I want to make my bike into a streetfighter
What is a streetfighter?
A streetfighter is a motorcycle that has been modified from the original, usually because it's been wrecked and the owner either didn't have the funds or didn't want to restore it to stock condition. What you end up with is a custom bike, usually one that doesn't look like any other. A streetfighter can be good and beautiful, ugly and full of attitude, or just plain ugly. Imagination is the only limiting factor when it comes to making a streetfighter, that and some cash, which is why most streetfighters fall into the second or third categories.
These shots show the progression of the streetfighter. They're not all EX250's, but you get the point. On the left is your basic '03, fully-faired stock bike. Next is the "wrecked, put back together enough to ride" concept. Right center is the Frankenstein/nearly-rat-bike look, followed by minimalistic 'frame & guts'. The final picture is what Jim Race calls "when streetfighters go wrong".
Ninja 250 streetfighter mini-gallery
So, you mean a naked bike?
Actually, it's more appropriate to call bikes naked if they were born naked. In other words, naked bikes come from the factory without fairings. They are standard, regular motorcycles. Should you want to, there's no reason why your EX250 can't look like one, too.
How, then, do I make a streetfighter?
It's very easy, really. Just start taking bits off your bike, until you get to the point where everything you don't want on there is off. Then, you can start replacing them with different bits, as fits your whim and budget. A couple trips to the bike shop, a few cans of paint, some mouse clicks, and you'll have a unique bike, which is part of the charm of a streetfighter.
Or, you could end up with what is affectionately termed a "rat bike".
OK. I want to make a streetfighter. Where do I look for parts and stuff?
Browsing your local shops and motorcycle junkyards is a good place to start. You might find something you like at a price you can afford. eBay is another option. Searching "motorcycle accessories" will give you ideas for several bikes' worth of mods. If you're looking for something specific to the Ninja, the usual search string is ( Ninja 250, EX 250, EX250 ), including the parentheses. But you'll probably want something with a universal fit, so spend some time looking around, planning, and dreaming.
The main things that need to be taken care of are headlight, front turn signals, gauges, and mirrors. There are plenty of places to spend a lot of money on headlights, but you can get by with a universal 7" light that clamps on your forks. You'll probably need to buy the wiring connector and bulb or H4 conversion separately. If you care about being strictly legal, make sure you get one that is DOT approved. There are two choices for mirrors: Universal bar-mounts or bar-end mirrors. See the mirror alternatives page.
Hints & Tips: Streetfighter
Streetfighter builder shopping guide
Some of these places (only some) are wildly expensive, but this list is generally directed toward the thrifty 250 owner. Shop well and allow plenty of time.
EMGO Their Filter-Mirror Catalog is especially useful.
Bikemaster EMGO and Bikemaster are usually sold at shops, but you can find some of their products online (especially on eBay). Both are major players in aftermarket parts & accessories.
Buster's Motorcycle Accessories
Fairings for 7" headlights
Air Tech vintage fairings, seats, tanks and windscreens
Emgo makes a nice bikini/cafe fairing. They only sell through dealers, but you can usually find several to choose from by searching 'cafe fairing' on eBay. It is sold under the name of Viper, but many places won't tell you exactly who makes it.
To find additional fairing choices, search terms can include 'bikini fairing', 'flyscreen', 'headlight cowl', 'handlebar fairing', 'cafe fairing', and 'fairings for naked bikes'.
For a more modern look, you can get a fairing/headlight combo.
Fly N Cycle carries several brands. If you're looking for quality, this may not be the way to go.
Acerbis is a popular choice.
Search 'fairing' and 'headlight fairing', and don't forget eBay.
The Emgo catalog is a good place to start. Get cozy in your dealer's showroom and see if there's something that does it for you. While you're there, take a look at the Lockhart-Phillips catalog as well, or look it up online. It's in .pdf, and does take a bit of getting used to. Bikemaster, at online stores or your local dealer, sells many of the same styles as Lockhart-Phillips.
Note that if you get LED signals, you'll need to make some modifications to get them to work.
Here are some additional ideas:
PowerSports Network has several pages.
Custom Wizard also has many pages.
D2MOTO has quite a few different signals on their site.
Dennis Kirk carries many different signals.
JC Whitney may have what you're looking for. They do have the saving grace of being cheap.
K&S Technologies makes many OEM replacement signals. Be careful of the mounting method, as many are different. Sold through shops.
When it comes time to search eBay for signals, you are going to have to be a little creative with your search string. There are thousands of OEM lights for dozens of different brands. You should end up with something that looks like 'turn signals -Harley, -Yamaha, -Honda, -Suzuki'. That will narrow it down to a thousand or so.
See the mirrors page.
While it's not strictly necessary to have gauges (excepting that you do need a speedometer), you may want to know what your engine is doing at times. There are cheap speedometers readily available, and also a variety of gauges. It depends on what you think is necessary, and what your desired "look" is. The cheapest options are an OEM speedo or a bicycle computer. You'll have to rig up some sort of light for the bicycle one. Make sure you get a speedometer with a trip meter (aka "gas gauge").
If the look you're after is chrome, and lots of chrome, you're in luck. It would help if you also wanted to shift at 8000 rpm. It seems the cruiser people do a lot more customizing than people with higher-revving engines, so much of what is available is aimed at them. Finding a 14,000 rpm tachometer isn't easy; you'll probably have to go with one of the electronic gauge setups that do everything in one box, or use a 12,000 rpm one.
Most of the usual parts retailers have a decent selection of gauges.
Sigma MC8 Computer and Housing Unlike bicycle computers, this one has a light that connects into the bike's lighting circuit, so it is on whenever the bike is. You need to buy both the computer and the housing. Searching may only give places in Europe that sell them.
Trail Tech Vapor It has all the regular stuff, like speedo, tach, trip meter and odometer, but it also has a clock and stop watch, records accumulated ride time, and tracks ambient air temperature and engine temp. It even has a shift indicator light.
Electro Sport Selling products from Acewell Meter. Customer service reputation is not great.
Keeping the stock gauges
The cheapest, and likely ugliest, way to do a streetfighter is to keep the stock headlight and gauges. However, if you eliminate the stock headlight bracket, go with a 7" light, and can fabricate a way to hold your gauges in place, you could end up with something that looks like this.
Eastern Beaver headlight relay harness
CB600F/Hornet/599 headlight Get parts from Honda, make it fit yourself.
IPF headlight upgrade Converts any 7" round light into H4
Candlepower H4 conversion .pdf
Old-style (bulb) 7" headlight conversion
Fork mounts that attach your light to the forks are available many places. Your local shop should be able to get some for you.
7" Headlight Buckets
Buckets in 5 colors (probably plastic)
Multi colors in plastic & metal Also appears to be similar to Emgo item.
Emgo black bucket Or see your local shop
5 3/4" buckets
See eBay or your Emgo supplier. Usually come only in chrome.
Non-standard headlight sizes
Anodized footpegs in several colors are available from Dennis Kirk, your local Emgo dealer, and other online shops.
If you really want to change the appearance of your bike, and feel that you can do some modifications:
Air Tech has vintage seat/tail sections.
CafeRace has some seats as well.
If you really want to spend a lot of money, you can get a different fuel tank, courtesy of The Tank Shop.
Air Tech also has many vintage tanks to choose from. Theirs, however, are made of fiberglass and not recommended for street use.
From the N250RC FAQ staff