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Old 12-20-2012, 07:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Maintenance Help With 2008 Kawasaki Ninja 250R

Hi, I've recently acquired my first motorcycle, which is a 2008 Kawasaki Ninja 250R. I bought it used and before I fully get comfortable riding it, I need to address the problems and concerns I have with this motorcycle. I want to list the first that seems the most technical to me:

The instrument cluster doesn't work until the engine is fully warmed up and I have ridden it for a good while; i.e, the tachometer, speedometer, and the fuel meter don't move at all until I have ridden it for a good while. The previous owner said she also bought like that (she also bought it used, so this motorcycle's been owned twice prior to me). I don't know if this is typical for 250R's or something, but sometimes I like to look at my cluster just to make sure I'm on all of my limits, both vehicle-wise and street-wise.

Please, could someone help me out and recommend what I should do?
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Check your battery. It might need a good charge or be getting old. Check it with a volt meter or take it into an auto parts store to be tested.
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Check your battery. It might need a good charge or be getting old. Check it with a volt meter or take it into an auto parts store to be tested.
What auto parts store would you suggest? The nearest Kawasaki dealer around my area is quite far.

Also when would be a good time to clean the carbs? My bike only has 1800 miles, should I do it right now or wait for later? Finally, if I do need one, is it possible for a newbie to do it on his own or should I take it to a mechanic? Sorry for asking all of these questions...

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Old 12-20-2012, 11:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Any auto parts store can test a battery - pep boys, auto zone, o'reiley, whatever is close to your house. You do not need to take the battery to a kawasaki dealer for that. But you do need to take the battery out of the bike.

Only clean the carbs if the bike has a poor idle. If it starts ok, idles, and has been run regularly your carbs are fine.

I don't understand your question about a mechanic.
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Any auto parts store can test a battery - pep boys, auto zone, o'reiley, whatever is close to your house. You do not need to take the battery to a kawasaki dealer for that. But you do need to take the battery out of the bike.

Only clean the carbs if the bike has a poor idle. If it starts ok, idles, and has been run regularly your carbs are fine.

I don't understand your question about a mechanic.
Ok thanks for that! But if the battery is out of power, how will I be able to replace it, do some auto shops offer this service or is it best doing it on my own?

The bike seems to run fine, so I'll just leave the carbs aside for now until the bike begins to run noticeably different - I hope this is fine because I don't want to replace anything unless it's absolutely necessary.

Hahaha, I meant should I go take my bike to get it fixed by a professional motorcycle mechanic or just do the maintenance on my own. I do want to learn how to properly maintain my bike eventually (at least, most aspects of it) but perhaps some services are best left to the professionals.
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Here's how to remove your battery:

Removing & installing a battery - Ninja250Wiki

How mechanically inclined would you say you are?

A battery change is very simple if that is the issue. With the bike off you can check the voltage across the battery with a voltmeter. The voltage should go up when the bike is running because the stater is charging it (kind of like a car alternator). It seems like the battery isn't holding a full charge and that after it's started it needs to charge for a while until the gauges work. That's just my guess. So check the voltage of the battery. If you don't have a voltmeter, then remove the battery and take it to an auto parts store and have the battery tested.

If the battery does need to be replaced, any motorcycle battery from a store or the internet will work. Some motorcycle dealerships sell warranties with their batteries, which I have taken advantage of.

If the issue is not the battery, it's electrical. You will have to trace voltages through the wiring harness with a voltmeter and look for a short. Then, you're either going to have to learn a bunch about electrical systems, or make the decision to take it to a mechanic.
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:46 AM   #7 (permalink)
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As your bike starts OK the battery is basically good. It may have a single s/c cell which will reduce the voltage.

Best to buy a cheap ($10) multimeter and check the voltage across the battery. It should be about 12V or higher with the bike switched off, and about 13.6V or higher with the engine at about 5K rpm.

If the switched off voltage is below about 10.5V but it's OK with the motor running then you have a battery problem but the bike is otherwise fine. This might cause you problems with your dash, but I don't think so. I think you may have something like a poor or intermittent ground that picks up when the bike is being used, or a faulty dash. The dash is driven through the ecu - it's not a bus system so each signal is individual. I don't have a diagram handy for the 250, but it seems likely that the only common element for all the dash components is the ground return.

Try spraying the dash and its connections with WD40 and leaving it for 24 hours. Or pull the connectors to dash and ecu and clean them - then spray them with WD40.

Rob
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Old 12-21-2012, 03:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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As your bike starts OK the battery is basically good. It may have a single s/c cell which will reduce the voltage.

Best to buy a cheap ($10) multimeter and check the voltage across the battery. It should be about 12V or higher with the bike switched off, and about 13.6V or higher with the engine at about 5K rpm.

If the switched off voltage is below about 10.5V but it's OK with the motor running then you have a battery problem but the bike is otherwise fine. This might cause you problems with your dash, but I don't think so. I think you may have something like a poor or intermittent ground that picks up when the bike is being used, or a faulty dash. The dash is driven through the ecu - it's not a bus system so each signal is individual. I don't have a diagram handy for the 250, but it seems likely that the only common element for all the dash components is the ground return.

Try spraying the dash and its connections with WD40 and leaving it for 24 hours. Or pull the connectors to dash and ecu and clean them - then spray them with WD40.

Rob
Thank you for the advice. Now, will I need to take the bike apart in order to do this?

I'd take it to a mechanic for these sorts of things but I just don't have the money for it right now. I might not even do it myself, but it's always practical to know what may be wrong with it.
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:01 AM   #9 (permalink)
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No need to take it apart. THe battery is accessable my taking the seat off to check with a multimeter.

Spray the dash and connectors with WD 40 without dismantling anything. At most you might have to remove the fuel tank.

Rob
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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No need to take it apart. THe battery is accessable my taking the seat off to check with a multimeter.

Spray the dash and connectors with WD 40 without dismantling anything. At most you might have to remove the fuel tank.

Rob
Okay, once again thank you! I'm kind of relieved actually that I won't have to dismantle the bike too significantly.

I have another question which may not relate to maintenance itself at all but is a factor into whether I will need to maintain my bike, more or less:

How suitable is a 250R on the freeway? Is it possible to ride it through freeway for about an hour and a half under certain conditions? My bike is at home but I would really like to bring it back to my university campus.

If I do not bring it though, what would be some steps and advice to take to store my motorcycle for about 3 months?

Messages/links/posts on this thread are fine. Any help would be appreciated!
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