1981 rm 250 slow build thread...completed..

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sandman768

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1/23/2017 6:03 PM

Picks this up this weekend. Complete with 82 465 forks & A pile of Oem spare parts. Been looking for an 81 for some time now, they don"t come up for sale often.









ledger

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1/23/2017 7:04 PM

Oh man, NICE, that's a really good look'n bike. Congrats.

There's something happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear.

450exc115

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1/23/2017 7:55 PM

Love the 81 RM250. Last of the air cooled motors and first year full floater. Can't get any better than that.

quicken

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1/23/2017 8:45 PM

Great find, I'm jealous!

sandman768

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1/24/2017 5:31 AM
Edited Date/Time: 1/24/2017 5:52 AM

It's been sitting in storage for a long time, the usual gummed up carb, rotted air filters ect. Came with complete set of OEM plastic! Brand new head, cylinder & piston, seat, period correct adjustable rear susp. struts, and what appears to be an aftermarket shock, not sure who made the shock. Also came with a very nice ported rm 465 cylinder, with no broken fins. I"ll be looking to sell the 465 cylinder if anyone is interested.







There is a guy on eBay trying to get 250.00 for a fender like this. If someone is looking for this fender pm me, I will sell it for a reasonable price. Not sure if this fender is tagged incorrectly or Partszilla is listing incorrectly, it states he fender fits 83-88 rm"s & should be yellow? Looks like early rm/ts/dr to me...

DavetheVintageGuy

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1/24/2017 2:22 PM

Suzuki paints all their old plastic silver for some reason. Paint stripper will reveal that it's really yellow underneath.

You kids get off my lawn!

2013 KTM450 Factory Edition
2003 BMW K1200RS
Projects......lots of projects!

sandman768

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1/24/2017 5:11 PM

DavetheVintageGuy wrote:

Suzuki paints all their old plastic silver for some reason. Paint stripper will reveal that it's really yellow underneath.

Ok that explains the silver paint....thanks...

MaxPower

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1/25/2017 5:55 PM

I raced one a few times. I loved it

sandman768

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1/25/2017 6:44 PM

Not sure when I"m going to get to working on this thing, I have a few other bikes that need to be finished up before I tear into another one. I did pull the ignition side cover off to check the main bearings, as suspected pretty loose feeling, looks like a full rebuild will be in order, hopefully it just needs mains and the cases are not too bad. Might as well start collecting tranny gears while I"m at it!

sandman768

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3/8/2017 11:09 AM



Finally getting around to tearing into this thing. Removed head, .25 piston, Think that's first overbore, so plenty of meat on the cylinder, needs top end, some scuffs felt on cylinder walls, nothing too bad.



Filters completely rotted away, looks like P.O. Started bike a few times with rotted filters, of course sucking debris into engine, but was going to be full rebuild anyway.



Rotted original upper chain roller

Carb had some varnish at bottom but I wiped it out, looks like P.O. Did drain carb...already started collecting parts for restore, I have all Oem gaskets, all 3 shift forks & both nos 3rd gears, if anyone has any Nos gears they want to sell, let me know. It's a Suzuki, I don't even have to split the cases to know it will need gears! this will be a slow restore, likely to be finished up this time next year. Thinking this will be my last restore.... But I said that a few bikes ago...

jimmie

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3/8/2017 7:48 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/8/2017 7:51 PM

Nice bike, enjoy the restore.

I don't remember the 81 having a double leading brake, it was not until 83 when my
Suzuki came with the double leading drum. Am I correct?
Straight pull spokes, twice as many air filters to clean...OH YEAH!!!!
Any how, here are a couple pics. of me racing/enjoying my 1981 RM250X, back in the day...






sandman768

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3/9/2017 5:14 AM

Jimmie: Nice photos! Where were they taken? You are correct, the dls front brake hub is from an 84 front end, it came with the bike as spare parts. The bike has 43 mm forks from an 81 or 82 465, better forks & bigger brake hub but still won't accept this DLS brake hub, I just tried it yesterday. I will need an 84 front end for the hub to work. I have several RM"s & know the conversion well. I got a boatload of spare nos parts for this bike with the deal.

ed webber

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3/19/2017 5:59 AM

sandman768 wrote:

