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Old June 17th, 2019, 03:16 PM   #1
65Mulberry
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Squid Repli-Racer 250 build

So I have been lurking on here for few years but never posted anything. I started a café/repli-racer build a couple years ago -but then stuck it on the back burner due to time constraints. Just pulled it back out and started working on it in earnest.
I thought I would share some of the ideas pics and progress…

Let me start off by saying that I have owned about 20-25 EX250s… And I have my own junkyard of parts to draw from because I have a shop full of leftover bikes and parts so the upside to it was I don’t have to buy anything LOL can usually just pull it off the shelf in the back or one of my bikes leaningagainst the wall. For some reason I have managed to collect and attract numerous ninja 250 is in various stages of repair or disrepair or assembly or disassembly… So I finally decided to build one for myself. The first picture I will post up here it is the concept idea of what I want in the end product will look like and then I’ll continue a series of posts showing the progress and the steps I’ve done to achieve that.
My goal is not to build a race bike or a particularly fast bike… But I wanted to build something that will turn heads and start conversations. Mainly just for “squidding around town” as I say. Hence the name “Squid Racer”
I did a lot of research over the last couple years and I have looked at lots of café and Bob and chop and sport bikes of different sizes displacements and brands.
So here we go!!!
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Old June 17th, 2019, 03:22 PM   #2
65Mulberry
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First thought was to remove all extra parts weight and unnecessary items. So I stripped it down to the frame and ended up cutting and welding the sub frame to get rid of the long under-supports that the stock ninja frame has. When I re-welded it we put in extra gussets but left enough of the sub frame to use the stock seat pan and latching mechanism (for the most part) as well as the supports for it to sit solid on the frame. Since it will be a single seater I don’t need all of that support stretching back to the sub frame that it originally came with.
Here’s a couple pictures of the frame before cutting, during the cutting, marked up with zip ties and gussets

BTW: first pic was my starting point...

E724FD89-E7F2-4D5F-8B77-CEBAC69B624E.jpg

62B3931E-5440-4BE0-8A55-63BBBAB4C15A.jpg

A2E8E8A1-40B4-49DF-8546-6459BFFA6A52.jpg

A4B6F06C-519A-41F8-B2AA-A14055B3DC61.jpg

B125D2F1-EACD-4DDD-9A63-B97CDF5F8654.jpgin place. And then welded and painted satin black after
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Old June 17th, 2019, 03:27 PM   #3
65Mulberry
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Also fabricated a two into one exhaust header from a stock header and wrapped it and installed. You can see the pictures here, cut down the front fender to a café style. And mounted a round Vetter headlight w/mini turn signals
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Old June 17th, 2019, 03:37 PM   #4
65Mulberry
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Also raised the forks slightly and mounted a set of clip-on’s. I put them above the triple tree for now but may drop the forks back down and mount them underneath… Not sure yet.
Also here is a pic of subframe before/after w/stock seat on still. Because of the way that I am going to do the rear single cowl seat section I will remove about three inches of the sub frame behind the last seat support where the two tabs go down to hold the back of it up. And I will ditch the grab handle back there as well

(and apologize for some the pics being 90 degrees off---posting from my iphone and its doing that for some reason)
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Old June 17th, 2019, 03:46 PM   #5
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The next big thing was to move all of the electronics. Originally I was going to put them under the tail section and build a fiberglass cowl. But I am going a different route with that that I will explain later. So I cut down the original inner fender liner that mounts to the shock mount and the center portion of the sub frame under the seat and reused it. Interestingly I then disassembled all of the mounting brackets that used to be on the rest of that fender (sides and elsewhere) under and behind the side panels and used stainless steel screws/washers to reattach them to the front of the inner fender —it all fits on there just as nice as you please with the exception of the fuse box. I’ll post a picture of what I’m going to do with that to make it easy to get to and access later. But the rectifier, CDI, starter solenoid, and relay fit great. These pics don't show CDI mounted but it fits to the right of solenoid and under rectifier nicely.
I traced the new outline of the sub frame that we fabricated and then trimmed the inner fender liner off with a jigsaw and it mounts back up in there and it barely shows… And it will help keep everything in front of it dry- by being able to reuse it and keep in place

