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Old February 20th, 2020, 12:03 PM   #1
daverdfw
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Sanity check before potentially replacing rings on a race bike

I am about to acquire a 2017 Ninja 300 race bike. The owner has indicated it will need new rings as it started to smoke.

From what I know so far it has the Spears racing thinner head gasket and some undercut gears. Not sure what other goodies it has.

I have swapped crankcases on a newgen 250 before so I am not totally new to working on these motors.

My question is making sure I am going about this correctly.

1) Compression check to verify it is indeed rings, start dry test then wet test if number is low.

2) replace rings.


Is there anything else I could be missing? Any other suggestions of things to do/check before/after? Thanks!
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Old February 20th, 2020, 01:57 PM   #2
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First, verify your air-filter is not soaking with oil. Only need two-layers of spray-oil per side.

Next, with bike level and rested overnight, make sure it's not over-filled with oil. You should see bubble of top of oil-level in sight glass.

Make sure crankcase vent-tube is NOT clogged. That's tube connecting rear of engine to air-box at bottom.

Do warm compression-test first and post results here. Do dry and wet test with oil squirted down spark-plug hole. Depending upon tester used, it should read anywhere from 120-180psi.

Then do leak-down test to determine if it's rings or valves that's leaking. You might just need valve-adjustment.

Last ditch-effort, do piston-soak and see if it improves. https://www.ninjette.org/forums/showthread.php?t=343925

Last futzed with by DannoXYZ; February 21st, 2020 at 10:04 AM.
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Old February 20th, 2020, 05:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
First, verify your oil-filter is not soaking with oil. Only need two-layers of spray-oil per side.

Next, with bike level and rested overnight, make sure it's not over-filled with oil. You should see bubble of top of oil-level in sight glass.

Make sure crankcase vent-tube is NOT clogged. That's tube connecting rear of engine to air-box at bottom.

Do warm compression-test first and post results here. Do dry and wet test with oil squirted down spark-plug hole. Depending upon tester used, it should read anywhere from 120-180psi.

Then do leak-down test to determine if it's rings or valves that's leaking. You might just need valve-adjustment.

Last ditch-effort, do piston-soak and see if it improves. https://www.ninjette.org/forums/showthread.php?t=343925

This bike won't have an airbox, its got a filter on it. I have done that mixture in the past with an old pregen 250, So I am familiar with it.

I have not done a valve adjustment before but I have feeler gauges to check them.


When I get the bike next week I will post back with what I find on the compression numbers, thank you!
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Old February 20th, 2020, 06:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
First, verify your oil-filter is not soaking with oil. Only need two-layers of spray-oil per side.

Next, with bike level and rested overnight, make sure it's not over-filled with oil. You should see bubble of top of oil-level in sight glass.

Make sure crankcase vent-tube is NOT clogged. That's tube connecting rear of engine to air-box at bottom.

Do warm compression-test first and post results here. Do dry and wet test with oil squirted down spark-plug hole. Depending upon tester used, it should read anywhere from 120-180psi.

Then do leak-down test to determine if it's rings or valves that's leaking. You might just need valve-adjustment.

Last ditch-effort, do piston-soak and see if it improves. https://www.ninjette.org/forums/showthread.php?t=343925
one other quick question, should I still use the thinner head gasket? I wont be racing so I don't think I need the little bit extra compression. Would it be safer to go back to the stock one?
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Old February 20th, 2020, 09:51 PM   #5
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You'll be fine going back to stock headgasket.
I'm wondering if the smoking is due to the thinner headgasket not sealing properly.
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Old February 20th, 2020, 09:58 PM   #6
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You'll be fine going back to stock headgasket.
I'm wondering if the smoking is due to the thinner headgasket not sealing properly.
I was wondering the same thing. This bike was used by a kid that won several races, and they are selling to fun their motoamerica program. Its got a 415 chain, etc which I will convert back to a 520. I figure replacing the rings and the stock head gasket should help give it a little more longevity.
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Old February 21st, 2020, 07:44 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
First, verify your oil-filter is not soaking with oil. Only need two-layers of spray-oil per side.
(SNIP)
I think you mean air filter.

