How do I remove the fairing, fuel tank, etc?

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Warnings first, AND PAY ATTENTION

1. The bolts that go from the upper fairing into the gas tank are very size-sensitive.

Upper fairing bolt diagram.png Fairing - tank bolt.jpg
We recommend using only OEM Kawasaki bolts in that application. On older bikes, if you used one of the bolts from the bottom in the top fairing hole, you would puncture the tank, making it leak gas and making you replace it. Late-model bikes SHOULD have bolts that are all equal length, but earlier ones had some that were longer than others. Be careful and organized. Certainly don't use anything longer than the OEM length of 6x18.
This is what happens when you put a too-long bolt into your upper fairing and tank:
If you have some fairing bolts that are longer than others, replace them.

2. Keep your plastics well away from your work and walking areas while you have them off your bike. Off the floor, if possible, is the best way. Don't be like one of our members, whose mother ran his over while he was taking a break.

3. Keep everything organized when you take things off your bike. It's very important to put the right fastener/bolt back in the right place. See the article on hardware organization for some hints.

Bar ends

See FAQ article on removing & replacing bar ends.

Body panels removal order

See warning above concerning the upper fairing bolts.

  • Upper fairing: Can be removed first, but shares bolts with the gas tank and lower fairing.
  • Lower fairing: Can be removed first, but shares bolts with the upper fairing.
  • Side panels: Can be removed first.
  • Gas tank: Must remove side panels first. Shares bolts with the upper fairing.
  • Rear fairing/taillight assembly: Independent of everything else. Rarely removed.

If the fasteners holding your body panels on are getting all buggered up, see Replacing body fasteners/bolts.

Lower Fairing

Two screws per side to the upper fairing, one bolt per side near the exhaust header/pipe joint, one bolt in the middle under the radiator.

Upper Fairing

See warning above concerning the upper fairing bolts.

Remove four screws holding lower fairing to upper fairing. One bolt under each mirror (hidden under rubber plugs), two gas tank bolts per side. Disconnect signal light wires from their harnesses. Carefully pull upper off the fairing stay (bracket that also retains the headlight and gauges) and work around the forks.

Reassembly: Note that there are two studs sticking out on the front of the frame, and there is a mating pair of bosses with rubber grommets on the fairing; a common source of frustration is not mating these two up when reattaching the upper fairing. If you're having trouble getting all the holes to match up, you can loosen the bolts that attach your tank to the mounting bracket in the rear, under the seat. Or loosen the four bolts that hold the bracket to the frame. Or both. Notice that some of the holes are slotted (oval), so the tank can move slightly forward or back to join up with the fairing.

You can start the fairing screws, then grab the back of the tank and wiggle it as you pull it back into place to line up with the mounting bracket and/or frame holes, then snug everything up once it is in place.

Side Panels

Remove seat. In case you didn't know, the latch is released by the key on the left side panel, just below the seat.


The side covers are held on by a screw on the bottom near the center of the cover.


One screw each side. Carefully pull from rubber stoppers front and rear.


Fuel Tank


Remove side panels. Turn the petcock to 'off,' pull the petcock vacuum line, then carefully pull the fuel line; a few cc's of fuel will be in the fuel line, so be prepared to pour it into a gas can or something.


The lines should pull off the petcock after you slide the clamp springs down the lines a little. The larger line is the fuel. Put a plug in the line to keep dirt out and fuel in. Shown here is just a small machine screw that fits snugly in the line as shown.


Next, remove the fairing screws from the front of the tank. It is not necessary to remove the upper fairing. See warning above and keep the bolts in order as you remove them.

8fairscrew.jpg 9fairscrew1.jpg

The rear tank bolts and vent line will be removed next. Bend the vent line clip up, and pull the vent tube off of the tank.


Remove the two bolts as shown. The tank mounting plate can stay attached to the frame.


To remove the tank, pull the tank rearward, then up as shown. Be careful if the tank is full. It will be heavy, and sloshing fuel will make the tank unbalanced while moving it. Be careful of the petcock when setting the tank down. It's a good idea to set it on top of a cardboard box, or something else that avoids putting pressure on the petcock.


To drain the fuel tank, see this article.


When replacing the tank, you shouldn't have to remove the fairing. You just grab the front and back of the tank and ease it forward in between the fairing.... and mind your fingers on the back side. It's a little strenuous with a full tank, but not unmanageable.

Make sure you route the tank vent hose correctly to avoid pinching it and stalling your bike.


Reinstall the fuel tank, making sure the lugs on the bottom of the tank engage the bushings on the frame.


Push the tank as far forward as it will go, lining up the fairing and rear bracket bolt holes.


Install the fairing screws. The longer screws go in the lower holes (if applicable). Replace the rear tank bolts, and reconnect the vent, fuel and vacuum lines.

Turn the petcock back to "on" and start the bike.


Remove side panels. One bolt each side, four bolts underneath, bungee hook bolts must also come out. There is no need to remove the grab bar. Disconnect wiring harness, pull and stretch to reach over the key lock.

Front fender

Two bolts on each side of the tire. With a little patience, you can remove/replace the fender without dropping the wheel, even with 90-profile tires.