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Old December 15th, 2021, 05:05 PM   #1
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Name: James
Location: North Carolina
Join Date: Sep 2016

Motorcycle(s): 03 Ducati 749, 08 250r, 2017 RC390

Posts: 8
My Street Ninjette is Cooler Than Yours

Above is my 2008 250r. It's a street bike. I bought it new in 2008 with the intent to make it the lightest, fastest 250 possible.

I've been riding since 1976 when I purchased a Kawasaki Z1, my first 'real' bike. Since then I've owned everything from Aprilia RS50 two strokes to 170 hp ZX10r's, but my favorite bikes have always been lightweight, small-displacement. One of my favorites was my Aprilia RS250, which mysteriously disappeared from my storage unit while I was living abroad for a year (if you ever run across an RS250 with a blue anodized frame, let me know - that's mine).

With that in mind, when the new generation 250r appeared in 08 I decided to buy one and turn in into as close a street-going version of the RS250 as I could. Emphasis would be first on WEIGHT LOSS, secondly on HANDLING, third on power output.

It's now 323 lbs with half a tank of fuel and puts out about 36 rear wheel hp on the local dyno (your results may vary). It feels as strong as my other bike, an RC390 with a worked hi-comp head, full Werkes pipe and PCV with dyno tune. It handles much better. It may be my favorite bike ever.

I've modded it as follows:

1) Engine mods: head was ported and polished by the guy who used to build engines for Gary Nixon (google him). JE pistons custom built me 13:1 pistons (long before they produced them for sale). Crank balanced. BRT ignition advancer. Full Area P header with GP style can. The usual airbox/filter upgrades. Carb jetting by the Gary Nixon guy.

2) Suspension mods: Forks completely redone by Traxxion Dynamics - springs, cartridge emulators, heavier oil. Fully adjustable Penske rear shock and dogbone linkage that raises rear by +/- 10 mm. Forged Gale Speed 10 spoke wheels (drops 7 lbs from OEM wheels) with ceramic wheel bearings.

3) Drivetrain mods: 520 non- O-ring chain, 43 tooth aluminum rear sprocket, 15 tooth front

4) Ergo mods: Billet Zita triple clamp (really stiffens up the front) with clipons mounted above the top clamp, forks up 30 mm in clamps. Generic rearsets. Double bubble screen. Adjustable levers.

5) Braking mods: Front Galfer Wave rotor. Rear rotor drilled out. Nissan front brake master cylinder. Steel braided lines front/back. EBC HH sintered pads.

6) Tires: Conti Attack 110/70 and 150/60 (although I would much prefer a smaller rear rim that could run a 115/75R17 rear - the OEM rim will, but the 4 inch Gale Speed forged rim is much lighter, hence the 150/60).

Assorted mods: Lithium battery, GP undertail, CF side paneld, numerous really cool stickers I'm sure there's a bunch of stuff I'm missing.

This little 250 rocks. It will absolutely run the twisties, and will eat SV650s at track days.

Here's a video of it on the road: This was before the wheels and some of the engine work.

Anyone else stupid enough to do the same to their ninjette? Let's see em.
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Old December 18th, 2021, 04:47 PM   #2
Kuya EZ member
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Name: Eric
Location: Las Vegas
Join Date: May 2020

Motorcycle(s): 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 250 / 2004 Yamaha YZF-R6 / 2006 Yamaha R6 (track bike) / 2014 Ducati 1199s

Posts: 43
Nice build!
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Old December 19th, 2021, 07:13 AM   #3
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Name: James
Location: North Carolina
Join Date: Sep 2016

Motorcycle(s): 03 Ducati 749, 08 250r, 2017 RC390

Posts: 8
Originally Posted by Kuya EZ View Post
Nice build!
Thanks! Took it out yesterday to the twisties. First time in a long time. Man, I forgot how fun this bike is. It is so light and flickable. Nice torque (insofar as a 250 can have torque) and a real screamer right up to 15k. Every time I ride this thing I shake my head.

I'm gonna trailer it up to Deal's Gap this Spring along with my RC390. I suspect it will rip on the Dragon.
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Old January 9th, 2022, 01:07 PM   #4
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Name: Rob
Location: GTA Southern Ontario
Join Date: Apr 2020

Motorcycle(s): 2011 250R, 2000 ZRX1100C4, 1978 KZ650C2

Posts: 87
Nicely done James.
All my modding money has been going into the KZ and ZRX.

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Old January 9th, 2022, 02:08 PM   #5
Topaz member
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Name: Topaz
Location: South Florida
Join Date: Mar 2017

Motorcycle(s): 2013 Ninja 300

Posts: 200
Very nice build indeed.

Still not sure why it's cooler than mine, though.
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Old January 22nd, 2022, 10:14 AM   #6
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Name: Harper
Location: NC Milkshake stand
Join Date: Mar 2013

Motorcycle(s): 2013 SE NINJA 300

Posts: Too much.
MOTM - Sep '13, Sep '16
Love it!!!
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Old January 23rd, 2022, 10:37 PM   #7
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Name: Yakaru
Location: Issaquah, WA & Las Vegas, NV
Join Date: Jun 2012

Motorcycle(s): Perigee (250), Hotaru (250), Saturn (300), Pearl (300), Zero (S1000RR), Chibi (Z125), Xellos ('18 HP4R)

Posts: A lot.
MOTM - Jun '16
I've been ridiculous enough to my street 300 that Alex found fit to comment on it. The only thing I haven't really touched substantially is the engine internals.

Saturn's upgrade list, to the best I recollect and I'm positive I'm forgetting a bunch:
Wheels: powdercoated for the pretty
Suspension: Completely replaced with Ohlins setup, front and rear.
Brakes: braided lines, aftermarket rotor, HH pads, etc.
Ergos: Pazzo levers, Moth rearsets with lightech folding pegs, Corbin custom saddle/pillion, grip pads, woodcraft clipons, replaced steering head bearings
Electronics: aftermarket blinker replacements, security system/tracker, DaVinci dashboard
Air: replaced airbox with pod filters, AreaP exhaust, retuned engine controller
Tires: generally run Perelli Sport Demons
Battery: AntiGravity ReStart, wired for battery tender/accessories
Other bits: fender removed, carbon fiber body work, purple double bubble screen, chain replaced is probably the most recent photo I have of this specific bike (been spending more time on my BMWs recently)
"most folks racing this bike get it in a competitive state of being with much less invested than you've already put in Saturn." - Alex
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