Startup trouble - Kawasaki Ninja Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 02-22-2012, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Startup trouble

I've been having some trouble lately with my bike. Besides the cold it still doesn't seem to be starting up/running right. I ride a Ninja Ex500. It sat from about September - December. I was away so had my brother start it up once and a while and let it run and a friend took it out for a ride once or twice.

Since I started riding it again in January it just hasn't seemed the same (though it's my first time riding winter, so that may be a big part of it)

I'm relatively new when it comes to working on them, so it may be some simple fixes I just don't know.

To start it idles at about 500 now and sounds like it's struggling to run. The left exhaust also puts out a good amount of white exhaust sometimes. Not sure if this is cold related or running rich?

I've put 2k miles on it in the past 10 months. I haven't changed the air filter and I don't know how old the spark plugs are (bought it used) so I'll be replacing both of those in the coming week. That's about the extent of my knowledge, I've read on adjusting the idle speed as well as regulating the carbs, but wanted to get some advice first

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post #2 of 8 Old 02-22-2012, 06:19 PM
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To start from the top -

Does it have (old) summer fuel in it? Did you add stabilizer to the fuel? If not, that could be it right there.

Did you fill the tank to the top while sitting? If not, condensation could have formed in the tank.

Does the gas have Ethanol in it? If so, it makes problems worse. Run Ethanol-free gas whenever possible.

If the gas is questionable, drain the tank and fill with Ethanol-free gas (if poss) and 1oz per gal of a good Fuel System Cleaner like Techron Concentrate or Seafoam.

Give it some time like that before tearing into stuff (other than maintenance).

Dirty air filter and worn plugs could cause the problems also.

Change the oil and filter. If you ride in cold temps (sounds like you do) use a common synthetic oil like Shell Rotella T6 5W-40 or a cycle-specific oil. 10W-40 synthetic is OK, but for cold start-ups 5W is better. You can use 5W year-round without any problems. I don't like conventional oil for start-up in cold temps.

Don't start the engine regularly during storage if you aren't going to ride at least 30 min. It's contaminating the oil with moisture, unburned fuel, and acids - and can lead to significant internal deposits and corrosion.


Jay

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post #3 of 8 Old 02-22-2012, 06:34 PM
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You are on the right track as far as replacing the plugs, air filter and adjusting the idle, however if the same gas has been in the tank since Sept., you might want to replace it with some fresh gas. Along with the fresh gas add some Seafoam or Star tron Fuel Treatment. Either one of these additives will help clean the tank, carbs and fuel lines of any ethanol residue. It may take a tank or two before you see the end result. Keep in mind you will have to ride the bike some.
The good thing for you is that you're able to get it started and running. I did not see where you were using the choke at all on start up. Using the choke will help in the winter months with starting. Carbed bikes are very cold blooded and need a little coaxing and time to warm up, so the low idle is not particularly strange. Once you have the bike warm enough that it idles on it's own, adjust the idle speed to 1200 rpms. You may need to ride the bike a little distance to speed the warm up along.

Do you have an Owner's Manual?

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post #4 of 8 Old 02-22-2012, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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To be clear it isn't the same gas since September, I've filled up maybe 2-3 times since I started riding again (Premium gas). It was also full when I left it.

I'm not sure about Ethanol in the gas. I will definitely give Seafoam a try.

I have used the choke especially in the cold. It can take 3-4 presses of the start button to get it going, at which point it may stall 2-3 times.

Oil has 1k miles on it, about 7 months old. Bike has 6.3k miles and is an 2003

It all may just be the cold, and me not allowing it to warm up enough. Just not use to it struggling to idle and starting from stop while riding.

Any recommendations on other things worth replacing while I'm ordering parts/taking it apart? I know how to take the tank off and such, but I'm not exactly the best at it, so I'd like to make it worthwhile when I have things apart. Learning most of this stuff as I go, so I realize I'm probably not taking as good care of it as I should. Then again that being the reason I bought used and not new.

edit: I don't have a user manual, though I imagine I could download one online

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post #5 of 8 Old 02-22-2012, 08:07 PM
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I would add the cleaner, do a tune-up, and ride it a bit.

I'm betting they are a bit cold-blooded anyway. Try to find Ethanol-free gas if you can for it, but no need for Premium unless it's specified or that's the only grade without Ethanol. Premium actually gives you less performance than Regular if you don't need it to control detonation. The plugs really shouldn't be bad at 6300 mi, but they're not expensive.

Because of the low miles for the year, it's possible its done a fair amount of sitting, and the tank may be rusted, which might cause some fuel-delivery problems also. Not sure where it's located, but there should be a fuel filter somewhere. That would be something to check if you didn't correct the problems with the other work.


Jay

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post #6 of 8 Old 02-23-2012, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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The guy I bought it from had the tank cleaned and such. It looks good inside when I've checked before with no signs of rust. As for running premium, I've just noticed it runs smoother. Hard to explain, but things like when I let off the throttle it'd be real choppy and jumpy when I was running regular and it rolls down smoother now. Even noticed it after a friend had the bike, I could tell he filled it back up with regular. Not sure if that's a sign of something else, but honestly using premium seemed to change that.

I've been riding it again though for about 2 months almost every day, it's my main form of transportation, so I've put miles on it since. I'm thinking I'll adjust a few things as recommended and see how it goes from there. Now just to find some videos/pictures of what I'm doing...

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post #7 of 8 Old 02-23-2012, 06:51 PM
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The only explanation why it would run better would be that it requires Premium because of its compression ratio or engine design (check the manual), or the Premium doesn't have Ethanol and the Regular does.

Check out www.ex-500.com/ for some specific info and maybe some how-to.


Jay

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post #8 of 8 Old 06-21-2019, 10:35 AM
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have a similar issue bike doesn't get started. I have to bring it to the workshop so according to you which more trial is best for towing a bike i have no idea about it so should I take a benefit of 24-hour towing service?

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