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TheBavarian

New owner 1997 RMX250V: General info, manual and aftermarket protection (WA, USA)

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Posted (edited)

Hey y'all,

Just picked up a 97 RMX250V a couple of weeks ago. Located in Washington state. Bike is super clean, well taken care off and runs great as far as I can tell. 

I'm looking for more info on the bike. My other bike is a DR650 for which there's a ton of content online here, at drriders.com and the thread on advrider. For the RMX I didn't have much luck yet. Any resources you can recommend for new owners?

I am also looking to get a pdf or printed version of a service manual. Ebay has some printed versions of the owner manual. Any ideas where I could get a Clymer Manual for a 97? Ebay only list Clymer for RMX 89-95.

Also, I'd like to add some extra protection for trail riding. I'm planning to add generic hang guards and pipe guard from Tusk. For skid plate and radiator guards I'm not sure where to get parts that fit. Any recommendations for skid plate or radiator guards for a 97 RMX250V or a list of aftermarket parts in general?

Appreciate any info/advice.

Thanks!

IMG_3565.JPG.ba0153dad602ecc4cf59cde6ed6b5468.JPG

Edited by TheBavarian
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lol. I almost bought that bike the first time I saw it on CL. Welcome to TT.  Cool to see you on here!!!

 

Good bikes. I’ve got two. First thing you should do is a immediate top end inspection. These bikes are notorious for Power valve problems. Good idea to replace piston and rings while your in there and get the optional 1.2 head gasket.  

Don’t waste your money on a Clymer. There’s a OEM Service manual for 96 here;

https://mega.nz/#!3FkTzRDS!EFqE9tzdU9BjByRn0ymw3605UvQGoeLg6Xj4chXIH4Y

Only thing that changed from 96-98 was seat cover and shroud color.

The Ricochet skid plates are pretty nice. Requires the factory case guard to be removed. Installing one on my 96.

https://m.ebay.com/itm/Ricochet-Skid-Plate-Suzuki-RMX250/221981906338?varId=520858755354&_mwBanner=1

Edited by Jeremyf1
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Hi Jeremy.

Awesome! Thanks very much for the info and link.

I downloaded the pdf manual. I thought another difference was that 96 had the inverted forks and in 97 & 98 they went back to conventional forks?

Any idea if there are aftermarket radiator guards that might fight the RMX? I'd like to have some protection against side impacts when riding trails here in the PNW. Or would I have to fabricate some myself?

I'll also try to inspect the top end and PV soon 

 

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No problem :thumbsup:

The 95’s were the last year for the Inverted forks. All the kinks hadn’t been worked out, so Suzuki went back to the conventionals in 96. 

I know there are/were radiator guards available. Not sure who made them though. Both my RMXs’ are hopped up, so I need as much airflow through the radiators as possible to keep them cool. 

 

The Power Valves inspection is something you’ll want to do right away. It’s one of those “spend a little now, or a LOT later” situations. Mainly it’s the retaining screws and secondary PV nuts that come loose. My 98 when I bought in ‘00 with 20 hrs. and my 96 both had the PV nuts loose and were grinding away on the rings. The 96 was a bit worse. That one had ALL the screws loose, which allowed the secondary PV springs to migrate to the trans and get ground up by the gears. 

 

This is is what you don’t want to see.  lol  

9BBFC460-C025-4DF0-B4A5-3DDD746313DF.jpeg.9da368ebe559e127e2d113fca48a3636.jpeg

A little loc-tite goes a long way....

 

PS. There are aftermarket Chinese radiators on eBay for about $140. OEM rads are unavailable. If yours are mint, you might want to go with the china rads and keep your OEM off to the side looking new. 

Edited by Jeremyf1
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Posted (edited)

Thanks!
Yeah I need to read up on the service manual figure out the PV.

Just to check if all the power valve screws and nuts are tightened, is it enough to just remove the PV inspection cover or will I have to take apart the whole top end?

 

Also, do you know what the RMX specs for a compression test are?

