Ninja 250 ADV bike.

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by espacef1fan, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. espacef1fan

    espacef1fan Been here awhile

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    I have a 2005 Ninja 250. Currently I am struggling to find something a little more dirtworthy than Bridgestone BT45s for its 16" wheels. Im not looking for knobbies just something that might let me hang out with friends riding Tiger 800s and BMW GSs(offroad)....no reason the 250 cant do it in my mind with some determination and some feeble attempt at installing a LITTLE traction. Ground clearance WILL be an issue..but I will deal with that in my own ways.

    Ideas?
    #1
  2. espacef1fan

    espacef1fan Been here awhile

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    Best I can find is a Kenda k761 for the front and either a Bridgestone TW40 OR Duro HF 904 for the rear.Not sure which rear would be a better match for the 761 up front. also wondering how much improvement I woudl honestly see over the BT45s...
    #2
  3. Navin

    Navin Long timer

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    Have you thought about a wheel swap to 17" and then getting a set of whatever you want? Avon Distenzas or semi knobbys. How about selling your bike and getting a 08-12? You are stuck where many were, no good tire choices on those wheels.
    #3
  4. KungPaoDog

    KungPaoDog Been here awhile

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    You could probably buy a KLR for the price of tires for the ninja:rofl

    I do understand the one bike for everything philosophy, but is a 16" wheeled ninja really the best? (I lust after many bikes, but I only have one.) Funds permitting, the new CFR250L looks like a pretty good bang for the buck.
    #4
  5. Navin

    Navin Long timer

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    True.
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  6. fastdadio

    fastdadio Still gettin faster

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  7. jordan325ic

    jordan325ic Been here awhile

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    A true dual-sport ex250 would require more than just a new set of tires (as with any street bike). However if you're just talking dirt roads and occasional off-roading, an ex250 would do as well as anything else. I don't even think you would have to switch wheels to make it work as long as you can be flexible with tire sizes.

    This was a Chinese 110/90/16 dual sportish tire I bought in Colombia. I wish I could remember the brand but it did great for hundreds of miles of dirt roads and off-roading in Peru/Chile. Started cupping after 8,000 miles or so. The size felt a little funky at first, and it would not have fit with a stock front fender.
    http://i1138.photobucket.com/albums/n521/joeuser12/IMG_4085.jpg

    But in the USA the Kenda is the obvious choice.
    http://www.amazon.com/Kenda-K761-Du...TF8&qid=1352315798&sr=1-31&keywords=100/90/16

    For the rear, you're not going to find much in the stock 130/80-16 (of any type really), but many people run the skinnier 120 series tire and/or the slightly taller XXX/90/16 tire. 120/80/16 was OEM for the first generation ex250 anyway. A quick google search shows the120/90/16 is the stock rear tire size for the Honda NX250, so I don't see why you couldn't run trail wings with a tube.

    http://www.amazon.com/Bridgestone-Trail-Enduro-Motorcycle-90-16/dp/B005J8WYZ2

    The biggest problem I had was the lack of torque coupled with aggressive highway gearing. I was riding the clutch pretty hard going up steeper hills. Keep your gearing absolutely stock if you plan on doing anything off-road related. The centerstand limits clearance and will batter the centerstand stopper and start hitting the exhaust if you bottom out too many times. Go ahead and take off the lower fairing because it will get ripped off.

    Anyway, the ex250 isn't an off-road bike but it's so light it can be muscled over a lot of stuff. Have fun!
    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. hizzo3

    hizzo3 Adventurer

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    Keep in mind a knobbier tire will toss up more stuff because of the grabbing action as a low pressure tire will do. Make sure your delicate parts are protected accordingly. Sounds like fun, in a torture kind of way :D

