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Old 02-11-2015, 12:43 AM   #1
sailorninja OP
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Ninja 500, worth the repair?

I found an 07 ninja 500 needing a head gasket, 14k miles, clear title, body is in great shape, rather clean.

The owner says they were riding it for commute and the head blew and they don't have the time to fix it. Is it worth the repair? How costly would that be? And difficulty wise would it be a rough job?
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Old 02-11-2015, 07:19 AM   #2
chaddhamilton
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Originally Posted by sailorninja View Post
I found an 07 ninja 500 needing a head gasket, 14k miles, clear title, body is in great shape, rather clean.

The owner says they were riding it for commute and the head blew and they don't have the time to fix it. Is it worth the repair? How costly would that be? And difficulty wise would it be a rough job?
How much does he want for it? If you trust the guy and can verify that it's just a blown head gasket the parts will be less than $100 and that's with purchasing the a shop manual. It's not a particularly hard job if you are organized and follow the manual. While you have the head off you should check and adjust valves and you should then be good for many many miles.
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Old 02-11-2015, 07:20 AM   #3
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In good shape, running well, that's a $2500 bike tops imo. I had an 06, had to trade it in to be rid of it. If it's a gift it would be worth it. Otherwise, there are so many better bikes in that price range I'd shop for a clean, low mile runner.

Nothing really wrong with them, just nothing really good either. Funky ergos, good high rpm power, shitty suspension, lower quality levels. My ninja 300 is about on par with it but with better fueling/response.
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Old 02-11-2015, 08:20 AM   #4
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In good shape, running well, that's a $2500 bike tops imo. I had an 06, had to trade it in to be rid of it. If it's a gift it would be worth it. Otherwise, there are so many better bikes in that price range I'd shop for a clean, low mile runner.

Nothing really wrong with them, just nothing really good either. Funky ergos, good high rpm power, shitty suspension, lower quality levels. My ninja 300 is about on par with it but with better fueling/response.
Except the Ninja 300 is slow, torqueless turd like the 250. The Ninja 500 and its air cooled rival GS500 would put the hurting on an N300.
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Old 02-11-2015, 09:00 AM   #5
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How much does he want for it? If you trust the guy and can verify that it's just a blown head gasket the parts will be less than $100 and that's with purchasing the a shop manual. It's not a particularly hard job if you are organized and follow the manual. While you have the head off you should check and adjust valves and you should then be good for many many miles.
600 Obo, i dont know exactly how to verify that is the only issue?

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Old 02-11-2015, 09:49 AM   #6
Jim Moore
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I'd give him $400-$500 for it. Worst comes to worst, you can put a used engine in it and break even when you sell it.
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Old 02-11-2015, 10:13 AM   #7
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+1

As a general rule, head gaskets don't fail for no reason--especially on a motor with only 14K--so it's not unreasonable to assume it's got some other issue, either contributing--t'stat, coolant leak, etc.--or consequent--overheating damage (worst case warped/cracked head), coolant-in-oil lubrication related damage, etc.

My rule of thumb: (collector status notwithstanding,) it's hard to pay less than $500 for a bike that runs, or more than $500 for one that doesn't.
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Old 02-11-2015, 10:23 AM   #8
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+1



My rule of thumb: (collector status notwithstanding,) it's hard to pay less than $500 for a bike that runs, or more than $500 for one that doesn't.
Not a bad rule at all.

To the OP - looking on ebay - motors that "run well" seem to be 500 or less. So, it depends if you are up for learning to do that job - and potentially a motor transplant in the future.

So having that bike for (400 + gasket) or (400 + 500) either way sounds like reasonable money if you want to do the work. If not, they are easy to find for $2K, $2.5K for really nice examples (around here, anyway)
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Old 02-11-2015, 10:42 AM   #9
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For whats is worth, I'd stay away from this. When's the last time you heard of a bike, any bike, let alone a Japanese bike, blowing a head gasket? These 500s have been around for ever, so its not an unforeseen design flaw on a new model. So what did this guy do to blow the head? This is the manifestation of an other problem. If you go to a bike shop, which only wants to do services, warranty work, and add accessories, they will charge you over a hundred dollars an hour, if you could even find a shop to do the work. You would be hard pressed to find a bike mechanic that's actually seen the inside of motor, let alone do the type of work that might involve machining various parts.
look on Bikebandit.com and get an idea of the price of parts. Call your local shops and see what they say. What does He mean He doesn't have time to fix it? He's got time to sell it to you? He knows how much its gonna cost.
I'd skip the heart ache and find a another bike.
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Old 02-11-2015, 10:52 AM   #10
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$600??? I'd be on that like flies on shit!

Of course, I've got an account on Bike Bandit and Ron Ayers for parts so, I'd do it all myself too.
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Old 02-11-2015, 11:04 AM   #11
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$600??? I'd be on that like flies on shit!

Of course, I've got an account on Bike Bandit and Ron Ayers for parts so, I'd do it all myself too.

+1 The EX is an awesome bike, but it sounds like this seller must have done something to fuxor it. Coming up on 38,000 miles on mine and it still gets 50+mpg, doesn't sip a drop of oil, and has enough squirt to deal with sportscars at stoplights.

And the OEM / Emgo mirrors from the '02-'03 ZX6R/9R give a better view, and transform the face of this bike IMO.
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Old 02-11-2015, 11:15 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by south View Post
+1

As a general rule, head gaskets don't fail for no reason--especially on a motor with only 14K--so it's not unreasonable to assume it's got some other issue, either contributing--t'stat, coolant leak, etc.--or consequent--overheating damage (worst case warped/cracked head), coolant-in-oil lubrication related damage, etc.

My rule of thumb: (collector status notwithstanding,) it's hard to pay less than $500 for a bike that runs, or more than $500 for one that doesn't.
He said he isn't sure what happened, he was driving it to work one day and next that... I called some shops and the head gasket is cheap and the labor is around $300, and I know of a ninja 250 with 14k miles that is $900, better shape and runs like a dream, perhaps I'll stick with a 250.

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Old 02-11-2015, 01:34 PM   #13
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Are you sure it's a head gasket? What happened when it "blew"?
For a couple of hundred, if you want to tinker, why not? Always nice to have a beater bike around. But I'd question whether it's just a head gasket.
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Old 02-11-2015, 01:56 PM   #14
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Except the Ninja 300 is slow, torqueless turd like the 250. The Ninja 500 and its air cooled rival GS500 would put the hurting on an N300.
Having owned both, well, you are wrong about the 300 torque. It is a turd, yes. Of course, the Suzy and Cowie 500 are both turds too. The fueling on the 300 is much better than my jetted Ninja 500 could have hope to have been and the 5 hinny needed lower gearing to pull well two up. I run the 300 +1 countershaft sprocket and it was great two up. Still a turd, yes, but a better turd than the 500 unless you are into drag racing turds.

Back to the OP, the head gasket or the head blew? That could mean it needs everything, so you could be looking at used engines to swap in.... I'd be skipping right past this one. Sounds like you are in a tight budget, and nothing eats cash like a bike with an unknown mechanical issue.

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Old 02-11-2015, 02:50 PM   #15
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I was just pulling your chain Navin. I haven't ridden the 300. I owned a GS500 and thought it was turdish, but rode an EX500 and thought it had plenty of zip. Easy on the eyes in my opinion, too.

OP, I believe that if you are coming here asking how hard of a job it would be, you should forget it and buy a running bike. It is February and its a buyers market out there right now.
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