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Old 06-18-2014, 11:49 AM   #1
HoboTrek OP
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Joined: Jun 2012
Location: Naples, Fl.
Oddometer: 10
3300 miles on a Ninja 250

My story begins a few months back when my girlfriend, (Bea) her son (Ethan) and I (Jason) were planning an extended road trip to go see the family up north the family the mini van. A couple months of planning was thrown out the window when Ethan was accepted into a preschool At the last minute. Unable to take two weeks off without still having to pay for them Bea and Ethan had to stay behind. I was going to stick with the plan, take the mini van to see my sister graduate high school in NY. Having one of the best girlfriend a guy could ask for, Bea mentioned my dream to do a cross country trip on a motorcycle. And that I should do it now while I have this much time off. I immediately jumped on Craigslist and started looking for a bike. I was going to use the gas money I would of spent in the van to buy the bike. Somewhere around 800. After searching for a couple days and coming up with next to nothing except a few reasonably price vintage scooters. I wasn't opposed to the idea, time was the issue. I wanted to cover 500 to 600 miles a day. So my search continued. Then all the stars aligned with the moon and I found a 2002 kawasaki ninja 250. It was advertised for $1200. So I went out took a look. Walked away with the bike and 800 less in my pocked. Seems like a great bike, had all the specs I was looking for, great mpg, and able to cruise at 65. With 14k miles, a few asphalt scrapes from a previous owners mishap, and purple led lighting, I am now the third owner of this amazing machine that will be taking me on an amazing adventure.

photo 1 (12) by alternativefuelsystems, on Flickr

Since the purchase about two weeks ago, I had some new tires installed and changed the oil. I bought a new chain, but will not change it until I breaks. I have a philosophy, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Loaded up with the new tires ready to get installed!

photo 5 (3) by alternativefuelsystems, on Flickr

The plan - I'll be leaving Naples, Fl on Friday June, 20th 2014, and heading north, not sure the exact route yet. The entire route I will be camping or couch surfing, except in Lancaster, PA and Athens NY. Where I will be staying with family. I will have about $400 in my pocket. So lets see how this goes!
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:57 PM   #2
keiji
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If you have the time, technical know how, adjust/check the valves before you go. I vaguely remember the service interval to be around 6k miles, so its probably due.

The ninja 250 riders 'club' is a great resource for how to fix stuff.

http://faq.ninja250.org/

I got to 45,000 miles before I decided to move onto something else.... You'll get tired way before the bike will let you down
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:22 PM   #3
fabriktr
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HoboTrek,
I have a 2002 Ninja among many other bikes. Both my son and I love to ride it. You got a smokin' deal for $800. It is worth a lot more. Look closely at the chain and sprockets for wear. You can't be serious about allowing the chain to break. It will be truely knackered long before it breaks. I was a Kawasaki service manager for 11 years. When a chain finally breaks it does so when it hits the highest stress point- the point where the chain leaves the rear sprocket. That section of chain is dragged into the chain case and it wipes out the clutch push rod, seal, and the stator wires and the ignition wires. That is game over if you are on the road. It can also lock the rear wheel at speed and cause a world class skid. You showed good judgement to change your tires before they "broke". Take care of your chain and sprockets. You and the Ninja will be happier. Have a great ride. I am subscribed to this.
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:42 PM   #4
Blader54
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Gonna be along for the ride on this one! Really dig rides made on smaller bikes, especially sport bikes. Gotta second the recommendation to change the chain before you take off, though. Spark plug look okay? Fork seals tight?
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Old 06-19-2014, 02:23 AM   #5
XDragRacer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fabriktr View Post
You showed good judgement to change your tires before they "broke". Take care of your chain and sprockets. You and the Ninja will be happier.
+ 1!

14 K miles is none too soon (although some last longer) for a new chain and new sprockets, IMHO. If you take care of 'em (as in, lube 'em), you'll enjoy at least another 14 K miles with peace of mind.

Wishing you a safe and enjoyable trip, HoboTrek!
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Old 06-19-2014, 01:08 PM   #6
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Thank you everyone for the good vibes! I bought the chain before I went and had the tires installed, when I talk to the mechanic he said the chain looked great and I shouldn't have to worry about it for a long while, just keep it oiled. So I'll just bring it along for good measure.

I'll take a look at the valves before I took off. Thanks for the tip! And I'll look at that site for advice.

Has anybody stopped in at Willville (the motorcycle camp ground) in meadows of dan, VA?

Well, I am going to have to delay my trip a day. Just got a last minute request from my dad to pressure wash his roof. He got an HOA notice it needs to be done before the time I get back. So oh well, always wiling to help family.
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Old 06-19-2014, 01:13 PM   #7
disconnected
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Yep, was at Willville two weeks ago. Nice clean place.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HoboTrek View Post
Thank you everyone for the good vibes! I bought the chain before I went and had the tires installed, when I talk to the mechanic he said the chain looked great and I shouldn't have to worry about it for a long while, just keep it oiled. So I'll just bring it along for good measure.

I'll take a look at the valves before I took off. Thanks for the tip! And I'll look at that site for advice.

Has anybody stopped in at Willville (the motorcycle camp ground) in meadows of dan, VA?

