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Old November 26th, 2017, 06:35 AM   #1
teafour
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Teafour's project 2004 Ninja 250

Hi again,

This appears to be the place to post the projects with what is being done, thought of doing, or the hail Mary what if's. My project is a 2004 Ninja 250 I picked up extremely cheap. I intend for it to be a bike my two teenage boys can get more experience to ride with and then potentially some track days for my pure entertainment. This bike is a rag in appearance through and through but I see so much more in it.

Pics of what I started with and a couple after things I've done so far attached.

She didn't run when I got her although was supposedly running 6 months prior to picking her up. There various things just laying about half bolted or unbolted completely.

So far, I've rebuilt the starter that was beat to hell with new brushes, installed a working solenoid (after rapping it against the floor), removed the factory air box (what a pain in the ass), cleaned the carbs, installed K&N pods, and fabricated a 2 into 1 exhaust that's now on the bike (it had a factory exhaust that was cut up with a saws-all with no muffler left).

Had it running yesterday although needs lots of choke and fuel flow seems to be an issue from the tank. Drove it up and down the dirt road enough to insure it has gears and brakes.

Going to work on jetting the carbs as I'm sure it's extremely lean in all area's right now.

Once that's ironed out I have suspension pieces to work on. I have an early generation upside down fork GSXR front end that had a broken caliper mount on one side or an old ZX7 front end to adapt onto it. I then have a set of early Honda Hurricane 600 or F1 wheels (can't remember which) that I will be putting on front and back. This will get it ideal wheels in a 17" format to run a 110 front and a 140 rear which is the goal. I have a 2008ish rear shock for a GSXR600 to install that seems to be a reasonable fit. Between these, I should have improved and adjustable suspension with modern tire availability.

That's pretty much where I'm at right now other than no idea what I'm going to do for cosmetic's before it's over. Any input, warnings or suggestions, please plug away!

Thanks,

Tom
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Old November 26th, 2017, 09:35 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by teafour View Post
fabricated a 2 into 1 exhaust that's now on the bike (it had a factory exhaust that was cut up with a saws-all with no muffler left).
Hi, can post some photos and give more details about this exhaust?

- header-lengths
- header diameter?
- diameter after collector?

I've been thinking about this for my street bike. Can certainly beef up the mid-range a little.
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Old November 26th, 2017, 09:38 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by teafour View Post
I then have a set of early Honda Hurricane 600 or F1 wheels (can't remember which) that I will be putting on front and back. This will get it ideal wheels in a 17" format to run a 110 front and a 140 rear which is the goal.
One and the same. First-gen 1987-1990 CBR600F was only called Hurricane in U.S. markets. Name was dropped for 1991 2nd-gen which was simply known as CBR600F2. The F1 was only used to unofficially refer to 1st-gen after 2nd-gen came out.

These wheels with S-shaped spokes? I used set for my '86 VF500F to upgrade from bizarre stock 16/18" wheels combo. Later went to F2 wheels.

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Old November 26th, 2017, 09:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JacRyann View Post
Hi, can post some photos and give more details about this exhaust?

- header-lengths
- header diameter?
- diameter after collector?

I've been thinking about this for my street bike. Can certainly beef up the mid-range a little.
I used the factory header coming off the motor. Cut the center cross channel out and then had them run down to the right underside of the engine. Salvaged a 2-1 Y from an old exhaust that was a little larger and pinched them down and welded up as a union. Then had some additional exhaust pipe pieces of the same size pipe as the factory header cut up to route from union back into a much larger pipe. The tail portion opens up to about twice the diameter just past the footpeg and into an old yoshi pipe. All salvaged from stuff my father and I had laying around for ages.
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Old November 26th, 2017, 09:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JacRyann View Post
One and the same. First-gen 1987-1990 CBR600F was only called Hurricane in U.S. markets. Name was dropped for 1991 2nd-gen which was simply known as CBR600F2. The F1 was only used to unofficially refer to 1st-gen after 2nd-gen came out.

These wheels with S-shaped spokes? I used set for my '86 VF500F to upgrade from bizarre stock 16/18" wheels combo. Later went to F2 wheels.

