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Old January 25th, 2023, 03:05 PM   #1
MrB64
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First ride out

Used the Ninja for the first commute to work today, 56 mile round trip, mostly A roads, 50-60 mph single carriageway with a bit of 30mph urban either end.

It starts fine from cold and fast idles about 2k rpm, when I pull away, after a couple hundred yards or so the fast idle rose to over 4k and started to push the bike on when slowing for a junction, idle settled down to normal when warmed up. Is this normal?

Temp gauge only just crept above the C even after 28 miles, was only 2 degree ambient though. Normal?

Weird buzzy noise when I opened it up a bit, reading a lot about clutch lever vibration?

Other observations; fueled it back up first thing this morning since I collected it from the dealer, calculated 65mpg (English gallons).
Tacho bulb has blown.
Nearly fell off in the car park at work on a sheet of ice.
Need to adjust my riding style, used to the R1 having immense grunt from 3000rpm, the Ninja is my like RGV and thrives on revs.
It's also now plastered in road dirt after one day, ah well, an excuse to clean it.
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Old January 26th, 2023, 08:01 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by MrB64 View Post
It starts fine from cold and fast idles about 2k rpm, when I pull away, after a couple hundred yards or so the fast idle rose to over 4k and started to push the bike on when slowing for a junction, idle settled down to normal when warmed up. Is this normal?
You have the carbed version, correct? (I forget whether the UK in that gen offered a FI version) Did you have the choke on to start it? In my experience, if it is left on for even a few moments after the bike is underway, the idle speed goes higher than useful. Once the bikes wheels are moving, I was able to to turn the choke all the way back. But this was in a warm climate, and I imagine that in cooler climates some riders might have a use to keep the choke on slightly longer.
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Old January 26th, 2023, 08:16 AM   #3
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I agree with Alex. When I lived in a cold climate, I would let the bike warm up on choke while I pulled on the gloves and helmet; once I got rolling the choke went completely off. Just keep the revs up for that first block or two and it should even out.
Vibrations can be almost anything, but I've noticed a bit around my lower fairing from time to time. I'm sure you will find it, but I would suspect a missing screw here or there from the PO.
Blown bulbs would make me nervous. Hopefully it's not a sign of things to come. Ride safe MrB!
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Old January 27th, 2023, 08:10 AM   #4
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It's an EFI bike, sorry should have said, assumed that model year were all fi.
Didn't ride it yesterday as it was icy again.
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Old January 30th, 2023, 05:22 PM   #5
Bob KellyIII
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I'ed be really reluctant to ride ANY bike when the temperatures are under 35~40 degrees.... as cold spots can be below freezing and if you hit a patch of black ice you will go down !....
the vibration might be from a flat spot on the tire...in extremally cold weather it takes a while for the tires to be Round again.... on a bike that is really noticeable in cars not so much but it does happen to them as well.
....
give that bike a good wax job and the road dirt will come right off with a garden hose !
.....
riding 25 miles one way in that kind of cold is mean.... I hope you have good warm riding gear !
.... essentials in cold weather riding to me are ... a black lava neck protector
gauntlet gloves riding pants that stop wind and rain (over pants) heavy boots and wool hunting socks and last but not least a good waterproof winter riding jacket. a clear face shield and a tinted one ...winter days can get so bright sometimes you cannot see the road, time for the tinted face shield then.
....a thermos of hot coffee for when you arrive to warm your core ! and start your disrobing routine ! it makes it almost bearable. but the car is alot warmer for this old man now !!!!
...
Bob......
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Old January 31st, 2023, 10:16 AM   #6
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Haha, we Californians don't care for the cold!
Back when I lived in Chicago, my cutoff was 20 degrees F (-7C). To do that, I had to run the block heater on my bike (a cheap electric space heater leaned up on the peg) and bundle up in all my gear and top it off with my raingear to cut the wind. Snowmobile mittens were key. Hats off MrB for braving the elements. I gave up and moved to the land of eternal sunshine.
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Old January 31st, 2023, 03:44 PM   #7
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I remember riding 20 miles to work and 20 miles back in Hamelton Montana in - 7 degrees on a suzuki 100cc.... all my riding gear was not enough .
when I finally got home with 3" of snow on the ground I really had trouble getting off the bike... my bones didn't want to move if it wern't for the wife I may well have been found there in the spring ! that was by far the coldest I have ever been.... that was so far beyond hypothermia that I was actually having trouble keeping consciousness!..... tunnel vision and all that....
..... Now when it gets below 50 I stop riding ! LOL
I think because of all those cold rides in my younger days my tolerance for the cold has really fell.... it used to be no big deal but now it is severe pain !
....
incidentally; the tires on that Suzuki were dirt Knobbies and I could easily ride it in the snow if I'ed had street tread there would have been no way to go that far !.... I quickly learned cutting my own trail was far better than going in the ruts of cars.... as that was packed Ice.... no traction at all....
I was pealing logs for a log house company out in the yard with no shelter
with a simple draw knife.... we got 0.12cents a foot and it was the only work around so that is what I did..... but after that ride I quit I wasn't going to do that again !...
....
Bob.....
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Old February 1st, 2023, 02:58 PM   #8
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Used It for the last three days (weather warmed a bit, now around 5-8 degrees).