Edited by TheBavarian

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There’s not much room to get a screwdriver on those top PV cover screws, which reminds me. Be sure to use JIS (Japanese industrial standard) drivers on the screws. Regular philips has a tendency to screw up the tops. 

Even if there’re not loose yet I’d still remove them all, Thoroughly clean threads, and loc-tite them all anyway. Regular blue screw strength is fine for the screws, but the PV nuts use a high temp-high strength threadlocker. I found the backside of a old sawzall blade in a vice works great for holding the round castle nuts. 

You could pull the entire cylinder, leaving the head on to save yourself on buying a head gasket. Another thing i just thought of is the OEM pistons do not have the exhaust bridge lubricating holes. Even if you don’t end up replacing piston, I do recommend to go ahead and drill the lube holes in piston skirt. Rings and cylinder will last much longer. 

Edit;

I actually don’t know the PSI for stock engine. Guessing I’d say 160 with stock head gasket and around 180 with optional gasket. Both mine have modified heads and much higher compression. I do know that 245 is a bit too much. Ha ha. Mine are around 215-225 now. 

Edited by Jeremyf1
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Couple more tidbits of info. 

If you don’t have a propane torch, get one. 

FDE9F0BF-A2A0-4692-9DA7-35BE2FF2E68E.thumb.png.be1112a399164b975245817ac3d5a72f.png

The setscrew that holds the “arm” on PV shaft IS loc-tited from the factory. I cracked it on my 98 before knowing this. Heat it up good till you begin to get some smoke off the arm from the oil residue, and it will come right off. You won’t be able to get a driver on the lower guide retaining screws till the shaft has been removed. 

Heat also helps for getting the castle nuts off the secondary valves. Oil gets in the threads and gives a false sense that they’re tight, when really they’re just stuck in place with hardened sticky goo. 

Also keep in mind that the Allen bolts that goes through the secondary PVs is threaded into the valve itself, then castle nut is tightened over that. 

Not a bad idea to buy a new rod clip (#38)

These are made of nylon and get brittle with age. 

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Great! Thanks very much for the additional info and detailed description!

I'll try to get this done asap and report back and post some pics what the PV and piston looked like

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Hopefully you’ll open her up and find nothing rattled loose yet. I know opening up the top end on a bike you JUST got is probably not high on your list of things to do. lol.

You should be able to get a decent look at your piston by looking up the exhaust port with pipe off. If it looks really good you could just get away with new rings, and new cir-clips if you remove piston to drill the bridge lube holes. 

Heat is definitely your friend for getting the gummed up screws out on these if they are still tight. 

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Hey guys, I just picked up a 92 RMX so I'm scouring all info I can find on it. I used to have a 1990 which I installed a 92 RM cylinder and head on but that was back then so I'm rusty in what it needs. I also just installed a Keihen PWK Airstiker that came off of a Beta so I have some jetting to do. Never thought I'd be jetting a bike again. I have no idea what gaskets it has but it was raced in a 6hr Team race at Eddieville before and got 3rd Overall AA so its no slouch. I haven't heard about the power valve issue so no I have to decide whether to check it ou or not. The guy who rebuilt it used to be a AMA pro mechanic so I would assume he knew about it but do I want to trust that assumption?

Anyway, any other tidbits of info that's worth knowing about?

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The pre-93 RMX Power Valves were more problematic than the later 93-98. Early models used a pressed in steel pin on the aluminum secondary PV blades. Once the aluminum blades heat up and expand, the pin just kinda floats around. Doesn’t take long getting hammered on by exhaust thousands of times a minute for the loose fit to get downright sloppy and oblong the holes in the blades. 

 

If it were mine I’d open her up and see what’s in there. Most likely it has the RM PV installed already. 

Better to be safe, than sorry. lol. 

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Thanks for all the info. I didn't get around to opening up the top end yet, but took the bike out on some trails in the woods a couple of times. 

The bike rips and it's so much lighter and more nimble than my DR650. I also added some extra protection: Tusk hand guards, Moose racing pipe guard and a Ricochet skid plate.

