1985 Suzuki RM250

Discussion in '2 smokers' started by 99Bandit, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. 99Bandit

    99Bandit Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
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    143
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    In November of last year, I made a trade with a guy on CL...I traded him an '85 Honda Nighthawk for the RM and some cash. I needed a winter project anyways...

    Here it is when I first got it.
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    I started out with a very minimal budget for cleaning this up. Having 3 kids and an unemployed wife makes it difficult to throw alot of money at a toy. :D

    I tore the bike down in an afternoon. Most of it filled a Rubbermaid tub.
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    I had a buddy sandblast the frame for me.
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    I had intended on powdercoating the frame but, I just didn't have the budget for it so, I used some paint that I had in my garage that closely resembled the old Suzuki blue.

    Primed and painted...
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    I spent some time cleaning up the aluminum...they aren't perfect but, they look much better than they did.
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    After paint and cleaning up the parts, it was time to start assembling. Thankfully, the engine was fairly fresh, runs great and has tons of compression. It just needed a wipe down to get rid of a little grime.
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    I had to replace the fork seals and clean them up a bit but, everything was in pretty good shape considering its age.
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    Thank god for Ebay...I was able to replace many of the smaller parts cheap like chain rollers, missing hold down straps, handlebars, grips, etc...it saved me a bunch of money from buying retail.
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    The fenders needed replacing since the rear was original and chewed up and the front was the wrong shape and color. I bought repop fenders from DC Plastics which were listed as "2nds" but, they looked perfect to me. At $25 bucks a piece, I couldn't complain. The rear is actually for an 81-83 RM so, I had to make a minor modification to get it to fit. The front number plate is NOS but, it's white so, I am on the lookout for a proper yellow one. The radiator shrouds are stock and in good shape. I just need to buy replacement decals. The rear number plates still need replacing but, I have yet to find any good deals on those yet. I cleaned up the original rear and will probably use those until I can afford to buy new ones.
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    The wheels are in good shape but, the tires are shot. I managed to get a really good deal on tires that were on closeout. The rear is a Cheng Shin and the front is a sand tire but, it was only $21 bucks so, I figured I would give it a try...
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    The rear shock was blown so, I sent it out to Works Creations for a fresh rebuild. I am still waiting on it to be returned so I can finish putting most of this back together. I'll be replacing the seat cover this weekend and other misc things.

    I won't be doing any racing with this. Just some fun riding with my son.

    I'll post more pics once I get further along.
    #1
  2. FJ_Kevin

    FJ_Kevin Been here awhile

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    Hey, its great to see another mxer rebuild here. I am very interested in your project and hope you will continue to update us on it.

    The RM250 is one of my favorites. As a kid, I raced a 79 RM250 and had good success with it. The full floater was after my time but seemed to be a real innovation.

    A couple of questions,

    - Was the bike running when you bought it?
    - Can you comment on that new fangled water cooling system? Can you still get replacement water pumps? Ive heard stories about Hondas having issues with impeller housing corrosion, how about suzuki?

    Its a great bike... glad to see it fell into good hands!:clap

    Kevin
    #2
  3. 99Bandit

    99Bandit Been here awhile

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    Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for the compliments. The bike was running very well when I got it in November. The cooling system seems to be working just fine. There seems to be no shortage of replacement parts, impellers, radiators, etc...on Ebay. I checked out the cooling system and it's as clean as it could be with zero corrosion. I guess I got lucky there. The most difficult parts to find have been the plastics. It seems that 84 and 85 were the only 2 years of this style of plastics and some of the suspension parts are different from 86 and up.

    There are a few places that sell replacement plastics but at a heavy premium. I am really wishing I could find a NOS tank for it since mine is probably the worst looking part on the entire bike.

    I should have it completely back together (minus a few replacement decals) in the next week or 2. I'm just waiting for my shock to return from being rebuilt and a few odds and ends. I will post more pics in the coming days.