Those are the exact wheels I'm talking about. Have matching front and rear's. My rear has all the sprocket carrier parts as well, so will be a matter of spacers and such to line up everything. Front wheel will be more adventurous when I get to it due to the entire new front in swap out.
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Old November 27th, 2017, 08:44 AM   #6
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Are you sure the Honda wheel and appropriate tire are going to fit inside the Ninja's swingarm?

There will be some significant issues to resolve to make a GSRX or ZX7 front forks/triple clamp and F1 front wheel work as well.

Honestly, a properly set-up stock front suspension and a better rear shock, as well as fresh tires, will work well enough for a track day - especially for a newer track rider.

Making major "improvements" to the suspension/chassis dynamics can often lead to unexpected and unsafe changes in handling.
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Old November 27th, 2017, 09:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkv45 View Post
Are you sure the Honda wheel and appropriate tire are going to fit inside the Ninja's swingarm?

There will be some significant issues to resolve to make a GSRX or ZX7 front forks/triple clamp and F1 front wheel work as well.

Honestly, a properly set-up stock front suspension and a better rear shock, as well as fresh tires, will work well enough for a track day - especially for a newer track rider. This is my current ride.


Making major "improvements" to the suspension/chassis dynamics can often lead to unexpected and unsafe changes in handling.
Good points to make and I expect some work in it. I'm not a new trackday rider although I'm rusty and trying to get back into it. Attached a picture of my current ride along with my two teenage boys that will eventually get to ride this bike after dad finishes playing with it.

The Honda wheels are essentially the same sizes as the 2008-2012 250R wheels which people have posted throughout my readings on these forums using. So I don't expect any clearance issues on the wheels themselves any different than those from the next gen ninja conversions people have overcome. I fully expect to be making new spacers and collars. I haven't started this portion of the project yet as I'm still working on the carbs and such to drive up and down with some confidence still.

The front suspension on this specific bike is crap. The forks are pitted and ugly, seals are blown completely out on one side with pits in it's stagnant sitting position. Since I'm wanting to better that and go to 17" wheels, I'm going to be either buying someone's used stock and modifying it or I'm going to try and use what I already own in storage and modifying that instead. I'm out of practice from doing it but in my past, I've done many of these kinds of mods in the 90s when everything started to get wider rims from the factory to bikes out of the 80's. The front end will need a mod on the stem going into the neck of the frame in some direction that's yet to be determined. One additional concern I have is that I currently have no upper fairing so I don't know how wide the front end is for clearance to the bodywork. That could change what I'm doing as well.

I did get a GSX600 rear shock for $20 that I think is a common mod looked at through these forums. For $20, figured I can't go wrong if it doesn't want to work out easily.

Definitely a lot of TBD on what I'm doing, so I thank you for the input. I'm trying to use many of the mod posts in these forums as a guide for any obvious fails to avoid where I can.

Thanks again!
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Old November 27th, 2017, 10:14 AM   #8
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Do these wheels say "Grimeca" on them?

They look exactly like the 16" Grimeca wheels on my Derbi GRP...



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Old November 27th, 2017, 10:52 AM   #9
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Do these wheels say "Grimeca" on them?

They look exactly like the 16" Grimeca wheels on my Derbi GRP...

Those wheels are long gone. Could be, that Grimeca does sound familiar. I remember seeing it somewhere, might have been on the original VF500F 16/18" wheels as well.
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Old November 27th, 2017, 12:43 PM   #10
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The rims I have looked like the ones posted earlier up but they both do look very similar don't they? Mine actually have Honda in raised lettering on one of the spokes.
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Old November 27th, 2017, 09:32 PM   #11
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So a little tid bit of research brought me some info about the front in spring rates. I used Racetech to go and see what spring rate it calculated up based on my weight without gear etc and it feels I should be using a .740kg/mm spring rate (stock is like .440) Obviously I'm a fatty for this bike. LOL

So then I did some looking at the front ends I have to chose from and it seems if I got with the Suzuki GSXR one, it came factory .790kg/mm, not far off. The Kawaski one I have came factory spring rate of .850kg/mm. Since these are the two for runners of what I have, how close of a match do some of you more experienced guys feel this would be or am I really off base with this comparison? These would be a little stiffer than Racetech recommendation but not by far I'm thinking. What concerns if any do we think I have using either of these like I'm planning?

