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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, what's up? I'm a new rider, I passed my MSF class and got my m class endorsement on my license in April. I bought my first bike just this past Saturday. It's a 02 Ninja 500R. I am in love with it and riding. I have all my gear and only ride with all my gear on. With my happyness also comes frustration.

I purchased my 2002 EX 500 last Saturday and during my test ride and the ride home the bike was amazing. I came home from work tonight hoping for a ride to clear my head and relax only to become frustrated.

I started the bike, by putting the fuel position from 'off" to "on". Engaged the choke, flipped the kill switch to on and pressed the ignition button. I let the bike warm up for around 10 minutes, then lowered the choke. When I did this the bike died. (at this time the temp gauge showed past the "C" mark and past the break in the line towards the bottom. I figured the bike wasn't warm enough yet so I started the bike again and let it warm up to where the temp needle was just under the halfway mark.

I lowered the choke again and the bike was running really really hard. It felt almost like the sound of a Harley at idle. (if that makes sense) I then put it into gear and made it halfway around the block when it died. (in 2nd gear going about 15 mph) I attempted to restart the bike many times with no success. I walked the bike home and let it sit.

About 40 minutes later I went back out to the bike to try to start it. When I tried, the bike wouldn't start. (it turned over and died immediately)
I tried this 3 or 4 times then in frustration, I put the cover back on it and went inside.

Here we are 1 and 1/2 hours later. I went back out and went through the steps to start the bike only this time putting the fuel on "reserve". I let the bike warm up and the bike didn't sound like a Harley at idle. I rode it halfway down the block and it died again on me in 2nd gear. (again at 15 mph) I counted to 5 in my head and pressed the ignition and the bike immediately started. I then rode the bike for about 10-15 minutes with no problems.

This problem I'm having did not happen on Saturday when I purchased the bike, and I'm wondering if I did something wrong or if something is wrong with my bike.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I am not very knowledgeable when it comes to motorcycles and this is my first bike.
 

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Welcome to the forum from another Texican! Where about are you located?

The choke is just to start the bike up and push it in as soon as the bike idles by itself (it might not need it at all, try to start it without the choke). There's no reason to leave it out for 10 minutes. Sounds like the carb got flooded with gas.
And also do not shift to 2nd till at least 20mph. You're lugging the engine at 15mpg in 2nd gear.

And one more thing...
No Pics = No Bike!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey mumbles! Thanks for the reply. I'm in Arlington. I'm used to manual cars so I was shifting gears when it got to 3,000 rpms. With these bikes is it ok to be riding in gear when the rpms are at or past 3,000? Thank you for the comment about flooding. I was hoping that was the problem and not a problem with the bike itself. Here's a pic I tool with my phone. http://twitpic.com/1tjg39*
 

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You can rev that baby up way past 3k but just hold on tight ( don't recomend you do that untill you get familiarized with the bike). Don't now where the red line is on the Ninja 500R but it won't hurt it if you happen to find it. LOL
Check the sparkplugs to see if they're not fouled up. Only time I ever use the choke is in cold weather (60 degrees and below).

Be careful and take it easy untill you get more experiance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks again man. What do you mean by fouled up? I think the redline is after 11,000 rpms. On average where do you want to be at in rpms while riding?
 

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Read this bro... Frequently Asked Questions

Every bike's engine is different on where the sweet spot for riding is. Riding style affects this too.
On my old 1983 KZ750 she used to cruise on the hwy at around 5500 rpms but then I also had a 1982 KZ1000 and at the same speed she would be at around 4200 rpms.
I know that probably wont help you but I've been riding "cruisers" for a few years that I forgot all about high rpms. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the link. I hope that's not the case as working on any motor vehicle is a no no where I live. Do you have any recommendations on where I can learn more about the mechanics of motorcycles? For instance I have no idea where to find the idle screw, I don't know where the carbs are, etc. I would really like to learn more about my bike so I don't have to ask so many stupid questions.
 

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I am also new here so hi and welcome!
The only other thing you might want to check is the electrical system. Is the battery holding its charge? Is the system charging? Because if there isn't enough juice the bike will simply not perform. For all you know it could have been sitting on a charger for days before you test rode it and it is not likely you took the bike up to 6000 - 7000 RPM on the test ride so you may not have taxed the system to expose the issue. A quick diagnostic is to check the battery health with a voltmeter then start and run the bike with the voltmeter still on the battery. You'll know right away if the system is charging plus you'll find out the battery health as well. This is just something else to consider in your diagnostic procedures... Good luck and safe riding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Scott. The battery is brand new so I don't think that's the problem. My main fear is that the carbs need to be cleaned and or there is something wrong with the bike itself. I'm hoping I flooded the engine like mumbles suggested. When I get home from work tonight I'm going to try to start it up again and see what happens. I'm going to record it on video too just in case.
 

