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Kawasaki Ninja 500 R Decal set 2003 Model
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Kawasaki Ninja 500R
Manufacturer Kawasaki Heavy Industries
Production 1987-present

The Kawasaki Ninja 500R (which was originally named, and is still referred to as the EX500 and is known as the GPZ500 in some markets) is a 498 cc motorcycle manufactured by Kawasaki Heavy Industries from 1987 to present. The US 2008 model has a MSRP of $5,099 USD. It has a liquid cooled parallel-twin engine with a six-speed manual transmission and a chain driven drive train setup. This motorcycle is considered an "entry level" sport bike, but has considerable performance. The EX500's parallel-twin configuration provides a combination of power and light weight that has made it popular as an entry level race bike. 2009 will be the last model year for the Ninja 500.

For touring the EX500 has an 18 litre (4.8 us gal) fuel tank, reserve included. Without tapping into the reserve the range can exceed 325 km (202 mi).

The design was updated in 1994; it has remained essentially unchanged since then. Its marketing name was also changed in 1994 from EX500 to Ninja 500; the R suffix was added in 1998.

Contents

Features (1994+)

Another image of the post-update version.
  • Twin-cylinder 498 cc engine
  • Compact parallel-twin design
  • Liquid cooling
  • Four valves per cylinder
  • 34 mm CVK semi-flat slide carburetors
  • Digital ignition - microprocessor-controlled timing
  • Six-speed transmission
  • Positive neutral finder
  • Standard half fairing
  • Dual trip meters
  • Double-cradle steel box-section frame
  • Centerstand
  • 37 mm front fork
  • Large-diameter fork tubes with thin walls for light weight and exceptional rigidity
  • Front disc brake with dual-piston caliper drilled for better cooling and reduced unsprung weight
  • Rear disc brake - single-piston caliper (the original EX500, from 1987 to 1993, had a rear drum brake)
  • Bottom-link UNI-TRAK Rear Suspension
  • Lightweight aluminum components provide quick suspension response
  • 17-inch wheels (the original EX500, from 1987 to 1993, had 16-inch wheels)
  • 4-Way Hazard Flashers (Not on all years)

Specifications


Side view of 1994 GPZ 500 S

Engine:

  • type: liquid-cooled four-stroke, counter-balanced, 8-valve, dual chain-driven overhead camshaft 180° parallel twin
  • displacement: 498 cc (30.39045 in³)
  • bore x stroke: 74.0 x 58.0 mm (2.913 x 2.283 in.)
  • compression ratio: 10.8:1
  • redline: 11,000 rpm
  • power: 59.1 bhp (44.1 kW) @ 9500 rpm (103 hp/L)
  • torque: 30.86 lbf·ft (41.84 N·m) @ 8000 rpm
  • starting: electric
  • carburetion: Keihin CVK34 x 2
  • exhaust: 2-into-2
  • ignition: transistorized, battery-powered, inductive, magnetically triggered (1987–1993), TCBI with digital advance (1994+)
  • oil capacity: 3.6 US qt (3.4 L)
  • fuel: unleaded or low-lead minimum octane 91 RON (~87 R+M/2)

240km top speed with 120 pound rider

Transmission:

  • six-speed
  • constant mesh
  • wet-clutch
  • primary drive: 23/61, 2.652
  • final drive: 42/16 sprockets (2.625 ratio)pre 1994, 41/16 sprockets (2.5625 ratio) 1994–2006, #520 chain
  • gear ratios (transmission) (1) 36/14, 2.571 (2) 32/18, 1.78 (3) 29/21, 1.38 (4) 27/24, 1.12 (5) 25/26, 0.96 (6) 23/27, 0.85
  • gear ratios (overall) (1) 17.87 (2) 12.37 (3) 9.60 (4) 7.83 (5) 6.88 (6) 5.92
  • maximum speed in gears @ engine redline (1) 44mph (2) 63mph (3) 82mph (4) 101mph (5) 118mph (6) 143mph

Chassis

  • frame: high-tensile steel double-downtube, full cradle, steel, perimeter box section; steel swingarm
  • overall length: 83.66 in (2125 mm) (1987), 83.07 in (2110 mm) (1988–1993), 82.5 in (2096 mm) (1994+)
  • overall width: 26.97 in (1987–1993), 27.6 in (1994+)
  • overall height: 45.86 in (1987–1993), 45.7 in (1994+)
  • wheelbase: 56.5 in (1435 mm)
  • ground clearance: 4.9 in (1987–1993), 4.7 in (1994+)
  • seat height: 30.81 in (770 mm) (1987–1993), 30.5 in (1994+)
  • dry weight: 373 lb except California (169 kg) 374 lb (170 kg) (1987–1993), 388 lb (1994+)
  • wet weight: 409 lb (185 kg) (1987–1993), 437 lb (198 kg) (1994+)
  • fuel capacity (main/reserve): 4.2/0.6 US gal (15.9/2.21 L)
  • load capacity (GVWR less curb weight): 418.5 lb (189.8 kg)

