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News Ninja 300 Project Track Bike

Discussion in 'Motorcycling News' at netrider.net.au started by NetriderBot, May 4, 2015.

  1. Today we kick off our first project bike using the ever popular Kawasaki Ninja 300. Our ultimate goal is to convert our baby Ninja from its damaged (written-off by insurance) state that it is currently in and enter it into a national competition which is open only to the Ninja 300.

    We’ll be filming detailed guides on various things that have application to modifying or maintaining any bike.

    Some track bike specific articles will include:
    • Prepping, painting and installing race glass/race fairings
    • Safety wiring/lock wiring your bike for the track
    • Weight reduction
    • Gearing

    Some of the articles that will be equally as applicable on the track as they would be for any bike include:
    • Replacing rear suspension
    • Replacing fork internals
    • Replacing break pads/bleeding the lines/installing braided lines
    • Installing a full exhaust system

    Plus many, many other things. We’ll be keeping a record of all costs involved so you can get a good idea of budgets and provide tips and tricks along the way.

    The great thing about racing the Ninja 300 is that not only is it one of the cheapest forms of competitive motorcycle racing around, it’s also a great way to learn the art of racing in a somewhat forgiving environment. So without further ado, let’s introduce our new baby.

    Part 1 – The Purchase

    We bought the bike at a local auction house that deals in written-off (total loss) motorcycles due to an insurance company deciding the cost to repair the motorcycle is too great. The bike we bought was a 2013 model and had around 5,500 kilometres on the engine. Damage was mostly superficial (more on that shortly) and the purchase price was $1,500 plus another $100 for tansportation back to our garage.


    The key to bidding at an auction is to set yourself a price ceiling and stick with it. Know your budget and if you can, try and find out what sort of price range the bike you’re interested in tends to go for. Also, ensure you’re aware of what bikes sell for used that aren’t at auction. It’s stupid to buy a damaged bike from auction that doesn’t come with a warranty or any proof of its mechanical qualities for only a few hundred dollars less than what you can find at a dealership, but trust us, it does happen. People tend to go to auctions thinking they’re guaranteed to get a bargain only to find themselves in a bidding war with other clueless individuals.

    Also, be patient. At the auction we were present at, there were 9 Ninja 300s for sale out of about 150 bikes in total. And guess what? The first Ninja that was auctioned went for the most money that day despite having the pretty serious issue of being water damaged from flooding. We bought later in the afternoon and walked away with $700 more that that first buyer.

    Damage wise as you can see from the photos that things are mainly superficial. Most (but not all) of the fairings have received some sort of damage. There’s nothing obviously bent on the bike but there are a few parts that we will have to replace. Most importantly though is that the engine runs smoothly and the frame is straight.

    Ninja-300-Protect-Track-Bike-007-150x150. Ninja-300-Protect-Track-Bike-002-150x150. Ninja-300-Protect-Track-Bike-006-150x150. Ninja-300-Protect-Track-Bike-003-150x150.
    Ninja-300-Protect-Track-Bike-004-150x150. Ninja-300-Protect-Track-Bike-008-150x150. Ninja-300-Protect-Track-Bike-005-150x150.

    In Part Two, our first work on the bike will be as follows:
    • Strip the bike of all fairings, lights and indicators
    • Sell any undamaged items to recoup some of our costs
    • Remove the wiring for the lights, indicators and horn which we won’t need
    • Assess any other parts on the bike that have to be either repaired or replaced

    After that, the real work will begin on turning our Ninja 300 into a capable race machine. Check back in a couple of weeks with our first update.

    Continue reading...
    • Like Like x 7
  2. Great stuff, thanks for the post. I'll be following this one.
  3. Same here. I've got a 300 at home that the Mrs only rides once a month. Might make better use of it!
  4. :whistle::whistle::whistle::angelic::angelic:

    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Bikes are written off because it would be too expensive to repair them.

    I'm curious as to how people are able to make track bikes out of repairable write offs for less than what it would be to buy a new bike
  6. Bikes are written off because it would be too expensive to repair them to their original state by the insurance company.

    These guys aren't paying themselves labor to make the track bike, nor do they want to restore it (factory fairings and other parts are expensive).
  7. There are a few reasons but basically track accessories and parts are much cheaper than manufacturers parts.

    Take my 675 for example. To buy my fairings plus stickers alone from Triumph, which is where insurers must buy from, would be a couple of grand. Stickers alone would be $50-$100 each. Race glass for the same bike (track specific fairings) are roughly $800.

    Even a scratch on the frame is enough for an insurance company to write the bike off. And track riders wouldn't care about a bike with a scratch on the frame.
  8. Plus, most people would remove the road fairings and replace them with race glass, change the exhaust, put in new suspension, et cetera.

    If you buy a wrecked bike, you can strip it of what you don't need and sell those parts, saving a bit of money.
  9. Will be watching this one also!

    • Like Like x 1
  10. It’s been around a month since our first post on our Ninja 300 project bike and we’ve been in the demolition phase so to speak. We’ve stripped the bike of all its fairings, lights, indicators and any other pieces that won’t be suitable/allowed on the racetrack. We’ve also discovered a few damaged pieces that will either need repairing or replacing.

