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Ninja 250 dropped/low-slided; worth it?

Old 08-29-2018, 04:10 PM
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Question Ninja 250 dropped/low-slided; worth it?

Hey folks,

Looking for some opinions from other riders / mechanically-inclined individuals. I am interested in getting a used bike to tinker with mechanically - as to not make noob mistakes on my own bike - and allow my friend, that has never been on a bike, to ride around parking lots and dead roads to get a feel for riding. A co-worker/acquaintance has a bike, which belongs to his wife. It is a 2005 Kawasaki Ninja 250 - up to this point, he has been completely honest about her experience and its history and even provided some pictures- I do not feel like he is trying to hide anything or present the bike in a way that is not true. Here are the facts that have been presented to me:
  • Originally purchased used from a dealer for $2199, it had 2000~ miles on it - most recently it has 7000~
  • Wife's brother rode it for a few thousand miles
  • When bike was ridden, it was taken slow - it was not raced or abused
  • Wife has dropped the bike a small handful of times in parking lots/drive way, no frame sliders have been installed
  • Wife rode the bike, laid it down in a no-collision accident
  • It will likely need new tires due to maintenance - I do not think they were changed
  • After looking at pictures of the bike, from a few different angles, I could see the following:
    • Lowest fairing, which I believe wraps around the radiator - or underneath - has been cracked on the left side (when sitting on it)
    • Kickstand has dented the left-sided exhaust - no punctures from the pictures
    • Obviously there is scratching/cosmetic damage on the fairings in different places
    • Left foot peg needs to be replaced
    • Left turn signal (? I do not remember) needs to be replaced
    • Handlebars may be bent ever so slightly
  • After the wreck stated above, the bike has not been ridden and placed into a very long slumber in the garage/enclosed area. At this point, I am not sure how long it has been since it has even been started - makes me feel bad for the little guy.
Okay - I think that covers all the main stuff. Obviously this bike is going to be a bit of a project... maybe that is even an understatement. I asked him what he'd want for it - he said somewhere around $800.. which I responded by saying I might be willing to give him $600. He didn't say no - but now I am wondering if it is even worth $500.

At this point, I am looking for opinions - with it having sat for - what I assume - is a very long time, never winterized, cosmetically abused, and likely needing new tires, etc., is it worth it for any price? Will there ever be a resell value if I can get it working and cleaned up? For it being a tinker/second bike, is it even worth pursuing? With it sitting for so long, is the general consensus that damage may have occurred which is beyond repair/worth the cost of repair? When I look back on this experience, which sounds more realistic, "That was a hidden gem that just needed a little TLC" or "Oh god, what was I thinking?" Am I too optimistic about this bike?

TL;DR: Honest co-worker has a project bike, but I am not sure it it would be worth the hassle because it has been dropped, involved in minor no-collision accident, and sat for a few years. Opinions?

Old 08-30-2018, 01:42 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 233

I'm not much of a mechanic, and about the only active discussions on this forum revolve around KLX 250S bikes. You may have better luck at this forum:Having said that, if that 2005 Ninja 250 were in good running condition with good (not salvage) title, it would only be worth between $1,200 and $1,600 for a private party sale -- with traces of being laid down, it will probably never be worth more than the low number. You can often find running but drop damaged bikes with not much more than scratched fairings for less than $1,200 on Craigslist. There's a good chance that if it's been sitting with fuel in it you will need to clean the carbs, and perhaps the tank. Keep in mind that tires older than 5 or 6 years old can be dangerous on the street and need to be replaced --even if they have just been sitting and look fine and still have the little "hairs" on them like a new tire. Think of old rubber bands that sit for years and just crack when you go to remove them -- different layers of a tire will get brittle like that over time, even if the outside looks o.k. (this can be very hard to convince folks about, but there are ample sources online to back this up). All of the other rubber on the bike ages also while sitting. Unless you have the proper tools to seat tires on rims and balance them, expect to pay somewhere around $200 to $300 for a new pair mounted & balanced.

Hope this helps!
Old 08-30-2018, 02:19 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: SW Idaho
Posts: 4,415

Rob nailed it pretty well.

Another truthism: The most expensive bike is often a free one.
If you want a project, this could be one, and it could be costly.
Old 05-15-2019, 04:11 PM
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Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 3

If the bikes starts, runs well and has safe handling/braking, then why not get it? If it's safe to ride and you can handle the cosmetic deficiencies then it's a good deal.
New handlebars, turn signal, foot peg, all fluids (including a brake bleed job) and tires should be taken into account when you make your offer. Also, putting some fresh gas and a small amount of Seafoam Green into the tank will sometimes help to clean up the carbs from sitting idle.

I bought a 2009 KLX250S less than a year ago that had only 900 miles on it that was in showroom shape. Not a blemish on it and my only concern was that it only had 900 miles on it...which meant a lot of time in storage. It started up and ran well, which is a good indication that it wouldn't need a bunch of work right away. At 5000 miles (both on and off-road) it has proved to be an excellent bike with "0" problems.
The Ninja sounds like a very good deal, to me, especially if you can stand a bike that is not cosmetically perfect. They are excellent bikes with a huge following and no doubt would make a fine mount to ride and to tinker with. My .02
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