Ex 500

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by edjo69, Nov 4, 2006.

  1. edjo69

    edjo69 Been here awhile

    Jul 28, 2005
    Ft Collins
    We just bought my Fiance' a Kawasaki Ninja 500, I haven't been able to locate a good BB for this bike, does anybody know of one? Thanx, Ed
  2. dynamos2000

    dynamos2000 is boinking your mom

    Jan 12, 2006
    Awesome, might wanna ask / search at http://forums.ninja250.org/

    Ugly but good site. I hope to add a ninja 250 as a commuter / rain bike in 07
  3. Bugtussle

    Bugtussle Been here awhile

    Jul 5, 2004
    Yoncalla, Oregon
    Excellent choice!! Ive got an 02 250 with a 15/41 gear combo that I use for wet days. 75-80 mpg @ 65-75 mph. Good stuff and fun to ride.:clap
  4. mattp

    mattp Sparsely Retensioner

    Jul 10, 2004
    Roanoke, VA
    Soooo....who's turned an EX500 into a capable sport touring bike? :ear
  5. QfactorSV

    QfactorSV Adventurer

    Jan 2, 2006
    Boston, MA
    no touring

    but they make a sweet race bike...

  6. Grainbelt

    Grainbelt marginal adventurer Super Moderator

    Feb 14, 2006
    I'm working on moving my EX650 that direction. EX500? not so much.

    Somebody around here made a dual sport out of one... :dunno
  7. jimeconomou

    jimeconomou Guest

    I got one three months ago, had a KTM950 and 2 ZZR1200s in the last couple years, began to dread the weight of them and riding around at 30-40% of the machines capability while still riding too fast for street safety/speed limits. A friend was in my driveway with his new EX500, telling me how it was too slow and he "needed" a GSXR750 or 1000. I took him for a ride on the 500 and scared the ability to stand out of him in all of 10 minutes. He agreed, as he leaned shaking against my garage, that he needed more time on the 500 to learn a bit more and I went the next day and bought one! Reminds me alot of my 76 RD400 from high school, light and thin, and you know you are speeding or pushing the bike, unlike the 1200 and 950 I sold off. I added a Givi rack and 45l tailbox, magnetic tankbag, touring screen from Zero Gravity, wired my Gerbings lead and dropped the front sprocket 1 tooth. Made some carb mods to add some response and it is ready for anything. Still have my KTM 520 EXC dualsport for motarding around but this thing is a kick, it is my only 2 up ride in the garage, death to 500+++lbs. bikes, and 55-60 hp is plenty, even 2 up. A user site at Kawasakiforums.com is active but it is mostly new riders and some of the content is pretty lame. Good luck, Jim.
  8. Birdmove

    Birdmove Long timer

    Oct 30, 2004
    Keaau, Hawaii
    The EX500/Ninja is a very capable machine.I rode a 1999 for some years and was quite impressed with the power, handling, and fuel economy of mine (65 mpg).I consider it a fine solo sport touring bike stock.With a tank bag, and some soft, throwover saddlebags, your good to go.I remember a website where a guy had one with over 80,000 miles and toured all over the US with it.Shoot, when I was in my 20s I went on some nice camping road trips on my 1975 Honda XL350.
    The 500 Ninja is a great bike, and theres lots of good used ones out there too.

    Jon in Puyallup
  9. Dagofast

    Dagofast Owner of one clean o-ring.

    Jun 15, 2005
    The QC in AZ
    The old EX500riders site seems to have disappeared. Try http://www.ex-500.com/ This one seems to be a replacement. Not the same depth of knowledge in the bank just yet, but it'll come.

    Please post pics of the girl friend. :evil
  10. beyondhelp

    beyondhelp likes cheese too.

    Aug 11, 2005
    St Lucie Florida
    Phew, glad to see there's at least one more ex rider here. The ex500riders.com got hacked so many times I think the admin got tired of fighting it. That was his most recent sentement IIRC. It's a shame as there were several experts there with invaluable knowledge.
  11. RichBeBe

    RichBeBe All Hail Seitan!!!

