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Old July 31st, 2020, 01:22 PM   #1
Trinket
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Name: Katrina
Location: Brunswick, MD
Join Date: Jul 2020

Motorcycle(s): 1999 Kawasaki Ninja 250r

Posts: 3
Smile Hi from an overly ambitious, new-to-everything rider!

Hi!

I’ve wanted to ride for years, but just got on a bike for the first time last weekend. I bought my first bike two days ago and took apart my first carburetor yesterday. I’m in a bit over my head, but that’s never stopped me before.

I bought a 1999 Ninja 250 that was described as running but not rideable due to a sticky float needle (the owner’s guess, not confirmed). It started after a few tries when I was looking at it, and i went ahead and took it home.

My husband, father-in-law and brothers-in-law all started riding in the last year, so I have lots of company. But none of them knows much about doing work on their own bikes, though they want to learn. I’d really like for this project bike to be my own, meaning I want to learn to do as much work as possible by myself. I’m sure I’ll be an absolutely nuisance in the tech forums. I’m eager to learn!

—Katrina
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Old July 31st, 2020, 01:34 PM   #2
Triple Jim
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Name: Jim
Location: North Central North Carolina
Join Date: Jul 2016

Motorcycle(s): Ninja 250

Posts: A lot.
MOTM - Oct '18, Aug '17, Aug '16
Hi Katrina, it's good to meet you, and welcome!

Did you find the carburetor problem, or are you still working on it? These carbs can be tricky, with all the small passages and jets and seals and O-rings and diaphragms they have. I've been maintaining my own carbs for 40+ years, but rather than go through what it takes to get my 250 carbs in like-new condition I sent them to Ducatiman here on the board. Less than a week later they were back here and perfect.

Not that you need to do this, but it's something to keep in mind if you find yours are more messed up than you expected.
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Old July 31st, 2020, 02:02 PM   #3
Trinket
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Name: Katrina
Location: Brunswick, MD
Join Date: Jul 2020

Motorcycle(s): 1999 Kawasaki Ninja 250r

Posts: 3
There wasn’t anything glaring in the carbs (that I could see, which isn’t saying much). The main and idle jets both had some slight “ethanol green” discoloration to them, but I didn’t see that any of the pinholes were clogged. I put carb cleaner spray through them, brushed them with a toothbrush, and shot them through with compressed air, then made sure I could see light through all the pinholes. Most of it looked pretty clean. I cleaned it all anyway.

I noticed two things: one, the caps to the vacuum valve chamber were missing some screws (missing 3/8 between the two carbs). And two, the gaskets for the bowls had junk gummed up around them, and one broke when I pulled it out. I’ve ordered replacement gaskets and screws.

The mixture screws also seemed really open, but I don’t know how big a deal that would be. I adjusted them to 2.5 turns from closed when I put them back.

Because of the broken gasket and missing screws I haven’t been able to put them back together and see if I fixed the issue. The bike also came with the air box removed so I need to get that sucker back in, which I hear is just an absolute joy to do.

I’ve already read about how great ducatiman is with the carbs! I’ll keep that as an option if I mess this up myself. I’m not entirely convinced the carbs are the issue, though it’s likely. They looked awfully clean.

Thanks for the welcome!
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Old July 31st, 2020, 02:14 PM   #4
Ceeloo Yello
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Old July 31st, 2020, 02:22 PM   #5
Triple Jim
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Name: Jim
Location: North Central North Carolina
Join Date: Jul 2016

Motorcycle(s): Ninja 250

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MOTM - Oct '18, Aug '17, Aug '16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trinket View Post
The main and idle jets both had some slight “ethanol green” discoloration to them, but I didn’t see that any of the pinholes were clogged.

... the gaskets for the bowls had junk gummed up around them, and one broke when I pulled it out.

The bike also came with the air box removed so I need to get that sucker back in, which I hear is just an absolute joy to do.

I’m not entirely convinced the carbs are the issue, though it’s likely. They looked awfully clean.
The green and gunk could indicate clogging of some of the little teeny passages somewhere, but I'm rooting for you to have fixed the problem.

I separated my battery box from my airbox per the mod procedure and enjoy the ease of removing and installing the airbox now. I didn't have much choice though, since things had shrunk so much that the airbox wouldn't stay on the carb mouths no matter how hard I tried.
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Old July 31st, 2020, 02:25 PM   #6
Trinket
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Name: Katrina
Location: Brunswick, MD
Join Date: Jul 2020

Motorcycle(s): 1999 Kawasaki Ninja 250r

Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple Jim View Post
The green and gunk could indicate clogging of some of the little teeny passages somewhere, but I'm rooting for you to have fixed the problem.

I separated my battery box from my airbox per the mod procedure and enjoy the ease of removing and installing the airbox now. I didn't have much choice though, since things had shrunk so much that the airbox wouldn't stay on the carb mouths no matter how hard I tried.
I’m thinking someone must have already done that—the air box was out when the previous owner showed it to me, but the battery was in and in the box! Hopefully that will make things easier.
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Old July 31st, 2020, 07:44 PM   #7
Triple Jim
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Name: Jim
Location: North Central North Carolina
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MOTM - Oct '18, Aug '17, Aug '16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trinket View Post
I’m thinking someone must have already done that—the air box was out when the previous owner showed it to me, but the battery was in and in the box! Hopefully that will make things easier.
Interesting.
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Old August 1st, 2020, 07:31 AM   #8
csmith12
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Name: Chris (aka Reactor)
Location: Northern KY
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Motorcycle(s): 2010 250 (track), 1992 250, 2006 R6 (street/track), 2008 R6 (track)

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