1998 RM 250 any good?

Related:
Create New Tag

5/30/2013 10:39 PM

Photo


Being back in college has seriously reduced my budget, but I want to get a bike again to hit the track.

I saw a pretty decent 98 RM for cheap on craigslist and wonder if you think it would be a good weekend track bike?

How's the:
motor
clutch
suspension
tranny
brakes
handling

I always really like the look of these bikes and thought it would be cool to rock some 90's vintage.

I would get the suspension freshioned up and res-prung for me and leave it stock looking.
|

5/30/2013 11:20 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/30/2013 11:22 PM

I have no insight into that particular model, but I would expect a bike of that age could require a fair bit of work to knock it into shape.

FTR, that is a 1997 in your picture. Below is a 1998:

Photo

|

5/31/2013 4:35 AM

best forks ever, if anywhere like 96 rm 125

|

5/31/2013 6:10 AM

I had one and really enjoyed that bike. It turned well and I never had any major problems with it. Motor wise it always felt a little weak but I couldn't use all of it anyway. I'm just comparing it to a 98 yamaha I rode.

|

5/31/2013 6:42 AM

a freind of mine had one of these several years ago. I remember it being a typical Suzuki - it turned great, a little sketchy down fast straights. The motor was good but not quite as fast as the CR250's of that era. The front forks felt great to me, but top pro's said they noticed some flex. The clutch was grabby, and even when you had the lever pulled in, it would tend to creep forward... even when it was almost brand new.
Not a bad bike IMO... if its cheap and doesn't need too much work, get it.

|

5/31/2013 6:55 AM

If memory serves there was an issue with ease of accessibility to the water pumps on those. After 2000 the pump was moved to the more standard location. As said before the forks are excellent.

|

5/31/2013 7:38 AM

Engine was a dog, clutch was shitty, brakes sucked. Suspension was great once set up. Turned like it was on rails, shifted smooth. Overall good bike just slower than the others, suspension was unbalanced out of the crate, needs a hinson clutch basket and oversized front rotor. The 125 that year was one of my favorite bikes of all time.

If the price is right and it has low hours I'd buy it for sure. RM's and KX's of this era were lacking in build quality so I'd definitely avoid them unless it is very low hour. With neglect they can become roached out basket cases in very little time.

|

5/31/2013 7:39 AM

The 98 forks in particular are coveted by the off road crowd. They have less lower tube protruding under the axle (don't get hung up on ruts), are a thoroughly modern twin chamber design, and have just the right about of flex and give for off road racing/riding. Really, really fast MX or SX riders prefer the non-flexing of upside down forks, but if you fit into that crowd you wouldn't be asking about a 98 RM250 anyway.

The motor isn't very powerful by 250 2-stroke standards, but it'll still be fun. I think that was one of the odd years that required the cases to be split in order to change the water pump, or at least significant diss-assembly to replace it.

|

5/31/2013 7:54 AM

Matt Fisher wrote:

The 98 forks in particular are coveted by the off road crowd. They have less lower tube protruding under the axle (don't get ...more

Pretty sure it was the right side cover that had to be removed for waterpump access, while everyone else had been using an external waterpump cover which made this seem crude and outdated.. Suzuki was late to the party with things like this sometimes, such as removable subframes.

|

5/31/2013 8:14 AM

Matt Fisher wrote:

The 98 forks in particular are coveted by the off road crowd. They have less lower tube protruding under the axle (don't get ...more

nytsmaC wrote:

Pretty sure it was the right side cover that had to be removed for waterpump access, while everyone else had been using an ...more

Suzuki had an external water pump on the pre-96' RM250's. They thought by moving it inside the right side cover, it was less vulnerable to breaking in a crash. It was a give and take thing.

|

5/31/2013 8:31 AM

Cool, thanks for the insight.

I'll definitely be looking for a low hour one.

|

4/17/2016 9:52 AM

I rode a '96 that I bought new and it is one of my all-time faves! I rode it for 3 years before I bought my new '99 KX250.......wish I still had the RM. Yes, the forks are the best I've ever tried, even bone-stock and I've had over 50 bikes! The guys saying they're "slow" are confusing to me? My '96 had an "almost" perfect power band and it was fast.......anything but slow!! I was coming off of big bore 500's too, which I still own 2 of.

|

4/17/2016 10:19 AM
Edited Date/Time: 4/17/2016 12:05 PM

I had a 98 for my first 250 2 stroke. It was down on power, my buddy bought the 99 and he could always beat me to the first turn. The clutch wasn't the best on these bikes but I found that Belray gear saver tyranny fluid helped alot. Waterpump was noisey and always sounded terrible, but I never had an engine failure! Like others said the suspension was really good and she handled great. I wish I still had it so that I could do a resto!

|

4/17/2016 12:05 PM

Check Linkage, Swingarm bearings. I bought used 98 rm250. Replaced all bearings. Motor is disappointing compared to cr250. My suggestion. Keep front end. Dispose rest of bike. devil

|

4/17/2016 2:41 PM

They're really good bikes. I think they got a bad rep as being slow from McGraths year on them in '97.

The 98 was my favorite. I had a 96 and 98. (New 125's in 97/99 and would keep 1 bike 2 seasons) I raced the 98 250 nearly every weekend for 2 years in Intermediate and then Pro class and never had any breakdowns. Suspension is awesome, the bike really has a pretty modern feel to it and as long as everything is pretty fresh it's not going to feel dated compared to more modern 250's (I mean any 2000s Japanese 250's)

MXA always claimed these RM's needed over a thousand dollars worth of Hinson Clutch components. Yes...the clutches are not the best or most durable. I found that I could replace the inner clutch hub for about 50 bucks once or twice a year on my RM's when they got notched and save lots of money.

If I remember correctly the 98 was down about 4 horse power to the class leaders, but any of the aftermarket pipes got that back instantly. Mine was plenty fast.

I thought the internal water pump was cool, the engine looked sleek. I've never had to work on a water pump anyway so I don't see why they went back to an external water pump sticking out.

|