking it off.

On a separate note, is this lean angle normal (or acceptable)? It seems to me the bike is about to fall on its side, but maybe I'm just paranoid. Notice the garage door lines as a reference.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg P1020059.jpg (48.8 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg P1020064.jpg (54.5 KB, 7 views)
edgary is offline  
post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-10-2008, 03:31 PM
Moderator
 
SubZero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Belly of the beast
Posts: 345
Send a message via Yahoo to SubZero
Lean angle while on the stand looks perfectly normal to me.
Glad you made an appointment.


Now this is lean angle. Poor little bike just didn't know what it was in store for!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_1576.JPG (21.0 KB, 14 views)

Yes I'm a
08 Monster Energy (replica) 250R
WARNING! Psychological Nudity. Adult content. Viewer discretion is advised.
Be mischievous. It feels good.
SubZero is offline  
post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-11-2008, 06:00 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
edgary's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 227
Yes, I meant on the stand That is a nice lean in the picture. I am planning on going to a track day at least once to try it out, but that will be in a couple of months when I get all the mechanics of riding worked out.

This morning I noticed there is no new oil on the floor (cardboard), which means the leak seems to happen only when riding. I will take it out for a spin before taking it to the dealership (it's less than a mile away) so we can easily (hopefully) see where the oil is coming from.

Thanks for the help.

[EDIT] I just got back from the service shop. The diagnosis: oil overfilled. So now an oil change and a lot of cleaning is now due. I was also told that some oil must have gotten in the gearbox and that they'd clean it up when changing the oil. There is a lot of cleaning to do in the chain and front sprocket as well. Fun times!

Last edited by edgary; 11-11-2008 at 03:13 PM.
edgary is offline  
post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 05:54 PM
Member
 
Platinum_blonde38's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 30
I love my new 2009 Ninja 250 R..BUT, I think I am going to sell her for a bigger Ninja...I am a female and like my husband said, I would want a bigger bike after riding the 250. HE WAS RIGHT..LOL

It only has 400 miles.
Platinum_blonde38 is offline  
post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-13-2008, 05:41 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
edgary's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 227
That's a shame. From the sound of your posts, it seemed you were having such a great time with it. What made you change your mind? How long did you ride it?

EDIT: Nevermind, I saw in another thread that you've had it for a couple of months. I don't have a lot of experience, but I've heard from a lot of people that us new riders soon get comfortable and want to get a bigger bike, but a lot more time is needed to be a proficient rider. I'm sure your husband is telling you this, given that he has a lot more experience than you, so I'd listen and pay attention.
DISCLAIMER: This is just my 2 cents' worth and in the end you will do as you please, of course, but you might want to reconsider and keep the bike some more. I don't understand, it seems powerful enough to me. Anyway, I didn't want to say this in your sale thread to avoid going off-topic.

Last edited by edgary; 11-13-2008 at 05:49 AM.
edgary is offline  
post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-13-2008, 08:34 AM
Moderator
 
SubZero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Belly of the beast
Posts: 345
Send a message via Yahoo to SubZero
A minor hijacking

Personally (and just my two cents) if you've only been riding for three or four months I don't feel that you're ready for a big bike. A 250 is MUCH more forgiving then a 599 cc or a 649 cc. Mistakes are easily made on a bigger bike and more often then not are much more costly. It was recommended to me by every veteran rider I know (I was taught to ride by AFM and WSMC racers) to keep my 250 for at least 8 months if not a year. By then I will have learned proper use of controls, breaking and throttle and whatnot. As said by edgary I'm sure your husband is telling you all this as he has quite a bit more seat time then you.

In the end yes the decision is all your but please be openminded to keeping your 250 for 6 or so months longer.

As Zmoe says : They day you feel you've outgrown your 250 you've outgrown your helmet.

Or something like that.

Yes I'm a
08 Monster Energy (replica) 250R
WARNING! Psychological Nudity. Adult content. Viewer discretion is advised.
Be mischievous. It feels good.
SubZero is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
finally, ride

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Kawasaki Ninja 250R Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome