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Posted: 9/24/2005 4:44:06 PM EDT
Last weekend I bought a brand new Ninja 500.  (I never rode a bike before last weekend, what the hell was I thinking?).  Anyway, things are going pretty good and I'm getting the hang of it pretty fast.  

It has amazed me how many people have taken the time to help me out with getting into cycling. A lot of them were complete strangers or acuaintences that I didn't really talk to very much in the past.  Those big scruffy Harley guys actually turned out to be the nicest people I have ever met.  Believe it or not, most of the Sport bike riders in the city are pretty cool too, even though a lot of them look like trouble.

Anyway, I have a few questions maybe you can help a guy out.

The manual says that I need to keep the rpm's below 4000rpm for the first 500 miles, and then below 6000rpm for the next 400 miles.  I've managed to put about 75 miles on it since I bought it.  Is this really necessary?  What if I run the engine up to 5000 rpms in short bursts accidentally?  Will my bike explode?

Cold weather is coming soon here in PA, and I'm not sure if the gas in the tank will still be any good in the spring.  Should I be concerned about this, or not?

Should I put the battery in a trickle charger during the winter, or will it turn over just fine after months of storage?

Can anyone recommend a biker jacket that doesn't make me look like a power ranger or a hell's angel, yet provides adequate protection at an affordable price?

Thanks for your help.

Link Posted: 9/24/2005 5:02:52 PM EDT
The RPM limits are to allow time to seat the rings. Overreving will cause ring flutter which is not
conducive to cylinder sealing. This means more oil consumption & less power. Depending on ring type (I cann't speak for japanese manufacters) usually they are seated after several hunderd miles. Ask you dealer to be sure. Try not to overrev it if you plan on keeping it. Otherwise, bounce it off the limiter every time you shift, it won't blow. Trickle charge the batt if you wont ride it for weeks at a time. A battery loses 1% every day it just sits there. Don't matter if its on the shelf or on the bike. Joe Rocket makes cheap riding gear. Leather holds up much better than synthetics. Remember, there are only two kinds of riders - those who have wrecked and those who will wreck. In other words buy good quality stuff!

RUBBER SIDE DOWN!!!!!!!!1
Link Posted: 9/24/2005 5:07:23 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/24/2005 5:42:46 PM EDT
Get the trickle charger.
Keep the tank filled.
Ride like you're invisible - To the cagers you are.
Look as far into the turn as you can, your steering will follow the direction of your head
The slower you go the more likely you are to fall off.  
Link Posted: 9/24/2005 5:46:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Stosh333:
Get the trickle charger.
Keep the tank filled.
Ride like you're invisible - To the cagers you are.
Look as far into the turn as you can, your steering will follow the direction of your head
The slower you go the more likely you are to fall off.



How so?  Is it the same reason I'm having trouble making U-turns at low speed?
Link Posted: 9/24/2005 5:54:12 PM EDT
Look where you want to go, not at your frnt tire!
Link Posted: 9/24/2005 6:42:56 PM EDT
A ninja anything probably isn't a good first bike for a n00b, but what do I know.  
Link Posted: 9/24/2005 6:43:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By lu380:

Originally Posted By Stosh333:
...

The slower you go the more likely you are to fall off. hr


How so?  Is it the same reason I'm having trouble making U-turns at low speed?



Yep ... find an empty parking lot ... set up some traffic cones ... ride slooooooowwwww .... practice
If you think you're going over give it more throttle.

Oh and be careful if you ride in the rain ... hock.gif


Link Posted: 9/25/2005 3:06:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By deej86:
A ninja anything probably isn't a good first bike for a n00b, but what do I know.  




So far it's been very forgiving and easy to ride.
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 5:01:59 AM EDT
I'm also looking to get into riding soon, and from what I've researched on jackets...

I can't think of any style exactly in between Power Ranger and Hell's Angel, but Joe Rocket or Alpinestars would be good starts. Joe Rocket would tend towards the Hell's Angel type, while Alpinestars would tend towards the Power Ranger side. It depends on what model of jacket you buy.

Good luck, and from what I've heard, that's a pretty good choice on a bike.
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 7:36:31 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 7:40:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By bigscrun:
Just remember there are 2 types of motorcycle rider. The ones that have fallen off and the ones that will.



That 's the truth, I have been riding since 1975 and sooner or later it happens. Just the way it is.
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 8:30:35 AM EDT
I second the trickle charger. I also don't leave the battery outside during the cold months because the cold seems to be hard on the battery.

Keep the tank relatively filled when you have the bike stored and make sure the fuel stopcock is shut. I would also recommend a littla sta-bil in the tank when your ride is in storage.

Welcome to the club and stay safe.
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 11:57:52 AM EDT
ninja 500 are good starter bikes, dont let anyone tell u otherwise.
As for break in, you can go over the rev limit just dont be buried in the tach for a little while.  Icon, Joe Rocket and AlpineStar are all good jackets.  Get a pair of icon timax pants as well as they are far better then regular jeans. Also a good pair of gloves are a must as well.
Stay safe and be alert.
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 12:32:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/25/2005 12:33:12 PM EDT by Florida_Gator]
Don't use a trickle charger - it will fry the battery if left on for an extended period. What you want is a float charger which can be left on indefinitely. You can find them in an auto parts store under the name Battery Tender.

Use some Stabil or Pri-G in the gas tank and you'll be fine come riding season.

For low speed turns you won't have much gyroscopic force from the wheels keeping you upright. Unlike cornering at speed where your body leans into the turn, you need to shift your body weight to the outside of the turn and balance the bike. I would highly recommend an AMA certified riding course. What you learn there may save your life someday.
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 12:34:56 PM EDT
check out www.kawasakimotorcycle.org/forum/

There are a ton of ninja 500 riders on there (myself included).  More than enough answers for ya
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 1:10:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dafixer:
The RPM limits are to allow time to seat the rings. Overreving will cause ring flutter which is not
conducive to cylinder sealing. This means more oil consumption & less power. Depending on ring type (I cann't speak for japanese manufacters) usually they are seated after several hunderd miles. Ask you dealer to be sure. Try not to overrev it if you plan on keeping it. Otherwise, bounce it off the limiter every time you shift, it won't blow. Trickle charge the batt if you wont ride it for weeks at a time. A battery loses 1% every day it just sits there. Don't matter if its on the shelf or on the bike. Joe Rocket makes cheap riding gear. Leather holds up much better than synthetics. Remember, there are only two kinds of riders - those who have wrecked and those who will wreck. In other words buy good quality stuff!

RUBBER SIDE DOWN!!!!!!!!1




+1 Everything said above is 100% correct.  Welcome to awhole new addiction.  Ride Safe.    
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 1:12:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sniper_Wolfe:
I'm also looking to get into riding soon, and from what I've researched on jackets...

I can't think of any style exactly in between Power Ranger and Hell's Angel, but Joe Rocket or Alpinestars would be good starts. Joe Rocket would tend towards the Hell's Angel type, while Alpinestars would tend towards the Power Ranger side. It depends on what model of jacket you buy.

Good luck, and from what I've heard, that's a pretty good choice on a bike.

+1 on Joe Rocket
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 1:31:42 PM EDT
For gear I always recommend using www.newenough.com their closeout section is the best.  Plus if something doesn't fit they are supposed to be really good about getting you the right size.  (I wouldn't know, I live 15 miles from their warehouse)
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 9:50:26 PM EDT
Howdy. Buy, read and study the book Proficient Motorcycling: The Ulitimate Guide to Riding Well by David L. Hough. He's got a couple other books out too, but this one is the one to start with. Here's a link with a review of the book.

Always look back before you change lanes.
Don't trust that anyone will see you. Make sure you see them. And watch their tires for movement.
Don't slam on the rear brake in an emergency stop like you would in your car.

GL

my bike

Link Posted: 9/26/2005 5:30:08 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/26/2005 5:34:54 AM EDT by Admiral_Crunch]

Originally Posted By deej86:
A ninja anything probably isn't a good first bike for a n00b, but what do I know.  



The Ninja 250 and 500 are great starter bikes, but yes, anything higher up the Ninja line is too much to start on.



