04-06 RMZ 250

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2/22/2018 2:31 PM

Just curious how bad they really were. I've heard a lot of stuff about them on the net, but never ridden one.

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2/22/2018 2:43 PM

I had a new 04 for a year , no problems at the time, but a friend of mine bought one a couple of years later when I was riding an 05-06 ktm 250sxf and I had a go, it felt really underpowered.

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2/22/2018 5:17 PM

I had one... don’t do it... look for something else you will thank me later..

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2/22/2018 5:27 PM

Well if you're looking for a bike that can't cool itself, terrible transmissions, valve problems, and just plain slow...this is the bike for you.

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2/22/2018 5:34 PM

Don't do it. Op where are you located.

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2/22/2018 5:38 PM

Micahdogg wrote:

Just curious how bad they really were. I've heard a lot of stuff about them on the net, but never ridden one.

I own a 2004 and race it in GNCC. Sr. B class. It's a decent bike if you can get it at a reasonable price. Decent power for being a 14 year old design. The suspension isn't horrible, but it's not really fantastic either...I had mine worked on and it's been real good to me. If you get one go with an EBC carbon clutch, DO NOT RUN PENNZOIL in it no matter what anyone tells you...you'll be buying a new clutch if you do. Valves...the stockers are a two piece Ti design...they are soft and the tips wear at about the same rate the valves recede...so what happens is valve heads snap off even though you didn't have to adjust the clearance for 6 months. (I went through this recently). On the plus side, I have some spare Pro-X stainless valves with springs and seals...if you got that bike and you want it to be reliable, PM me...I got lotsa parts. Regarding cooling...a boyesen supercooler does help, as does Engine Ice coolant. Truthfully though I never really had too many problems with cooling...you just gotta keep from getting stuck in mudholes. If you're just trailriding, cooling won't be an issue at all.

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Many thanks to everyone helping me out this GNCC season: SRT Offroad, Acerbis, FCR Suspension, O'Neal Racing, Evans Waterless Coolants, Rekluse, Twin Air, Braking Brakes, Carbsport

Profile image credit Ken Hill Photography

2/22/2018 5:41 PM

Galfer oversize rotor kit, Braking sintered pads, and a stainless braided line...stick your eyeballs to your goggles strong.

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Many thanks to everyone helping me out this GNCC season: SRT Offroad, Acerbis, FCR Suspension, O'Neal Racing, Evans Waterless Coolants, Rekluse, Twin Air, Braking Brakes, Carbsport

Profile image credit Ken Hill Photography

2/22/2018 7:00 PM

They, and their Kawasaki twin are probably considered the worst mx bikes built in the 21st century.

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2/22/2018 7:08 PM

I raced one at Washougal years ago and I just remember it being extremely slow. I thought it was going to let go every time I went up that hill!

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2/22/2018 7:50 PM

Garbage!!! Don’t do it.. go buy any other bike but this one.. I’m a asuzuki guy but this bike just wasn’t right

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2/22/2018 7:50 PM

Had the '04 for 2 years from new. Raced it every weekend and never had any issues apart from the forks needing a re-valve.

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2/22/2018 9:22 PM

Wandell wrote:

They, and their Kawasaki twin are probably considered the worst mx bikes built in the 21st century.

The 2009 crf 450 would like to argue that

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There are two kinds of people against dirt bikes, those who never tried and those who weren't good at them.

2/22/2018 10:44 PM

i would look at the 05-06. there were the same except for graphics. but they made a lot of correctoins to the bike, the oil filter and water pump were a single unit in 04, they made the engine more reliable.

by todays 250fs its about 10hp down. i think they were around 34-35 stock. the linkage on the shock needs to be changed and the forks were dated.


I used to have an 05 and it was a great bike. Its actually on my bucket list to buy and build one up like the factory suzuki's. but i really liked the chassis once the suspension was setup

if you get one, the linkage, basic motor upgrades (hc piston, cams, p&p), swap the forks for 06+ kx250f front end (showas) and it would be really good bike
(basically all the upgrades the 06 kx250f bike got)

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

2/23/2018 9:08 AM

Thanks everyone for the replies. I'm just a recreational woods rider that does an occasional hare scramble.

