Bana-Na-RMa 80. 1997 Suzuki RM80.
A little while ago now I said fuck it.
Coronavirus hit hard, I’d been sent home from and uni and the university had just refunded me part of my fee’s due to said COVID-19. Lovely stuff. Now I’m bored, stuck at home for unknown amount of time with a sum of cash I otherwise wouldn’t or shouldn’t have had now burning a hole in my pocket.
I started looking at bikes, Mx bikes.
I think the whole ‘Mx bike’/‘dirt bike’ thing is an inch I’ve always been trying to scratch properly from the moment I’d learned to ride and I think it’s because of that the Ole DT came to be.
Now I’ve come to learn, live with and love the limitations of the ole DT and the fact they can’t quite ever be the same thing.
However it taught me what can be improved, but that’s a different topic.
A couple weeks gone by and I’d made the dumb decision of starting to tell myself “Oh yeah it’ll be a good investment and you’ll be on to an earner”. But I’m gonna stop there because we know how that story goes...
The issue is that whilst it’s a good bit of fun buying old Mx bikes, buying a second hand Mx bike with no previous experience or little knowledge is a little bit of a minefield.
You could say there’s a lot to go wrong..
But oh well who gives a f**k haha, nobody ever learned by not trying and no good story ever came from worrying about what could go wrong.
And so with that being said, here’s how I ended up with a blown up, rusted out RM80 that has no front break at all. Ladies & Gentleman, I give to you Bana-Na-RMa 80
image won’t upload _ to be finished
Fun fact 1977-81 engines fit straight on suzuki pv. Its just insane.
declan last edited by
@Stevie-Wonder props to you for the choice great bike
Stevie Wonder last edited by Stevie Wonder
Let’s have a game of real life Vs reality
Image 1 from Facebook listing.
Now for the reality....
Now the guy I bought from, I’m pretty sure was handicapped. I mean that in no harshness, I’m being serious. I asked him all type of questions and it seemed like if it was anymore then “where do you put the petrol?”, “how do you start it” or “what makes it go pew pew” the guy genuinely seemed lost. Like the equivalent of catching an in game NPC off guard. It actually kinda throws you off a little bit. But in my defence I already had my guard up and was treating buying this bike like a drug deal considering the amount that get stolen
We got chatting and the story goes
he swapped a quad for it, he’s not usually a bike person and he knows nothing really about bikes. They where always followed by a couple mumbles and grumbles about how never again as “it just had a rebuild, I only had it out on the field round the corner a couple hours and then it just locked up”
There was also a fragrant smell of giggle coming from this chap in his late 20’s. I let him think we didn’t know that though.
At the time whilst I knew what to look for etc and was confident I already knew I was taking a huge fucking gamble.
My primary concern is decoding if Mr.Gigglebush was telling me porky pies about that top end only being 2 hours old.
Oh and when I mean that’s my primary concern, everything that should look nice and not rusted. Has rusted. It’s top end died from a seize but the crank still moves freely (bonus). It’s missing a front brake. The wheel bearings need doing.
To say there was a bit of false advertisement going on could be pushing it a bit...
It also didn’t help that when I got there the bike looked rough man. It just looked like someone left it out in the rain for the rust to get at every little place.
There was mud layered and caked in every nook and cranny from the last time was rode, the tyres where flat, seat ripped and the rear fender was split in two and being held together by cable ties because he inevitably looped it
Unfortunately these are the only two photos I got of it looking a state.
Next part of the journey get it in the van!
That's a shame. They don't clean it up to try and hide the roughness.
Darty last edited by
How much was this heap of shit?
declan last edited by
It’s really not that bad most of the roughness can be buffed out
You’d never believe it but the RM’s finally getting some love! It’s only sat in the garden since September... yes, September.
Shit happens though, at least I’m not the previous owner. Almost as bad maybe.
Here’s a factory fresh example of ‘97.
I have absolutely no plans of doing an all out resto to return it to this but what the hell, we can enjoy it right?
This was back in June last year.
Same day I bumped into a wonderful DT collector riding a ‘78 DT who was visiting his family a few doors up. Funny ole world like that.
“It just seized” said the last owner
Not long after getting her I immediately proceeded to strip off the plastics and give her a deep clean. You’d be amazed at just how good condition she is. The only thing that lets the little RM down is rust. Rust really got to a lot of the little bits of hardware.
By comparison to what you’d thought it’d be like it’s minor.
Picked up a dep pipe for the grand sum of £50. I bought the bike without a front calliper and got it thrown in as a deal. It really needs a wire wheel on it. I don’t know what it is with dep and making pipes designed to rust.
Proceeded to give the back box a polish.
Autosol honestly does wonders.
Now we have dep back box and pipe.
I read somewhere the the standard pipe is best for the RM however it’s pretty beat up, suffering the same fate as many well used MX pipes. Luckily the DEP doesn’t require being jetted any differently then the standard pipe so I can experiment with both.
Cool looking little things these 80’s. Relatively simple too. Two stroke at its finest.