In making a U-turn:

Brake before your turn, not during it.

Shift your weight to the outside peg to lower your center of gravity and to allow you to lean the bike more while keeping it balanced.

Turn your head and look where you want to end up.  Do the Exorcist thing if you have to.

Give some throttle through the entire turn.  Your bike has to generate centrifugal force to counter the force of gravity that wants to pull your bike down.  If your bike seems like it's going to fall down to the inside of the turn, give more throttle.

Accelerate smoothly as you start to exit the turn.

If you want to fall down, apply the front brake during the turn.  This is also known as the pavement magnet.  It should work most every time.  

P.S.  Sign up for an MSF or similar motorcycle class ASAP!
You will learn a lot, and you will break any bad habits you are forming without knowing it.
Also, get Hough's Proficient Motorcycling.  A lot of its info formed the basis of the modern MSF class.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 6:01:51 AM EDT
Put some fuel stabilizer in your tank run it until it gets through your fuel system.

10 minutes should do. This will slow down the fuel breakdown.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 6:53:01 AM EDT
Stabil in the tank,  run it for at least 10 miles, then top the tank off.  Topping off keeps the air in there to a minimum which prevents condensation and a rusty tank/water buildup in the tank.  

You also will want to change the oil and filter.  When refilling the oil, fill it as full as it will go,  mine usually will take 2x the normal amount.   Go with a cheap oil for this, as you'll drain it in the spring and replace.  This keeps fresh oil on the parts, and gets rid of the contaminated oil.  Also topping off helps keep moisture to a minimum.

Pop your battery out and keep it on a small tender.  I have a Yuasa and it works great.  I've had the same battery since early 02 with no problems at all.

Move your bike around every now and then while it's in storage,  this will prevent flat spots on the tires.  You can also over inflate the tires to give them a smaller contact patch on the ground.

Link Posted: 9/26/2005 9:33:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/26/2005 9:34:23 AM EDT by xdoctor]
As far as the jacket goes, check out Joe Rocket jackets, they make some nice gear.  First Racing makes some jackets with a bit of a retro flavor to them, I love mine.



And don't listen to the guy that said a ninja isn't a good first bike, the 500 is one of the best bikes in the world to learn on.  You did the right thing.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 9:46:12 AM EDT
A ex500 (ninja) was my first bike.  Good starter.  I'm on a SV650S now.  So much better, but the EX is a great learning tool.  I put about 15K on mine before I sold it.

Fieldsheer makes good jackets and so does aerostitch.  I just have black and grey with no wild patterns.  They hold up great and will last me quite a while.  
Link Posted: 9/27/2005 7:13:44 PM EDT
Check out the Motorhead Jacket from ICON in black, dont let the other colors that are available fool you.  This seems to me to be the best combination of sport and crusier style jackets.
Link Posted: 9/27/2005 8:59:32 PM EDT
I have an EX500 (before they called them Ninjas) and love it. I've only been riding on-road since June of '04, off-road since about 1991, but the bike is definitely easy to ride.

Last winter, I made sure to put sta-bil in the tank, and I went out and sarted it in the garage (with the door open) once a month and let it run for 10 minutes to keep the battery up.

WIZZO
Link Posted: 9/27/2005 9:09:43 PM EDT
There has already been some great advice posted here.  From my experiences; living from Alaska to Florida, owning many different ATVs and motorcycles.  Dont worry to much about your break in; if you rev it up too high in short bursts it wont hurt anything.  I am not a fan of the run it like hell as soon as you get though.  Parking it for the winter is not a big deal.  Try to start it when you can and just be very careful with your "stabil" products, they can gum up your fuel system/tank.  I never used them and my toys always started.  Like I said, try to run them on at least a monthly basis.  Go through a riding course, it's well worth it.  Good luck.
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 2:59:55 AM EDT
Don't be intimidated by thinking how much a class will cost. Here in Ohio, an MSF course runs just $25 (and free for those under 18).
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 4:34:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Sniper_Wolfe:
Don't be intimidated by thinking how much a class will cost. Here in Ohio, an MSF course runs just $25 (and free for those under 18).



