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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What's does it mean to stay/be in your bikes power band?
I feel the need to shift up to 3rd/4th when my Ninja 250 is still heading towards 25mph.
At 45 I'm already in 6th.
Am I doing something wrong?
Should I have to shift up so much at such a low speed?
I'd read the owners manual, but the bike didn't come with one..
Thanks!

Joie
 

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Super Duper Mod Man
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It all depends on how hard you want to accelerate, or be able to accelerate. The 250 needs to be revved up a bit before any power will come on. Cruising at low revs is fine, but to get any acceleration, you will need to downshift at least 2 gears. I don't think it's a matter of right or wrong. It is a matter of what feels right to you. If you don't like revving it super high, or cruising around at 7000 rpm, it really isn't a big deal. Just realize that the bike won't get out of its own way at low RPM, so a couple downshifts will be necessary for brisk acceleration.
 

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Your powerband on your Ninja doesn't start until it gets well into 7000 rpm. Do you mind short shifting? Probably not. Can the bike handle the revs in all gears upto around 11000 or so? Yep. Your little Ninja produces a stunning 24+- ft lbs of torque. In your case, ride like you want. When it's time to advance to another bike you can revisit this question. Until then, enjoy they ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
OK, thanks!
So cruising at lower revs (5000-6000) in a high gear isn't a problem as long as it feels ok to me.
I've edged close to 7000 once or twice but not over, yet.
The roads I ride on don't call for it unless I want to break the posted speed limit and risk a ticket.
LOL
It's never felt "luggy", like my little escort will if I'm way out
of line shifting, so I guess I'm doing ok. From what your telling me, I'm just not beginning to receive what she'll give me if I ask correctly.
Well goes to show how little I understand how a motorcycle works..revs in the 1100's in all gears?
Yikes!
The very idea makes me wince :O
 

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Aging Cafe` Racer
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I though she meant like Led Zep or Rush or something...

The other guys are right, a good rule of thumb is the smaller the engine the more revs it takes to get it making power
 

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As you get more time on the bike riding it, you might feel like it's not accelerating fast enough. If that happens, you want to twist the throttle until the tachometer needle hits around 7000+ rpm and then shift to the next gear. Again, twist the throttle until the tach needle hits around 7000+ rpm, and shift again. The faster you twist the throttle (to get the motor to 7000+ rpm), and the faster you shift from gear to gear (at 7000+ rpm), the quicker the bike'll feel. If you don't do this, then the Ninja can seem like a slow bike that has no power. But once you get to this point you'll understand why the little Ninja is such a fun bike :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Again, thanks!
I already think it's a blast to ride, and not slow at all. And I especially like how nimble it is.
Years ago, in another life, I rode horses for a living and the Ninja reminds me strongly of the small fast horses many people found the best for barrel racing.
"Quick off the line and turns on a dime."
When I ride tomorrow, I'll hold off shifting till 7000rpm.
Is my head going to snap back?
lol
Yee Haw!
 

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The Toad
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A few months and you'll be constantly redlining that little sucker and laughing like a maniac all the while. That's the fun part of the smaller bikes.

Remember, it's more fun to go fast on a slow bike than to go slow on a fast bike.
 

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Motorcycles and cars with sticks are mechanically the same. You can rev to redline in any gear, downshift for more power and down shift if you feel it lugging. If your comfortable shifting at 4k then thats fine. You could also shift down and run around town at 9k if you want. I would recommend being higher in the rev range when in bad traffic as having the power on tap instead of having to take the time to downshift could save your life. Though I would play around out of traffic getting used to how the power comes on at different rpms. As more power equals a touchier throttle. So take it out somewhere calm and safe and run through the RPM range, learning where the power comes on at in different gears. At the same time start working on braking, Run through 1st and 2cnd then hit the brakes. go up thru 3rd and repeat and so on. Once your content with going and stopping then with that out of mind you can focus on turning.

To get a better idea of "powerband" take a look at the dyno charts for different motorcycles on this site. As the HP / torque line rises sharply that is where the powerband starts, on a cruiser its right off the bottom of the RPMs and tops out quickly. On a higher reving bike the power comes on later and tends to top out at redline. All motors build power diffrently and thusly creats the "charactor" of the bike we often refer to.
 

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Joie,

If you can, take the bike out to a wide open, lonely straight section of road, and wind it out in 2nd or 3rd gear at full throttle. You'll be able to feel the engine response, while not building too much speed. I rode a borrowed Ninja 250 100 miles on various types of road, and had a great time; once I realized not to shift it at 3500 rpm like I did my Harley.

