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Discussion Starter #1
As some of you may know from my previous posts i own a POS 1990 ex500 ninja. I recently took it in some local twisties winding slowing roads. i decided to take the turns a little more agrevisely having gained some confidence. As i took a medium grade bend it started bucking around wobling from side to side, almost causing me to lowside. I'm guessing this might have something to do with my badly worn rear shock absorber or the really choppy throttle that jerks the bike forward. Or is it just bad riding on my part? That's what's really annoying me, i have nothing to compare to, never rode anybody else 500. I guess my question is, should a horrible suspension combined with bad throttle response prevent me from trying to attempt any decent turns?
 

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problem #1 - ex500 is a shitty bike

problem #2 - your suspension has probably NEVER been rebuilt, cleaned, or serviced in any way

problem #3 - ex500 is a shitty bike

problem #4 - you probably just aren't used to tight corners, it takes some practice, but you would be better on a better bike because the ex500 is a shitty bike

solution - buy a new bike, and ill give you a few hundred for the ex500 so my gf has a little bike to learn on so she doesnt crash my nice bikes
 

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EX-500

Neller is being a bit harsh. Sure, your EX is older and a bit technologically dated. However, it's not that bad. I guarantee that I could take an EX and wax most of the squidly 600 riders I come across on my local canyon roads. Personally, I think the EX-500/Ninja 500R is a great beginner ride.

However, the problems you describe are out of the ordinary. As Neller said, your rear shock may need to be rebuilt or replaced. (check e-bay) You might want to have the front fork springs and fluid replaced as well. While you're at it, have the steering head bearings checked too. Also, tires can make a BIG difference in handling. What condition are they in?

I admit, the EX can have somewhat abrupt throttle response and this can interfere with smooth corner exits. Some of this may be due to your being a newbie rider and needing a bit more time to learn smooth throttle control. However, it could also be due to several mechanical factors. One easy-fix possibility is to make sure all the slack is taken out of your throttle cable. (easy adjustment). Also, some of it may be due to Kawasaki's notorious propensity for building bikes with excessive driveline lash. This can somewhat be addressed by making sure that the cush drive in your rear wheel is in good condition. A cush drive is basically just a big rubber block in your rear-wheel hub that is supposed to dampen the application of power to the rear wheel. (best way I can describe it) If the cush drive is really worn and compressed, it can lead to clunky on/off throttle situations. Thirdly, perhaps your carbs need to be adjusted and/or rebuilt.
 

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or carbs atleast cleaned out and then adjusted, maybe rebuilt but if its running fine i wouldnt mess with it. id say if your bike is honestly cornering that bad its in some horrible need of some type of rebuilding.

first off, check your tire pressure. run around 30 psi in both tires, NOT the max 44psi or whatever it says, and NEVER under 20 (unless stunting, which i doubt you are)

next, try and fully compress your rear shock by putting as much weight on it as you can, and see how it rebounds. no or slow rebound = bad. interestingly enough, i, along with about 20 other bikers from detroit, went to a "suspension clinic" yesterday. you wouldnt believe all the stuff that has to be good for that to work right. if your suspension has never been rebuilt in that bike, i can guarantee that is the biggest problem you have cornering. to be honest, your suspension is probably junk. but a rebuild on them (full valve job and all) will be like 300 for the front and 300 for the rear, so that would be $600 into a bike i dont think is barely worth that (dollar wise, it might be worth it to you just because its your only bike).

suspension setup could be way wrong for your weight too. that could make a big difference. but im guessing its just that your susp. is bad. no big deal, do what you can for now, and then in the future when you have a newer bike, you will be better.

and my first response in this post is pretty sarcastic. its hard to show sarcasm on a computer screen, i guess u just have to know me
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I've rebuilt this bike head to toe, front forks got new springs new oil seals the whole deal, the back i rebuilt and regreased, but the shock absorber is really bouncy and i'm looking for a new one if i get the rigth price, as far as the throttle i know something isn't right either a vacum problem, or it could be the throttle closing cable. The cable is really loose and the pulling cable is really tight. When i trun the bars to their extremes the throttle gets stuck and revs higher. I've taken the carbs apart and rebuilt them and checked the rubber carb boots all seem okay. I also took off the chain and cleaned it all up with solvent, when i put it back on it had too much slack it rubs against the swingarm. The rubber absorber boot seems fine when i was greasing the rear wheel and bearings. Tires just had new ones put on, but they were from a shaddy mechanic, maybe crusiser tires for all i know. They're called avon venom. This throttle response cant be normal. A girl i know let me ride her GS-500 around and i was way more confident cornering with that bike.

