Classic Motocross Review: 1981 Suzuki RM125-X

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4/30/2020 6:43 AM

This is my look back at Suzuki's first water-cooled single-shocker, the game-changing 1981 RM125-X

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4/30/2020 7:30 AM

One of the best 125's ever! I had the 82 version.

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4/30/2020 7:45 AM

I had an ‘81 RM125X when I was 15. Loved that bike! It had a great motor and the rear suspension was great too. I thought the brakes were weak and I could not keep a clutch in it. The fiber plates broke with regularity. I sold it and got an ‘81 yz125. The RM was a much better bike. I should have kept it.

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4/30/2020 10:34 AM

I had one as well. They were the coolest things going at the time!!

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4/30/2020 10:36 AM

This is super-cool to watch as I work on my '82 RM125Z rebuild. It's awesome to check out the history.

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4/30/2020 12:57 PM

I bought the YZ125 that year, huge mistake.

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4/30/2020 1:19 PM

That was the first bike I ever wanted when I got into motocross! What was the cost back then....$1,200-$1,500??

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4/30/2020 3:48 PM

Christ almighty l wanted one of these so bad but Pops thought l was ready for a 250. So he helped me get an 81 RM 250 and l fucking loved that bike too.

Was the full floater as good as l remember? I still think it's the best ever. Felt like l could plow straight through anything on that bike.

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4/30/2020 4:15 PM

The '81 'Zook was leaps and bounds ahead of the field. Motor was ok stock, but had gobs of potential in it. Dean at R&D made them rip. It cornered and went through the rough stuff like nothing before it... I still couldn't run with Drey Dircks, but it wasn't the bike. Of all the bikes I've owned, it's the one I wish I still had.

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'75-'83 through the minicycle boom.
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I was fast... But being fast is relative to who else is on the track with you.

With ZachO retired, it's JA21 and AP for me...

TG243 fan!

4/30/2020 4:22 PM

Amazing rear suspension.

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Nobody ever told me, I found out for myself. You've got to believe in foolish miracles. It's not how you play the game, it's if you win or lose. You can choose. Don't confuse. Win or lose. It's up to you!

4/30/2020 6:56 PM

I loved mine except for the water pump seal going out once a month. Otherwise bulletproof and fast.

Sigh... another one I wish I had kept. 1992 CR250, 1976 YZ80C, 1998 YZ400F, Clayton Millers 2000 YZ426, my 2003 YZ450. Man, maytbe we should make a law that you have to keep a bike 20 years before selling. I would still have all of them..

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4/30/2020 7:17 PM

I worked at a Suzuki shop in 1980 thru 1983. The RM 125 was such a great bike. R & D Suzuki Was around then. They had a bitchen air box.


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4/30/2020 7:57 PM

In my eyes this was the baddest bike ever. I was 8 or 9 years old when one of the older kids threw me on the back of this death wagon. I remember us hitting a hill along side the road and launching about 10 foot in the air and landing at a dead stop. His goal was to scare the shit out of me. I think he succeeded in getting me addicted to mx bikes. One of these days when I drift back and try to find retro bikes, this one is on my list.

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5/12/2020 10:32 PM

Thanks for the the history lesson, one of the greatest MX bikes ever made up to that point! The 82 was also great but that was the end for Suzuki's dominance until things started turning around in 1989

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5/13/2020 7:34 AM

To me, this bike was one of the greatest of all time. The '81 case reed motor was a rocket when slightly modified. When the '82 came out, the chassis was slightly better (I think it had lost a little weight), but the new reed valve motor was nowhere near as good. The front end was just average, but once you road the Full Floater, you figured out that the magic was all in the rear end, and rode it rear-biased. If it even began to swap, just grabbing a handful of throttle always straightened it out.
Yeah, you could say I was a fan of this bike...and still am!

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5/13/2020 7:38 AM

I restored one a few years ago.

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5/13/2020 7:44 AM

In 1982 I just bought a new Honda CR250. I was riding at E Street sand track in Yuba City Ca. My friend had a 81 RM125. He wanted to ride my new Honda so we swapped. I'm was a big guy, 6'1" 200lbs. I got on that 125 and immediately I felt at home. I rode that thing for about three laps and felt faster than I had ever felt. I came in and my friend said "holy cow, I have never seen you go so fast". I never have forgotten that day. I wish I would have sold that Honda and got one of those 81 or 82 RM125s. I 'm 63 years old now and I still ride. I think about trying to find one and restoring it. That bike made an impression on me.

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5/13/2020 2:40 PM

Wish me luck on my '82. laughing

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5/13/2020 2:48 PM

Bought this new and still have and race it. They are great and fun bikes for sure . Before I catch a lotta shit, it has fork boots. LOL
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5/13/2020 2:54 PM

Still an freaking awesome looking bike nearly 40 years later.

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5/14/2020 6:05 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/15/2020 9:39 AM

Went from a 79 RM125 to an 83’ 250. The brakes were OK but the engine was great! I put an ‘82 head on it for more compression. Porting by Tony Smith racing.Photo

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