I own a zzr250 which i bought via Ebay and i just thought i would give a couple of pointers as to what to look out for when buying the zzr250 motorcycle.
In essence there is no difference between the GPX and ZZR 250 models. Both suffer similar problems and both share a myriad of parts.
What to look out for:
- low miliage on a bike of this sort is a must really, unless the seller has evidence of it's maintenance throughout his or her ownership. The 250 normally suffers top end failure after roughly 40K miles. If the vehicle has no service documentation and miliage in excess of 30K then beware or you may find yourself paying through the nose for a top end rebuild - about £500+ dependant upon where you get it done.
- Fairing - fairings for this bike are notoriously expensive and the second you respray it in non-factory colours you can knock 10-20% off the retail price. People would rather buy a bike they know has been in a slide than buy one, resprayed that they don't know what has happened to. Factory plastics in factory colours are expensive so bear that in mind.
- "BEEN STANDING FOR A YEAR OR SO" are words you should generally avoid although i did buy my zzr250 from ebay under these conditions. You will probably have to overhaul the tank, the entire braking system, the forks (seals etc), the carburettors and do a full service on the bike before it will run happily.
- down pipes are expensive to replace unless you get some in good nick off ebay - take good care of them and budget for £80+ if you have to get some from your local scrappy and they are like rocking horse poo so don't expect to find any easily. You can easily get replacement rear silencers, you'll just have to find someone to fabricate some for you if you can't get any originals. Stainless downpipes from predator are £160.
- if you hear TAPPING from the top end of the engine at revs around 3,500+ you will need to have valve clearances done. That'll cost you around £80+, and not all garages will do it as the front 4 valves are irritants - unless you fancy doing it yourself.
- If it's a rattling noise you hear, the chances are the cam chain is either in need of tensioning, or that it's worn out (normally 40k miles dependant upon how it got there). This can be tested by placing a screwdriver on one of the cam chain trensioners and seeing wether you feel vibrations through it in time with the rattling.
- ALWAYS CHECK THAT ALL THE LOCKS WORK! this is the one peice of advice that you should never forget. If they are seized, leave some 10w40 or other motor oil (not 2 stroke) to seep through over an hour or so and it'll unlock most locks.
- Always check the colour of the oil - if it's creamy leave it alone. The head's gone.
- If the bottom end has gone, you'll hear a loud knocking! But an initial knock on startup or when the revs die to 500 or so is not a problem.
- Don't be worried about the bike not sticking to the same idle speed with the choke on. You'll have to play with the choke and have it half on/off to keep the revs at 3K revs or so. If you have it full on, the revs will typically move to around 7K rpms. This is normal, but keep the revs down by adjusting the choke so you don't damage the engine.
- Let it run until it's hot and wait for the fan to kick in. If the temperature goes above 9'o'clock, the fan will start running. If it doesn't, it'll need a new fan switch (£40), or fan (£50 breakers) or the head has gone in which case the oil will be creamy. Run it at 6,000RPM to get it hot if you have to. This way you can also see if there are any oild leaks which are costly to repair on the small engine.My ZZR250 takes about 10 minutes to get up to correct temperature. If yours is faster, the radiator and coolant system will probably need flushing, or if your Rad is rotten inside, a replacement will cost you £50 from a scrappy. IF the bike overheats, the top will blow - quickly. Tale tale signs are overheating, venting coolant and sticking at certain idle speeds.
Some modifications are sensible, others silly. For example, replacing the front end with a KR1-s forks and brakes, braided hoses and uprated fork seals, as well as replacing the airbox with a pair of K&N style air filters is sensible - BUT the presence of these filters will make your bike un-restricatble (i think). So be careful. An aftermarket exhaust can also cause the bike to run lean so make sure the carbs have been tweaked when the owner fitted it.
It is possible, with minor modification to the bracket, to fit a zx9r (C1 or C2) rear shock. Although this is not something i have done i have seen a bike which has had it done and the rear end is about 2 1/2" higher in the air than normal. Better road holding and bound/rebound effects are all benefits of this mod.
Finally, please please please don't get talked intothe buying a vehicle without any V5. If the owner has lost it, they can apply for one themselves, and it would be easier for them to as well. A bike without a V5 being sold anywhere outside of a vehicle auction is a bit of a no-no and i would think twice before i bought a vehicle without a V5.
The ZZR250 is a fun little bike to buzz around on. Mine will do 110 (sorry, 70 mister officer) and will return very good miles to the gallon even on Long journeys (55-60mpg's at 75-80mph). It's nippy, nimble and great for those short in the leg, although i'm over 6' and still fit on it.
It'll carry pillion and bags comfortably without giving you a numb arse, but being an import is going to be expensive when things go wrong. Having said that, it is a very easy bike to work on - although doing a spark plug change can be troublesome due to the depth of the recess in which the plugs are mounted - a minor inconvenience!
If you need to know specifics, or have any concerns about the bike you are buying feel free to email me through ebay's system, or there is a website for zzr owners which you can ask questions on. just go to google and type in zzr-international.
Hope that helps you all.
Happy bidding, and ask the seller as many questions as you can think of. If they skirt around them, walk away, or budget for a lot of work.
I found a garage in plymouth which did valve clearances for me at a cost of £48, which is insanely cheap! Equally, if you have the time (2 hours or so) you can do them yourself at the expense of a set of feeler guages, £5 or less.
Simultaneously, another garage in Plymouth did a fork seal change for £35 (i bought the seals off Ebay)
So shop around and if you find the little guys, in old fashioned workshops, they will normally do a very good price for you.
Now, this will probably get me in trouble with someone but if you go to google and search up ''ninja 250 faq" it will present to you a pdf document which will give you all that you need to know about servicing your bike. I would wager it is fairly similar to what you would get if you paid one of these guys off ebay for a "service manual", but i could be wrong.
If there is any reason why this guide should be unhelpful to you, then please get in touch so that i can update it accordingly.
Thanks all, and safe riding!