It is really easy to over-oil an air filter.

I use UNI spray oil, and have found 1 coat is sufficient. Got carried away one time and did 2 medium coats. Engine ran really bad until I re-cleaned the filter and went with 1 light/med coat. Back to normal.
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Old February 21st, 2020, 10:05 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by jkv45 View Post
I think you mean air filter.

It is really easy to over-oil an air filter.

I use UNI spray oil, and have found 1 coat is sufficient. Got carried away one time and did 2 medium coats. Engine ran really bad until I re-cleaned the filter and went with 1 light/med coat. Back to normal.
Ah yes! Rushed that one, fixed! Thanks!
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Old February 21st, 2020, 12:22 PM   #9
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thanks everyone for the input, I have a compression tester on the way. I will report back what the values are after I get my hands on the bike next Friday.
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Old February 21st, 2020, 02:03 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by daverdfw View Post
This bike won't have an airbox, its got a filter on it. I have done that mixture in the past with an old pregen 250, So I am familiar with it.
So what did they do with crankcase vent? It should not be capped off! Usually tiny filter is connected to it.
https://faq.ninja250.org/wiki/What_d...e_vent_hose%3F
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Old February 21st, 2020, 02:04 PM   #11
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So what did they do with crankcase vent? It should not be capped off! Usually tiny filter is connected to it.
Thats what I assume they did, thats what my 250 was. I will know when I see it. I will get it next friday.
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Old March 1st, 2020, 09:15 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
So what did they do with crankcase vent? It should not be capped off! Usually tiny filter is connected to it.
https://faq.ninja250.org/wiki/What_d...e_vent_hose%3F
got the bike today, it needs a bit more work, battery is dead. radiator has a leak

Looks like I will have to do a cold compression test, what numbers would be normal for a cold test? hoping to do it tomorrow.
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Old March 1st, 2020, 09:22 PM   #13
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If you have gauge with bleed-valve far away from cylinders, like near gauge, you'll want to see 120-150psi cold/wet with usual 10% variation between cylinders max.

If your gauge has bleed-valve near spark-plug, you'll want 170-190psi.


Even when raced these engines don't wear out very quickly. You're more likely to have worn clutches and suspension. Check valve-clearances. Valve-stem seals seem to wear out quicker when raced in hot climates.
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Old March 1st, 2020, 09:24 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
If you have gauge with bleed-valve far away from cylinders, like near gauge, you'll want to see 120-150psi cold/wet with usual 10% variation between cylinders max.

If your gauge has bleed-valve near spark-plug, you'll want 170-190psi.


Even when raced these engines don't wear out very quickly. You're more likely to have worn clutches and suspension. Check valve-clearances. Valve-stem seals seem to wear out quicker when raced in hot climates.
previous owner said he had valves checked last year, he had put a thinner head gasket on. He said it was smoking and was told it was probably rings.

My gauge has the Schrader valve near the gauge.
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Old March 1st, 2020, 10:13 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
If you have gauge with bleed-valve far away from cylinders, like near gauge, you'll want to see 120-150psi cold/wet with usual 10% variation between cylinders max.

If your gauge has bleed-valve near spark-plug, you'll want 170-190psi.


Even when raced these engines don't wear out very quickly. You're more likely to have worn clutches and suspension. Check valve-clearances. Valve-stem seals seem to wear out quicker when raced in hot climates.
here is the routing of the breather hose from the top of the motor.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/qwrw22ozfn..._3277.jpg?dl=0
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Old March 2nd, 2020, 12:54 PM   #16
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to me it seems instead of using the emissions block off plate, they routed that hose to the crankcase breather that use to go to the airbox, why not just block the plate off and then install a tiny pod filter? thats what I did on my 250, not sure if one way is better than the other
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Old March 2nd, 2020, 01:40 PM   #17
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That's not good! Emissions-port on top actually goes to exhaust and is pressurized. They're pressurizing crankcase!!! No wonder it's smoking as oil from crankcase is probably forced past rings and burns in cylinders!

