ninja 250 mini tourer

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by doorman, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. doorman

    doorman Aimless

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    I bought a 2001 ninja over the winter for 700$. My plans are to use it for commuting during the week, and touring when I have the time. So far I am very pleased with the comfort and fuel economy.

    Originally, I had plans to weld up a rack and come up with some hard luggage. After much deliberation though, I decided I wanted a simpler setup that would be easy to remove for commuter duty. I had a Walmart gift card, I otherwise had no use for, so I got all of my luggage there. Time will tell how it holds up.

    Here is what I have so far:
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    I also wear a dslr backpack to carry my camera equipment. Hopefully, I will be able to test everything out soon.
    #1
  2. studad

    studad Been here awhile

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    Nice setup. The 250 provided some of the most fun I've had on a bike.
    #2
  3. Terrytori

    Terrytori Namaste

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  4. doorman

    doorman Aimless

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    I actually took that report into account before buying the ninja. It really helped with the decision.
    #4
  5. Daz-o-matic

    Daz-o-matic HOT POOP

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    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=675841

    Here's a good thread; couple folks riding 2-up on a Ninjette in places that many will never take their dual sport. Pretty cool!

    My first and current bike is a Ninja 500. Like you, I use mine for commuting and touring - an awesome first bike (especially for a 5'3" shortarse like me). Someday when I'm rich instead of pretty I'll have an F700GS or maybe an R1200R, but the Ninja will serve me well until then.

    [​IMG]
    Loaded up at Duffy Lake, BC.
    #5
  6. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    Here's a video you might find interesting.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVxoVEMTXp8

    I had a 2007 Ninja 250 I bought new, but felt it was just a bit small for me, so I sold it with just over 5,000 miles on it, and got a new 500 Ninja. Major mistake. While the 250 really was to small for me (6' 220, 34" inseam) that helped dealing with the sport bike riding position. My arms were long enough to reach the bars while still sitting fairly upright, with a bend in my elbows. The 500 had a much longer reach to the bars, and my arms were straight. I had to support a lot of my upper body weight with my arms and shoulders, and bend my neck way back to see where I was going. That caused a lot of pain, and I gave it up and sold that bike as well, with about 5,000 miles on it in 3 years.

    If you can handle the riding position for a long period of time, the 250 makes an excellent touring bike, and you can get way more stuff on it than you might think. If you really want to spend big money (about what you paid for the bike) you can get a Ventura Bike Pack System with 2 of their biggest bags for it. It is a custom fit setup, and works perfectly. Combined with a Cortech 14L tank bag, it will hold pretty much everything you need.

    One really cool thing about the first generation Ninja is it's centerstand, which makes chain maintenance and flat repair easy. I recommend always carrying stuff to fix flats. With the Ninja's tubeless tires, all you need is a plug kit and a pump.
    #6
  7. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Long timer

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    you beat me to it! I'm reading that thread now...
    #7
  8. YJake

    YJake Roaming

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    Load it up and take off...

    [​IMG]


    Some of the best times I have had on a bike, I'm honestly not sure that I will part with it due to its versatility and cost to run. I still use it as my primary commuter over my 500 and 1200 :huh No other bike offers so much value for your dollar.

    -Jake
    #8
  9. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    Its been proven you need at least 900cc's to do any interstate or touring.
    #9
  10. Jimmy the Heater

    Jimmy the Heater Tilting the Horizon

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    Ninja 250 touring? Hell Yes! 3500 miles in 6 Western states and I only really wished for more power twice.

