55 replies to this topic
  • xr250rDude

Posted August 13, 2008 - 02:59 PM


Hello everyone, I'm curious if anyone here has ever owned or ridden an 81 or 82 Suzuki RM465. I'm familiar with open class two strokes, I had an 85 CR500 and an 89 YZ490. Though I have never even so much as seen a Suzuki open classer. I knew they made a 465 and then later a 500 but I've never seen one before.

Reason I ask is there's one for sale near by for cheap, I was thinking about picking it up putting a few bucks into it and riding it around a while if they're any good. They fast and smooth(as open class bikes go) like a CR500 or are they paint shakers that get out run by 250's like a YZ?

  • ghrocketman

Posted August 14, 2008 - 08:35 AM


The 465 was actually better than the RM500 because of the 5 speed gearbox instead of the 4 speed in the RM500.
They were actually decent bikes for their day and were not nearly as "paint-mixer like" as the Yamaha YZ/IT 490's.
One could start them fairly easily and they were easily jettable.
The 465 had roughly the same HP as the 500 but had more "utility" due to the 5 gears vs 4.
On the other hand, ANY decent mid-90's up to current 2008 2-stroke RM250 (or other MAJOR brand) is going to whip that thing in ANYTHING but hill-climbing.
How cheap is cheap ?
If it is over a grand it is NOT cheap and for $1000 the bike better be a low-time little-ridden example. A well used one is worth no more than $500.

  • zz3gmc

Posted August 14, 2008 - 03:41 PM


I may be wrong, but I believe the 81 465 is a 5 speed and the 82 465 is a 4 speed.

  • xr250rDude

Posted August 14, 2008 - 05:23 PM


225 bucks it's missing side panels and some cosmetic stuff, needs new brakes and tires but it runs and rides supposedly. It's cheaper than the YZ490 I had that I bought for 350 bucks in similar condition... But sold two months later (for $900 :) ) because the vibes gave me arm pump and hand cramps within just a few minutes of riding.

I've always loved the looks and the legend of the "full floater" Suzuki's in the early 80's but I've never owned one.

Are the drum brakes on them even usable? I am used to Honda Nissin disc's which are always good in my opinion... Am I going to hate the drums? I know the drum on the rear of my 490 always locked up without warning and would slide the bike. Are Suzuki drums as bad?

I think you can put the right side fork leg and wheel off an 85 RM250 or RM500 for Canada on it and make it a disc... But tracking down those old old parts for the conversion would probably be next to impossible and prohibitively expensive.

Just for the record I'm thinking about getting into vintage motocross, and was thinking about this for my steed. I'm scared of super cross like tracks the vintage races don't usually have crazy jumps from what I've seen. It looks more fun for my skill and fearlessness level.

  • Ttoks

Posted August 15, 2008 - 05:52 AM


really, if yuo wanna get into vintage motocross, this is the bike to have

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maico 490, the 81 modle wit the twin rear shocks is better then the 82 and 83's with the monoshock, these things have better suspention the some modern bikes, over 300mm travel both ends, and very good power spread, plus reliable and simple, air cooled (until 84 which was the last of any maico), piston port engine (no reed's to chip away).

if yuo want to get into vintage moto that is without a doubt the best bike you can have for it.

older suzuki's brakes are not the best there ever once was to say the least.

  • ghrocketman

Posted August 15, 2008 - 06:11 AM


Notice that there is no kikk-starter on the right side of that Maico.
The brain-child engineers at Maico (Break-co) brilliantly put them on the WRONG side.

The 81 RM465 is definitely a 5-speed, I am not sure about the 82 being a 4 or 5.
I know for sure that the 83-85 RM500 had only the same ignorant 4-gear count as the Yamaha YZ490.

I'd like EVERY MX-type bike to have a SIX-SPEED, not just 125s and a few 250s !