I'm almost 40 so I remember these bikes coming out and I remember right away they were a thrown together mess between Zuk and Kawi. I remember the reviews saying they were kinda slow. The style was kinda blah. And I recall the well documented cooling issues (bikes revving at the gate drop and pissing out coolant). So yeah, I've never wanted one.

As time goes by though, I get teary eyed for this early stuff and I've been looking at all kinds of goofy projects lately. I almost jumped into a Cannondale, but honestly I am not crazy enough to own one of those. I've been looking at some early XR250R's thinking of trying to make one woods capable, but honestly the ergo's just blow on those bikes and I know they won't be fast enough to keep me entertained.

So this 2004 RMZ250 popped up and I can probably get it for under a grand. All I know is it did run, but its being tempermental and not wanting to start. I honestly think the guy hasn't ridden it forever, couldn't get it fired and doesnt really know what it could be (as opposed to hiding something). I thought it would be fun to restore to look OEM, but if these things were complete POS's, I don't want the headache. If they were just kinda POS, maybe I'm glutton for punishment. I noticed the pro circuit two piece cover which was nice to see, otherwise, I'm sure it'll need some going through. Just looking for opinions. I kinda view these as classics now and not really serious bikes - just something to have fun with.

Photo

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2/23/2018 10:40 AM

Wandell wrote:

They, and their Kawasaki twin are probably considered the worst mx bikes built in the 21st century.

I think you are probably correct but Ive always wondered if those bikes were out at a time when the average MX buyer just wasn't ready for the maintenance / methods of the early race 4 stroke? I am sure the design was poor but they just can't overheat after still for 20 seconds.....can they?

I see several being ridden every summer at tracks all across michigan and they do laps just like I do.

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2/23/2018 12:17 PM

I think these bikes can be great doner chassis to earlier 2 stroke engines. Had the thought of dropping my KTM 200 engine in one but on looking at the chassis rails merge height, it wasn't going to be an easy drop in where pipe goes through. Still easier than ally perimeter frame though I'd say and would handle better than my old KTM frame too I bet

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2/23/2018 12:58 PM

Underground wrote:

I think these bikes can be great doner chassis to earlier 2 stroke engines. Had the thought of dropping my KTM 200 engine in one but on looking at the chassis rails merge height, it wasn't going to be an easy drop in where pipe goes through. Still easier than ally perimeter frame though I'd say and would handle better than my old KTM frame too I bet

This one looks...eh..."solid." From what I remember of these bikes they had a lot of engine problems, people had to go to SS valves to finish out the season. Check the bottom frame rail on this bike, also it looks like a case reed engine...I'm thinking its a 125 motor...pure red-neck bucket of fun.

https://greenville.craigslist.org/mcy/d/2005-rm250/6502881267.html

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2/23/2018 1:23 PM

Underground wrote:

I think these bikes can be great doner chassis to earlier 2 stroke engines. Had the thought of dropping my KTM 200 engine in one but on looking at the chassis rails merge height, it wasn't going to be an easy drop in where pipe goes through. Still easier than ally perimeter frame though I'd say and would handle better than my old KTM frame too I bet

TJMX947 wrote:

This one looks...eh..."solid." From what I remember of these bikes they had a lot of engine problems, people had to go to SS valves to finish out the season. Check the bottom frame rail on this bike, also it looks like a case reed engine...I'm thinking its a 125 motor...pure red-neck bucket of fun.

https://greenville.craigslist.org/mcy/d/2005-rm250/6502881267.html

That's why I thought of these. Be a lot of donor chassis due to engine failures. Early versions had valve recession and shim bucket issues and gearbox failures from memory

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2/23/2018 4:11 PM

Wandell wrote:

They, and their Kawasaki twin are probably considered the worst mx bikes built in the 21st century.

Aussie_power_sports wrote:

The 2009 crf 450 would like to argue that

I have a '10, which was identical to the 09, and love it, after some minor setup. Rode a 2013 and hated it.

