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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My EX500 aka the Ninja500

Bought new in July of 2006.
Retail price at the time was $5700.
Using an add from a dealer 90 miles away that was selling for $5000 along with paying in full with cash, managed to get them to drop the price to $5000.

In September of 2018 I roll the odometer.




States ridden in, in no particular order:
Georgia
Alabama
Florida
North Carolina
South Carolina
Tennessee
Kentucky
Virginia
West Virginia



Routine maintenance done (approximate numbers)
Oil and filter change 52 times
Valve adjustment 15 times
Coolant change 16 times
Spark plug replacement 30 times
Air filter change 7 times
Air filter cleaning 20 times
Brake pad replacement (front and rear) 13 times
Fork oil change 4 times
Front tire replacement 7 times
Rear tire replacement 14 times
Clutch cable lube 50 times
Other cable lube 5 times (each)
Battery replacement 2 times
Valve cover gasket replaced 2 times
Drive chain lubed 250+ times
Drive chain replaced 12 times
Sprockets replaced 5 times
Fuel and vacuum lines replaced 6 times
Motorcycle spray can polish 24 cans



Other non-routine maintenance done:
Clutch cable replaced 1 time
Throttle cables replaced 1 time
Fork seals replaced 1 time
Unitrack rebuilt ( all new bushings, seals, and pins) 1 time
Pressure plate, clutch springs, throw out bearing, clutch cover gasket replaced 1 time
Starter motor replaced 1 time
Clutch switch replaced 1 time
Starter clutch replaced 1 time ( wasn't necessary)
Water pump mechanical seal, oil seal, and gaskets replaced 1 time
Carbs rebuilt 2 times
Carb boots and clamps replaced 1 time
All coolant hoses replaced 1 time
Radiator leak repaired with epoxy 1 time
Fairing cracks ( including head light housing) repaired with epoxy 15 times (never the same crack twice)
Exhaust gaskets replaced 1 time
Headers stripped and repainted 1 time ( that didn't last very long)
A few hose clamps replaced 1 time
Headlight bulb replaced 2 times
Tail/brake light bulbs replaced 5 times
Dash light bulbs replaced 8 times
Front turn signal brackets replaced 2 times
Speedometer cable replaced 1 time
Front brake line replaced (ss) 1 time
Rear caliper rebuilt 2 times
Front caliper rebuilt 1 time
Pair system air valve replaced 1 time
Right front mirror replaced 1 time ( someone backed into the bike and knocked it over) :surprise:
Cams replaced 1 time
Front rotor replaced 1 time
Rear rotor replaced 1 time
Coils replaced 1 time
Spark plug wires replaced 3 times
Horn bracket replaced ( due to speedometer cable guide braking off) 1 time ( after the second one broke, I decided it to be an unnecessary part)
Petcock rebuilt 1 time (rebuild failed)
Petcock replaced 1 time
Turn signal relay replaced 1 time ( wasn't necessary, bad diagnostics)


Total cost for maintenance over $10,000. :surprise: But not as bad as it sounds divided over 146 months. 馃榿

An important note:
Oil pump failure occurs at 10,000 miles, leading to an engine rebuild. At no cost as the bike was still under warranty.


I used to ride the bike a bit more when I first got it. But after a few years I usually just ride when I need to go somewhere. Making the gas savings pay for the bike. I do try to get a cross country ride in once a year. For me if it is a couple hundred miles away, then it's cross country 馃榿.

I did manage to finally make it to the tail of the dragon on labor day weekend 2019.




.




It performed well at the dragon. 馃榿
 

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Nice writeup and welcome to the 100K club! Your bike is obviously well maintained, it looks new in the pictures
 
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American Legion Rider
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Well there's proof that good regular maintenance will get your machine to go the distance. Although technically the engine has 10k to go. But still, that's very good. Is there another 100k in those bikes? I've never kept a bike long enough to turn that 100k mark. Got one now that could certainly do it but doubt I'll see it happen. I'm just slowing down too much. Doc did find a potential cause so we'll see. But yeah, I like your write up. Maybe we need a 100k club.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Yeah, I was wondering if I was going to get called on that 10,000 mile engine rebuild technicality. I would vote that way myself though. I actually rolled the odometer a year ago. Then the above is the history to that point. Not counting the Tail of the Dragon part at the end, that I just did a few weeks ago. Those pics of me on the bike cost $18, my wedding pictures didn't cost that much :surprise:. So those pics have to go up at any opportunity :grin:.

My current mileage is over 107,000 miles.
 

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If anyone needs evidence that regular maintenance (by the knowledgeable owner) keeps the wheel spinning, this is certainly a great exhibit... Large cube cruisers seem to often go 100K, but I think this is the first I've seen on a mid-sized... good show!
 

