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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got bit by the bug a couple months ago, mostly because of a couple friends at work that ride their bikes. Cruisers, but 2 wheels is 2 wheels. Took the MSF course in late September to escape the heat, but it ended up pouring the rain the first day. Sucked at the time, but gives me confidence that riding in the rain isn't that bad, just need a bit more caution. Glad I took it, learning that keeping your wrist up leads to bad things when reaching for the front brake is a lesson I'm glad I learned before I hit the streets. Rode a rebel, fun little bike, though definitely felt how I could outgrow a 250 pretty fast, and felt comfortable with it so went with the ninja 500r. Wanted a 650 but got a great deal on an 05 500r with 6k miles that I couldn't pass up.



Friction zone is tiny compared to the rebel, having a bit of trouble getting used to it, need more parking lot practice, starting and low speed manuevers. Fun bike though, good amount of power I haven't even used yet. Granny shifting like a boss lol.
 

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Grats, looks similar to my old 500. Just 11 years newer. They're great starter bikes, though, and great bike in general, to be honest.
 

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I started on the '87 version of that....drum brake and all!. It is a great bike that can take a beating. I rode it from Camp Lejeune to Memphis routinely and it did just fine. Enjoy your ride , it was a great choice :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah I don't see a need to get a big bike yet, first bike aint the last bike. Also didn't want to get an expensive bike then dump it in the driveway. Gravel driveway going up to the top of a hill, 2 90 degree turns with a nice switchback at the top. It's a lot easier than I thought it would be, but still get a little anxious every time I take it. I just try to remember to look where I'm wanting to go, allow the bike to wander a bit and find the path of least resistance, and smooth control.

The worst part is probably the road leading out from the house, there's gravel where the neighbors driveways wash out during storms. Gravel on gravel/dirt is one thing, gravel on pavement is quite another. I just take it easy and stay straight as much as possible, and try to ride in the clean sections created by car tires.
 

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How comfortable are you wrenching on stuff? I can give you a few tips. And not trying to steal you from here, but there are some REALLY knowledageable people on ex-500.com FOG, Ducatiman, Aprillarider, FlordiaEX500 etc. I highly suggest joining there too if you havent. I have a 95 ex500. 23k miles and still running strong. Just dont rev it past 10-10.5k. And it kind of has a surge in power somewhere around 7250 rpm so be mimdful of that. great choice for a bike. Youll love it
 

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key word "try" and then go down in flames and quit riding all together.
True and then go on to declare motorcycles as "dangerous". I once had a guy tell me he started riding on an r1 and how he had a terrible accident going 120mph wearing no gear where an old lady pulled out in front of him. I'm thinking... Ok you bought an r1, rode like an idiot, wore no gear, you're stupid. I'm glad you're out of the riding populace. But yet he said motorcycles were dangerous and I was crazy for riding one. :D

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
How comfortable are you wrenching on stuff? I can give you a few tips. And not trying to steal you from here, but there are some REALLY knowledageable people on ex-500.com FOG, Ducatiman, Aprillarider, FlordiaEX500 etc. I highly suggest joining there too if you havent. I have a 95 ex500. 23k miles and still running strong. Just dont rev it past 10-10.5k. And it kind of has a surge in power somewhere around 7250 rpm so be mimdful of that. great choice for a bike. Youll love it


Pretty comfortable, nevet done carb work, or stuff like valve adjustments but I do manage to do other small engine repair on my mower, chainsaw and other yard equipment. It doesn't have a centerstand due to the muzzy exhaust so ordered a decent swingarm stand to do the winterizing/chain/maint with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
True and then go on to declare motorcycles as "dangerous". I once had a guy tell me he started riding on an r1 and how he had a terrible accident going 120mph wearing no gear where an old lady pulled out in front of him. I'm thinking... Ok you bought an r1, rode like an idiot, wore no gear, you're stupid. I'm glad you're out of the riding populace. But yet he said motorcycles were dangerous and I was crazy for riding one. :D

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Yeah one of my (immature) friends was telling me how I'm going to kill myself on it, then asked me after ownimg it for 2 days how fast I had gone on it. I was like, I dunno 54? Then he laughed at me. :headscrtch
 

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Though I'm biased, that's an awesome bike. Looks like it's in great shape too, and I'll echo what Mango said about additional references on that site if you need some help.

Even with my Daytona in the stable, I'll occasionally take a ride on the 500 and every time I finish the ride I think about what a great bike the 500 is. Like Akumu said, great beginner bike, and great bike in general.
 