Fast idle seems to be just a feature, does it consistently from cold and ive got used to it.
Temp gauge still sits just above the C, might do a bit of measuring with my pryometer to check the thermostat is behaving.
Vibration has gone, must have been the clutch lever as suggested. Gave it some gas on the way home today and it was all smooth.
Used its first tank of fuel averaged 71mpg.
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Old February 6th, 2023, 01:29 PM   #9
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If you're going to continue riding in the cold, look into the Thermo-Bob. https://watt-man.com/new-shop/thermo...l-model-years/

The stock cooling system is a single loop. Flow is determined almost entirely by whether or not the thermostat is open. When it's closed, the only flow is through the tiny 1mm bleed hole in the stat. For the most part, coolant sits in the engine getting hotter, and in the radiator getting colder. When enough warm coolant trickles through the bypass hole that some heat actually gets to the thermostat, it opens up and there's a surge of coolant movement. The hot coolant in the engine is replaced with the supercooled radiator coolant. It's even possible for coolant to make it all the way through the engine and back to the stat while being cold enough to cause the stat to close again, repeating the cycle. Also note that the temperature sensor is in the remote thermostat housing, so it's not directly measuring the temperature of the coolant inside the engine.

With a Thermo-Bob, the coolant is constantly pumped through the engine, past the thermostat, through the bypass line, and back into the engine. That whole loop should uniformly get up to the thermostat temp pretty quickly, regardless of ambient temp. Once it hits the stat temp, the stat opens and coolant is allowed to flow through the radiator to cool off, just as the stock setup does.

https://www.ninjette.org/forums/showthread.php?t=88799 has quite a bit of info on it, though most of the pic links are now broken.

Here's the report from a DIY bypass on an EX500 (the 500's cooling setup can't really accept a Thermo-Bob):
Quote:
I haven't had temperatures very close to freezing (or below) to get a full test in, however, I have ridden the bike in dry conditions around 40 deg F. The temperature of the bike during these conditions, across all speeds, is much more stable. Previously, the bike showed very wild fluctuations in indicated coolant temperature depending on the speed. Now the temps are very stable. While moving at nearly any speed, the needle sits just about the midpoint of the temp gauge. When stopped, it starts to creep up a bit, but never drops lower than that steady place on the gauge once I start moving, all the way up to 80 MPH.

Additionally, I can say more definitively now that the improvement in low-RPM performance seems very real. Previously, asking for any significant power lower than 3k RPM was pretty useless due to "lugging". Now, the bike will happily provide usable torque much lower in the RPMs, down to approximately 2.2K. It isn't a LOT of power, but its at least nicer than before. Idle also seems to be ~150 RPM higher. I don't have a clue what mechanism is at work to improve the low-end performance, but I like it!
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Old February 6th, 2023, 03:09 PM   #10
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From my observations the stock system on the Ninja is almost exactly the same as the Thermo-bob unit... I don't understand why you would recomend adding
an additional unit to the bike ?
....
I have not incountered any heating/cooling issues with My Ninja at all and I think the stock system works fine.... why change it ?
No doubt the Ninja is a cold blooded beast ...meaning it takes a long time to warm up.... and that may well be because of the outline of operation you gave above...having to get the hot coolant through the little weep hole to initially open the thermostat. I would think that if the slowness of the bike warming up bothers you, that increasing the size of the weep hole in the thermostat itself may well speed up the warming process.... as long as you didn't drill a great big hole so too much coolant could by pass the thermostat.... I would think that just doubling the size of the weep-hole in the thermostat would be all it would take to make the bike warm up faster..... In reality drilling a larger hole in the thermostat would in fact slow down the thermostat from actually actuating.... because of the greater volume of coolant circulating. but it would even out the tempiture
of the coolant in the system faster than the stock system allowing what would feel like the bike reaches operating tempiture faster.
....
the thermo-bob unit was designed to get the thermostat to react faster on the KLR 650 as it had a internal thermostat that took a long time to open up
and when it finally did it would shock the already hot engine and thus cause
issues that caused the cylinder to go out of round into an egg shape and that had drastic effects on compression and operation of the engine.
I don't thing there is an issue of the cylinders warping on the Ninja... but there is a problem with it getting warm in cold weather....I have noticed that myself, as I have ran my ninja at 40 degrees and it took almost 45 minutes of idling to warm up enough to take throttle without hesitation....
although that is probably due to carb issues and not the cooling system
it is proof to me that the Ninja is slow to warm up....
.... so perhaps a bigger weep-hole in the thermostat itself is all it would take to get the bike up to operating tempiture faster I don't know...
any thoughts on this guys ?
Bob.......
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Old February 7th, 2023, 04:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob KellyIII View Post
From my observations the stock system on the Ninja is almost exactly the same as the Thermo-bob unit... I don't understand why you would recomend adding an additional unit to the bike ?
The Ninja's cooling system is almost identical to the KLR's, exept the thermostat is in a remote housing instead of directly on the side of the head, and it's a higher temp stat. It's still a single loop where the thermostat just restricts the amount of coolant flow.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob KellyIII View Post
I have not incountered any heating/cooling issues with My Ninja at all and I think the stock system works fine.... why change it ?
No doubt the Ninja is a cold blooded beast ...meaning it takes a long time to warm up.... and that may well be because of the outline of operation you gave above...having to get the hot coolant through the little weep hole to initially open the thermostat. I would think that if the slowness of the bike warming up bothers you, that increasing the size of the weep hole in the thermostat itself may well speed up the warming process.... as long as you didn't drill a great big hole so too much coolant could by pass the thermostat.... I would think that just doubling the size of the weep-hole in the thermostat would be all it would take to make the bike warm up faster..... In reality drilling a larger hole in the thermostat would in fact slow down the thermostat from actually actuating.... because of the greater volume of coolant circulating. but it would even out the tempiture of the coolant in the system faster than the stock system allowing what would feel like the bike reaches operating tempiture faster.
The "cold blooded" part is exactly what the Thermo-Bob fixes. A bypass setup lets the coolant flow from the engine to the thermostat and bypass the radiator if it doesn't need to be cooled. The whole loop can basically get up to the stat temp and stay there. Once the coolant gets above the stat temp, the radiator leg is opened up and the hot coolant can be cooled down. If it drops below the stat temp, the radiator leg is closed off again, and the coolant in the engine stays at the stat temp.

