My Dads 2003 RM250

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4/1/2019 11:36 PM

Little backstory - around Christmas 2003 I found a brand new RM250 on ebay (from Canada!) and convinced my mom that this would be a worthy Christmas gift for my dad. I was 16 at the time ripping around on a 99' YZ125 and thought a 250 two stroke would be an "easy" bike for my pops to hop on and ride with me. Long story short, he rode it 3 times and hung up his boots.

Fast forward 13 years - I moved out to Los Angeles and left the bike back home in Georgia. I figured when I visited my family I could restore it as it would give me something to work on in the evenings. It became pretty clear after a few visits that if I ever really wanted to finish this bike I would need it near me.

So I ended up driving the bike from GA to LA in the back of my truck in pieces. I wish I took more pictures, but I did get some pre-tear down pics.

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At some point, someone (me), had taken the rear wheel off and when I put it back on, I didn't slide the the rear brake caliper bracket "groove" into the slot on the swingarm. You can see it in the picture below. Anyways I had a heck of a time getting the rear axle out, not sure if it was because the bike was run with the bracket like this for who knows how long creating a bind, or maybe the lack of axle grease or combo of the two but it took some PB B'laster, a few hours and many wacks with a rubber a rubber mallet to get it out.

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Got to work the motor, here's the piston =x

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Went ahead and sent the cylinder off to Eric Gorr to get it replated and the Mo betta porting done. Also cleaned up the outside with some green scotch brite pads.

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Crank was in spec so I didn't split the cases this time around. Just inspected everything and replaced the crank seals on both sides.

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I debated for a long time what to do with the frame. The paint is in great shape minus the wear on the side, so I decided to leave it as is and give it a good cleaning. If I do decide to paint it in the future I'll keep the stock pewter color, it has a nice sparkle in the sun and doesn't show as much wear as black IMHO. Or maybe even a raw steel look!

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OG Canada stickers
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Started cleaning up the swingarm. My trusty heat gun at work.
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Took the wheels apart to send off to TCR. Going to have the hubs turned down and coated. New Excel spokes on the front and I had replaced the rear spokes as some point in the past, they were in great shape just needed a little cleaning. New bearings all around and SKF seals. Also scored a set of yellow Excels!

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That's it for now.... My plan is to have it all put together for the the Wiseco World Two-Stroke Championship race in a few weeks. Also my dad doesn't really know what I'm doing with the bike so I'm excited to show him the finished product on his next visit out to LA.

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4/2/2019 8:45 AM

Those hot wheels graphics are so rad. Did you just use scotchbrite on the cylinder or did you use oil of some sort? Also where did you find the scotchbrite?

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

4/2/2019 10:04 AM

Rickyisms wrote:

Those hot wheels graphics are so rad. Did you just use scotchbrite on the cylinder or did you use oil of some sort? Also where ...more

Yeah, the hot wheels graphics are sweet. Going a different direction with the graphics but for those of you interested, I still had the original N-style packaging laying around with the part number, N40-4119. Maybe that will help someone looking for a set or wanting to have N-style recreate a set for you.

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The scotchbrite pads I get at the dollar store, you get 5 pads for $1 and I make little buffing wheels for my dremel. I cut the pads into small squares, poke a hole through them and attach them to a cutoff wheel mandrel. I spray a little wd-40 on the part and go to work.

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You can also go the easy route and just buy the buffing wheels off amazon

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4/2/2019 5:09 PM

Rickyisms wrote:

Those hot wheels graphics are so rad. Did you just use scotchbrite on the cylinder or did you use oil of some sort? Also where ...more

mxr1der34 wrote:

Yeah, the hot wheels graphics are sweet. Going a different direction with the graphics but for those of you interested, I ...more

Thanks man! Excited to see this build.

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

4/2/2019 5:38 PM

Do you know if those excels fit yamaha hubs as well? I thought i remember that being the case and i really want another yellow yz 250.

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4/2/2019 5:51 PM

Is your crankseal on backwards?

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4/2/2019 5:52 PM

dedi684 wrote:

Do you know if those excels fit yamaha hubs as well? I thought i remember that being the case and i really want another yellow ...more

According to the application chart on Excels website, the front rim will work (Part # IC_408), but the rears are different...you'd need Part# GE_422.

