1982 Suzuki RM 250. What am I thinking?

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4/25/2018 5:02 PM

Uggh. Damn phones and damn Facebook markplace. So I’m looking for a pit bike and this pops up. I’m like a moth to a flame and next thing I know I’m driving through the ATM to pick this up. Guy wasn’t sure what year it was and I wasn’t either till I got it home and checked the VIN number. It’s been beat down and abused for sure but for 85.00 dollars what the heck. Think I’ll just take my time on this one and probably won’t start on it till fall time. The frame is straight And most of the motor is there.
I’ve always liked the Suzuki Full Floaters from this generation
Any input would be appreciated as I’m clueless about Suzuki’s. Does look like many of the parts are still available from Suzuki which helps. Here’s my thoughts so far.
1: swap to later model forks and punt the spaghetti noodle 38mm’s.
2: swap to a DLS front brake.
3: find a good shock, the can is worn though on this one and is probably a wallowed out mess inside. Eyes peeled for a öhlins or WP.
4: soup it up some. Missing pipe, silencer and carb plus it’s on .75 overbore now so might as well play with it.
Any tips or tricks are greatly appreciated. Been looking on vintage Suzuki and full floater websites but trick parts seem a bit scarce for Zook’s versus Honda and Huskies I’m used too. Photo

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4/25/2018 5:39 PM

For only $85, you HAD to buy it!! LOL As long as the hard to find bits are usuable- cases, trans, frame, swing-arm, you're golden! Keep us updated on the progress.

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4/25/2018 6:20 PM

Parts are plentiful for these Suzuki"s....the big issues will be:1: rear shock body. If it was neglected, the body will be worn out. 2: floater rocker arm spherical bearings are expensive if you can find them, there are some work arounds out there. 3: a few of the tranny gears are getting harder to source. 4. The ultimate front end upgrade is the 84 125/250 with 43 mm forks & dls brakes, but good luck finding one. The 81-82 rm 465 used 43 mm forks with single pull front brakes, may be easier to find, dont get too hung up on the dls front brakes, they are drums & work best when you don't use them at all. The good news is that you will be surprised what is still availible from Suzuki for this bike...I did a full mechanical rebuild in mine 2 years ago and ordered many parts through RMC Suzuki Oem parts. For a 36 year old bike the motor & suspension are pretty impressive....the brakes & handling.... Not so much...

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4/26/2018 9:02 AM

Nice find!!
I have found some of the superseded oem part numbers aren't the exact same part (different finish).
Do your research before buying parts from other models (RM465, 1983 RM250). Even though the parts look similar, some things fit and some things don't. I'm glad I'm almost done with my build....I won't be bidding against you for parts! ha ha
Whatever you do, hang on to those oem side panels!! New oem's are hard to find and expensive if you do but they fit so much better than aftermarket re-pops. The Maier rear fender does fit well and the color is a good match.
Lastly, you'll notice the difference in fit and finish from your '86 CR250 build!! Honda was way ahead of Suzuki at the time.

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4/26/2018 3:52 PM

There is tons of quality info on this forum if you do some digging, for many models of bikes. Keep us posted.
Im still on the lookout for this or the 83 model.

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4/27/2018 9:30 AM

My 1982 RM250Z hole shot king
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Ed Johnson

4/28/2018 1:33 PM

sandman768 wrote:

Parts are plentiful for these Suzuki"s....the big issues will be:1: rear shock body. If it was neglected, the body will be ...more

: floater rocker arm spherical bearings are expensive if you can find them, there are some work arounds out there.

What is the work around for these bearings? Suzuki is definitely proud of them.
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4/28/2018 6:22 PM

I have not had to replace any of the bearings to date. I believe you can get a bearing with a slightly larger O/d. Then bore the rocker or link. Search full floater face book sites for more info. I know I have read guys have found a suitable replacement.

