ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Bikes > Road warriors
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-01-2013, 07:37 AM   #1
bryantro OP
Adventurer
 
Joined: Jun 2013
Oddometer: 12
Question New rider experience (100 questions)

So I finally got a bike after months of planning. I have read that newbies should start out on a 250, so thats what I got: a 2011 ninja 250. Honestly I am reallyyyy glad I did. If I didnt have a 250 I would have crashed already from accidentally jamming the throttle.

So far I am loving it. I can't believe how fun it is to ride.. and I am hoping it doesnt wear off. I doubt it will though, because I am the kinda guy that looks forward to road tripping.

But I had a couple questions that I cant seem to google.

1) I got this bike for riding all around, but the main thing I wanted it for was taking 4-6 hour roadtrips, like I do often in my car. But even at 65 mph my engine is revving at around 8kish. Am I killing the engine by riding at 8k rpms for 4 hours at a time?

2) I want to get some frame sliders so I can practice slow speed maneuvering. I had issues with the figure eight in the motorcycle course. How hard is it for a totally mechanically stupid person like me to install?

3) The guy I bought the bike from garage kept it, but I dont think he cared for it at all. The back brakes were EXTREMELY thin when I bought it and the cycle was extremely dirty. I immediately took it through inspection and did an oil change. Where should I look for signs of wear? I know to check the oil, but thats about it.

4) I was under the assumption that choking was only for cold days. Its 85ish degrees and I have to choke my bike the first time of the day to start it. Is that normal? Do I need a carb cleaning or something?

5) Lastly, any other tips anyone can give a new rider? I literally know NOTHING about bikes and the only info I picked up was from reading the manual.

Thanks for your help!
bryantro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2013, 07:55 AM   #2
Kennon
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Kennon's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2011
Location: Oxford, Cambridgeshire, NT Hong Kong
Oddometer: 278
1) the engine should be fine but do vary the revs every once in a while, my bike sits at 8K rpm when I sit on the motorways but that is at 80mph, riding for long distances will always eventually lead to it becoming knackered its a fact of running the engine no matter for how long but the engine should be fine its a unit thats been around since the 1980's GPZ 250.

2) they usually come with instructions and are very simple to fit on just need the right tools and don't rush it if its the first time doing anything to your motorbike, to help with slow speed control lightly depress the rear brake lever to give you a bit more back end grip without it going too quickly, I learnt this when part for the UK test is to follow the examiner who is walking at a slow pace and I had to stay behind him in a controlled manner. figure of eights will always be a but trickier on a sports style bike that require more lean to turn in but enough practise will get you confident to do most manoeuvres.

3) check your paperwork for any service history or pop a question to the previous owner,check the coolant level and the brake reservoirs. how many miles did it have when you purchased the bike?

4) depends on how cool the internals are, but if its struggling to start when its rather warm could be fuel flow issue, if not a carb rebuild would be good just so your sure nothing is wrong with it and that nothing is gummed up on the insides it may cost but its worth knowing you won't be left stranded on the side of the road from fuel starvation.

5) Lastly, any other tips anyone can give a new rider? I literally know NOTHING about bikes and the only info I picked up was from reading the manual.

5) I used to be rather bad with bikes as I had always worked on cars previously but reading allot of magazines that do small snippets about maintenance is good, checking the chain tension is a easy task to do and get your hands dirty, and just generally taking apart the fairings to clean behind the fairings will give you more of a look to get used to what is what and of course there is always this forum to help you out no matter how stupid you think a question is everyone is bound to have asked it at some point.
and mostly the biggest tip I can give you is to watch out for car drivers who have never ridden a motorcycle they're born with a distinct lack of being able to see anything that isn't the size of a truck, or spacial awareness.

I hope this answers your questions.
__________________
Kennon

2009 Yamaha Jog 50RR LC sold 2011
2011 Rieju Marathon Pro 125 SM sold 2013
1990 Honda VFR 400 NC30 purchased 2013
Kennon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2013, 08:39 AM   #3
Randy
Beastly Adventurer
 
Randy's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2002
Location: Newnan, GA USA
Oddometer: 2,198
Kennon answered the questions very well.

