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1,824 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good Housekeeping. A friend purchased a lovely 2015 EX500 Kawasaki motorcycle this past winter. It started and he reported that it ran ok on a very cold ride around the block.
Since the spring the performance has weakened, sluggish and unwilling to take much throttle without hesitation. The idle was turned up to avoid stalling at intersections, a tank of fuel mixed with Sea Foam was used to no effect. Mechanic-in-a-can seldom works well for me.

On Thursday he barely managed to ride to my house. Onto the bike lift and the exploration begins.

I figured a spark plug and air filter inspection would be a good start, plus a sample of fuel siphoned out to check for water contamination. The fuel was clean but the spark plugs indicated a fuel-rich mixture. Off with more body parts to access the air chamber and filter.

The air is sucked in through a hidden snorkel that feeds into the air chamber, then it is drawn through the filter to the carburettors. It's a perfect winter home for mice. The first evidence of rodent attack was chewed foam on the air filter.

Yellow Soil Concrete Tile

Removing the end of the airbox was a shock. The critter had been very industrious.


I have seen this happen with other motorcycles but nothing to this extent.


Missing the string mop in the garage? Also contained newspaper clippings (a literate mouse), leaves, insulation and other items that I didn't recognize.

Cleaned out the airbox and inlet to carbs very carefully, installed a new K&N filter (on sale same price as the stock item) and a fresh set of sparkplugs. Got it all done in one day including a 100 km roundtrip to pick up parts. Started the bike up and it immediately sounded better. Checked for leaks and made sure all fasteners were secure, then called it a success.

Yesterday we did a long test ride. At the first stop, my friend pulled up beside me, lifted his visor and displayed a grin the might have split his face in two. He was in motorcycle heaven. We lowered the idle and I suggested that he wind it up to redline in a few gears. Suggestion accepted and he wound it out to full song.

A successful repair.

I told him later that he got off lightly- I once had a motorcycle attacked by mice over the winter. The airbox was filled but not with the items listed above. No, it was a discerning mouse that year- he chewed through the vinyl seat cover to get some nice comfy foam for that nest. Comfort is important.

1,824 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I forgot to add that I advised my friend to stuff some steel wool into the snorkel over winter to prevent another invasion. Also, use in the exhaust pipes for the same reason. It's amazing how small opening mice can take advantage of, and the damage that they can do.

I had another friend who's goat ate the ignition wires off his tractor.

Any other tales of woe out there?

2015 Versys 650 LT
1,292 Posts
Mice in vehicles....My folks bought a new T-bird when they retired and that winter they left it at the cottage in Muskoka while they did their snowbird thing. Next spring ,fire up the T-bird, the most awful smell coming through the AC system. Alot of money spent to tear apart the venting system and find evidence of mice nesting. Some died in there that were never found and the smell of death was still there. Had to get rid of a new car.
Apparently,they like to eat new vehicle wiring wrap that is made from a soy base compared to plastic.
We did an overnight climb up Kings peak on Van. Island and left some power bars in the car wheel well. Next day,into the wheel well and the little buggers got in and out after eating their share.We figured they came in by the gas pedal and found their way to the rear, seems like it was a well rehearsed ploy.
We had them really bad at our cottage as did every cottage at the lake. All us paranoid city people killed all the rattlesnakes and their main diet was mice!

67 Posts
This is mice related but not bike related.
My family had a farm and owned a combine for harvesting corn. The exhaust runs horizontal. In the off season mice took some leftover corn in the bin and hid it back in their new home. They dropped corn above an open exhaust valve. The engine turned over a partial revolution then stopped. The engine head had to be removed and cylinder cleaned out.
Mice can do some damage.

Super Moderator
22,409 Posts
I was big-game hunting in the Rockies w/ my cousin, LOTS of snow, so we had to move snow to clear a tenting spot before setting up.

Came back after a day out 'trekking', to find MUCH mouse crap in the tent, so I got busy cleaning up, while Don left w/ his shotgun. About a minute later he yelled "Cover your ears!" followed by a 20 gauge BOOM!

He came into the tent, and put the shotgun down on his sleeping bag, said "Got the little buggar!" then motioned me outside to where there was a fair-sized hole in the snow w/ a little "frosting" of pink around the edge.

We celebrated w/ an "adult beverage" OF COURSE!



1,824 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I had nice in my bike once. Every morning I removed the buddy seat and the mouse jumped out of my bike. After a week I tried some poison
Should have charged it rent- mice are notoriously cheap, always looking for a free meal and rent-free lodgings. Just look at that cretin Mickey- he lives for free, makes people pay to visit his manor and he'd chew the tires off your bike. ;)

Naw, poison the vermin, or get Eddie's buddy with the 20 gauge.
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