Mine was $250.    But it was worth EVERY penny!
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 9:51:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:

Originally Posted By Sniper_Wolfe:
Don't be intimidated by thinking how much a class will cost. Here in Ohio, an MSF course runs just $25 (and free for those under 18).



Mine was $250.    But it was worth EVERY penny!



+1

AND you get it back in insurance discounts FAST!

It is a win/win situation.  Not taking class is a lose/lose (and sometimes injury/death) situation.
Link Posted: 9/28/2005 1:46:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sniper_Wolfe:
Don't be intimidated by thinking how much a class will cost. Here in Ohio, an MSF course runs just $25 (and free for those under 18).



It's free here in PA.  I'm going to take the class next spring when my work scedule calms down a bit.  There's only a month left of classes for the season this year (so I was told).  Until the winter I'll just take it easy and ride with a friend of mine, who is an experienced rider, on back roads.

Link Posted: 10/4/2005 8:08:41 AM EDT
Wow, did you get some good input here. A Big +1 on damn near everything. I've been riding since '78, and the only things I'd add is to tell yourself you will become a student of riding ... each and every time you get on the bike. i.e. ... Ask yourself, "how can I ride better, this ride?"   Wear a helmet and gloves. We never met, but I'd bet you're a better human than you are a vegetable. And you can't do many jobs when your hands are messed up. Remember always ... Car drivers don't see you. For a lot of reasons. Statistics show 1/2 of all car/bike accidents are NO fault of the bike and are usually the car turning left in front of an oncoming bike.  DRIVE DEFENSIVELY.  Learn to use the front brake. Avoid freeways at night; if you go down you will probably look like roadkill and die. Seriously. Also,
there is absolutely nothing important enough to get mad about and ride a MC at the same time. Last; Mark your calendar for a year or two from now ... when you trade up. The profile: + or - 18 months of experience, and on their 2nd bike. Translation; I now know everything and I'm really not used to this power increase. That is deadly. Don't let it happen toyou. That's enough. Go ride. Stay safe
PS '78 Bonneville, '71 H1 Kawi, '82 Katana 1000SZ(The 1st one)
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 2:43:06 PM EDT
You want to avoid CONSTANT high rpms to break in the motor.  

But you will want to put a load on it in the first 50 miles.  

That means a second or third gear roll on right up to the redline, rolling off the throttle, and then slowing by engine braking back to idle.

Do this several times over the first 20-50 miles, and then change the oil.  

Don't go easy on it, you are doing it more harm than good.  

Trust me on this.  
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 5:03:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By magnum_99:
You want to avoid CONSTANT high rpms to break in the motor.  

But you will want to put a load on it in the first 50 miles.  

That means a second or third gear roll on right up to the redline, rolling off the throttle, and then slowing by engine braking back to idle.

Do this several times over the first 20-50 miles, and then change the oil.  

Don't go easy on it, you are doing it more harm than good.  

Trust me on this.  



I usually run the rpm's up to 6-7,000 in short bursts under heavy load, about once or twice per ride.  A friend of mine told me that it is good for the engine to give it a workout like that.  The problem with keeping the rpm's under the 4000 mark is that I have to "chug" the engine in order to accelarate.  Because of this, I have to accelarate very slowly to avoid excessive engine chug.

None of this will be a problem after I get another 250 miles under my belt!
Link Posted: 10/5/2005 2:52:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/5/2005 2:52:46 PM EDT by magnum_99]

Originally Posted By lu380:

Originally Posted By magnum_99:
You want to avoid CONSTANT high rpms to break in the motor.  

But you will want to put a load on it in the first 50 miles.  

That means a second or third gear roll on right up to the redline, rolling off the throttle, and then slowing by engine braking back to idle.

Do this several times over the first 20-50 miles, and then change the oil.  

Don't go easy on it, you are doing it more harm than good.  

Trust me on this.  



I usually run the rpm's up to 6-7,000 in short bursts under heavy load, about once or twice per ride.  A friend of mine told me that it is good for the engine to give it a workout like that.  The problem with keeping the rpm's under the 4000 mark is that I have to "chug" the engine in order to accelarate.  Because of this, I have to accelarate very slowly to avoid excessive engine chug.

