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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys its ninja4life again!

Just recently picked up my ninja 400 and have put 175km on it.

I was just wondering what motorcycle maintenance I need to do on a daily basis. And how often. For example putting lube on the chain and such!

I wanna take car of my motorcycle to be able to keep it a long time. Any help is appreciated ! ?

And lastly any product recommendation for chain lube, bike cover and bike stand ? Thank you guys!
 

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Daily?

Not a lot that you need to do, check the tire pressure before each ride in case you picked up a puncture from the previous ride and give it a casual once-over check for any obvious problems. I give my brakes a squeeze to check the brake light but that's about it.

I clean and lube my chain about once every 500kms which is fairly easy since they are mostly sealed chains nowadays, you don't need a lot. Just put it up on a stand, give it a hit with chain cleaner then a really light hit of lube or wax (opinions on this are wildly varied and when that happens, it's usually personal preference). Look on Youtube for sealed chain maintenance.

I use Penrite Chain Cleaner and Silkolene Chain Lube from Supercheap Auto here in Australia, and since I only use a little, there's minimal fling that I wipe off after my next ride. I've heard good things about Rock Oil chain wax so might try that next. Again, the chains are sealed so you're really only lightly lubing the outside of the chain links where it will contact the sprocket teeth.

I use the Oxford Premium Rear Stand, and the Nelson Rigg Cover.

Outside of that, if you're like me and not very mechanically minded just get it serviced when it's due and you should be right as rain.
 

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Lube every 400 to 500 miles on the chain. Clean chain as-needed. Turn-signal/headlight/brakelight verification of operation. Tire pressure. Brakes work (in neutral, before you head-out) front and rear. Basic stuff. A lot of this is in the Kawi beginner's manual. I strongly recommend reading that cover-to-cover, to include break-in procedures (under 4k RPMs for the first 500 miles), etc.

Most 400 owners are not beginners. I don't consider this a beginner bike. It can be, but the Ninja/Honda 250 is a better choice.
 

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I like the kind of chain lube that dries to a white residue and doesn't fling off.

Two that I know are that way are Bel-Ray Super Clean and Motorex Chain Lube.
 

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Two most important things to do before worrying about the chain etc:
Check the sight glass for correct oil level and check the coolant level in the reservoir tucked in the RH side of the fairing.
Both are life bloods for your engine.
 

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Two most important things to do before worrying about the chain etc:
Check the sight glass for correct oil level and check the coolant level in the reservoir tucked in the RH side of the fairing.
Both are life bloods for your engine.
I check the oil level before each ride but haven’t checked the coolant level regularly. Is it easy to tell by looking at the coolant tank through the top? I know the tank is on the right side. Level seems to be somewhere in the middle when I looked at it when the fairings were removed for my frame slider install.

Newbie question. I have no idea what coolant the dealer used. If the coolant is low and I want to add more, is it ok to mix different coolants or add water or is that a big no no?

Also would it be better for me to learn how to flush out all the coolant and replace with another? I heard engine ice is good to use.
 

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I check the oil level before each ride but haven’t checked the coolant level regularly. Is it easy to tell by looking at the coolant tank through the top? I know the tank is on the right side. Level seems to be somewhere in the middle when I looked at it when the fairings were removed for my frame slider install.

Newbie question. I have no idea what coolant the dealer used. If the coolant is low and I want to add more, is it ok to mix different coolants or add water or is that a big no no?

Also would it be better for me to learn how to flush out all the coolant and replace with another? I heard engine ice is good to use.
What the dealer put in will be fine unless you live in the arctic circle :biggrin:

The coolant in these bikes is a mix of coolant and water. Typically 50/50. If your topping it up a little then use coolant not water. It wont hurt to use water but if you keep doing this then over time your ratio of coolant to water gets thin.
You will most likely find you hardly ever have to top it up.

The using of different brands is an interesting one. I wouldn't worry about it because we don't know what brand Kawasaki uses and I'm sure if it was an issue it would be listed clearly in the owners manual.
I know at work we must only use CAT coolant in the CAT engines and we don't dilute it.
 

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For general chain cleaning I use Lamp Oil/Kerosene/paraffin that you can get from most DIY stores (B&Q here in the UK) and put it in a spray bottle. It will save you a fortune vs those ridiculously priced spray cans that contain mostly the same substance.

Tirox have a neat little device that will raise the rear wheel without the need to break out the paddock stand called the snapjack. It makes life so much easier, just make sure to place newspapers under the bike before starting out
 

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What the dealer put in will be fine unless you live in the arctic circle :biggrin:

The coolant in these bikes is a mix of coolant and water. Typically 50/50. If your topping it up a little then use coolant not water. It wont hurt to use water but if you keep doing this then over time your ratio of coolant to water gets thin.
You will most likely find you hardly ever have to top it up.