    Mar 13, 2004
    My first streetbike was a 1988 EX500. i rode it for a year and even took it on a 2,500 mile trip from NYC to Nova Scotia. I sold it and bought a Ninja 750r and love that bike. A few years later i bought an EX to start racing on and I raced it for a while and creashed it big time. A bunch of broken bones and I was done racing. I then off and on had on as a streetbike. Great NYC bike and ended up building a shitload of them as racebikes.
    I have not owned one since 97 or so and if I found one dirt cheap i might buy it to use as a ratty city bike.
    I liked them a lot.
  12. Lochlyn_Deckard

    Lochlyn_Deckard Dex Moto(naut)

    Jul 22, 2006
    Central New York, United States
    My current bike and the one I will have into the foreseeable future is my Ninja 500 R. I started riding a few years ago on a Ninja 250 R that was highly recommended for beginning riders. I was told that I would outgrow it quickly and I should start on the 500, but I found a good deal on a used 250 near my home so I bought it. And indeed I did outgrow it. But there are many riders on www.ninja250.com that don't. It's funny how the 250 can be easily made into a little touring bike.

    One of my biggest reasons for getting a 500 was weight. By that I mean the bikes weight. The 250 on the highway was all over the place. Higher speeds in general were a problem. Ride the NYS Thurway on a very windy day and have fun as tractor trailers pass by. It was annoying to say the least. The 500 seems so much more planted. As far as acceleration, I think it's more than adequate. But I'm not an agressive rider I guess. It's not an extreme step up from the 250, yet it's got all I'll ever need. Again, that's just me. How fast do you need to go from zero to sixty? Of course this relates to gas mileage. I've been consistently getting about 60 mpg. The 250 got me about 70 mpg. With the increase in power, it's not too much of a trade off. It's comfortable on longer rides and most of my rides now last over 1 1/2 hours. The only modification that I made was purchasing GenMar risers which made it even more of a standard riding position. I looked into getting one of the aftermarket shields by Laminar Lip, Zero Gravity, or MRA. I read a number of reviews from www.ex500riders.com from riders who had them and decided that for me it wasn't worth it. By the way, I'm glad to see that www.ex-500.com has "replaced" the former site. The only modification I need to make is to install some bar weights. Longer rides leave my pinkies numb. The 500 does shake a bit.

    I wanted to step up from the 250 and I really only looked at the 500. I didn't care for the Suzuki GS 500 or the SV 650. The Ninja 650 hadn't come out yet. Actually, at first I decided to buy a used KLR 650, but had absolutely no luck finding one locally. I looked for several months, finally giving up when I saw a local used 500 on eBay. I had also read a number of comparisons between the two 500's and the Ninja always did better. Plus I already had a Ninja. I wanted a nice balance of comfort, fuel economy, reliability, performance, low maintenance costs, and reasonable insurance. That's what I have gotten from the 500.

    Now when the hell is the "adventure" oriented Kawsaki Versys gonna be available in the United States! That will be my next bike so I'll actually feel comfortable posting on this forum. :D
  13. Janet

    Janet I like yellow bikes!

    Jul 5, 2005
    Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset, England
    Didn't think it needed any "turning" into a capable sports tourer. I had one of the original 16" wheel ones back in 1989-1992. I took it on a camping trip to Berlin, when that still involved riding through East Germany, I took it to the Isle of Man TT Races once (only spectating!) and I took a trip round the west coast of Ireland.

    My other half had a Kawasaki GT550 at the same time, and when we went camping he put the tent on his rack with ground rolls wrapped round it, and he had Krauser panniers. I used a big tail bag and tank bag and that gave us plenty of capacity.

    It was great for me as it was fairly light and small, while handling distance work well. Being 5'6" I would have struggled to feel confident on a larger touring bike at that stage in my biking experience.

