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Jeez Louise! In Praise of Smokers!

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Folks,

With all due respect, I took a look around this forum to gain info about the RMZ-250 and it frankly scares me. Thought I might get one for myself and redo suspension for woods riding. My son who is an RM85 rider could then ride sometimes to get the feel for the bike since it is inevitable that he will be on a 4t instead of a 2t when he enters the "Lite" class. Unfortunately, the maintenance issues I've seen here blow me away and are only exceeded by the valve issues that make Honda a dirty word.

I once had a DRZ400 and liked the bike very much except for the weight. It was a rock solid, low maintenance machine, but given the tight tracks I ride on I went back to a 2t and am very happy. Light weight, great handling, plenty of low end power (KDX220) and very, very little maintenance and expense.

I hope the next couple of years brings advancement in hi-power 4t technology because I'm going to need to go to trade school and hit the lottery to maintain my son's bikes if he sticks with the sport.

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It ain't that bad. Most of the problems experienced with these bike are rider proned. Although the issues of the 04's are well documented a few mods fix these issues. In 05' many of these problems were fixed. The biggest problems are heat generated or rider abuse. I have an 04' and keep up with the maintenance religiously. I have had no major malfunctions at all. Checking the valves is a must and very simply to do. Learning to properly ride the bike is the most important factor.

As far a woods riding, this is not the best choice as they really like air flowing. They do not like to idle as well. This is a true race MX bike. I have woods rode mine a couple of times and never over heated, however I can feel the heat difference between my legs.

Winning the lottery always helps in this sport no matter what you ride. However, the works of these machines are very simple and easy to complete. Nevertheless with any race bike (no matter what the make) maintenance is the key. Most of the negative posts regrading this bike can be summed up to poor maintenance or poor ridding habits. Although I am sure a few would disagree.

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whhhhaaaat? read both kx250f and rmz forums and u will find there is way more praise reports than a just a couple people who had problems...shoot i didnt even check the valve clearance on mine for 6 months cuz it ran so good...after finally checking it was still in spec...this bike rocks

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Folks,

With all due respect, I took a look around this forum to gain info about the RMZ-250 and it frankly scares me.

Smart man....................

I did the same prior to buying one for my daughter. I really liked my Yamaha, but it was a couple inches taller than the RMZ and she liked the RMZ better because of that. I came here to find out what the "issues" were, if any. I was convinced, as mentioned above, that the failures were probably related to maintenance (lack of) and/or improper riding technique, which didn't bother me in the slightest, because I knew neither would be the case with me/my daughter. So I bought it..............BIG mistake. Ours had a failure with very few hours and excellent maintenance. Just don't fall for the "if you take care of it, it will be reliable" crap. Sure, there are people with them that have been reliable, so maybe they find it hard to understand. I think there must be some manufacturing tolerances that aren't uniform or something. I know 2 other guys that have an RMZ250.......one is on his 3rd motor in less than a year, and the other is still running after just over a year, so yes, there are some out there, but I'm just not lucky enough to get one. And now I'm stuck with it..................the ONLY person I would even feel comfortable selling this bike to would be one of those on this board spouting that crap off blaming the maintenance and/or the rider, because obviously they know better than I and it would make them a great bike!

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Smart man....................

I did the same prior to buying one for my daughter. I really liked my Yamaha, but it was a couple inches taller than the RMZ and she liked the RMZ better because of that. I came here to find out what the "issues" were, if any. I was convinced, as mentioned above, that the failures were probably related to maintenance (lack of) and/or improper riding technique, which didn't bother me in the slightest, because I knew neither would be the case with me/my daughter. So I bought it..............BIG mistake. Ours had a failure with very few hours and excellent maintenance. Just don't fall for the "if you take care of it, it will be reliable" crap. Sure, there are people with them that have been reliable, so maybe they find it hard to understand. I think there must be some manufacturing tolerances that aren't uniform or something. I know 2 other guys that have an RMZ250.......one is on his 3rd motor in less than a year, and the other is still running after just over a year, so yes, there are some out there, but I'm just not lucky enough to get one. And now I'm stuck with it..................the ONLY person I would even feel comfortable selling this bike to would be one of those on this board spouting that crap off blaming the maintenance and/or the rider, because obviously they know better than I and it would make them a great bike!

very true also!!...