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2009 Ninja 500r
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Had several of them and liked them all my favorite was the first gen one that I rebuilt the motor on due to the magneto dynamiting on me.

If you take care of it as well as you say and it looks, there is another 100k in it.
 
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Have had a couple Goldwings with over a hundred thousand on them, but they weren't all mine.
:(

Knew a guy with a '99 (I think) 600 CBR that had over fifty thousand miles, I thought that was a lot of miles for a bike like that. I thought most got wrecked before reaching that many miles.
 

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2009 Ninja 500r
Joined
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Have had a couple Goldwings with over a hundred thousand on them, but they weren't all mine.
:(

Knew a guy with a '99 (I think) 600 CBR that had over fifty thousand miles, I thought that was a lot of miles for a bike like that. I thought most got wrecked before reaching that many miles.
That is a thing, they get wrecked and sold as parts or stuck in a corner to never see daylight again for a decade.
 

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If anyone thinks that owning a LONG TERM bike will save them money over say an economy car, this disproves the myth.:smile_big:DDo the math:crying:

BPE, thank you for one of the most comprehensive reports that I have ever seen.:wink2:

I'm on my 87th bike right now and I find it easier to just sell them before they need tire's, and as they are spotless and low mileage, I loose very little money but always have a new bike.馃懠

Sam:nerd:
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If anyone thinks that owning a LONG TERM bike will save them money over say an economy car,
Economy car? :surprise: It's not all about economics. :wink2:

Another aspect to the bike:
It has stretched out the years on my Ford Ranger. I go weeks at a time without ever cranking that up. :grin:
 

Ace Tuner
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You are kinda like me, bpe. Get a bike you like and just keep the thing for ever... almost.

I'd still have my old KZ650 except I got tired of overhauling the main wire harness every few years.
I think it had about 86,000 or maybe it was 89,000 miles on it when I sold it. The thing still looked near new, I hate to think of what it probably looks like by now.
One thing about that bike, it would EAT rear shocks, probably due to the wide aluminum rims (and tires) I put on it. ?

An oil pump failure on your EX? That's kinda rare. I wonder why it failed?

Anyway, Congrats on a job well done. Not too many guys can make a 500 Ninja go for .... ever ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
An oil pump failure on your EX? That's kinda rare. I wonder why it failed?
It's extremely rare, but not unheard of. It's happened on a few 500's in the same manor as mine.

It all comes down to a washer. Not a washer used in the traditional sense. I want to call it a thrust washer, maybe. Made out of an inferior material, Teflon or something similar. When it fails, something slips preventing the pump to work properly. Replacing it with a 10 cent steel washer makes it bullet proof. :surprise:

Not really sure what the engineers were thinking on this. :rolleyes:
 

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I had a 2006 Kawasaki Ninja 650 that I put 115,000 miles on and I did far less maintenance than you. I think you over did it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
^ No, I'm not "over doing it".
With the exception of a turn signal relay that was replaced but not needed, everything else either 100% necessary or 100% justified.

I change the oil at a 2k interval as opposed to the 4k interval on the schedule. Even using high dollar MC oil, I want my oil looking almost as clean coming out as it is going in. I don't go for the go ahead and change it when it looks black ****.

I change the drive chain at a 10k interval, even though it has a 20k guarantee. One reason I do have poor maintenance practices with the chain. I simply don't have time to do a thorough cleaning on it every time it gets ridden in the rain. A lot of times that could be 3 or 4 times a week. And there is a convenience to changing it at the time of a rear tire replacement.

Coolant gets changed every year as opposed to every 2 years. Because it has to be drained at the time of a valve adjustment. May as well replenish with new coolant.

Spark plugs need to at least be inspected at a 4k interval. If I'm going to go to the effort to remove a $2 spark plug, it will automatically be replaced whether it needs it or not.

If anything else looks questionable let me know, and I will give my justification for it. :wink2:
 

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Congrats on that accomplishment! And here I was thinking I was "Mr. Big Mileage" for hitting 20,000!

As for maintenance... well, to each his own. I've submitted many different oils for analysis on numerous vehicles and have learned that a good synthetic oil paired with a good filter should hold up for 5,000 miles with no problems BUT I also know that peace of mind can be priceless!
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
^ I use dinosaur oil. Synthetic oil is notorious for causing the starter clutch to slip on the EX500.
 

Ace Tuner
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^ No, I'm not "over doing it".
With the exception of a turn signal relay that was replaced but not needed, everything else either 100% necessary or 100% justified.

I change the oil at a 2k interval as opposed to the 4k interval on the schedule. Even using high dollar MC oil, I want my oil looking almost as clean coming out as it is going in. I don't go for the go ahead and change it when it looks black ****.