    Here's my one, somewhere on the west coast of Ireland:

  14. Lochlyn_Deckard

    Lochlyn_Deckard Dex Moto(naut)

    Jul 22, 2006
    Central New York, United States

    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]I'll agree with Janet that it's almost fine as is. There are some things that can be done to improve upon the base. The list below is hardly all inclusive but it's a start:[/FONT]

    Soft Luggage:

    Tanks Bags, Tail Bags, and Saddle Bags - Countless options, but here's a interesting tail pod from National Cycle: http://shop.nationalcycle.com/perl/cycle/N1370. An incomplete list is below simply because there are so many manufacturers:

    - Cortech and Tourmaster:
    www.tourmaster.com/xcart/home.php?cat=31 and www.tourmaster.com/xcart/home.php?cat=32
    - Nelson Rigg: www.nelsonrigg.com/pages/Sport-Touring-Main.htm
    - Chase Harper: www.chaseharper.com/TankBags/TankBags.htm, www.chaseharper.com/SaddleBags/SaddleBags.htm, and www.chaseharper.com/TailTrunks/TailTrunks.htm
    - Givi: www.givi.it/caschi_borse_bauli_accessori.asp?cat=4&lang=en and www.giviusa.com/caschi_borse_bauli_accessori.asp?cat=346&lang=en
    - Hepco & Becker: www.hepco-becker.de/_eng/frameset.php (see the "Small SportStar and Sportstar" under "Softbags")
    - Held: http://www.held-biker-fashion.de/index.php?plink=gepaecknylon&alink=gepaeck&fs=&l=3&lg=e and www.heldusa.com/bags.htm
    - Marsee: http://marseeproducts.homestead.com
    - Roadgear: http://roadgear.com/catalog/index.cfm?Series=2&SeriesTitle=Luggage
    - Wolfman: www.wolfmanluggage.com
    - Axio: www.axio-usa.com
    - Frank Thomas: http://www.frank-thomas.co.uk/index.php?pge_id=10&category_id=4&subcategory_id=5 and http://www.frank-thomas.co.uk/index.php?pge_id=10&category_id=4&subcategory_id=14
    - Oxford: www.oxprod.com/index.php?pg=3&action=dept&id=7&pid=0&p=
    and www.castlesales.com/html/products.psp?catid=6&&useid=8&&typeid=48 (U.S. Distributor)
    - RKA:
    - Rapid Transit: www.rapid-transit.com/rt/index.htm
    - Bagster: www.bagster.com/en/moto/bagagerie.php
    - First Gear: www.firstgear-usa.com/fgweb.nsf/Products/957854A2C5FED829862571F400542303?opendocument and www.firstgear-usa.com/fgweb.nsf/Products/8CB7C8C044CB951B862571F4005AF079?opendocument
    - Fieldsheer: www.fieldsheer.com/2007web/web3/luggage.html
    - Icon: www.rideicon.com
    - Joe Rocket: www.joerocket.com/001l-Luggage.html
    - Teknic: www.teknicgear.com/catalog2.php?categoryid=12&materialid=0&styleid=1
    - River Road: "One Bag" Tank Bag System - www.riverroadgear.com/rrweb.nsf/Products/9E931B8200A3CD0E862570690076E9BA?opendocument (Note: Their other luggage is geared toward crusiers)
    - Moto-DirectUSA: www.motodirect.com/Categories.bok?category=Motorcycle+Luggage%3AMagnetic+Tank+Bags, www.motodirect.com/Categories.bok?category=Motorcycle+Luggage%3ASoft+Side+Saddlebags, and www.motodirect.com/Categories.bok?category=Motorcycle+Luggage%3ASoft+Side+Tail+Bags
    - Dowco: http://www.dowco-inc.com/Accessories_RP.asp?seg=2

    Moto-DirectUSA and Dowco are relatively inexpensive compared to the other brands. I don't know about their quality.

    Hard Luggage:

    Side Racks -

    Hepco & Becker (only one I know that is commercially available):

    - Up to 1993: www.hepco-becker.de/anbauanleitungen/650246.0001.pdf
    - 1994 to Current: www.hepco-becker.de/anbauanleitungen/650201.0001.pdf

    It appears that the rear turn signals have to be relocated/altered for both.

    There are also homemade versions. A member of www.ex-500.com named Titanknock has done this:

    Rear Rack -

    Don't know of any other than the four below:

    - Givi: GPZ500S (1988-93): www.givi.it/per_la_tua_moto.asp?co_id=1099&lang=en
    GPZ500S (94-Current): www.givi.it/per_la_tua_moto.asp?co_id=1100&lang=en
    EX500 (94-Current): www.giviusa.com/per_la_tua_moto.asp?co_id=17417&lang=en

    - Renntec: www.renntec.co.uk/acatalog/kawasaki_sports_racks.html
    US Distributor: www.revsperformance.com/renntec/sports_racks.htm

    (Renntec also sells soft luggage that is made to fit their racks: Expandable Tail Pack (www.revsperformance.com/renntec/expandable_tailpack.htm). Strangely, the U.K. site does not list this.)

