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Cool Vintage Project: 1977 RM250

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I stopped by my buddy Mark's shop today to see what he's been up to lately. He's a self employed machinist/welder/fabricator. The guy has some serious talent, and has been invloved with motorsports and aviation for a long time.

He showed me a bike that he picked up off craigslist. It is a really clean 1977 RM250. He has it half torn apart doing a full restoration. He said he is going to do it up like a factory racer's bike was back in the day. He said that he had the same year and model bike when he was younger. He told me that he is building the bike the way he wanted to build it back in the day before he had any money or enough talent. This picture doesn't do the bike justice. It is a very low hour machine:

1977_RM250.jpg

He built a custom aluminum swing arm for it:

swing_arm.jpg

He's machining new triple clamps and bar clamps. He only has those roughed out right now. Later he will finish them up:

Marks_triple_clamps-1.jpg

bar-clamps.jpg

He built a custom chain guide:

chain_guide.jpg

He has the wheels all polished up with brand new knobbies:

rear_tire.jpg

front_tire.jpg

It's a really cool project. I can't wait to see it finished.:smirk:

I wish I had Mark's fab skills, he's on par with some of the guys on cable TV right now. Better than some I'm sure. I feel lucky that he lets me hang around and look at his stuff.:bonk:

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Brings back memories. I was 26 and bought a new 76 RM250. The hot setup for aftermarket swingarms were made by a company called "Cross-Up". Had one on my bike shortly after purchase. The RM was the most popular MX 250cc bike for several years. One would go to the local tracks, central Okla. and 80% of the bikes on the starting line were RM's. Notice I didn't say starting gate, as those were the days of the "rubberband start". Anyway, that bike was a great bike in it's day and looks like this one will be great again also. :bonk:

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So cool!! My Dad had a RM 370,Looked like your friend's 77.Brought back some cool memories looking at this post,I hope you add to this post as it get's brought back to life!!I would love to see the progress on this sweet machine!!

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Thanks for all the comments guys. Mark's work usually blows my mind, but this is the first time I have seen his talents applied to a dirtbike.

I will try to get some more progress pictures of the bike later. I wil have to make it a point to stop by and see Mark more often.

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wow, that is some amazing work your friend does! my boss has a 125 of the same vintage and i love looking at that bike. i wish he'd let me ride it, but he loves that bike more than anything in the world, so forever it will exist as a soon-to-be coffee table. he's got all the trick parts of the day on it, but he didn't build his swing arm either. :bonk: i'm very interested in seeing how this turns out.

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wow, that is some amazing work your friend does! my boss has a 125 of the same vintage and i love looking at that bike. i wish he'd let me ride it, but he loves that bike more than anything in the world, so forever it will exist as a soon-to-be coffee table. he's got all the trick parts of the day on it, but he didn't build his swing arm either. :bonk: i'm very interested in seeing how this turns out.

That's what caught my interest too. My first bike was a late 70's RM125.

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I got a few more pictures to post. I haven't seen the bike in person since the first batch of photos were taken, but my buddy Nick was over at Mark's shop yesterday and he took these pics. Apparently, the bike is almost completely done right now, all except for the tank which is getting re-painted, and a few cables and odds and ends.

Here is the rear brake lever:

2012-02-10_18-33-53_790.jpg

Mark also built a new pipe. Mark is a pretty sharp guy. He did all the calculations in order to make the pipe exactly to his own demanding specs. It is fully tig welded:

2012-02-10_18-33-43_174.jpg

There should be some more pictures coming soon, hopefully. Nick said he would be sending several, so hopefully I can post some more a little later.

Edited by zlathim

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Brings back memories. I was 26 and bought a new 76 RM250. The hot setup for aftermarket swingarms were made by a company called "Cross-Up". Had one on my bike shortly after purchase. The RM was the most popular MX 250cc bike for several years. One would go to the local tracks, central Okla. and 80% of the bikes on the starting line were RM's. Notice I didn't say starting gate, as those were the days of the "rubberband start". Anyway, that bike was a great bike in it's day and looks like this one will be great again also. :smirk:

I had the Cross-Up swingarm on my '77 RM370.

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Wow keep those pics comin that is one really cool bike coming together, the fabrication is brilliant!

Thanks man, I appreciate the comments.

I am hoping to go see the completed bike soon. I'll get more pictures then.

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your buddy rules! hes got insane skill!

I agree! I wish I could fabricate like him.

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I finally got a chance to stop by and look at the bike again today. Mark has been busy with a lot of little details on the bike. The tank is presently getting painted, so it wasn't available for pictures. Mark also still needs to build some custom footpegs, and then get his hardware squared away. Many of the fasteners that you will see in the fllowing pictures will be changed out later to something that looks a little bit cleaner, but the bike is mostly assembled and it looks awesome!

Here are a few more pictures of that custom pipe that Mark built. Check out those TIG welds:

IMG_4830.jpg

IMG_4835.jpg

IMG_4844.jpg

Mark also fitted a custom little silencer made out of a vintage unit he had laying around and some pretty nice craftmanship:

IMG_4843.jpg

IMG_4832.jpg

Edited by zlathim
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