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Old October 6th, 2021, 09:09 AM   #1
Leonardo Lupo
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Lifting... a Ninja????

Hi everyone,

Step one for my grand plan (see new member forum post) is to lift my Ninja 250R. I have a couple Ideas, however so far I have found loose ends...

I have mostly got my Ideas from Jake TheGardenSnake's really cool project on youtube.

1. Fork end cap extensions. I saw these in this video of his series.
Problem is I can't seem to find any, does anyone know where I could find some??

2. Shorter 'Dogbones' or changed suspension pieces. I also saw this idea on his youtube channel, it seem to be a common part to change, however I can only find lowering only kits. Any Ideas?

3. Taller tires. I will need to take the Pirelli's off and put on knobblies anyway. So I will try to find taller tyres that will still fit.

I will be doing a lot of sand riding so I have no problem focusing on just the front suspension, as according to this great channel I found, they suggest sagging the back and heightening the front for sand.

Does anyone have any different ideas??? I am keen to try everything!

Cheers!!!
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Old October 6th, 2021, 09:56 AM   #2
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It can be done. Shorter dogbones are a good way to jack the rear. A front-end swap is great if you have the parts available as I did some years ago. The front wheel, brakes, forks and triples are nice to keep all together, this stuff all came off a crf230 I believe.

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Old October 6th, 2021, 10:04 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by thedrewski86 View Post
It can be done. Shorter dogbones are a good way to jack the rear. A front-end swap is great if you have the parts available as I did some years ago. The front wheel, brakes, forks and triples are nice to keep all together, this stuff all came off a crf230 I believe.

Firstly, that bike looks awesome!

Ok I hadn’t really considered a front end swap. I guess finding a compatible front end second hand would be the hardest part. I will try to figure out what might fit. Thanks so much for that!
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Old October 6th, 2021, 10:20 AM   #4
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In a remote area, you're probably right. Spare parts and a welder can make anything work. How "off-road" do you want to make this? Because if you just need to ride on packed dirt you could probably get away with some 90/10 adv tires and getting rid of your plastics. This bike was actually made to jump and that's probably not what you need to do.

One of the big advantages to this build was how light it made the front end compared to stock street form; you could pretty easily loft the front of the bike over rocks and whatnot.
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Old October 6th, 2021, 12:38 PM   #5
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here's fork-tube extensions
https://cyclehaven.co.uk/cyclehaveno...ork-Tubes.html

You can make your own dogbones from bar-stock. Problem with that is it changes leverage-ratio of shock. Another idea is to replace lower clevis of shock with 20-30mm longer one.
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Old October 6th, 2021, 09:18 PM   #6
Leonardo Lupo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedrewski86 View Post
In a remote area, you're probably right. Spare parts and a welder can make anything work. How "off-road" do you want to make this? Because if you just need to ride on packed dirt you could probably get away with some 90/10 adv tires and getting rid of your plastics. This bike was actually made to jump and that's probably not what you need to do.

One of the big advantages to this build was how light it made the front end compared to stock street form; you could pretty easily loft the front of the bike over rocks and whatnot.
I will have to look for a while, I agree. Am I right in assuming that as long as the form diameter and space between them matches then they should be fine? I want to be able to make it through rough terrain, but it does not necessarily have to be done quickly or with airtime! It needs to be able to make it through beach sand/sand dunes and some rocky tracks.

I have already taken all of the plastics off and the stock exhaust which was surprisingly heavy!

I have found wide tyres for similar prices to thin tires so I will probably go something like 140/70 R17 rear and 120/70 R17 front.

Yes that is very helpful. Will definitely try to find a front end!

