2004 RM 125 Rebuild

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9/11/2020 8:41 AM

So I am starting the rebuild of my old race bike from 2004. I have kicked around the idea for over the past 10 years of rebuilding it. Little back story about the bike, we (my step-dad) bought the bike new from Bob Tracy's world of cycles in 03 or 04. I believe in spring of 05 I was at High-point Raceway and i locked the crank up. Took it home and was planning on rebuilding it that next weekend. Well the world had other plans for me. Our house caught on fire and we were lucky enough to not be home but unfortunately our dog did not make it. The bike wasn't in that bad of shape. The sub frame was off and took most of the damage. Other then that the smoke damage just the surface of everything.

So basically I am going to do a ground up rebuild and hopefully get back into racing from a 15 year hiatus.

If anyone has any old pictures from 01-06 of Suzuki's amateur race teams bike that would be super helpful.
I am look to use that as a guideline for my build.

Im going to post some pictures up later today of the bike.

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9/11/2020 9:41 PM

I’ll be following! I got a very low hours 2005 recently that I’m rebuilding

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9/12/2020 12:44 AM

Nice ive had a few rm125s over the years. I started with an 03 in 03, an 04 in 07, a different 04 in 2011 and just picked up another 04 that ive been refreshing over the summer. (dont know how i keep picking up a 2004 model)

heres one of the suzuki amateur bikes

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"If you feel in control, you're not going fast enough" ~Mario Andretti

9/14/2020 4:38 AM

Here are the pictures of the damage. I'm going to get the frame power coated next week. I was thinking jet black but i am not 100% sure yet. I should have new triple clamps coming today as well.

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9/14/2020 10:45 AM

I just did a 04 I love these bikes.

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9/14/2020 3:46 PM

My bearings showed up today and I was excited to start with the new triple clamps i got. Little did I know I was going to have so many issues. I pressed the bearing onto the steering stems and installed the lower clamp. Then when i went to install the top. First issue is the nut is a different thread then the new stem. Also the stem is to short. Then I installed the stock lower one and went to install just the upper. The top right fork clamp bolt was stripped. So needless to say these are junk.
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9/14/2020 9:29 PM

hey FYSA i dont know if this is the same model triple clamp, but i remember there being quality issues with the hardware on the Universal brands. there were issues with the bar mount bolt snapping

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"If you feel in control, you're not going fast enough" ~Mario Andretti

9/15/2020 3:07 AM

Phillip_Lamb wrote:

hey FYSA i dont know if this is the same model triple clamp, but i remember there being quality issues with the hardware on ...more

I don't think it is. THANKS for the heads up though!

I talked to the seller and they are refunding me my money.
Normally it takes me weeks to buy something because all of the research I do but I remember 15 years ago Universal had full page adds in every bike magazine. Tons of people were running them. Looks like ill have to do more research then I thought for this since I've been out of the game for so long.


Anyone have suggestions on a complete triple clamp setup?
I was thinking applied, pro-circuit or RG3

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9/15/2020 3:10 AM

rm449 wrote:

My bearings showed up today and I was excited to start with the new triple clamps i got. Little did I know I was going to have ...more

Wish I would have seen this yesterday and been able to warn you. I have a 2005 and put the same triple clamps on. Didn't know it took a different steering stem nut so I thought it was just being tough to put on. I realized it was wrong when it got stuck on the threads and then ordered a nice titanium one offline. I have had no issues with bolts stripping or anything fortunately. Photo

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9/15/2020 3:11 AM

Phillip_Lamb wrote:

hey FYSA i dont know if this is the same model triple clamp, but i remember there being quality issues with the hardware on ...more

rm449 wrote:

I don't think it is. THANKS for the heads up though!

I talked to the seller and they are refunding me my money.
Normally it ...more

Applied will be your most cost effective and easiest to acquire.

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9/15/2020 3:23 AM

The only thing i don't like about the applied is that they don't come with a steering stem and lower bearing installed. That's an extra cost

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9/15/2020 5:33 AM

I would look for 05+ rm125 RM250 stock clamps. They are really good clamps.

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9/15/2020 5:37 AM

ecmx274 wrote:

I would look for 05+ rm125 RM250 stock clamps. They are really good clamps.

Did the 05 125 come with removable bar mounts? I think the 250's did but I'm not sure about the 125's

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9/15/2020 6:48 AM

ecmx274 wrote:

I would look for 05+ rm125 RM250 stock clamps. They are really good clamps.

rm449 wrote:

Did the 05 125 come with removable bar mounts? I think the 250's did but I'm not sure about the 125's

Yes 05+ I have a set. They have a 22.5 offset which is a better offset for the rm.

