Post Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 4:58 pm
 Subject: 100,000 Miles

Just turned 100,000 miles about an hour and a half ago, original engine, original rear chain, still running great. I'm only adding 1 picture of 99,000 miles, although I took many, some very shaky, some good, most moving, a couple stopped for 99,000 and 000000. I've never added a photo on the site before, so don't wanna bother fiddling with it.

The timing chain is still loose with the adjuster maxed out (Kreiger Manual Adjuster), the little rocker that pushes up on the tensioner blade is solid against the case. The rear chain still measures the same as new, so it's doing much better than the timing chain. The timing chain is still OK, just a little noisy, but will have to do something about it before too many more miles. I've replaced the countershaft sprocket twice, original rear sprocket, flipped @58,350 miles.

I adjust the valves every 6,000 miles, exhausts are usually a little tight, .002" to .004", but never down to 0. The intakes are usually pretty close to right on. I use a Scotts Stainless oil filter and run 5/40 Rotella Synthetic.

All in all a great and dependable little bike.

Post Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 5:07 pm
 Subject: Congratulations

Congratulations, that's amazing. Just goes to show how regular maintenance can make a bike live almost forever.

I have one at 23,000 and counting, but I'm afraid abuse and neglect by previous owners will result in a shorter life. I had to replace the chain and both sprockets when I got it since they were all way past the service specs for chain stretch and wear (in fact the chain had jumped the sprockets just before I rescued it!). Who knows if and when the oil was changed and what the POs used.

You're definitely an example to all of us on how to take care of a bike!
Post Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 5:16 pm
 Subject: :clap:

Are you the original owner of the bike? I assume you use this as a daily commuter? Or REALLY enjoy long rides in your spare time... or both Very Happy

Post Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 5:50 pm
 Subject: Congrats! When/where is the party?

Post Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 8:30 pm
 Subject: :clap: :thumbup: You are a legend among ninjas!!

Post Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 10:13 pm
 Subject: So, zero miles in the gauges again......

....Just last week, I started using your lubrication method for the rear chain.

Two more questions:

1) Number of teeth of the front sprocket?

2) More frequent rpm's in highway?

Post Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 10:23 pm
 Subject: Not much you can do about the timing chain.

I don't know of anyone trying a stiffer spring in the cam chain tensioner.
Post Posted: Wed May 25, 2011 12:02 am
 Subject: nice

Post Posted: Wed May 25, 2011 1:16 pm
 Subject: Wow! So, how many times did you clean/grease your suspension pivots?

Post Posted: Wed May 25, 2011 11:58 pm
 Subject: Thanks

Post Posted: Thu May 26, 2011 12:48 am
 Subject: Thanks Bob

Sorry, accidently hit the enter key, now what I was going to say. I had the same problem when I bought my '05, the chain was so worn out that the owner was sure he was going to have to have another $400 shop tune up. When I told the owner what was wrong with it, he just said 'I want to sell it anyway, it's cheaper to maintain my Honda Civic, every time I take it to the shop, it costs me at least $400 or more'. He showed me his receipts, good grief did they ever get to him, he had spent over $1200 in less than 2 years, between maintenance and tires, absolutely criminal!

The bike only had a total of 14,461 miles on it and the chain was so shot, that I wouldn't even ride it the 80 miles home without changing it, the bike was surging like it was misfiring, the chain was so bad. I'm surprised the countershaft bearing survived the ordeal, but everything sounds OK with a new chain, thank goodness. I'm too old and too tired to start splittin' cases again.

I was really lucky when I bought the '04 that now has 100,000 miles on it, the bike only had 6,018 miles on it when I bought it and it looked like it had just rolled off the showroom floor! I bought my '03 BMW F650CSA from the dealer (it was a customer loaner), with 4,454 miles on it and it now has 212,000+ miles on it. I love the BMW, it's a very strong bike and the belt drive is so nice, but, I've spent more on belts & sprocket than I paid for the little '04 Ninja, plus, I paid 3 times as much for the BMW. You can see why I bought another Ninja as soon as I could find a good deal on one. I bought the '04 in March of '07 and I bought the '05 in November of '08.