Cheers!
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Old October 6th, 2021, 09:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
here's fork-tube extensions
https://cyclehaven.co.uk/cyclehaveno...ork-Tubes.html

You can make your own dogbones from bar-stock. Problem with that is it changes leverage-ratio of shock. Another idea is to replace lower clevis of shock with 20-30mm longer one.
Ok, I hadn't realized it would of course change the lever on the shock. Thanks for that.
Yes that is an option as well. I will do some research! Thanks a lot!!!
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Old October 14th, 2021, 11:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
here's fork-tube extensions
https://cyclehaven.co.uk/cyclehaveno...ork-Tubes.html

You can make your own dogbones from bar-stock. Problem with that is it changes leverage-ratio of shock. Another idea is to replace lower clevis of shock with 20-30mm longer one.
this is very true and something to consider on your suspension.....
I lowered my bike by adding extendable dog bones (the turn buckle type)
and it softened my suspension A LOT !!!!! and I only extended them 5/8"
if you shorten them it will make your suspension harder ...by alot !
I'm fairly certain you can go as much as 1/2" Shorter than the original dog bones, which would probably raise the seat by 2" or so....
i think for your use I would go with the ADJUSTABLE lowering kit ( that's what they call it on Amazon) and instead of making them longer than the stock bones like I did, you could make them shorter .... but you may have to grind off the ends of the turnbuckles to get the height you really want !
I bet you could get 3" rise of the seat by doing that !
....it would be really stiff though... REALLY STIFF !!!!
.....
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Old October 14th, 2021, 11:27 PM   #9
Leonardo Lupo
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Originally Posted by Bob KellyIII View Post
this is very true and something to consider on your suspension.....
I lowered my bike by adding extendable dog bones (the turn buckle type)
and it softened my suspension A LOT !!!!! and I only extended them 5/8"
if you shorten them it will make your suspension harder ...by alot !
I'm fairly certain you can go as much as 1/2" Shorter than the original dog bones, which would probably raise the seat by 2" or so....
i think for your use I would go with the ADJUSTABLE lowering kit ( that's what they call it on Amazon) and instead of making them longer than the stock bones like I did, you could make them shorter .... but you may have to grind off the ends of the turnbuckles to get the height you really want !
I bet you could get 3" rise of the seat by doing that !
....it would be really stiff though... REALLY STIFF !!!!
.....
Bob.......
Yes, agreed. Since this is on a budget I will probably just minimize preload to counter this unless I can think of any other ideas. I won't be looking for 3 inches as beach sand and soft soil prefers rear sag.
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Old October 15th, 2021, 02:28 AM   #10
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that is because the front wheel wants to be raked out further in soft sand and soil... lowing the rear will do that to a small degree.
the Ninja has just the opposite , a fairly tight in, front wheel with a steep rake
( just the opposite of what you want)
soft stuff also does not like small tires anything under 21" in diameter on sand is a pain in the butt to ride ! and even that depends of the weight of the bike...
if it's heavy you need a much larger wheel just so you won't sink to the axle in the front...
..... the other fell'as idea of changing the forks and triple trees, and tire with one off a CRF250 honda is a real good idea.... I'd look into that if I were you !
that larger tire isn't just for looks, loose stuff needs a big front tire ! that's why all the dirt bikes have 21" front wheels.... well most of them anyway.
....
Bob.......
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Old October 15th, 2021, 05:43 AM   #11
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here is a pic I took of the links under my Ninja with the adjustable lowering kit.
Keep in mind that the links are adjusted to exactly 5/8" longer than the stock dog bones....
now considering that the bearing ends can't turn you would need only one locking nut to keep the turn buckle from turning, and you could adjust the links shorter than stock.
.... there's probably a thousand ways you could shorten the links I show here
below stock length, by taking off a lock nut and grinding down the end of the
turnbuckle about 1/8" to 3/16" on each end you could probably gain an inch to an inch and a half on the shortening.... that would likely be More than you would want, but I understand the need for ground clearance in the rough !LOL.