No offense taken neller, i'm quite sarcastic myself. But not over the internet, ppl always end up taking it the wrong way. haha I just need somebody brave enough to test ride this bike and tell me what they think.
 

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well the problem then is my first hypothesis...bad bike

lol, well looks like u have done your work, so i honestly dont know what the problem could be other than you rebuilt it wrong. the tires really shouldnt be the problem unless u have the wrong air pressure. the throttle issue, that could be a big problem.

after re-reading your first post, and thinking....i think that the dude that put your tires on didnt balance them properly, or at all. also, your rear shock is probably shot. your throttle problem also contributes. therefore, all those together cause your problem. just my :2cents:
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Yeah could very well be the balance of the tires, the handles do shake a lot when i'm downshifting using engine braking. This bike is really stressing me out, put so much time into fixing it. I need to take a buddies bike put it through the twisties and if all goes well then it's the bike not me, haha

Any volunteers? It's not that long of a ride up here to T.O. from Michigan. haha
 

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Hey mike... this may not be your case but it gave me the same problem.. so figured I'd throw it your way since you've checked out the other suggestions already..

After a friend did some work on my bike and changed out the rear tire for me my bike handled the same as you described (and this was after it had been to the track takin turns pretty well so I knew it wasn't the bike or it's set up in general) by the end of the day a friend walkin behind the bike noticed something I had not... the rear wheel was not aligned properly.. it was angled to the right somewhat.... luckily I had my tool kit there and he helped loosen her up and straighten her out and retighten and that evening on the way home the same turns I took that felt shitty and choppy were now smooth and fine as before...

You did say you changed out your tires ... maybe just by chance your rear wheel could be slightly off as well :dunno:

E.
btw... EX500 are awesome starter bikes and kick ass on technical tracks... know a few that leave the liter bikes in the dust ;)
 

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I did not read about you ADJUSTING the chain slack when you clean the chain. So you could also have a woren out chain which also means a set of sprockets as well.

The throttle should not be binding when you turn the handlebars one way or the other.

Tyres on the bike might be the wrong set. Like I do not know the line you have & like neller says tyre pressure is important.

True the shock could be shot for I am assuming there is no re-bound, compression, or pre-load avaliable. Which is often true on many bikes so then the rear shock needs to be rebuilt.

Of interest some of the reasons even on some of the new bikes they are NOT offering re-bound, compression & pre-load adjustments is that 90% of the riders are not experienced in that end & could make the bike even worse.

Do not downgrade the bike for I was going at some pretty mean speeds on the road racing circuits with ridgid rear end bikes, single cam drum brakes & such plus our tyres were stimply ghastly compared to the latest junk tyres on the markets these days. Yes ridgid rear ends or some springers so only 2.5" of travel at the front & possibly a 2"spongy snake like travel at the rear, suw to springers (reason I stuck with rigid rear end till s/arm was offered in its limited form) or ridgid rear ends. Yes our 500cc Brit irons were clocking any thing from 60 to 110mph on the bends was back in the lat 40s & early 50s.

Believe me if we had a 500 like yours we would soon be turning out speeds of 100 to 125mph & bends would be a piece of cake at the circuits.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the replies boys and girls, you're awesome. As for the chain I adjusted it to it's furthest point, it's still too loose but i don't have the cash for a sprocket + chain replacement. It's odd because the chain looks almost new yet is stretched, or who knows maybe it's not even the proper chain. The shock absorber does have a preload adjuster, before i took the rear suspension apart it was like a hard tail it didn't even move, as if it was seized. After i took the unitrack suspension apart and cleaned and greased it, that's when the shock absorber actually started to even function. That's when i noticed how bad it was, it was like one of those pony's you ride for a quarter outside the supermarket. So i tightened the preload by 2 turns and it got better but was still very spongy. When i ride at night all u can see is my headlamp moving up and down, looks as if i'm highbeaming ppl. The tires are at proper pressure as the manual suggests 32 for the back and 30 for the front. However the back may not be balanced properly for all i know.
 

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U could remove a link.

Edit: But if your chain is worn that bad it might break, and crack the motor case or worse when it does.

It could be the alignment that caused the chain to wear that much in the first place. Maybe your frame's bent.
 