    Pictured below is everything that we’ve stripped from the bike that we won’t be putting back on – virtually everything we took off except the dash display and its surrounding plastics. We’ll be purchasing proper raceglass, a taller race windshield, adjustable levers as well as a full racing exhaust system. We’ll also be replacing the pegs with rearsets and the suspension with an aftermarket one, but at this stage they original parts remain on the bike. We’ve also kept the right rear passenger pegs as it doubles as the bracket for holding the rear brake fluid reservoir – a replacement bracket will need to be sought.


    Our intention is to sell all those left over parts on eBay or similar. Many of the parts that aren’t broken do have scratches on them however, so we’re not expecting a great deal in return.

    As you can see from the next picture, our intention had been to strip all superfluous electricals from the bike completely. We ended up deciding however that the reward wasn’t worth the effort and have just cut off the connectors that we won’t need (which includes wiring for lights, indicators and the horn). We’ll seal those exposed wires shortly and tidy everything up thereafter.


    As we mentioned in our first post, the bike was in overall okay condition, but there are three pieces that we’ll need to replace or repair. The first one was clearly visible – a broken screw mount on the right fork cover. That mount allows a brace to be attached whereby the front fender rests on – that brace was also damaged. It’s not structural in anyway so in theory we could attempt to just repair it, but at the same time, we don’t like the idea of a repair job braking and bits flying off the bike while we’re at speed. For an OEM replacement part we’re looking at paying around $300 for the fork cover and about $40 for the brace – but we have a ideas on how to reduce that cost so stay tuned.


    The other part that was damaged was unknown to us at purchase – the front cowling stay. Again, not a structural part, it merely gives something for the front cowling to be attached to. As you can see, it’s bent, not broken and therefore the cowling won’t sit properly on it. We’re going to take the front cowling stay to a metal fabrication shop and see if they can bend it back into shape. Otherwise, the replacement part will cost about $150.


    In next months’ update, we’ll let you know how we went with selling our spare parts. We’ll also be installing a new race exhaust and update you on the cost of repair and/or replacement of the damaged parts.

    Continue reading...
  11. Wow. Thank you!
    This is a great post for me. It is actually a really really good way for an ignoramus like me to learn a bit about the ummm nuts and bolts of putting a bike together, a bit of the mechanics involved and the names of the various components (I was going to call them bits...).
    Woohoo like learning a new language. Oh a a ninja no less! :D
  12. This part makes me slightly dubious about the credibility of their mechanical nous though...
    Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 8.23.12 pm.
  13. This month we installed what will be our one and only major horsepower upgrade for our Ninja 300 track bike – a full exhaust system replacement form TYGA performance. We also recouped a small amount of costs by selling some unneeded parts plus drained the battery by accidentally leaving the ignition turned on overnight. Oops!

    One of the great things about spec bike series is that generally the modifications you’re allowed aren’t too expensive. It all adds up to thousands of dollars once your’re done, but at least you’re not competing with people who are willing to spend thousands of dollars alone on engine internals to get a few extra horsepower out of their bike. Instead, we’re left to focus on things like the exhaust and suspension to improve the bikes performance.

    And that’s what we’ve done this month by installing a new exhaust system on the Ninja 300. Not only is the pipe design more free flowing, but we don’t have to worry about resonators and catalytic converters either. We went with an exhaust system from TYGA Performance for a few reasons.


    Firstly, I’d had good experiences with the company previously. Secondly, the system is very competitively priced. The system we got with the maggot silencer is $342.47 USD – most full systems from the bigger manufactures range between $500 and $600. Third, despite that great value, the TYGA system performs very well.

    This system has previously been independently tested by Kawasaki Racing Australia against a Leo Vince full system. The bike the Leo Vince was tested on had both a freer flowing race air filter and had been tuned for higher octane fuel – the dyno run gave figures of 38.3hp. The bike the TYGA system was attached to was otherwise stock and managed 38.4 hp. We think we a race air filter and perhaps some adjustments to ignition timing with higher octane fuel, we could get over 40hp out of the bike. That would be a 5hp improvement over the stock bike, or a pretty decent 15% improvement in ouput.

    To get it working properly however we’re going to have to flash the ECU to deal with all the extra air the engine is now getting. You can see on the picture below a hole in our exhaust (currently sealed) – this is were the O2 sensor will go which will connect to an aftermarket fuel management system like a Power Commander V or Bazzaz Performance Z-Fi. We’ll be buying an ‘autotune’ piggyback unit which will allow on the fly management of the whole system. More expensive in the short term but we’ll save money in the long run by not having to visit the dyno whenever we change something on the bike. It will also mean the engine will perform optimally regardless of ambient temperatures.


    During June we also sold a number of items that we would no longer need for the bike. Things like the rear fender, brake lights, mirrors and so forth. We gambled and put everything on eBay as auctions with no reserve and unfortunately we certainly didn’t get what their value was. All up, we sold about six items (including the exhaust can) for about $200 while their true value was probably closer to $300-$400. Such is life and we now have more room in the garage anyway.

    Next month the bike will lay dormant due to other commitments, but August will be fun. We’ll be replacing all the internals of the front forks (springs, valve body, etc) and adjust them correctly for preload, rebound and compression.

    Continue reading...