Another pristine ‘97 example
Fast forward 6-8 months and here we are.
The top ends getting sent off to those wonderful guys at PJME. I trust I am in good hands with them to undo any damage and send everything back to ready to be assembled. First rebuild after all, so wanna make things relatively easy for myself until I’m cleverer and more experienced.
That and the fact I also can’t afford for it to go wrong
Despite the past owner being unable to add 2+2 and neglecting the bike further inspection of the crankcase and rod etc all show positive signs. Well lubricated, very fresh gaskets that looked like they’d been done recently and same for everywhere else. Very promising.
Negatives? None. I’m actually very hopeful for once. I just have to flush the bottom end out with some premix and give it a thorough seeing too there’s no more fragments of Wossner piston floating around in there.
Also the clutch doesn’t disengage. Fuck sake.
Research leads me to believe that Suzuki can’t make a gearbox and all RM’s are all plagued with having trans that shit themselves.
I’ve done everything with the adjustment to get it to work but nothing.
Now I’m not saying but the last owner probably fucked the clutch BUT HE DEFINITELY FUCKED THE CLUTCH. His words where “fucking powerful mate lifts every gear.” Meanwhile the rear fenders magically snapped and being held together with drift surgery cable ties.
I guess I gotta drain the trans oil, give it an inspection and whip the clutch cover of and check for notches on the clutch basket.
(I don’t have any photos for any of these so have this)
When taking the top end apart I had scratched my head and wondered why there was three gaskets on the deck... I wonder why.
Is that good I ask? Also notice on the top left the hole. Well yeah, someone when reinstalling the top end forgot to attach the metal rod that connect to the powervalve and tightened it down.
I initially thought hot piston went through it
Well I guess I’m here now I may as well just spill the beans and show you the damage since last night I pulled it apart again to get ready to send off to PJME.
Cylinder. Luckily it’s steel. Only drawback is I read that you can only overbore this cylinder twice before it’s knackered as apparently anymore then that and heat doesn’t transfer through the ports properly. I think this is what happened with my RM given state of the piston and its size.
Burn pattern on top of the cylinder is strange.
As I wrote that I just questioned myself briefly. I might be wrong but the piston might also been in wrong. Let’s grab a photo.
First phone, writing facing exhaust port, as I do believe it should be. Burn pattern doesn’t match that of cylinder.
Second photo, opposite way. Burn marks match up. Don’t suppose this means the garage this guy took this too installed the piston backwards do you?
“Lightly used, never ridden, never dropped”
So much bullshit even the radiator looks like it’s trying to leave. Another issue this bike has is 50% of the bolts are mismatch. Add that to the others and the missing caliper and she’s a hunny
**Also that missing calliper. Well it turns out that one I need is specific to 96-97 years and Oh boy believe me what a bitch that was to find and I mean really. Even after paying £60+ for the calliper I still have to pay to get it rebuilt by a specialist as I couldn’t find for love nor money any of the internals to attempt to do it myself.
The positive side the calliper gets a full rebuild and resto for £40 because the guy restores Suzuki’s for a living. Facebook groups come in handy every once in a while I guess .
The Head. Surprisingly good condition, I think it wouldn’t be too unfair to say that minus a Wossner playing hot potato in the cylinder that this was once like new. Yet again more reasons to have hope, I hope.
I don’t know much about liners either however I also might be right in saying that what this looks like is one that isn’t original? Resleeved maybe?
That’s pretty much it for now apart from a few bits I picked up like an out of production spark plug the RM originally used and a 1997 factory workshop/service manual. Let me know what you guys think, I could always use your expertise.
@stevie-wonder Yeah that head has seen better days. The first photo shows the piston is in the wrong way around, then the second photo it looks to be in correct. Common to resleeve with steel liners, especially for people not competing at the highest levels. Just makes servicing easier.
Challenger last edited by
@stevie-wonder thats an interestesting story, I dont know anything about these 80cc machines, but I had a nice time reading and looking at yours!
Triple checked it and the wear marks on the cylinder are a blatant giveaway at which direction the piston was facing when I pulled it out, it’d been so long I forgot and the mismatch burn colour pattern across the top of the cylinder and piston threw me off. I still wonder why it’s like that though?
@Challenger many thanks bro! It means a lot
Got some yellow related content for you this evening boys.
So this little RM. It turns out it’s not a bad little bike for a starter project, although lets not say that until she’s running reliably and I’m confident that nothing going on within the top end is going to shit the bed
What I’m saying is that road bikes always have little OEM bits that makes returning one back to its former glory very expensive. I.e take for example my DTR. I recently lost the plastic rotor and calliper guard, how much was it to replace? £110. A fucking bit of plastic.
Motorcross bikes don’t face none of that bullshittery, instead they just have to deal with bad owners, being raced or a one in a billion chance of not being nicked or ending up nicked at some point in there lives.
With the top end with PJME and some inspiration from fortnine link text I’ve been setting out to try and teach myself some restoration stuff.