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yeah dude just remove a link or two...thats not hard, i have a chain breaker tool too bad ur in toronto lol.

do not just crank down on your preload, that is not a good solution. i mean yeah for right now, in your situation, you can have some more preload, but dont go crazy on it because that wont solve your problem, and will probably make it worse in the long run.

heres my thoughts...how much do you weigh? if you are 200+, that could be another BIG reason why you do this on that bike.

but what E said, check your alignment, i didnt think about that, good idea. check tire pressure, maybe add a tiny bit more preload, and hopefully you can tune down this problem some.

when u rebuilt the shock, did you use the right oil? did you check the valves? i just think the shock needs a professional rebuild and valve job, but thats too much money to spend on that bike. i guess do what you can do, play around with it and try to get it right.

i dont even wanna know what its like having a passenger on your bike, lol
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I found a shock absorber off a 95 ex500 on ebay bastard says he only ships to the US though. My weight shouldn't be too big of an issue, i'm 190 lbs. How do i check if the frame is bent, the bikes got some road rash on either side so it's obviously been down more than once. haha I didn't rebuild the shock all i tighten was the preload on that. Speed bumbs are a nightmare even at slow speed, feels more like a dirt bike. I'm thinking to fix all the things i want i'll be looking at least another 300 in parts alone. (sprockets, chain, used shock, rubber carb boots, throttle cables) This things already a deathtrap as it is, i don't think i want to cut the chain to further decrease my odds. haha
 

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EX Shock

The way that you describe it Mike, that rear shock sounds like it's toast. I once blew the shock on a Ninja 600R I had many years ago and purchased a used one from a salvage yard from a crashed low-mileage bike. It worked like new and gave me many more years of trouble free service. And at $100, it was way cheaper than ordering a brand new one through the dealer (which as I remember was something like $450) The EX-500 has been around for many years. It should be very easy to find a used, low-mileage shock.

There's several of them on e-bay right now. I couldn't post up the links here because the url's were too long.
 

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i agree, ebay is awesome

your frame isnt bent, it takes a LOT to bend a frame, so i highly doubt theres a chance its bent

and if u think all thats only gonna cost you 300, only if ur buying used stuff. sprockets n chain, atleast 100. shock, atleast 100. so theres 200 at least just with those 2, and most likely it will be more. cutting your chain isnt a big deal, its not "cutting" it, just remove a link or two, its really no big deal at all. but to each his own, spend the money if you want, but your just throwin money into a bike thats not worth throwin that much money in to. i could see a couple hundred bucks man, but dont go overboard, remember the ex500 really isnt on the top of the list as a performance bike, so if you want great cornering ability its not going to be just replacing parts on that bike, it has to do with the bike itself also. not saying it cant corner, but i think you would be better off just making sure its mechanically sound, putting up with it and learning more on it (im assuming youre somewhat new), and then buying a used ss bike or something a little ways down the road, thats if you really want to be able to take some corners. just my opinion, id just hate to see someone invest a lot of money into a bike and see it not really improve much. but good luck anyways.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
yeah i'll put up with it for now, do some halfassed duct tape type repairs. A 600 SS bike around these parts is absolute rape when it comes to insurance. $3000 a year only lyability. I use this bike as a commuter too. I guess i'll just drive it into the ground and upgrade when i'm in the financial postion to do so. Just sucks that all the places that have the parts i need won't even deal with canadians. Even at the wreckers they want 150 for a shock from a 92 god knows how many miles on it. If i go the dealer route i'd end up paying more than i got the bike for in the first place.

I'm still pretty new to riding, but i've taken my buddies cbr 1000 rr through some turns not going to fast and felt more comfortable on that.
 

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Remember your quotes are in AMERICAN dollars for us Cdns pay through the nose, Cdn Customs & such. Look at him finding a chap in the States that has one shock only will not deal with him since he is from Cdn., which is quite true on so many things we might want to purchase. Not that we are crooked moneydealers only to much hassel with our VISA or MasterCard as legit as it is.

Like I use to deal with newenough for some riding gear & still would only I to was squashed due to the Cdn VISA. Actually newenough lost something like $1,500.00 in US money for riding gear I wanted this Spring. Like new jacket, new trousers, new gloves & new Shoei helmet.

Lastly Mike the idea of cutting the chain is a thing of the past for no longer do we do that & besides you might fine that has a rivitted on master link & not the spring clip type of older & smaller bikes. It was okay on a 428 chain for a day of two while waiting for the new one. What size chain on your bike & it it is "O" ring seals or not.

Ah the woes of purchasing a 'used' bike for you really do not know what you are buying if you are not an experienced rider with good m/c wrenching experience.

Fromwhat I have read I feel now you have the rear shock up far to stiff & possibly need a new or good used one.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
UPDATE, thanks for all the suggestions, i found a reasonable price chain and sprocket kit on ebay and bought it, should be here soon. Another question now, is it normal for my bike's handle bars to shake violently when i let go and coast in nuetral?... haha What can this be, tires not alligned, bent forks, stearing stem bearings? I was going maybe 60 km/h and let go of the bars while in neutral and it wasn't on a turn... perfectly straight line, and the bars were bouncing around like the mofo.
 
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