but i still think the percentage of reliable rmz/kx250f's is alot higher than lemons out there...kinda sucks that u got screwed, the bike is absolutly awsome when it runs good...what failers did u have on urs? just curious

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Yep lemons are a possibility. I have seen this in all makes. Working on a buddies YZF right now, it has electrical gremlins, has from the day he bought it (05). All makes may have issues. These are race bikes and they run on the edge, like race cars. They have to be checked religiously. Also the other issue with these bikes that I did not mention is the person fixing the machine. When it comes to valve replacement, timing adjustment, and head installation there is no room for error. I have seen many new top ends go out fast due to poor installation or workmanship. Sorry about you issues, but I also want to know what problems you experienced??? :banghead:

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Have two of them that came from different dealers-no problems after racing every weekend since March and practicing in between, keep the filter clean, change oil frequently, check the valves every so often and ride! I agree with Cyclepop that alot of issues are people jacking with these bikes and either they don't know what they are doing or they are messing with something that doesn't need to be messed with. When you are dealing with engines and tolerances and so forth, it is not amateur night-having said that, I know there are some shops that may not do the best work either. Every bike has problems, just like anything else mechanical. Stezlaki, if you know a person that is on his third engine, then something is seriously wrong with that picture-more details if you have them.

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Our intake cam seized and spun the sprocket jumping it out of time................fortunately (?) :banghead: it wasn't enough to make the valves contact the piston. Everybody says that type of failure is due to overtorque on the cam caps...........not the case here unless overtorqed by the factory???? Kawasaki decided to add an oil groove on the intake cam journal and increase oil flow by >20% for 2006. I am sure that was an attempt to prevent these not so uncommon cam seizure failures.............it sure wasn't for the bling factor.

It's really a shame..........I want to like this bike.........and my daughter loves it, but of course she doesn't spend countless hours working on it and $$$ to fix it when it breaks.

We went to the track last night and were talking to the track owner. It was he who was telling me that the guy I know was on his 3rd engine. I know one if not the first two times it was head/valve related. Hadn't heard until last night that he was down again, and he wasn't there, although I'm sure he would have been if his bike wasn't apart AGAIN. He does run his much harder than we do, but the funny thing is, so does the guy I know that hasn't had any problems. He is actually a pretty fast B class rider and, while he doesn't abuse it by constantly hitting the rev-limiter like some do, he does certainly hit it.........but then again, all of the fast riders in this area seem to, at least occasionally, some much more than others...........

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I am having just as many problems with mine and get the same "If you maintain it, it will be fine" line of BS. The dealer kept trying to pull crap out his ass when I asked for an explanation, they have no clue. Bad thing is, they have no resale value either. I am going back to 2-stokes and never to return to a Kawasaki.

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The over torquing is the most common problem with the issue you mention. However I have also seen crud built up on the tensioner or mis-installed, thus not allowing the tensioner to adjust for play. Nevertheless, you indicated that this happened right after you got the bike, so I would have to say over torquing by the factory or the adjuster was not properly installed? Maybe the dude doing that part of the engine building was having a bad day. Sorry to hear it though, these are sweet handling bikes. As far as the over torquing, there is a service bulletin out indicating the torque specs in the service manual and aftermarket manuals are incorrect. I believe it indicated 12Nms and it should be 10Nms. I lucked out and found this out when we were replacing valves from a savvy tech.

As far a A riders, most of them do go through several engines or major rebuilds a year. Our A rider is torn down after every "big" race. But, that is the nature of the beast when you become that fast, that good and that hard on your equipment. So the 3 engines from a A rider a year would not suprise me especially if there is sub par maintenance and maybe improper repairs??

Neverthless, I hope you got your problems fixed for your daughter, there is nothing worse telling your kid they cant ride because the bike is down. Hand in there! :banghead:

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Cyclepop....what is the incorrect way to install the tensioner?

This comes right out of the shop manual (pg 5-12 Engine Top End). I have seen this on 2 occasions on a RMZ and a KXF. Simple procedure if you observe the following:

5-12 ENGINE TOP END

Camshaft Chain Tensioner

Camshaft Chain Tensioner Removal

CAUTION

This is a non-return type camshaft chain tensioner.

The push rod does not return to its original position

once it moves out to take up camshaft chain slack.

