1982 RM250 Winter Project

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11/15/2017 8:18 AM

I recently bought this 1982 RM250. Like most used bikes of this vintage it needs a lot of work. It looks better in the picture than up close (and it doesn’t look great in the picture!!). Once disassembled, I found years of ignored maintenance (dry/rusted bearings, zip ties instead of fasteners....etc.). It's a great winter project!!
I plan on knocking off the ugly and making it look more original (color & decals). It will be ridden so it won't be a museum restore. A reliable VMX racer is the goal.
I was 14 years old when this bike was released and had no chance of buying one. I still remember reading about it in MXA and how amazing it seemed (works motor in a production chassis). I will finally be able to check this bike off 1980’s bucket list.
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11/15/2017 8:25 AM

Does anyone have a shock reservoir? I destroyed this one removing the end cap. The aluminum was bent over from years of riding without it properly secured.
I think 1983 had a bladder instead of a piston.Photo

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11/15/2017 9:05 AM

The shock parts on the old floaters are getting hard to come by, it is one area that can really set you back if you need a complete shock or parts that are not readily availible. Before you start buying parts for the shock make sure the shock body is not beyond service limits, it is common on neglected bikes. I have an 81 rm250 that I'm having an 83-84 rm 500 shock built for. I may have a good shock body & resevoir that would work for you, my 81 shaft & upper shock were stripped out by the last hack that worked on it. The 82"s are fun bikes, if you can find some 43 mm forks that helps the front end a bit, don't worry about the double leading brake plate, guys want a fortune for them & they are not much better than what you have.

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11/15/2017 9:36 AM

sandman768 wrote:

The shock parts on the old floaters are getting hard to come by, it is one area that can really set you back if you need a complete shock or parts that are not readily availible. Before you start buying parts for the shock make sure the shock body is not beyond service limits, it is common on neglected bikes. I have an 81 rm250 that I'm having an 83-84 rm 500 shock built for. I may have a good shock body & resevoir that would work for you, my 81 shaft & upper shock were stripped out by the last hack that worked on it. The 82"s are fun bikes, if you can find some 43 mm forks that helps the front end a bit, don't worry about the double leading brake plate, guys want a fortune for them & they are not much better than what you have.

Thanks for the info Sandman. I haven't look at the body yet. I'll take a good look at it and let you know.
I was surprised to not find anything on EBay. I guess shock parts are scarce.
43mm forks would be nice and seem easily sourced. I do recall the 38mm forks being the week link in 1982.

My brother and I joke about how much time on a rebuild is devoted to fixing a previous owners hack work.

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11/20/2017 7:41 AM

I've been mostly working on the frame. Fixed a few broken/stripped tabs and welded in some skid plate mounts.
Also picked up some 2000 RM250 pegs (at least that's what the ad said). I'll mount those and play around with the return springs. Almost ready to strip the blue paint.
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11/20/2017 5:56 PM

Cool bike and great project. Looking forward to seeing your progress. It is really amazing how small and crappy the old footpegs were. Looks like the original ones you have there where thrashed.
Greg

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11/24/2017 6:01 AM

Nice bike to start with. You'll run into some bumps along the way,,,but in the end the 82/83 RM250s are fast and well suspended. I was like you and dreamed of owning one as a kid...having one in racing condition myself now,,I can say it was not a let down when I hopped on it for first time!

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11/24/2017 12:28 PM

Guy’s, thanks for the comments.
I found a local seller parting out a RM465. I was able to buy a swingarm (mine had a crack), 43mm fork assembly, shock, rocker & rear brake. All of the parts seem low hour and should clean up nicely. Photo

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11/28/2017 11:45 AM

I have an 82 with an 84 front end on it. great bike. Best of luck with the build. keep us updated.
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Name withheld... Esquire


11/28/2017 3:41 PM

Steve125 wrote:

I have an 82 with an 84 front end on it. great bike. Best of luck with the build. keep us updated.
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Great looking bike! I like that it looks like you ride it.
How are your tank decals holding up?

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11/29/2017 10:19 AM

^^^^ Thanks. I do race it but its mechanically very fresh. Vintage racing is too fun to pass up. lol. My tank decals are the vented kind, from Vintage Roost, they're better than the OEM kind, but they still suck. About the only way to keep anything stuck on there is to drain the fuel immediately after every ride. and I'm not doing that.

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Name withheld... Esquire


11/29/2017 12:21 PM

I drain the carb & tank after I ride one of my vintage bikes, only because I never know when I"m going to ride it again...I bought tank decals for my 82 rm from "wicked tough" decals on eBay, one side went on great, the other side bubbled as soon as I put it on, ended up super gluing in on...I buy all my vintage graphics from Evo-MX now, I hate to send $ over sea"s but their products are hands down the best, thick, sticky shit there is....

