Rebuilding a 1997 Kawasaki Ninja (EX) 250 - Purchase and Problem!

Chronicling the rebuild of a 1997 Kawasaki Ninja 250!

Purchase and Pick Up Day!

The Problem - Broken Camshaft!

Questions, contact me:
This page is set up to chronicle the rebuild of a 1997 Kawasaki Ninja (EX) 250.  The bike was purchased as a project in July of 2007.  It was known to have a broken camshaft as depicted in the photograph.  I did not plan on purchasing in the bike, but when I saw the condition and the asking price, I could not pass on the opportunity.

As you can tell from the photo to the left (engine excluded), the rest of the bike is in immaculate condition...that's why I bought it!  The bike has 20,000km on the odometer and the story behind the engine problem is quite sad!

I purchased the bike from a female rider who loved the bike!  She kept it very clean and made sure that the bike was serviced at all of the required intervals.  She took the Ninja to her local Kawasaki dealer for the 20,000km service; part of this service included adjusting the valves...see where this is going!  When she picked the bike up from service, she started to drive it home...she did not make it, one of intake valves let go.  She returned it to the dealer and they came good for the repairs.  Story not over yet...

She picked the bike up after the repair and all seemed well.  She put about 500km on the bike and on a short road trip with her boyfriend, one of the valves let go again!  This time, not only snapping the valve, but also bending one of the camshafts and breaking a cam other words, top-end shot (see 2nd photo)!  When she approached the dealer this time, they told her that it was normal wear and tear and that it was not their problem...too much of a coincidence here if you ask me!

To make a long story short, the owner became so frustrated that she decided to sell the bike as is.  The dealer wanted more to repair the bike than what the bike was worth.  The owner put the bike up for sale at http:/// and that's where I saw it.  I contacted the owner and went to look at the bike.  I was very impressed with the bike, but did not make an offer on the first visit.  We went back and forth on e-mail for a week and worked out the purchase.  I picked up the bike and put it in storage.

After pricing the cost of a cylinder head (new & used), I decided that  I would opt for a replacement engine.  I searched e-Bay for months and eventually found several engines.  I lost the first auction, but won the second auction.  The engine I purchased has 7000 miles on it and came out of a dealer in Atlanta, GA.  The Ninja 250 project is not on a specific time line and is "in-progress".

The tear down...the saga continues!