I'll just add that if the bike idles good once warmed up and runs good throughout the rev range then the carbs are probably fine. Most bikes come stock jetted lean so needing a little choke on initial start-up isn't unusual. I wouldn't go to the trouble and/or expense of a carb rebuild unless other issues made me feel that it was warranted. If the bike runs ok you might want to run a couple of tanks of gas with some seafoam added just to help clean things up a bit. If it's not idling correctly once warm, or runs rough, hesitates, sputters, fails to rev out, etc, then perhaps a good strip and clean of the carbs would be needed.
__________________
"some might call it a 'midlife crisis', I prefer to call it a renaissance of thought and action"... "Life is too short to do anything other than that about which you are absolutely passionate."..."Adventure is a frame of mind, set upon by action, not defined by equipment."..."It all boils down to your ability to say "SCREW IT" and really mean it"....Randy
Randy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2013, 08:40 AM   #4
JerryH
Vintage Rider
 
JerryH's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Chandler, AZ
Oddometer: 4,400
Sounds like the bike has a few problems, but as long as it is nothing major they can be fixed. A Ninja 250 is quite capable of taking you wherever you want to go. There is a video of a guy that rode his Ninja 250 from San Diego to Key West Florida, back to San Diego, then to Prudhoe Bay on the north coast of Alaska, and back to San Diego. Not a single problem. Those little motors are designed to spin, and can last 100,000 miles being ridden at highway speeds, if maintained. I don't know about the 2011, but my former 2007 benefited greatly from a one tooth larger front sprocket.

That little Ninja should last you for several years. Not just reliability wise, but it will take you that long to reach it's limits. It is amazing what a Ninja 250 will do. Many start out on a 250 and within a few months go to a 600 or bigger, then get killed. They never gave the 250 a chance. Don't fall into that trap. A properly ridden 250 will whip a poorly ridden 600 easily on a twisty road, where the 600s power doesn't help it at all.
__________________
2002 Vulcan 750 (being repaired, engine has to come out) 2013 Royal Enfield B5
2001 XT225, 2009 Genuine Stella
2012 Zuma 125, 1980 Puch moped
JerryH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2013, 12:58 PM   #5
manban9888
Adventurer
 
Joined: Feb 2013
Oddometer: 62
I started on a ninja 250 myself. Great bike that's made to rev high. Run 4oz. Of seafom through the next 3 tanks and then at every oil change. Maintenance wise have all the fluids changed inc brake and coolant. The main things you should learn are to change the oil and filter (use synthetic), cleaning and lubing the chain and sprocket and greasing the clutch cable. It's a good fun bike. Don't rush to jump to a bigger bike
manban9888 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2013, 01:23 PM   #6
JerryH
Vintage Rider
 
JerryH's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Chandler, AZ
Oddometer: 4,400
If it doesn't get better after the Seafoam, it's probably a good idea to go ahead and tear down the carbs and don a thorough cleaning. Especially if it sat with ethanol gas in it.

I recently had the pleasure of working on my father in laws Honda generator that wouldn't start. The float bowl was made out of steel, and was solid rust on the inside. Gas leaves deposits, but does not cause rust. I spent over an hour with various tools trying to get the rust out. Got a lot of it, but not all of it. Soaked it in toilet bowl cleaner overnight and got the rest, but it was badly pitted. So badly pitted the 0-ring on the top of the bowl would not seal completely. Aluminum does not rust, but it corrodes, so ethanol will do the same thing to it.

Something else to consider if you have the carbs apart is to rejet the one jet size higher, on both the main and pilot jets, and remove the epa plugs, and turn the pilot screws out at least 2 full turns from seated. These things are jetted on the very edge of being able to run. I have 3 otherwise completely stock bikes, and all have been rejetted. They all start up and run much better.
__________________
2002 Vulcan 750 (being repaired, engine has to come out) 2013 Royal Enfield B5
2001 XT225, 2009 Genuine Stella
2012 Zuma 125, 1980 Puch moped
JerryH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2013, 01:55 PM   #7
Randy
Beastly Adventurer
 
Randy's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2002
Location: Newnan, GA USA
Oddometer: 2,198
While I agree that ethanol is a load of shit and do my best to avoid it when I can, it's doubtful that a 2011 model has had any harm done by it.

Older bikes are much more susceptible to its harmful effects than newer ones that had their parts spec'd with its use in mind. Avoid it if you can to improve the odds of never having ethanol related issues, but unless you HAVE a problem that needs fixing, don't "fix" it.