I now have all the tools and a propane torch to take apart the top end and power valve. Besides the nylon rod clip (#38 in PV parts diagram), are there any other wear items that I should buy before disassembly? (Like any of the springs, washers or spacers in the PV). 

If I need new piston/rings, is OEM or a Wiseco kit the better option? Or are there any other alternatives? I want to open up the top end first and measure the bore just to make sure it hasn't been bored out by the previous owner, so that I can get the correct size piston.

 

IMG_3772.JPG.7e7b309c9745d4e614c37444b4cc3de1.JPG

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Lol. Don’t blame ya. Damn hard to resist the urge to go ride.  They are fun ol’ bikes :) 

Looking good :thumbsup:

I like to replace the secondary PV springs (#10 in diagram) every, or every other top end. These kinda wear on one side. When they do, they compress crooked and wear hard against the guide holes they ride in. Other than that, not much else I can think of...

Cylinder is nicasil plated (or should be). Not bore able unless someone has sleeved it. Don’t hone nicasil. Just scrub good following the crosshatch pattern with new scotch brite pads and either a strong degreaser, or lightweight oil to get the glazing off and you’re good to go...

Stock cast pistons seem to be fine. I always replace with a Wiseco though. Pistons are not something you really want to go cheap on... Don’t forget to replace wrist pin bearing while you’re in there. 

While waiting for parts it would be a good time to grease every thing that can’t be hit with grease gun. Upper and lower shock ends, steering stem bearings, etc.. Kickstart, rear brake lever, and shock bearings really wear fast when dry...

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Great info. Thanks! Ordered parts for the PV.
I'm pretty familiar with the parts on my DR650, but everything 2-stroke related is still new to me. So I really appreciate that you share all that info in this forum.

Is there a compression tester tool you recommend? I guess the cheap ones on Amazon are just a waste of money? e.g.: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000EVU89I/?coliid=I1ZZOABNY263ZJ&colid=49WXCSBH9SYC&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it 

I'd have to make sure that the thread size and length of threaded part is correct, otherwise the compression reading will be off, right? Motion pro makes a good compression tester, but not sure if I wanna spend over 100 bucks.

 

Also, realized on the rides that the RMX wouldn't really idle correctly and stalled several times. I need to make sure the top end is in good condition first, before adjusting the jetting, but I also read that the stock PJ38 carb has some known issues.

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Congrats on the clean rmx score! I love mine on the kamloops crazy trails, really fun bike and goes anywhere. If zook made a new version Id be all over it

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No problem :thumbsup:

This is the compression tester I have. 

https://www.sears.com/craftsman-compression-test-kit-used-for-automotive-motorcycle/p-00947089000P

Got it in store for 1/2 off. Works great. 

And yes, your right about using correct length adapter, and it needs to have the one way valve in adapter so hose volume doesn’t affect reading. 

 

A couple other things you should check or replace soon are your reeds and crank seals. Both of those will affect jetting if worn or leaking. 

 

Reading some of the new posts here I see a few guys have had problems with the stator screws coming loose and damaging $200 flywheel. Might want to check yours and blue loc-tite those too. You’ll need a 27mm left hand thread flywheel puller, and something to hold flywheel so you can remove and re-torque the nut. (I just use huge crescent wrench on flat parts of FW hub) If they don’t budge with regular #3 JIS driver your probably safe, but when you go to do crank seals, stator will need to be removed. Might need to buy yourself impact driver for later on to get them out.... I’ve replaced all the PITA JIS screws on both my RMXs with stainless Allen bolts. 

