The bike is back!

Hooray, the Ninjette is back in the garage!  Thanks to Andrew’s tender loving care, it’s running better than ever before, too.

Seriously, kids, this was really embarrassing. Not only was the chain in horrific shape (Andrew said he didn’t even have to break the chain to pull it off the sprocket) but the carbs were out of sync and the motor mount bolts were finger tight.  Andrew also re-did my valve adjustment to try to get rid of the noise (more on that in a sec), replaced the rubber dampers in the cush drive, and replaced the fuel line that I had Band-Aided with Rescue Tape (yeah, the same fuel line that I said 6 months ago that I was going to replace right away…)

The valve re- and re- and re-adjustment didn’t get rid of the ticking noise, so Andrew’s current theory is that I need a new cam chain tensioner.  I confirmed with him that this was not a “replace this tomorrow or risk a fiery death” item (see above about taking six months to replace a fuel line) so I guess the bike will just have an annoying tick for a while.  Andrew said that the stuff he read about replacing the tensioner all referenced splitting the engine, which….yeah, we won’t be doing that anytime soon.  Next time the bike is mothballed for a while, maybe.

All that said, the bike is running really nicely now.  Riding back from Half Moon Bay yesterday was super fun; the bike actually felt like it had acceleration and everything just felt tight and dialed-in.  I guess a lot of the idiosyncrasies that I’d chalked up to “a 250cc thing” were actually “a loose motor mount bolts thing” or “a worn cush drive thing” or “an ass-tastically synced carbs thing” or “your chain is about to fly off the sprocket thing”.  Go figure.

Tomorrow is supposed to be chilly (well, for Bay Area standards) but sunny, so I’m going to try to get out and take some photos for the Pace Podcast’s Equinox to Equinox Rally and play around with the Ninjette some more.  🙂

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4 Responses to The bike is back!

  1. Colleen says:

    I swear that no one ever has to buy a new motorcycle (sacrilege, I know!) But new tires = new bike! New chain/sprockets = new bike! Perfectly synched carbs = new bike!

    The fuel line though… can’t say much about that :-p

  2. Kim says:

    Aside from performance, it sounds a lot safer, too! Happy Riding!!!

  3. Craig says:

    Hey Bluepoof! I heard about your site via The Pace. I actually did a valve adjustment and cam chain tensioner cleaning/re-install on my ’07 EX250. You don’t need to split the case to replace a cam chain tensioner. In fact in only takes about 15 minutes. You just remove the tensioner, disassemble it, clean all the pieces w/brake cleaner, and re-install. The re-installation is the tricky part. That’s what sets the cam chain tension. You pre-load one of the tensioner springs, install it, release the spring, and then the cam chain tension gets adjusted as the spring releases. Cleaning the tensioner and re-adjusting it resolved a very bad tick in my cam chain. Ticking isn’t a “it’s gonna blow up” problem, but does mean the cam chain is getting worn by slapping against the case. Just some food for thought…

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