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Discussion Starter #1
I am close to needing this service done. (10k km/ 7.6k mile for future users to find this thread). Checking the engine vac sync and fuel system are entirely out of my level of expertise, as I am a worthless millennial and have no experience working on bikes except routine stuff.

What is a reasonable cost for the service? Looks like the only thing that's ordered to be replaced is the spark plug, which it sounds like I do not need to have replaced yet, and the oil&filter, which I changed at 5k miles. So it would just be inspection.
 

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For throttle bodies since it's not a total tear down like trying to get to valves, I would estimate 3hrs labor and $50-100 in parts if you do the full 7.5k service. Going rate in my area is 120/hr labor so I would be looking at $460 for the full 7.5k service. Anything from 70-140 can be reasonable shop rates, ask around in your area.

Honestly though I wouldn't worry about the throttle bodies at 7.5k service. You need a lemon for those to be screwed up that early. I would just wrap it into your first valve service since they'll be right there. Same with spark plugs, just do them when you have to go at the valves. They're not too horrible to get at, but it's a full day job if you're a cautious first timer. The OG spark plugs are rated for a much longer life than the manual gives credit for, although I wouldn't test them to the absolute life limit.

So that just leaves you with the air filter and oil/oil filter at 7.5k. Easy peasy. Remember to also check your chain tension.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
For throttle bodies since it's not a total tear down like trying to get to valves, I would estimate 3hrs labor and $50-100 in parts if you do the full 7.5k service. Going rate in my area is 120/hr labor so I would be looking at $460 for the full 7.5k service. Anything from 70-140 can be reasonable shop rates, ask around in your area.

Honestly though I wouldn't worry about the throttle bodies at 7.5k service. You need a lemon for those to be screwed up that early. I would just wrap it into your first valve service since they'll be right there. Same with spark plugs, just do them when you have to go at the valves. They're not too horrible to get at, but it's a full day job if you're a cautious first timer. The OG spark plugs are rated for a much longer life than the manual gives credit for, although I wouldn't test them to the absolute life limit.

So that just leaves you with the air filter and oil/oil filter at 7.5k. Easy peasy. Remember to also check your chain tension.
Thank you. I am going to skip the spark plugs for now. How long does the stock air filter last? I am thinking I probably could hold off on replacing it for now. Its a 2019 so not old.
 

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Having put a fair number of miles on 2 Ninjas I recommend that unless you have something noticeably wrong with it, wait until 25k miles for your first service. That's worked for me. If the sync is out enough to matter you typically get a lopey idle. So far, even at 50k miles I haven't even had a valve drift out of spec on either of the prior Ninjas. My '18 just has 12k miles on it so no worries. At the 50k service on the '14 Ninja the shop indicated the sync had drifted out of spec and they adjusted it.
I replaced the stock air filter with a K&N at the 25k mile service and then clean it once a year (~15k-20k miles). Not a lot of bad air where I live, however. YMMV.
Here, getting everything done at once: valves, sync, hydraulic fluid replaced, plugs, etc. is about $1,000. :(
Oh, and I'm a worthless boomer who usetacould do my own wrenching but now I'd rather just ride. Well, tires and chains and brakes and oil are work enough. Gotta keep the dealer in business somehow.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Having put a fair number of miles on 2 Ninjas I recommend that unless you have something noticeably wrong with it, wait until 25k miles for your first service. That's worked for me. If the sync is out enough to matter you typically get a lopey idle. So far, even at 50k miles I haven't even had a valve drift out of spec on either of the prior Ninjas. My '18 just has 12k miles on it so no worries. At the 50k service on the '14 Ninja the shop indicated the sync had drifted out of spec and they adjusted it.
I replaced the stock air filter with a K&N at the 25k mile service and then clean it once a year (~15k-20k miles). Not a lot of bad air where I live, however. YMMV.
Here, getting everything done at once: valves, sync, hydraulic fluid replaced, plugs, etc. is about $1,000. :(
Oh, and I'm a worthless boomer who usetacould do my own wrenching but now I'd rather just ride. Well, tires and chains and brakes and oil are work enough. Gotta keep the dealer in business somehow.
Good to hear. I like minimal maintenance. Hopefully those intervals carry over to the other Kawis!
Well if it makes you feel any better I'm a worthless soylennial who can't even name all the parts on my bike let alone fix any of it 🙃
Not like it matters much on a bike that won't even let you do a sprocket change lol.
 