    Load her up and take off :clap

    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. Jimmy the Heater

    Jimmy the Heater Tilting the Horizon

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    I do this too. I have a Ninja 500, SV1000, and BMW K1200LT, and the one that gets ridden the most is my Ninja 250.
    #11
  12. firebrick

    firebrick Been here awhile

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    I just traded in my 05 touring ninjette for a new vstrom. these pictures make me miss it already. hopefully the strom can do what the ninja did for me
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    #12
  13. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    Oh one more thing. If that Ninja has stock gearing, going up one more tooth on the front sprocket will make everything a lot better. The older Ninja 250 was one of those one in a million bikes that really was undergeared. Going up to a 15 tooth front sprocket will help on both the top end and the bottom end. It's better everywhere, no sacrifices anywhere.
    #13
  14. Jimmy the Heater

    Jimmy the Heater Tilting the Horizon

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    Very true, did this to mine as well and never regretted it. Could not tell any difference in the low end acceleration that I was supposed to loose.
    #14
  15. YJake

    YJake Roaming

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    I'll +3 this.

    If you need new rubber, the Pirelli Sport Demons are an excellent choice for road use and wear. I have 6k on my set and the rear has yet to show any wear. They are slightly larger than stock though, but will give you a slightly higher seat height and I feel like they are more "stable" on the highway.

    Also for touring, buy a cheap 08+ Ninja rear shock.

    They are stiffer and raise your seat height slightly, they also have adjustable preload which the stocker does not. Best $40 mod you can do to the bike especially if you plan to tour.

    God I love the little bastard. If you'll excuse me, I have to hop on it and head to work now :evil

    -Jake
    #15
  16. ZZ-R Rider

    ZZ-R Rider Captain Fantastic

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    The Kawasaki ZZ-R250 (EX250-H) was actually marketed in Canada as a "Lite" Sport Tourer ... and it really does that duty very well on secondary roadways ... all-day comfortable to Ride, plenty of tie-down hooks, dual trip meters ... even a little fairing storage compartment.

    [​IMG]
    #16
  17. firebrick

    firebrick Been here awhile

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    With regards to gearing, I went to a 15 front and a 44 rear and felt that is the way they should have came stock. Also dont forget to shim the cush drive with some cut up plastic from a milk jug :D.
    #17
  18. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    Mine is my commuting/errand bike. Ocasionally I ride it farther on the weekends, but usually take the VFR for those rides. The 250 has a set of Nelson Rigg Silver Streak saddle bags on it pretty much 24/7 which help with the errand part of the equation. It's a 2007 and now has 15K on it. Bought it in 2008 with 400 miles on it from a guy who was "ready for something bigger because [he] outgrew this little bike." :rolleyes

    I wish it had about 10 more HP mostly because I'm tall and act like a giant sail while riding the thing. It will not do 65-70 MPH with me on it unless it's dead calm or I have a tailwind...and this is NM so it's windy more often than not, and it's always a headwind :lol3. Add the wind to the hills and mountains in the rockies and it's definitely on the underpowered side for me. BUT...I still like riding it and for city use, it's perfect. I love the soft suspension for the crappy streets and the light weight is nice too. If I were to replace it, it would be another small displacement bike. The CBR250 makes that list, as does the TU250, and all the new Honda 500 parallel twins. I would not buy a new style Ninja 250 (don't care for the styling and the lack of proper instrumentation) or the Ninja 300 (too expensive for what it is).
    #18
  19. Gadget Girl

    Gadget Girl Been here awhile

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    The '06 that our oldest bought when he got home from Army Basic as his primary transportation worked great for him! He rode it everywhere and even from ATL to Orlando to visit a buddy.

    It got handed down to son #2 and has survived the two of them beautifully.

    After a little too much sitting while they were both off at school we're getting it ready for son #3 to take over in June after he turns 16 and takes his MSF.

    After what those kids put the little bike through I can recommend this bike without reservation to any and all riders. It's a blast to ride :wink: (yea, mom took it out a few times) and is the toughest most reliable bike we have.

    Have a great time touring/commuting. It will never let you down!
    #19
  20. sweetwater

    sweetwater Been here awhile

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    Gadget Girl, I like the way you roll! My two boys have both done a lot of dirt riding with me and their uncles, but neither cares too much for riding in general. Maybe, just maybe, if I had a little Ninja it would be more enticing than the dual sports (I don't really get it with these kids of mine).

    Anyway, props to you for being enthusiastic and responsible with introducing those kids to motorbikes!
    #20