15 days to roadworthyness EX250

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by visionary, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. visionary

    visionary Adventurer

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    I bought a crashed 2007 Ninja 250 approx 4 months ago with the intention of fixing it up into a cafe style bike. Unfortunately the EX needs a fair bit of work.

    I bought it looking like this. Needs a lot of work and i'm not an accomplished mechanic by any stretch of imagination

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    It have 4500 miles on it but the PO had run into the back of a parked car at speed. He survived with a a few fractures but decided he would stick to racing rice cars.

    My original touring rig was a Yamaha Vision that had been across Nor-USA and Canada. I didn't envision having the opportunity for long tours anymore so regretfully sold her to a very passionate biker getting back into it.

    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. visionary

    visionary Adventurer

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    I need to kit this bike out for touring over the next 15 days with a budget under $2000 in total

    Work is taking me to San Fransisco from June to August. I need to be in Sf by May 25th.

    I've never really toured on a 250 so I'm aiming to leave by May 15.

    The biggest PITA has been reinstalling new seals in the fork lowers. They just refuse to go in. I am considering taking them to a shop with a press and seeing if that works.

    I need to
    - Wire up the new headlight
    - Figure out a way to mount the OEM gauges on the triple tree
    - Modify the triple to accept 7/8 wide handlebars
    - Rewire the tail area with proper turn signals
    #2
  3. 16VGTIDave

    16VGTIDave blame Reaver...

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    PM sent
    #3
  4. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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    Not sure how you're attempting to install seals, but you will need to buy, borrow, or make a seal driver. I've installed a few fork seals and have always made my own driver out of the correctly sized (and perhaps modified) piece of PVC pipe. Once you get the ID and OD correct on the seal end, just cut it to length so that it extends longer than the fork tube and allows you to tap it at the top and drive the seal in evenly. Lightly lube the seal with fork oil before installing it and be careful when you make the driver so that it contacts the correct area and doesn't damage the seal.

    Headlight should be fairly straightforward.

    Mount the handlebars first, then you can use that as a basis to fab a mounting bracket for the gauges. Or you could use whatever bracket you use to mount the headlight. It's just a matter of getting started mounting things, looking at it, and working up solutions as you go. If you want to mount conventional bars, you'll need to drill the top clamp to accept risers of some sort. Pretty easy to source. Probably cheaply on ebay.

    Rewiring and installing rear turn signals should be pretty simple once you get started and figure out what to mount and where.

    Good luck with your project.

    :1drink
    #4
  5. TonyKZ1

    TonyKZ1 Been here awhile

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  6. visionary

    visionary Adventurer

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    Thanks guys,

    I'm hoping to be on the road shortly. Had a set of bar clamps off an XS400 lying around. heading over to a buddy's shop to try and find a good way to mount them

    [​IMG]

    major f*k up on my end - Whilst trying the PVC method to get the seals in, found a couple of rusty spots in the chrome.

    No problem just wetsanded for a bit with 600 right? No such luck, corrosion goes much too deep so I'm looking around to source some fork tubes

    If this is the biggest setback - i'm OK with that :1drink
    #6
  7. visionary

    visionary Adventurer

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    Thanks Tony, been a lurker there a bit - maybe time to start posting
    #7
  8. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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    I know you're on a budget, but I also know you're on a schedule. Often times those two things can be at odds...

    So, if you can't find a set of clean used tubes quickly, you can buy new, cheaper than OEM, from Forks by Frank.
    #8
  9. visionary

    visionary Adventurer

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    I may have to resort to that - Thanks for the link Randy
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  10. Jimmy the Heater

    Jimmy the Heater Tilting the Horizon

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    That is a damn short timeline. I wish you luck!

    Don't worry a bit about touring on the 250 though. I did a 3500 mile trip on mine and it was a blast.

    One word of advice, take those stock tires and throw them back in to the deepest pit of hell where they belong. I have used the Kenda 671, Avon Roadrider and Pirelli MT75 and they totally change the character of the bike.

    MT75 is very soft and don't last long but they are incredibly grippy. The others are more of a touring tire.
    #10
  11. k-moe

    k-moe Long timer

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    Clean the pits with naval jelly ( to get all of the rust out), follow up with soap and water, dry with a heat gun, allow to cool, fill the pits with a metal-filled epoxy, and wet sand until smooth. The repair will hold up for years.
    #11
  12. doorman

    doorman Aimless

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    I've done a lot of fork seals, and have always used electrical tape as my seal driver.

    You wrap it around the fork tube a few inches above the seal till it is layered 1/8 to 1/4" thick. Then the fork tube is your driver. When the seal is seated just pull the tape off. Beats the heck out of monkeying with seal drivers or PVC.
    #12
  13. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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    DAMN! Two excellent ideas back to back!