    - Hepco & Becker: Up to 1993: www.hepco-becker.de/anbauanleitungen/650246.0101.pdf and
    1994 to Current: www.hepco-becker.de/anbauanleitungen/650201.0101.pdf

    - Ventura: www.ventura-bike.com/english/fitments/display.asp?manufacturer_id=7
    US Distributor: www.cycleventure.com/fitments/display.asp?manufacturer_id=7

    (Ventura racks consist of L-Brackets that one of three handles is attached to: Pack Rack, Sports Rack or Grab Handle. They also have soft luggage that is made to fit their racks: several diffrerent Aero Packs, a Euro Pack, and a Sports Pack (www.ventura-bike.com/english/products/pack_system/packs.htm). The U.K., but not the U.S., site also sells soft panniers and tank bags (www.ventura-bike.com/english/products/tankBagsAndPanniers/tankBagsAndPanniers.htm).

    Note that the rear racks made by Givi are not generic racks that will fit any top case. They are made specifically for Givi cases. And they are really "holders" for their top cases. The top of the Givi rack is essentially the top case mounting plate to which you attach the Givi case. The Renntec, Ventura, and Hepco & Becker racks are much more versatile because they are metal tubular racks that any top case mounting plate can be attached to, including Givi. And they can be used effectively without the top case mounting plate and top case attached (i.e. attaching luggage onto the rack with bungees). The Givi doesn't really allow this use. That being said, I do not know if some top case manufacturers have started making their cases compatible with Givi mounting plates. Obviously, this would negate some of the previous information in this paragraph.

    Top/Side Cases -

    - Givi: www.givi.it/caschi_borse_bauli_accessori.asp?cat=2&lang=en and www.giviusa.com/caschi_borse_bauli_accessori.asp?lang=en
    - Kappa: www.kappamoto.com/eng/default.asp?lan=eng
    - Shad: www.shad.es
    - Hepco & Becker: www.hepco-becker.de/_eng/frameset.php
    - JC Whitney: www.jcwhitney.com/autoparts/Browse/tf-Browse/s-10101/showAll-0/showCustom-0/N-111+10211+600014603/c-10111

    The JC Whitney top cases are very popular because they are quite economical and of decent quality compared to the other manufacturers.

    Also, there are a number of eBay sellers that sell imitation cases similar in style to the above brands. Their quality is unknown.


    - Zero Gravity:

    - MRA: www.mra.de/html/gb/gb-englisch.htm
    US Distributor: Spoiler Screen - www.twistedthrottle.com/trade/productview/1305/139/
    Touring Screen- www.twistedthrottle.com/trade/productview/1306/139/

    - Puig: www.puig.tv and www.puigusa.com (search by bike for windscreens)

    - Gustafsson:

    - Laminar Lip: www.laminarlip.com/test2/kawasaki.htm

    - Givi: they did make one at some point, but it is no longer available

    Mirror Wideners:

    - SW-Motech: 1987-93 -
    1994 - Current - www.mo-tech.de/produkt/?produkt_id=959&PHPSESSID=7a30f08931a2bd405ee1136d0d669098

    US Distributor: 1987 - 93 - www.twistedthrottle.com/trade/productview/2515/139/
    1994 - Current - www.twistedthrottle.com/trade/productview/2516/139/

    Handlebar Risers:

    - GenMar:

    - Motor Cycle Larry: www.motorcyclelarry.com/ninja_risers.aspx

    Bar Ends:

    - Throttlemeister:
    www.throttlemeister.com/tm.html (bar end with cruise control)

    - MANIC Salamander:

    - Hudson Valley Motorsports Parts: www.hvmp.com/kawasaki.htm

    (I have no idea how many companies make bar ends for the 500. I believe that a number of www.ex500riders.com (site now closed) riders had and liked the ones from HVMP. If I remember correctly, the guy that ran the company went by the name JohhnyLunchBox(?) and often posted on the site).