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4/30/2018 8:03 AM

Sooo.. Been surfing the internet learning what I can about RM's. Guess I always think about the Zook's running GP's for some reason, so kicking around doing a Georges Jobe "replica" bike.
Way I see it is almost easier to build it this way versus tracking down OE parts. DC plastics has the one side airbox that is the main piece of the puzzle. Obviously I'll be taking lots of liberty's as I am always working on a shoestring budget, no actual works parts from that era are in the budget even if I could find them.
Here's my thoughts, please add any ideas you have.
1: single side airbox
2: relocate shock can to RH side (mines all junk anyways)
3: 43 mm forks
4: chop off kickstand bracket, make new chain roller tab.... (tidy up frame and lose some weight in the process)
5: aluminum kickstart and shifter (cut weight)
6: fab some "works" rear suspension links out of aluminum or titanium.
7: swap out fasteners with titanium bolts, aluminum washers and tophats... (get rid of the 30,000 washers Zook used!)
8: safety seat cover and foam. (can't decide between blue or black cover)
9: fab up a brake pedal as in the pics, oversize footpegs...
10: motor and suspension gets the "works" treatment. The ports definitely have room for improvement from a tidy up. I am really thinking a aluminum sleeve with nicasil from millennium.
I am lucky enough to have access to a semi secret gear treatment process through a Indy car team I work with so the transmission will be getting that.
11: reduced gloss black frame and engine to look like the RH works bike back in the day. Anodize the triple clamps, forks, etc to look like magnesium, like I did on my CR250.
12: Green number plate backgrounds (but not that Honda wantabe front number plate! What were people thinking back then?)

Here's what I'm thinking
http://www.vintageworksbikes.com/1982SuzukiRH250.html

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5/2/2018 9:53 AM

(1) I wonder if you could "fit" a 1984 single sided airbox. The oem would look like the works version in the picture.
(6) Try to find a newer reservoir with adjustable compression (1982 has no adjustment).

Can't wait for this build thread!

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5/2/2018 2:57 PM

Bent206 wrote:

(1) I wonder if you could "fit" a 1984 single sided airbox. The oem would look like the works version in the picture.
(6) Try ...more

Thanks! I like the idea of the stock airbox. Way cheaper than aftermarket one. Looks tricky as those had a frame tube in the front of the box. Maybe someone will chime in.

I got the frame cleaned up and dropped off at sandblast shop so as soon as it’s back I’ll try to figure that out.
Got shock apart and unbelievably the body is in excellent shape. But haven’t made any decisions on what to do but yes it will get some sort of compression adjuster. Be cool to have a more modern piston and valving than the 82’s primitive setup. I swore I’d never use race tech stuff again but they do have a piston and shim conversion for them. But a later model stock would be better.
Also scored a pair of 43mm forks off a 465, even though I said I wouldn’t buy anything till fall!

Frame awaits spa treatment
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5/3/2018 9:11 AM

I don't get the hate for the stock airbox. the filters are super easy to get at and be certain of them sealing. The aftermarket single airbox looks ridiculous to me.

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5/3/2018 10:39 AM

I have a 83 rm250, and won many many races past 3 seasons on it,,,if not for those damn 490 maicos I'd have more holeshots...I love the bike/model ,,but having been in your shoes...the initial purchase price of this one is the cheapest part. I have found from expensive lessons,,you may want to look fo another 82/83 rm250 that needs less work and build best of 2. Part by part cost made a few under '$200 projects' cost way more than buying a decent $800-1000 lower time core bike and useing the cheapo bike as parts .

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5/3/2018 11:10 AM
Edited Date/Time: 5/3/2018 11:12 AM

Rocky739 wrote:

Sooo.. Been surfing the internet learning what I can about RM's. Guess I always think about the Zook's running GP's for some ...more

On one of mine I used the Twin air single sided air box and it was awesome but I have never come across one on Ebay , Roost Factory also made one and they come up every now and then. I also did mount my rear shock reservoir on the right side where I had extra space when I put on the single sided air box to move it from the front of the bike,I also then had a short reservoir hose installed and it was a much cleaner setup. Also found a set of 83 RM250 forks that were much better than the 82 version.

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Ed Johnson

5/3/2018 4:59 PM

Lostboy - Greely SX? Good times .

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5/3/2018 7:02 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/3/2018 7:05 PM