The size of the bleed hole is also addressed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by watt-man.com
The bigger the bleed hole, the better the response will be – but on the other hand, a bigger bleed hole will delay warm-up because more of your coolant is being chilled by the radiator, which you wish wasn’t being utilized yet. This is a legitimate problem on non-bypass systems... you're juggling thermal response with warm-up time, and to make one better the other must get worse.
It's inherently a tradeoff. You can make the hot coolant from the engine get to the stat quicker, but you're also sending that much more coolant through the radiator unnecessarily, causing more cold coolant to come into the engine.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob KellyIII View Post
the thermo-bob unit was designed to get the thermostat to react faster on the KLR 650 as it had a internal thermostat that took a long time to open up
and when it finally did it would shock the already hot engine and thus cause
issues that caused the cylinder to go out of round into an egg shape and that had drastic effects on compression and operation of the engine.
I don't thing there is an issue of the cylinders warping on the Ninja...
It's not that the thermostat is slow to react, it's that the single loop cooling system's flow is essentially turned on/off by the stat opening/closing. This causes half the coolant to sit in the engine getting hot, while the other half sits in the radiator getting cold. When enough coolant trickles through the bleed hole for the thermostat to get hot enough to open, the hot coolant rushes out of the engine and the cold coolant from the radiator rushes in. Like you said, it shocks the engine. Sometimes the coolant can even make it all the way through the engine and back to the stat while remaining cold enough to close it again. You end up with literally an on/off system where the coolant in the engine gets heat-soaked and the coolant in the radiator gets "cold-soaked", and then they switch places, repeatedly.

The Ninjas use the same single loop cooling system, just with a remote thermostat housing. The extra foot of hose between the engine and stat might help moderate the coolant temp as it trickles its way up to the thermostat, I don't know. The EX500 has a similar remote stat (but annoyingly with separate lines from each cylinder). It's not a horrible problem like with the KLR, but it's not super uncommon for the 500 to have the cylinders get out of round either. Having learned about the KLR's issues, I believe the cooling system isn't doing the 500 any favors there. Perhaps the 250's engine isn't quite as fragile, or the radiator is sized slightly better, or something else causes it to handle the situation better. I'm not saying that your 250 will get ovaled cylinders if you don't have a Thermo-Bob, but its cooling system is essentially the same as the KLR's, for whatever that's worth.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob KellyIII View Post
but there is a problem with it getting warm in cold weather....I have noticed that myself, as I have ran my ninja at 40 degrees and it took almost 45 minutes of idling to warm up enough to take throttle without hesitation....
although that is probably due to carb issues and not the cooling system
it is proof to me that the Ninja is slow to warm up....
.... so perhaps a bigger weep-hole in the thermostat itself is all it would take to get the bike up to operating tempiture faster I don't know...
The tradeoff with enlarging the bleed hole is that it contributes to staying cold longer. The tradeoff with a bypass is just the extra cost and complexity of adding the bypass. If you're ok with the time and cost of adding a Thermo-Bob, it fixes the warmup problem with no effect on cooling performance. It sounds like the TB3 can be installed in place of the stock thermostat housing (with some consideration for the temp sender), making the upgrade a little simpler even.

