Bill Hoddinott - VA (guest) View all posts in this topic  
Mon Jul 16, 2007 1:51 pm
30K Miles on Replacement Engine in '88        

Most here are aware of my 100K mile roadtest report on my '88 250 Ninja, which I got with 8600 miles from a friend in '91. At 87K miles, I replaced the engine with one from a 1700 mile '01 bike, since I decided the camchain was getting dangerously worn and might snap which would take out the crankcase.

This morning the odometer showed 17,616 after my ride. This means 30K plus miles since the beginning of my current experiment.

At 86,970 miles I installed the '01 engine, and at that time checked and adjusted the tappets, put in a new oil filter and an oil change to 5W-30 non-synthetic car oil from Walmart. It happened to be Havoline oil, but any name brand would be just as good. The date was March 25, 2004.

Since then I have done NO engine maintenance except change the oil twice a year, using the same oil and sometimes Quaker State, but all 5W-30.

To date oil consumption has been zero between changes, mechanical noise remains the same as always (substantial like all these bikes), idling is perfect as are cold and hot starting. Most of the use is highway cruising at 65-75 mph and the gas mileage on 87 gas is always 70+ mpg.

I dunno what the tappet clearances are, but they must be pretty close to spec based on the perfect running.

My plan is to carry on like this until I eventually get hot-starting problems due to the increase in the spark plug gaps due to wear and erosion (based on previous experience I expect that around 40K miles). At that point I will check the tappets and replace the plugs. I will then also remove and check the oil filter for detritus caught in the external folds of the paper. If not enough to bother about, I may just put it back in there.

This bike is a great way to enjoy motorcycling for cheap, and I like it more than any of the heavy bikes I've owned and ridden for the last 52 years. It handles better, is more comfortable, and safer. Annual liability insurance with State Farm is about $82 and taxes are almost nil. What's not to like?

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