The using of different brands is an interesting one. I wouldn't worry about it because we don't know what brand Kawasaki uses and I'm sure if it was an issue it would be listed clearly in the owners manual.
I know at work we must only use CAT coolant in the CAT engines and we don't dilute it.
Thank you! You are very helpful as usual :)
 

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Staying on top of regular intervals will keep your bike happy for a long time and the habit will insure you will be aware if something is asque. After initial rides re torque fasteners, clean and lube the chain. Putting your bike up on the rear stand start it engage first gear to get the chain warm this will help the lube to penetrate more freely. I use kerosene for cleaning and I've used Hypo 90 Gear oil for years as lube and find it works very well.It does have throw off so put down rags to catch run off. A good quality Grundge brush is a handy tool for cleaning. A lot of chain lubes are sticky and can cause road grime to adhere to the chain and eventually degrade o rings. Clean rear tire thoroughly afterwards. Residue on the tire can cause unfortunate consequences. At first oil change check for bits in the pan and overall color. The right chain tension is vital as well as rear tire alignment Temperature and riding conditions can hint as to intervals for changing. It may require sooner than later from time to time. Tire pressures are very important for tread life and for yours. I know this is pretty long winded but I love maintenance, it's a zen thing.These are all good practices but probably the best maintenance practice is on ones self. Keep fit, mindful of the world around you, it's dangerous out there, make smart choices and don't fall prey to"watch this" like so many do. Ride your ride, and be the best you. Peace
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Staying on top of regular intervals will keep your bike happy for a long time and the habit will insure you will be aware if something is asque. After initial rides re torque fasteners, clean and lube the chain. Putting your bike up on the rear stand start it engage first gear to get the chain warm this will help the lube to penetrate more freely. I use kerosene for cleaning and I've used Hypo 90 Gear oil for years as lube and find it works very well.It does have throw off so put down rags to catch run off. A good quality Grundge brush is a handy tool for cleaning. A lot of chain lubes are sticky and can cause road grime to adhere to the chain and eventually degrade o rings. Clean rear tire thoroughly afterwards. Residue on the tire can cause unfortunate consequences. At first oil change check for bits in the pan and overall color. The right chain tension is vital as well as rear tire alignment Temperature and riding conditions can hint as to intervals for changing. It may require sooner than later from time to time. Tire pressures are very important for tread life and for yours. I know this is pretty long winded but I love maintenance, it's a zen thing.These are all good practices but probably the best maintenance practice is on ones self. Keep fit, mindful of the world around you, it's dangerous out there, make smart choices and don't fall prey to"watch this" like so many do. Ride your ride, and be the best you. Peace
****! Thank you for your advice! I will do just that! It's my first bike so j wanna keep it as long as possible before upgrading so I wanna keep it mint.

What's your thoughts on using kerosene to clean the lube ? And motul chain paste ?
 

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****! Thank you for your advice! I will do just that! It's my first bike so j wanna keep it as long as possible before upgrading so I wanna keep it mint.

What's your thoughts on using kerosene to clean the lube ? And motul chain paste ?
Kerosene doesn't have distillists or dissolvant properties so it won't affect chain components. It cleans well but does leave a residue so make sure you clean up well afterwards. My experience with lubricants is limited. Try Motul. Nothing to loose there. Peace
 

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Kerosene doesn't have distillists or dissolvant properties so it won't affect chain components. It cleans well but does leave a residue so make sure you clean up well afterwards. My experience with lubricants is limited. Try Motul. Nothing to loose there. Peace
I use kerosene as a cleaner, have done for years. Too much hard bushing with it can eventually get past the O rings and rob your central pins of lube though. Best put on a rag and wipe chain with it.
* Always make sure you spin the rear wheel in the safe direction if you wiping it with a rag so that the rag and your fingers cant get pulled into the rear sprocket.
I learnt this one the hard way, it hurts!
 

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Any words of wisdom on keeping logs other than filling the last couple of pages of the owner manual for DIY maintenance and dates? I am definitely going to the dealer for the 600 mile service this weekend (I have 500 miles on the bike) but tossed the idea of signing up for the prepaid maintenance but the next one at 3800 miles thinking for not doing at the dealership . Not sure about warranty implications . Any thoughts?

Also, do you folks go by the time if you have not reached for example 3800 miles in 6 months - do you still go ahead follow the maintenance schedule?
 

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I must admit that as I have got older and can afford new machinery my maintenance has pretty well come down to regular cleaning, cleaning and lubing the change, and oil and filter changes.


Whilst I have done pretty well most jobs on my bikes over the years, except changing chains and tyres, I prefer to pay my favourite mechanic to do anything involving removing engine covers.


It's certainly a good idea to have a decent selection of tools, and a working knowledge of how things work. I think the reality is that as long as your bikes oil and filter are changed regularly, the chain is cleaned and lubed, and you check all your fluid levels( as well as tyre pressures) you shouldn't have any problems.


Giving your bike a weekly cleaning session also enables you to notice any problems.
 

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Aside from the chain maintenance, I think most people really underestimate the modern motorcycle. Like, the tires aren't going to suddenly go flat, the fuel injection isn't going to fail, the battery is not going to check out, etc.. These are modern vehicles, and many of the rituals are based on 50-year-old-tech....I don't even know why they include tool kits anymore.

Cars don't include tool kits...and they have basically the same components (and more)....but turn in many more miles.
 
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