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Old 02-04-2013, 05:53 PM   #1
curryitr OP
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Ninja 250r Dual Sport

Hello,

I was wondering if anyone had any advice on giving my ninja 250r a little more suspension travel. I have put 20000 miles on it since new and have taken some long trips, but I'm wanting to take a trip to south America. I'm hoping to do some mods to make it more dirt oriented. I know I could throw some tkc 80s on it and remove the fairings for more ground clearance but im not sure how much good that will do. The exhaust hangs pretty low. Is it possible to take the forks, spring, and swingarm off of something like the klx250? Where should I start with this?

Thanks! Ryan
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:25 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curryitr View Post
Hello,

I was wondering if anyone had any advice on giving my ninja 250r a little more suspension travel. I have put 20000 miles on it since new and have taken some long trips, but I'm wanting to take a trip to south America. I'm hoping to do some mods to make it more dirt oriented. I know I could throw some tkc 80s on it and remove the fairings for more ground clearance but im not sure how much good that will do. The exhaust hangs pretty low. Is it possible to take the forks, spring, and swingarm off of something like the klx250? Where should I start with this?

Thanks! Ryan
Aren't you worried about the lack of low end? I've got a 250 and don't know how much confidence I have that it'd perform all that well. Curious though!
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:56 PM   #3
curryitr OP
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I think it will be alright. It has more power than other 250s but the gearing would be a bigger problem. I have sprockets suited for the highway right now.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:49 PM   #4
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Anything is possible. Depends mostly on your wallet and skill set.

Personally id start with something with a little more zip and less miles but thats me.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:58 PM   #5
curryitr OP
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I've had the bike since it had 2 miles on it. It's been across the country and back and I've been on many other trips. It has 20000 miles but it's in better condition than most bikes with 5000. It has plenty of power and can go over 100mph. That is more than I need. I already have a ventura rack for my luggage.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailah View Post
Anything is possible. Depends mostly on your wallet and skill set.
This.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sailah View Post
Personally id start with something with a little more zip and less miles but thats me.
Yeah, but your idea of 'a little more zip' is 140hp.






One option; this is pretty much the full blown one:

Full front end swap from the dirt bike of choice/convenience. Restrict the travel to whatever you want. 6-8 inches of travel might be nice for a touring bike.

Extend the swingarm a couple of inches by grafting two swingarms together. The amount of extension will depend on how much the front is extended. The goal is to keep the weight distribution close to original. Put a custom shock in the rear to get the travel you want.

Cost would probably start around $3000 something. $500 for the donor front end, $1000 for the custom shock, $250 for the swingarm, $250 for new springs front and rear. $200 for a rear wheel.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:04 AM   #7
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You state you bought the Ninja new, what year is it? If it is the newer version, I think '08 and up, the wheels are nice and light, but that is NOT good for rougher road riding...they will taco or crack. If you are doing a front end as others have suggested, I would also use the laced front wheel and swap the rear wheel also as Luke suggest.

If you are set on using this bike then proceed as you wish, I however would consider a different steed like maybe a Kawi Klx250 or Yami Wr250R or even move up to a DR/KLR 650 or something.
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:17 PM   #8
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Yea I was hoping to use what I have but it doesn't make sense to spend that much on this bike. I could just buy a wr250 at that point. I am thinking about stripping off the plastics and putting some dual sport tires on it though. I think that will be alright for most of the roads down there. I'll just won't go rock hopping
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:49 AM   #9
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This is written assuming you have a pre - '08 ...

I bought my '96 Ninja 250 with about 20K miles on it in '03, and have nearly 40K on it now. Unless abused, the first engine issue is stretching of the timing chain. Donor engines are still plentiful. Some long-term owners get to about 60K miles before the timing chain is an issue.

I also have a couple Ninja 250 parts bikes and have considered altering suspension on one of them. Over on the minimalist adventure bike thread in the thumper section here I think there are some charts of various fork sizes, and I think I recall the KLR 250 and several other bikes having the same sized forks that you should be able to swap.

I also ended up buying a basket case '89 KLR 250, and currently feel that if I am successful in restoring that bike, I will be happy - the Ninja for on road, and the KLR for dual sport fun. If not, I have parts to play some mix and match with, as I have also been considering a 250 version of the Super Rio (Ninja 650 engine put into a KLR 650 frame).

I love "capacity" and "capability" to exceed my likely needs, but honest introspection tends to indicate I want a dual sport bike to ride to interesting gravel roads and and not feel like I am abusing my street bike riding on them. I could likely do most of what I want on a nearly stock Ninja 250 with nobbies.

I too like to try to be frugal and use what I have, but you need to do a lot of careful analysis or you can easily sink more money into a project than just buying a "better suited bike". That is, unless the experimentation is part of the fun for you, and you are willing to pay for it.
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:58 AM   #10
Kennon
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after reading this last night was thinking how awesome would a ninja 250 powered KLR 250 would be especially if its one of those half faired KLR's.

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Old 02-06-2013, 07:19 PM   #11
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How far do you want to go?

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=557515

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Old 02-06-2013, 07:41 PM   #12
sailah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke View Post
Yeah, but your idea of 'a little more zip' is 140hp.
You say that like it's a bad thing...

If thats wrong, I don't want to be right
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:45 PM   #13
curryitr OP
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That looks pretty neat. I have a 2009 model so I don't know how much difference there would be. According to that thread a sv650 shock would give another 2 inches of height in the rear. That with klx forks may work well
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:36 PM   #14
Navin
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Just swapping in a GSXR rear shock will stiffen things up out back, letting you use what little clearance you already have rather than blow thru it. Second, a stiffer set of fork springs and a Race Tech emulator for the forks.

Delete the lower body works and maybe a pipe guard for the exhaust, like the universal enduro ones that clamps on. If you stay off rough trails, avoid rocks you might get away without a sump guard, but fitting one shouldn't be that difficult.

That just cost you about $450 tops. Add tires and go. Not the best choice but you own it anyway so why not? I'd despise the street ergos off road but some riders like it.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:02 PM   #15
DustyOne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curryitr View Post
I've had the bike since it had 2 miles on it. It's been across the country and back and I've been on many other trips. It has 20000 miles but it's in better condition than most bikes with 5000. It has plenty of power and can go over 100mph. That is more than I need. I already have a ventura rack for my luggage.

It is great that you love yr bike and that you have taken great care of it......since new.

And from what I have seen thus far, you have gotten a lot of great ideas to start yr conversion.

BUT

There is 1 thing that you seem to like that has just gotta go.

The fact that you say it will go over 100 is out the window.
To get that bike over 100, it had to have been geared up, had some work.....and a great tailwind

IF YOU NOW WANT to travel thru SA and you want more suspension, you will also want a bit of grunt too.
Gearing down will help, but top speed will drop dramatically. Are you prepared for that?

But you still have to remember that it still will not have the grunt and lower end that a dirt or dual sport bike would.

AND THEN, it all comes back to the MONEY QUESTION

.
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