Most important thing to do is go ride!

Only two months left 'til I get back on my bike! Woo-hoo!

The other thing you need to do is take the bike to an abandoned parking lot, or a corner of the nearest mall parking lot and practice "panic stops". Learn how the bike behaves when you grab a handful of brake. Make sure the pavement is relatively clean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks again guys!.
I have a better understanding now, and it's just what I needed.
With this being my first bike I've been going off what works in my car, shifting at 3000, well, more like 4-5 on the bike.
Guess I will have to get accustomed to how the Ninja sounds and feels at higher rpms and stop relating it to what my car would be doing if I waited to shift so long :O
Thanks!
I appreciate being able to come here to get advice and to get educated.

Joie
 

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Have a big time!

BTW - I don't know if anyone here has told you, but you qualify for smart-aleck responses and other abuse after your 20th post.
 

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The first thing I do when purchasing a new bike, is to adjust the power band to precisely three and four-fifths turns tight. No more, no less..........
 

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MODERATOR X
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The power band was way too tight on my wheelchair, so I inflated the tires to 120 psi this morning, and wow! This thing hauls ass now!
 

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Have a big time!

BTW - I don't know if anyone here has told you, but you qualify for smart-aleck responses and other abuse after your 20th post.
No seejoy is a 50 year old mom, we can't f*ck with her or she'll hit us with a fryin' pan when we pass out....
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
LOL!
Well, make that a 51yr. old Mom. But forget the frying pan.
I do know some karate though..
Yesterday I rode twice and worked on shifting at 7000 rpms. That's certainly the way to go from 3rd up. The engine feels strong and deep and gives me all the power I could want at this stage of the game.
Lehigh University's athletic fields parking lot saw me practicing emergency stops and I got to practice my skill later during a drive through town.
Timing was such at a yellow light that a quick stop was called for.
As I was taught in my MSF class, I used both brakes to stop but four fingers was too much on the front lever in that situation. My little pony's front end will dive like she's bobbing for apples if you are anything other than smooth there, and I knew that. Even so, I found myself using more strength than needed.
No harm done, but a lesson learned.
Every outing has mutable lessons in it.
130 miles are on the trip odometer and I am widening the area I ride in little by little.
I'm doing my best to develop good habits, and ride my Ninja like every car is out to run into me or doesn't see me at all.
 

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That's the one-biggest complaint I've always had about the 250 Ninja: WAAAAAY undersprung/underdamped in the front - it's like that pair of screendoor-closers Kawasaki puts on the bike isn't suitable for anyone that weights over 85lbs or so........

Fortunately, there's a few ways to fix that in the aftermarket. for about a $75-$90 or so, you can obtain a set of springs (maybe less depending on luck and opportunity). I recommend a straight-rate set, based on yours and the bike's combined weight, and riding style. RaceTech is the brand I've used several times in the past.

One other almost-no-buck method (which is a sorry-arse bandaid patch, IMHO) is to shorten your current springs a few inches and put longer preload-spacers made of PVC pipe in the tubes. But, this can actually LESSEN the suspension travel, so when you do bottom-out it's MUCH harsher.

You really DO need to get something done about this. You should not fear using "all the brake" the front can give you - at the worst case, you might flinch from reflex at a critical time when you NEED everything the bike can give you, and it could cost you considerable pain and hospitalization, or your Life.

I know, you're probably thinking "Idiot! I JUST BOUGHT THE BIKE! - And you want me to modify it already?" Don't think of it as modification - think of it as matching the bike to your abilities, and fixing a serious safety-flaw.

It will definitely increase your enjoyment of the bike.
 

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If you haven't gone here you should. Ninja250 Riders Club :: Index

The last poster is spot on, use Race Tech's spring rate calculator and then shop for springs at a couple of places, include Sonic. You can make it up to Race Tech when you go back and buy your emulators, hmmm, I don't know if they sell emulators for the 250 but you can check easy enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks AirHawk.
Your right, I already think twice about using the front
brake, well at least how hard I'm going to use it.
Once I get the broken front turn signal replaced,( the bike came that way), and the bike inspected, I'll work on the front end issue.
I have 200 miles on her now and rode 35 miles into work this morning. Had my first experience with wind gusts and it looks like it will be worse on the way home.
Good thing I used to be a sailplane pilot!
LOL
 
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