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9/15/2020 2:23 PM

I have a set off a 06 rm125 that need some work I would sell if your interested. They need the old bearing pressed off and a new one put on. They also need to be finished stripped of powder coat and I started to remove casting marks and have not finished. I wasn’t going to sell them until I finished them but I would sell them as is for much cheaper.

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9/16/2020 4:40 AM

New next phase of the project is the front brake system

I'm looking into doing 280mm Yamaha rotor swap with a Brembo front master cylinder

Im going to use

stock 04 Rm 125 front caliper
96-02 Honda Cr 125/250 caliper bracket
14+ Yzf 280mm Front Rotor
Cr style brake line
Not sure on what master cylinder but it will be a Brembo

If anyone has done this setup and has any tips that would be great.

I'm still up in the air what color to cerakote everything though

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9/18/2020 8:37 AM

rm449 wrote:

New next phase of the project is the front brake system

I'm looking into doing 280mm Yamaha rotor swap with a Brembo front ...more

From own personal experience with RM smokers, I would go with the following:

Late model CRF Master Cylinder
Motostuff Billet Caliper V 2.0
Motostuff 280 Rotor
RMZ Caliper bracket (this bracket will give you a better sweep area on the rotor than the cr bracket)
Motostuff brake line.

I have this identical set up on my RM250 except I am using the motostuff v 1.0 billet caliper. This setup is phenomenal.

This is just my opinion.

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9/23/2020 2:40 PM

rm449 wrote:

New next phase of the project is the front brake system

I'm looking into doing 280mm Yamaha rotor swap with a Brembo front ...more

Hey I responded to your pms about the clamps both times not sure if your getting them or not? You can email me direct at tmconstructionllc.md@gmail.com if it’s easier.

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10/20/2020 10:11 AM

So today I started to get some parts in the mail. All new linkage, swingarm, shock and steering stem bearings. New rad hoses, and a skid plate. Im going to weld the tabs to the frame for the skid plate. Ill post photos of that later.

Talked to PR2 they are going to handle the suspension rehab.

I am still bouncing around on who I should send the motor to. I was thinking PR2 but I also have looked at Tom Morgan, Eric Gorr and some others.
Any suggestions?
I was looking at doing a 134 kit and having it ported and polished.

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10/21/2020 5:59 AM

rm449 wrote:

So today I started to get some parts in the mail. All new linkage, swingarm, shock and steering stem bearings. New rad hoses, ...more

Tom morgan did my 04 rm144 build last winter. Ported and bored cylinder, cut head, windowed piston, tumbled and polished tranny. We had multple emails back and forth discussing what i wanted done, what i expected out of it, what exhaust and reeds i was gonna run..you name it we talked about it. Then after it was done i had a tuning issue with it and he spent 45+ minutes on the phone talking me through it until i got the bike running right. Dude was phenomenal to deal with. Eric gorr wouldnt return any of my multiple emails or phone call simply inquiring about lead time and if they wanted to do it.

Idlk if you have got the front brake setup you want yet but the brakes on an 18+ crf slide right on and have ridiculous stopping power. I put an entire crf front brake setup on my 04. Just an option to think about if you havent bought a front brake yet.

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10/21/2020 7:05 AM

woodsgoon wrote:

Tom morgan did my 04 rm144 build last winter. Ported and bored cylinder, cut head, windowed piston, tumbled and polished ...more

I talked to tom yesterday, we spoke for 20 or so minutes about the motor. I have never spent a penny with him and he gave me that much time so unless someone wants to do my motor for free I'm going to use him.
What did that end up costing you if you don't mind me asking.
What's it run like?

I havent bought anything for the brakes yet.
You have the whole setup meaning, master cylinder, brake line, caliper, caliper bracket, rotor?

Thanks for the help!

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10/21/2020 9:18 AM

rm449 wrote:

So today I started to get some parts in the mail. All new linkage, swingarm, shock and steering stem bearings. New rad hoses, ...more

woodsgoon wrote:

Tom morgan did my 04 rm144 build last winter. Ported and bored cylinder, cut head, windowed piston, tumbled and polished ...more

rm449 wrote:

I talked to tom yesterday, we spoke for 20 or so minutes about the motor. I have never spent a penny with him and he gave me ...more

I quite honestly dont remember what it cost. Now that i think about it, it was 2 winters ago lol because i sold the bike last summer. i was thinking all of that was somewhere around 1,000-1300 usd but i cant say for sure. That was with an extra piston as well.
The brake setup i bought was the master cylinder, line, caliper and hanger but if i remember correctly the rm front rotor was smaller so i used the OEM caliper hanger and slide the new caliper onto it and bolted it on.