Thanks ahead of time for any constructive feedback.
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Old November 28th, 2017, 07:47 AM   #12
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Some of the issues with using inverted forks comes with changes in geometry (rake and trail).

Rich Desmond from Sonic Springs usually advises SV racers not to go with a GSXR front end due to the changes that adversely affect handling.

I raced a EX/Ninja 500 back in the day, and even adding a fork brace changed the handling due to the way it shifted the flexing from the forks to different areas of the front end and frame.

Just something else to consider.
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Old November 28th, 2017, 10:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkv45 View Post
Some of the issues with using inverted forks comes with changes in geometry (rake and trail).

Rich Desmond from Sonic Springs usually advises SV racers not to go with a GSXR front end due to the changes that adversely affect handling.

I raced a EX/Ninja 500 back in the day, and even adding a fork brace changed the handling due to the way it shifted the flexing from the forks to different areas of the front end and frame.

Just something else to consider.
That's good info. I hadn't thought about. I had already been contemplating getting some fixed measurements for ride heights front and rear to keep the geometry in line from the stock set up to the modded but didn't consider any flexing aspects. Thanks!
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Old November 28th, 2017, 12:41 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by teafour View Post
So a little tid bit of research brought me some info about the front in spring rates. I used Racetech to go and see what spring rate it calculated up based on my weight without gear etc and it feels I should be using a .740kg/mm spring rate (stock is like .440) Obviously I'm a fatty for this bike. LOL

So then I did some looking at the front ends I have to chose from and it seems if I got with the Suzuki GSXR one, it came factory .790kg/mm, not far off. The Kawaski one I have came factory spring rate of .850kg/mm. Since these are the two for runners of what I have, how close of a match do some of you more experienced guys feel this would be or am I really off base with this comparison? These would be a little stiffer than Racetech recommendation but not by far I'm thinking. What concerns if any do we think I have using either of these like I'm planning?
You should be fine with either. If you already have the Kawi front end, then just use that, should be fine. Both much better than stock so you won't notice the difference in spring-rate too much between the two upgrades. I had calculated 0.8kg/mm from RaceTech's site and ended up having to add some extra preload anyway.

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Old November 28th, 2017, 03:51 PM   #15
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You should be fine with either. If you already have the Kawi front end, then just use that, should be fine. Both much better than stock so you won't notice the difference in spring-rate too much between the two upgrades. I had calculated 0.8kg/mm from RaceTech's site and ended up having to add some extra preload anyway.
Thanks JacRyann.
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Old November 29th, 2017, 07:37 PM   #16
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Not much to share on progress. Working on carbs and jetting in what little time I had but my kid took some pictures and posting just for posterity.
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Old November 30th, 2017, 06:39 PM   #17
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My 2008 GSXR600 rear shock with full pivot assembly arrived today. Not bad for $20 in full including shipping.
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Old December 2nd, 2017, 03:00 PM   #18
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This is the front runner for front end change and the wheels that will eventually live on the ninja. Junkyard dog but it'll clean up nice before it's over!