None of this will be a problem after I get another 250 miles under my belt!




NEVER lug (chug) a gasoline  engine.  It puts a huge load on the main bearings and connecting rods.  

Downshift and use RPMs for power.  Lugging is worse than high RPMs (assuming not exceeding the redline).  

I've seen many new bikes broken-in on a dyno that were run to redline and back like I described.  They tend to make more power and last longer than engines that were babied when new.  
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 3:25:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/6/2005 3:28:07 PM EDT by pevrs114]
Don't "turn" the handlebars like you do a steering wheel. Instead, use your palm and push down on the bar in the direction you want to turn. Do it lightly and get the feel for it. Learn to shift your weight as you turn. Unhinge your assbone from the seatbone when needed, it will make the bike respond better.

If you really want to get stupid fast, find a track. At least you can count on the track to pave over potholes, unlike your local DOT.

Find an older guy to learn riding tips from (think - retired - he lived that long while riding, he knows much more than somebody my age). Not somebody on a Hiyabusa. Look for soembody riding a Goldwing or an older kawasaki tourer. These are the guys that have learned the hard way how to ride. Once they teach you the basics, THEN find the older guys that bought the Hiyabusas to teach you the "advanced" course.

If you got a $100 head, wear a $100 helmet.

My first road bike was a CBR600 F3. THAT was a mistake

Now I'm a bit older, a bit wiser, and I'm looking for a DS
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 4:58:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sniper_Wolfe:
I'm also looking to get into riding soon, and from what I've researched on jackets...

I can't think of any style exactly in between Power Ranger and Hell's Angel, but Joe Rocket or Alpinestars would be good starts. Joe Rocket would tend towards the Hell's Angel type, while Alpinestars would tend towards the Power Ranger side. It depends on what model of jacket you buy.

Good luck, and from what I've heard, that's a pretty good choice on a bike.



Joe Rocket jackets are stiched with cotten thread they are about cheapest gear you can buy and the reason shops buy them so much is cause joe rocket will buy back what they don't sell.  

Get a Dainese expensive but worth it, ppl spend thousand of dollars on bikes and buy the cheapest gear they can find. buy it right ths first time.

Also vanson is very good.  Arai and shoei are ths only good helmelts worth buying.

wear what the pros wear they wear them for a reason. buy cheap get cheap.
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 5:00:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By bigscrun:
Just remember there are 2 types of motorcycle rider. The ones that have fallen off and the ones that will.



That is such a stereo-type bs quote.  

FireBlade
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 5:50:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FireBlade:

Originally Posted By bigscrun:
Just remember there are 2 types of motorcycle rider. The ones that have fallen off and the ones that will.



That is such a stereo-type bs quote.  

FireBlade



I feel much better now that you said that!  Thank you.  Now I can concentrate on riding (if it ever stops raining around here), and stop worrying about when I'm gonna go down.
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 7:39:12 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/11/2005 11:53:42 PM EDT
Fox Creek Leather is an excellent buy and of great quality for biker leather. I've got one of their vests and a couple pair of their gloves. My current jacket isn't worn out enough to justify a new one, but when I get one it'll be from these people. My chaps aren't from there either, so I can't comment on the quality of those. The vest is absolutely top quality. I've worn it daily for years now.

GL
Link Posted: 10/13/2005 8:55:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By bigscrun:

Originally Posted By FireBlade:

Originally Posted By bigscrun:
Just remember there are 2 types of motorcycle rider. The ones that have fallen off and the ones that will.



That is such a stereo-type bs quote.  

FireBlade



So you've never fallen off/dropped/went down on a motorcycle. Good Job. EVERYONE that I know that rides, has been down atleast once, including myself.



Yes car ran a red light on me, hit gravel when i was young and didn't know any better and droped mine off the stand.  I also have 4 riding suits and 2 rain suits.  its good to be prepared .

Still its a bs and very negative quote.  i do know other ppl that have not gone down.  its like saying because you fly or drive a car ppl don't say car drivers there are those how have crashed and those who will.

ride defensive and have fun, think positive.

FireBlade
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