Help! - Handle conversion for Ninja 250 Street Tracker project.
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Help! - Handle conversion for Ninja 250 Street Tracker project.

This is a discussion on Help! - Handle conversion for Ninja 250 Street Tracker project. within the Technical forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; Project Bike: 2004 Kawasaki Ninja 250R Projected End Result: Currently aiming for a Street Tracker Build Hey everyone! In the conceptualization/research & planning stage of ...

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Thread: Help! - Handle conversion for Ninja 250 Street Tracker project.

  1. #1
    Junior Member ninjabraap's Avatar
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    Help! - Handle conversion for Ninja 250 Street Tracker project.

    Project Bike: 2004 Kawasaki Ninja 250R
    Projected End Result: Currently aiming for a Street Tracker Build

    Hey everyone!

    In the conceptualization/research & planning stage of building a street tracker Ninja 250. Started with a non-running bike, completely rebuilt and re-jetted the carbs, got the bike running, tuned up the bike and carbs, runs beautifully now, so now I'm researching and planning before I move forward with customizing the bike at all. At first I was thinking Cafe Racer, as I've always wanted to build one, but after researching further, I decided the frame work required was out of my budget, and just overly extensive for a first project. While I haven't thrown out Cafe Racer as an option (still early), I'm thinking I like the idea of a Street Tracker just as much, and it would make more sense design wise.

    That being said, one of the most annoying parts of the Ninja 250, is the shitty design of handle bars. For one it doesn't allow for much customization or change, as it's pretty unique to the Ninja 250 all across the board. Since I'm planning in the direction of a street tracker, I need to be able to equip it with one-piece upright handlebars in order for it to be accurate to the style.

    With this in mind, I've been looking for options for either an aftermarket top triple tree for the Ninja 250 (none found as of yet), or swapping for a compatible top triple tree or entire triple tree that will accommodate the right style of handlebars. I'd like to save money, so instead of replacing the forks as well, I'd like to use the stock 36MM forks I have already as they're in great shape anyway. I've looked at other bike triple trees that are 36MM, and come up with a few, but without seeing them, I don't know if they be swappable.

    The two triple trees I'm currently looking are both Kawasaki, and both 36MM. They are a 1979 KX-125 Triple, and 2004 KX-85 Triple. Wondering if anyone knows if these would be swappable, or if they know of any other options that would accomplish what I'm looking to do.

    Thank you for your help!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjabraap View Post

    Hey everyone!

    In the conceptualization/research & planning stage of building
    Stop trying to be wordy. Seriously, I write freaking novels on this site and even I thought this was unnecessary.


    At first I was thinking Cafe Racer, as I've always wanted to build one, but after researching further, I decided the frame work required was out of my budget, and just overly extensive for a first project. While I haven't thrown out Cafe Racer as an option (still early), I'm thinking I like the idea of a Street Tracker just as much, and it would make more sense design wise.
    Explain this? Assuming your definition of cafe racer and street tracker is whatever pipeburn and BikeEXIF has shat out in the last year or so....how is one different from the other?

    That being said, one of the most annoying parts of the Ninja 250, is the shitty design of handle bars.
    Really? that is the most annoying part?

    For one it doesn't allow for much customization or change, as it's pretty unique to the Ninja 250 all across the board. Since I'm planning in the direction of a street tracker, I need to be able to equip it with one-piece upright handlebars in order for it to be accurate to the style.
    Custom is only limited by your fabrication abilities. The simple solution is to just make a new top clamp that uses bolt on handle bar mounts, but that requires access to raw aluminum, a band saw, and precise measurement tools. If you are bolt on kind of guy you should probably set up that expectation up front.

    Also why are you refering to it as a style? are you one of these people that doesn't understand that things on a motorcycle are shaped the way they are for a specific function?

    With this in mind, I've been looking for options for either an aftermarket top triple tree for the Ninja 250 (none found as of yet), or swapping for a compatible top triple tree or entire triple tree that will accommodate the right style of handlebars. I'd like to save money, so instead of replacing the forks as well, I'd like to use the stock 36MM forks I have already as they're in great shape anyway. I've looked at other bike triple trees that are 36MM, and come up with a few, but without seeing them, I don't know if they be swappable.
    bam there it is ...you are a bolt on kind of guy. It's ok, I am one two...but I generally then try to buy bikes that have bolt on solutions so I am not having to reinvent the wheel.

    Also if you are writing a tech question you should probably state the model year of the bike.




