Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

My 95 RM/RMX FIND! Restro-mod in progress.

Recommended Posts

Picked up a 1995 RM250 a couple months ago, but finally getting around to working on it.


Here's the Deal:

Saw an ad on Craigslist for a 1995 RM250 that needed some work. Not running.

Cash or possible trade. "Kid" had mentioned he may be interested in some snowboard gear.

I have several and some extra gear, so I was expecting some cash plus trade might git-er-done... But you know ... start low, work your way up.  Nope!  Traded this thing Straight Across for an Old Rossignol Snowboard and a few misc items. Approximate Value... $60 to $100?


Figure, no matter what was wrong with the engine, I could part out a few pieces for way more than that Snowboard was worth!!


Anyway, was hoping it was a simple Top end seized...

Nope... Frozen Crank, AND the top end. Oh well...worth a shot.


Let me back-up a bit...  This bike was Heavily Raced, so it had the piss riden out of it, which explains the top and bottom end. And by a "kid" no less, so it was truly used and abused. However, It has also been modded up the ying-yang, so I got a lot of good parts out of it.
Like I said... If I had to part it, the part would be worth WAYY more than what I traded for it.



SOOO... It sat for a couple months. didn't really have the money to put into.

But, I have a friend who directed me to a guy that had a lot of spare parts, and could probably help me get a few things to get this back together.  Not only that, he runs a little repair shop out of his garage and he was willing to do almost all the work for me at a really smoking price!   So, I got the bottom end pulled apart, Rod and bearing replaced on my original crank (reconditioned). Replaced a few worn clutch rings and Gave me a good used cylinder and head to put on my bike. (I would supply my own top end kit) Pressure washed, cleaned everything and pit it all back together. All for $300!!

(I could've done the work myself, but it wouldn've cost me more just to buy the parts!)


Found out a few things about my bike in the process. Like I said the bike had a lot of mods...

Came with a Full Race-ported/polished cylinder (which now needs replating or a sleeve).

Boyesen Carbon-fiber Valves Valves.

FMF Turbine Core (Spark Arrester) silenced & loks like stock pipe.

Tuned suspension (kid was lighter than me, so should be just about right for offroad... I'm not a racer)

And RMX Transmission


Came with Stock RM transmission, but very non-standard gears.

Didn't match anything I could find online, so maybe just not well documented.


So, the guy that did the work to my bottom end used parts from an RMX, so I had him swap in the Entire Transissionout of the RMX, so I have a full Wide-Band tranny in my RM. Only exception is 4th gear. The guy that did my tanny already had the RMX engine apart before I met him, and last misplaced one of the RMX 4th gears. So we took the 4th out tof the RM and used it instead.


Hears a Run-down...

             95 RM250                  93-94 RMX250

Gear    Dr/Drvn   Ratio         Dr/Drvn   Ratio

1st       13/28      2.153846    14/32        2.285714

2nd      17/29      1.705882    15/26        1.733333

3rd       17/24      1.411765    16/22        1.375000

4th       19/22      1.157895    22/24        1.090909

5th       23/23      1.000000    22/19        0.863636

Spread               1.153846                    1.422078


So I have 1st, 2nd, 3rd, & 5th from the RMX, and 4th from the RM.



Cylinder & Head are also out the the RMX, so I'll pick up a little more Mid and Low end than the RM250 set would have offered.


This is better for me, as I'm more of a trail/woods/desert/single-track rider now than a MXer

Had a lot of 2-stokes over the years... riding style has just changed

But, I am curious how that full-ported head would work out if I had it replated... might have to find out one day... :p


So... for my trade of a snowboard, $300 bottom end work & parts (Plus extra $70 to install the other gear, since he already pulled it apart once), and $140 for the Weisco Top end kit... I STILL am only into this bike for about $500, and have a refreshed top and bottom end, wide-ratio tranny, and a few nice mods on top of that.


I'll still have to redo the Fork seals and replace the chain, but that's no big deal by comparison.


I'm going to clean up everything, repaint frame and engine (original plastics & graphics are in really good shape), and this thing should look like a million bucks!


Should get the engine back this weekend, and all completely reassembled by Mid-September (going on vacation next week). Looking forward to seeing how well this handles compared to by bone-stock (except pipe) YZ250 of the same year (recently sold).


Pics of the bike right after bringing it home.




Edited by Testa Rossa

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites



Have ya'll ever seen notches in the crankshaft that act as an "oil slinger" to throw oil up on the cylinder walls?

Only thing I could figure they were for...


None of the other cranks I found or spare parts at by buddy's shop had these notches.

They were all smooth.





Edited by Testa Rossa

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice find! Good buddy for givingtou a SMOKING deal too! Oil slinger grooves? Not sure bout that. Ummm.....yeah pics already! Lol

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The grooves are for producing a vacuum effect I believe like a turbo. I read about this a few years ago so don't quote me on it. I never heard how well it works but if its already done thats cool. I think I read it from a link from KTM talk.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The grooves are for producing a vacuum effect I believe like a turbo. I read about this a few years ago so don't quote me on it. I never heard how well it works but if its already done thats cool. I think I read it from a link from KTM talk.


Didn't know what to search for at first, but after a little research, I agree.

Turbo Vaning, Turbo Crank, etc...


Mixed feelings/opinions on the mod though.

Some say it works, some say it doesn't.