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Thank you. I am going to skip the spark plugs for now. How long does the stock air filter last? I am thinking I probably could hold off on replacing it for now. Its a 2019 so not old.
I first laid eyes on my air filter at 10k. It was pretty gross, but I also had a mice infestation so lots of gifts left by them. The air filter is pretty simple to get to so I would just stick with the schedule more or less. For valves, spark plugs, and throttle bodies I would wait until 15-20k. The Euro manual says do valves at 25k, US/CAD manual says 15k; split the difference. They may be perfect, they may be out of whack. It's a crapshoot. Full valve job service with spark plugs, filter, oil, throttle bodies will run you $1k or so.
 
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The spark plugs we use, for this bike, are not a motorcycle specific spark plug. You can buy them at Auto Zone. For this reason, the manufacture gives you a worst case scenario on when to replace them. Kawasaki is telling you that you will not have spark plug issues if you replace them at 7500 miles. They are concerned with electrodes vibrating and falling off. A high end, specific spark plug has hand welded electrodes and they cost 45.00, each. Ours are 10.00. Also, seriously old plugs can be difficult to remove without damaging a head.

Can you run them for more miles? Of course you can. You can do that with most, if not all items on the list. At that point you'll have to decide if you want to chance having to react to some if the items, or prevent them from going bad. The valve adjustment interval is different than the uk bikes. That sounds relevant, but the uk bikes are under different emissions rules, their fuel is different, their stock fuel mapping is different, so it isnt a perfect comparison.

Your air filter really isnt a time/distance thing. You can plug one in a few hours under the wrong conditions. These bikes have a ram air system. That means any bugs, leaves, or dirt gets rammed right into the air filter. You have to look. At that point, a person feels like a real douche if you dont have a spare to drop in. It might not need it, but it resets the replacement clock.

If you go through the list and eliminate the air filter and plugs. I'm not sure what's accomplished.

Most shops wont do the work if you start eliminating items from the list, for obvious reasons. They are havi g to stand behind a warranty claim and have not followed the required maintenance list.

On the earlier bikes that dont have the slipper clutch, I would *** a clutch cable to the list. They are not expensive unless you break on out on the ride.

If you do coolant changes and brake fluid changes, Way, WAY, early, that's where it's at. You spend about 4.00 for brake fluid and 12 for coolant. You never have to worry about doing an amazing job because you'll flush it again in 12 months.

I'm all for you doing as much as you can do. The reason is, you will find something or learn something that having a shop do the work misses.
 

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We've had this discussion before but...

On the flip side, every time you take something apart and put it back together there is wear and tear on the fasteners and a finite chance I (or any mechanic) will screw something up. I would posit, (with no statistical evidence at all) for plugs in particular, that the odds of some kind of failure are greater replacing the plugs 3 times @ 7500 miles vs once at 25k miles. Every time it's done all the plastic is being removed with it's little hooks and plugs and screws, flexing and straining all the hoses and wires needed to move to lift the tank, removing and replacing all the screws for the airbox, bending and stretching the wires and connector to the stick coils as they are removed and replaced and, of course, getting the plugs themselves out and back in without stripping or cross threading anything. Thinking back to issues I've had over the years, 80+ percent of them have been immediately after some kind of service. It's why I don't do maintenance immediately before taking off on a long trip.

I agree that folks should have a working knowledge of what they're riding/driving and should be able to fix minor issues. You need to get in there now and then. At the same time, the Kawasaki/Yamaha/Suzuki dealership I get my major services done told me the overwhelming amount of REPAIR service they do on Japanese machinery is fixing something an owner broke. So be careful in there.
 
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For sure a person needs to be competent to do the job, thats a given, isnt it? The factory gave you a distance limit on the plugs.

There might be all kinds of excuses as to why we should not change them. Valve adjustments too. The valve adjustment is rarely needed, its expensive and time consuming. Many things can go wrong. People forget to put oil back in. Should that be skipped, too?

It is a thinking error when an excuse gets used in place of a service requirement.

Spark plugs rarely fail, and the excuses work...almost always. That doesnt help much if you are the guy who has problems. Also, theres not a lot of money to be saved here. 40.00 will buy a full set. 60 if you dont shop around. The bikes toolkit has the spark plug tool included. It works better thqn anything you can buy.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
We've had this discussion before but...

On the flip side, every time you take something apart and put it back together there is wear and tear on the fasteners and a finite chance I (or any mechanic) will screw something up. I would posit, (with no statistical evidence at all) for plugs in particular, that the odds of some kind of failure are greater replacing the plugs 3 times @ 7500 miles vs once at 25k miles. Every time it's done all the plastic is being removed with it's little hooks and plugs and screws, flexing and straining all the hoses and wires needed to move to lift the tank, removing and replacing all the screws for the airbox, bending and stretching the wires and connector to the stick coils as they are removed and replaced and, of course, getting the plugs themselves out and back in without stripping or cross threading anything. Thinking back to issues I've had over the years, 80+ percent of them have been immediately after some kind of service. It's why I don't do maintenance immediately before taking off on a long trip.