*Identified the front end is a YZF 750R front end, approx 1994 model or close to it.
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Old December 3rd, 2017, 04:50 PM   #19
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She's coming along and is going to have to be named soon. Tweaked and finished the 2into1 header exhuast today, put some paint on it and finished the exhaust leak with new gaskets. Worked on the jetting and have it pretty well tuned at least until it gets some street time. Tore apart the CBR600F1(Hurricane) wheels to get bearing sizes inside and out and removed the tires. Got measurements off the Yamaha YZF750RR front end including the axle for the merging the wheels and tires. Lots of progression although seems my gas tank has a leak about half way up in the front. Probably shook the rust apart until it leaked. Going to have to buy a gas tank earlier than intended now I'm afraid. All in all, a winning day on the project.
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Old December 5th, 2017, 04:05 PM   #20
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Working on stripping and clean the wheels right now. Using aircraft stripper to start and see how it plays out. Anyone in here use the sand blasters from such as Harbor Freight? Not the boxed ones but the portables. Also, looking at picking up one of those cheap powder coating kits. Any worth to either of these or experience any of you have used?
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Old December 5th, 2017, 04:27 PM   #21
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Believe the precautions on the stripper can if it's the type with methylene chloride. That's mean stuff.
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Old December 7th, 2017, 04:51 PM   #22
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Believe the precautions on the stripper can if it's the type with methylene chloride. That's mean stuff.
Jim you are absolutely correct about this stuff being scary however, Honda in the 80's evidently believed in some awesome amazing paint product. I've gone through two can's and the best I got was some going into a toothpaste like level I could scrap out with a putty knife. I'm considering glass bead abrasive in a sand blaster. LOL
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Old December 8th, 2017, 07:59 PM   #23
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Gave up on the aircraft stripper. Went by Harbor Freight today and got a abrasive blast cabinet and powder coat system. Cheap but will be effective I'm sure. LOL
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Old December 8th, 2017, 08:06 PM   #24
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Jim you are absolutely correct about this stuff being scary however, Honda in the 80's evidently believed in some awesome amazing paint product. I've gone through two can's and the best I got was some going into a toothpaste like level I could scrap out with a putty knife. I'm considering glass bead abrasive in a sand blaster. LOL
I painted some engine cylinders and heads with VHT engine paint back in the late '70s. About ten years ago I wanted to repaint them. I couldn't get anything to touch that stuff, including straight methylene chloride. It was so baked on it seemed more like ceramic than paint. Luckily the machine shop that bored the cylinders bead blasted the paint off the three cylinders and three heads for something silly like $30. I used VHT to repaint them, but I have doubts as to whether it was the same stuff 30 years later.
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Old December 8th, 2017, 08:31 PM   #25
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I painted some engine cylinders and heads with VHT engine paint back in the late '70s. About ten years ago I wanted to repaint them. I couldn't get anything to touch that stuff, including straight methylene chloride. It was so baked on it seemed more like ceramic than paint. Luckily the machine shop that bored the cylinders bead blasted the paint off the three cylinders and three heads for something silly like $30. I used VHT to repaint them, but I have doubts as to whether it was the same stuff 30 years later.
Yeah, I'm thinking well applied and cured paint from back then was a whole lot more serious than what we have today.
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Old December 8th, 2017, 10:01 PM   #26
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I painted some engine cylinders and heads with VHT engine paint back in the late '70s. About ten years ago I wanted to repaint them. I couldn't get anything to touch that stuff, including straight methylene chloride. It was so baked on it seemed more like ceramic than paint. Luckily the machine shop that bored the cylinders bead blasted the paint off the three cylinders and three heads for something silly like $30. I used VHT to repaint them, but I have doubts as to whether it was the same stuff 30 years later.
VHT claims that if you apply their paint in accordance with their directions it in fact does convert to a ceramic-like coating. An aside tip. DO NOT use their high temperature primer. I did this past spring and the paint peeled off. VHT refunded my purchase price. VHT has never peeled on me before.

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Old December 9th, 2017, 08:01 AM   #27
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VHT claims that if you apply their paint in accordance with their directions it in fact does convert to a ceramic-like coating.
Do you mean the engine paint, or their header paint?
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Old December 9th, 2017, 11:17 AM   #28
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Do you mean the engine paint, or their header paint?
Header.

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Old December 9th, 2017, 11:34 AM   #29
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Awesome project!
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Old December 16th, 2017, 09:57 PM   #30
teafour
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So got the Hurricane 600 front wheel bead blasted clean and worked on bearings and spacers to center the wheel into the YZF750RR front end and damn thing tricked me or I was stupid. Either way, I figured it out and got it sorted out. Spacers made, wheel mounted. The brake rotor alignment gives me room for mounting a caliper with an aluminum bracket of my choosing and design. That'll be the next step.
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File Type: jpg 20171216_162631.jpg (103.9 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg 20171216_162148.jpg (63.0 KB, 1 views)
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Old December 28th, 2017, 04:21 PM   #31
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A few pieces came in for the bike and I'm currently making front brake bracket for the caliper. Will post the bracket up later on when it's finished, designing it up right now and will start working aluminum soon.

