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Discussion Starter #1
I got a Ninja EX500 recently, and it's my first bike. I've taken MSF before, which is how i got my license, but it's been about 3 years now. But today I dropped my bike for the second time...**** it. Both times caused hardly any damage, I mean scratches on the mirror and the handlebar, but they were both because I forgot to put up the kickstand. I dropped it a couple of days ago, going very slow. I was able to basically save it by lowering it down slowly (though it was heavy). I was so proud of myself for not killing the bike (no damage was so ever the first time). But then I told myself, ok, I will never forget to put up the kickstand.

Well guess what I did again. I was warming up the bike and after sitting there for 3 - 4 minutes. I forgot. This time I was going a little faster...fast enough that I couldn't save the bike from falling kind of hard. I mean not really hard, like I said no damage other than on the mirror some scratches, and a little of paint off the handlebar, and maybe some scratches and small nicks on the exhuast. But I felt like such an idiot. More than anything I was just ****ed off at myself. I am getting used to picking up the bike, and the feeling of the bike throwing me around though. I know when I bought the bike the reason I got a used, "cheap" bike was so that I could learn on it, but I got the bike in pristine condition and it just breaks my heart to be ****ping it up.

Anyway, I am not considering getting a ducati kickstand, one that comes up automatically when tilted up. I am not sure if I should do that or just keep on punishing myself for my stupidity. One of my friends said that all the bikes he's ever had had a feature where if you put it in first with the kickstand still down it would shut off the engine. Does anybody know if the Ninja EX500 (1998) has that feature? He's had an SV650 and now a Triumph Sprint ST, and also an old GS500. I can't imagine the GS500 had the feature too. But he said that if it isn't there, there is a good chance it was broken by the last guy. Anyway if anybody knows for sure please let me know. And hopefully I won't be so stupid anymore.
 

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The ex500, or ninja 500R has a kickstand kill switch. I'm not sure if yours works though, you'll just have to check it. There is a sensor on the back side of the kickstand you can check, but you'll have to have the bike off the ground to do that. (use a rearstand if you have one, or put the bike on the centerstand.)

Sorry to hear about your bike, sometimes we all slip up and drop or nearly drop our bikes. I just try to keep it as a habit/ritual to put the kickstand down.
 

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First of all, 3-4 minutes is way too long to warm up your bike--you'll foul the plugs and the precombustion-acids will etch your pistons and shorten the life of your engine. Start her up, reduce it to half-choke so that it idles at ~1500rpm, put on your helmet and gloves and ride immediately (but gently) away.
Next, you've beat yourself up about it enough that you'll probably never forget again. Everyone makes mistakes. Once while I was riding across Utah (the flat-boring part) I was so spaced out after riding on the highway for hours and hours that when I came to a stoplight, I forgot to put my feet down. This was in Cedar City and a convertible Cabriolet full of coeds from SUU (Southern Utah University) watched me fall over and giggle as they drove off.
Rode 1375 miles in 26 hours on a Harley Sportster that day and was pretty tired by then.
It's MUCH easier and more economical to adapt your habits to your bike than to go looking for some automatic kick-stand. Those Ducati kickstands scare the h311 out of me because you have to hold the kickstand out with your left foot while leaning the bike on the stand. If the kickstand were to fail or slip, your leg is already committed to the kickstand and cannot be used to preventing you from falling.
Junk like that happens to everyone. You're not alone.
-CCinC
 

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Your bike should have a kickstand safety switch that kills the motor if the kickstand is down and it's put into gear. The previous owner probably disabled it. You could probably get it going again with a service manual and some time.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I bought a clymers book, I hope it has it in there. Yeah I was beating myself up about it pretty good. I only had the choke on it for the first minute or so though, then I let the choke out and let the bike warm up lean.

That's another thing, I've heard some people say you should warm up your bike (with or without the choke on), and I've heard others say warming up the bike will hurt the exhaust pipese, etc, etc. Who's right on this one?

But having the bike get caught on the kickstand and then falling is the worst feeling in the world...not physically, but just the emotional drain of seeing your bike fall, and also feeling so out of control.
 