I agree that folks should have a working knowledge of what they're riding/driving and should be able to fix minor issues. You need to get in there now and then. At the same time, the Kawasaki/Yamaha/Suzuki dealership I get my major services done told me the overwhelming amount of REPAIR service they do on Japanese machinery is fixing something an owner broke. So be careful in there.
How is changing the spark plugs yourself like? It looks like you take off the fairings and tank, and the air filter system, then go in DEEP to remove and replace the spark plugs. Not too bad BUT: I'm concerned I might mess up the airbox by not reassembling the wires and tubes properly, or not putting the spark plugs on right. But, I would prefer to do it myself since the dealership said it would be $300 parts and labor for a spark plug change. And it looks like all you need are a set of $40 plugs and a few wrenches.
 

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With regards to plugs, Kenors is 100% correct. They will last a lot longer than 7500 . Really, there is no reason to change them other than you are supposed to (manual). We might not have any evidence as to why, but someone did. Was it just an emissions related thing? Who knows? I dont mind removing mine, on occasion.

It's worth remembering that ngk has two plugs that sound similar. They have a normal, "Iridium" as well as a "laser Iridium" . The Laser version is more expensive and is supposed to be better and longer lasting. Maybe its not a big deal if you are changing them at 7500, but I always buy the expensive ones. The laser version is a few dolars more. It's part number is CR9EIA-9. The lower cost version is CR9EIX-9. It's best to avoid buying these on Amazon as the sometimes have fake versions. The kawasaki dealer will charge double if what my local Auto Zone sells them for. My NAPA parts store stocks the cr9eia-9. They are 10-11 dollars each. I wouldnt buy anything except NGK. Despite what the advertisements say, there is no magic spark plug.

If you want to change them, this is the procedure.


You can see that the airbox isnt really complicated. There isnt much more than 1 large hose, one small hose and a plug.

The worst part of the job is sliding the airbox back on to the throttle bodies. Even that isnt bad. Just line it up, properly.

What else? Make sure you dont drop anything into the throttle body.

You will be able to see how this service all flows together. You are already screwing with the airbox, so it's a good time to do the filter.
 

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As far as spark plug install goes, the most common error is cross threading one. This often times happens when they have been left in for a long time. Especially on bikes that get power washed by ocd people. When these old plugs are removed, they can damage the threads. Your machine is new enough to where this wont be an issue.

You will hear a "pop" when the plug breaks lose. These plugs are long, so it takes several turns to get them out. Il bet you make 10 complete revolutions with the tool. Lots of threads. Once broken loose, you should be able to turn the tool with finger pressure.

Assembly is strange because you cant see what you are doing. Like you said, the word "deep" comes to mind. With plugs, ALWAYS start them with your fingers. The tool has a rubber insert that will hold the plug in place.

Be easy with them. Set it down into the hole. I turn the backwards a few turns. This lines it up. At that point, screw it in until it stops. Finger pressure is usually enough. After that, put your handle on the plug tool. Figure another 1/2 turn to smash the plug gasket. That's it. Repeat 3 more times.
 

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I use a 6 inch section of tubing for changing plugs and small light bulbs. Once i break the plug loose, the tube should fit snug over the plug, turn and pull up to remove. Installation is easy to get finger tight and not crossthreaded, then finish with a socket and extension or the oem tool. And if you do enough work on your own you will invariably screw up sometime.....
 

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Discussion Starter #14
With regards to plugs, Kenors is 100% correct. They will last a lot longer than 7500 . Really, there is no reason to change them other than you are supposed to (manual). We might not have any evidence as to why, but someone did. Was it just an emissions related thing? Who knows? I dont mind removing mine, on occasion.

It's worth remembering that ngk has two plugs that sound similar. They have a normal, "Iridium" as well as a "laser Iridium" . The Laser version is more expensive and is supposed to be better and longer lasting. Maybe its not a big deal if you are changing them at 7500, but I always buy the expensive ones. The laser version is a few dolars more. It's part number is CR9EIA-9. The lower cost version is CR9EIX-9. It's best to avoid buying these on Amazon as the sometimes have fake versions. The kawasaki dealer will charge double if what my local Auto Zone sells them for. My NAPA parts store stocks the cr9eia-9. They are 10-11 dollars each. I wouldnt buy anything except NGK. Despite what the advertisements say, there is no magic spark plug.