    Once I am done, I am going to be shopping around for an 86-88 Honda CR250 to restore. That has been one of my dream bikes since I was a kid and I would love to bring one back to life. :evil

    Jason
    #3
  4. willis 2000

    willis 2000 neo-quixote

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    The front brake hose should be in front of the numberplate, like in the first pic. The clutch cable should be routed behind, not through the numberplate.
    #4
  5. 99Bandit

    99Bandit Been here awhile

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    Thanks, Willis. I was wondering if I had that wrong. :lol3
    #5
  6. 99Bandit

    99Bandit Been here awhile

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    Not much to report on progress. I am at the mercy of parts suppliers so, I am still waiting for my rear shock but, it should be here by the end of the wek and, I am waiting for my seat cover to come in which was ordered a week and a half ago. Apparently, Amazon ships whenever they darn well feel like it.

    I had a mishap with the old tubes when putting on the new tires so, I had to buy new tubes and put them in this weekend. So, the tires are mounted up and the brakes have been bled and pads/shoes replaced.

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    #6
  7. 99Bandit

    99Bandit Been here awhile

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    I got the bike done (for now) a couple of weeks ago. There are still a few things I would like to get for it like replacement rear number plates, factory decals, a factory replacement seat cover and fork gaiters but, money is an issue at the moment.

    Anyways, I am happy to at least be out riding it now. I took it out this past Saturday with my son and blasted the bikes around my father in laws place. I was happy that everything on the bike worked flawlessly. The rebuilt shock from Works Creations feels great and it ran like a beast all day. :clap

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    It's not perfect like alot of the builds here but, I think it has turned out pretty good with a minimal budget.
    #7
  8. bobfab

    bobfab Long timer

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    It looks great! Get some fork boots on there and a skidplate!

    Reminds me of a buddies old 84Rm125, we dubbed it "Yellow Fever" :D
    #8
  9. 99Bandit

    99Bandit Been here awhile

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    I am ordering the fork boots this week. I rebuilt the forks/seals this past winter and, I really don't want them getting jacked up without the gaiters.

    It's funny because, when I was a kid, the 85 RM250 was like the holy grail for me. It only took me 30 years to get one. :lol3
    #9
  10. Future ten

    Future ten Been here awhile

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    85, those were Bob Hannah days on Suzuki's ? Ronnie Tichnor and keith Turpin. They used to do well. great bike. The Shoot out winner for 85 was the YZ 2fid but those years the bikes all did well. Great trail bike and PERFECT for some vintage MX !!!!! Nice job man.
    #10
  11. tcourdin

    tcourdin Resident Spooner

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    Thats just too cool! I can remember dreaming of having a bike like that too. I recall reading the MX magazines and being in awe at the pictures. Ahhh the good ole days.

    I never had an RM back then but always wanted one. I had an 81 KX420, 84KX125, 85 CR500 and an 86 CR250. I spent alot of hours on all of them. I miss those days.
    #11
  12. 99Bandit

    99Bandit Been here awhile

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    Now that I have the RM, I want to start saving for a mid 80's CR project. I would love to get my hands on an 86-87 CR250.

    Nothing against newer bikes but, I would rather have an old 2 smoker any day. Maybe it's just me but, the new MX bikes just don't seem to have the "soul" that the old smokers have. Maybe I'm just getting old. :gerg

    I had an absolute blast resurecting this old RM and, I'm ready to start another one. If only my bank account was as ready as I am. :wink:
    #12
  13. FJ_Kevin

    FJ_Kevin Been here awhile

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    Hey, what is this?

    Last time I looked at your build you were waiting for parts. And I thought, this was my opportunity to catch up to em!

    But instead you blew my doors off, rats!

    Seriously, it came out really great! Congratulations on a job well done! :clap
    #13
  14. tcourdin

    tcourdin Resident Spooner

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    The 86 CR250 I had was a GREAT bike, I rode the wheels off that thing. I recall that model was a big leap in technology, it really worked well and the engine ran well.
    #14
  15. 99Bandit

    99Bandit Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the compliments, Kevin. I have been faithfully watching your build thread on the YZ and I can't wait to see it finished. It looks like it's going to look better than showroom new by the time you are finished.
    #15
  16. jar944

    jar944 Been here awhile

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    Prior to 1990 honda used magnesium clutch side cases (that include the WP housing) any time straight water was used it didn't play well with the Mag. That's the reason for all the rotten (and hard to find replacement) 85-89 side covers
    #16
  17. jar944

    jar944 Been here awhile

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    The bike looks great. I had a 88 RM250 that I had lots of fun on.

    As for the Honda a 87 was the first year of the rear disc and it had forks everyone loved.
    #17