Well, I am going to have to delay my trip a day. Just got a last minute request from my dad to pressure wash his roof. He got an HOA notice it needs to be done before the time I get back. So oh well, always wiling to help family.
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Old 06-19-2014, 01:25 PM   #8
chambersc
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Check that chain close

HoboTrek,

Check the chain over well, lube it well, watch it close while someone turns it and look for binding or jumping, and if all of that looks fine and the teeth of the sprocket aren't curved or sharp, keep it properly adjusted, and run it.

BUT, don't let one break. Years and years of dirt bike experience here, chains do really bad things to engine cases when they brake, come apart, or slip off. Trust me. Change it if you have questions about it. And sprockets too if you can afford it. They should be done together.

I understand the budget thing though. I get it, amigo. Spent a lot of years riding questionable stuff because I just didnt have the money to fix it right, but don't run anything of a safety issue.

Have a good ride, safe, slow, and steady. Don't push it. Enjoy the scenery. Listen to the bike. Let the other guy have his way when they crowd you. The 3 minutes you save at the end of the day hauling butt or taking risks means nothing when shit goes bad. I work in the trucking business now and I see first hand how bad it is when things go bad. Just take your time.

You have a great machine for it. Reliable as a hammer.
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Old 06-22-2014, 05:04 PM   #9
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5 am yesterday morning i woke in a blurry state of excitement, got ready and packed up my noble steed. Everything on the bike strapped down tight, Full tank of gas. We were
ready to rock and roll. I hit i75 at 5:30. I kept the speed around 65-70 mph. I can't believe how much the ninja speedo gauge is off. Thank goodness for Thomas Thomas, to tell me the correct speed. I ended up taking i4 across to 95. I figured I wanted to do about 500 miles. Well after the first hundred, I'm not sure If it's the stance of the bike, me having to sit a little forward then normal or my pants constantly wanting to bunch up, but my "boys" started to bother me. Haha. So, that's how the day went, every hundred miles or so I stopped to take a rest. I am averaging 55 to 65 mpg.

483 miles down, and I peacefully stayed at my remote campsite in Richmond hill, GA. I'm in the Fort mcallison state park. When I called to make the reservations, they forgot to mention that I had to hike in about 1.5 miles to my camp sight. So that was fun after that ride. Oh well. I took a bunch of photos with my gopro, but didn't bring my laptop. I'll have to upload them when I get to NY

Looking for advice from any ninja 250 riders. Does the bike mind running 9500 rpm for long periods of time? That's about (actual) 70-75 mph. I'm trying to keep it around 8500. Which puts me about 64-66.

If the pictures don't work out, I'll figure out how to upload them from my phone.
5am wake up
http://flic.kr/p/o4DKj9

All packed up
http://flic.kr/p/o4DTVY

My last stop in Florida
http://flic.kr/p/o4LvwZ

Doing some off roading.
http://flic.kr/p/nMh6XR

After a long hike with all the gear, (never expected to hike with it!!) finally home sweet home
http://flic.kr/p/nMtSbN
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Old 06-22-2014, 05:31 PM   #10
TrashCan
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A little picture help.


Quote:
Originally Posted by HoboTrek View Post


If the pictures don't work out, I'll figure out how to upload them from my phone.
5am wake up
http://flic.kr/p/o4DKj9







All packed up
http://flic.kr/p/o4DTVY





My last stop in Florida
http://flic.kr/p/o4LvwZ




Doing some off roading.
http://flic.kr/p/nMh6XR



After a long hike with all the gear, (never expected to hike with it!!) finally home sweet home
http://flic.kr/p/nMtSbN



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Old 06-22-2014, 06:21 PM   #11
chambersc
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Im not experienced with them personally, but I can tell you that 500 miles a day on a little bike is being hopeful. Nice work amigo, I'm betting you're beat. That's a rough day.
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Old 06-22-2014, 06:25 PM   #12
fabriktr
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Hi HoboTrek,
I have ridden my Ninja 250 continuously at 70 mph with the 1 tooth larger front sprocket. My rpm would be lower than yours if you are carrying the stock the gearing. Probably close to 400-500 lower. I was never comfortably running continuously at 75. I try to avoid the super slab. it is much better scenery and gas economy on the blue roads (state high ways and back roads):
Thanks Trash Can for the photo help. Your format was much easier to view.
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Old 06-23-2014, 07:55 PM   #13
fabriktr
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HoboTrek,
I checked my logs and found that I checked my speedometer against a GPS on the bike. The numbers were 30 to 35 mph indicated subtract 2. 55 to 60 mph subtract 3. 65 to 75 subtract 4. Now as far as rpm goes with 1 tooth larger front sprocket and an oversize rear tire- a 130-90 x 16. 7000 rpm is 60 actual. 7500 rpm is 65 mph. 8100 rpm is 70 mph. By the way I don't recommend the oversize rear tire. Handling is not as good as the stock size.
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Old 06-23-2014, 08:39 PM   #14
Firemanmike69
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Looking forward to seeing your journey buddy
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Old 06-24-2014, 12:39 AM   #15
roadstar
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Boy you have some set of little hobo's there , running that little 250 Ninja. But how can you not be proud of my nephew doing such a ride. Didn't find out about his trip until yesterday afternoon & was excited & nervous for him at the same time. Especially when he's doing it with less than 1/5th of the cc's of my Concourse 14, but still what a ride.
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