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What I've Done to My Ninjette and Why

Posted June 12th, 2011 at 06:05 AM by gfloyd2002
Updated July 25th, 2011 at 06:03 AM by gfloyd2002

I'm going to use this entry to track the modifications I've made to my Ninjette, and list the ones I hope to make in the future. I'll comment on my experiences with the changes, new changes as they are made and on my goals going forward, so it will be edited from time to time. Here is what I've done to the Ninjette so far and why:

Pro Grip 719 Grips. As a result of my tall frame on the small bike, I'm naturally pushing down on the bars a bit despite best efforts to ride with loose arms. The result is a bit of buzzing of the hands. The Pro Grips have been a good upgrade for me, making long rides a bit more comfortable. For a good DIY on installing the Pro Grips, see (insert link).

Pro Grip Tank Pad When I lean forward, I noticed that my zipper sometimes hits the tank. Also, I've got a tank bag that is marking up the tank. To protect the tank, I added the Pro Grip pad. Easy to install, is unubtrusive and looks good (I got the clear) and I support the company. Worth the money.

Heavyweight Bar Ends. Similarly hoping to make the handlebars smoother, and getting rid of the silly phillips head bar end bolts to replace them with allen bolts, was the motivation for switching out to heavy bar ends. Well, that and a scratches on the stock bar ends from an unfortunate spousal tipover on one side and an IRC quality related incident on the other. There is a good discussion of bar end removal here. Hint: There is red locktite on the bar end screws, you need to heat them up first to loosen.

Evotech Fender Eliminator. After confirming that local laws didn't require anything I'd be eliminating, deciding to get rid of the ugly plastic proboscis was an easy one. Deciding which product to use was tougher. Forum mod extraordinaire Alex makes a compelling argument for a self-help strategy cutting the existing fender. His easy method, the cost (free) and the good-looking results, certainly make it a great option. However, I know that I will be selling my ninjette in 2013, and I want to keep the stock parts in tact to aid in sale and allow modification back if needed. So, I went in search of a fender eliminator. I found the most popular ones (Targa) frankly lack in quality or (Competition Werkes) a pain to install. When I saw the Evotech product, I was really impressed - the marketing photos don't do it justice. Attention to detail is great, the OEM lights fit well into CNC openings, good instructions, etc. Still some gaps on installation, but better than the Targa, and it is an attractive option.

Evotech Exhaust Hanger Bracket. I am not even tempted to ever ride someone on my ninjette with me. Not only is the bike really not made for two, I just don't like the idea. I'm pretty sold on Evotech products, and they made a hanger I knew would be impeccible. That being so, may as well lose the weight of the rear pegs. Sure enough, the Evotech bracket is a perfectly machined, solid product. Finish is perfect, design is perfect, happy I made the decision to go with them. Only thing is that I had to add a few washers under the bracket in installation if you have an aftermarket exhaust to get a bit of extra clearance for the exhaust - the evotech sits closer to the frame than OEM.

Hand control adjustments. I want my hands and forearms to be dead-straight when I'm riding - no wrist bend to reach the brake and clutch. It makes a difference with riding fun on long rides. A few simple adjustments, no cost, no parts, and a big improvement to my comfort.

Area P Quiet Core Exhaust with Dynojet. I love the quality of Area P, but I'm not sure if this was a good move or not to be perfectly honest. I don't necessarily recommend making this modification. Frankly $600 for a 5HP gain is a really bad way spend money unless you race. It isn't going to make the bike significantly more rideable, and as soon as you start messing with shimming and jetting, you are (unless you are kkim gifted mechanically) asking for tuning trouble and lots of frustration with your bike's setup. And if I get in trouble, I have no idea where to find a dyno on this island. So why did I do it? Mainly, for the challenge of it, for the fun of turning a wrench to make my ninjette as good as she can possibly be, and for a project to do with my aging father while he's visiting. You never know when the last one of those weekends together will be. Honestly, there is also a bit of vain attraction to having a deeper exhaust note and improving the awful sound of a parallel twin engine. As to why I chose an Area P over the many, better known exhaust products -- Area P is simply the best quality and a company I feel good giving money to. The company owner (Kerry, a member of this forum) is responsive and gives personal service. The product is amazingly good quality, backed up by Ninjette-specific research, and very well engineered and constructed. The Quiet Core product has all the horsepower gains and sound quality of their short exhaust, but at a legal decible level that won't wreck your hearing or your relationship with your neighbor. It screams "I care about quality and performance, but am not an inconsiderate squid."

