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So this isn't EXACTLY make and model specific, but I suppose if you know what bikes I'm talking about it would help. I have two classic dirt bikes: a 1976 Suzuki RM250, and a 1979 Kawasaki KLX250. Needless to say, the shocks have never been touched and are completely shot. (I'm talking leaking oil and everything) I've never ridden anything else and didn't know better until a buddy rode one and told me he didn't know how I was riding it at all- that there was next to zero control of the rear end. I rode his 2015 Honda and so now I know. 

Minus the backstory: I have two classic dirt bikes that are in desperate need of attention. A 1976 Suzuki RM250, and a 1979 Kawasaki KLX250. Do I rebuild the factory shocks or buy new ones?

thanks!

Edited by Lone_rider

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You might struggle to get parts for the std shocks and they maybe too work to repair

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12 hours ago, mog said:

You might struggle to get parts for the std shocks and they maybe too work to repair

That's ultimately what I was thinking... they are all still straight, so I imagine rebuilding would be fine. However parts are another story- unless someone knows of a parts depot for these old shocks?

 

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If'n you are gonna ride these bikes and aren't all wrapped up in keeping it OE then I would DEFINITELY try to figure out a way to update to modern stuff for so many reasons.  Primarily the end performance result but also parts availability and probably lower cost.

Are both twin rear shock bikes? 

Maico seemed to be the only one who got a real handle on long travel twin rear shocks right before the entire world converted to mono shock.  I wonder if there are still aftermarket parts or entire shocks for the twin shock crowd.  Do you peruse any Vintage RM or KLX sites?  I'd think they might already have a handle on what the options are for repairing OE or for taking the blasphemous route of installing more modern parts.  Just think though, by not running your OE shocks you are keeping them out of harms way and preserving the vintage sacredness of those parts.  Not to mention enjoying the benefits of modern technology.

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Race Tech (Corona) is a good place to start but for the 76 Zuk check out EBAY or other vintage sites, you may find a good set of WORKS shocks, I'm currently running them on my 73 and 74 Elsinore's. Those shocks can be rebuilt by yourself or several local SoCAL suspension shops easily. For the 79 Kawi reach out to Pro Circuit in Corona and they may be able to help you out as they started supporting Kawi around that time with the Team Peak race program. Some of these options are not cheap but will yield incredible results if you aren't going to DIY.

I use Precision Concepts exclusively and also recommend them, Bob Bell has been doing suspension for a long time and will tell you what he can and cannot do. Good honest shop in the Riverside/Moreno Valley/Perris area. Or reach out to Travis at TBT in Corona as he loves a good challenge. Post some pics once these machines are alive again...

Edited by Diamond-Dave
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On 6/6/2017 at 7:02 AM, MetricMuscle said:

 

Are both twin rear shock bikes? 

Do you peruse any Vintage RM or KLX sites? 

My plan is indeed to continue riding them. I have yet to find a friend with a modern 250 2-stroke that can outperform the suz power wise. That thing is awesome. 

Yes- both bikes are twin rear shocks. I have no qualms about adding some modern parts to the equation, i don't intend to sell- I wanna ride!

I don't have any vintage specific sites that I know of. However, a quick google search gave me different brands that offer LT dual rear shocks. I figure as long as the length is right I can make it work- doesn't need to be made for the bike. As regards the front I may have to update the whole assembly for it to work. Not that I mind since the handlebars are a real POS tbh. 

On 6/6/2017 at 7:43 AM, Diamond-Dave said:

Race Tech (Corona) is a good place to start but for the 76 Zuk check out EBAY or other vintage sites, you may find a good set of WORKS shocks, I'm currently running them on my 73 and 74 Elsinore's. Those shocks can be rebuilt by yourself or several local SoCAL suspension shops easily. For the 79 Kawi reach out to Pro Circuit in Corona and they may be able to help you out as they started supporting Kawi around that time with the Team Peak race program. Some of these options are not cheap but will yield incredible results if you aren't going to DIY.

I use Precision Concepts exclusively and also recommend them, Bob Bell has been doing suspension for a long time and will tell you what he can and cannot do. Good honest shop in the Riverside/Moreno Valley/Perris area. Or reach out to Travis at TBT in Corona as he loves a good challenge. Post some pics once these machines are alive again...

Thanks for all the brands- I'll be sure to check them out! I clipped a photo of the bikes on my trailer when I took them up to the Oregon dunes.

IMG_3227.PNG

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