I use a bike for all my transportation and my pedal bike to clean the roadway, the pedal bike gives me good exercise and I make a few bucks on the cans I pick up, I have a big box and saddle bags on it too. I've been retired for 11 years, so I have time to ride like I dreamed of for all my 47 working years! Smile I love retirement!!
Post Posted: Thu May 26, 2011 1:30 am
 Subject: Sprocket and RPM

I run a 15 tooth countershaft sprocket, I replaced the 14 tooth original at 31,532 miles, with a JT 15 tooth, replaced the first JT at 82,401 miles, also a JT, still running that one.
My normal running RPM is 7,000, speedo reads 60 MPH, which is about 56 MPH actual. I normally get 75 to 82 MPG at that speed. The most miles I've ever run on a tank if gas, was 388 miles, and I didn't run out, but it took 4.8 gallons to fill it, so I was obviously very close to empty, since that's what it's supposed to hold.
Post Posted: Thu May 26, 2011 2:03 am
 Subject: Swingarm & linkage greasing

According to my records, I only did it 1 time, at 28,327 miles, I only did it then, because I heard a little squeak. At that time, there was only one shaft and bearings that was getting marginal and was in need of attention. I lubed all of them at that time, with some good marine grease. I live in a desert area and never wash my bikes, so they rarely encounter water to wash any grease out.

I greased the steering head bearings 1 time, at 78,425 miles and they didn't really even need it then. The left front fork seal was leaking and was replaced at 76,555 miles and I just had to replace the right one at 98,760, that was on 5-5-11.

I replaced the front brake pads at 40,781 miles and again at 90,410 miles, the rear pads are still the originals.

I replaced the original spark plugs at the 48,000 mile service and will replace them again at the 102,000 mile service, I check and gap them at every service.

I lube the wheel bearings with SAE 90 gear oil, in a syringe, about 5 drops, every time I change a tire and when I change a front tire, I also lube the speedo drive with Molygrease and a couple drops of SAE 90 gear oil.

I replaced the fuel petcock ( thanks to AP for the petcock), at 92,751 miles, the old one had a leaky diaphram.

This little bike has required so very little in the way of repairs, mostly just routine maintenance.
Post Posted: Thu May 26, 2011 2:23 am
 Subject: Tensioner

The tensioner isn't really the problem Michael, the little rocker that the tensioner pushes against, is bottoming on the crankcase, if you look at the parts diagram, you'll see the little rocker, although you can't see where it hits the case, it does. Mark Krieger, who makes manual adjusters, is going to see if he can't make a rocker with a dogleg in it to get a greater span of adjustment. Mark don't think the chain is really past its wear limit, it's just out of the adjustment range and when you run a loose chain, the flopping around makes it wear faster. I plan to pull the right case and see what I might be able to come up with when I do the 102,000 mile service. I don't have access to a lathe or mill anymore, but I can do quite a bit with hand tools, old age does have a few minor benefits, damned few though. Can't see, can't hear, can't screw anymore, so I've gotta do something to make me wanna stay alive. Smile
Post Posted: Thu May 26, 2011 2:35 am
 Subject: Death Valley Run

Thanks Matt & Rurugger, we had a great ride at Death Valley, the experience with the battery, although a pain in the butt at the time, is one of those rides that you'll remember much longer than the easy ones where everything goes right. Like the primary chain I had to change on my '54 Triumph T110 at the curb in Tulsa, Oklahoma in July of '59, I was pissin' and moanin' at the time, but you see, I've never forgotten it. So have faith, it's all good for memories when we can no longer ride.
Post Posted: Thu May 26, 2011 4:04 am
 Subject: I would check/replace that rear chain guide

I have seen some that look worn and do not bend out when the lever pushes up.

Sorry about not getting measurements emailed out to Mark yet.
The clearance measurements he was asking about is for the lever from the cases and anything else in there?
I'll get on that this weekend.

About changing out cam chains, I have a 1986 and a 1987 engine case apart and see they have the same cast "chain guide" in the lower case which prevents the chain from being changed out without splitting the cases.