Jimmie: Nice photos! Where were they taken? You are correct, the dls front brake hub is from an 84 front end, it came with the bike as spare parts. The bike has 43 mm forks from an 81 or 82 465, better forks & bigger brake hub but still won't accept this DLS brake hub, I just tried it yesterday. I will need an 84 front end for the hub to work. I have several RM"s & know the conversion well. I got a boatload of spare nos parts for this bike with the deal.

i see you couldnt help yourself and got another one,haha,its a sickness.i have that 83 125 that i got get moving on myself just got to find some money laying around,cant wait for spring and this snow to be gone looking forward to doing some riding with ya this summer ,happy trails.

sandman768

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3/19/2017 3:39 PM

Ed, it is a sickness.....I keep saying " this is my last one" but, I keep buying more....it's all good, could be into much worse things. March snowstorms suck!

Carl 44

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3/20/2017 4:39 PM

Very cool bike, but a one year bike too.

jimmie

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3/20/2017 5:40 PM

sandman768 wrote:

Jimmie: Nice photos! Where were they taken? You are correct, the dls front brake hub is from an 84 front end, it came with the bike as spare parts. The bike has 43 mm forks from an 81 or 82 465, better forks & bigger brake hub but still won't accept this DLS brake hub, I just tried it yesterday. I will need an 84 front end for the hub to work. I have several RM"s & know the conversion well. I got a boatload of spare nos parts for this bike with the deal.

First pic. Corona Race way, 1982.
Second, Dove Springs/Red Rock Canyon (Mojave Desert) 1981.

sandman768, how is the restore moving along? Did you have an "81" back in "81"? Or, before your time perhaps?

sandman768

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3/20/2017 5:45 PM

Carl 44 wrote:

Very cool bike, but a one year bike too.

Correct, that will make the restore that much more satisfying. Wonder why there are so few of these around? Maybe late release date? Best I can tell they were good bikes for their time....

sandman768

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3/20/2017 6:28 PM

sandman768 wrote:

Jimmie: Nice photos! Where were they taken? You are correct, the dls front brake hub is from an 84 front end, it came with the bike as spare parts. The bike has 43 mm forks from an 81 or 82 465, better forks & bigger brake hub but still won't accept this DLS brake hub, I just tried it yesterday. I will need an 84 front end for the hub to work. I have several RM"s & know the conversion well. I got a boatload of spare nos parts for this bike with the deal.

jimmie wrote:

First pic. Corona Race way, 1982.
Second, Dove Springs/Red Rock Canyon (Mojave Desert) 1981.

sandman768, how is the restore moving along? Did you have an "81" back in "81"? Or, before your time perhaps?

Just gathering parts right now, I have a few other projects ahead of this one. I will be pulling the engine out & apart soon to really see what is needed. This bike will receive a full proper restoration that will take at least 1 yr. Back in 1981 I was 14 yrs old, with very little money! I had a well worn 79 rm 125. I vividly remember going to our local Suzuki dealer & sitting on all the new 1981 RM"s.

jimmie

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3/20/2017 6:51 PM

Carl 44 wrote:

Very cool bike, but a one year bike too.

sandman768 wrote:

Correct, that will make the restore that much more satisfying. Wonder why there are so few of these around? Maybe late release date? Best I can tell they were good bikes for their time....

"late date release" I should say so. I waited FOREVER for my "81" to be available, if memory serves me correct it was like February by the time I could bring one home.

sandman768

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3/20/2017 7:04 PM

Carl 44 wrote:

Very cool bike, but a one year bike too.

sandman768 wrote:

Correct, that will make the restore that much more satisfying. Wonder why there are so few of these around? Maybe late release date? Best I can tell they were good bikes for their time....

jimmie wrote:

"late date release" I should say so. I waited FOREVER for my "81" to be available, if memory serves me correct it was like February by the time I could bring one home.

That may explain why there are so few of these today, many guys likely ran out & bought YZ"s, which were also good bikes in 81. Wonder what the actual production numbers were for these? Assuming these were a major step forward from the 1980 model but not as potent as the 82 in the engine ?

DavetheVintageGuy

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3/20/2017 9:32 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/21/2017 4:42 AM

Actually, the 81 RM's came out in late Spring/early Summer of 81, so definitely a late release. I got the first RM465 to arrive at my dealer and I think it was late May of 81. Back then the new releases didn't hit the dealer's showroom until the December/January timeframe unlike today when they start arriving in June.

Blame today's release dates on Supercross homologation. Back then we still had works bikes and didn't care about homologation numbers.