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Old June 17th, 2019, 03:52 PM   #6
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So here is where things are at this point. I’m waiting on a few things so that I can finish getting it to the point of test riding … Then I will fine-tune the cosmetics. So far I really like the direction it’s going though.
I forgot to mention that I also upgraded to an EX500 rear shock and some stiffer front fork springs with spacers which makes a nice difference as well. And I may go back to the stock dual exhaust with some different mufflers...sometimes just too hard to jet a 2-1 w/open K&N pod filter... I have a set of Cobra R mufflers, a set of perfect black OEM EX250 mufflers, and a set of Harley-Davidson Sportster 883 mufflers as well--(they look kinda promising as they clamp on and are pretty small and straight... we'll see )
Ill have to fab some bracket(s) either way.
Really wanted a Muzzy 2-1 but......like finding a unicorn nowadays... LOL

Also have to fab a coolant overflow reservoir... but i got a cool emissions evap canister bracket off a 88-89(?) ex250-- mounts to side of engine case... want to put a vintage looking canister there.

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Old June 17th, 2019, 04:00 PM   #7
65Mulberry
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The nice thing is, so far I’ve actually only spent $110 on the entire project. And most of that was for a junkyard headlight, and the clip-on handlebars… I’ll have to spring for air filters and battery. And I’ll need new tires because these are shot.
Here are some close-up pictures of the headlight mounting assembly. Are used what was left over from two other old headlight buckets sets and combined them as well as fabricating an aluminum strap to replace the broken backside of the two Delrin clamps that I had from a bike w/larger fork tubes.
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Old June 17th, 2019, 04:03 PM   #8
65Mulberry
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And since I was able to keep all of the electronics and battery under the seat and not under the rear tail section I’ll be able to fabricate a foam and vinyl rear seat section that looks like a fiberglass single seat tail with number plate on the side-- but it will actually all be made out of marine grade vinyl covering foam… Did a similar thing for my youngest sons Ninja 250 a few years ago to get rid of the double step seat and make it look like a single racer style seat.
Here’s a picture of his on his Ninja 250 which we painted Hugger Orange and made the seat out of black and orange. Sorry I don’t have a better picture
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Old June 18th, 2019, 06:15 AM   #9
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Well documented post! I like where it's going, hope to see it fully evolve.

By the way, what diameter headlight is that? I'll be getting a new headlight soon and haven't decided what size I'll be buying.
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Old June 18th, 2019, 07:27 AM   #10
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Awesome work!!

I was gonna suggest moving the rear stay for seat forwards, but you already thought of that!

How about an under-tail exhaust? Would really clean up side view and show off swingarm and wheel!
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Old June 18th, 2019, 07:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dodgerdad View Post
Well documented post! I like where it's going, hope to see it fully evolve.

By the way, what diameter headlight is that? I'll be getting a new headlight soon and haven't decided what size I'll be buying.
Looks like standard 7" headlight. If you get a Cibié e-code light, that'll give super even lighting with sharp cut-off. You'll swear there's an airplane landing behind you! The wide beam pattern also helps you see around corners.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008DQV88Q/



Great info on lighting from the premiere expert: https://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/tech.html

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Old June 18th, 2019, 07:40 AM   #12
65Mulberry
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I'll measure it and let you know... came out of an old Vetter fairing.. at least 7' if not 8" even

i have a couple smaller 5" chrome round ones as well...but i like the over-sized "bug-eye" look of this one myself. Ill have to play with location as I adjust handlebar position and riding position too.
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Old June 18th, 2019, 07:49 AM   #13
65Mulberry
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I'll check on That Cibie headlight! And I actually considered an undertail exhaust!! I think for now going to keep exhaust relatively stock (if I dont use my wrapped home-built 2-1...) and sort out the kinks on engine, wiring, and other cosmetics.... then go back revisit exhaust.

I ran this homemade 2-1 header on another EX250 for a while--other than the OEM single muffler getting uber hot it actually worked and sounded great. adn it was easy to jet too w/stock airbox in place. I followed the steps of the dude that's link been reposted on here a dozen times to build it.