Armed to the teeth with a brass wire brush, a few fosters, some wd40, Hammerite rust gel and some elbow grease I set to work to see what we could make happen.
Just like on RyanF9’s video I learned for myself through tidying my DTR up the amount of difference that can be made just from using some nifty products and spending a lot of time getting into ever nook and cranny.
The day before I’d been out with the rust gel giving everywhere in site a good coat with the green goo.
Let’s be real when it comes to making these bikes look pretty there isn’t any type of shortcut other then putting in the hours
I wasn’t too snap happy when originally picking up the bike other then to grab a few for the memory box but I’ve dug up a couple like this that show it’s original condition.
You see this front wheel? Well let’s just say it’s a fair reflection of everything else.
Luckily for me though that hammerite rust gel really does a number. The only grim and dirt you can see left on them is because I left the goo to long and to thin and it had turned sticky, not a big issue though because unlike most products all you need is a bit of warm water and a good wash and it comes right off.
The kickstart also was a victim to rust, not that you’d really be able to tell anymore.
Same fate really for just about anything that’s steel and exposed. It’s always the little nuts and bolts here and there that you seem to notice that let the entire thing down
Cant be having that now can we... I actually think in some cases from where I’m using a brass brush it’s started to polish it a little. Might have to get the autosol out. Maybe one polished bolt for every 3 rusted ones might show that this bike wasn’t once abandoned.
The rear master cylinder, as you can imagine, was also absolute cooked. You’ll see methheads with teeth that are cleaner then what that was
Here is a bolt that was rusty. It is no longer rusty.
Here is the rear wheel. No it wasn’t dipped in marmite. That’s just the result of a chemical reaction with rust that you probably should’ve cleaned up after three hours but couldn’t (logically tho 22 hours is definitely better then three don’t argue). Imagine this though, all that marmite looking stuff was once rust. I hadn’t even bothered touching the spokes with the wire brush before hand either, it just got a very healthy helping of gel
And guess what? It worked. I have to say for anything like spokes, nuts and bolts and anything of that nature this fell stuff does really really well. It’s something I’d recommend for all of you. Despite the photo being taken at night you can see clearly how just after a couple minutes cleaning the spokes have started to come up shining again.
I reckon a little bit more time spent here and there plus a jet wash using some rhino goo she’d come up a treat!
Like I was saying earlier, good on nuts and bolts!
I also got my uncle to teach me how to rebuild the calliper (didnt grab any photos as I was being taught how to do something). Pulled it apart and it was clear to see the piston etc was all good, it just needed new seals and some love. She’ll finally have a front break! Woo!
Here she is
Maybe it’s the yellow maybe it’s maybeline. Who knows. Either way the 80cc equivalent of bananas in pyjama’s, looks like it might still have hope left for it
More to come!
Splitting the cases tomorrow morning!
First time doing it so any advice is welcomed!
Looking forward to doing it as hopefully it’ll prepare me for doing the DTR myself
@stevie-wonder Simple enough. Just remember they're designed to come apart so you don't need to use excessive force.
If something is not coming apart. it's because you're using the wrong technique. So just stop and do your research before continuing.
Any problems then just open up a thread regarding the question and ask.
@calum never truer words spoken and yet I’d never really though about it. Instead I can only think of the times I hadn’t thought about it but should’ve. I’ll remember that one for sure.
Unfortunately my mate got pissed the night before and called me 30 minutes after we was meant to meet to say he’s hungover and can’t move, typical. With a week long forecast of snow and that being the one clear blue sky sunny day we was gonna get for a while you could imagine how I was feeling
All’s not lost though I gave the local boys a shout and we sat outside in the sun having a smoke, a couple beers and doing bike stuff. My personal idea of perfection.
I made the most of the day giving the RM a proper good deep clean and tending to every little rust spot I could whilst my mate Tom did a couple bits on his ‘04 YZ85 Big wheel
5 minutes of working off the brown sticky muck caused by that rust gel and you can already see the difference made. Pretty simple, the rust gel has a tendency to make everything look a lot worse then it is when you’ve left it on too long / it looks like the rust has grown. This i thought to be really annoying until a realised it actually works as a good way to highlight where I’ve missed / haven’t cleaned yet.
If you do things the way I did buy a small/medium sized copper wire brush and scrub the spokes one by one.
You can already see a shine start to come back to places that I thought would have been trash.
The chain use to be so badly rusted that even after cleaning it I’d assumed it was a gold chain. Nah, turns its definitely silver hahaha
Sprocket bolts and everything all look nice and new now
All I’ve used to bring this hub and wheel back was hammerite rust remover gel, a small and large copper wire brush and hot soapy washes uses either demon shine or rhino goo products as well as muc-offs premium brush kit. (The brush kit is a seriously good buy for anyone, there’s 6 different brushes all with rubberised and tips so you can never accidentally scratch or damage anything whilst cleaning)
Dare I say it though, considering what this originally looked like it has no place looking this good!