10 September 2012

Bought a motorcycle

I've been watching Craigslist for over a year for Ninja (or any similar style) motorcycle in the 250 size. I want something efficient and sporty looking. Well, all the stars aligned and I finally bought one. I found a 1998 red Ninja (would have preferred blue or green) with 16k miles for a lower asking price than most of the others I've seen.
  Now a funny story: I bought the Ninja on Thursday. Friday morning I tried to ride it to work. I was unfamiliar with the engine and especially with a manual choke. I managed to keep it running all through my neighborhood, but it died at the neighborhood entrance/exit. I got it started again but it would die under load. I fiddled with the choke for a bit but traffic was building up. Then it died and wouldnt start. I pushed it off to the side of the road while I fiddled with it. After 10 minutes I was late for work and realized I had shutoff the fuel valve the night before. But now the battery was too low to crank it and get it going again. I pushed my new bike home and took my trusty scooter to work! The Ninja started right up when I got home from work.

Doing a detailed inspection I found it was missing both rear engine mount nuts. I replaced both and cleaned the really gunky chain. Took it for a long (at 15 miles it was for me) ride on Saturday to get myself used to the 3 new things that scooters dont worry about: shifting, choke, and foot controls. I also decided I want the foot pegs lowered maybe 1-2" and the seat leveled out a little so I can slide back. I'm still trying to figure out exactly how to position myself to be relaxed and reduce strain on my arms/hands.

Muffler silencer

Not quite being happy with a louder than stock exhaust I put together my own silencer. I happen to have a 6"x1.75" bit of brass drain down pipe I bought on sale. After cutting a close fit hole in a plate of aluminum I drilled some 30 1/4" holes in the pipe and smashed the end closed. I had calculated that with the number and size of holes I drilled it has the same surface area as the pipe itself, so it wont restrict flow much. I matched up the mounting holes in the aluminum so it can be sandwiched between the header and the muffler. To finish it off I crimped the aluminum around the brass tube.
It works quite well! Not as quiet as a stock muffler, but not loud enough to be annoying. I am unsure how well the aluminum and brass will stand up to the exhaust gases. Time will tell!