New solenoid since I was having to knock the one I had against the frame when it wouldn't disengage right away. Just old and sticking. Also got bearings for the 600 Hurricane rear wheel. Lastly in today's stuff, a twist on gas cap.
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File Type: jpg 20171228_180845.jpg (40.9 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg 20171228_180228.jpg (71.9 KB, 1 views)
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Old January 1st, 2018, 10:06 PM   #32
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So headway on the front end for this project has been made. Got the Honda caliper laid out on the rotor and aligned with the Yamaha front fork. I designed up a mount and CNC cut it out today from a .5" aluminum stock I had. Holes lined up when I mounted, need a little more spacer on the caliper side but happy with how the bracket came out.

Also got a Kawaski donner for the triple tree stem after I do the finish work on the brake bracket.
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File Type: jpg 20180101_225659.jpg (88.9 KB, 2 views)
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Old January 2nd, 2018, 04:20 PM   #33
Mohawk
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Ditch the sliding 2 pots & fit either 1 or 2 x 4-pot calipers.
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Old January 2nd, 2018, 04:49 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohawk View Post
Ditch the sliding 2 pots & fit either 1 or 2 x 4-pot calipers.
Didn't have any laying around in my salvage selection. These are off a early model Honda and likely more brake than the bike needs but if I deem later to change, should be pretty easy to use same mount. I think Mid/Late 90's Honda's bolt right up spacing wise. We'll see later on. Yamaha had 6 puck calipers on this front end. No point in those and would had been hell to fit the wheel I wanted.
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Old January 2nd, 2018, 05:50 PM   #35
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Yeah, with low-weight and speeds achieved by 250, braking power is more than adequately handled by factory brakes. I just upgraded pads to Galfer on my track bike and it’s been fine for years. Factory pads feel too non-linear, a lot of grip at first, but doesn’t increase very evenly with extra squeezing force.
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Old January 3rd, 2018, 04:21 PM   #36
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Aftermarket switch controls and windshield hardware I ordered form Ebay China stuff came in today.
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Old January 4th, 2018, 03:38 PM   #37
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Name: Tedd
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Motorcycle(s): 11'Ninja 250r, 06 Ninja250r(Sold), 01'GSX-R750(Sold), 07'GSX-R1000(Sold), 96 GSX-R600(Sold),11' DR-400s(SOLD)

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sweet pregen. i got my pregen for $500 in working condition. although the battery was dead when I bought it , was a gamble but it paid off. although it has a different shock installed, im having second thoughts about tracking it because of my height and not sure if its safe for someone as big as me to ride a bike this small. I have always rode gsxrs but for some reason I wanted a cheap 250 so I picked this up. Just put on some sport demons...

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Old January 4th, 2018, 05:17 PM   #38
teafour
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Yours is so much nicer and in better shape than I started on this project. lol
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Old January 5th, 2018, 06:48 PM   #39
teafour
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So front end is coming along more. No pictures yet but after messing with the Kawi neck, I found the bottom raceway sizing from the yamaha had the same diameters as the kawi's which means you can mount them to each other. The top raceway is smaller on the yamaha where the kawi is same as the bottom sizing. So instead of trying to press out the yamaha stem, I ordered some timken bearings for the ninja which should match up with the bottom of both the ninja and yamaha front end and allow me to make a collar nut to come from the top to space and center there. This was a major find/win in my mind. Will find out more in a week when the bearings arrive.

Side note, ebay guages I ordered came in. Since I'm changing wheel sizes and such, I wanted to get back a working speedo so I landed on this guy below using magnetic sensor design and will also replace all the other gauges and display indicators.
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Old January 5th, 2018, 07:33 PM   #40
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Interested to see how you mount that gauge. Iíve been on the lookout for a race tach for my pregen.
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