Here are actual Ninjette users' reports from the other thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by greg737 View Post
Before the Thermo Bob my EX-250 was very cold-natured, it took forever to get up to anything even approaching a normal engine operating temperature and even then it ran pretty cool any time the weather was less than about 70 degrees, which is quite often here in Spokane. With temperatures anywhere below the mid 50s my EX-250's temperature gauge needle would only rise to just above the cold line.

Now, with the Thermo Bob installed I've been riding the last three days in temperatures from the mid 30s up to low 50s. In these temperatures the gauge needle now rises quickly to just below halfway on the gauge and stays there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by misfitsailor View Post
The ThermoBob is the way Kawasaki should have done the cooling system in the first place. Before I got one, warm ups were always slow. In cold weather, the bike never warmed up at all. The running temps were all over the place, sometimes too low, other times rather high. Now warm ups are fast year round and temps are constant within a close range. Having your engine run at constant temps will increase it's life.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rojoracing53 View Post
I've been running a thermo-bob for two years on my 2009 and it works great. I don't warm up my bike and instead I just start it as I'm rolling down my driveway and just cruise for about 2 mins. After 2 mins I'm already at 150f and only a min or so later I'm at a full temp of 190f. I'd imagine the fact that my bike warms up so fast now as helps with me never needing the choke because by the time I come to the first stop sign I'm already well over 100f.
Quote:
Originally Posted by choneofakind View Post
Very pleased with my Thermobob setup. Bike comes right up to operating temp on the gauge in about a mile, choke has to be turned off as soon as I start moving, or else I get the telltale bog that says my choke is making my bike too rich. Temp needle sticks at 11:00 or so, only comes up when I'm at a stop light, regardless of how warm or cold it is outside.
The conclusion I've come to is that the little Ninjas are cold-blooded directly because of the single loop cooling system. Even if that doesn't specifically cause KLR-level issues, I think it's better for my bike to avoid running so cold. That's why I'm currently working on figuring out a bypass setup for my 400.
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Old February 7th, 2023, 06:26 PM   #12
Bob KellyIII
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Very interesting ! thank you for that !
I'd be interested to see what you come up with as a bypass for the bike !
.....
the Thermo-Bob unit is a complex unit that actually opens and closes the bypass circuit as it opens up the regular cooling system that valve arrangement
might be hard to come up with for the DIY crowd... it actually sounds like your right on it.... it may well be worth the investment of a thermo-Bob unit
just to have the bike stay at a constant tempiture !
The problem is where would you put it.... when all is said and done there is very little room to do anything on the Ninja... the stock thermostat housing is right under the gas tank and there isn't much room there and I am sure the Thermo Bob unit is a bit bigger than the stock one. plus there is an extra hose
that needs to be plumbed in there....
.... I have no doubt it would be better for the engine... but getting it on the bike
might take some doing.... because there is very little room
....
Please Let us know what you come up with !
....
Bob.......
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Old February 7th, 2023, 07:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob KellyIII View Post
the Thermo-Bob unit is a complex unit that actually opens and closes the bypass circuit as it opens up the regular cooling system that valve arrangement
Negative, ghost rider. The thermobob is just a round aluminum can with hole for the bypass in addition to the normal hole headed towards the radiator. The thermostat only controls flow through the radiator, it does not control the flow through the bypass. The bypass flows a small amount of coolant whenever the engine is running, regardless of temperature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob KellyIII View Post
The problem is where would you put it.... when all is said and done there is very little room to do anything on the Ninja... the stock thermostat housing is right under the gas tank and there isn't much room there
It fits under the gas tank, just above the head; same place as the factory thermostat housing. It's a little annoying when it comes time for a valve lash check, but that was manageable, IME.

The only issue I encountered with mine was conductivity. The temp sensor is grounded via the housing, because that's how temp sensors commonly operate. The thermobob is annodized, which meant it didn't conduct well and my temp sensor didn't work initially. I suggest running a tap through the threads for the temp sensor when you install it to get bare metal contact. That worked for me.