Some say you get gains, at the expense of something else, etc, etc.

90's thing....


One thing's for sure... lightened the crank by a couple ounces...

Not the best for woods and luging anyway... might have to up my flywheel a bit maybe (never did check it... might be already)


Don't really care as long as my eninge doesn't blow up on my again.  :ride:

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

So... I tore it all aprat....


Gonna paint the frame, polish up some aluminum stuff, clean the day-lights out of it, replace some hardware and getter looking nice again.

Either gonna powdercoat the frame, or ceramic paint and bake it on... still undeccided...


Here's some of the teardown.









Still not sure whether I'll put all the yellow back, or put on the white... we'll see




Tools  everywhere and a couple hours later...   :goofy:







Bottom end finished...

Top end kit at PO... got there 5 minutes too late yeaterday.

Contemplating painting the engine as well (at least the covers... not sure about the whole thing yet)



Edited by Testa Rossa

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice find! Good buddy for givingtou a SMOKING deal too! Oil slinger grooves? Not sure bout that. Ummm.....yeah pics already! Lol


Actually never met the guy before.

Friend of mine found him on CL, and had some work done.

So I thought it was worth a shot.


The main reason the top isn't done is because I at least wanted to verify the work.

I caught a couple things he had to redo, but he was still pretty easy to work with.

Got a good deal either way. I would use/recommend him again...

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

So I made some progress on the frame.  (FInished it actually...)



So I took a wire brush and a wire wheel to get all the crud off.

Planned to bake the oil off and sandblast, but it always works a little better if you get some of the crud off first.





I wanted to bake the frame a bit to remove al lthe oil deposits... Normally this is done in an industrial oven. I have a good selection of tools, but that's one thing I don't have. So... I whipped out the propane torch and heated up the frame.  Normally you bake it at 350-400 degrees to bake off all the old oil. Well obviously I didn't have that great of control using this method. I did make sure I heated it as evenly as possible however. BUT.. .Rather than 300 or 400 degrees,  I baked this thing to probably... oh.... say 600 to 800 Degrees!!  (maybe more) Was more than enough to bake the PAINT right off as well!!  :rolleyes:

The grey in the picture is actually the paint turned to ASH! 



All it took to clean that off after I baked it was a bench brush (hand broom). I didn't even have to break out the wire brush or wire wheel for this. You can see how clean it turned out! Some paint still left. More than likely this was the industrial primer/adhesion-promoter used from the factory. The semi-metallic graphite grey is totally gone.





At this point, I probably could have just primed and painted, but there was a little bit of rust I still wanted to take care of. Not bad, but a little heavier than just surface rust, so I wanted to sandblast it to take care of that. Here my make-shift blast "cabinet" and my cheapo central-pneumatic blaster.  (For the record... no!... the cabinet didn't do any good. Still managed to get sand everywhere.. oh well)


All blasted and ready to go. No rust, primer, paint of any kind left now... 







Now my compressor/blaster setup isn't exactly the best. I need a good industrial dryer. The dryers I have work for short bursts, but after going through 40-50 pounds of sand, I started getting some condensation from the nozzle. The Copressor motor tends to add a little bit of oil into the mix too.  So one (or two) more good cleanings and we should be jusy about done.


Got this great idea... I would bake it one more time to get rid of any oil the compressor may have passed. So I washed it first to make sure al the sand was gone, and baked it with the torch one more time. Tried to keep the temperture down as it wasn't quite as crucial as he first time around.  Kept it down, but not nearly enough... I remembered something as I was heating it up... Heat accelerates the oxidation process!!!   G**d***it!!!  :banghead:    My nice clean frame is now a nice light tan color!!!  AAAAHHHH!!!!   :rant:


Oh well.. .you win some you loose some.

All minor surface rust though, so I pulled out the wire brush and wire wheel and went at it... again!

Only a couple more hours work... no big deal...   :rolleyes:


This is about half way through...  (nice tan huh?!  Which I could tan like that!!)  :smirk:




Ok... washed it one more time and here it is finally finished and ready for paint!






After all this work, I could have just had it powder coated or something. But I'm trying to do this on the cheap.

So I just went with Rustoleum Engine Primer and Engine Paint - Gloss Black.


May have a buddy bake it in his REAL iindustrial over to make sure it's properly cured at the CORRECT emperature.

Even if I have to pay a few bucks I think it'll be worth it in the long run



So... after first & second coat of primer.

Was actually very good painting conditions. About 69 degrees and 38% humdity.

Allows the paint to stay wet long enought to gloss over and minimize the appearance of overspray.

I was very happy! Couple of hours ago it was over 90 degrees!  :thumbsup:









Then  couple coats of gloss black.

It was dark by now, so the shop light makes it look a little bit gray.

It's really not quite that bad.  Will have some daytime pics to follow...









Came back an hour or so later, when it had tacked up very nicely and it look like this!!

Still nice and glossy!





FINISHED!!!! Finally!



Next it will be on to painting the engine!

I decided to go ahead and strip it down and paint it to match. Probably replace as much of the old hardware as possible.

Won't spit the cases, since we already did that about 3 times. I'll just pull off the side covers, clean and prep separately, and then mask the main case and primer/paint (may add a conversion coating to the cast aluminum case as an adhestion promoter. The Magnesium covers wont need it).


Stay tuned... More to follow!

Edited by Testa Rossa
  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this