MC's 1997 Suzuki (the forks rumour)

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12/7/2017 11:40 AM

loftyair wrote:

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 ...more

Agreed on every point.

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12/7/2017 12:03 PM

ATKpilot99 wrote:

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

That part was stupid AF. Fortunate for me, my pump never had issues. Truth is, I never had one single problem with the bike, I ran it for many years in scrambles, crashed the poor thing relentlessly and it always worked fine.

There is some good insight from The Man about that '97 year in his old article, scroll down to 1997:

http://www.extremesportspromotions.com/misc/decoster/decoster_pt3_01.html

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"We don't rent pigs."

12/7/2017 12:12 PM

Another fun piece of info, if I remember correctly... MC's RM250 is where the on-the-fly adjustable clutch was born. Today it's a standard OEM part on every bike.

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James

12/7/2017 12:32 PM

Acidreamer wrote:

Who the fuck would buy a banana bike anyways

Me, bitch.

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Motorcrosser

12/7/2017 12:54 PM

smashingpumpkins167 wrote:

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

PFitzG38 wrote:

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 ...more

Ya, you should have opened the book.

He definitely said all of it.

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12/7/2017 1:13 PM

ATKpilot99 wrote:

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

Funny thing is, they actually did even worse in 2004 on the Kawazuki engine when they combined the water pump cover and the oil filter cover into one.

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12/7/2017 1:24 PM

H4L wrote:

Quote from member DavidR:

1997 factory RM 250. McGrath said in his book Wide Open "the Suzuki was giving me problems I wasn't ...more

I don't want to disagree with the MC, but I am amazed at anyone who thinks those year RM's didn't hit hard. The 96-98 RM's had an extremely hard hitting powerband, but it would fool you into thinking it was a "fast" bike. It had good low end, hard mid range, and fizzled out on top. In 99 Suzuki chopped the balls off the low end and made the bike really boring IMO in search of more top end.

As for the poor handling...Suzuki's are notoriously razor sharp, which makes em twitchy at speed. I still firmly believe the RM's of those years were not doomed POS's that people like to complain on them for. But they did feel different than a Honda or a Yamaha, and I think that was the source of the bad rap. Plus, lets face it, in 1997, Suzuki had a bit of a stigma about em, as did the KTM's. People felt like they were at a disadvantage, and I'm sure that mentality would carry over to both brands no matter what they rectified.

To this day I still feel that the 96-00 generation had some of the best ergonomics in dirt. Still one of my favorite, if not my all time favorite seat profile. The bike just felt good, still feels good, to sit in the saddle on. I don't know who says the same thing about say, the 2000 CR250 with its 12 inch wide, flat-as-a-pancake seat.

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12/7/2017 1:29 PM

ATKpilot99 wrote:

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

JAFO92 wrote:

That part was stupid AF. Fortunate for me, my pump never had issues. Truth is, I never had one single problem with the bike, I ...more

On the water pump, it was insane to ask someone to split cases for water pump service. But - the engine looked slick as hell without that water pump business hanging of the front side of the case. Aesthetically, it was really cool.

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12/7/2017 2:09 PM

SoCalMX70 wrote:

Another fun piece of info, if I remember correctly... MC's RM250 is where the on-the-fly adjustable clutch was born. Today ...more

They must have been around before that because they came stock on 98 or 99 YZs. No way they went from factory to production that fast.

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12/7/2017 3:05 PM
Edited Date/Time: 12/7/2017 3:10 PM

SoCalMX70 wrote:

Another fun piece of info, if I remember correctly... MC's RM250 is where the on-the-fly adjustable clutch was born. Today ...more

LungButter wrote:

They must have been around before that because they came stock on 98 or 99 YZs. No way they went from factory to production ...more

I'm up for being proven wrong. However, I quite vividly remember it being talked about on TV and in the magazines back then.

There's not much to the design and MC went to Yamaha in 98, so why not?

Edit: Random side note, I did a little search and found that Hinson built the custom clutch pack for MC's bike and that kickstarted their venture into making aftermarket clutches. MC really hated the clutch on that RM... Nice to have Hinson clutches around though!

