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Hey everybody, I just got my first bike, an 86 Ninja 600R. I bought it for $700. It's spitting some white smoke out the exhaust. It has 10,500 miles on it and runs strong. What are possible causes of the smoke, it also spits a little oil when it's cold. Any help would be much appreciated. Anybody ever have an 86? Thanks.
 

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re

welcome to the board!- nice to see a classic still on the road :wink:

the ninja crew will chime in to help you out i'm sure :D


ride safe!
 

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Welcome aboard, I would go ahead and do a tune up, atleast replace plugs and fuel filter and oil plus oil filter. With that little amount of miles on it, she probably sat for some time, the smoke may clear up after driving it for a while, getting some oil circulating thrue the engine and letting the affects of heating up and cooling down free up the stiff rings and seal the valve guides. Mine set for about 3 years when I first got her and she smoked a little at first, now none at all now. Glad to hear some interest in an older bike.
 

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I agree with everyone else here. Do your basic maintenance and put some miles on the bike before you decide that you really have a problem.

If you get a lot of smoke, there are three big possibilities: fuel, oil, and coolant. Smoke from fuel problems (like burning too rich) is usually black or gray. That sounds like it's not your problem. Smoke caused by coolant in the exhaust is usually white. Smoke caused by burning oil is close to white, but looks a little bit bluish. Look for a bluish tinge in the smoke. If it has that, then it's probably oil. You can also hold your hand in the cloud then rub your fingers together and smell your fingers. Burnt coolant feels slightly different from burnt oil, and it smells distinctly different from burnt oil.

If the bike smokes on startup, but then doesn't smoke, valve stem seals are a likely culprit. They tend to get old and hard and crack after a lot of years. That may also be the reason you're spitting oil on startup. If you get bluish smoke all the time, then old piston rings are a real possibility. If you get white smoke, then you likely have head problems, like a cracked head or blown head gasket (depending on what part of it blew). Those sound bad, but it's not as hard to fix as you might think. Get a good manual, good tools, and a helpful friend, and you're good to go.
Curt
 

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old bikes

The classics are great. I have three . I bought my 81 kz550 four years ago with a little over 12000 miles on it. It hadn't been ridden for about a year . I bought it in Idaho and rode it to ky. The guy had the carburator cleaned before I picked it up. It smoked every morning on the five day ride home( in march) , but cleared after it got warm. It also burnt a little oil. It now has 23000m on it . It started rattling after it got hot and started burning motor oil. After consulting a couple of older motorcycle mechanics I replaced the camchain tensioner springs (comes in a kit) It stopped the oil burning and the rattling. Still smokes when first started, but clears up after about 3 mins. Good Luck and Be safe!!!! It is worth it to take the MSF Safety course before you pick up any bad habits!!!! :D

Mack (Heather's other half)
 

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OIL CHANGE

Oilchange and filter, buy new plugs, but turn the off/on switch to off and do a compression check and log it...remember to hold the throttle wide open when cranking the engine over to get the proper reading. Then install the new plugs and record everything that you do to the bike. To properly read the plugs you should find a long stretch, preferably with some upgrade and open the throttle and shift till youhave reached the summit running it as wide open as possible. Then hit the clutch, and the OFF button and coast to teh side of the road, pull the plugs and read them...it is important that you do not coast down with the engine engaged to get the proper reading. It may be that with some time on your motor, after it has been setting that it will entirely quit smoking...and you should be using a synthetic oil now and it won't smoke...rather burn off of the cylinder walls.
 
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