The last part is a bit off topic, but it was posted here that earlier engines didn't have it but I see it and they all have it.
I think only engines that broke the cam chain get that casting broken off.
Post Posted: Thu May 26, 2011 4:06 am
 Subject: Hey, you can still ride a motorcycle. You're pretty good at that.

Wow, I just looked at your profile. I had no idea what your age was. I sometimes feel old in this group, but you're between my mom and my dad in years. Not that it matters. I'm having a much better middle age than my youth.
Post Posted: Thu May 26, 2011 8:42 am
 Subject: Good info about what maintenance is REALLY important

There's good maintenance, and then there's wasteful unnecessary maintenance that just makes you feel good but does little for the bike. Seeing what it really took to get to 100,000 miles is very useful information.

For example your spark plug replacement interval echoes my belief that spark plugs last a long time. But since they are cheap and easy to change, people often change them way too frequently, maybe just to feel like they did something positive for their bike, even though it was not needed.

Obviously some maintenance is very important, like valve adjustments and drive chain maintenance.
Post Posted: Thu May 26, 2011 10:31 am
 Subject: plugs

I also believe that spark plugs last a long time, but I believe there is no point in putting used ones back in. So I change them every time I adjust my valves.

Post Posted: Thu May 26, 2011 10:32 am
 Subject: environment

Dailyrider wrote:
I live in a desert area and never wash my bikes, so they rarely encounter water to wash any grease out.

It maybe a big part of the longevity you get. You should have seen a swing arm and rear shock on my little bike after 3 winter seasons. Salt does amazing things with metals.
Post Posted: Thu May 26, 2011 12:22 pm
 Subject: Amazing! Got any pictures of the whole bike?

Post Posted: Thu May 26, 2011 3:51 pm
 Subject: Chain lubrication?

If I'm reading you right you got 100,000 miles out of your original chain? What's your lubrication schedule for the chain. Whatever it is seems to be working. I've heard of chains making it past 25K miles, but 100,000 must to close to some sort of record.
Post Posted: Thu May 26, 2011 4:07 pm
 Subject: He has lubricated the chain with automatic transmission fluid only


I started doing it since he posted his description.
So far so good........and cleaner Smile
Post Posted: Thu May 26, 2011 5:21 pm
 Subject: ATF

Interesting. I suspect that the key to long life is lubing the chain every 200 miles rather than what it's lubed with. I'm using Hypoid 90 gear oil.
Post Posted: Thu May 26, 2011 5:26 pm
 Subject: riding styles

I am assuming that you have a gentle riding style and do not abuse your bikes. do you have any tips? do alll your bikes last longer then other peoples ?
Post Posted: Fri May 27, 2011 1:22 am
 Subject: Riding Style

Yes, very gentle, ask anyone who rides with me, I accelerate very gently and stop very gently, I use the gearbox mostly, brakes, very little. As far as tips go, this little bike doesn't really need anything special, just be observant, listen, look and smell, you'll usually know when something is amiss. Yes, I probably get more miles out of a bike than the average person, but you should also know that I was a professional M/C mechanic for 25 years, on BMW, Triumph, Norton & Honda. We were even a Kawasaki dealer before they were known as Kawasaki in the USA, at that time they were known in the USA as, Omega, they had a line of small 2 strokes, plus a 250cc single and a copy of the old BSA non unit twin. I don't remember if the twin was a 500 or a 650cc machine. None of them were very good motorcycles.
Post Posted: Fri May 27, 2011 2:30 am
 Subject: 100,000 mile chain

Yes, that's correct Bob and the chain still measures the same as a new one, 318/319 mm for any 21 pins with a 20 pound weight hanging from the chain. I measure the chain every time I change the rear tire, which has been between 17,000 and 24,000 miles, the tire that failed at 17,000 miles had tread separation from the carcas. The rear tire that I run is a Kenda Kruz, a horrible tire, 6 ply, it weighs 18 pounds by itself and is a miserable sucker to mount, the tire is made for a Harley replacement. I hate it, but the mileage I get out of them is so good, I'll continue to run them, the grip is fine and I run them at 22PSI when it's cool and 25 PSI when it's hot.