 

Stock PJ carbs are not the best. My 98 ran very rich @ 1/8-1/4 throttle. After a couple years the wear on needle jet got so bad that I’d foul plugs in tight single track. I didn’t bother re-jeting the PJ, or swapping to leaner needle (what it needed) Replaced it with a new ‘sudco’ PWK A/S instead. Much better carb... :thumbsup:

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Took of the wheels, swingarm, linkage and rear shock to check and grease all bearings. Most were in great shape, but the lower shock bearing was dried up and has a lot of play. So I'll want to replace it, but a new OEM lower shock bearing from partzilla is $60 (#4): https://www.partzilla.com/catalog/suzuki/motorcycle/1997/rmx250w/cushion-lever 

Are there any other sources were I could get a replacement for the spherical lower shock bearing?

The rear wheel bearings were also shot, but I already got new SKF bearings for replacement. I'm also looking to replace the wheel bearing dust/oil seal front & rear. Again, on partzilla the seals are over $8 each. I know the seal dimensions I need: 26x47x5 (rear) and 23x35x6 (front). Are there any other sources where I could get the proper size dust seals?

Next up will be repacking the silencer, cleaning the carb, and checking the reed valve.

Also, Jeremy, you mentioned greasing the kick starter. Which parts of the kick starter should be disassembled and greased?

Thanks!

 

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Look up part #’s and check eBay

Here’s a spherical shock bearing for $25

https://www.ebay.com/itm/NOS-SUZUKI-RM125-RM250-RMX250-REAR-SHOCK-CUSHION-BEARING-62175-43D00/263745336417?epid=1723568060&hash=item3d68727461:g:MsIAAOSwVuNbGpG-:sc:USPSFirstClass!98110!US!-1&redirect=mobile

Looks like the upper shock bearing is same part #. Unfortunately seller only has one, but there is another listing for $29..

I had to replace all the bearings on my 96. Previous owner never greased any of it :( Scorced almost all of them from eBay. 

I tried an aftermarket kit for the swingarm bearings (don’t remember which brand ATM) and they were junk... Could have used the inner bearing races as a file!!!

Something I noticed with both my bikes is the swingarm thrust bushings (#2 & 9) were bone dry and gritty with dirt. No matter how much grease I pumped in, it leaked from the outside ends and never got to them. My 96 I left the inner seals out (#4) and just kept the dust seals (#12). Now grease seems to be reaching the bushings. Next time I take the swingarm off my 98 I’m going to cut a chunk from the inner #4 seals with knife.

17C48A33-5474-436C-93AE-005952B3DDF1.thumb.png.c87cc243804c8c7e21c460b062669cb5.png

 

Oh, and it’s the pivot point that arm swings out on you want to grease on kickstarter. Have to remove it and take out the #3 screw. Be sure to wrap a rag around it while pulling apart so the spring loaded ball bearings don’t go flying. :)

Have you pulled cylinder and checked your PV yet?

Edited by Jeremyf1
Ment bushings, not bearings. lol
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Oh, and another thing on the kickstarter. If the bolt has ever been loose (previous owner?) you might find it difficult to remove from the splined shaft. Might need a small gear puller to get it off. The splines will wear sharp edges that stick up if it’s been loose. File those down (if it has them) when you get it off. Be sure to loc-tite the bolt, and when you go to tighten, hold the kicker with one hand (slightly back from where it normally stops) and tighten with the other. Otherwise the slop in the splines will rotate a bit, and loosen up the bolt on your first kick. 

Should be able to find aftermarket F&R wheel bearing seal kit on eBay too...

I remember the rear brake bushing was also ridiculously priced. I’m trying a experimental bearing setup on my 96. 05FA1142-06FD-4902-94AB-5A484124D1B1.jpeg.7eae1c0d964354e23db364add2505bf1.jpeg1682BB1B-3F6C-45C4-B631-80D6DCDC833D.jpeg.195d8ed24eb2bf348ebbb360e9019ee5.jpeg

Absolutely no slop now. Not sure how well these tiny bearings will hold up in a crash though...

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Great bikes...yours looks great! Yes the powervalves were an issue and mine was swapped many years ago for an RM... As far as radiator guards I know of no company that makes them for the RMX250's.Most companies had skid plates shark fins but no radiator guards...If I ever get mine up and running again I'm working on a pattern to make some ...

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