Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

Budget Ninja 250 Track Build

Discussion in 'Projects' started by SatansPetFerret, Oct 2, 2010.

  1. So I've been (slowly) going around the track for a couple years, and wanted to go out for Novice in the 2011 season. Unfortunately for my bank account, I recently started a Master's program, and as such my chances of racing decreased to nil, until I saw this - - see also -

    The idea of racing on a 250 is compelling to me for a few reasons:
    1) I'm a cheap bastard paying for school.
    2) I figure I'll learn more by making a slow, crappy bike go fast, than making a fast, well-engineered bike like my R6 go around the track at my slowass pace.
    3) 250 Novices will very likely run against other 250's in practice and racing, eliminating the disparity in bikes (run what you 'brung) of the current Novice classes.
    4) I'm a cheap bastard paying for school.

    This was entirely theoretical until I took a break from writing one of those master's papers and saw this - and bought it the same night.

    Now, for the photos -





    I knew going into it there was a problem with the left rearset...

  2. This bike has obviously been down, on both sides. I stripped all the bodywork off to see what I was working with -




    However, I went to Paulson's and picked up a new battery ($75), threw it in and the damn thing fired right up. Was able to sort of ride it around the cul-de-sac, but it was really interesting riding and shifting without a rearset attached on the left side.

    Here's that rearset mounting point...


    Turns out that Kawi just tack-welded some small mounting nuts inside the frame, and the previous owner managed to rip the rearset right out of the frame.

    I took the bike to Ziegler's Welding in downtown Oly and they welded on some 1/4" plates with tapped holes for me. I had them do both sides, just to be safe. ($125)

    Left side all fixed up -

    Right side for insurance -

    I picked up some sparkplugs and an oil filter at Paulson's ($12 total) just because I know I'll need them.

    So far I'm at:
    Bike - $250
    Battery - $75
    Rearset welding - $125
    Sparkplugs and oil filter - $12

    Total so far - $462

  3. It quickly became apparent that the main fairing stay was totally jacked up on both sides. The instrument cluster was zip-tied on, only on one side, so it kind of bounced around and hit the forks/triple. I was able to straighten some of the fairing stay with a little persuasion from a blowtorch and a hammer.


    The instrument cluster has 3 mounting points, all of which had snapped on the cluster, and I had only one of the pieces.



    After hours of design work and measurements, I decided to go with the high-tech approach.

    Drill some holes -

    And zip-tie that sh*t back together -

    Got it mounted up, found one nut for the mounting bracket in with the parts, and pulled another one out of a parts bin. That takes care of the left side mounting points. The right side mount was just plain missing, and the instrument cluster cover was cracked as well.

    I again went with the high-tech approach, but was careful to color-match my repair work to the cluster cover -

    Put a couple more holes in the cover, zip-tied it to the main fairing stay, and that thing is solid. It's not contacting anything when the forks are at full lock.

    Last thing for this set of updates... when the forks were at full lock, the bars were contacting the gas tank. Not acceptable.

    The bar-end screws were also completely stripped. I took the right handlebar off, and had to hacksaw it to get the throttle tube off. Here's about what it looked like (you can see where I cut it) -

    Back to Paulson's, I ordered two new handlebars, bar ends w/ screws, and a rubber gas tank frame insulator (bike only came with one). Cost $119, but at least I can pass tech with new handlebars.

    Since I'm a big guy, I picked up an SV650 shock from RevrdMark here on PNW for $30 shipped. I'll have to figure out front springs as well. No joke, when I sit on the bike, it drops like a rock both front and back.

    Total so far, $611.

    Oh, the reasons I'm ordering from Paulson's... first, they're the local Kawi shop, and they're going through a major re-structuring (dropped all their other brands, including Suzuki). I'd like to see them stay in business. Plus, their parts guy is awesome, and gives me a discount on everything.

    I could get most of what I need off PNW, Ebay or Craigslist, and I will on a few things where I need to, but local parts availability is pretty damn useful sometimes.
  4. Nice write up! Looks like a fun project.
  5. schweet build, is mild porting considered cheating? your progress so far looks good, i'd be looking into a better exhaust/intake, bigger carbs, maybe some zx600 stuff if it swaps over, etc..
  6. No engine work.

    Though the official WMRRA rules have yet to be established, with the massive 20-30 HP these bikes are putting down, any "performance" modifications are not going to do anything. Yes, the Canucks with their ZZR-250's may have more of an advantage, but anyone smaller than me will be faster anyway. Plus, I'm a novice, so... who cares?

    As budget is my primary concern, I won't be putting anything on that's not dirt cheap, fixing something broken, or required to pass tech. The only exception to this is suspension, because like I said, I'm a big guy on a very small bike.

    Right now I'm looking at fork springs, front brake lines & pads, and tires. All that done, and number plates, and I should be ok to safety wire and do all the fluids.
  7. why put money into those things? so you can just get passed?

    this class is not about how much hp or money you can throw at a bike.....its about riding a bike with similar power and handling characteristics where the rider is going to be the ultimate difference

    can't wait to see you out there spf.....i'll be gridded up next to you on one myself
  8. +1

    Slightly OT for my own build thread... I've already spent plenty of money on bikes. I actually have a very nice, super-sport legal 07 R6 track setup in the garage. It's got all the goodies, but I'm not running it because like I said, I don't think I'll learn as much on it, and it's more expensive (tires, fuel, etc).