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11/29/2017 12:26 PM

Test fit and compare the 465 parts to your 250 parts, I always assumed most of the floater parts were the same but, the 125 stuff is smaller that the 250 stuff & the 465 stuff is sometimes different that the 250 stuff, I have a 465 swingarm & it's about an inch longer that my 250 swingarm....the link rods changed a lot between models & years also.

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11/29/2017 3:47 PM

I hadn’t noticed but the swingarms do have subtle differences. There is about 1/4” difference in length but the rocker & struts seem to measure the same. I really should have checked this more before buying parts. The Japanese bikes changed yearly back then even if they looked the same.
I’ll make my final decision after I test fit everything.

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12/1/2017 12:47 PM

Here's a blog on my '82 rebuild...should have some helpful info in there... goodluck! These bikes were overengineered to the max..lots of parts n parts n parts! https://1982rm250z.wordpress.com/

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12/1/2017 2:29 PM

casedit wrote:

Here's a blog on my '82 rebuild...should have some helpful info in there... goodluck! These bikes were overengineered to the max..lots of parts n parts n parts! https://1982rm250z.wordpress.com/

Thanks for the link. Believe it or not I’ve already looked through your blog. Pictures of your bike came up searching 1982 RM250. There is a lot of useful information in the blog. A lot of great reference pictures too.
Funny you mention the bike looking better in the first pictures than standing next to it. My bike also had painted plastic and looked better in the sellers post. When I drove up his driveway and first saw it I thought I had found a gem. 10 minutes later a knew I was in for a full restore. The bikes don’t show up for sale around here often (oddly a lot of 125’s do) so i bought it and the price was right.

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12/10/2017 10:57 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/10/2017 11:47 AM

Finally had some time to work on the frame. Got it stripped and ready for paint (black not blue).


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12/13/2017 5:29 PM
Edited Date/Time: 12/13/2017 5:30 PM

I got the frame & footpegs powder coated. The swingarm and airbox aren’t ready but I had to see what it looks like. Gives my inspiration to keep going. It’s 20 degrees outside so I had to move from the garage to the basement.
What do you think of this sweet belt buckle? I wore it as a kid and my brother recently found it at my moms place.
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12/17/2017 1:21 PM

Cleaned/replaced bearings in the headset & rocker. Everything moves nice and smooth. I also finished the airbox. I’m really happy with how the side covers polished up.Photo

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12/26/2017 2:09 PM

Why buy a new intake when you can make one!
I’ve seen a lot of homemade parts one a dirt bike but never the intake. I’m guessing the new oem will flow better.Photo

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12/27/2017 8:52 AM

Bent206 wrote:

Why buy a new intake when you can make one!
I’ve seen a lot of homemade parts one a dirt bike but never the intake. I’m guessing the new oem will flow better.Photo

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I think that might be a Suzuki Factory "RA" one off part !! LOL grin

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Yeah, I have no clue !!!

12/27/2017 7:05 PM

Looking good!

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12/29/2017 7:20 PM

Looks great Steve! Can’t wait to see it in person when it’s done!

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1/3/2018 8:05 AM

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Does anyone know if the 1982 RM250 used an intake gasket?
It's not shown on the parts list. Seems odd not to have one between the reed block and cylinder.
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1/3/2018 8:11 AM

I pulled the forks apart last night. These old bikes fight you every step of the way!! ha ha
I've never had a set of fork seals refuse to come out. It's like the rubber had bonded to the stations. A heat gun, swearing and persistence worked! I have new bushings and seals on the way. That will give me time to clean everything.Photo

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1/3/2018 6:45 PM

I can take a look at my 82 tommorow, but there is not a gasket on my 81 and it's the same setup. What's funny is that, it appears Suzuki did not start using a gasket until about 1987 and the Reed setups are pretty much the same...I surface the Reed area on the cylinder before assembly.

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1/5/2018 6:06 AM

sandman768 wrote:

I can take a look at my 82 tommorow, but there is not a gasket on my 81 and it's the same setup. What's funny is that, it appears Suzuki did not start using a gasket until about 1987 and the Reed setups are pretty much the same...I surface the Reed area on the cylinder before assembly.

"I surface the Reed area on the cylinder before assembly"

Thanks for the information. I'll do the same.

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1/7/2018 12:35 PM

I started disassembling the engine today. The clutch needs some help.
Any idea what would cause the outer clutch plate to shatter? All of the pieces were still in the assembly and not in the bottom of the case.Photo

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1/7/2018 12:49 PM

I split the cases and pulled the crank out for a rebuild. I was able to remove all but one of the phillips head case screws. One was beyond stripped by the PO. I had to drill the head off.
I want to replace the screws but not sure if I’m going to use oem or one of the Allen head kits for sale on eBay.
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1/7/2018 5:00 PM

I'd go with the Allen kit because I hate dealing with Philips heads for the cases. But, there are also those who like to keep a bike stock. Who are you going to have do your crank?

BTW, I've never seen a clutch plate do that.

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