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
    #8
  9. espacef1fan

    espacef1fan Been here awhile

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    Here is the deal. I have some friends with 500LB adventure bikes and I know the Ninja 250 can do the deed anywhere on the road..it goes 100+mph handles great..good fuel mileage and is moderately comfortable. My thought is that its light enough to that what it lacks in technology or design, cna be made up for in using its lightweight to muscle through more difficult sections of trails(save for log hopping..) Finally I already have the thing, and despite its condition and mods noone wants to buy it..so its hard to sell it for money to buy something better suited( KLR650, DR650, KLX250, XT250, CRF250L...DR350?)
    #9
  10. fastdadio

    fastdadio Still gettin faster

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    Keep it then. You have the right mind set. Take it out and cane the nuts off it! The best bike in the world is the one you got.
    #10
  11. espacef1fan

    espacef1fan Been here awhile

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    Here is the way it sits right now(no work toward prepping has been completed)

    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. fastdadio

    fastdadio Still gettin faster

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    That is a beautiful little bike. Carefully remove all the plastics and set aside, fabricate a seat pan, fenders, gas tank and head/tail light kit. Then take it out and wail on it!
    #12
  13. kraven

    kraven Hegelian Scum

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    Yep.
    Should be able to get a poly tank somewhere and fit it up to the bike. The rest is work.

    But, you better be up to it. If you think you can't sell it now, once you tear into it and mod it for dirt, you're really going to have negative value.

    You might consider bartering instead of selling for cash. There are a lot of people trading nowadays.
    #13
  14. NitroRoo

    NitroRoo Been here awhile

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    The EX-250 is a great little bike. I put 30k miles on mine. Did some light off-road with it. Did surprisingly well in sandy conditions and tackled dirt roads with ease. You already mentioned the ground clearance issue (suspension falls in that dept as well), but the other big problems is that little motor likes to rev. It makes all it's power up top, with very low torque numbers down low. You might have to gear it down a bit if you plan on tackling actual trails with it.

    The poster above is right, once you start modding it for off-road and getting it dirty the value will drop. Not that there's anything wrong with that, it's your bike - do what you want with it :D

    I'd be looking for a really cheap, old dual sport if I were you though. For the cost of a set of tires and the depreciation on the 250, you could add an old 70's or 80's enduro to the stable. I see them pop up for under $1k all the time, just need some TLC.

    My old 250:
    [​IMG]
    #14
  15. Navin

    Navin Long timer

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    Agreed. That has to be worth $1500 as it sits. There is a unused DR or KLR in someone's garage/shed that you could buy for as much too. A few hundred miles of trails will turn the bike into a rolling pile that you will end up giving away.
    #15
  16. Gryphon12

    Gryphon12 Long timer

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    I love the Ninja 250, but compared to even a cross-over, it isn't that light. The big ADV bikes have what the Ninjette doesn't: low end torque, a relaxed steering head angle, and 7-9" of suspension travel. Even geared down, the Ninjette won't do steep hills well, and with the steep steering angle and 17" front wheel, you will get very tired of muscling it everywhere.

    On the other hand, Kawasaki made a KLE-250 based on the Ninjette motor in the 1990's - never imported to North America. Do some research to find the differences: frame, suspension, 18"/21" wheels & tires, low front fender, top-half rally fairing, exhaust started low under the frame and finshed high along the seat, small bash plate included. I have a photo, but can't post them here. Good luck!
    #16
  17. Navin

    Navin Long timer

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    I hate to say it but the new EX300 Ninja engine would be pretty sweet as a DS engine. Wide ratio 6 speed, midrange power is great and smooth as can be at any RPM. I'm not taking mine apart but it wouldn't be a bad KLR replacement engine IMO.
    #17
  18. Gryphon12

    Gryphon12 Long timer

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    Do a Google or Bing search for the KLE-250. You can't import the whole motorcycle, but you could by one without an engine as "parts". Then add a 250/300 cc motor here a license it as a one-off (kit) bike.
    #18
  19. espacef1fan

    espacef1fan Been here awhile

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    Hook me up with a trade?
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  20. Growl

    Growl Adventurer

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    Sheesh! Find suitable tires... Maybe lower the gearing a tad... And enjoy!

    Suitable tires, consider these:

    Vee Rubber VRM-163 120/90 16

    DURO HF904 130/90S16
    #20