I always run 40 PSI in the front, because I have so many twisty mountain roads to run, if I run standard pressures, the sides of the tire will have cord showing and the center looks like new. I weigh 175 pounds and that rotten rear tire will run completely flat, you just have to be real careful on the turns, it gets real wobbly. The tire I have on right now, got a nail in it, was completely flat, I ran it for about 50 miles, got home, plugged it and it now has 18,000 miles on it with lots of tread left.

As for the chain lube, I don't know if you've ever had an automatic transmission apart, but those planetary gears need some very special lube and it has to have a stable viscosity over a wide range of temperature. There's Clutches, brakes, lots of o-rings, pistons and many small gears whizzing around in there that have to be lubricated. ATF has many of the same properties of gear oil, but with an SAE weight of only 7.5, it's a synthetic oil and wipes off very easily, but leaves a thin film of protection.

To apply the ATF, I carry a ribbed top from an old work sock, soaked with ATF in a freezer bag and I carry another freezer bag with a pair of Nitril gloves. I also carry about a
12" X 15" section of an old t-shirt to clean the glove off before I put it back in its freezer bag. To apply the lube, take the ATF soaked sock top and pinch it around the top and bottom of the chain near the rear sprocket and turn the wheel backwards ( you don't wanna get your fingers sucked into the rear sprocket, so don't spin the wheel forward). After you have the chain well cleaned and lubed (same operation), put the sock top back in its freezer bag, squeeze all the air out and seal it. Clean your Nitril glove of oil and put it back in its freezer bag, I then roll the oil sock freezer bag up and roll it up in the t-shirt cloth and stow the whole mess in my tank bag. I do this every 200 miles or less, if I'm riding in wet weather, I lube the chain every time I stop.

When I'm going on a long trip, I either take extra sock tops soaked with ATF, or I take a little bottle of ATF to re-soak the sock top. A good, heavy, 100% cotton sock top soaked with ATF will be good for about 4 to 5 lube jobs, or 800 to 1,000 miles. Poly sock tops won't hold nearly as much oil, so you have to compensate for that. It all sounds like a hassle, but there's really nothing to it, the whole thing only takes about 3 or 4 minutes, 5 at the most.
Post Posted: Fri May 27, 2011 2:56 am
 Subject: Hypoid gear lube

Bob, Hypoid is indeed good oil for a specific job, which is sliding gear teeth, but ATF is specifically good for o-rings and sliding gears. You may not know it, but Chevrolet & GMC trucks with standard transmissions in the mid 80's, specified ATF for them, I don't know if they still do or not. One of my friends had an '84 6.2 Chevy with the manual transmission, he took it in for a transmission oil change at the specified time, picked it up from the dealer and couldn't get it in gear. He went back in and told the service manager about it, told him it shifted fine when he brought it in, the service manager told him he'd have to leave it and they'd tear it down to see what was wrong. They tore the tranny apart and found nothing wrong, told him they'd have to call a factory service rep to find out what to do. The factory service rep came to the dealership, looked the transmission over and told the service manager that someone didn't look at the service bulletin for the transmission, he showed them the bulletin that specified ATF as the lubricant for that transmission. They put the tranny back together, put it in the truck, put ATF in it and it shifted just fine. The dealer had to eat the job.
Post Posted: Fri May 27, 2011 3:02 am
 Subject: Pictures

Yep, if you want some, send me your e-mail and I'll send them as an attachment. I have some of transporting a 32" TV, a utility table and many other things, I use my bikes for everything transportation, much like the Asians do, the way they're supposed to be used.
Post Posted: Fri May 27, 2011 3:14 am
 Subject: Salty Roads

Yes, I know about salty roads, I rode year round in Chicago for 7 years. When the first snow came, I'd cover my bike or scooter completely with Vasoline, except the seat & grips, I wouldn't clean it until spring. The poor bike would look like it was drug out of a swamp by the time spring rolled around, but with a good cleaning with kerosene and it looked like new again. I didn't have a garage then and if it rained overnight and then froze, I'd go out and couldn't pull the clutch or brake cables, I'd have to slap the cables around to break the ice in them before I could ride, I learned to really hate winter weather there. The surprising thing is, I rarely fell, I would ride with my feet as outriggers a lot of the time though.
Post Posted: Fri May 27, 2011 3:33 am
 Subject: Spark Plugs