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Pretty comfortable, nevet done carb work, or stuff like valve adjustments but I do manage to do other small engine repair on my mower, chainsaw and other yard equipment. It doesn't have a centerstand due to the muzzy exhaust so ordered a decent swingarm stand to do the winterizing/chain/maint with.
I would suggest doing the valve adjustment. Made starting a lot easier and the bike warmed up quicker. I did it, and it was my first time inside an engine. It wasnt bad at all. I tool my time and went slow. Its a 2 hour job, took me 4, but I had no issues in the end. The "how to" guide helped but there are some errors. If you go to do it PM me and ill tell you the errors. I was going to tell you to drill out the plastic cap on the pilot screws and back them out 2.5 turns. But... since you have an aftermarket exhaust, I wouldnt touch them if it runs well. Same goes with carbs. Im not touching mine until they need it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
I've gotten a lot more comfortable on it, only stalled it once since, when starting on an incline. Ripping on the throttle is always entertaining, bike is fun as hell. Trying to stay careful though, I know that it can be easy to let your confidence go beyond your skill, and get in trouble. I have had a couple close calls, I just used what I've learned from forums like this one, and the class. Got target fixated on a ditch I didn't want to end up in when making a 90 degree turn from a stop, managed to snap myself out of it just in time though. Also entered a decreasing radius turn a little faster than I would have liked, but just held my line, leaned it over a bit further,and looked ahead as far as I could and made it through. Bike will lean a lot further than I thought it would. I'm probably not leaning anywhere near as far as I think I am normally.

I would suggest doing the valve adjustment. Made starting a lot easier and the bike warmed up quicker. I did it, and it was my first time inside an engine. It wasnt bad at all. I tool my time and went slow. Its a 2 hour job, took me 4, but I had no issues in the end. The "how to" guide helped but there are some errors. If you go to do it PM me and ill tell you the errors. I was going to tell you to drill out the plastic cap on the pilot screws and back them out 2.5 turns. But... since you have an aftermarket exhaust, I wouldnt touch them if it runs well. Same goes with carbs. Im not touching mine until they need it.
Bike was owned by a college student prior to me, ethanol free gas only (I do as well, farmers coop on the way to town), it runs solid, but he probably never did any real maintenance on it. I do have to use full choke to start when cold, and it takes about 5 minutes before I can back it off more than halfway. No issues when warm, and I've noticed no other problems. 7500 mile maintenance is coming up soon, I may try and knock some of that out this winter, like the valves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It didn't come with the owners manual, can I reorder one? Mainly I'm wondering about the dual trip meters, can they be reset independently? And what's the most reliable way to cancel the signals?
 

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They can be reset individually, I think you push to reset one and turn to reset the other.

Cancel the signals by pushing in the turn signal button.
 

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These bikes take forever to warm up if its cold out, that's normal. But if it's above like 80 degrees and it needs more than just a smidgen of choke, the valves need to be adjusted. Another way to tell is when the bike idles, you should hear the valves ticking. If they aren't, the tolerance is too tight and they need to be adjusted.

As for the trip meter, push in for one and twist for the other.

The signals you just have to remember to push the button. I have a bad habit of forgetting to cancel the signals which got me in the bad habit of not using them a lot. So don't be a squid like me.

While you're doing valves, trim the spark plug wires. You untwist the spark plug ends and untwist the wire from the coil, chop off a little bit of wire on both ends, then reattach the plug end and put it back in the coil. This clears up corrosion which almost certainly is there. The valves and that are the main little things to do.
 

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Welcome to Kawasaki.com

Owner's manuals available online through Kawi for free.

Just follow your way through the guide to find the manual for your bike. Note, this is the owner's manual, not a full service manual (which are by third parties like Clymer's or Hayne's).
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Holy crap, didn't even realize you just had to push it in, I've been pulling it in the opposite direction of the signal chosen, like a car. Got annoyed and kinda stopped using it because half the time I found it just going in the other direction. Thanks for that tip, I'll definitely use it more now. Glad to see the dual trip meters can be used separately, that'll be a great help.

As for the choke, it's been in the 50s lately when starting it, so probably nothing wrong with it.

I almost had an incident, went riding up in the mountains to a place to eat that was highly rated, but nobody mentioned the piles of random gravel scattered about the entrance to the parking lot. Saw it and straightened up immediately and used just the rear brake, slid a bit but got it stopped okay.
 
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