Suzuki RM - The Yellow Peril

For Honda it was always red and Yamaha blue, while Kawasaki tried red then famously went green. And suzuki? Well for off-road race bikes their signature colour must surely be bright, canary yellow.

The famous RM line of motocross machines earned countless trophies and championships and this 1983 RM250 is a great example of the breed. The RM series was in a state of flux in the early 80’s with the by now famous “Full Floater” single shock rear end matched by state-of-the-art KYB front forks and both being adjustable (even if the adjusters were not exactly easy to access!). Yet the “big news” for 1983 was the fitment of a twin leading shoe drum front brake. Sure, the engine was watercooled, but the 250 had to wait until 1985 to gain a front disc - but that misses the point.

At the time this was an “uncrate and win” 250 crosser with things we now take for granted like folding gear lever and brake pedal tips, revised porting for extra low-mid grunt and double filter airbox which only needed an aftermarket filter to let it breath better… and not multiple holes drilled in it like some misguided owners did – make a mental note to inspect that when looking at a resto project.

And as a “restore and ride” project, the RM250 is a good prospect. Relatively forgiving (for a motocrosser), the power is impressive yet controllable and the chassis and suspension good when fresh from the box. But be warned, inevitably off-road bikes lead a hard life, and many are modified with non-original parts lost or destroyed. So, stick to a few basic rules when you think about a restoration.

Start by buying as original as you can find, reckon’ to rebuild both engine and suspension as a matter of course, and log into the CMS website to access an impressive inventory of original RM equipment and factory spec reproduction parts. And remember, when you get back to factory lushness make sure your riding skills are also updated and restored. Have fun and let CMS help you RM (Refresh Memories!)

issued: Friday, June 30, 2023
updated: Wednesday, August 23, 2023

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CMS is an independent supplier of spare parts and has no commercial link with Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha or Kawasaki.