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Sounds like you lefy the choke out too long, flooding issue most likely.
In this weather no need to use the choke, unless the bike has been sitting for an extended period of time.
Next bet is to take the plugs out & clean them if needed.
Best wishes , be safe ! ;)
 

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Thanks for the link. I hope that's not the case as working on any motor vehicle is a no no where I live. Do you have any recommendations on where I can learn more about the mechanics of motorcycles? For instance I have no idea where to find the idle screw, I don't know where the carbs are, etc. I would really like to learn more about my bike so I don't have to ask so many stupid questions.
Check these out Clymer Kawasaki EX500, GPZ 500S and Ninja 500R 1987-2002 and Haynes Kawasaki EX500 Ninja 500 ER500 1987-2008 Repair Manual H2052 EX500-D9 Ninja 500 .


They are very helpful for the do-it-yourself person.
As far as mechanics go, folks around here rather find a reputable independent shop then take their bike to a dealer.
Ask any question you like, no question is a stupid question. We all been there.
 

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Just a wild shot in the dark, but the clue I picked up is that you put the petcock on Reserve, and it ran again. You just might be out of gas!!! Hey, it's happened to me.

Running too long with the choke on can put a lot of gasoline in the cylinder, which can wet down the spark plugs and "foul" them. They will usually dry out, themselves, after a few hours, but by then you might foul them again by trying to start it.

To start a flooded engine, hold the throttle almost completely open while you crank it. If it start out running rough, then slowly smooths out, you can bet flooding was the problem.

By the way, when you watch local TV in the Metroplex, the signal comes from within a mile or so of my home in Cedar Hill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Great information mrblanche. I know I wasn't out of gas as theresos half a tank left. Now I know how to start the bike if it is flooded though. Thank you. I just moved here from Chicago so I don't really know the area yet. Where is cedar hill?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
OK, so I got home and started up the bike. Instead of trying to explain it and sounding like a complete moron, I recorded what happened with my trusty flip cam. I don't have video of me riding as I don't have a proper helmet cam. (yet) Again, any ideas and help is greatly appreciated. Here is the link to the video. YouTube - Ninja 500R Problem
 

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As far as mechanics go, folks around here rather find a reputable independent shop then take their bike to a dealer.
If you get to the point of wanting someone to check it out for you, go see Dean Phelps at Stadium Yamaha. He is the only person that's ever worked on my bike, other than myself, and had an independent shop over here in McKinney until this economy pulled him under. He'll treat you right.

Welcome to the forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks tomdenise. Once I get the bike running enough that I can take it out, I will bring it over to him so he can check it out.
 

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Great video!

From what I can see is that the idle is set way to low "or" it has developed an air leak around the carb vacuum lines. (Also make sure the sparkplug boots are snug)
Take a look under the gas tank and see if any of the vacumm lines are loose.
Somewhere around there will also be a knob. That's for the idle speed. Clockwise goes up, counterclockwise rpms' goes down.

Did the bike sit up for a while before you bought it? Maybe the vacuum lines got stiff and when you rode it for a while it could of developed a crack or break in the line.
 

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Could be a vacuum leak, fouled plug, weak coil on one cylinder. Your video represents how my 250R sounds when I crank it with the petcock vacuum hose disconnected. When I put my thumb over it, it shapes up.

I'd start by rooting around all the vacuum tubes looking for disconnections / cracks, tighten the clamps on the intake boots, and then change the spark plugs and inspect the spark plug wires for good connections and any damage to the sleeves. Make sure both wires are plugged into the coils securely and fit snugly down onto the spark plugs.

After all that, adjust the idle up while it's running, if it'll let you (keeps running).
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
According to the guy I bought it from it didn't sit for long. Either tonight or tomorrow I am going to pick up new plugs, swap them out and adjust the idle knob. What confuses ne is that the bike didn't act this way the day I bought it and rode it home. How easy does the idle knob move? I don't understand how it could idle fine one day then 3-4 days later idle like crap.
 
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