Pirelli Sport Demon Tires. Probably the most important upgrade to stock, and one I highly recommend as the first mod for anyone with IRC Roadwinners stock on your bike. How much to I hate the IRCs? 1) Tread. The center line around the front tire grabs at anything and steers you. White lane markers, grooves in the road, anything it can track, it tracks. I would like to choose where to steer the bike myself thankyouverymuch. Similarly, the tread for the rear is bad for dry weather handling - they cut out big grooves, thereby removing sticky rubber, to improve rain performance at expense of daily cornering performance; 2) They are built for low rolling resistance and low cost to keep the Ninjette under $4k. They may be good for gas mileage and tire life, but are just too hard for decent handling. Fine if you are selling a Prius, but if we lose traction, we could die; 3) Inconsistency. As one example among many, I lost the back tire at 15-20mph around a corner that should have been an easy 40mph corner, then watched a 75cc scooter and gixxer speed by much more quickly without issue. Lots of non-tire related reasons, including rider error, for that, too, but bottom line, I think I would have kept the rear end with Pirellis.

So why did I choose the Sport Demons? I had the choice down to Bridgestone BT016s and the Pirellis as reasonable tires that could work for both commuting and fun on the weekends. Both great tires and would have made a good choice. I decided to go with the tire built for the stock rims - the flickability of the Ninja is what makes it fun - and the best bias-ply tire available. The 016s would have been an equally good choice, with acceptable pinch and a stickier radial (unlike the BT-003 or 090's, which I think are not a good choice for most purposes).

Shogun Rear Spools/Sliders. Need to put the rear spools on to get the bike off the wheel for oil changes, chain cleaning, etc. Shogun makes great quality sliders, was quick to put a product out for the ninjette and I knew they'd be good quality. They are. Other spools would probably work equally well, maybe for a few bucks cheaper, but I'm happy with them.

Flushmount LED front blinkers. I'm not under any illusion that the flushmounts will protect my bike better in a crash. Sure, the stock stalks won't punch through the fairings in a big crash, but they also won't absorb the abrasion my fairings will now take in a small one. I did this to make the blinkers more visible, both because the LEDs are brighter and can be seen better from a car in the rear, and because I just plain ol' like the way they looked.

Brake light modulator Safety related mods should be the most important, and flashing the brake lights automatically really seems like a good idea even though I lack date to back it up. I'm so safety focused, I'm not sure why I didn't do this one first, especially because of how easy it was to make. Probably my easiest modification by far. Just pull off the passenger seat, disconnect the plastic brake light plug that is staring right at you, plug in the modulator. 30 second mod, safety increased.

ZX-2R Sticker There is no rational reason for this. The black sticker is located on the white portion/side air intake area on my 2010 Green SE, and I think looks like it was meant to be there.

Wish List:

OEM Rear Seat Cowling No one will ever sit on my rear seat, especially with my rear pegs off. The cowlings look good and avoid the temptation.

Stompgrip traction pads. There has been some discussion in these forums about seating position, and I think I may suffer a bit for lack of traction in my knee grip. The stompgrip pads seem less abrasive than the snakeskin product, which are like sandpaper. Stompgrips are elastomer, giving grip without being rough on expensive gear or feeling harsh on the legs. More importantly, my REV'IT turbine pants rub on the gas tank paint, as does my Joe Rocket Manta tank bag. Stompgrips will protect my tank.

Hotbodies GP Dual Radius or Puig Double Bubble Windscreen So I can tuck my GPS under. Hotbodies Racing. The thing is, the smaller the cowling the better for bringing airflow to my helmet and mesh jacket in this tropical climate. I don't want a big windscreen, probably why I've not gone with this yet . . .

GPS Mount. Just like the one Saint has, tucked up under the windscreen, protected from the elements. Though I'm still figuring out how to reproduce his rig by Frankensteining mounting pieces together. Problem with this is just that I'll need a new windscreen and I'm worried about reducing airflow to my gear in this hot, humid country.

Shogun Frame Sliders Also have yet to fully decide on these. I've posted about my mixed feelings - install isn't as easy as advertised, as they aren't really no-cut sliders, and they can actually cause the bike to flip in high speed getoffs, increasing injury risk. They can also really help in lower speed getoffs and protect parts. I'm torn, but leaning towards the sliders.
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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    vital2009's Avatar

    Re: What I've Done to My Ninjette,...

    Where did you source your Evotech Fender Eliminator? I'm going to search that one on-line, wasn't impressed by the Targa model either for the same reasons you mention. Am also getting ready to add Shogun Frame Sliders/Rear Spools (had them on my first bike, def worth it), I figure since the small cut can be done with a hacksaw and a dremmel tool, I can probably handle doing it on my own!
    Posted July 7th, 2011 at 03:49 PM by vital2009 vital2009 is offline

  2. Old Comment
    gfloyd2002's Avatar
    The U.S. Evotech rep is Malcom at motorcycleparts@embarqmail.com. He's responsive to email. His ebay store is MC Motorcycle Parts.

    Easy to work with - he did some special shipping for me because I'm overseas.
    Posted July 7th, 2011 at 04:37 PM by gfloyd2002 gfloyd2002 is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Firehorse's Avatar
    What decision did you end up making on the sliders?

    Lots of good info there. Can you tell me what the brake light mod actually does? I always tap the brakes but if there's a better solution, I'm game.
    Thanks!
    Posted April 17th, 2012 at 09:24 PM by Firehorse Firehorse is offline
 

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