I apologize if I have some details missing, or if I'm fuzzy at all. It's been 5+ years since I've owned my Ninja and a lot of the work I did to it was before that.
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Old February 7th, 2023, 10:45 PM   #14
Bob KellyIII
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Oh I thought the Thermo-Bob regulated the bypass as well....ok thanks !
.....
I'm just trying to figure out how to do that sort of arrangement using the stock thermostat housing... like maybe run 2 Y connectors in the line that bypass the thermostat.... that should be easy enough to accomplish but I would think that was make the bike run colder all the time.... it would assure coolant circulation no doubt but it would keep the motor cold doing that.... so I don't think it would help "Warm up the bike" though all the coolant would reach the ambient temp faster....
....
do either of you have any ideas on how I could accomplish the thermo-Bob's
workings on the stock system ?
....
Bob........
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Old February 8th, 2023, 02:23 PM   #15
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Interesting readings, Thanks guys.
Thermo Bob doesn't appear to be available over here plus the price seems a little steep for what it is.
So I've bought a second hand thermostat housing from a breakers and will look at making my own version. I have access at work to machining and ally welding.
Threaded hose tails are easily sourced in all sizes.
Will take the fairing off over the weekend and check the layout.
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Old February 8th, 2023, 05:25 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob KellyIII View Post
Oh I thought the Thermo-Bob regulated the bypass as well....ok thanks !
The bypass always being open is also addressed in the TB info. There's always a bit of coolant bypassing the radiator and therefore reducing the cooling performance. However, that also means slightly less coolant going through the radiator, so there's a bit more dwell time in the radiator, increasing the cooling performance. Theoretically, these cancel each other out. In reality, he saw about 3°F increase in temps compared to a complex system that completely closed the bypass off.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob KellyIII View Post
I'm just trying to figure out how to do that sort of arrangement using the stock thermostat housing... like maybe run 2 Y connectors in the line that bypass the thermostat.... that should be easy enough to accomplish but I would think that was make the bike run colder all the time.... it would assure coolant circulation no doubt but it would keep the motor cold doing that.... so I don't think it would help "Warm up the bike" though all the coolant would reach the ambient temp faster....
....
do either of you have any ideas on how I could accomplish the thermo-Bob's workings on the stock system ?
Generically speaking, you want to tap into the coolant line at the engine side of the thermostat, and the bypass line will just T back into the lower radiator hose. The coolant will flow out of the engine, past the stat, and then either through the bypass line if it's cool (stat closed) or through the radiator if it's hot (stat open). Then into the return hose and back to the engine. The bypass has to be near the thermostat though, so that the coolant from the engine actually flows over the stat and causes it to open when it's hot. Just to keep things perfectly clear since you used the phrase "bypass the thermostat", this type of system causes cold coolant to bypass the radiator, not the thermostat. That's why it causes it to warm up faster.

The EX500's cooling system design makes it nearly impossible to splice a TB into the system. The guy that I quoted above DIYed his by using the temp sender port.



He used a 90° elbow in the port, into a T, with a 90° 1/4" hose barb on top for the bypass line, and a reducer in the other side to hold the temp sender. It technically works, but there are some issues. He had problems with the threading - I think it might be BSP rather than NPT. With the temp sender relocated, it's actually only measuring the temp of the coolant going through the bypass, not in the main loop. In the simpler carbed bikes, that should only be running the dash gauge as opposed to actually giving the ECU data, but you're still making your engine monitoring less accurate. And while the pile of parts does technically get the job done, it's obviously a lot more Rube Goldberg than the simple Thermo-Bob housing.

I think it might be possible to tap another hole above the temp sender location to make a port dedicated to the bypass. This leaves the temp sender untouched, but still gives you a hose barb in a similar location, without needing all the adapters.



The NewGen's stat housing is much simpler. The PreGen's is pretty much the same as this too, just a bit more compact.



As stated, if you transfer the temp sender to the Thermo-Bob, you could probably just drop it in place of the stock housing to keep the cooling system simpler overall.

It doesn't look like there's a good spot in the stock housing to drill and tap a new hole for a bypass line fitting. You could probably rig it up the same way the EX500 guy did, and use the temp sender port and some fittings (with the same caveats mentioned above). Maybe try this as a temporary test, to see how it works out for your bike?

Keep in mind that with the bypass setup, the engine should pretty much sit at the thermostat temp. The stock stat is 180°F, while 195°F is probably a little better (and what the TB comes with). If you wanted to bump your DIY setup up to 195°F, you'd also have to find a Ninja-compatible stat at the higher temp too.

Personally, if I had an EX250, I'd probably just install a TB3 in place of the stock stat housing since it seems to fit there. You'd just need to splice the bypass return into the lower radiator hose and maybe add a ground wire for the stock temp sender. Minimal modification to stock parts, no fabrication needed, and no "extra crap" on the bike (early installs had you cut apart the stock stat to retain its sealing gasket in the stock housing, while also splicing the TB housing into the hose). As it is, I may just end up removing my 400's stock thermostat and splicing a TB3 into the radiator hoses. It's not as slick as it could be, but it's definitely the most straightforward way to accomplish it.
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Old February 8th, 2023, 05:34 PM   #17
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Interesting readings, Thanks guys.
Thermo Bob doesn't appear to be available over here plus the price seems a little steep for what it is.
So I've bought a second hand thermostat housing from a breakers and will look at making my own version. I have access at work to machining and ally welding.
Threaded hose tails are easily sourced in all sizes.
Will take the fairing off over the weekend and check the layout.
If you're able to make somewhat-involved mods to the stock housing, basically all you have to do is add another port near the temp sender for the bypass line. If you could weld up some extra material, then drill and tap a spot for a hose barb, that should work.