And while the stock jetting can undoubtedly be improved, if your only fueling concern right now is needing the choke for initial start-up then I still say it's all good. Carb work isn't difficult, but if the bike runs good, and you're really not sure what you're doing I'd recommend leaving well enough alone and just enjoy your new bike. Do some research and reading. Learn the ins and outs of carbs and how all the fueling circuits function before diving in. It isn't hard to get right, but it's even easier to get wrong unless you know what you're doing. It's all too easy to turn a good running bike into a frustrating garage ornament if you muck up the carbs.
__________________
"some might call it a 'midlife crisis', I prefer to call it a renaissance of thought and action"... "Life is too short to do anything other than that about which you are absolutely passionate."..."Adventure is a frame of mind, set upon by action, not defined by equipment."..."It all boils down to your ability to say "SCREW IT" and really mean it"....Randy
Randy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2013, 02:02 PM   #8
Kennon
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Kennon's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2011
Location: Oxford, Cambridgeshire, NT Hong Kong
Oddometer: 278
a simple way to clean out the internals without touching the internals is to run a higher octane tank every once in a while most the time I run 95 octane but every 5-6 tanks I'll fill up with 99 octane as it has cleaning properties in the higher octane petrol. its not much of a difference but you can just tell the engine is just that bit crisper when on higher quality fuel.
__________________
Kennon

2009 Yamaha Jog 50RR LC sold 2011
2011 Rieju Marathon Pro 125 SM sold 2013
1990 Honda VFR 400 NC30 purchased 2013
Kennon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2013, 02:30 PM   #9
LuciferMutt
Rides slow bike slow
 
LuciferMutt's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: New(er) Mexico
Oddometer: 10,788
Replies in yellow:

Quote:
Originally Posted by bryantro View Post

1) I got this bike for riding all around, but the main thing I wanted it for was taking 4-6 hour roadtrips, like I do often in my car. But even at 65 mph my engine is revving at around 8kish. Am I killing the engine by riding at 8k rpms for 4 hours at a time? Nope. It will be fine. Look at the redline -- 13K on the Ninja 250 right? You're just over halfway there -- it's like driving a car at 3.5K all day.

2) I want to get some frame sliders so I can practice slow speed maneuvering. I had issues with the figure eight in the motorcycle course. How hard is it for a totally mechanically stupid person like me to install?

I think on the newer versions of the Ninja 250 like yours, they are not hard to install. You might want to invite a friend over who knows how to turn a wrench as you will probably have to remove some fairings.

3) The guy I bought the bike from garage kept it, but I dont think he cared for it at all. The back brakes were EXTREMELY thin when I bought it and the cycle was extremely dirty. I immediately took it through inspection and did an oil change. Where should I look for signs of wear? I know to check the oil, but thats about it.

Is it riding fine? Ninja 250s are tough bikes. If it starts and runs and rides fine, then it's probably fine. Don't worry about it, other than obvious leaks.

4) I was under the assumption that choking was only for cold days. Its 85ish degrees and I have to choke my bike the first time of the day to start it. Is that normal? Do I need a carb cleaning or something?

No, you usually have to use the choke every time you start it. Ninja 250s are famously cold-blooded as well which makes them even worse in this regard.

5) Lastly, any other tips anyone can give a new rider? I literally know NOTHING about bikes and the only info I picked up was from reading the manual.
Did you take the MSF? If not, DO IT, and then get "Proficient Motorcycling" and read the whole thing.

Go to the perfect line forum and read the whole info for n00bs thread.

Thanks for your help!
__________________
You couldn't hear a dump truck driving through a nitro glycerin plant!

Badasses might screw with another badass. Nobody screws with a nut job. -- Plaka
LuciferMutt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2013, 02:30 PM   #10
unlucky1
Gnarly Adventurer
 
unlucky1's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Everett WA
Oddometer: 230
Quote:
1) I got this bike for riding all around, but the main thing I wanted it for was taking 4-6 hour roadtrips, like I do often in my car. But even at 65 mph my engine is revving at around 8kish. Am I killing the engine by riding at 8k rpms for 4 hours at a time?
When you do this, check your oil level every gas stop or two - it'll likely be burning or throwing some oil. Don't let the level get too low. Other than that, should be fine. Highway riding tends to be easier on an engine than stop and go through city traffic.

Quote:
2) I want to get some frame sliders so I can practice slow speed maneuvering. I had issues with the figure eight in the motorcycle course. How hard is it for a totally mechanically stupid person like me to install?
It's about as easy as it gets, they're not really a mechanical part that you need to worry that much about. Read, follow instructions. You don't strictly need frame sliders to practice maneuvers though.

Quote:
3) The guy I bought the bike from garage kept it, but I dont think he cared for it at all. The back brakes were EXTREMELY thin when I bought it and the cycle was extremely dirty. I immediately took it through inspection and did an oil change. Where should I look for signs of wear? I know to check the oil, but thats about it.
Get new brake pads (like you mentioned), if your brake feels pulsey you might need a new rotor too. You're supposed to flush/bleed your brake fluid once every couple years, and I bet that hasn't ever been done so that's one thing to do when you're changing out pads.