  • Ttoks

Posted August 15, 2008 - 06:15 AM


i'll take a left hand kick starter as the only downfall of the greatest open class MXer ever created :)

did you ever notice the smart people at honda did exactly the same thing in 80 and prior ar cooled 250's?

Posted Image

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(like the custom job on the KLX shock and swing arm :D)

  • ghrocketman

Posted August 15, 2008 - 06:20 AM


All I can say about that Maico is UGH....you would have to PAY me to take it !

The best open-class bike BY-FAR is the 93+ to 2006 KX500.
It actually has a fairly modern water-cooled engine design and a fairly-modern chassis.
The Maico has NEITHER.
Air-Cooled Piston-port engines stink, PERIOD.
The technology is pre-WWII for cryin' out loud.

  • Ttoks

Posted August 15, 2008 - 06:23 AM


not gonna get into an argument with you here about it, but your must be one of the most daft people to ever mount a KX 500 if yuo think they're the best open class bike made, keeping in mind i OWN a KX 500...

  • ghrocketman

Posted August 15, 2008 - 06:28 AM


The people at Honda that had those WRONG-side kikk starters in the early 80's must have been suffering from some type of insidious BRAIN-LOCK when they did that.
Although I have NEVER been a Honda-anything fan, they at least realized the error in their ways and went back to NORMAL (non-weirdo-brand) style kikk starting.

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  • xr250rDude

Posted August 15, 2008 - 10:28 AM


Yeah I'd like to have a Maico but talk about a nightmare when it comes time to do an overhaul. Where the hell would you get parts for a bike that's been out of production for nearly 30 years, by a company that doesn't exist anymore, and was an expensive exotic even when it was new? Plus Maico was big into using a primary drive chain instead of gears to take power from the engine to the trans, I think it was the 490 that was notorious for stretching the hell out of these chains in no time flat. I'm pretty sure broken or stretched chains on big bore Maico's was the reason for more than one DNF/DNQ's. Probably an even bigger problem today. Also there's usually an extraordinary price tag on good condition Maico's usually.

But if you know where I could get one cheap, I'd be interested.

  • mihylo33

Posted August 15, 2008 - 04:38 PM


I haven't searched but I would love to get my hands on an old RM or Maico 490 especially an 81 rm125. When I was about 12yrs old (1984) an older kid up the street had one and I fell in love with it. Back in 99 I drove through the old neighborhood past his moms house and it was out for sale. I decided to go back the next day and it was sold.............................. for $200

  • xr250rDude

Posted August 15, 2008 - 08:22 PM


Wow that's a shame, I've always wanted that same model RM ever since it got inducted into the Dirtbike hall of fame. Funny thing is I was probably like 12 or so too but that was in like 1999, probably about the time you let that one get away. I'll get one of those some day. They say the suspension on those full floater 125's was so good that it compared to modern machines. At least that's what dirtbike mag said close to a decade ago lol.

I had the same thing happen to me about a year ago, only it was an RM250 of that vintage I think it was an 82 or an 83... Sold for 300 bucks not ten minutes before I called the guy about it. Spent a day thinking about it after I saw the ad... I should have just called the minute I saw it but what can you do? I also almost had a first year RM125 what was it 1974 or 75? But I was only like 14 and my mom talked me out of it... Said it would be a money pit and too much work for me to handle. Damn old folks and their practical thinking.

Funny thing is, I consider myself a Honda guy but I lust after all these old Zook's, and my favorite bike is a Yamaha.

  • zz3gmc

Posted August 15, 2008 - 08:39 PM


Im a kawasaki guy but I have 6 old suzukis and 1 modern DRZ! Im a PE and TS nut, there is a very clean 81 PE250 near me for sale but I just cant spend any money right at the moment.:)

  • mihylo33

Posted August 16, 2008 - 02:33 AM


Hello everyone, I'm curious if anyone here has ever owned or ridden an 81 or 82 Suzuki RM465. I'm familiar with open class two strokes, I had an 85 CR500 and an 89 YZ490. Though I have never even so much as seen a Suzuki open classer. I knew they made a 465 and then later a 500 but I've never seen one before.