BUT.....I really really REALLY love the look of this wrapped 2-1 header.
I will make a short bent extension of the pipe before the muffler after the 2-1 collector so the Cobra R will mount up much higher (zoom in on stock muffler mount I left intact on right side of my subframe mod...) like a hi-mount-- rather than where it is now in stock location down low.
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Old June 18th, 2019, 10:33 AM   #14
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Wow, you've got a lot of work done on it! Looking good.
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Old June 19th, 2019, 12:22 PM   #15
65Mulberry
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Thanks! hope to get fusebox mounted and wiring all tidy and snugged into place this weekend.

Also plan to set up seat foam and trim seat panto shape so it can go to the upholsterer as well.

Got to sort out the brakes as well but that's pretty straight forward too
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Old June 19th, 2019, 12:29 PM   #16
65Mulberry
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I suppose the other big ticket item (time more than price...) is a speedo/gauge cluster. I really just wanted to have a simple analog speedo like a HD Sportster...for the sheer simplicity and utilitarian look of things. But I see about a thousand options on ebay for multi-display speedo/tach/cluster options for $35-45 --small and functional and retains neutral light and turn indicators and bright indicator.
Im going to do more research but looking at something like this:

anyone used one or similar? Im not too worried about wiring it-- i can solder/splice OEM Ninja plug into correct wires on this cluster to plug right in
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Old June 19th, 2019, 02:56 PM   #17
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You'll want to crimp AND solder AND heat-shrink wrap connectors for best performance, durability and reliability. Tach and speedo are low-power signals that can get messed up by surface corrosion on wires & connectors. So you want those as clean, electrically conductive and weather-sealed as possible.
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Old June 19th, 2019, 03:18 PM   #18
65Mulberry
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I always solder and heatshrink all my connections. CUrios if anyone has used one these--esp re: accuracy of speedo===looks like it uses the typical magnet pick-up style for wheel rotations... I imagine it can be calibrated for wheel size? directions look a bit sparse...
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Old June 19th, 2019, 06:22 PM   #19
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Looking very good! Great job!
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Old June 19th, 2019, 08:13 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 65Mulberry View Post
I always solder and heatshrink all my connections. CUrios if anyone has used one these--esp re: accuracy of speedo===looks like it uses the typical magnet pick-up style for wheel rotations... I imagine it can be calibrated for wheel size? directions look a bit sparse...
Yup, speedo is very easy to calibrate. Be sure to do roll-out measurement with your weight on seat. Also take time to get sensor lined up with magnet within 1mm or so.
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Old July 2nd, 2019, 10:41 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 65Mulberry View Post
I suppose the other big ticket item (time more than price...) is a speedo/gauge cluster. I really just wanted to have a simple analog speedo like a HD Sportster...for the sheer simplicity and utilitarian look of things. But I see about a thousand options on ebay for multi-display speedo/tach/cluster options for $35-45 --small and functional and retains neutral light and turn indicators and bright indicator.
Im going to do more research but looking at something like this:

anyone used one or similar? Im not too worried about wiring it-- i can solder/splice OEM Ninja plug into correct wires on this cluster to plug right in
Welcome and kudos on returning to your old flame! I'm starting a roughly similar journey of my own on my new bike. I have/had vaguely similar ideas to what you're doing stylistically so it's great to see how it's working for you first lol.

Raising the forks to mount clip-ons above the triple tree..is that a large enough adjustment to affect the steering/suspension geometry? I'm staring down the barrel of a loaded similar problem and, until my clip-ons arrive, I'm trying to wrap my head around possible solutions. I wanted to avoid raising the forks but if it works on yours, who's to say? I wouldn't have to raise it very much with the amount that already sits above the stock handlebar mounting surface.

James

EDIT: Also, I was in the same boat r.e. eBay speedo's and gauge clusters. The ones that I could afford that read to 15K were... shall we say "not confidence-inspiring?" I ended up settling on a tach-only arrangement, the gauge face of which will be marked with range marking tape or paint to show what RPM in which gear will put me at 35MPH - the dominant speed limit in a lot of my home town. I can then extrapolate 25 or 45 mph visually on the tach and that will cover basically my entire riding area.
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Last futzed with by PJocko; July 2nd, 2019 at 10:45 AM. Reason: Forgot relevant info!
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Old July 3rd, 2019, 07:14 AM   #22
65Mulberry
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I've dropped and raised N250 forks an 1"-1.5" over the years and don't notice any real crazy changes... not with stock forks, springs, and oil levels. They always feel pretty neutral overall to me. On heavier bikes I've had more issues. I pulled these up about 3/4" so top of fork tube is level with clip-on.