Observe all the rules listed below:

When removing the tensioner, do not take out the

mounting bolts only halfway. Retightening the

mounting bolts from this position could damage

the tensioner and the camshaft chain. Once the

bolts are loosened, the tensioner must be removed

and reset as described in “Camshaft Chain Tensioner

Installation”.

Do not turn over the crankshaft while the tensioner

is removed. This could upset the camshaft chain

timing and damage the valves.

Installation

Camshaft Chain Tensioner Installation

•Replace the O-ring [A] with new one, and apply grease.

•Release the stopper and push the pushrod into the

tensioner body [C] fully.

•Install the tensioner body so that the stopper faces [D]

up-ward.

•Tighten the tensioner mounting bolts [A].

Torque - Camshaft Chain Tensioner Mounting Bolts: 9.8

N·m (1.0 kgf·m, 87 ft·lb)

•Install the spring and rod [C]. •Tighten the cap bolt [D] with the washer [E].

Torque - Camshaft Chain Tensioner Cap Bolt: 20 N·m (2.0

kgf·m, 15 ft·lb)

Any other questions????????

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As far a A riders, most of them do go through several engines or major rebuilds a year. Our A rider is torn down after every "big" race. But, that is the nature of the beast when you become that fast, that good and that hard on your equipment. So the 3 engines from a A rider a year would not suprise me especially if there is sub par maintenance and maybe improper repairs??

Neverthless, I hope you got your problems fixed for your daughter, there is nothing worse telling your kid they cant ride because the bike is down. Hand in there! :banghead:

Actually, to clarify, the 3-engine guy is a C class rider, the B class rider is the one that hasn't had ANY problems (not any A riders that I know on one). It scares me to death......he's never even checked his valves........well, last I talked to him anyhow, which was a couple months ago. I keep telling him he REALLY needs to. I'd hate to see that thing go on him on the face of a jump. That's what makes me think that there is some manufacturing tolerance that isn't exact from bike to bike

As far as our bike............my daughter has put about 10 hours on it since we got it back together (I think, I need to look at the meter...we rode last night)........so far so good. Valves staying in spec, no apparent oil starvation to cams. Still hard to start at times, and overheats if you idle for >15sec, but we can deal with that. Every time I test ride the bike as pissed off as I am about having to work on it, I get on it and say, "Damn this thing handles..........." Almost makes me forget how pissed I was.............ALMOST. Regardless, I'd sell the thing in a heartbeat if somebody really wanted it and knew about the problems and had no concerns because "it was obviously our fault."

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Actually, to clarify, the 3-engine guy is a C class rider, the B class rider is the one that hasn't had ANY problems (not any A riders that I know on one). It scares me to death......he's never even checked his valves........well, last I talked to him anyhow, which was a couple months ago. I keep telling him he REALLY needs to. I'd hate to see that thing go on him on the face of a jump. That's what makes me think that there is some manufacturing tolerance that isn't exact from bike to bike

As far as our bike............my daughter has put about 10 hours on it since we got it back together (I think, I need to look at the meter...we rode last night)........so far so good. Valves staying in spec, no apparent oil starvation to cams. Still hard to start at times, and overheats if you idle for >15sec, but we can deal with that. Every time I test ride the bike as pissed off as I am about having to work on it, I get on it and say, "Damn this thing handles..........." Almost makes me forget how pissed I was.............ALMOST. Regardless, I'd sell the thing in a heartbeat if somebody really wanted it and knew about the problems and had no concerns because "it was obviously our fault."

I run two of them and apart from the valve issues which I seem to have cured (touch wood) they are fine. I do a heap of hours on them as well.

Try using an oil stabiliser when you do your changes (at 10%). I use Morey's (heavy duty oil stabiliser) in everything I own with a motor and I seem to be getting good results. It will help to keep the oil where it is needed up in that head and the clutch. I use the clutch a lot and I am getting very good wear.

You could try 22cool and support one of the TT sponsers. I have not used it but it's supposed to have good results (please !!!! no one hijack the thread and start one of the 22cool wars, weve seen them all before). I would probably try it but the exchange rate,freight etc makes it very expensive down under.

It's pretty common down here for eveyone to use a lead replacement additive in the fuel as well to try and help cushion the valves.

Try it, it won't cost much and I think it will help with your issues.

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I have had my 04' RMZ 250 since June (new left over ) and have had no problems at all. I donm't get to ride it every weekend but get to take it out on the power lines and collect my thoughts. Good luck !

Will

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