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2/23/2018 9:38 PM

Micahdogg wrote:

Thanks everyone for the replies. I'm just a recreational woods rider that does an occasional hare scramble.

I'm almost 40 so I remember these bikes coming out and I remember right away they were a thrown together mess between Zuk and Kawi. I remember the reviews saying they were kinda slow. The style was kinda blah. And I recall the well documented cooling issues (bikes revving at the gate drop and pissing out coolant). So yeah, I've never wanted one.

As time goes by though, I get teary eyed for this early stuff and I've been looking at all kinds of goofy projects lately. I almost jumped into a Cannondale, but honestly I am not crazy enough to own one of those. I've been looking at some early XR250R's thinking of trying to make one woods capable, but honestly the ergo's just blow on those bikes and I know they won't be fast enough to keep me entertained.

So this 2004 RMZ250 popped up and I can probably get it for under a grand. All I know is it did run, but its being tempermental and not wanting to start. I honestly think the guy hasn't ridden it forever, couldn't get it fired and doesnt really know what it could be (as opposed to hiding something). I thought it would be fun to restore to look OEM, but if these things were complete POS's, I don't want the headache. If they were just kinda POS, maybe I'm glutton for punishment. I noticed the pro circuit two piece cover which was nice to see, otherwise, I'm sure it'll need some going through. Just looking for opinions. I kinda view these as classics now and not really serious bikes - just something to have fun with.

Photo

the 04's were that terrible. they did have first year issues and so did the honda's but they mostly became issues when they were neglected.

look it over make sure the frame is sound, how much wear is on the cases? how is the apaint on the frame? if these are really worn then its seen some hours, if not it could simply be that the bike has sat for a couple years with fuel from 2010 sitting in the tank and the carb and needs a splash of fresh gas and a carb clean.

biggest issues were over heating; which is corrected with a bigger radiators and a high pressure cap (factory fixed this in 05)

lubrication was a problem too so keeping up on oil changes was needed

its honestly a gamle with any 4 stroke. You could buy it for under 1k but you could end up spending another 2-3k easy if the motor is toast.

depends on how much your willing to go into it for

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

2/23/2018 11:06 PM

Micahdogg wrote:

Thanks everyone for the replies. I'm just a recreational woods rider that does an occasional hare scramble.

I'm almost 40 so I remember these bikes coming out and I remember right away they were a thrown together mess between Zuk and Kawi. I remember the reviews saying they were kinda slow. The style was kinda blah. And I recall the well documented cooling issues (bikes revving at the gate drop and pissing out coolant). So yeah, I've never wanted one.

As time goes by though, I get teary eyed for this early stuff and I've been looking at all kinds of goofy projects lately. I almost jumped into a Cannondale, but honestly I am not crazy enough to own one of those. I've been looking at some early XR250R's thinking of trying to make one woods capable, but honestly the ergo's just blow on those bikes and I know they won't be fast enough to keep me entertained.

So this 2004 RMZ250 popped up and I can probably get it for under a grand. All I know is it did run, but its being tempermental and not wanting to start. I honestly think the guy hasn't ridden it forever, couldn't get it fired and doesnt really know what it could be (as opposed to hiding something). I thought it would be fun to restore to look OEM, but if these things were complete POS's, I don't want the headache. If they were just kinda POS, maybe I'm glutton for punishment. I noticed the pro circuit two piece cover which was nice to see, otherwise, I'm sure it'll need some going through. Just looking for opinions. I kinda view these as classics now and not really serious bikes - just something to have fun with.

Photo

The infamous Kawazuki! My brother has one and it is the worst bike I have ever ridden that wasn't clapped out. I have not ridden a Cannondale though. So there is that.

It overheats, it's very gutless, it has issues at idle, it feels "sluggish", top heavy, and a huge pain to start once it is warm(and it gets warm real fast). It has been jetted, cleaned out, valves checked, and taken apart by the dealer a few times, etc...still a real s.o.b. No better than when he got it. It was not a pleasure to ride. It's not fun to put around on, not even through trails.

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