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My daughter just got her permit and wants to learn to ride.  Yesterday we looked at a 99' 250 ninja that has been in a shed since 2000 and has 590 miles on it.  We tried to start it using jumper cables and it would fire a bit with starter fluid but would not run on its own.  After a few minutes gas was running out of the airbox area of the bike at a pretty good pace when turning the starter over.  There was a knock when it was firing but it sounded more in the top of the engine to me. 

My questions are- anyone have specific experience with these?  and know what to look for with the gas leak?  Is it mandatory to immediately replace the tires (no dry rot)?  Any other things to look out for? 

I am thinking of offering 300-$400 (he's asking $750) however it seems that it may not even be worth that if there are engine or carb problems.
 

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If it has been sitting, not running for 11 years and turns over, you should drain out the old "mud" which is probably what the oil looks like and go from there. That bike has a high RPM band and needs good fresh oil. If you can get it for 300, I would go for it.:? . Probably time for the tires to go.
 

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Sitting that long it's going to need the carbs going thru. That knock was probably the either when it was trying to run.......
 

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He said it is an '09, I don't get 11 years out of that.

But, the knocking was the ether IMO.

Pull the carb and see if it has gunk in it.
 

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AZgl1500 wrote:
He said it is an '09, I don't get 11 years out of that.

But, the knocking was the ether IMO.

Pull the carb and see if it has gunk in it.
I think it was this statement that caused confusion :) "looked at a 09' 250 ninja that has been in a shed since 2000"

I would agree though, clean the carbs, make sure the tank is clean, fresh gas, new plug, and try starting again.
 

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The knock sounds normal, the one we have sounds like it will throw a piston until it is running for a few moments
 

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jwhitmore44 wrote:
AZgl1500 wrote:
He said it is an '09, I don't get 11 years out of that.

But, the knocking was the ether IMO.

Pull the carb and see if it has gunk in it.
I think it was this statement that caused confusion :) "looked at a 09' 250 ninja that has been in a shed since 2000"

I would agree though, clean the carbs, make sure the tank is clean, fresh gas, new plug, and try starting again.
Yup, I cross read that one.... fixed the OP and it is now okay.
 

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I read a webpage on a guy that did a key west to alaska trip on a ninja 250...
 

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I have one that I got for the wife but she does not like it. I think it a fun little bike I was going to sell it before the gas prices went trough the roof, but with like 65 mpg I think I,ll keep it around for a while. Tires will rum you like 120.00 for a set of Kenda 673 I think they are. Battery is a small one was around 40.00 . Two cans of Discount Auto carb cleaner less than 10.00 It is a pretty high rever 70 on the highway + 8 K red lines at like 13 k the knocking is probably the starter clutch from it misfiring. Check the plastics on it side panels will run like 25.00 per side, Front fairing is like 200- 300 , bellpan is like 50.00 Good luck You can do some reading on them ...HERE

OHHHH...... and if you do go for it make SURE you KEEP TRACK OF THE BOLTS that come out of the fairing that go into the side of the FUEL TANK they are different lengths of bolts.... And if you put the longer ones in there they PUNCH the back of the socket in the tank... And when you fill up you will have fuel running everywhere ... And No Don,t ask .... :lash: :readit: :sadguy:
 

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First of all, I do not recommend a 250 Ninja as a first bike. I owned a brand new '07 model, found out it was too small for me, and got an '09 Ninja 500. I fit on it, but it is extremely uncomfortable. I put bar risers on it, it is still uncomfortable. I use it only for sport riding, max 200 miles per day, with long rest breaks. It is worthless as a commuter, the pain will put you in the emergency room. They are not meant to be ridden slow. They are also very dangerous for a beginner, despite their small size, they have a powerful and responsive motor, and will top 110 mph, and handling is very twitchy, especially at slow speeds.

I recommend starting out on a dirt or dual sport bike like I did and my 2 daughters did. Off road and out of harms way. But if you intend to buy a street bike for her as a first bike, my recommendation would be a Honda Rebel. They are the safest beginners bikes out there. Even if she doesn't like the look, it is better to learn on one of those, and have time to consider what she wants to move up to. A Rebel is a "kick back and ride" bike, a Ninja takes a lot of effort.

Also many used Ninjas have been seriously abused by wannabe roadracers. They have a liquid cooled double overhead cam 8 valve engine with dual carbs. Adjusting the valves is a 2 hour job for a mechanic.

The Rebel has an ancient (and near bulletproof) air cooled engine, single overhead cam, 4 valves, with a single carb, and no bodywork. It also has a much lower seat height, a much more comfortable riding position, easy to get both feet solidly on the ground, and they are very forgiving of imprecise control inputs, unlike the Ninja. Be clumsy with a Ninja and it will bite you. My 5'2" sister learned to ride on my Rebel 250, then bought one of her own. I'm keeping it, and hoping one of my daughters wants to get into street riding at some point.

I also HIGHLY recommend the MSF beginners ridercourse.


BTW, I myself, at 6'1" 240 have put nearly 20,000 street miles (mostly highway) miles on a slightly modified Rebel 250 during the past few years. Jerry

https://picasaweb.google.com/Gerald2550/Rebel2
 

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I agree with jerry! Any crotch rocket is not a good beginer bike.. dual or dirt is your best bet on learning change gears and using clutch.. Then maybe rebel like jerry said.
 

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The 250 Ninja is mild mannered and not at all like the 600 crotch rockets or the big liter bikes. It makes a good learning bike, some people even like the sport bike position. I don't but I know several that do. Starting off with dirt bikes is good too but you wont find small street legal versions unless you go with the crappy Chinese Honda knock offs. Personally I think the feet forward position on the Rebel is a poor way to start some one out that is learning.
 

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Of all the small cruisers, the Rebel is the one that does NOT have a feet forward position. I had to fabricate my own forward controls to move the pegs, shifter, and brake 4" forward to make enough legroom for me to ride it. The Rebel is THE most commonly use training bike used in MSF courses, and it is possible to stand on the pegs. Despite looking like a cruiser, it has a very neutral riding position for those small enough to fit it.

As for small dual sport bikes, the Yamaha XT225 is probably the best out there, and can be bought for a reasonable price. I own 2, one is being ridden, the other is actually in way better cosmetic shape, a newer model, with way fewer miles on it, it runs fine, I intend to fix it up for street use when I get the time. I bought it because I could not turn down such a good deal. It needs a few parts, and a lot of cleaning to bring it back to near new condition. Then there is the Honda CRF230L, but it tends to be way overpriced even used. I agree, stay away from Chinese.


For a beginner, a sportbike feels awkward, top heavy, and unstable. They place a lot of your weight on your arms, wrists, and shoulders, and cause you to have to bend your neck as far as you can to see where you are going. The pegs are so high and far back that they turn your legs into pretzels. I get severe leg cramps from that. I also get severe pain in my arms, shoulders, and neck from the hunched over riding position.

I would suggest letting the person who will be riding the bike sit on several, and decide for themselves what they like. If it weren't for the price, the Suzuki TU250 would be a near perfect beginner bike
 
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