Best bet is to restore ALL connections back to 100% stock condition. Then evaluate bike after that.
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Old March 2nd, 2020, 02:20 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
That's not good! Emissions-port on top actually goes to exhaust and is pressurized. They're pressurizing crankcase!!! No wonder it's smoking as oil from crankcase is probably forced past rings and burns in cylinders!

Best bet is to restore ALL connections back to 100% stock condition. Then evaluate bike after that.
so I put the emissions hose back on the airbox, and left the other one open because I don't have a tiny filter.

Compression check on both cylinders cold and dry , is 125 after the needle stopped rising each time, with WOT.
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Old March 2nd, 2020, 02:59 PM   #19
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hypothetical question, what if someone ( an idiot) was trying to put oil in the cylinder to do a wet test, and a little bit too much oil in? would it just burn off once the engine was started?
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Old March 2nd, 2020, 05:09 PM   #20
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A little squirt of oil will most likely get scraped off during compression test. So no worries about anything burning in cylinder.
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Old March 2nd, 2020, 05:12 PM   #21
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A little squirt of oil will most likely get scraped off during compression test. So no worries about anything burning in cylinder.
it was more than a little LOL, but i can see the top of the piston so I am sure its fine.

With those compression numbers, should I just put it back together and run it and do a warm compression test?

also unrelated, whenever i turn the key on, i hear a clicking for a few seconds from the black box attached to the throttle body, is that healthy or should I get a new one?
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Old March 2nd, 2020, 05:23 PM   #22
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That's stepper-motor for sub-throttle-bodies. Probably just resetting to closed position.

Yeah, just put it all back together and start it. Listen for knocking/clacking noises. There may be other non-standard mods by hack mechanics. Due to cost of competing in MotoAM series, there's lots of family volunteer "mechanics" who may not know these bikes very well. Quite different from 1957 Chevy truck!
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Old March 2nd, 2020, 05:24 PM   #23
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That's stepper-motor for sub-throttle-bodies. Probably just resetting to closed position.
ok, maybe ill take it off and make sure its installed correctly,

ok, I ordered a new radiator so I will try getting it running then and will go from there with a warm compression test.

Kinda relieved the rings might be ok considering all the other small issues it has.
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Old March 2nd, 2020, 06:57 PM   #24
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That's stepper-motor for sub-throttle-bodies. Probably just resetting to closed position.

Yeah, just put it all back together and start it. Listen for knocking/clacking noises. There may be other non-standard mods by hack mechanics. Due to cost of competing in MotoAM series, there's lots of family volunteer "mechanics" who may not know these bikes very well. Quite different from 1957 Chevy truck!
ok check this out, this is the secondary sub-throttle. if I open the butterfly they will close when turn the key on, if they are already closed they make the noise like they cant figure out if they are closed or not, bad sensor?

https://www.dropbox.com/s/m2cfysw5go...%20PM.mov?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/lebyb07rlh...%20PM.mov?dl=0
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Old March 6th, 2020, 10:47 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
That's stepper-motor for sub-throttle-bodies. Probably just resetting to closed position.

Yeah, just put it all back together and start it. Listen for knocking/clacking noises. There may be other non-standard mods by hack mechanics. Due to cost of competing in MotoAM series, there's lots of family volunteer "mechanics" who may not know these bikes very well. Quite different from 1957 Chevy truck!
UPDATE


ran the engine in the garage for about 5 min, so not sure if thats warm enough etc. The smoke that PO said was present disappeared after a few mine. did a warm compression check and my gauge said 140psi for each cylinder.

not sure if that counts as a true warm test since I couldn't ride it at higher RPM or anything

Thoughts?
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Old March 7th, 2020, 10:42 AM   #26
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got a new dash in, was able to find the codes, there are 2