I change the drive chain at a 10k interval, even though it has a 20k guarantee. One reason I do have poor maintenance practices with the chain. I simply don't have time to do a thorough cleaning on it every time it gets ridden in the rain. A lot of times that could be 3 or 4 times a week. And there is a convenience to changing it at the time of a rear tire replacement.

Coolant gets changed every year as opposed to every 2 years. Because it has to be drained at the time of a valve adjustment. May as well replenish with new coolant.

Spark plugs need to at least be inspected at a 4k interval. If I'm going to go to the effort to remove a $2 spark plug, it will automatically be replaced whether it needs it or not.

If anything else looks questionable let me know, and I will give my justification for it. :wink2:
"I change the oil at a 2k interval as opposed to the 4k interval"
Yep! Pretty much can't change the oil too often, I do the same.

"Coolant gets changed every year as opposed to every 2 years"
Yep! Same as w/oil, Can't change it too often. Protects the water pump and radiator.

"I change the drive chain at a 10k interval, even though it has a 20k guarantee."
Well, I run my chain/sprockets till they are done for. That's over 20,000 miles every time. Also I never clean the chain but I do keep it WELL LUBED at all times. You can get at least 20,000 out of a high quality chain it if you use a good lube (PJ1 Blue Label) and never let the chain run dry.
 

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"Spark plugs need to at least be inspected at a 4k interval. If I'm going to go to the effort to remove a $2 spark plug, it will automatically be replaced whether it needs it or not."BPE

With unleaded fuel, spark plugs are normally as clean and efficient at 40,000 miles as new, unless the engine is running rich and/ or burning oil from worn rings, pistons, valve guides or valve stem seals.:grin:

$2 spark plug may be your problem:smile_big::smile_big::smile_big:

However, if love your ride, a person will want to treat it nice:wink2:

Sam:nerd:
 
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Visionary
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While clearly your maintenance regime is working well for you I do think you are overdoing it a bit on some things, the spark plugs stand out to me for one thing..

Spark plugs need to be inspected every 4K? Why?
If the plug is firing without a problem leave it alone, it wont hurt anything if it starts to foul or wear, worst that will happen is it starts to run crappy. On my bikes I changed to Iridium plugs, the Iridium cost a few bucks more but basically last forever. I recently took out a set with 50,000 miles on them, just out of bored curiosity one day, they looked fine, light brown, clean, the gap was unchanged, back in they went. Those plugs last 100K+ in a car without maintenance ( and will actually do twice that, the ones in My Subaru had over 200K on them). I see them easily doing the same thing in my bike. I put them in my 08 Vision with 45K on the odometer, i checked them at 100K, the way they look they may just outlast the engine :)

Frequent oil changes I do agree with, I tend to cut those a bit shorter than the factory interval too, mine is 5K so I usually do it around 4K.

I dont have a chain, belt drives take a lot less maintenance.

^ No, I'm not "over doing it".
With the exception of a turn signal relay that was replaced but not needed, everything else either 100% necessary or 100% justified.

I change the oil at a 2k interval as opposed to the 4k interval on the schedule. Even using high dollar MC oil, I want my oil looking almost as clean coming out as it is going in. I don't go for the go ahead and change it when it looks black ****.

I change the drive chain at a 10k interval, even though it has a 20k guarantee. One reason I do have poor maintenance practices with the chain. I simply don't have time to do a thorough cleaning on it every time it gets ridden in the rain. A lot of times that could be 3 or 4 times a week. And there is a convenience to changing it at the time of a rear tire replacement.

Coolant gets changed every year as opposed to every 2 years. Because it has to be drained at the time of a valve adjustment. May as well replenish with new coolant.

Spark plugs need to at least be inspected at a 4k interval. If I'm going to go to the effort to remove a $2 spark plug, it will automatically be replaced whether it needs it or not.

If anything else looks questionable let me know, and I will give my justification for it. :wink2:
 
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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
"I change the drive chain at a 10k interval, even though it has a 20k guarantee."
Well, I run my chain/sprockets till they are done for. That's over 20,000 miles every time. Also I never clean the chain but I do keep it WELL LUBED at all times. You can get at least 20,000 out of a high quality chain it if you use a good lube (PJ1 Blue Label) and never let the chain run dry.
I also have used only PJ1 (Blue Label) for my lube. :grin:
Admittedly I do have a case of chain break phobia, considering a possibility of the chain breaking and jamming at the case and locking up the rear wheel.
I always use an RK racing chain. :wink2:

$2 spark plug may be your problem:smile_big::smile_big::smile_big:
I use the Kawasaki OEM plug (NGK) They always look to be in almost new shape when I remove them, except for a brief period of time when the bike was running rich and it took me a while to diagnose why. :surprise:

Spark plugs need to be inspected every 4K? Why?
Because Kawasaki says so. :smile:
 
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