What times I've had and what stories I have to share! Much has happened recently and I don't know where to begin. First, the best news of all. Bluemonkie99 is now the owner of a 2003 blue ninja 250!
I now have a riding partner!
We went to inspect the bike last friday. We were going to go Saturday afternoon after my BRC but another buyer was coming in the morning and blue didn't want to lose this bike.
We showed up at night, which wasn't ideal but I had a powerful flashlight to compensate. The bike looked great. It had been dropped on it's left side once and has a few scratches and one dent on the tank. However, blue expects to drop it at least once, that didn't bother her. On to my inspection.
I sat on it, I looked under it, I turned, pulled, shook, touched, explored, pushed and worked my way through a complete inspection. I then gave blues a thorough rundown showing her the parts of hte motorcycle that I was commenting on. There wasn't anything there to veto her buying the bike and plenty of positive things so blue made an offer and it was signed over to her.
After doing some extensive paperwork and passing over some petty cash (wouldn't it be awesome if I actually thought it was petty cash?) we haeded home. Or tried anyway.
Halfway across the parking lot the ninja sputtered and died. Yep, even though I was the only person the seller would let test ride the bike due to my RiderCoach status I still managed to not turn the fuel on.
I turned the fuel valve, fired it up and headed towards home. There was only one thing that stood in my way. The DC Metro Area Beltway (I-495)
My familiarization with this bike consisted of my 5 minute test ride and 7 minutes to the beltway. Minute 13 on the bike had me merging onto 495. Minute 14 brought a smile that cut through the brisk night air.
This bike is fun! I brought it home, tuned it up and headed out the next day for an inspection. Let me share what I've learned about the Ninja 250.
-It's very comfortable. Granted I felt like I was riding a pocket bike compared to my strom but the bike fit me soooo well. At 6' 180lbs I wasn't squashed, and everything felt just where it needed to be.
-That little windshield shouldn't cause any concerns. Even at speeds of 105 mph the air is clean and the bike is a smooth ride. I didn't experience any strong buffeting or major sail effects from semis or gusts of wind.
-It has no problems with the interstate. It gets up to speed as fast as I need it to and at 70 mph it will still go faster. As stated I had the bike at 105 mph and I was not at 100% throttle. The length of time from 95 to 105 was pretty long though.
-It response well to input and makes smooth transitions in and out of turns. It's very maneuverable.
-Front forks dive a bit under heavy braking. They didn't bottom out but if I weighed another 40 lbs I'd want to upgrade the front forks
-The skinny tires will catch grooves in the road. It feels a bit unnerving in that it suddenly shifts but it doesn't destabilize the bike.
-In full lock my thumbs get pinched between the bars and the tank. It really smarts!
Blues first ride.
Since Blue hadn't been on her scoot in 7 months we started in a parking lot. I had 6 cones (3 tennis balls cut in half) and I ran her through most of the MSF exercises. It goes so much faster when you only have one student!
We then took the bikes back and cleaned them as we thought it would be the end of the day. However, we got our second wind.
I took her through a few back roads until we got to a nice long 35 mph loop. It has gentle turns and rolling hills. She followed me and did amazingly well! Her lines were great, she used her signals well, head and eyes up, smooth shifting and throttle/clutch control, braked correctly before a turn with none in the turn, turned her head well, her starts and stops were smooth (even if she didn't always shift down to first
) and all the things you like to see. It was a wonderful ride
Hopefully we will take another one tonight in some areas with less traffic to experience a bit of evening riding. I personally can't wait.