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I just bought a Ninja 500 and need some tips on driving it.?

This is a discussion on I just bought a Ninja 500 and need some tips on driving it.? within the ZX1400 forums, part of the Kawasaki category; I have never driven a motorcylce before but really wanted one so I bought a 95 Ninja EX500 w/16k miles ...


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Old 12-02-2008   #1
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Default I just bought a Ninja 500 and need some tips on driving it.?

I have never driven a motorcylce before but really wanted one so I bought a 95 Ninja EX500 w/16k miles on it for $1400. I have only probably driven a total of about 15 miles now, I have no problem with shifting or the clutch or anything. The only problem I have is I tend to stall out a lot when taking off from a dead stop on a hill or I'll give it a little to much gas making it a jerky take off. I think one of the problems is it hard to keep from rolling backwards when releasing the clutch. Do you use the back brake to stay put while trying to take off on a hill? Should I just release the clutch slower? Also what does the know on the clutch with 5 numbers do? Is this a 5 speed bike?
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Old 12-02-2008   #2
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My first tip is to take the Motorcycle Safety Course (MSF) in the mean time.You need to just practice using your clutch. You'll get the hang of it evenually. I use the front brake to hold the bike while starting uphill, (two fingers on the brake while rotating the throttle) . It's too dangerous to hold the rear brake down, keeping your foot off the pavement while starting uphill. Use your front brake. In fact they teach you in MSF class to put your feet down as soon as you stop and not to bring them up until you are rolling again.The numbers on the clutch lever are the lever adjustments, they move the rest postion of the clutch lever closer or farther away from the handlebar. Its an ergonomic thing. and by the way your bike has a six speed transmission. (Count your upshifts while riding)
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Old 12-06-2008   #3
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Yes use your back brake to keep bike from moving when stop on a hill do not try to ride the clutch it is a 5 speed 1 down 4 up i don;t understand your clutch question i think you;re asking what are the numbers on the clutch lever means if you are there are used to either tighten or loosen your clutch play
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Old 12-07-2008   #4
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Howya doin mate.O.k. first and foremost always use the rear brake on any take off ! Especially on hills.Concentrate on finding the friction point of the clutch without the throttle first and using the rear brake .So right foot on rear brake . Left foot down on the ground.Very sloooowly let out the clutch until you can feel the bike beginning to engage the engine.Pull the clutch back in .Keep on practising this technique until you understand the clutch friction pointJust go slowly , slowly and then you will start generating a feel for the clutch.By using the rear brake for all road starts it leaves your right hand free to concentrate on throttle control.[very important]By using these techniques you will generate good procedures and ones that will enhance you riding skills.By the way the numbers on the clutch lever will probably be for the clutch lever adjustment.All bikes are completely adjustable , so my advice would be go get a safety check done on it at ya local bike shop and buy a manual for this particular bike; Guesss what ! All the answers are in the manual.Do not learn from other riders bad habits.It is very important to have good skills on a bike and that way you will have a great time.Keep the"stikkisidedown".p.s. By the way this bike is a six speed. one gear down and five upGood Luck
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Old 12-12-2008   #5
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Nick, I got one of these bikes back in'96, and still have it. Use your front brake in conjunction with your throttle and clutch lever. Practice on small uphills at first like a friends driveway. It'll take a little while, but you'll get the coordination. One of the biggest problems with this bike is the clutch engages too suddenly. It's not very progressive. Use the numbers on the clutch lever to dial in the pull you want. Push the lever away from you while seated on the bike, then rotate the number to where you want it. 1 is farthest away, 5 is closest.
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Old 12-16-2008   #6
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If you use your back brake for starts from stationary it will do two things, firstly it will enable you to concentrate your right hand on just controlling the throttle, while you're learning it will keep things simpler if you panic; secondly there is a chance of being hit from behind at lights, especially if you stall, if you have the front brake applied a car will tend to lift up the bike pivoting about the front axle, if the back brake is applied the bike will be pushed forward but you are less likely to be flipped over the handlebars – either way you could be hurt so make sure you are wearing proper protective gear.Above all else get some proper certified training.
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Old 02-08-2009   #7
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First off....you dont `DRIVE` a bike, you `RIDE` a bikeSecond ! If you have never ridden before you should have got some training and maybe have started off on a 125 !First time on a bike and a 500cc Ninja is kinda jumping in at the deep end !Third...I`m not ranting at you ! I just dont want you hurting yourself !!!!!!!!!!! (or someone else for that matter) ------
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