If you want to change them, this is the procedure.


You can see that the airbox isnt really complicated. There isnt much more than 1 large hose, one small hose and a plug.

The worst part of the job is sliding the airbox back on to the throttle bodies. Even that isnt bad. Just line it up, properly.

What else? Make sure you dont drop anything into the throttle body.

You will be able to see how this service all flows together. You are already screwing with the airbox, so it's a good time to do the filter.
Thanks. Another question: how empty does the gas tank have to be before I work on the air filter or spark pkug replacement? The guys just use a bungee cord to hold up the tank in the videos I've seen.
 

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How is changing the spark plugs yourself like? It looks like you take off the fairings and tank, and the air filter system, then go in DEEP to remove and replace the spark plugs. Not too bad BUT: I'm concerned I might mess up the airbox by not reassembling the wires and tubes properly, or not putting the spark plugs on right. But, I would prefer to do it myself since the dealership said it would be $300 parts and labor for a spark plug change. And it looks like all you need are a set of $40 plugs and a few wrenches.
It's not really too difficult but, to me, pulling everything apart but you end up touching a lot of pieces and everything you touch/move is subject stress. Plenty of fairing pieces to scratch/break, screws to drop, wires to bend, hoses to stretch and kink when you raise/lower the tank. It's a good exercise to know how to do but not something to do just for fun.
Maybe the biggest reason is I don't want to be taking the bike apart 3 times a year. Once a year is enough.

I generally run the bike to reserve when I'm doing this kind of service but anything below half a tank should be fine. Gas is heavy and I'm more concerned with weight than leakage. Besides, it's good excuse to take another run at my favorite 100 mile short loop. "Too much gas in the tank, I have to go for another ride." :)
I used to always just use a stick to prop the tank but it can get in the way and is subject to bumping so now I use a short piece of rope.

By the way RC, have you ever read about the difference between A & Z NGK plugs? From the NGK website:
"These two plugs perform similarly, due to their fine-wire tip design, but the service interval is different; the Laser Series are typically designed to last 80 to 100 thousand miles, where as the Iridium IX® spark plugs are designed to last 40 to 50 thousand miles." Now that I've seen that, I may get a set of Laser iridiums and never change them again! Heck, the plugs in my 2002 Chevy pickup have 160k miles on them and I doubt they're even iridiums.

Have we beat this subject to death yet?
 
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I know we have beaten the topic to death, but so what? We woukdnt have anything to talk about if we focused on bike problems or needed repairs.

Kenors, that's what I was saying with the ngk plugs and how those two sound the same. Almost the same part number. But, if you order the wrong one, it ends up being a downgrade vs the original plug. I'm 100% sure it doesnt matter, but it would be, on paper.

Our bikes , and our plugs use the higher end Laser series. That's what you would get if you ordered them from Kawasaki. So the 7500 miles is based on that good plug, in the first place. Back in 2011, when this plug was spaced, the "Laser Iridium" was NGK's best plug.

They have another plug called "Ruthenium". It might be spelled wrong, but this plus is supposed to be even better. I'm not sure it's available in the correct size we use. Well, it looks like it is available. It wasnt when I changed mine.

If you were looking for a forever plug, I would use this one. Webike Japan has it. It doesnt appear to be available in the usa yet.

CR9EDX-S

 

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Thanks. Another question: how empty does the gas tank have to be before I work on the air filter or spark pkug replacement? The guys just use a bungee cord to hold up the tank in the videos I've seen.
Depends how much weight you want to lift and hold with a bungee cord or a post. Generally I have it at half or less. But it doesn’t really matter
 

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<< snip >> It's part number is CR9EIA-9. The lower cost version is CR9EIX-9. My NAPA parts store stocks the CR9EIA-9. They are $10-$11 dollars each.
For our Aussie members, the Repco has the CR9EIA-9 at $43 each, while SuperCheapAuto has the CR9EIX-9 are $29 each (Australian Dollars).

An on-line supplier (www.sparesbox.com.au) has them for $20 & $18 each respectively.

Let your fingers do the shopping . . . .
 

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I usually just remove the fuel tank from the bike when changing plugs. It only requires removing a couple hoses, the fuel union and the fuel pump connection and it gets the tank completely out of the way. Makes working on the bike easier.

To the original post, (Engergydrinkvap). Having the factory service manual handy makes the job easier the first time. Some prefer to use an online version. I have a hard copy on my work bench. Set aside plenty of time, go step by step and consider taking pics with your phone as you disassemble. That can help you when you reassemble. You can do this!!
 
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