Yes, the plugs that I've had failures with, were usually new plugs, less than 1,000 miles and they were usually Champions, or Autolites. The German Bosch plugs were mostly used in the BMW's and the old English bikes in the '50's usually used KLG or Lodge plugs, the Lodge plugs were very noticeable with their pink insulators, the Triumphs went to Champions sometime in the '60's. Harley used Champions with their own name on them and we didn't see NGK plugs until the early '60's when the Japanese bikes started arriving.

The old points bikes used to need new plugs about every 3 to 5,000 miles, but after electronic ignitions came around, most of them will fire just fine until the electrodes wear out.

Most of my plug failures were split nose insulators and they usually came right away, within a hundred miles.
Post Posted: Fri May 27, 2011 3:59 am
 Subject: Getting old

Yes, I sometimes wake up, look in the mirror and wonder how I got so damned old, it just sneaks up on you. I don't feel that old and I'm in good health, I exercise, keep my weight down to 175 pounds and keep a good outlook. I'm never bored, I fix clocks, teeth, computers, I built our house, change my own 300' deep well pump, tree trimming, whatever needs to be done, I do it, there's always a long list waiting. My poor wife has many medical problems, so she has to live in town now, not something we planned on and one of the reasons I run so many miles. You just never know what life is gonna deal you, so you just have to make the best of what you have.

I'm very thankful that I can still see well enough to ride and I can hear fairly well, I can hear men pretty well, but women, with their higher voices, give me a real problem. I don't hear birds singing anymore, I do miss that, but I can still hear engine noises pretty well. I hope to ride until I croak, I'll be happy for that.
Post Posted: Fri May 27, 2011 4:16 am
 Subject: Cam Chain

Thanks Alberto, Mark also said something about the amount of space behind the rocker too, I saved that note he sent me, I'll send it to you when I find it. I'm due for an oil change at 102,000 and I plan to pull the case to see what everything looks like then. This little bike has been so good, the only case I've ever had off was the valve cover and the countershaft cover to change the sprocket. I may retire it for awhile and start riding the '05, the '04 is quite a bit down on power now. I take the '05 for a 200 mile ride about once a month to keep it fresh and I can really feel the difference in power. I know the compression is way down on the '04, but it still runs very well. I'll find that note from Mark and send it to you.
Post Posted: Fri May 27, 2011 9:04 am
 Subject: That would be great.

My email is rmignatius (at) gmail.com

If you want, I could post some of the pictures in this thread for others to see, too. Sounds like you are definitely using the ninja to its full potential.

Post Posted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:48 pm
 Subject: how to use syringe to lube

"I lube the wheel bearings with SAE 90 gear oil, in a syringe, about 5 drops,"

pls tell me how you do this !

Post Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:15 am
 Subject: Wheel bearing lubing

First, you have to get ahold of an insulin syringe. I was lucky there, several years ago, I had a diabetic neighbor and I gave her an insulin shot every day until she died at 98 years old, I kept the last box of syringes I had for her. In California, getting a syringe isn't the easiest thing to do unless you're a druggie, they get them free, go figure.

You can't use the syringe without first modifying the plunger, because the seal is made of natural rubber and will swell up like a 17 year old on his first date. (I can still remember some things) Smile I used a 6 or 8 penny nail, it should be a little smaller than the syringe body. I chucked the nail up in my drill, put a cutoff wheel in my dremel tool and cut an o-ring groove in the nail about an eighth of an inch from the sharp end. Don't destroy the sharp end of the nail, you'll need that to make your 0-ring seal.

I looked through my 0-rings until I found one with the rubber thickness just about the diameter of the nail, I then took a razor blade and sliced off a few disks of it, about 1/32" thick, you'll screw up a few until you get a nice uniformly thick one. Then you carefully center the point of the nail on your little rubber disk, over a block of wood and tap it with a small hammer to drive it through the disk. When you get one right, you now have your new plunger. Your home made 0-ring will sit down in the groove you cut with the dremel, you will probably have to modify your groove until the plunger will go into the syringe body, I've used the same plunger for at least 10 years, but I've replaced the syringe body a number of times because I've bent the tiny needle. Be sure your o-ring material is neoprene, so it's oil resistant.