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4/2/2019 6:09 PM

SLOWTIME wrote:

Is your crankseal on backwards?

I don't believe so. Pic on the left is the one I took out, pic on the right is the new one

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4/3/2019 11:28 AM

Going to be killer looking. A couple comments from someone who has done up an RM. A lot of folks say NOT to turn down the RM hubs, including FasterUSA and Dubya. The flange is too big and doesn't leave much metal left in the hub. And, you are doing to nice a job to put those crap All Wheels bearings in there. Go to a local bearing shop and get some Koyo's for the same price.

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4/6/2019 9:55 PM

HackMan162 wrote:

Going to be killer looking. A couple comments from someone who has done up an RM. A lot of folks say NOT to turn down the RM ...more

What problem have you had with all balls? I had them on the shelf and needed wheel bearings in a lunch so i used them. I'm probably at 25-30 hours on them with hard woods riding and occasional MX on a KTM 125.

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

4/6/2019 10:11 PM

Looking forward to seeing it all done! I love this generation of RMs.

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4/7/2019 7:09 PM

HackMan162 wrote:

Going to be killer looking. A couple comments from someone who has done up an RM. A lot of folks say NOT to turn down the RM ...more

Rickyisms wrote:

What problem have you had with all balls? I had them on the shelf and needed wheel bearings in a lunch so i used them. I'm ...more

25-30 hours is far better than my experience. I am not a pressure-wash junky, and got about 5 hours out of them. Cheap chinese crap. I had them laying around and used them out of need. You can get Japanese Koyo for the same price (or less) at a bearing house.

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4/8/2019 7:14 AM

HackMan162 wrote:

Going to be killer looking. A couple comments from someone who has done up an RM. A lot of folks say NOT to turn down the RM ...more

Rickyisms wrote:

What problem have you had with all balls? I had them on the shelf and needed wheel bearings in a lunch so i used them. I'm ...more

HackMan162 wrote:

25-30 hours is far better than my experience. I am not a pressure-wash junky, and got about 5 hours out of them. Cheap chinese ...more

Fair enough i'm pretty hard on my bikes and ride 2-3 times a week and pressure wash after every ride. I'd use all balls again.

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

4/9/2019 3:56 PM

Wheels are buttoned up. I know there's some mixed reviews on turning down the hubs. I spoke with Troy over at TCR for a good bit before I finally pulled the trigger. Maybe he's just a good salesman but I felt good about it after speaking to him. In the end, they turned out great! I'll come back after I put some hard motos on the bike and let you guys know how they held up, but I'm pretty pumped with how they look at least.

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Not quite sure why I had to have these motion pro rim locks but I did.
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Mounted the Galfer Tsunami 280 kit for the front.
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Bought a rear wave rotor off ebay and got burned....Looks good from the package.

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And it's the stocker. If anyone has a rear wave rotor that they have laying around let me know - I'd like to buy it!

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Got a "MSR" sprocket on the rear, just a rebranded Dirt Tricks.
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The cheapest part of the bike so far... Best $0.99 I've ever spent!
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Got the carb all cleaned up and rebuilt with some new hoses. Used a Shindy rebuild kit. I'll need to figure out jetting but starting with the following:

- 45 pilot
- 170 main
- Stock needle on 2nd clip
- 1.5 turns out on the air screw.
- Stock slide.

I'll be running a 50:50 race/93 mix and start with 32:1 oil ratio. Any local two stroke guys riding at "Glen Helen elevations" here on the west coast that might have some insight please let me know if Im in the ballpark with this.

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Also for those of you interested in some bowl screws that don't get stripped, there's some off the shelf screws at your Lowe's that do the trick.

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It's getting there!


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4/9/2019 4:01 PM

HackMan162 wrote:

Going to be killer looking. A couple comments from someone who has done up an RM. A lot of folks say NOT to turn down the RM ...more

Thanks man - appreciate the info. I went back and forth on the hubs but just decided to have Troy spin them down in the end. Ill let you know how it goes after I put some laps on them though. And yeah these all balls bearings were some leftovers I had that were never used. I cant say Ive ever had any problems with all balls in the past, but ended up ordering some SKF's anyways, I just couldn't get them to me in time. I've never used a local bearing shop but Im sure there some places here in LA that are good, next time Ill have to find a local place and use them!