    The two triple trees I'm currently looking are both Kawasaki, and both 36MM. They are a 1979 KX-125 Triple, and 2004 KX-85 Triple. Wondering if anyone knows if these would be swappable, or if they know of any other options that would accomplish what I'm looking to do.
    No. Nobody knows if those are swappable. And by the way, it's easy to see that someone hasn't looked at the list of bikes that have a 36mm fork size because just about ever kawaski big bike from 1975 to 1990 used 36mm forks. Seriously, all the big KZ900s, etc...

    Anyway, here is where I teach you how to fish:

    You need to take the following measurements off your existing forks
    - fork spacing (width between the tube centers)
    - Offset from the center stem (how far the center of the fork is from the center of the stem)
    - Rake of the trees (how far forward or back the lower tree is from the upper and the difference in the angle of the forks from the angle of the stem).
    - Stem diameter
    - stem height above the top clamp

    Once you have those measurements you can then figure out what bikes have the same measurements but either measuring those other bikes, or asking sellers on eBay selling the top clamps you want to measure for you.
    thechief86 likes this.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member hillsy's Avatar
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    Just get some bar mounts welded onto the Ninja top clamp. Job done and will probably only cost you $50 or so.

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  5. #4
    Junior Member ninjabraap's Avatar
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    Hey Geeto67!

    Read some of your comments, and granted you seem to have a pretty harsh humor, however you're really mean to newbs, like me, who are just trying to get started. We all start somewhere man, you must've been in the military or something.

    Any way, I did post the model and year of the bike specifically at the top of my post, and I did look over a list of bike diameters Fork tube Diameters list to try and find something that would be close to mine.

    That being said, you're right I'm a bit wordy, to each his own, I need to work on it.
    I still have yet to measure all the said things:
    "You need to take the following measurements off your existing forks
    - fork spacing (width between the tube centers)
    - Offset from the center stem (how far the center of the fork is from the center of the stem)
    - Rake of the trees (how far forward or back the lower tree is from the upper and the difference in the angle of the forks from the angle of the stem).
    - Stem diameter
    - stem height above the top clamp"

    I did realize this, but thank you for the advice, it reminded me of somethings I had forgot I needed, as well as one that I hadn't thought of.

    Last, this was mostly to get ideas that maybe I hadn't thought of from others with more experience. I'm researching and taking my time and trying to figure out things that I've never done before, so admittedly there will be some blunders and misconceptions while trying to learn, it's how life works.

    Thank you for the advice though!
    Last edited by ninjabraap; 05-18-2016 at 06:14 PM.

  6. #5
    Junior Member ninjabraap's Avatar
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    Hey Hillsy! That's actually something I hadn't thought of!

    Thanks for the advice! I'm definitely going to look into that. My only concern is the overall aesthetic of top triple tree plate then, but I may be able to circumvent that cheaper too.

  7. #6
    Senior Member thechief86's Avatar
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    I set up a 92 ninja 250 to take 7/8ths bars. All I did was buy some handlebar mounts and drilled some holes where they needed to go, and bolted the shit up. Then I took some aluminum plate and made some neat little bolt on inserts to cover up where the stock bars were, bolted with the existing bolt holes.
    My 92 had been wrecked, and I got it for free, running but with fucked plastics, so it ended up with 7/8ths bars, a round headlight, and the stock tank and tail section. I put a ton of miles on this bike, then sold a couple of times, got it back, rode it some more, then finally sold to some military dude who rode it from Nashville, TN to Boulder, CO, and called when he got there to tell me thanks for a great deal on the dependable bike.
    Wish I still had it sometimes, in all its slow-ass 80 mpg glory....
    It ain't easy bein' fat and greasy.

  8. #7
    Senior Member hillsy's Avatar
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    I bolted some clamps on my fighter as well:



    Had some plate underneath and it was pretty solid.

    I think he'd be better off welding up some mounts on a Ninja bracket though:



    Would probably look a bit tidier with the weld filling in the "gaps"
    thechief86 likes this.

  9. #8
    Junior Member ninjabraap's Avatar
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    haha I feel ya thechief86! Ninja 250s are surprisingly endearing, and fun. Ninja's are kinda my thing though lol. After Hillsy's suggestion I looked around at just handlebar mounts, and came up with the same idea you did. That's definetely the direction I'm going with this project, although I'll probably do some vacuum molding and a custom seat to get the tracker aesthetic going. Too bad you don't have a photo of that old 250...

  10. #9
    Junior Member ninjabraap's Avatar
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    Pretty clean fighter there Hillsy! Is that the ZZR600? Yeah Probably going to drill and mount handlebar holders and weld it. Then make some block of plates for the "holes" that'll be left over from the old bars. After sanding and powder coating it should come out nice.

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