    The epoxy filled pit idea may not be what I'd do for a full on restoration, but for an expedient repair, it seems custom tailored for this situation. :thumb

    The tape "seal driver" idea sounds entirely plausible too, and definitely easier for sizes that aren't a direct and easy standard PVC pipe diameter. It really depends on the tube diameter though. Some forks work just fine with a length of standard PVC pipe with little to no modification needed. Still, for those that don't work well with standard pipe sizes, the tape idea sounds great! :thumb


    :1drink
    #13
  14. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    PO must have barely clipped the car. If he had hit it dead center, the forks would be bent badly, and the front wheel would be against the engine. The frame would probably also be bent. The Ninja 250 frame is not that strong, it has no downtubes, the engine is a stressed member. Have you checked for frame/fork damage yet?
    #14
  15. visionary

    visionary Adventurer

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    That's a great idea - I'm gonna give it a shot next time
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  16. visionary

    visionary Adventurer

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    The original forks are completely destroyed, The right one shattered the lower and bent the damper rod. The wheel is a write off and the front disk is well and truly warped. The bottom triple is about 5 deg off centre as well
    The subframe and swingarm are true and the rest of the frame seems OK tho I haven't jigged it up and checked with a plumb line.
    #16
  17. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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    I was thinking the same thing. In fact, when I looked at the pics I thought I could see that the fork tubes were bent and just assumed he was replacing the fork seals because he was installing new tubes to replace the bent ones. But, obviously, since he has pitted tubes they must not have been bent. Must just be an optical illusion in the pics that make 'em look that way.

    Bikes are funny things and crashes can be, well not funny but you know what I mean... That's why I've always been afraid of crashed bikes. Some crash well and some don't. Sometimes what appears to just be cosmetic damage from a mild collision can turn out to have more serious damage than first detected, and some that look like holy hell can just be simple cosmetics. Guess I'm just not much of a gambler though. But, with a bike like this I'd assume he didn't put much in it to begin with so a good thorough inspection probably made it a worthy risk. But, there is always the risk of little niggly things, like the pitted tubes, that can keep adding up to make it less of a bargain...

    With that said, for those that know what they're doing and like to tinker, fixing up a wrecked bike can turn out to be a really cheap way to get a nice bike.
    #17
  18. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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    Oh well, I guess I was premature in my assumptions that I was seeing an optical illusion in the pics... :eek1

    Bent forks are very common in front end collisions. Unfortunately, so are tweaked steering head areas of the frame. If it impacted hard enough to bend the lower triple tree I'd for sure be concerned about the frame, and even the mounting bosses on the engine maybe being cracked. Personally I'd be afraid of any bike that suffered a hard frontal collision or had flipped. Lowsides that just produce a lot of bodywork and control damage are one thing but with real impacts there's just too much potential for structural damage.

    Then when you consider the fact that you can find pre-'08 250s for around two grand, ready to ride...

    Then again, if you got it cheap enough and like tinkering...

    :1drink
    #18
  19. visionary

    visionary Adventurer

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    Your concern is much appreciated.

    I'm a bit of a gambler. It could go right or very wrong - I've done my best to ensure that there are no fractures on the frame and the steering head is true.

    I love tinkering around so I'm willing to take the risk :D

    All said and done this bike isn't gonna be a steal but I will have a unique (hopefully) that will be mine own and thats my motivation

    Dumbass? probably, but it puts a smile on my face so i'm OK with it

    Back to bike news

    I've been burnt twice in the past by rusty tanks that "look" OK but really cause you to spend lots of time and some $ on carb rebuilds so this time i'm goin the whole nine yards.

    I'm starting with an electrolysis and finishing off with POR 15 Tank sealer. This stuff is great and if done right, will last longer than the bike. Most importantly, unlike Kreem, it doesn't break down when exposed to ethanol.


    Step 1: Bake 5ish tablespoons of baking soda for 1 hr at 400F to turn it into washing soda

    Step 2: Seal the petcock hole in the tank

    Step 3: Make a scrificial anode out of an old piece of steel

    Step 4: Mix up a solution of the washing soda in a bucket - Tip: add the soda to the water and stir - if you just dump it in, it just cakes up sits at the bottom

    Step 5: Fill the tank with the solution, mount the anode so it's not touching the tank - Tip: Anode is +ve and Cathode (the tank) is -ve

    Step 4: Plug in my fancy shmancy battery charger with auto shut off and load tester with the -ve lead going to the tank. This obv does not work because the charger just stays shut off

    Step 5: Scratch head and have a beer

    Step 6: IDEA: Need DC approx 3-5 amps, have AC at ~110 V - Time to cut up an old laptop charger (3.75A) . Tip: The cable is co-axial with the inner cable being +ve and the outer being -ve. If you strip it carefully you should have no problem separating the 2

    Step 7: Tape up the charger to some crocodile clips and plug it in

    [​IMG]

    I had to improvise the connection between the stripped wire from the charger and the connector to the crocodile clips. Didn't want to cut these too since they plug into the fancyshmancy charger

    [​IMG]

    h[​IMG]

    This worked like a charm - In just an hour and a half the anode was covered with gunk. Cleaned it off and plugged it back in. I will share some pics tomorrow !

    Make sure you do this outside in a well ventilated area since the process produces Hydrogen gas that anybody who has taken High school chemistry should know that it burns with a POP sound and large quantities go bang like the Hindenberg
    #19
  20. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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    Excellent! :thumb
    #20