Ninjas "r" Russ...
Last updated: December 11, 2003 1:35 PM (CST)

Pesky Ninjas... have been Intercepted...

Two years ago I traded a couple arcade games, (Tron and Soul Edge. Still regret selling the Tron...)
for a "newer" motorcycle.
What I got was a 1988 EX 250 Ninja.

I figured since I graduated from High School in '88, and I couldn't afford one
of these back then no matter how much I wanted it, it had to be a sign...

I had to drive from Northern Minnesota, to Nebraska to pick it up. Stopped
over in Souix Falls, SD at my sister & brother-in-law's place for the night before
driving home the next day. That was, to say the least, a long streatch of driving...

The first image I ever say of it online... Don't those original tires look tiny?

After picking it up...

The first ride the bike ever got... got great mileage too!

Like anything, and everything it seems, that I buy, it required work to get running.
First I had to reattach the speedometer cable. Then a few issues, such as some serious cleaning
had to be done.
It had okay mileage, but required the tank to be cleaned (it had rust inside). I ended up
buying a newer tank off eBay and repainting it. The paint job I did was kind of shotty,
But it worked. I should have waited a few days after painting it, for the paint to completely cure
but I didn't and when I filled it with new gas it marked the top of the tank a bit.

Starting to clean it. You have to pull all the plastics off to do a good job.

Another angle...

The chain guard looks sweet now that it's silver like the swingarm is.

Four coats of automotive Krylon kids...

So far I have...

  1. Had the carbs professionally cleaned and tuned. Rust residue in them from the old tank.
  2. Bought, sanded, repainted, installed different gas tank for about $100? I forget.
    The tank was another eBay purchase.
  3. Bought 2 new tires at about $160 for the set from Chaparral.
  4. Installed new clutch cable (came with bike)
  5. Bought, installed new(er) left hand control assembly. $20 from eBay.(Horn works now!)
  6. Bought, installed new horn (Wasn't needed. Oh Well...) $12 from local Kawasaki dealer.
  7. Spraypainted the chain guard silver. Looks like brushed aluminium. Looks neat!
  8. Buy a complete set of bolts used to secure the plastics. *DONE* Replaced 5/03 $40 from local Kawasaki dealer.
  9. Do an oil change...*DONE* 5/03
  10. Mileage on 8/11/03: 40.9 mpg! Cost me $6.00 to fill the tank with the expensive gas at $1.69/gal.
  11. Ditched my old leather "police" jacket for a Joe Rocket Phoenix mesh jacket ($88 on eBay compared to $119 retail.
    Soooooo much cooler to wear in the summertime than that black leather oven. I also added a
    set of JR leather/kevlar gloves as well (I think they were like $20 or so on eBay. Good deal over the retail price of like $50?
    I feel a bit safer now since the jacket has additional armor inside for protection.
    All I need now is a set of leather pants and a decent set of bike boots and I'll be ready
    for the AMA Superbike championships! Look out Nicky Hayden! Okay, not really...
    The color even matches the new bike okay so I won't have to buy a new matching set of gear when
    the new bike is up and running.

I stil need to...

I feel that the 250 Ninja is a GREAT bike to learn on, or re-learn after not riding
for a number of years. It's not overly powerful, easy to control, and has great styling.
Plus, the fact that this bike, even thought it's 15 years old, still gets over 40 MPG!!
Try getting that kind of mileage in your gas guzzling SUV or sports car!

All back togeather! Although you might notice that the tank is the original one. See the grey-green decal?

Ninja, meet Joe Rocket. Stylish AND functional!

Room-a-zoom zoom!

See how far the shock sinks under full weight. I'm not _that_ fat, the rear shock is old and worn out!

You can't fake a lens flare like that in photoshop!

I'm outta here...


Okay, so I'm driving home from work and I see a motorcycle parked in a yard, with a home made
for sale sign on it. I think the sign says $3,000 and drive by, but decide half a block later,
even though I can't afford $3k, I'll look at it anyway.

Turns out the asking price is $300.00 instead! Half the bike is in pieces, so I
offer the guy $200 which he accepts.
The bike is a 1984 500cc Honda V-Four Interceptor (VF500).
I'm pretty certain that sometime in it's life this bike was laid down because the right side engine
casing is scratched. Also, you may have noticed that this bike is blue in color.
Most of the original VF500's had a red, white and blue (or black) paint scheme going, which also makes me
believe that some or all of the plastics have been replaced or repainted at
some point in time.

Well aside from the color differences, here things get really interesting...
As I said, the bike was partially disassembled...

Left... right...

All the parts are in boxes... and a red igloo cooler... No, I'm not kidding...
When all is said and done I'm still missing...

Original insturment console.  Thing has higher mileage than my little Ninja, about 15,527 miles.
I'm still trying to figure out why a group of blind monkeys took the clutch apart... So that's what the inside looks like...
The old engine will make a very nice... boat anchor. Actually, only the airbox and filter have been removed.

I was scrounging parts for work from the local Kawi dealer (rubber handgrips for our Arctic Thunder game),
and mention I'm looking to get the new motor installed and running, and I end up
meeting the guy who originally owned the bike!
Turns out the bike had a more colorful history than previously known.

It turns out that the original owner had problems with the bike. He took it in to a
shop and they pretty much figured out the problem (broken cam shaft or chain or something...).
Rather than spend the money to fix it, he sold it cheap to another guy, who in turn took it
to a small engine repairman he knew. Well, here things take a turn for the worse.
It seems that the repairman was a drug addict, and after the bike had been partially disassembled
he gets arrested by the police! 0-0
So the owner and a couple buddies reclaim what's left of the bike and sell it to a buddy
of theirs, who hangs onto it for a while and eventually ends up selling it to me.

Had I known what I was getting myself into, I'd have probably passed on the bike. ^_^
Oh well, live and learn I guess...

So far I have...

  1. Wheeled it home. It sure rolls nice. ^_^ $200.00
  2. Bought a manual from eBay for $25.00
  3. Bought a different, complete engine. $375 shipped from eBay.
  4. Bought a complete set of four replacement exhaust manifold pipes. $65 from eBay. If I'd have gottem them from a dealer
    they would have cost me at least $75/pipe for the front pipes, and $60/pipe for the rear pipes!
  5. Got a replacement key from locksmith. $20. Took me 4 hours to remove the ignition switch
    because one of the bolts would NOT come off, and then I ended up stripping the head of the bolt out
    in short order. Cheap ass bolts!
  6. Ordered a set of ignition coils and a new helmet/seat lock... $35.00 on eBay.

I need to...

Ain't she pretty?

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