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lol before i found out that my 05 had a safety switch i was getting ****ed that mny bike kept dieing when put in gear. so i looked down after killign it about 6 times and hought to my self what a dumb****. then 2 days ago i was moving my bike not started and i was on the side of it, it started to get outta balance and fell to the right side. luckely for me that my month old bike didnt suffer any damages but broke the end of the brake handle about a half inch or so.
 

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Please take time to study, learn and understand all of the mechanical makeup of your motorcycle. It is my opinion that one needs to know this so that they can enjoy and ride safely.
Harry
 

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You could always start using the centerstand. It's what I do. The centerstand is a lot more stable than the side stand and you'll know if you leave it down...because you won't be going anywhere. :grin:
 

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your just making newbie mistakes, it happens.
as for the choke, your using it the right way. over my 28yrs riding i have left the choke the whole way on and ive left it on a little to keep the rpms up. never fouled plugs or rotted pistons away.
 

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deadseasquirrels said:
That's another thing, I've heard some people say you should warm up your bike (with or without the choke on), and I've heard others say warming up the bike will hurt the exhaust pipes, etc, etc. Who's right on this one?

But having the bike get caught on the kickstand and then falling is the worst feeling in the world...not physically, but just the emotional drain of seeing your bike fall, and also feeling so out of control.
Here's an article written by the late-great Gordon Jennings covering new bike break-in and starting your cold engine. He was one of those rare engineers who could actually write interesting articles, AND happened to be into motorcycles:
http://www.chrisandlisachan.com/break-in-game.htm
The only living columnist who comes close is Kevin Cameron of CycleWorld (but the rest of the magazine isn't worth buying just for his articles, IMO.)

Regarding what you call the worst feeling in the world; I could think of many things more emotionally draining than a simple parking lot tipover with your first bike that's already been over once:

~Waking up in the hospital and asking your wife what happened and hearing her say, "You crashed on your motorcycle and hit your head really hard. Your bike is badly damaged and YOU'VE BEEN ASKING ME THIS QUESTION FOR THE LAST EIGHT HOURS STRAIGHT..." (This happened to me.)

~Tipping over your first bike in the parking lot. And your first bike is a 20,000+ dollar Harley. AND you do it in front of about 50 people who all stop talking and look at you silently. AND the bike is so big you can't lift it back up. AND nobody comes forward to help. (I saw this happen at Sturgis, and my hands were full of buttered ears of corn and smoked turkey legs, so I couldn't help the poor [email protected]@rd.)

~You start up your bike after spending more than 6 hours in the garage performing a valve adjustment and YOU HEAR A TERRIBLE CLATTERING NOISE, which makes your scalp go icy-tingly because you know it probably means that you got the cam-timing incorrect and have just bent several valves and dented at least one piston, which will require expensive machine-work AND lots more 6-hour days in the garage. But it's 2:00 in the morning and you must now go to sleep. (This happened to me, but fortunately it was something else, not bent valves.)

I could go on (and on and on), but you get the idea. Compared to some things, a parking lot tipover with your first bike isn't so bad. Every other rider you'll ever see in your life has done it once, and most of the bikes you see have done it too. Just be able to laugh at yourself and at life. Once I left my dog on my bike while hitting the ATM. Some other dog came walking by, so she jumped off to go have a sniff. When she jumped off, she knocked my bike over. Then 2 weeks later, my wife was riding it and had a tipover. **it happens.
Hang tough.
-CCinC
P.S. Here's my dog on my bike, at speed, at night:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That picture reminds me of those dogs on the vespas who sit by the Italian women's feet while they scoot through the windy roads on the Amalfi Coast. It's pretty funny looking at them (the dogs) stand on this little part of the bike going 30 with no fear.

Anyway does anybody know a good online article that talks about the automatic cutoff switch if your bike goes to first while the kickstand is up? It's not in my Clymer's book at all (which I'm starting to think was a bad purchase) and I can't find any technical online articles.
 
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