you'll notice the link is real close to the shock spring but as the bike is compressed the action moves the spring forward ... if the link was shorter
the spring would be further away anyway and not present a problem
but I was trying to get this bike as low as I possibly could... and I lowered it 4" from it's stock position... but found the tire would hit the plastic inner fender when I hit a bump... so I went up 2 clicks on the pre load... it now sits below 30" which is stock, at 28.5"~ 29" and I like it there ! ( yah I'm short!)
but for raising the bike I see no problem at all in the rear... for the front I think you will need new forks ,wheel and such to accomplish that.
....
Bob.....
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File Type: jpg new lowering kit.jpg (102.8 KB, 2 views)
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Old October 15th, 2021, 09:55 AM   #12
Leonardo Lupo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob KellyIII View Post
that is because the front wheel wants to be raked out further in soft sand and soil... lowing the rear will do that to a small degree.
the Ninja has just the opposite , a fairly tight in, front wheel with a steep rake
( just the opposite of what you want)
soft stuff also does not like small tires anything under 21" in diameter on sand is a pain in the butt to ride ! and even that depends of the weight of the bike...
if it's heavy you need a much larger wheel just so you won't sink to the axle in the front...
..... the other fell'as idea of changing the forks and triple trees, and tire with one off a CRF250 honda is a real good idea.... I'd look into that if I were you !
that larger tire isn't just for looks, loose stuff needs a big front tire ! that's why all the dirt bikes have 21" front wheels.... well most of them anyway.
....
Bob.......
Yes agreed completely. Problem is the availability of a suitable front end and also the cost, one could cost more than my entire bike. I might be able to ride on the compact sand close to the water with the current wheel diameter. What do you think?
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Old October 15th, 2021, 09:58 AM   #13
Leonardo Lupo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob KellyIII View Post
here is a pic I took of the links under my Ninja with the adjustable lowering kit.
Keep in mind that the links are adjusted to exactly 5/8" longer than the stock dog bones....
now considering that the bearing ends can't turn you would need only one locking nut to keep the turn buckle from turning, and you could adjust the links shorter than stock.
.... there's probably a thousand ways you could shorten the links I show here
below stock length, by taking off a lock nut and grinding down the end of the
turnbuckle about 1/8" to 3/16" on each end you could probably gain an inch to an inch and a half on the shortening.... that would likely be More than you would want, but I understand the need for ground clearance in the rough !LOL.
you'll notice the link is real close to the shock spring but as the bike is compressed the action moves the spring forward ... if the link was shorter
the spring would be further away anyway and not present a problem
but I was trying to get this bike as low as I possibly could... and I lowered it 4" from it's stock position... but found the tire would hit the plastic inner fender when I hit a bump... so I went up 2 clicks on the pre load... it now sits below 30" which is stock, at 28.5"~ 29" and I like it there ! ( yah I'm short!)
but for raising the bike I see no problem at all in the rear... for the front I think you will need new forks ,wheel and such to accomplish that.
....
Bob.....
Thats surper useful information thank you for that! I concur, it seems like more of a problem to create a suitable front end...
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Old October 15th, 2021, 01:30 PM   #14
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my experience with sand on the beech is limited but I do remember getting to the wet sand was a real hard paddling with the feet routine and way back on the seat but it did no good .... that was on a 305 Honda Dream
that weighed about what a stock ninja does , and I had universal type tires on it at the time...
once I got on the beach I could go fairly well but any sharp moves and it dug in. I went up the beach about 5 miles with no problem then discovered there was no way to get off the bike... the side stand just sunk all the way... and I had a wider foot on it at the time. so I went back... getting back to the pavement was a real ordeal as that was deep dry soft sand that was all churned up.... even with a run for it i made it about half way is all, so I paddled my way slowly to the hard ground... that took about an hour.. and that engine got quite hot... so I almost stopped to let her cool but I was almost there, so I kept at it and in another 5 minutes I found hard pack and away I went ! that bike was air cooled of course, but the ninja is water cooled , I would think the Ninja would fair better in that situation.
