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1997 McGrath replica RM250

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    1997 McGrath replica RM250

    This is my first build post here on Moto Builds. I've been racing this 97 Rm250 for the last five of years in the New England retro/vintage classes. One of my favorites is the STIMILON MX challenge put on by Dave Olcott. My trusty RM has brought the title home each year. I have decided to retire the 97 (I have an 02 I'm riding now) and put the finishing touches on the restoration. Bryan Schultz has done a ton of leg work to get the original graphics reprinted w/ the original seat cover from Throttle Jockey, making it a lot easier to get the period correct look. The one item that is impossible to find is the fork brace Suzuki used to stiffen the conventional forks. We all know Jeremy eventually convinced them to switch to inverted forks. That would be an easy solution, switch to inverted. But I have a Suzuki autograph poster from 1997 of Jeremy airing out the old RM and I want my replica to look just like the photo. Long story short, I searched the web to find pictures of the original brace to reverse engineer it. I was close with a design, but it wasn't exact and I was struggling on the final details. It wasn't until until Bryan saw a IG post from Pingree that I had everything I needed, thanks Ping. A fork brace was then 3D printed for a test fit, a couple small changes and then 5 sets of braces were ordered. If anyone is interested in a set I am putting together another run of braces now. Having raced the bike over the past few years it has seen some wear and tear. I upgraded the brakes and suspension to get a more modern feel. The front brakes have an over sized braking rotor and Brembo's from a 250sxf. Jeremy would have been stoked on this set up back in the day. The rear brakes are from a 2007 rmz250 with over sized braking rotor. The suspension was re valved by Gregg Lynk my local Suzuki guru (former mechanic for Buddy Antenez) with RG3 valving. The rear shock was swapped with a 2004 RM250 shock. The plan is to set the majority of the bike back to the stock look and more like the poster from 97.

    These pictures are from the first rebuild
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    Last edited by Aaron0000834; 01-02-2020, 08:04 PM.

    #2
    I'm going to skip forward a couple years now to Southwich this past June and the last time it was ridden. Chris at 139designs made some retro 96 team Suzuki graphics for me and I had a custom seat cover made to match. The photos are hiding the tears in the seat cover, the holes in the graphics from my knee braces and the badly worn paint on the frame. The fork brace was tested for the first time and worked great. I was getting a lot of looks down at the starting gate and had some great conversations with guys that remembered that era.
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      #3
      To pull off the look of Team Suzuki in 97 I had to have the fork brace. I looked around for something that was close to the original, but nothing met my approval. The only option left was to make a replica from images of the original. I searched the internet high and low to find correct images of the brace. With help from Bryan Schultz running across an IG post that Pingree took at Pro-Circuit while upstairs looking at Mitch's private collection, I was able to finish reverse engineering the brace. The brace was modeled in Solidworks and then the brace was 3D printed and test fit on my RM. After a few small dimensional adjustments to the brace I drummed up some interest on Vital MX to get a batch of braces made.
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        #4
        Here are some shots of the King on his RM
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          #5
          So that brings us to today's current status, the bike is torn down to the frame. I've welded tabs to the frame to hold the skid plate, repainted the frame and engine covers, the hardware is out for Zinc plate. As the bike goes back together it will get new plastics, graphics, Pro Circuit works pipe, Works Connection frame guards and new Dunlop's. I also found some upper and 3 bolt lower triple clamps for the build.
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            #6
            Great build! Stunning bike

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            • Aaron0000834
              Aaron0000834 commented
              Editing a comment
              Thank you, your builds are amazing! I have a 94 KX125 I plan on doing a Splitfire replica with in the near future. You have set the bar high with your 96 Splitfire replica!!
              Last edited by Aaron0000834; 01-04-2020, 12:18 AM.

            #7
            That’s a really cool build amazing been able to get the brace remanufactured

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            • Aaron0000834
              Aaron0000834 commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks Sonnie!

            #8
            Today I was able to go over to Lynk's Racing and use the Hydro Blast cabinet. I was crunched for time but was able to make some progress. I cleaned three carburetors, a bunch of misc brake parts and the three bolt lower triple clamp.

            Here are some before and after shots.
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            Last edited by Aaron0000834; 01-03-2020, 11:25 PM.

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              #9
              Not much to report on for the build, I'm still awaiting the return of my zinc plated hardware. Some OEM bits started to show up at the door.
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                #10
                Spooned on some new dunlop d952 tires today.
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                  #11
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                    #12
                    very nice build....do you have any of the fork braces left??? please PM me info on details.

                    thanks

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                      #13
                      I'm going to try an get you guys caught up on the build, it's actually finished!

                      Weld repair on the swingarm to remove some deep scratches and wear.
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                        #14
                        Bought some used Works Connection frame guards from Bryan Schulz that were good but needed some love. Welded the cracks and blems and then finished with a nice brush look.

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                          #15
                          The frame guards fit to the frame nicely but I needed to turn a small spacer on my lathe.

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