88 RM250 Rebuild

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2/28/2019 3:55 PM

Started a rebuild of an 88 RM250. New here on the forum but thought some might enjoy a few photo's. Bought this back in Oct. of 2017, started working on it in June of 18. I got it locally for $550.00. The bike started but I never rode it due to the shape it was in. Definitely had some time on it, but all in all pretty good shape with alot of stock parts on it. Always been a Suzuki guy as I had a 88 RM125 and dug the blue motor era. Going to (or want to) actually ride this thing when complete...
Here it is when I picked it up.

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2/28/2019 6:36 PM

The start of the tear down. This is when all the interesting things are found. Subframe was bent, seat base which is entirely made of plastic had broken tabs and silencer didn't even have a core in it.

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2/28/2019 6:59 PM

Nice! That bike is 100 times cleaner than the one I started with on my build a few years ago....in the Northeast you have to take what you can get! The PC pipe is very rare....a lot of parts are 1 year only...Evo- Mx makes excellent repo graphics & seat cover.

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2/28/2019 7:43 PM

Cylinder didn't look as bad as expected. Chrome was worn off so sent to Millenium tech to get freshened up.

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2/28/2019 7:45 PM

Clutch basket was junk. Virtually impossible to find one of these. Ended up ordering from the UK, Mitaka. Seems like a solid piece.
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2/28/2019 7:51 PM

The first big issue was getting the swingarm pivot bolt out. This thing was frozen on there. It sat for a week on it's side and I put every kind of oil in it to penetrate, didn't budge. Finally with a friend, torch, sledge hammer and punch's it came out. Not sure if this was part of it, but ended up with a cracked swingarm. Evidently these were prone to this. Went through Ebay and found one, the guy said it was fine when he checked it. As soon as I received it I had a look and instant crack, just like mine! Ended up getting it welded locally.
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2/28/2019 7:56 PM


Internally the motor looked pretty good. Had a little moisture at one time, but came right off. New rod, seals and all bearings changed. If OEM was available I used it. When i took off the wiring I found someone had taped a blank wire. Found out later they changed the kill button at one time. ?? Who knows!
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2/28/2019 8:01 PM

The steering bearings took some time to get out. Again, frozen on. Heat became my friend again! The race's were a bear to get off. I bent tools trying to grab the small lip, but couldn't get it. Ended up using a dremel and alot of heat.Heat heat heat!
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2/28/2019 8:07 PM

I'm up in the air when it comes to paint or PC. I'm handy with the can, so I went that route. Cylinder got back so I did the frame and engine parts with it. I know, the paint will chip and gas/fluids will jack it up, but I plan to ride this thing...not a garage queen! I really didn't want a PC frame one color blue and the engine another. To each their own. The pic of the frame is right before painting it. No need to strip completely, just take off all oil/grease and sand out any imperfections. Wash with soap and water, then one last wipe with rubbing alcohol.
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2/28/2019 8:12 PM

Had a local guy do some vapor blasting. If you find one, do it! It's amazing what it can do. Here are a couple of parts
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2/28/2019 8:18 PM

Everything got back from the vapor blaster so started to build. Shock had stripped spring adjuster nuts, again, hard to find. Ended up buying a 87 RM125 shock and only used the nuts. If you need shock parts let me know! Here's the motor after paint. Photo

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3/1/2019 4:31 AM

Wheels were in very good shape. New tubes, tires, rimlocks, sprocket and bolts. I have found Marvel Mystery oil to have some great abilities! Photo

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3/1/2019 4:31 AM

Looks great...I had same issue with swingarm cracking, mine cracked in the front of the bearing area where it is thinner, I had to hammer my stuck bolt out also..crack likely from the hammering! .Bought eBay arm, same thing, cracked, ended up having it welded, has held up fine so far. not Sure if you have another seat base, but most are damaged like yours and mine were at the mount bolt holes..I took 2 pieces of flat aluminum, traced the plastic mount tab shape, cut the aluminum, sandwich the plastic tab & rivet together. I can take a photo of mine later if you like...

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3/1/2019 1:01 PM

Great build ! Think I have a few bos parts still for a 88 250 send me a email if you after something craigytay1@gmail.com

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3/1/2019 2:07 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/1/2019 2:10 PM

Just reminds me of summer 98 i had taken a couple years hiatus from riding. The first bike i looked at was an 88 rm250 original owner it had been sitting for like 9 years. It was almost perfect cept for the pipe had a good dent midway up and the left rad was bent in a little. Guy said he crashed it and parked it.

Wanted $1500 for it I only had 1800 total so i didn't buy it and bought this 86 cr125 instead for 800. I probably should have gotten the Rm. But i wouldn't have had enough to restore it fully.

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3/2/2019 5:35 AM

sandman768 wrote:

Looks great...I had same issue with swingarm cracking, mine cracked in the front of the bearing area where it is thinner, I had to hammer my stuck bolt out also..crack likely from the hammering! .Bought eBay arm, same thing, cracked, ended up having it welded, has held up fine so far. not Sure if you have another seat base, but most are damaged like yours and mine were at the mount bolt holes..I took 2 pieces of flat aluminum, traced the plastic mount tab shape, cut the aluminum, sandwich the plastic tab & rivet together. I can take a photo of mine later if you like...

I ended up getting two washers, shaping them and using a plastic epoxy. Smashed them together and seem to be a solid mount. Pics to come...

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3/2/2019 8:11 AM

Went with Wossner top end and all the OEM gaskets, bearings and seals that are still available. Got rid of the phillips screws and used up to date bolts. Photo
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3/2/2019 8:14 AM

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3/2/2019 8:20 AM

Got springs from RaceTech for my weight both front and rear. Of course all new seals blah blah blah. New pistons in both brakes as the rear was frozen and the front just needed it. Fluid looked like it was 30 years old...as it was! Wheels on, swingarm on and a few misc. items. Photo
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3/2/2019 8:42 AM

Top quality job on this one!

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3/2/2019 9:29 AM

Where did you find those plugs for the carb you’re using!

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3/2/2019 12:17 PM

Premix wrote:

Where did you find those plugs for the carb you’re using!

I would guess 3D printed

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Greg D.
2018 yz250f

3/3/2019 5:33 AM

Premix wrote:

Where did you find those plugs for the carb you’re using!

Not sure, the photo is from the vapor blaster....Privateer Mx Supply

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3/3/2019 5:53 AM

Radiators were straightened by Fontana radiator, used RMX footpegs/springs.

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3/3/2019 6:09 AM

Bike came with both a PC and stock pipe. Stock silencer only. Both pipes had dents and the silencer had a sparky on it, along with the core being totally gone and inlet cracked. Tried to order a PC silencer, but back ordered and will be a while so had to go with the stock for now. Have a friend that does magic..... Photo
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3/3/2019 7:38 AM

Beautiful!

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3/3/2019 10:09 AM

Love this thread, just bought a very nice '88 myself....should be here in few weeks

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Kevin Windham‏ @kdub_14

Not 1factory racer hasnt been told that if ucan help teammate out, then do it 4 championship. Few r in a position like MM25 #partofthesport

3/3/2019 1:34 PM

The PC pipe on these 88”s are works of art! Whoever cleaned up that pipe did an amazing job! When I bought my 88, it was rough but complete & had the PC pipe, it was a plated pipe & rusted, I have many hrs into my pipe to get it raw again....no where near as clean as yours.

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3/3/2019 3:31 PM

I am pretty sure I have an used seat and base off an 88 RM250. Any interest, let me know.

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3/4/2019 10:41 AM

Bike looks incredible. Keep the updates coming!

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