Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

So, Im rebuilding a 83 Suzuki RM500

Recommended Posts

And as I was looking at the bike I realised that the front suspension was the weakest link on the bike. I have a 96 YZ250 front end (wheel, brakes, forks, triple trees, handlebars, the whole deal basically) and I was wondering how much of a pain in the a** would it be to swap that onto the 500?

If it would somehow fit, I'm sure the better suspension and disc brake would definitely even out the bike.

I'll also post some pictures up later today of the bike, and of my progress with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's all about the size of the stem,,(hehe,that's what she said)No really,your smaller stem (if it IS smaller) It needs to be pressed out and pressed into the 96 tree using bushings.And,IF...it's long enough.

I'd highly recomend Race-Tech emulators for those old forks.They are GREAT! Have done many old forks with those.MAN,what an improvement!!

I myself have studied putting 49mm showa usd forks and front end that i have,on my 650R.It's not a simple job..I might just sell them.

I totally agree..the front of that bike really sucked,i had one years ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definately like to see some pics!

If your forks are 43mm, I would look into finding forks/front end from a 87-88 CR500 or 250. Parts are pretty cheap on ebay if you don't mind doing a little refurbishing and you'll have a solid front end.

I had a 83 RM125 and I thought those forks were wimpy compared to the rear....can't imagine a 500!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Definately like to see some pics!

If your forks are 43mm, I would look into finding forks/front end from a 87-88 CR500 or 250. Parts are pretty cheap on ebay if you don't mind doing a little refurbishing and you'll have a solid front end.

I had a 83 RM125 and I thought those forks were wimpy compared to the rear....can't imagine a 500!

Good idea!Those were a great fork on the 87-88 CR,first year of cartriage fork.

It looks like the 83 RM did use a KYB 43 mm acording to Race Techs' web site.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If i remember correctly, the forks on the YZ are 46mm..

This is gonna be an interesting bike when I'll be finished. DG pipe, rebuilt engine, repainted/powdercoated.. its gonna be a beauty.

But seriously, any idea what might get into the way of me making this swap?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would try to find a set of 88 RM250 forks and front wheel and disc brake, they will slip into the stock tripple clamps and they worked great. All Suzuki too.

Ed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If i remember correctly, the forks on the YZ are 46mm..

This is gonna be an interesting bike when I'll be finished. DG pipe, rebuilt engine, repainted/powdercoated.. its gonna be a beauty.

But seriously, any idea what might get into the way of me making this swap?

Steering stop placment,forks might hit the tank,stem too big for the RM frame and bearings.You'll just have to take the RM clamps off and see.

The distance from the axle to the frame could be way off along with the 'trail'.

The 46 mm yz fork size is kinda a moot point.Thery're USD. Everyone is suggesting to use your stock clamps and use a newer set of 43mm forks with a disc brake.

Like i said before..Emulators ...they are 178.00,Only downfall,you still have that wimpy brake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you intend to use the bike for vintage racing the 96 fork takes it completely out of the game and totally devalues the bike for resale. There is a guy on another site trying to sell a RM500 with a disc and modded swingarm and he is getting NO looks. Your bike is worth more as close to stock as possible. Totally agree on the Race Tech Emulators and they do have a pretty good Suzuki fix since one of their guys is running a 250 with the same front end.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it sounded like a good project to me haha. But I'll listen to the advice and just rebuild/update the original forks. That disc brake is SO tempting however..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about buying a 85 front end for your use and keeping the original for resale?

That's what I'm doing with my 81 PE250, using 91 DR350 dirt model forks with triple rate Race Tech springs. Use their calculator, its really helpful!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 83 RM forks work great with Race Tech Emulators and stiffer springs. I wouldn't put a disc brake fork on it. That kills the value of the bike because you can't race it in post vintage, which is where the RM500 shines. There's a guy trying to sell a beautiful RM500 on Mark's Swapmeet and he can't sell it because of the disc brake he put on it. Modify the stock forks and you'll be surprised just how good they can be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ive said this to a bunch of guys who wanted inverted forks on their XR400s. These frames where not desighned for the rigidity of inverted forks and it ends up putting way too much stress on the headstay and after enough stress the front of the bike will snap off. In the case of an RM500 it wouldnt be to much hassle to strengthen the gussets around the headstay just bewhare. Brad Lackey won a world championship on this same bike with the first ever upside down Simmons fork so it can be done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Allright, bumping this thread back from the dead.

So, I reassembled everything, got it started, even took it around the block. But after a couple minutes of running, it dies. I check the flywheel, and it has oil on it. So I ended up ordering both crank seals and replaced them. So, I'm happily preparing to have this thing running like a top, however, seems like the spark is really weak. Got another stator off ebay (in MUCH better shape than mine) but still no good.. It could be down to the coil or the CDI, the coil being the likely culprit.

Which brings on my question, what coil can I use to substitute the one on these bikes? Also, is there a way to test the coil?

Someone help me out, because this is the last thing keeping me from enjoying this beast of a bike, and a wonderful piece of history.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, and as promised, here are some pictures.. in chronological order.

First picked up

1firstpickedup372010.jpg

PO tried to make it look like an 84, sprayed the whole bike over with blue rattlecan paint..

2allsprayedover.jpg

Frame resprayed and engine fitted back in place

3frameresprayed.jpg

4enginefittedinplace.jpg

51962798.jpg

6framestraight.jpg

old swingarm pivot bolt, and new one that I had machined out of an XT600 swingarm bolt.

7oldswingarmpivotbolton.jpg

cylinder fresh from machine shop

8cylinderfreshfrommachi.jpg

A shot of the old piston before it got replaced. Oddly enough it was a 2 ring piston.

photo0058j.jpg

closeup on new piston

11closeup.jpg

10nospiston.jpg

engine assembled with new gaskets

12juginplace.jpg

Clutch service (new clutch plates and cable)

13clutchandfluidservice.jpg

closer to being complete

14moreassembly.jpg

couple closeup shots

89606453.jpg

15finished.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ive said this to a bunch of guys who wanted inverted forks on their XR400s. These frames where not desighned for the rigidity of inverted forks and it ends up putting way too much stress on the headstay and after enough stress the front of the bike will snap off. In the case of an RM500 it wouldnt be to much hassle to strengthen the gussets around the headstay just bewhare. Brad Lackey won a world championship on this same bike with the first ever upside down Simmons fork so it can be done.

Who this guy? He rides Maico now. His Suzuki was in the pits, too rare and beautiful to ride. I actually had to help his mechanic start the poor Maico.

IMG00020-20110306-1318.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Who this guy? He rides Maico now. His Suzuki was in the pits, too rare and beautiful to ride. I actually had to help his mechanic start the poor Maico.

IMG00020-20110306-1318.jpg

Bad Brad has lost a few lbs. Was that from the Taft national? A friend of mine from back in NorCal is a friend of Brads and I got the chance to have a few beers with him at some hole in the wall in Richmond Ca, very cool experience:thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hodie,

That was from Taft. Brad looked really good, but there were some other fast 50+ experts there. It was a little scary lining up at the gate next to Brad and Charlie Yamada. I got a good start and they passed me so fast into the 1st turn it almost sucked my eyeballs out! Never saw 'em again untill I pulled into the pits. Sorry to hijack the post OP!

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

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...