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Old 04-17-2014, 11:40 PM   #1
Stella
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Question Champion Spark Plugs in a Ninja 250

So earlier this week, I made my Introduction and Question post in the Introduction Forum...since then I've been doing some research and finally got to get outside and do some troubleshooting on the Ninja today...

Before I go on, I just want to say that during that research, I found an article about NOT using Champion Spark Plugs in a Ninja...and what can happen if you do. This is an excerpt from that article:
"What happens to the plugs is that as you ride the bike at higher speeds the plugs get hot, and the center electrode melts away, since it can't shed off the excessive amount of heat. Eventually there's no electrode, the bike starts to misfire, and you get stuck on the side of the road. If you're lucky."
So...I put on my mechanics gloves and got to work...and what do I find? Not one but TWO Champion sparkplugs in my engine! And the first one that I took out (left side), the electrode is melted to halfway down the threads...and the other one, the electrode is snow white!!!....

Now, just as a reminder, my son was on his way home on the highway when the bike just started decelerating until it died...and THEN he noticed the GLOWING RED header pipes...No advance warning. No warning lights, NOTHING. It just died and hasn't run since!!!

So now, my question is this: Has anyone else heard of this problem with Champion sparkplugs in any sports bike? ...And would this cause the header pipes to get so hot that they glow?


I found some other minor problems also, but I think I'll leave that for another post...for now I am focusing on this sparkplug dilemma and answering the questions that were posted in my Intro thread...

El Pachuco suggested that I start with the sniff test of the engines oil...which I did: it smells like gas....I even got a second opinion from my son, and he said it smells like gas... so ...what does that mean? Is it more than just the sparkplug issue?

bumblebee asked for more details on it overheating so here goes:
Glowing Red Header Pipes...My son used my 2007 Ninja 250 the other night for a maybe 20 mile round trip ride...the bike sat at his aunts house while they took her car to get dinner...on his way home my bike just started decelerating and stalled on the freeway about a mile from our house...of course he called me and I went to rescue him...when i got there, he explained to me what happened and told me that the pipes coming from the headers were GLOWING RED when the bike first stalled out...we tried to get it restarted, and actually did twice...but both times as soon as we got into second gear it would just stall...we finally got it off the freeway and into a gas station...figuring it had overheated, we let it cool down for about 30-45 mins...then tried to start it again...on about the third attempt...a small fire ignited near the RT side carb...it went out quickly but at that point we just decided to walk it home and park it.
So that's the background on it over heating; in four months of owning it, this is the first time (and hopefully the last) it has overheated.

Well? ...just want to say thanks in advance for any responses/suggestions and I hope to hear from y'all soon.
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:48 PM   #2
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Why didn't you just put NGK plugs in the motor to begin with? I wouldn't put a champion plug in my lawn mower
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Old 04-18-2014, 12:50 AM   #3
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Change the plugs and change the oil. Should fix it. The header was probably glowing from raw fuel burning off in the pipe since it wasn't being ignited by the plug. Also would explain the gas on the oil.
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Old 04-18-2014, 07:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewave18 View Post
Change the plugs and change the oil. Should fix it. The header was probably glowing from raw fuel burning off in the pipe since it wasn't being ignited by the plug. Also would explain the gas on the oil.
What he said.
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Old 04-18-2014, 08:00 AM   #5
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agreed with above, change oil, change plugs and keep fingers crossed. I'd bet its a happier ninja
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Old 04-18-2014, 08:12 AM   #6
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oh and how many miles are on the 250? If you have say 6-7k on it it might could use a valve check/adjustment.
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Old 04-19-2014, 04:12 PM   #7
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SO!...I reconnected airbox boots...I changed out the spark plugs...reconnected the fuel tank...connected a fully charged battery....and hit the starter button!!!!....what happened? absolutely positively NOTHING!!!!!!

The starter just spins....I guess it's not engaging the engine, cause the engine isn't even trying to spin...all the starter does is spin...SO NOW WHAT THE EFF IS THE PROBLEM. I'm not yelling at anyone in particular I'm just upset that my new to me bike won't start...this is really frustrating!!!

Any suggestions?

Please...anyone...
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Old 04-19-2014, 04:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stella View Post
SO!...I reconnected airbox boots...I changed out the spark plugs...reconnected the fuel tank...connected a fully charged battery....and hit the starter button!!!!....what happened? absolutely positively NOTHING!!!!!!

The starter just spins....I guess it's not engaging the engine, cause the engine isn't even trying to spin...all the starter does is spin...SO NOW WHAT THE EFF IS THE PROBLEM. I'm not yelling at anyone in particular I'm just upset that my new to me bike won't start...this is really frustrating!!!

Any suggestions?

Please...anyone...
dumb question...did you reconnect the spark plug wires?

//EDIT//

Nvm: didnt read the last part...
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Old 04-21-2014, 01:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stella View Post
SO!...I reconnected airbox boots...I changed out the spark plugs...reconnected the fuel tank...connected a fully charged battery....and hit the starter button!!!!....what happened? absolutely positively NOTHING!!!!!!

The starter just spins....I guess it's not engaging the engine, cause the engine isn't even trying to spin...all the starter does is spin...SO NOW WHAT THE EFF IS THE PROBLEM. I'm not yelling at anyone in particular I'm just upset that my new to me bike won't start...this is really frustrating!!!

Any suggestions?

Please...anyone...
you have a PM.
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Old 05-05-2014, 04:04 PM   #10
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Hey Stella, it's Peter from the track. I hope your ankle is okay.

No one has mentioned it, but it sounds as if your bike is running lean, aka, not enough fuel in the mixture causing it to have a very high combustion temperature. This won't necessarily mean it will overheat, because your water cooling system will fight very hard to resist overheating. But it will turn your headers red hot and over time hurt internal engine components. This is a symptom of a partially clogged carb which happens when bikes sit and fuel evaporates from the carb leaving deposits behind.
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