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4/9/2019 7:10 PM

Yeah, in the LA area you have plenty of bearing house options. Any time you pull a bearing out, measure it up and write it down. Same with the seals. Those wheels look insane. RM's definitely need the yellow rims. Digging the black coated hubs too.

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4/9/2019 10:14 PM

Stunning bike! Not fond of the choice of color but still it turned out quite impressive.

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Trying bf goodrich tires for off-roading for the first time.

4/10/2019 6:44 AM

Love me a stinger tip!! Looked all over for one, could never find one.

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4/10/2019 5:18 PM

Got the motor put back together. Went with the single ring Wiseco Racer Piston with the TiN (titanium nitride) coated ring.

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Also swapped out the clutch basket with a billet aluminum one. The basket has steel inserts that the plates sit in. The theory is the steel inserts are tougher than aluminum, and are replaceable when they start to wear. I've never used a clutch basket like this before so we'll see how it goes!

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Went with a Barnett clutch pack. Never tried one of these either but quality seems to be solid.

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And finally put in a 10oz Steathy flywheel weight.
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9/8/2019 8:55 AM

How is the build going?

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Did i do that?

9/9/2019 9:34 PM

loving this, makes me miss my 05 rm. who makes that basket. ?

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1/8/2020 1:48 PM

Bit of an update on the build. I broke my collarbone out at Glen Helen during a Swapmoto race, got a new job writing for Donut Media here in LA and topped off 2019 with buying a house, so things have been a bit hectic.

The bike is finished but for theatrics sake, I'll post pictures as if I'm still building it!

Shock/forks stripped and cleaned. Ready to be sent off to Enzo for their touches. I debated buying forks from an 04+ RM250 as they switched to TC Showa's but I figured since I'd be getting them re-valved, I might as well try them out and see how they ride. I also scored a set of sweet carbon fiber Enzo sub-tanks that I want to try out.

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Cleaned up the radiators. They are in really good shape given the abuse I put on this bike as a kid. I might get them seam welded...

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Applied clamps with 22.5mm offset, down from 24.5 which came stock. New bearings of course.

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Got a Magura hydraulic clutch. Such a difference over a cable pull.

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Got the engine put in the frame, cut some grip tape slapped on there. Got a new rear brake fluid reservoir with aluminum cap. Cleaned up the clutch cover and installed a hammerhead brake tip on the stock arm.

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Did a compression test for reference...

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For those interested, the KTM Raptor Titanium pegs are direct swap for the RM. (you do need the spring kit though as the OEM springs and inserts are different)

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And finally a little tease on the graphics.... Im a fan of the holographic dragon!

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Puppy pic for size reference...he's grown a bit since I started this...

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1/8/2020 4:27 PM

Coming together very nicely!

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1/8/2020 6:58 PM

I don’t have anything to add except I’m a huge fan of Donut lol

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1/8/2020 8:36 PM

Looking fwd to the end results. And you have one heck of a good look'n dog !! Shepherd ?

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

1/8/2020 8:52 PM

Markopolo400 wrote:

I don’t have anything to add except I’m a huge fan of Donut lol

Keep a look out for more motorcycle content on Donut in the months to come. Even a moto specific show if all goes well...

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1/9/2020 6:50 AM
Edited Date/Time: 1/10/2020 9:23 AM

I rebuilt a 03 and still have it. I love that bike. As for the kyb. I revalved them myself with racetech help. Huge difference. Interested in how you like the subtanks

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1/10/2020 8:24 AM

Great build so far! I love the wheels and the dragon graphics! I used to run a set on my Yz. Looking forward to seeing the rest of it

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2011 Yamaha YZ 250 -MX
1996 Yamaha Banshee 350 -Trails
1982 Chevy S10
2005 Pontiac GTO -451rwhp

1/10/2020 6:43 PM

Are those wheels “gold” or “yellow” on excels chart?

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1/15/2020 8:11 AM

Awesome work, love the period correct graphics! Its going to look mint, keep it coming.

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@russ_69