Soo. Been looking at pics of the later OE single side airbox and the Jobé bike and that’s definitely the way to go. I will have to fab a frame tube to attach it to but that is kinda in my wheelhouse so why not.
Not much popping up for parts bikes out there and honestly the only missing parts on this one is the pipe, carb and handlebars. All three of those items would most likely be junk on 95% of the bikes out there and are all available new aftermarket.
Plus the fact that I already have three bikes that look like they did in the showroom in their perspective years is partly the reasoning to build a “works” bike, 82 was definitely the heights of the works era, hard to believe that Suzuki had a carbon fiber chain guide back then. I’ll be building one of those for sure.
Each of my other bikes I worked on nonstop to complete, this bike wasn’t planned or needed so I am going to take my time on it. Plenty of bikes to race and ride.
I recon that it would take multiple “parts” bikes to source all the bits I need. I really only need the airbox, triple clamps and a better clutch basket. So unless I found one unicorn that had all the parts I wanted it’s piece meal for me.
I split the cases and all the gears and crank look good (will get a new rod) so more good news there! Be nice to get the cases blasted and painted so I have something finished to look at. After I get a few home chores done I’ll get the rod and transmission/crank bearings and seals so the bottom half can go back together, in the meantime the wheels need unlaced so the hubs can be painted and re laced up with new spokes and rims while I’m getting the frame fab work done. Be excited to start getting some parts fitted with Ti fasteners too. Thinking that should keep me busy throughout the summer.

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5/3/2018 11:56 PM

les962 wrote:

Lostboy - Greely SX? Good times .

1983 cool

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Ed Johnson

5/4/2018 6:05 PM

les962 wrote:

Lostboy - Greely SX? Good times .

lostboy819 wrote:

1983 cool

Tom "the picture man"

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2/26/2019 9:54 PM

So. Believe it or not I've been doing quite a bit on the Zook.
I failed to use self moderation and ended up buying a 1966 Ducati scrambler and I am learning quicky that doing two bikes at once simply means you never get anything done to either. Plus work has been super busy so lots of time away means stuff sits around but nights in a hotel do allow for internet searching and ordering.
So now I've basically ended up with a 83 motor (better gearbox) and despite what many believe, the consensus is that the 83 head is the better option for a race motor.
After I got all the parts lined out I sent the cylinder and head to Tom Morgan for a bore and porting job, great guy to deal with, fast turnaround and reasonable prices. One of the few folks who I trust to take a grinder to my motorcycle. I have all the parts blasted and ready to ceracoat now. So motor will be done soon!
I also have the repoduction single side air box and a new carb all ready to go feeding into a VForce Reed. Hopefully she will rip!!!
I was lucky enough to get a stock pipe and period Answer silencer from a member on here. Taco 44 really hooked me up. I also got the ignition, shock, and some other hard to find goodies from him.
But since this is a RH factory replica no stone is being left unturned. The Answer silencer had a core with tiny holes so I took modern design core material and fit it to work. I also had a ring made to provide more material to thread the bolts into. I also added some titanium bolts and a new sticker, just cause.
A scotch Brite wheel in a drill really cleaned it up and provided a factory like brushed finish back to it.
Next up is get motor back together and fit into frame so I can Fab up the brackets for the air box, side panels and modern RMZ brake pedal. Rear shock is also ready to be hard anodized and go back together, I also scored a adjustable compression reservoir cap
Less appealing is getting the forks and front brake sorted. I have a pair of 1988 cartridge forks to fit, sounds like a job for once some assembly is underway.
Sorry for the rambling on and lack of pictures but I'll do much better at posting some progress soon.
Cheers

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3/2/2019 1:18 AM

sandman768 wrote:

Parts are plentiful for these Suzuki"s....the big issues will be:1: rear shock body. If it was neglected, the body will be ...more

Rocky739 wrote: : floater rocker arm spherical bearings are expensive if you can find them, there are some work arounds out there.

What is ...more

To me those bikes are ugly. Good luck Suzuki fans. I wish you the best. I really do

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3/2/2019 4:50 AM

Jeremy_Brown wrote:

To me those bikes are ugly. Good luck Suzuki fans. I wish you the best. I really do

Totally unnecessary.....beauty in the eye of the beholder......

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3/2/2019 5:02 AM

Rocky739 wrote: : floater rocker arm spherical bearings are expensive if you can find them, there are some work arounds out there.

What is ...more
Jeremy_Brown wrote:

To me those bikes are ugly. Good luck Suzuki fans. I wish you the best. I really do

sandman768 wrote:

Totally unnecessary.....beauty in the eye of the beholder......

Just kidding bro great find man I'll be looking at this one

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3/2/2019 1:34 PM

Apart from Howertons factory twin shock RH works bike, this comes in second placd!