There weren't many 81 RM250's because Suzuki knew that the 82 was going to be water-cooled and a huge step forward power wise. Consider it a place holder in the lineup. It was still a great bike and only the YZ250, the Husky, and the Maico were as competitive that year.

You kids get off my lawn!

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Carl 44

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3/21/2017 1:30 PM

In 1981 and 1982 the starting lines were a sea of yellow fenders. Suzukis were THE bike to be on.

sandman768

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3/21/2017 2:09 PM







Tore it down today....came apart pretty easy...crank feels tight but judging by the amount of sand in the bottom end, me thinks full rebuild required. Amazingly the tranny gears & forks look pretty good, clutch components decent. I expected the main bearings to fall right out of the cases, but they are tight to the cases, just worn bearings. We do have some issues though, appears the reverse thread nut that holds crank gear on rt side is missing & that explains all the shrapnel in the bottom of engine, .... Always something on these old bikes....

sandman768

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3/28/2017 1:53 PM



Completed teardown.... As usual some surprises but Most chassis bearings are pretty tight, shock needs rebuild.wheel bearings tight.

Crank feels nice & tight....



Crushed bottom of frame.....normally this is enough to make me walk away but so few 81"s come up for sale, I figure my welder/ fab guy can handle this no problem....


Can anyone I.d. These forks? They are 43mm, trying to determine if they are 83 250 forks or 465 forks..they may even be 84 forks, but front wheel is not dls brake hub, I did get a dls hub with the bike but does not fit on the wheel...

sandman768

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3/28/2017 1:58 PM

Now the long and slow process of cleaning, cabinet blasting, prepping for plating and sourcing parts begins...

Wandell

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3/28/2017 7:05 PM

It's been years, but those forks look like the ones on the 83 RM 250 I owned. They had the lower portion of the brake cable exposed from the mount on the fork leg down. I couldn't see your cable in your pics but that looks like the way my brake cable mounted on the forks. They came from the factory painted yellow.

sandman768

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3/29/2017 4:42 AM

Wandell wrote:

It's been years, but those forks look like the ones on the 83 RM 250 I owned. They had the lower portion of the brake cable exposed from the mount on the fork leg down. I couldn't see your cable in your pics but that looks like the way my brake cable mounted on the forks. They came from the factory painted yellow.

Wandell, I think you are correct. The cable does have that long exposed part from the fork holder to the brake arm. I have also compared 83vs 84 DLS brake panels & the one I have is an 83 because it does not have the threaded cable holder built into the brake panel, as seen In the photo of the brake panel in this thread. That explains why the bike came with the 83 brake panel. Must have a 465 front wheel on it as the hub is big but only single pull brakes. I need an 83 front wheel to use the DLS brakes. I have been cross referencing front hubs & brake panels for the 81-84 RM"s on Partszilla, They all look like they would interchange but they all have very slight differences to them. I may just sell the DLS brake panel, I have the DLS setup on a few other bikes, it's not really that much better than the single pull...the best way to use brakes on a vintage bike is to .....not use them.....thanks for your response...

MaxPower

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3/29/2017 6:17 PM

I would think you could use a brake from a different year. I actually would anyway. Get rid of that goofy brake cable set up.

Just have to get a matching brake cable to the year brake you choose

sandman768

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3/29/2017 6:57 PM

MaxPower wrote:

I would think you could use a brake from a different year. I actually would anyway. Get rid of that goofy brake cable set up.

Just have to get a matching brake cable to the year brake you choose

A complete 84 front end is the ultimate setup, but they are getting very hard to find, I think the easiest way to go would be to find an 83 or 84 front wheel then I can use the DLS brake setup I already have. I"ll have plenty of time to work it out, soon as riding & racing starts up I won't be messing with this thing much. I just finished tearing all the floater linkage & swingarm apart, dam....They had a lot of pieces to them! Lots of soda blasting & cabinet glass beading...

Suzuki Ed

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3/29/2017 10:02 PM

Nice find , I've had 2 of them over the years . The first one ripped , it ran so good . I ended up selling it to Rick Doughty of Vintage Iron , He restored it and it wound up in the Primm museum before he sold them all off . The 2nd one I completely went through and for some reason it was a turd , I couldn't get it to run right . One trouble spot I came across was the ignition side crank bearing race. It came loose in the case , had to find another bottom end in hope's that it was ok . If I'm not mistaken that may've been a trouble spot .