Project RM ReMix
The 2005 RM250 is an iconic machine. It’s the bike Ricky Carmichael controversially switched to after completing a perfect season in the outdoor motocross championship. He jumped aboard the Zook and rode it into the record books as the last 250 two-stroke to win an AMA Supercross championship. In the same year, the #199 of Travis Pastrana backflipped the RM to yet another X Games gold medal. Simply put, two of the sports most legendary riders have piloted the ‘05 RM to victory lane. When our daily Craigslist search (don’t tell the boss) took us to this premix project, our nostalgia instantly recognized its potential. We looked to rebuild this RM and eventually put it to the test against our trusty 2020 RM-Z 250.
Unfortunately for this RM, it had seen less of that glitz and glam and more time in the sand dunes of Glamis, California. To say it needed some TLC would be an understatement. A blown top and bottom end, leaky fork seals, bent triple clamps, and missing nuts and bolts highlighted the initial list of needs. And did we mention it came with enough sand to build some backyard sand castles?
In order for this bike to compete with our RM-Z it would need a ground-up rebuild. First up was the engine. We enlisted the help of AHM Factory Services for the initial engine inspection. Under their analysis they found a bent shift fork, a worn-out crank, and chipped reed pedals. With help from Wrench Rabbit, Vertex Pistons, and Boyesen, the guys at AHM were able to get the two-stroke powerplant running again. Dropping in the Wrench Rabbit Complete Engine Rebuild Kit made reviving a project like this easier than ever.
While the engine was in the hands of AHM, they provided more one-stop-shop services. Their team handled the suspension rebuild and revalve, wheel build, vapor blasting, and cerakote services.
After installing the forks back onto the front end, a noticeable tweak stood out. The fender, bars, and triple clamps were completely out of line suggesting the triple clamps were bent. Ride Engineering was our go-to for Triple Clamps and Bar Mounts. Adrian from Ride suggested the 22mm offset to make this bike more competitive against the more modern RM-Z. We paired this setup with the Mika Metals Pro Series Handlebar and Dual Density Grips. F4 Levers from ASV Inventions completed the cockpit.
Big props to everyone who helped out in the looks department. The Polisport RM Restyle Kit updated the look of the ‘05 RM and the yellow hand guards and radiator louvers really tied in the look of the bike. DeCal Works provided the custom Makita Suzuki inspired graphics kit, complete with our own sponsor logos. Stompgrip stepped in with some added grip too. Their Gripper Seat Cover and Frame Grip gave us a clean look with some added control in the rider cockpit. IMS Pro Series Footpegs gave us a solid platform while the Boyesen Clutch Cover, Ignition Cover, and Super Cooler buttoned up the outside of our engine.
At the back of the bike, the Slide-N-Guide Kit from TM Designworks gave us increased protection and a reduction in rolling resistance while replacing the worn and bent stock components. A complete Mika Metals drivetrain replaced the used-and-abused components while the Warp 9 Wheels were laced to cerakoted hubs and STI Tech 2 Pro Tires.
In the end this bike became a modern take on a classic steed. Per usual, “Project RM ReMix” ended up being more work than we had anticipated, but it was worth it in the end. We’re excited to put this to the test with our 2020 RM-Z 250 in what we’re calling the shootout 15 years in the making. Stay tuned for a riding impression and comparison once we’re done breaking out the ratio rite and a fresh bottle of premix!
Parts List –
AHM Factory Services – Front / Rear Suspension Rebuild / Revalve, Engine Assembly, Wheel Build, Vapor Blasting and Cerakote Service
FMF Racing – Factory Fatty / Shorty Silencer
Wrench Rabbit – Complete Engine Rebuild Kit
Vertex Pistons – Piston, Top End
Mika Metals – Pro Series Handlebar (RC Bend), Dual Density Grips, Sprockets, and Chain
Polisport Plastics – RM Restyle Kit, Hammer Handguards
DeCal Works – Custom Graphics Kit
ASV Inventions – F4 Levers
Ride Engineering – 22mm Offset Triple Clamps, One Piece Bar Mount, Brake Cable Guide
IMS Products – Pro Series Footpegs
Warp 9 – Rims / Spokes
TM Designworks – Slide-N-Guide Kit
STI Tire – Tech 2 Pro Tires
Boyesen – Clutch / Ignition Covers, Rad Valve, Super Cooler
Stompgrip – Gripper Seat Cover, Frame Grip
DT-1 Filters – Super Seal Air Filter
Castillo Specialty Coatings – Frame Powder Coat