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10/21/2020 11:26 AM

rm449 wrote:

So today I started to get some parts in the mail. All new linkage, swingarm, shock and steering stem bearings. New rad hoses, ...more

woodsgoon wrote:

Tom morgan did my 04 rm144 build last winter. Ported and bored cylinder, cut head, windowed piston, tumbled and polished ...more

The front caliper fit? If so did you use the crf hanger as well?

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10/21/2020 11:34 AM

ecmx274 wrote:

The front caliper fit? If so did you use the crf hanger as well?

RM caliper hanger, CRF caliper. The CRF caliper slid right on the RM hanger and bolted onto the fork.

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10/21/2020 12:10 PM

rm449 wrote:

So today I started to get some parts in the mail. All new linkage, swingarm, shock and steering stem bearings. New rad hoses, ...more

woodsgoon wrote:

Tom morgan did my 04 rm144 build last winter. Ported and bored cylinder, cut head, windowed piston, tumbled and polished ...more

rm449 wrote:

I talked to tom yesterday, we spoke for 20 or so minutes about the motor. I have never spent a penny with him and he gave me ...more

If you want a full blown race motor from Tom that includes case matching, crank work, porting, custom piston and so on Tom charged me 1700 and I left it stock bore on my 05 rm125. On my 04 I had him port my cylinder, bought a wossner piston he matched to the cylinder and customized. He installed the power valves (it was a brand new 05 cylinder I put on the 04) he installed new studs on the cylinder and checked my phathead insert to make sure it would work well with his porting and c12 gas and included a new top end gasket kit all for 380 shipped. The stuff showed up ready to bolt on he even set the ring gap and noted it for me. I have been through hell with more than a few engine builders so do your research if you don’t go with Tom. I have also used tzr with great results. My 05 is one of the fastest 125s I have ridden it is faster then a Eric gore rm134. It has a broad power band as that’s the power curve I was chasing and asked Tom for. I have not ridden the 04 yet I’m still building it. The Eric Gorr 134 kit I had done when I previously built the 04 was ported for mid to top and the head was cut for t2 race gas. I liked it on tight tracks but even with it being ported for mid to top it still went flat on top and lost some overrev. I hated it on national tracks That’s why I went back to stock bore and Tom promised me that with the work he did and a few other things I did it will be faster then the 134 and have the power curve I’m looking for. As for pr2 they did my buddy’s rm125. He had them do a full race motor stock bore. He said he loved it when he was younger but hates it now. He said it’s a top end monster. It’s fast but he’s in his 30s and he likes his stock yz125 better. I’m not sure what they charge now but he payed around 3500 for them to do the hole bike included motor, air box and carb mods, ignition work and so on. A company I know nothing about but heard they build a really fast rm125 is ebr racing. Hope this helps.

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10/24/2020 11:27 AM

I've started to clean up this mess. Today I started with the rads and the shifter.

This is before cleaning the rads

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After I was done with cleaning them

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The shifter before cleaning and removing the casting marks
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After cleaning, casting mark removal and blasting for cerakote
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10/25/2020 6:30 AM

Cleaned up the carb this morning.
I was thinking about cerakote it with the heat transfer coating, I remember a magazine doing something like 10-15 years ago and it made a difference.

https://www.cerakote.com/shop/cerakote-coating/C-187/transfer-grey-air-cure

The before shots
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After about 10 minutes of soaking and about 10 minutes of scrubbing
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11/8/2020 1:48 PM

Small update
I have a ton of parts coming, I did some work this morning.
Cleaned the cylinder and head, put in the bolt kit
Cerakoted the side case and water pump cover.

Cant wait to start putting all the parts on this!


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11/18/2020 4:40 PM

Parts are still trickling in. Foot pegs, rear brake return spring, rear brake line and guide and the wrong disk guard.
The difference in the foot pegs is crazy. I had the same set on my crf and I really loved them. Photo
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11/19/2020 7:11 AM

I have those same pegs on my KTM, they're really hard to beat.

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Unleaded tastes a little tangy. Supreme is kinda sour, and diesel tastes pretty good.