After you get your syringe all set up, the next problem is getting the 90 weight gear oil in that little sucker. For years, I worked it down in the body with a piece of corn broom, the problem is, a drop of that oil, traps air in the needle end of the syringe and it's a bitch to work it down. The hole in the insulin needle is so small, you can't suck the oil up into the body with the plunger. I now have a much larger syringe, from my neighbor with horses, with a long needle big enough to suck up the oil and start filling my little syringe from the bottom up, works really good and is fast.

Now you've got your syringe all set up and full of gear oil. Take a straight pin and gently work it under the little thin seal of the bearing, CAREFUL not to damage it. I use a straight pin because they're not nearly as sharp as the little insulin needle. Once you get your straight pin under the seal, you take the syringe needle, with the hole of the needle AWAY from the seal, you want the smooth side of the needle next to the seal, the hole side can nick the seal and slide it in next to the straight pin. Now remove the straight pin and inject about 5 drops of oil into the bearing, that's about 3/8" travel of the plunger. That's all there is to it. There's a lot to it the first time, but after you get everything all set up, carefully put everything away in a safe place for next time and after that, it's a cinch.

If I haven't explained something clearly, let me know and I'll try and straighten it out for you.
Post Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:34 pm
 Subject: I'm only half way there

I thought my bike was getting in the high mile range with just over 80 000 km, but that's only half of your bike's mileage.

The cam chain tensioner is also at the limit on my engine. I measured the chain when I adjusted the valves, though only on the straight section between the two cams which is shorter than the service spec. With this reduced accuracy I determined it's above the recommended range, but still within the service limit.

Have you seen any wear on the cams? The left-most two lobes are starting to show some wear, more so the intake, which has me a bit concerned.
Post Posted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:44 am
 Subject: Cam wear

Mine show a little wear, but nothing to be alarmed about and if I remember right, the intakes do show a very small amount more than the exhausts. I took the clutch cover off the other day, when I was transferring all my equipment over to the '05 and that timing chain is really loose. After riding the '05 with only 16,000 miles on the clock, I realize just how much power the '04 has lost, I would say at least 1/3rd. I don't know what I'll do with it, the compression is so low, that it would be silly to replace the cam chain without doing a complete top end and that would get very expensive. I've only been running about 30,000 miles a year lately, so the '05 should last at least another 3 years and I still have the BMW, but it has 212,000 miles on it and doesn't seem to have lost any power or use any oil, so I think it'll be OK for a few years. I also have a little XT225 Yamaha and it only has 9,000 miles on it, but that's just my trail bike and I'd like to keep it that way.

The little Ninja has been cheaper to keep on the road than the BMW for the 1st 100,000 miles, but I think that's about the most you can expect to get out of one before major work. After seeing how loose that timing chain is, I wouldn't wanna get too far from home. I have no real complaints with the little Ninja at all, they're wonderful little bikes, tons of fun and very few headaches. Who knows, I may come across a low mileage engine to drop in it and run it another 100,000 miles.
Take Care,
Post Posted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:58 am
 Subject: where in the seal

"Take a straight pin and gently work it under the little thin seal of the bearing"

would that part of the seal be closer to the center of the bearing, or the outer edge ??
Post Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:11 am
 Subject: Wheel bearing lubing

The black seal you see from the outside isn't the wheel bearing seal, that's just a dust seal. The actual bearing seal can be seen, after you remove the wheel and take the spacer out of the dust seal. The first few times I lubed the bearings, I carefully pried the dust seal out of the wheel, so it was easier to get to the actual bearing seal. The bearing seal is pressed into a special groove in the outer race and should not be removed. The seal you want to get lube under, surrounds the inner race and is a very fragile little lip, thin as tissue paper, so be very careful with it. Read the other directions very carefully and follow them to the letter and you should have no trouble. The job isn't difficult, just tedious. Good Luck.

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