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3/5/2019 10:51 AM

I totally agree almost all the bikes built in the early 80's are butt ugly, I think of them as teenagers hitting puberty, awkward bits sprouting off them and no idea what to do with all the new parts!
That's why the 86,87 CR's blew everyone away, the first good looking bike since steel tanks went away... But that's part of the allure of this time for me, watching my brother race during this era, waiting weeks for the latest magazine to hit the shelf at the grocery store and then reading it till the covers fell off, staring at the pictures of the bikes... By the time you actually got to see one in person you were convinced it was capable of winning a race on its own, lol! I'll take ugly bikes from this era versus the modern all look alike's and don't change for 10-15 years at a time now...

Good news, another box of goodies arrived, running out of parts to order!! Got all my paying projects finished and shipped off so now I can focus on my bikes! Planning a big weekend in the shop, stay tuned, excitement coming soon!!!

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12/14/2019 11:49 AM


Been awhile since I have really knuckled down for a few days straight and made headway on the Zook.
The motor was a pain. I had to go through several cases and more than a few tears but she's all together, Tom Morgan Racing did a stellar job porting and reshaping the 83 head, I took a lot of time and matched the cases up to his porting. I also trimmed a V-Force reed to the inlet. It should breathe easy!
Working now to fit the bodywork on and align the pipe. The pipe mount Suzuki used was pretty crappy so I'm retro fitting 07 RM pipe mounts to fit. Seems a shame to cut the mounts off a pristine stock pipe but doesn't seem to be much market for RM stuff compared to other brands. So unless someone offers me equal trade for a pro form pipe the stocker dies. Bwahaaaa.
A few wins so far have been the Pro Circuit footpegs off a 90's RM. They fit right on after drilling the holes out for the larger pins.
I was able to get a nice DLS front brake for it. I also got a set of 1988 RM forks so the front end should be sweet.
Been a chore finding all the titanium fasteners, plus you never realize how many bolts are in a dirt bike till you count and measure each one! Swapped out as much as I can, right down to the carb body bolts and kill button bolt!

Still some more Fab work to get the frame done, rear brake pedal, exhaust mounts, seat brackets...
Hopefully it won't be another year till I have a update!!!



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12/14/2019 2:23 PM

Nice work...the stock pipes on these bikes performed very good, often better than aftermarket pipes. You will have to get creative mounting that DLS front brake to an 88 front end, as the 88 was disc brake, but I have seen brackets made to accept the brake plate slot. What do you have for a rear shock?

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12/14/2019 5:18 PM

sandman768 wrote:

Nice work...the stock pipes on these bikes performed very good, often better than aftermarket pipes. You will have to get ...more

The front hub will be a pita for sure as not only the disc mount will have to be swapped to drum but the axel dia are different so a custom axle will have to be made too, lucky there is some ti scrap lying around that should work!
I have a stock shock in perfect condition, need to get the body and reservoir dropped off for hard anodizing while I'm in town. I picked up a ti OEM Yamaha YZ spring for it also. I'd love to find a period WP shock for it but after a year none have come up on eBay. A new öhlins would be awesome but just not in my budget. I did relocate the reservoir to the rh frame tube getting rid of the mile long hose and goofy mounts. Of course that requires a custom made hose... So it goes.

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12/15/2019 3:58 PM

1. I put a single sided airbox on my ‘81 RM125X. Mainly due the stocker was “broken”.
Can’t tune the “airscrew” is the biggest issue.
I’d put the stocker back on if I could find the parts required. (From memory the inserted treads were seized and turning, and the filter frames were cracked. I’ll revisit it, as, at the time I was keen for the “works look”.

2. Any info on the best fix for the bearings top and bottom on the FF “uprights” (links)?

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12/15/2019 5:28 PM

skypig wrote:

1. I put a single sided airbox on my ‘81 RM125X. Mainly due the stocker was “broken”.
Can’t tune the “airscrew” is the biggest ...more

I'm going for no holds barred works replica so inconvenience is expected. Lol
I bobbed the mounts off for the airbox so no going back now!

I found these heim bearings on eBay. They are correct except the OD is too big. I plan to make a fixture to hold them in the lathe and turn them down to fit. The parts I bought had good stockers in them so it got pushed to the back burner.
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12/19/2019 2:47 AM

skypig wrote:

1. I put a single sided airbox on my ‘81 RM125X. Mainly due the stocker was “broken”.
Can’t tune the “airscrew” is the biggest ...more

Rocky739 wrote:

I'm going for no holds barred works replica so inconvenience is expected. Lol
I bobbed the mounts off for the airbox so no ...more

Best of luck with that, we went with opening up the holes in 1982

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