    Besides, if I go out there and run my R6 against Donny's 1000rr, what are we learning from each other as novices? That he's faster down the straight (and probably the corners too)?

    The best performance mod I can do for this 250 is to go on a diet over the winter.

    Schweet. I'll be sure to draft you whenever possible. Us big guys need to work together.

    More pictures to come tomorrow when I start ripping apart the suspension and brakes.

    Next weekend will be the new bars and rear shock.
  9. this would be a lot of fun to do. especially to be in a field full of 250 ninjas. i will be watching this rebuild.

    maybe once im out of college i might start track days this route first. seems like it could be a lot of fun(run against other basically stock 250's), and a good way to learn the ins and outs of track days for a little less cash.
  10. Today my brother helped me out, and I forgot to take photos of pretty much everything.

    We swapped out the stock rear shock for the 2004 SV650 one. We wound up drilling out the inner ring on the SV bushing instead of swapping the entire bushing. Did a pretty good job of the swap, but I may pull it back off and do some more grinding on the lower linkage, as it's pretty tight.

    Removed the kickstand and killswitch.

    Changed the oil, filter, and drilled the oil filter bolt and oil drain bolt for safety wire.

    Found out the center stand was held in by one bolt, the other had backed out but couldn't fall out because the exhaust was keeping it just far enough in the hole. Took that whole thing off.

    Removed the front brake line, once I get it measured it will be replaced by a stainless braided line.

    New bars should get here on Tuesday, so I'll put up some more pics then.
  11. Here's the one decent shot of mocking up the SV rear shock prior to final installation.

  12. I'm not much for updates with pictures because right now it's pretty boring stuff, and it's not on any sort of schedule.

    I've changed the oil, also drained coolant and replaced with Water Wetter. Safety wiring everything as I go, haven't broken a drill bit yet *knock on wood*.

    I got a reasonable deal from during their Columbus Day sale. EBC front pads (10% off) and a Galfer front brake line (15% off) shipped for a total cost of $94.59, bringing the project total to $705.59.

    Brake line and pads go on this weekend or next, along with safety wiring all the brake and exhaust bits.

    Looking for a Kawi sparkplug tool so I can swap the plugs and take the top apart for a valve adjustment.

    I think all that's left to purchase is number plates (can I run cardboard?) fork springs/seals and tires. I estimate the forks should run me another $100 for everything, and tires will be in the $200 range. Would be nice to get the whole project done for under/at $1000, but I think I'm going to be cutting it pretty close unless I get some sweet midwinter deals.
  13. As everybody knows, to go fast you need two things: stickers, and racing stripes.

    It is my sincere hope that one of the criteria for scoring in the Sippy Cup is the paint job -


    Note: No paint was added to the tank to achieve this level of awesomeness. Just 5 min with a sander and some blue painters tape.


    The red paint came off so easily that all I was able to leave was around the gas cap.

    I have located a can of silver hi-temp enamel paint from a project a couple years ago. I may use it to add flames (for increased HP).


  14. dude you are my hero lol that's awesome
  15. Dr. E

    Dr. E Theoretical Propagandist

    Great write up...looking forward to more on this!
  16. You now have me looking for a sub $250 Ninja 250 to do the same thing with. As if one track build wasn't enough already...damn you.
  17. Good luck! I think $250 was probably a fair price for this bike considering what I've had to do to get it usable.

    Now, for more photos. Did the brake pads this weekend and put on the Galfer line.

    Before cleaning -



    During -

    I used compressed air to push the pistons out a bit for cleaning, and then C-clamps to press them back in.



    After, prior to installation -


    Put the new pads on, then the new line. Found out that the Galfer line routing runs right next to the bleeder valve, to the point that I couldn't get the rubber hose on the bleeder. Wound up holding a Mityvac on as best I could with one hand, while I bled the system.

    Took it out for a test ride up and down the cul-de-sac, and was able to say that all gears work. Front brakes are still softer than I'd like, but the pads aren't bedded in and I didn't blast the rotor, so hopefully it breaks in alright. Brakes in alright? :mrgreen:

    I noticed that the clutch lever had quite a lot of vertical play. I cleaned the pin, lever, and lubed the cable, drilled a quick hole in a dairy lid, snipped with some scissors, and made a little shim that fixed it right up.


  18. Great build! I can't wait to see the finished project.
  19. Thanks! I'm sure it'll be interesting to see me pull up to Willow Springs with my 999 and a Ninja 250.
  20. Mic

    Mic Retired


    Lets meet for lunch before I head off to Hood River for Thanksgiving, and get me your rotors and I'll blast them while I am down for Thanksgiving.
Similar Threads Forum Date
Budget ADV bike, Cyclone RX-3 from CSC! Adventure Time Aug 20, 2015
Armor on a budget Motorcycle Talk Aug 7, 2014
Budget Racing Track Time Jul 25, 2014
ADV riders on a budget Motorcycle Talk Apr 23, 2014
Racing Expenses Budget? Track Time Nov 24, 2013