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James

12/7/2017 3:41 PM

Last bike me and my dad picked up together so Ive kept it. Slowly buying up parts to spruce it up and luckily have found a NOS 1997 Team Suzuki graphics kit with seat cover to replace the ones on now. Stock the motor was slow even for me. Got some port work done by Mike at RRP and it came alive. FMF pipe( yes, mine is the Fat Boy) helped alot. Suspension worked well as long as you kept it fresh. Im glad I still have this bike in my collection because it was a unique piece of moto era. Photo

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12/7/2017 4:08 PM

DAG wrote:

Last bike me and my dad picked up together so Ive kept it. Slowly buying up parts to spruce it up and luckily have found a NOS ...more

I would love to ride one of those now. I had the 96 RM125 and the 97 250. We had Boyesen throw the book at the 250, and that thing was nuts. It was a light switch, vibrated worse than anything I remember, and scared the piss out of me.

The year MC rode RM's was the most memorable and exciting season to me. He should have won.

I remember being at Redbud that year, and watching him, and just feeling so bummed for the way he was riding. You could just tell he was over it and didn't want to be there. I still think he finished on the podium, but he just seemed to be riding around.. But man, those RM's were gorgeous. I really wish he had more prep time before the season and came into SX ready.

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12/7/2017 4:20 PM

Acidreamer wrote:

Who the fuck would buy a banana bike anyways

The 2006 RM 250 was one of the best bikes ever made imo.

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12/7/2017 5:05 PM

My dad's '96 was the first 250 I ever rode and raced. It was PERFECT for a 150 lb B class rider. Later on raced it in a few enduros and thought it was perfectly suited for that. The suspension and handling felt much better than my dad's other bike, a 98 KX.

Fun memories.

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12/7/2017 5:06 PM

By the way, does anyone have a picture of the special triple clamp brace that LaRocco raced with? It connected the top and bottom clamps.

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12/7/2017 5:40 PM

Micahdogg wrote:

I don't want to disagree with the MC, but I am amazed at anyone who thinks those year RM's didn't hit hard. The 96-98 RM's had ...more

I agree with pretty much everything you said. But don't talk shit on my 2000, 2001 Honda 250's. smile Amazing bikes. I'm still looking for the right one to restore and ride.

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12/7/2017 5:57 PM

H4L wrote:

Quote from member DavidR:

1997 factory RM 250. McGrath said in his book Wide Open "the Suzuki was giving me problems I wasn't ...more

Micahdogg wrote:

I don't want to disagree with the MC, but I am amazed at anyone who thinks those year RM's didn't hit hard. The 96-98 RM's had ...more

avidchimp wrote:

I agree with pretty much everything you said. But don't talk shit on my 2000, 2001 Honda 250's. smile Amazing bikes. I'm still ...more

You do realize that slow for a rider of MC’s ability is real f***ing fast for the majority of the people on this planet?

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12/7/2017 6:02 PM

Melicar wrote:

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

That 97 Suzuki was a total POS. Not sure why he picked it. Emig said the 97 KX was the best bike he ever rode. I think if McGrath would have picked Kawi he probably would have continued to dominate.

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12/7/2017 6:07 PM
Edited Date/Time: 12/7/2017 6:08 PM

Mit12 wrote:

You do realize that slow for a rider of MC’s ability is real f***ing fast for the majority of the people on this planet?

Of course I do, I never said the bike was slow. Funky HP/torque spread, but fun none the less. To this day, nothing turns like a SUSZUKI.

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12/7/2017 7:35 PM

You could tell from his riding in SX that he was hating the bike. His whole style changed. He wasn’t staying as low on the jumps and it just looked like he didn’t trust it. I also recall at Washougal the bike swapping going over the first step on horsepower hill, and him shaking his head all the way up the rest of the hill.

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12/7/2017 8:28 PM

larocco quit factory suzuki that year during the sx series, over the forks, wasn't it?