....
Yes the front end is a major mod indeed but look at what you'll gain !
a larger front wheel, longer forks and real actual handle bars that you can put on any you want... instead of the funky clip on style...I hate those !
to me the handle bars alone make the different front end a MUST DO !
HAHAHAH ...look for a motorcycle salvage yard and give them a call and see what they have that is available to you.... they may want an arm and a leg for it or you may be pleasantly surprised ! ya never know !
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Old October 17th, 2021, 02:32 AM   #15
Leonardo Lupo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob KellyIII View Post
my experience with sand on the beech is limited but I do remember getting to the wet sand was a real hard paddling with the feet routine and way back on the seat but it did no good .... that was on a 305 Honda Dream
that weighed about what a stock ninja does , and I had universal type tires on it at the time...
once I got on the beach I could go fairly well but any sharp moves and it dug in. I went up the beach about 5 miles with no problem then discovered there was no way to get off the bike... the side stand just sunk all the way... and I had a wider foot on it at the time. so I went back... getting back to the pavement was a real ordeal as that was deep dry soft sand that was all churned up.... even with a run for it i made it about half way is all, so I paddled my way slowly to the hard ground... that took about an hour.. and that engine got quite hot... so I almost stopped to let her cool but I was almost there, so I kept at it and in another 5 minutes I found hard pack and away I went ! that bike was air cooled of course, but the ninja is water cooled , I would think the Ninja would fair better in that situation.
....
Yes the front end is a major mod indeed but look at what you'll gain !
a larger front wheel, longer forks and real actual handle bars that you can put on any you want... instead of the funky clip on style...I hate those !
to me the handle bars alone make the different front end a MUST DO !
HAHAHAH ...look for a motorcycle salvage yard and give them a call and see what they have that is available to you.... they may want an arm and a leg for it or you may be pleasantly surprised ! ya never know !
Ok, it's good to know it's possible! I agree, you're right. I will look around for a front end and keep posted. Thanks!
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Old October 17th, 2021, 02:58 AM   #16
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I just did a google search for Perth,AU. and found Maddington Motorcycle Wreckers... they look to be on the south side of town, and it doesn't look to be a real big place, if you talk to the guy and explain what your trying to accomplish he might help ya out, tell him you'll paint his business name on your gas tank ! HAHAHAHAHA
....it's a thought anyway !
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Old October 18th, 2021, 07:56 AM   #17
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Maddington Motorcycle Wreckers will have the solution: buy a dirtbike! If you're seriously thinking of tackling sand the type Bob is talking about, the Ninja sounds like a real chore with the suspension setup you currently have. Bob brings up a couple of things you will encounter including the front end digging in and a lot of paddling due to the tires and weight of the bike. If you have hard sand you'll be good, but anything like Bob went through on the Dream and you'll be paddling. That's hard work and not fun. A little xr200 would be nice for your purposes. Barring that, I would just see what the Ninjette is capable of as is and see what you have to mod. There's no way to know until you take it out and get it stuck, the weakest link will break first.
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Old October 18th, 2021, 08:57 AM   #18
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LOL Drew Has a very good point on a limited budget !!! simply take it out and try it... I found on several bikes I could go out in the desert just fine near Las vegas Nv. including street bikes, that were made for pavement only.
I had a little kawasaki 100cc that I took out there with my Uncle's big suzuki 400cc and my other uncle's 175 yamaha both were dirt bikes but mine was a street bike and I had no trouble at all.... because it was light ! we chased rabbits and each other and had a bunch of fun and that little Kawowi did supprisingly well in an invirement where it wasn't supposed to...even with street tires on it !.... and I rode it up there to meet with them LOL....
....
if your making that ninja into a dirt bike... your not the first !... a few others on here have done that and the report is favorable ! the engine has the power, but the suspension needs to be addressed ! especially for hard dirt riding...