Check your chain for brown/orange dust, kinking, tight spots, and correct tension/slack.

Check your tires for the right amount of thread. If they're cracking on the sidewall or between tread blocks, you should get new tires.

If you haven't already, it'd be a good idea to change the oil and coolant (these are water cooled right?).

Quote:
4) I was under the assumption that choking was only for cold days. Its 85ish degrees and I have to choke my bike the first time of the day to start it. Is that normal? Do I need a carb cleaning or something?
Choking is for when the engine is cold. They warm up to over 200f under normal operating conditions; 85f counts as stone cold. I'd expect to use a little choke on cold starts, this is normal.

Quote:
5) Lastly, any other tips anyone can give a new rider? I literally know NOTHING about bikes and the only info I picked up was from reading the manual.
Make sure you stay on top of the basic maintenance - fluids, pads, and chain. If you let them get neglected you'll be in the shop more than on the road and it will cost you more money than it should. It makes me die a little to see a new rider ride their bike right into the ground because they didn't pay any attention to the machine.

And ride it... bikes like to be ridden.
__________________
2006 Buell Ulysses
1976 Yamaha DT175
1978 Honda XL175
unlucky1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2013, 02:33 PM   #11
OneTraveller
Social Reject
 
OneTraveller's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2008
Location: The Last Frontier
Oddometer: 123
The real answer to question 1 is to avoid the freeway as much as possible. The point of these rides is the ride, not the destination. You will see so much more on the lesser roads and have a far more enjoyable time.

Welcome to the sport and enjoy the ride.

Mike
__________________
-2013 Multistrada 1200 S Granturismo
-2003 R1150RT - gone but not forgotten
-1987 Honda XL600R - gone
To paraphrase Antoine de St-Exupery
I ride because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things.
OneTraveller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2013, 08:26 PM   #12
bryantro OP
Adventurer
 
Joined: Jun 2013
Oddometer: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by OneTraveller View Post
The real answer to question 1 is to avoid the freeway as much as possible. The point of these rides is the ride, not the destination. You will see so much more on the lesser roads and have a far more enjoyable time.

Welcome to the sport and enjoy the ride.

Mike
You are right, but I HAVE to take the highways to get down south and I would much rather take my bike than my car

Thanks for the responses everyone. Helps a ton! Once my bike starts, it runs perfectly, and it really only has trouble the first start of the day. That sounds pretty normal gauging your responses.. I had just assumed that the choke was only supposed to be used rarely.

I will pick the bike apart (fairings only) and take a look around. Everything seems to be in good condition. I take really good care of my vehicles- I just have no idea how this guy treated the bike.

Another question- obviously bikes are waterproof, but is rain bad for it over time? I got caught in the rain today and it was an awesome ride.. I actually would rather ride in the rain than in sunshine to be honest.
bryantro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2013, 10:08 PM   #13
Motard_Menace
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Motard_Menace's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Phoenix
Oddometer: 297
In general, rain won't hurt your bike but if it gets drenched enough sometimes small issues can arise, usually nothing too serious. That said never pressure wash the engine as that can cause problems. Welcome to the world of two wheels and ride safe. A couple tips is keep your head up and eyes forward and check your mirrors when coming to a stop at intersections for cagers closing in too fast. Always leave an escape route at intersections.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk.......MM
__________________
2007 Triumph Tiger 1050


"If you Can't Fix it with a Hammer, it must be an Electrical Problem......"
Motard_Menace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2013, 10:24 PM   #14
OneTraveller
Social Reject
 
OneTraveller's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2008
Location: The Last Frontier
Oddometer: 123
If you haven't already take the MSF rider classes, they will make you a better rider.

As for rain, in my experience the sun does more damage to the bikes than the rain. Plastics, especially on the older bikes can suffer from UV exposure.

Again, welcome to the sport.

Mike
__________________
-2013 Multistrada 1200 S Granturismo
-2003 R1150RT - gone but not forgotten
-1987 Honda XL600R - gone
To paraphrase Antoine de St-Exupery
I ride because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things.
OneTraveller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2013, 10:35 PM   #15
doxiedog
Studly Adventurer
 
doxiedog's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Location: CENTRAL VALLEY, CALIF.
Oddometer: 827
All ways have a escape route in mind, and yes you are invisible.
50 yrs riding,and i'm always learning some thing new.
__________________
Snot nosed 68 yr.old kid.
doxiedog is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not 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 On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 04:20 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014