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12/7/2017 9:02 PM

H4L wrote:

Quote from member DavidR:

1997 factory RM 250. McGrath said in his book Wide Open "the Suzuki was giving me problems I wasn't ...more

Micahdogg wrote:

I don't want to disagree with the MC, but I am amazed at anyone who thinks those year RM's didn't hit hard. The 96-98 RM's had ...more

Hard hitting? No way. I raced a bone stock 98 kx250. my buddy showed up to comp park with a 98 rm250. I jumped on it and that thing felt like 125 power

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12/7/2017 9:21 PM

My favorite part of MC's book was him talking about the outdoors in 1997. I remember watching those races as a kid and thinking how he wasn't even trying...

Sure enough, years later in the book MC is talking about how himself, Jimmy Button, and some other friends were partying all Summer and showing up to race when they had to. Basically meeting minimum obligations and partying the rest of the time.

Also the secret meeting with Honda... He thought he was going to get an offer to go back to the team after and it just never happened.

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James

12/7/2017 9:48 PM

H4L wrote:

Quote from member DavidR:

1997 factory RM 250. McGrath said in his book Wide Open "the Suzuki was giving me problems I wasn't ...more

MC did say that if he won the '97 SX championship on the Suzuki that he wouldve stayed with them in '98 cause he felt he wouldve owed it to them. Say if he did win that '97 championship, i wonder if he wouldve won in '98, '99, and 2000 had he never went to Yamaha. Its pretty crazy to think about how shitty his '97 season was (to his standard anyways) and how close he was to winning that championship.

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12/8/2017 1:12 AM

H4L wrote:

Quote from member DavidR:

1997 factory RM 250. McGrath said in his book Wide Open "the Suzuki was giving me problems I wasn't ...more

Micahdogg wrote:

I don't want to disagree with the MC, but I am amazed at anyone who thinks those year RM's didn't hit hard. The 96-98 RM's had ...more

coastlinecascot wrote:

Hard hitting? No way. I raced a bone stock 98 kx250. my buddy showed up to comp park with a 98 rm250. I jumped on it and that ...more

This. I came off a 95 KX250 with modest porting, standard pipe and shortened stock muffler and that thing was all bottom no top at all short shifting holeshot machine. Then a 97 RM with a weak mid and some over rev. Funky torque and power curve is a good way of describing it. Had the cylinder base cut with porting work, a used PC Suzuki team SX spec pipe and shorty and it still lacked HP. Got a 99 RM next and that was a heap better with strong mid that carried up top some. Had ports cleaned up, 20 thou of the head, race fuel, ignition advanced, Bills pipe and silencer with spot on jetting and that bike was a rocket. Easily approaching 50 HP

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12/8/2017 1:35 AM

As for the forks, mine were both revalved which made a big difference but I think I liked the not so rigid feel of the conventionals overall.
But comparing what MC rode with and what came standard is ridiculous. Suzuki forcing him to race with the conventional works version to make it look like a showroom bike was also a ridiculous idea that cost them dearly till it was proved they were hidering his performance.

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12/8/2017 6:00 AM

crowe176 wrote:

I would love to ride one of those now. I had the 96 RM125 and the 97 250. We had Boyesen throw the book at the 250, and that ...more

I had both of those, a '96 125 and '97 250

I dont GAF what the haters say, both were rock solid and I loved how they handled.

Photo

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"We don't rent pigs."

12/8/2017 6:29 AM

^^^^Says the guy with a Baja 1000 steering stabilizer on the RM 250.

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12/8/2017 6:54 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/8/2017 6:55 AM

Underground wrote:

This. I came off a 95 KX250 with modest porting, standard pipe and shortened stock muffler and that thing was all bottom no ...more

I figured MC's factory 97 RM250 was probably putting out about 50 HP with the engines back then. A good friend I raced with in the 90's had a 96 CR250 with PC mods I believe was putting out about 52 hp. His brothers 96 RM250 was severely under powered & remember pulling his bike easily on the straights with a stock 93 CR250 engine.

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Speak softly and carry a big stick.

12/8/2017 7:01 AM

Melicar wrote:

^^^^Says the guy with a Baja 1000 steering stabilizer on the RM 250.

Umm, that was a hare scramble bike. 75% or more of the people I raced with had a Scotts. Regardless of brand.

Anything else?

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"We don't rent pigs."