MC's 1997 Suzuki (the forks rumour)

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12/7/2017 5:21 AM

I heard somewhere years ago that he used the forks off of his 1996 HONDA on the Suzuki as he just couldn't get to grips with the ageing Suzuki front end. How true is this? i'd love some insider knowledge

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Never give up on Anyone

12/7/2017 5:24 AM

It's true. I'm pretty sure he mentioned it in his book.

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Amateur helmet painter

12/7/2017 5:26 AM

smashingpumpkins167 wrote:

It's true. I'm pretty sure he mentioned it in his book.

Amazing,

Just the logistics alone must have been a real pain. the triple clamps and hubs, or was the WHOLE front end a Honda?

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Never give up on Anyone

12/7/2017 5:28 AM

That's interesting. Not surprising though.

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12/7/2017 5:48 AM

Those were the all new conventional forks SUSZUKI had going during the McGrath year. Way different flex characteristics compared to the inverted forks. He tried a lot of different fork combos from what I remember including some super trick magnesium conventionals with a fork brace tying them together.

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One flat tire away from the championship, correct?

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12/7/2017 5:48 AM

I had a '97 RM250 and thought those 'standard oriented' cartridge forks were great.

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"We don't rent pigs."

12/7/2017 6:07 AM

In the book he said he took a few different parts from Honda. He said the forks and the front brake were not good on the Suzuki so they used Honda parts.

Yep - One flat tire away from a championship.


I also read somewhere that he bent a 40k set of forks on his YZ250 play riding in the hills, might have been his book but I can't remember.

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12/7/2017 6:09 AM

I loved that FOX Patriot gear, I got it for Christmas in 1996.

I just noticed they were running Renthal sprockets and Pro Taper bars, seems kind of odd.

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12/7/2017 6:17 AM

TJMX947 wrote:

I loved that FOX Patriot gear, I got it for Christmas in 1996.

I just noticed they were running Renthal sprockets and Pro Taper bars, seems kind of odd.

I don't think Pro Taper was making sprockets at that point. Some of the best years of my life as a teenager were watching this era of SX. Kids today don't know what they missed out on.

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12/7/2017 6:26 AM

The G.O.A.T. would have won on that bike.

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12/7/2017 6:44 AM

Its amazing what he was able to accomplish that year given he didn't start preparing until December for the upcoming season. He gave the Suzuki a quantum leap going forward, too bad he didn't stick around there imo.

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12/7/2017 6:45 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/7/2017 6:55 AM

Melicar wrote:

The G.O.A.T. would have won on that bike.

LOL ! A good friends brother owned a 96 Zuk model & don't how he rode that thing. It wasn't the most gracious bike at doing anything.

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Speak softly and carry a big stick.

12/7/2017 6:52 AM

Melicar wrote:

The G.O.A.T. would have won on that bike.

H4L wrote:

LOL ! A good friends brother owned a 96 Zuk model & don't how he rode that thing. It wasn't the most gracious bike at doing anything.

I had the 125 and thought it was a great bike. I rode a 250... once! blink sick laughing

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12/7/2017 6:53 AM

I had a 1997 RM250. God what a turd. So agonizingly slow after riding a 1995 CR250 for two years. Such an awful bike. junk

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ride

12/7/2017 7:15 AM

travis-grant wrote:

I heard somewhere years ago that he used the forks off of his 1996 HONDA on the Suzuki as he just couldn't get to grips with the ageing Suzuki front end. How true is this? i'd love some insider knowledge

Photo

Those forks were new for 1996, I don't know that I would call them aging. But, as Newmann said, they feel and flex a lot different.

From my amateur experience with a 96 and 97 RM250 that I used to own, the front wheels definitely felt heavier to me on those bikes. Not in a bad way, but like if you were riding an inverted fork bike and packed a bunch of mud/clay into the knobs. It had a different feeling for sure, but those things were beefy as hell. 49mm twin chambers and they ate up any jumps I could throw at them.

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12/7/2017 7:18 AM

Who the fuck would buy a banana bike anyways

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2009 Kawasaki KX450F
2009 Kawasaki KX250F
2002 Suzuki GSXR 600

12/7/2017 7:25 AM

yz763 wrote:

I don't think Pro Taper was making sprockets at that point. Some of the best years of my life as a teenager were watching this era of SX. Kids today don't know what they missed out on.

Lucky for us quite a lot of the late 90's races are on Youtube. Not the same as watching it live on the night though, I bet it was awesome.