    Cruise Control:

    - Vista-Cruise :

    - Throttlemeister: www.throttlemeister.com/tm.html (bar end with cruise control) *

    - Related - Throttle Rocker:

    Grips/Heated Grips:

    - Pro Grips:
    http://www.progrip.com/default.asp?ite=gec and http://www.casporttouring.com/store/...gory_Code=PROG

    - Ourygrips: www.ourygrips.com

    - Hot Grips: www.hotgrips.com/kawasaki.html and www.twistedthrottle.com/trade/productview/2218/139/


    - Corbin:
    www.corbin.com/kawasaki/ninja5002.shtml (1994-Current) (a seat is not shown for pre-1994)

    - Sargent:
    www.sargentcycle.com/custserv.htm (custom work on existing seat)

    - Russell:

    - Sheepskin Seat Cover: www.alaskaleather.com/buttpads.html

    - Beaded Seat Cover: www.beadrider.com/shop/category.asp?catid=2

    (Note: only two of a number of sources for these covers. Many people have found cheaper versions of sheepskin and beaded seat pads at stores like Walmart and such that they then customize to fit their bike.)

    - Airhawk Seat Cover:
    www.airhawk.co.uk and www.airhawkusa.com

    See Also:

    - Aux Power Outlet/Power Plug for Charging Accessories -
    www.ex-500.com/index.php/topic,362.0.html and www.ex-500.com/index.php/topic,1307.0.html

    Other/Miscellaneous: You may also want to have -

    - Tire Repair Kit (including an inflater of some kind like CO2 cartridges, mini hand air pump, or mini air compressor)
    - GPS Unit and/or Maps/Atlases
    - First Aid Kit

    www.twistedthrottle.com sells some of the products listed above (Givi, Kappa, Hepco & Becker, MANIC Salamander, and Hot Grips). www.newenough.com sells a number of the soft luggage items.

    An excellent source of information on luggage (and almost all things motorcycle) can be found here:
    www.webbikeworld.com/motorcycle-luggage. WebBikeWorld is one of my favorite motorcycle websites on the internet.

    And obviously many of these things are applicable to all makes and models of motorcycle, not just the 500.

    NOTE about EDITS: The links here sometimes change and as a result don't work. I recently updated all of them so they are current, but I'm sure some will change again. If one doesn't work, you should still be able to find a way to the correct link. And every so often, I will try to check to see how they are.
  15. Ninjak

    Ninjak Sasquatch

    Feb 13, 2003
    Topeka, Kansas
    Yes they do. :D

  16. wetrock

    wetrock McLovin

    Oct 30, 2006
    Seattle, Washington
    Any thoughts on how good the windscreens are for the EX? I've heard mixed reviews.
  17. jimeconomou

    jimeconomou Guest

    The stocker gave me a blast of wind at mid chest, Zero Gravity raised that up to hit the chin bar on my helmet. I'm 6-00". Leg protection is minimal if really any at all, it is very much like a sport bike from the early 80s in that regard, think early GPZ wind protection. Jim.
  18. Lochlyn_Deckard

    Lochlyn_Deckard Dex Moto(naut)

    Jul 22, 2006
    Central New York, United States
    I heard mixed reviews about the windscreens as well. It seems to really be contingent on the riders height. And if the wind blast moves up to certain areas of the helmet, I guess it can more annoying than if the whole helmet was out in the blast. I thought about buying one for a while, but eventually decided not to. But I'll never say never.
  19. mattp

    mattp Sparsely Retensioner

    Jul 10, 2004
    Roanoke, VA
    I test rode a 2002 ex500 tonight and from the short ride, I liked it. It is very different from the recent bikes I've had (dualsports). Just out of curiousity, is it easy/possible to lower the footpegs some? This may just be something that I would get used to as my legs did fit inside the indentations in the tank. Also, how do you keep from kicking the kick stand while shifting. Again prolly just a getting used to kind of thing.
  20. tonymorr

    tonymorr Malta,NY(Saratoga Spring)

    Oct 10, 2004
    Malta, NY
    I'm going to be working on brackets to lower the pegs over the winter. Of course I'm lifting the bike as well so cornering clearance won't be an issue. See http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=171094 a2f5re2.jpg