I'd like to improve my bike for touring

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Leon's longest days on the 250 exceed 1500 miles. He's exceeded 1000 miles in 24 hours about a dozen times (saddlesore.com, search for 'Ninja 250'). There are many other riders who do fast distance rides and touring on their 250. Here are some bike mods that can be done especially for long distance touring.

  • Windscreen: See the FAQ windscreen article.
  • Handlebars: For a touring bike, you should sit on the seat and, without leaning forward, reach your arms out to where the handlebars should be. See the Am I too small? FAQ article.
  • Adding lower footpegs
  • Rear shock: The EX500 shock is a good economical choice for touring. See the FAQ articles on suspension upgrades.
  • Seat: See the articles in the Luggage & Touring section of the FAQ.
  • Throttle lock: a throttle lock will allow you to take your right hand off the handlebar, relax and/or exercise it while underway.
  • Power access: Adding some way to get at 12V power will allow you to hook up electric clothing or accessories like a GPS. Some riders use BMW power sockets and plugs (available from BMW motorcycle dealers; expensive; finished-looking), some use SAE connectors (available at any auto parts store; cheap; unsightly). Any safe access to power is great, although keep in mind that the Ninja 250's alternator will only provide about 60W for extra stuff before it stops charging the battery. The alternator produces peak power (roughly 60W extra) at 6k RPM. Any engine speed below that will produce less extra power, so keep that in mind when calculating extra power available. See this article for more information on the alternator.
  • Luggage: See the appropriate articles in the FAQ Luggage & Touring category.

On longer rides, make sure you stretch regularly. Don't grip the bars any tighter than needed to maintain control. If you're too far forward, and have some of your weight on the bars, that also causes fatigue. A larger windscreen removes the fatigue caused by the wind beating you around, but it also removes the lifting forces that take some of the weight off your hands.