Loving this thread, I had no idea he used forks from a CR!

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@russ_69

12/7/2017 7:38 AM

Suzuki really got a bad rap back then with both MC and LaRocco hating that bike

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12/7/2017 8:09 AM

Melicar wrote:

The G.O.A.T. would have won on that bike.

H4L wrote:

LOL ! A good friends brother owned a 96 Zuk model & don't how he rode that thing. It wasn't the most gracious bike at doing anything.

MC and Wheeler were out at Gorman that year and we were hanging out with them(wheeler has been a long time family friend as is MC) and wheeler swapped really bad and almost ended up on his head. We were all standing with MC at the time and my mom said look at that piece of shit Suzuki swap. She looked at MC and said omg I’m so sorry and he laughed and said, no you’re totally right. None of us will ever forget that!

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2017 RMZ450
2005 YZ250-sold :,(
1998 YZ250
2005 KX250F

80% of the time it works every time
IG @hammerfamily_4 & @2HRacing
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12/7/2017 8:27 AM

mattyhamz2 wrote:

MC and Wheeler were out at Gorman that year and we were hanging out with them(wheeler has been a long time family friend as is MC) and wheeler swapped really bad and almost ended up on his head. We were all standing with MC at the time and my mom said look at that piece of shit Suzuki swap. She looked at MC and said omg I’m so sorry and he laughed and said, no you’re totally right. None of us will ever forget that!

In the mid 90's when we raced together I was on a 93 CR2 & my friend was on a 96 CR2 while his brother was on the 96 RM250. After the motos he looked the most worn out of the 3 of us. The bike didn't handle well & had a very short powerband if I recall.

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Speak softly and carry a big stick.

12/7/2017 8:29 AM

travis-grant wrote:

I heard somewhere years ago that he used the forks off of his 1996 HONDA on the Suzuki as he just couldn't get to grips with the ageing Suzuki front end. How true is this? i'd love some insider knowledge

Photo

the forks weren't old. In fact many people have said the right side up forks were awesome.....on a moto track. reality was they flexed too much for supercross, they even built a custom brace for them at one point

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

12/7/2017 8:43 AM

Mag-Lowers were $1,000 each....in '97/'98

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I ripped a start from Egypt and I was happy about that.

12/7/2017 8:43 AM

Quote from member DavidR:

1997 factory RM 250. McGrath said in his book Wide Open "the Suzuki was giving me problems I wasn't sure I could overcome. It handled poorly and was really slow. How's that? Compared to my CRs, the RM was a turtle. Handled like one, too. The bike didn't hit hard enough anywhere in the powerband. It was sluggish coming out of corners and just didn't have the mid - range to run with other bikes on the straightaways." He goes on to rail on the conventional Showa forks and the clutch as well. Don't think he enjoyed his year on the Suzuki.

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Speak softly and carry a big stick.

12/7/2017 9:14 AM

I had that bike. Best forks I have ever felt. Good for all but the best sx guy. Power was low. He would of won that championship, if it weren't for a few things. Lamson at A1 crashed into mc twice! Then the front flat.

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12/7/2017 9:15 AM

Was the '99 when they switched forks a better bike? My dad bought a 98 rm250 bike off a friend and it ushered in our family's re introduction to dirt bikes. I got my first xr100 shortly after. I still remember it being the best looking bikes to date. It was laced with rims and powder coated frame and such. A real looker

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12/7/2017 9:18 AM

http://m.vitalmx.com/forums/Moto-Related,20/1998-RM-250-any-good,1255644
Seems when the bike isn't tied to McGrath, people were fond of it

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12/7/2017 9:20 AM

Having to split the cases to change a water pump seal wasn't the brightest idea Suzuki ever had.

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12/7/2017 9:37 AM

smashingpumpkins167 wrote:

It's true. I'm pretty sure he mentioned it in his book.

I'm kind of doubting that. That would be something I should know of and would remember (lol just sayn') I don't see Roger or anyone at Suz allowing that. I'm looking at his book now but don't feel like going through it. Just don't believe it happened. I know all about his fork issues with flex and one off braces and whatnot - just don't think he ever solved it, especially like you claim

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12/7/2017 9:52 AM

Those fork braces weren’t a one off, a lot of the Suzuki guys used them, especially Greg Albertijn...
Travis Pastrana never seemed to have too many issues with RMs... And if memory serves me right he did the odd jump on them...

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12/7/2017 10:20 AM

Forks were off of his old practice Honda, Suzuki built the clamps.

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James