As I mentioned in the previous post, the extra flow to the stat might make the stock temperature less than ideal, so you may want to try to find a hotter stat to fit the stock housing.
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Old February 8th, 2023, 08:04 PM   #18
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Ahhh ! thank you Bill ! I get it now, your not bypassing the thermostat to the cold side of the radiator (top) but the Hot side (bottom side, which is the intake to the pump....) allowing curculation during the start and warm up period is a really good thing..... so there is no Hot pockets or cold pockets in the water jackets ! .... that is super cool ! and on my bike it looks like I should be able to do that with 1/2" or 3/8" hose...
...
the only problem I can see is making the bypass fittings i.e. welding up a "T"
for both ends.
.....
so.... lets see if I got this right ...off the top of the engine the radiator hose that goes TO the thermostat housing put a small "T" there. and then at the bottom radiator hose put a "T" there and connect the two....
....
I like this idea because it gives coolant circulation all the time.... not just when the thermostat is open....which is how it is in stock form.
....
Cool..... Looks like I got another project for the Ninja !
.....
THANKS Guys !!!!!


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Old February 9th, 2023, 11:25 PM   #19
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If you want to convert the stock setup with a pretty small amount of modding and cost, I think the best way is to buy 2 of Watt-man's bypass fittings with hose barbs (or similar). Splice one into the upper hose between the engine and thermostat housing. But swap the hose barb and temp sender, so the sender is in the new fitting, and the hose barb is in the stock stat housing. This keeps the temp sender in the coolant flow and puts the bypass at the thermostat. Splice the second bypass fitting into the lower radiator hose as usual and connect the two barbs with the bypass hose.

Caveats
  • You'll have to run a ground wire to the new bypass fitting for the temp sender to work properly there.
  • I don't know what's around those parts on the 250s. Certain angles or sizes of hose barbs may not actually fit in those places on the bike.
  • I don't know what size/thread Watt-man's hose barbs use. I'm pretty sure the EX500's temp sender is 1/8" BSP, but the 250s may be different. He may use 1/4" and/or NPT instead. This means it might not be as simple as "unscrew them and put them in the other holes" to swap. You may need to buy different barbs and/or some adapters and find a way to make it all fit (similar to the EX500 DIY).
  • Ideally with an open bypass system like this, you want the input and radiator legs to be a straight shot, and the bypass to be a right-angle to the side (like the TB's design). This helps the coolant flow prefer the radiator over the bypass when the stat is open. In the stock housing, the temp sender port is kind of straight-through, while the radiator path is turned up. However, the sender port is much smaller, and the thermostat itself interrupts the flow to it, so it shouldn't be a huge deal.
  • With the improved flow of a bypass system, the coolant in the engine shouldn't really be any hotter than the coolant at the thermostat (unlike the stock system with restricted flow). The stock 180°F stat might be cooler than ideal after the conversion. You might want to try to find a ~195°F replacement stat.

If you don't mind spending a bit on the full Thermo-Bob setup, it should fit in place of the stock thermostat housing without too much work. Make sure the TB is grounded and transfer the temp sender over, splice the bypass return into the lower radiator hose, and you're done. There's more cost, but there's less work, you get a better stat housing design, and the hotter stat is included.

If you can pull off the DIY for $40, that's quite a savings. If it ends up being $100 for miscellaneous parts you have to cobble together, you might as well just spend the extra $30 and buy the TB as a quality, complete product.
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Old February 9th, 2023, 11:50 PM   #20
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Wow ! thanks for that ! here I had already resigned to make my own fitting out of water pipe ! LOL....that is much easier THANK YOU !
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Old February 10th, 2023, 06:36 AM   #21
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My plan is to add a -6 weld on to the bottom of the thermostat housing as in the pic, just stuck a fitting on as a demo.
Then another weld on in the lower rad pipe as where "X marks the spot". Got plenty of hoses at work to join it up.
Looks like if it works, the bulb on the thermostat will restrict the bypass when it opens aswell.
Rode to work yesterday, weather was grim in the morning, good indication of the airflow around the fairing.
Obligatory wash for it this morning, very considerate of our local car parts store to provide colour coded buckets.
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Old February 10th, 2023, 07:00 AM   #22
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Humm that's a good idea but the thermostat housing is aluminum alloy...you can't weld steel to aluminum. it will just brake right off when it cools...
(believe me I've tried)
Maybe J.B.WELD ??? would do it, maybe.... you could weld on the lower radiator hose as it is steel...but on the thermostat housing you'll have to come up with another idea.... the radiator only holds about 2 P.S.I. but J.B.Weld has held alot more in the past for me.... (over 30p.s.i. on an oil line.) the problem is to make it where it has real good grip and can't just fall off as a chunk....
like a die grinder and groves in the aluminum and fitting then leave the J.B.Weld real thick on it. that stuff can be drilled and tapped so a big glob on the bottom drilled and tapped may do the trick but it would take several extra holes through the housing to give the J.B.Weld something to grab on to
clean shinie surfaces don't like J.B.Weld ! ....grind it !
....
perhaps you could find an aluminum fitting and tig weld it on the thermostat housing..... that is a possability.