Right now I'm trying work with clip-on positioning...so the starter/horn buttons don't hit tank bulge and get broken. And I did not try the clip-ons below the triple-tree top clamp yet... just seems a bit way-too-low for my 6'2" frame. but easy enough to try soon and see.

Prob go with bar end mirrors too.

In the process of moving so I'm on a little hold for project for a few weeks. Did not realize how much Ninja 250 stuff I'd collected over the past 15 years-- til I got ready to move it all !!!
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Old July 5th, 2019, 09:51 PM   #23
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So I finally got the seat pan and foam sorted out for the faux racing tail section....I will get it to my upholsterer tomorrow and hopefully in a few weeks he will have it ready. The seat part will be black marine grade vinyl and the rest will be red vinyl to match the bike red paint. With a white “number plate” made out of vinyl as well- stitched onto the sides. I will use black upholstery dye with a stencil to paint the number on it... Super lightweight and simple… And it allows me to reuse most of the current bike parts without having to weld on a different rear hoop or make any more subframe modifications than I already have. I also sawed off the last bit of the tail behind the rear seat support... I will put some black plastic plugs in the ends of the tubes to keep water out...And by the way, the vinyl will draw down nice and tight so that white wooly stuff you see there’s about an inch thicker and taller than the rear seat section will actually be. It will get compacted pretty good...Shaped more like the picture in one of the earlier posts in this thread where I did the mock up
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Old July 5th, 2019, 10:01 PM   #24
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Raising fork-tubes about 1.1" in clamps reduces head angle from 27° to 26° which is what new-gen uses. So not significant change.
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Old July 5th, 2019, 10:49 PM   #25
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Dig it. Thanks for the insight. Having only dealt with cars previously, changing the suspension height by an inch sounds like a drastic change. An extra degree of what would be caster on a car's front suspension is enough to notice, if not exactly life altering.
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Old July 9th, 2019, 09:59 PM   #26
65Mulberry
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More wiring progress tonite. Wanted to keep things super tidy and compact... so I built this little drop cradle bracket out of some aluminum strapping... for the fuse box and the CDI BOX... funny how perfectly all the wiring fit.... no slack or shortness... I used another small strap of aluminum to hold the rubber CDI “sleeve” to the bottom of bracket and drilled holes in line with the ones in the fuse box... a long rivet pulled it all snug and there ya go` a super lightweight compact situation for the two boxes. I Left fuse box on top so it’s uber easy to pop the seat off and check fuses. Then I riveted bracket to frame... had to position it so wasn’t under the little rounded “feet” on the seat that ride on the frame. Then I ziptied all the wiring harness to frame and subframe tubing.
Just need to hook batt lead to solenoid and build a battery box or platform above the upper shock mount. It will screw to the factory molded in nuts still in inner fender liner. I’m really liking the way it’s coming together
Here’s a few pics of it from the pieces/parts stage ... to the install.
Enjoy!!

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Old July 9th, 2019, 10:02 PM   #27
65Mulberry
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A few pics with it in place on bike now...

PLease excuse upside down pics— does that randomly when I post from phone
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Old July 10th, 2019, 12:10 AM   #28
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If you're concerned with packaging battery, i've been using Ballistic 4-cell battery on my race-bike for past 3-yrs without any problems. Very lightweight!

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Old July 11th, 2019, 01:11 PM   #29
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nice idea!
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Old July 11th, 2019, 01:29 PM   #30
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At one point, I was considering moving ALL the electronics into front part of bike under fairing. This would remove about 10-miles of wiring and save couple LBs of weight.
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Old July 11th, 2019, 01:41 PM   #31
65Mulberry
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I am pretty pleased with how this has all tucked and fit so well---I did lay out the harness and study it for a while before mounting it all so that helped.

How may CCA is that little 4-cell battery?
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Old July 11th, 2019, 08:47 PM   #32
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About 120 CCA I think. Although bike actually only draws about 50 amps.

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