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Discussion Starter #1
I'm new here so bare with me. Today I went to ride and I accidentally ran over a pile of leaves about front tire size, cleared them all off. But when I took off I heard a loud crunch and my bike started to bog out on me. Thankfully I was close to home and turned around, but right about when I reached my driveway it died. My dash is on, lights work but WILL NOT spin the starter at all. I'm thinking a leaf or something got inside my engine or something but I don't know for sure. Help please?
 

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Considering you lost all the oil when you heard that loud crunch, every revolution after that was eating bearings and doing damage inside the engine until it died. Look for a used engine to swap in and don't run over things you can't identify in the future. This will be an expensive lesson. Option B. Sell the bike as is or part it out the best you can and buy a new to you bike to ride.

Edit - Just to add, no way a leaf or anything else could get inside your engine unless you are running the bike w/o an air filter in place. And if you're doing that, you deserve what happened.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Considering you lost all the oil when you heard that loud crunch, every revolution after that was eating bearings and doing damage inside the engine until it died. Look for a used engine to swap in and don't run over things you can't identify in the future. This will be an expensive lesson. Option B. Sell the bike as is or part it out the best you can and buy a new to you bike to ride.

Edit - Just to add, no way a leaf or anything else could get inside your engine unless you are running the bike w/o an air filter in place. And if you're doing that, you deserve what happened.
I kinda figured you couldn't get a leaf or something like that in the engine, I'm a first year rider so I'm still learning stuff. But no I'm not runnin without an air filter lmao
What really happened was the 3rd piston hammered on the head and made a hole and shattered the tip of my right spark plug. I'm lucky to still have my gas tank. There's also still lots of oil in it. I honestly don't understand why it happened since I've been taking great care of it and not beating it up.
 

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The bike is a 2 cylinder parallel twin...
You probably lost cam chain tension, the chain slipped and the out of timing piston hit a the valve train, resulting in the damage. Parallel twins have long cam chains and while the damage isn't usually this dramatic, it's a known issue on some of them. The leaves may not have had anything to do with it. A sudden rev or cut in rpms with a loose cam chain could have caused a slip. I had one slip on a 1200cc parallel twin right at start up because the Cam Chain Tensioner, (CCT), was failing to keep tension. Low oil pressure can also contribute, if the CCT is partially oil tensioned. All CCTs have an internal spring, but some also use oil pressure to help maintain tension. I don't know enough about the Ninja engine specifically to know it's potential weaknesses.

IF that is what happened, beyond the damage you see, there is most likely a bent valve or two, damaged piston, damaged cam chain guide and assorted parts. It's an expensive repair. Mine was done under warranty and cost about $2500 usd, granted on a newer, larger engine.

You can get a used engine off ebay for under $700 with free shipping in the US. Canada exchange rate and importation create other issues. Motorcycle parts are duty free, but you still get stuck with VAT as I recall. You can spend less for older ones and more for newer or custom ones, but $700 usd is your benchmark number. If it's worth that to you to buy a used engine and you can swap it in yourself, you have a running bike again. If the repair is quoted at less than $700 usd, and you can find a shop that will even work on it in your area, it might be worth repairing. Most likely, the dealer won't want to work on it because they know the repair will cost more than the bike is worth. Keep in mind that if the dealer will work on it, they will want to charge you labor to take it apart and find out exactly what needs to be replaced or done to fix it, regardless of if you choose to fix it or not, leaving you potentially with a bill of a few hundred dollars and still a broken bike in pieces if you choose not to have them fix it. If you take it to a shop, ask for an estimate for diagnosing the repair before you decide to let them start working on it. A nice used Ninja 500 in the States costs between $1500 and $2500 usd.

Unless you love the bike and are mechanically inclined with the tools needed, or have friends that are, your most cost effective option is probably to part the bike out, make as much as you can from the sales of the parts to spend on your next bike. Considering $700USD is about $920 Canadian, I don't see the bike as repairable unless you can do all the work yourself. Another option is to sell the bike to a motorcycle salvage dealer, take what you can get, which won't be much, and start shopping for your next bike in the spring. If you live in BC or Calgary or another major city, you have a better chance of finding a shop to work on it or a moto salvage yard that will buy it from you as is.

Best of luck with what ever you choose to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The bike is a 2 cylinder parallel twin...
You probably lost cam chain tension, the chain slipped and the out of timing piston hit a the valve train, resulting in the damage. Parallel twins have long cam chains and while the damage isn't usually this dramatic, it's a known issue on some of them. The leaves may not have had anything to do with it. A sudden rev or cut in rpms with a loose cam chain could have caused a slip. I had one slip on a 1200cc parallel twin right at start up because the Cam Chain Tensioner, (CCT), was failing to keep tension. Low oil pressure can also contribute, if the CCT is partially oil tensioned. All CCTs have an internal spring, but some also use oil pressure to help maintain tension. I don't know enough about the Ninja engine specifically to know it's potential weaknesses.

IF that is what happened, beyond the damage you see, there is most likely a bent valve or two, damaged piston, damaged cam chain guide and assorted parts. It's an expensive repair. Mine was done under warranty and cost about $2500 usd, granted on a newer, larger engine.

You can get a used engine off ebay for under $700 with free shipping in the US. Canada exchange rate and importation create other issues. Motorcycle parts are duty free, but you still get stuck with VAT as I recall. You can spend less for older ones and more for newer or custom ones, but $700 usd is your benchmark number. If it's worth that to you to buy a used engine and you can swap it in yourself, you have a running bike again. If the repair is quoted at less than $700 usd, and you can find a shop that will even work on it in your area, it might be worth repairing. Most likely, the dealer won't want to work on it because they know the repair will cost more than the bike is worth. Keep in mind that if the dealer will work on it, they will want to charge you labor to take it apart and find out exactly what needs to be replaced or done to fix it, regardless of if you choose to fix it or not, leaving you potentially with a bill of a few hundred dollars and still a broken bike in pieces if you choose not to have them fix it. If you take it to a shop, ask for an estimate for diagnosing the repair before you decide to let them start working on it. A nice used Ninja 500 in the States costs between $1500 and $2500 usd.

Unless you love the bike and are mechanically inclined with the tools needed, or have friends that are, your most cost effective option is probably to part the bike out, make as much as you can from the sales of the parts to spend on your next bike. Considering $700USD is about $920 Canadian, I don't see the bike as repairable unless you can do all the work yourself. Another option is to sell the bike to a motorcycle salvage dealer, take what you can get, which won't be much, and start shopping for your next bike in the spring. If you live in BC or Calgary or another major city, you have a better chance of finding a shop to work on it or a moto salvage yard that will buy it from you as is.

Best of luck with what ever you choose to do.
Thanks much for your input on the matter. I'll have to weigh out all my options for sure. I've been meaning to upsize to a b***** cc bike so this is kinda the push I needed. Most likely I'll just part it out.
 
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