....
You can always tell a bike that is being used daily by the dirt layers on it !
that my friend is a badge of honor....of course it never hurts to give it a good cleaning now and then ....LOL

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Old February 10th, 2023, 07:33 AM   #23
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My plan is to add a -6 weld on to the bottom of the thermostat housing as in the pic, just stuck a fitting on as a demo.
My original plan for the EX500 was pretty similar. The "bowl" at the bottom of the stat housing seemed like just about the only place where you could do anything. Ideally, I wanted to find a hose barb that was about the same diameter as the bowl so I could tap it and just thread it in, and the ID would match the bottom of the stat so it would be a nice little blockoff.


I learned just yesterday that they have "double poppet" thermostats. Instead of the bare bulb at the bottom, there's a second plunger there. When it gets hot and opens, the bottom plunger also moves down to seal off the bypass. Having the standard thermostat extend down in the way of the bypass is sort of a poor man's version of that.



It would be cool if you could find something like this to completely seal it off, but all of the ones I've seen are way too big for the Ninja's stock housing. And obviously, the housing would need to match the dimensions of the stat, so that it has enough room to fully open but still seals against the bypass port.
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Old February 10th, 2023, 08:44 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob KellyIII View Post
Humm that's a good idea but the thermostat housing is aluminum alloy...you can't weld steel to aluminum. it will just brake right off when it cools...
(believe me I've tried)
Maybe J.B.WELD ??? would do it, maybe.... you could weld on the lower radiator hose as it is steel...but on the thermostat housing you'll have to come up with another idea.... the radiator only holds about 2 P.S.I. but J.B.Weld has held alot more in the past for me.... (over 30p.s.i. on an oil line.) the problem is to make it where it has real good grip and can't just fall off as a chunk....
like a die grinder and groves in the aluminum and fitting then leave the J.B.Weld real thick on it. that stuff can be drilled and tapped so a big glob on the bottom drilled and tapped may do the trick but it would take several extra holes through the housing to give the J.B.Weld something to grab on to
clean shinie surfaces don't like J.B.Weld ! ....grind it !
....
perhaps you could find an aluminum fitting and tig weld it on the thermostat housing..... that is a possability.

....
You can always tell a bike that is being used daily by the dirt layers on it !
that my friend is a badge of honor....of course it never hurts to give it a good cleaning now and then ....LOL