64 Air switching valve malfunction, wiring open or short

32 Subthrottle sensor malfunction, wiring open or short

so the subthorrle sensor is indeed bad, the PO removed the PAIR valve completly
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Old March 7th, 2020, 11:08 AM   #27
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Sensor may be perfectly OK. Measure it and measure wiring to determine where fault is.
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Old March 7th, 2020, 11:09 AM   #28
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Sensor may be perfectly OK. Measure it and measure wiring to determine where fault is.
OK I will take a look at that,

also since compression was "ok" going to take a look at the valve clearances as well.
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Old March 7th, 2020, 07:37 PM   #29
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here are the results of the valve clearance

looks like I will be replacing the intake shims, should improve compression as well I would assume

https://www.dropbox.com/s/vsn9sqecpt...%20PM.jpg?dl=0
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Old March 13th, 2020, 09:24 PM   #30
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Sensor may be perfectly OK. Measure it and measure wiring to determine where fault is.
hooked up new throttle bodies, problem solved. Now to finish the valve job
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Old March 14th, 2020, 10:34 AM   #31
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so I put the emissions hose back on the airbox, and left the other one open because I don't have a tiny filter.
Just checking up on this....

You do have a little valve between the emissions port and airbox? With an additional vacuum-hose to operate the valve?

This valve ensures that exhaust doesn't get pushed into airbox. Bikes don't have EGR...
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Old March 14th, 2020, 12:36 PM   #32
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Just checking up on this....

You do have a little valve between the emissions port and airbox? With an additional vacuum-hose to operate the valve?

This valve ensures that exhaust doesn't get pushed into airbox. Bikes don't have EGR...
the PAIR valve is gone, so I ordered a block off plate and a plug to get rid of the CEL from the sensor. I will put a K&N filter on it and run without the airbox.
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Old March 15th, 2020, 09:39 AM   #33
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just as an update, did the valve job, cold/dry compression is 150psi on each cylinder.
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Old March 15th, 2020, 01:16 PM   #34
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Awesome work!!!
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Old March 15th, 2020, 01:21 PM   #35
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Awesome work!!!
eh not quite, after running it to get it warm, still 145 each side
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Old March 15th, 2020, 01:30 PM   #36
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That’s in Ok range. Due to extra volume in hose, it lowers compression measured compared to calculated values.
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Old March 15th, 2020, 01:57 PM   #37
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Thatís in Ok range. Due to extra volume in hose, it lowers compression measured compared to calculated values.
this is the tool I used

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old March 15th, 2020, 03:40 PM   #38
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Thatís in Ok range. Due to extra volume in hose, it lowers compression measured compared to calculated values.

due to the fact this is a track only bike and would spend most of its live above 10K RPM anyway, and since I have the bike fully stripped, I might just drop the motor and do rings to be safe. Its going to need them at some point in the future at this rate.
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Old March 16th, 2020, 08:37 PM   #39
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Compression is perfectly fine. Bleed-valve is way up by gauge, entire volume of hose is considered part of combustion-chamber. Reading of 145psi is perfectly fine.

My race 250 bike has 5 hard seasons on it now. Two by previous owner and 3 by me. It got 145psi when I picked it up. Did 40-48 days at track each year. About 10-14 of those are races, which are actually easier on bike due to less time on track. Rest are full trackdays, 2.5-3hrs at WOT. After last season, I did tune-up for this year and tested compression. Exact same 145psi.

You'll find after re-ringing engine, readings will be pretty much close to same. Perhaps even lower before it's broken in.
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Old March 16th, 2020, 09:12 PM   #40
daverdfw
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Name: David
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Motorcycle(s): 2009 Ninja 250

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
Compression is perfectly fine. Bleed-valve is way up by gauge, entire volume of hose is considered part of combustion-chamber. Reading of 145psi is perfectly fine.

My race 250 bike has 5 hard seasons on it now. Two by previous owner and 3 by me. It got 145psi when I picked it up. Did 40-48 days at track each year. About 10-14 of those are races, which are actually easier on bike due to less time on track. Rest are full trackdays, 2.5-3hrs at WOT. After last season, I did tune-up for this year and tested compression. Exact same 145psi.

You'll find after re-ringing engine, readings will be pretty much close to same. Perhaps even lower before it's broken in.

interesting, I wonder why the service manual states such a higher value? 162 ∼ 246 psi

also did a wet test and got 175
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