Reason I ask is there's one for sale near by for cheap, I was thinking about picking it up putting a few bucks into it and riding it around a while if they're any good. They fast and smooth(as open class bikes go) like a CR500 or are they paint shakers that get out run by 250's like a YZ?

Let me know if you pick up that rm465. I am very interested in it if you don't buy it.

  • xr250rDude

Posted August 16, 2008 - 03:42 PM


Yeah I'm actually going to take a pass on it, I haven't gone to look at it so I don't know what all is wrong with it. And another thing is nobody makes engine parts for RM465's or 500's anymore. Kind of makes the bike useless in my mind as I hate show bikes, I want a rider... And if there's no source for parts you can't really ride it.

I'll PM you the contact info for the guy selling it, he's in Philadelphia... Which is near where I live. If you get it please post pictures and keep me updated on your restoration/rebuild process I'd love to see it.

On the bright side, DG does still make pipes and silencers for the RM465.

I think I'm gonna hold out and find a CR480 hopefully an 83 with the 5 speeder tranny.

  • mihylo33

Posted August 17, 2008 - 02:00 AM


LOL! I just talked to my boss about it and she said if I bring another bike home now I'll have make some new sleeping arrangements in the garage.
Thanks for the info, it is appreciated.

  • xr250rDude

Posted August 17, 2008 - 07:40 PM


Ugh man I wish you had gotten it... Now I want it again even knowing it's a pain to get stuff for. But there's also an 83 CR480 for sale in Jersey that supposedly runs top notch and only needs plastics and handle bars. Apparently the guy who owns it underestimated the power of a big bore two stroke and flipped it over backwards trashing the plastics and bent the bars! Typical, I let my friend who thinks he's Ricky Carmichael or something ride my YZ490 one time... Got it in 4th and whacked the throttle thinking it was just some slow old junker. Long story short the nose went skyward, ripped the rear fender off and landed him on his ass. Nothing else was ruined on the bike at least, and the only thing on him that was hurt was his ego.

Tough decision for me, should I get the CR or the RM... I really want another open classer! I miss the feeling of being on the edge whenever you get on the bike. 250's are fast but I'm so used to them it's just business as usual, I don't think it's possible to ever get used to the onslaught of torque from a open classer when the powerband kicks in full swing.

I don't know, I know the new 450's are really fast but I really don't think they hold a candle to a 450cc+ two stroke in raw power and acceleration. They did a comparo in 05 between a heavily raced(in need of at minimum rings) 81 Maico 490 vs. a brand new 05 KTM 525sx and they said in a drag race it's dead even.

  • Ttoks

Posted August 18, 2008 - 12:36 AM


the CR 480's are brutal, excellent bikes as well, the only better honda is the 85 CR 500 before they started taming the porting down and went to liquid cooling.

  • xr250rDude

Posted August 18, 2008 - 04:33 PM


I heard the opposite... The CR480 I heard was kind of tame (as 500 two strokes go). Very strong bottom and mid range, not very impressive up top... No explosive hit like an 85 CR. From what I heard they run like tractors but can open up and scream too. Overall an excellent bike, quite light for a big bore 225 lbs and had 44 rear wheel HP stock making mid pack for HP in the air cooled big bores 83' KX500 being the most powerful at 48 hp and the 83' RM500 being the weakest at 41. And as everyone knows in 84 Honda took a step backwards with the first CR500(piece of junk). So last good Honda air cooled MX bike was the 83 CR480.

The only thing I never liked about 80's Honda's is the fact that the kick starter is on the left side, and the chain is on the right side. I guess they picked that up from Maico, CZ, KTM, Husqvarna, maybe Bultaco and some of the other European brands. What the hell where they thinking though? It must be hard as hell to start a bike on the wrong side.


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