Bob......
We use ally weld ons at work, aslong as the stat housing aren't made out of cheeseium it should hold.
Our fabricators at work will let me know how it welds.
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Old February 20th, 2023, 02:48 PM   #25
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Done about 700 miles on it now and its running well.
Mileage keeps on improving, started at 65mpg, then 71, 74 and filled up tonight recording 78mpg.
Got the weld on fittings on order and one of the fabricators at work is tee'd up to weld the parts together to make the thermostat bypass.
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Old February 28th, 2023, 02:20 PM   #26
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Next step of the thermostat bypass complete.
Bought a used lower coolant pipe from an earlier model, got one of the fabbys at work to attach the weld on and found a hose that is hopefully long enough to reach around the front of the engine to the thermostat. Ignore the rusty appearance of the pipe, it will get a lick of paint before fitting.
Just need the stat housing now.
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Old March 3rd, 2023, 11:15 AM   #27
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Thermostat housing welded ok.
Just got to get it all fitted now, maybe next weekend.
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Old March 11th, 2023, 11:20 AM   #28
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Fitted the modified thermostat housing and bypass hose today.
Installation went ok, reused my existing thermostat and temp sensor so the test is fair when comparing a before and after. I'd got two lengths of hose available and after a bit of trial and error settled on going around the back of the engine. Filled it up and had a drip from the bottom O ring, took this back off and replaced it. Filled it up again and waited while the air bled itself out.
Fired it up and within 30s or so there was heat in the thermostat housing and the bottom pipe, result. Ran it for a while to check for leaks, all good and put the fairing back.
Took it for a run and the gauge hovered just around the first line above the C. Ambient was about 7degC.
I'll run it next week and see how it goes, if it still seems to run cool, I'll test both thermostats I've got to see if one is better than the other. If there's nothing in it, I'll start blanking off some of the radiator, easily removed once the weather warms up.
Total cost , £7 for both weld ons. £25 for the thermostat housing and bottom pipe.
Hoses free from old stash at work. Welding, free. Could have got away with modifying my own stat housing and pipe but wanted the ability to go back to std if it didn't work.
If I were to do it again, I'd probably make the weld on at the stat housing to suit a banjo fitting and go over the top of the engine.
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Old March 12th, 2023, 01:47 AM   #29
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Fitted the modified thermostat housing and lower coolant pipe yesterday.
After a bit of trial and error with the hoses I'd got, settled on routing them around the back of the engine. Fired it up and within about 30seconds there was heat in the stat housing and bottom pipe, just the result I was after. Put the fairings back on ,took it for a good run, temp gauge was hovering around the line above the C. Ambient was about 7C.
Will use it for work next week and see how it goes. If I was going to do it again, I'd probably make the weld on on the stat housing suit a banjo fitting and run the hoses over the top of the engine.
Total cost was £33, I could have not bought the spare stat housing or bottom pipe and used my original parts but wanted the ability to go back to std if it didn't work. Welding and hoses were free from work. If I'd used my existing stat and pipe, it would have cost me £6.50.
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Old March 12th, 2023, 02:26 AM   #30
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Well done ! I'm interested on how fast the Bike reaches operating temp now !
I just drilled several holes along the edge of the thermostat to do the same thing.... of course if the thermostat dies I'ed have to do that again !
i have a gutt feeling i won't see much of a change at all because the holes are just too small but it is better than it was.... none of the hot water could get through to the top of the thermostat the way it was as the gasket that was on it completely covered the stock hole in the thermostat.... so it should work better but how much better is anyone's guess at this point.
....
I haven't gotten back out there to work on the ninja in the last 2 weeks as we have been burried in a late snow fall...
tomorrow Hopefully, a guy should bring a XR650L to me and I'll buy it from him running or not ! so I will have a new toy to play with shortly ! <GRIN>
( I can hardly wait ! HAHAHA!)
........
So you successfully made your own "Thermo-bob" ! and saved yourself some cash ! You should be proud of that fact ! I really hope it does every thing you hoped it would.... personally I can't see how it could fail !
Well done !
........
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Old March 12th, 2023, 10:00 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob KellyIII View Post
Well done ! I'm interested on how fast the Bike reaches operating temp now !
I just drilled several holes along the edge of the thermostat to do the same thing.... of course if the thermostat dies I'ed have to do that again !
i have a gutt feeling i won't see much of a change at all because the holes are just too small but it is better than it was.... none of the hot water could get through to the top of the thermostat the way it was as the gasket that was on it completely covered the stock hole in the thermostat.... so it should work better but how much better is anyone's guess at this point.
....
I haven't gotten back out there to work on the ninja in the last 2 weeks as we have been burried in a late snow fall...
tomorrow Hopefully, a guy should bring a XR650L to me and I'll buy it from him running or not ! so I will have a new toy to play with shortly ! <GRIN>
( I can hardly wait ! HAHAHA!)
........
So you successfully made your own "Thermo-bob" ! and saved yourself some cash ! You should be proud of that fact ! I really hope it does every thing you hoped it would.... personally I can't see how it could fail !
Well done !
........
Bob.......
Thanks Bob, might get a digital temp gauge to measure the coolant outlet , did use my infra red pyrometer while it was warming up but was sceptical of it readings.
Will take the stat out next weekend to test it and the spare I have to see their opening and fully open temps. Will fit the best i.e. hottest operating one.
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Old March 12th, 2023, 10:12 AM   #32
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Ages ago we had a car (ford falcon) that developed a heating problem
so I could not find any problems with the cooling system so I mentioned it to a parts guy and he said yah I have one right here but there is a simple way to test them... just drop them in a pan of boiling water and see if it opens up like it should.... so I bought the new thermostat and replaced the one that was in the car.... then I got to wondering if the thermostat I took out was OK or not.... so I tossed it in a pan of boiling water and it started opening but only opened about half way..... so I figured it was toast and tossed it into the trash....
on the next trip to town there was no heating problems at all....
I thought it was Odd that a bimetal spring could brake down like that... but it wasn't the spring at fault it was the silly small piston thing in the center that was frozen.... it wouldn't move at all.... ( curiosity got the best of me and I dug it back out of the trash and tore it apart to find out why it quit working)
.... I have no idea why they put that little piston thing in the thermostats or what it is for... but I figure they have to make it brake-able some how or they would never sell them ! HAHAHAH !
......
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Old March 12th, 2023, 12:03 PM   #33
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Most typical is a wax thermostat, when cold the wax element in the bulb is solid, as it heats up, the wax melts, expands and opens the valve.
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Old March 12th, 2023, 12:07 PM   #34
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Ahh.... something to slow the action down a bit I guess...that is interesting !
thanks for the info !
....
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Old March 18th, 2023, 02:32 PM   #35
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Tested my bikes thermostat and a spare today in a pan of hot water.
Both start opening around 71degC, wide open at 80.
Probably a reasonable temp for Good power, ideally run it a bit hotter for max fuel economy.
Digital temp gauge turned up today, need to get a weld on boss made and figure somewhere to attach it.

Also clocked over 1000 miles on it since buying it in January.

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Old August 16th, 2023, 02:03 PM   #36
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Ninja has now done 5000 miles since January, running very well, returning really good mileage , 89mpg at best.
Not had to do much to it, changed the oil and filter, fitted a near rear tyre after a puncture.
Only grumble is the brakes often drag first thing in the morning, despite regular stripping and clean up.
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