Suspension:

  • rake / trail: 27.5°/3.5 in (89 mm) (1987–1993), 27°/3.6 in (91 mm) (1994+)
  • type, front: center-axle hydraulic telescopic 36 mm (1987–1993) or 37 mm (1994+) fork
  • type, rear: UNI-TRAK system with single shock, adjustable pre-load
  • wheel travel, front: 5.5 in (140 mm) (1987–1993), 5.1 in (1994+)
  • wheel travel, rear: 3.9 in (100 mm)
  • wheel, front: cast, 2.15 in x 16 in tubeless (1987–1993), 3 x 17 in (1994+)
  • wheel rear: cast, 2.5 in x 16 in tubeless (1987–1993), 3.5 x 17 in (1994+)
  • tire, front: 100/90-16 in 54H Bridgestone Excedra G533 (1987–1993), 110/70-17 tubeless (1994+)
  • tire, rear: 120/90-16 in 83H Bridgestone Excedra (1987–1993), 130/70-17 tubeless (1994+)

Brakes

  • front: dual-piston hydraulic single (280 mm 1994+) disc (the GPZ500s version has a dual disc front brake)
  • rear: rod-actuated, single leading-drum (1987–1993), single-piston hydraulic single disc (1994+)

Electrical

  • battery: 12 V, 14 A·h, type 14LA2 (compatible models: Yuasa YB14L-A2, Varta 514011014, Power Max 12N14-3A)
  • power source: AC Alternator, charge control solid-state voltage regulator
  • headlight beams (high/low): 60/55 W
  • tail/stoplights: 8/27 x 2 W
  • instrumentation: speedometer, odometer, single (1987–1993) or double (1994+) tripmeter, tachometer with 11,000 rpm redline, water temperature gauge, indicators: oil pressure, high-beam, headlight off, turn signals, neutral

Colors

  • Kawasaki Lime Green/Ebony
  • New Candy Red/Ebony
  • Metallic Violet Royal/Gray
  • Metallic Titanium (2007)
  • Pearl Solar Yellow (2007)
  • Metallic Diablo Black (2008)
  • Passion Red (2008)
  • metallic diablo black (2009)
  • candy plasma blue (2009)

Performance

from Cycle Magazine January, 1987 for 1987–1993

  • Standing start Ό mile: 12.73 s @ 102 mph
  • Acceleration, 0-60 mph: 3.76 s
  • Acceleration, 45-70 mph, top gears: (4) 4.08 s, 343 ft. (5) 5.92 s, 492 ft.(6) 6.62 sec., 589 ft.
  • Braking, 60-0 mph: 115 ft.
  • Power @ 60 mph: 9.58 hp
  • Engine speed @ 60 mph, top gear: 4935 rpm
  • Average fuel consumption rate 48 mpg (20.4 km/L)
  • Cruising range (main/reserve) 202/29 mi. (325/46 km)
  • Speedometer error: 30 mph indicated, actual 29.50; 60 mph indicated, actual 57.53

from Motorcyclist Magazine for 1994+

  • Standing start 1/4 mile: 12.98 s @ 99.0 mph
  • Top speed: 135 mph @ redline in 6th gear
  • Average fuel consumption: 48.5 mpg
  • Average touring range: 233 miles (375 km)

In Media

  • The motorcycle appears in the 1994 action film True Lies.

Comparative and Individual Reviews

The EX500 and Ninja 500 have been reviewed by motorcycle magazines, separately and in comparison to other motorcycles, from time to time. Upon its introduction, the EX500 was reviewed in the January 1987 issue of Cycle magazine. With a manufacturer's suggested retail price, as of October 1, 1986, of $2899, the EX500 led Cycle to pronounce, "[o]n price alone, the EX is peerless."

In February 1992, Cycle World magazine, in an article titled "Bargain Blasters," compared the EX500 to the Yamaha Seca II, the Suzuki Bandit, and the >Suzuki GS500. The Seca II came in first, with the Bandit, the EX500, and the GS500 following in that order.

In April 1994, in an article titled "Bargain Hunters," Cycle World compared the then-new Ninja 500 to the Suzuki GS500E, the Suzuki Katana 600, the Yamaha FZR600, and the Yamaha Seca II. Cycle World concluded of the EX500, "it's our pick as the best overall deal in this group," though each bike had its virtues.

The 2000 Ninja 500 has been reviewed online at motorcycle.com.[1]

The 2004 Ninja 500R was reviewed and compared with Suzuki GS500 by Motorcycle Consumer News. [2]

References

  1. ^ motorcycle.com, 2000 Ninja 500
  2. ^ Motorcycle Consumer News, 2004 Ninja 500R review

External links

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