I suppose if you didn't go bizerk, out there it just might hold it's own fairly well,... with no modifications.... the problem would be deep sand though because of the weight and the small front tire.... if you really reduced the weight, and I am sure you could remove at least 100lbs off a ninja, that might make all the diference in the world !
perhaps you could just add a front tire instead of the whole front end ?
add some spacers in the forks to compress the stock springs a bit more
and that would give you some height, 1" PVC pipe should make quick work of that....
....
But like Drew said .... Try it and see, that way you can see first hand what is more important to modify...... makes sense to me !
Bob........
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Old October 20th, 2021, 07:31 AM   #19
Leonardo Lupo
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Originally Posted by Bob KellyIII View Post
I just did a google search for Perth,AU. and found Maddington Motorcycle Wreckers... they look to be on the south side of town, and it doesn't look to be a real big place, if you talk to the guy and explain what your trying to accomplish he might help ya out, tell him you'll paint his business name on your gas tank ! HAHAHAHAHA
....it's a thought anyway !
Bob........
HAHAHA I think what's holding me back is that the whole bike was less than $300, feels wrong to spend the price of the good condition bike on parts!
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Old October 20th, 2021, 07:38 AM   #20
Leonardo Lupo
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Maddington Motorcycle Wreckers will have the solution: buy a dirtbike! If you're seriously thinking of tackling sand the type Bob is talking about, the Ninja sounds like a real chore with the suspension setup you currently have. Bob brings up a couple of things you will encounter including the front end digging in and a lot of paddling due to the tires and weight of the bike. If you have hard sand you'll be good, but anything like Bob went through on the Dream and you'll be paddling. That's hard work and not fun. A little xr200 would be nice for your purposes. Barring that, I would just see what the Ninjette is capable of as is and see what you have to mod. There's no way to know until you take it out and get it stuck, the weakest link will break first.
I agree 100%. Hopefully won't get it stuck. Am traumatised from being stuck 10 km from a farm in the middle of nowhere. Decided to go for a speed run in an old Suzuki 200 across a salt pan, which revealed to have only a thin hard layer and the slipperiest mud I have ever seen in underneath. Was 44 degrees celcius! Sat there swatting flies with a cup of water left. Dragged the bike 200 metres through the mud, rode home and took a nice long swim in the damn when I got out that was for sure. Wasnt the smartest idea I ever had!
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Old October 20th, 2021, 07:43 AM   #21
Leonardo Lupo
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LOL Drew Has a very good point on a limited budget !!! simply take it out and try it... I found on several bikes I could go out in the desert just fine near Las vegas Nv. including street bikes, that were made for pavement only.
I had a little kawasaki 100cc that I took out there with my Uncle's big suzuki 400cc and my other uncle's 175 yamaha both were dirt bikes but mine was a street bike and I had no trouble at all.... because it was light ! we chased rabbits and each other and had a bunch of fun and that little Kawowi did supprisingly well in an invirement where it wasn't supposed to...even with street tires on it !.... and I rode it up there to meet with them LOL....
....
if your making that ninja into a dirt bike... your not the first !... a few others on here have done that and the report is favorable ! the engine has the power, but the suspension needs to be addressed ! especially for hard dirt riding...
I suppose if you didn't go bizerk, out there it just might hold it's own fairly well,... with no modifications.... the problem would be deep sand though because of the weight and the small front tire.... if you really reduced the weight, and I am sure you could remove at least 100lbs off a ninja, that might make all the diference in the world !
perhaps you could just add a front tire instead of the whole front end ?
add some spacers in the forks to compress the stock springs a bit more
and that would give you some height, 1" PVC pipe should make quick work of that....
....
But like Drew said .... Try it and see, that way you can see first hand what is more important to modify...... makes sense to me !
Bob........
Sounds like a blast! The good old days hey?

Fork spring spacers are a great idea. Have just finished stripping the bike down. Will make a post on that now. Am continuing to look at the front wheel setup...
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