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Hi all, I just bought a 2006 Ninja 500 with a few hundred miles on it. They guy had to sell because he couldn't afford it, and it had been sitting in his garage for around 6 months without being ridden now.

I need to know what I will need to replace or drain, and maybe a cost estimate. I know very little about the mechanics of motorcycles, so please be as specific as you can or if you can give a link to a walk through for whatever you suggest, I would be very grateful.

It has a little bit of gas in it, and I charged the battery on a trickle charger. It tries really hard to turn over but usually won't. I got it to start a couple of times, but the RPMs would stay very low, and if I tried to give it any throttle it would die. It would just die by itself after a while sometimes too.

Thank you very much,
Sam
 

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I would change the oil, put fresh gas in the tank and put some seafoam through the carbs to clean them out, the gas may have gone bad in the carb causing it to not fire so fresh gas is a must. Believe it or not but bad oil can cause a bike to act funny so thats a must as well. Once you get the fresh gas in and seafoam, see what happens, if nothing still, then I would consider taking the carbs off the bike and giving them a good bath in seafoam, the gas may have turned into a gel type mess causing the carbs to get clogged and choked. Just for kicks, I would check the condition of the spark plugs, even though the bike has only a few hundred miles on it, they could also be the problem.
 

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Drain the fuel.... put in some seafoam...maybe a quart of new gas...and let it sit for a few hours and then try it.... if no well, carb cleaning time!!
 

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6+ months with gas sitting in them, you're looking at a carb clean.
+1. As David said a can of seafoam is the 5 dollar carb job. If that doesn't fix it you'll have to pull the carbs or get someone to do it for you.

Make sure the battery is topped up 100% too, these things are tempermental if they don't have a good fresh battery.

Changing the oil wouldn't hurt either.
 

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Vintage bike addict
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I'd check the battery first. Fresh gas and seafoam or your cleaner of choice. Fresh oil. However if the battery isn't up to the challenge the bike will run bad and quit.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the suggestions all! I just have a few questions...

1. What is the best way to drain the fuel?
2. I know I can read this when I buy it, but does the SeaFoam go in the gas tank with the new gas or will I have to put it in the carbs? If I have to put it in the carbs, how easy is that to do?

Thanks again,
Sam
 

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Riding daily
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I was in the same boat at you. I Bought a new bike with only 600 miles on it that had been sitting for a 6 months or so. When I first got it it wouldn't start. I was a little worried but it turned out to be just the battery. I would check that first.
 

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nu2kawi
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Did you get the owners manual with the bike? Doesn't sound like the battery is being charged long enough, using the choke to start, then open it a little at a time as the engine is warming up. If it dies, you may be opening the choke too fast. Don't give it any throttle till it is warmed up. Thinking since you've had it started before that the carbs are ok. Change the oil and filter, put some fresh gas with a carb cleaner like seafoam in the gas tank. Make sure the tire pressures are good. May not have to drain the tank, but if you need to, there should be a hose connected to the gas tank that would have to be disconnected....also a valve that opens and closes, make sure it's closed when you disconnect the hose, then open it to drain and have something to catch the gas, may or may not have to loosen the gas cap to vent.
 

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The Cruising Gunsmith
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Hi all, I just bought a 2006 Ninja 500 with a few hundred miles on it. They guy had to sell because he couldn't afford it, and it had been sitting in his garage for around 6 months without being ridden now.


Sam
As said above, flush out all the rotten old gas. wash the tank with mineral spirits or clean gas. The carbs can be flushed by opening the drain screws and letting clean gas run out into a cup. If this is a FI bike with no carbs, I am not sure how to flush the system.

If that gets it running, then change the oil.

BTW: every new bike I know of must have a first service somewhere around 500 miles to check the valve clearance and have the head re torqued. The dealer or shop can do this pretty cheap.
 

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Lets RIDE!
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Valves don't need to be checked until 20,000km...500miles you're looking at an oil change, filter and chain cleaning...that's it
 

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The Cruising Gunsmith
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Valves don't need to be checked until 20,000km...500miles you're looking at an oil change, filter and chain cleaning...that's it
Dude, I can show you the manual on mine if you want: valve clearance checks every 3000 miles for the life of the bike. period. First dealer service required when new was at 500 miles and valve check was mandatory at that service.

As for th head re-torque... well, just a suggestion again when I noticed the outside head bolts on mine were working loose when I first got it new.

I think it's a good idea to have service done on a bike that was basically abandoned for half a year and is full of spoiled gas.
 

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The Cruising Gunsmith
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PLEASE STOP
OK, whatever. If I have the valve cover off to check the shims anyway, you can sure as hell bet I am going to take the extra two minutes it would take me to recheck the head bolts on a brand new head gasket after first run in.
 

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Valves don't need to be checked until 20,000km...500miles you're looking at an oil change, filter and chain cleaning...that's it
PLEASE STOP

I actually thought the 500 had a 600 mile checkup on the valves too (I know I've said so here before!) but according to the service manual it doesn't call for one. 24000km/15000miles.

That being said I would still have it looked at if the bike is still running poorly as the 500 doesn't use shims.

Things that SHOULD be inspected at the 600 mile service, according to Kawasaki:

Thottle Cable
Idle Speed

Fuel Hoses and connections

Coolant level/hoses

Clutch Operation

Brake Fluid leak
Brake hose damage
Brake hose installation condition
Brake operation
Brake fluid level
Brake pad wear
brake light switch

Steering head play

Bolts Fasteners and nuts; tightness inspection

Oil and filter change

Almost all of this stuff you can do yourself. It's nothing more than making sure everything feels alright on the bike, and that the bike is fit for the road.
 
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