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RGV250K - 30 years in the making.


Ray Von
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. So, story goes, back in January 1990 I bought this RGV250K brand new from White City motorcycles in Manchester. 

Basic timelime:

Jan 1990 - bought for £2999.

Oct 1990 - first track day and knee down at 3 sisters International raceway. 

Aug 91 - Donington GP 'warzone' 

June 92 - IOM TT

May 93 - pretty heavy crash snapped the subframe, bent forks & swingarm, should have been scrapped really, but that would have left me with no bike due to being a poor peasant. 

Sept 96 - rode to WSB Assen. 

July 97 - sold to a chap in Bolton. 

March 2011 - found for sale on eBay whilst pursuing for rgv parts for the race bike, £235 and a trip to Wetherby later, she's back where she belongs. 

No engine a fair few bits missing. 

2020 - now the opportunity to start the rebuild. 

Wish me,luck, this shit is going to get expensive! 

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I've spent the last 9 years collecting the missing parts, the last missing parts were 2 grey rubber frame bungs bought late l as t year, it was a defining moment. 

I went a bit mad this week and bought a complete set of seat plastics with the lugs on, another prompter. 

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I've already spoken to my engine man Colin Skillicorn, purveyor of rapid as buggery RGVs. 

I'm more than capable of building the motor myself, but with this being a 'K' engine, it's different to all the RGV250 engines that came after it, I've asked Colin to set up the engine (oring heads, head volumes, match the ports & check the gearbox, as they jump out of 2nd when worn and accelerating hard) 

So although I want a standard looking RGV, it'll have the right enhancements. 

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That picture was taken outside my uncles house in spring 1990. 

He still lives in the same house and I'm hoping when this is completed (I'm hoping by spring 2021) to try and recreate the picture, that then I will know this project will be completed. 

Top picture was taken outside mum's house in, summer 1990, mum passed away last month & one thing she always moaned at me about was working too much, so with the way work always ends up shitting on you when they have difficult times, I've decided to refocus my priorities now, this is as good a place to start I reckon. 

Edited by Ray Von
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4 hours ago, Ray Von said:

I've already spoken to my engine man Colin Skillicorn, purveyor of rapid as buggery RGVs. 

I'm more than capable of building the motor myself, but with this being a 'K' engine, it's different to all the RGV250 engines that came after it, I've asked Colin to set up the engine (oring heads, head volumes, match the ports & check the gearbox, as they jump out of 2nd when worn and accelerating hard) 

So although I want a standard looking RGV, it'll have the right enhancements. 

I remember Colin, when my boy was racing at three sisters in the mid 90's, Colin was the man to beat on an RGV. Looking forward to seeing the finished article.

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1 hour ago, lesviffer 750 said:

I remember Colin, when my boy was racing at three sisters in the mid 90's, Colin was the man to beat on an RGV. Looking forward to seeing the finished article.

Indeed, he had a really special F3 spec RGV, it was something else, i was racing my other RGV (White one in one of the pics above) that i thought had a lot of good kit on it, Sugayas, kit ignition, carbs etc, but couldn't hold a candle to Colin's bike at Aintree, plus he was / still is an exceptional club racer and very clever / knowledgeable & decent bloke.

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So the rear bodywork I bought turned up today, all original and intact, it needs paint, but all said and done it's solid. 

Couldn't resist a quick dress up. 

IMG_20200527_195251IMG_20200527_195302

 

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Although jumped straight onto a 22, I have a real soft spot for the 21's, always hankered after a grey import Walter Wolf bike but not to be.

Following with muchos enthusiasm 😁

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Looking back, I consider the 21's how Suzuki meant the RGV to be, especially the 'L' model with the bigger carbs 34 against the 'K' 32mm.

They were a lot lighter in road trim than the 22s by a mile, like 10 kilos lighter. 

The M onwards are Lovely bikes and once you dump all the road junk, they get near to perfection. 

Also the build quality on the 21 is miles ahead of the 22, the frame castings are better and look better finished in general, the artists got to the 22 and the result is a beautiful looking bike, but not a pure road going race bike like the 21s.

 

In my opinion of course, I'll be suffering the wrath of 22 owners😊

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I love vj21s. Sadly I'm just far too tall to really ride one. I ended up fucking off my RS250 because it was too small and the little suzooks are considerably smaller. 

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4 hours ago, peter187 said:

I love vj21s. Sadly I'm just far too tall to really ride one. I ended up fucking off my RS250 because it was too small and the little suzooks are considerably smaller. 

How tall are you? I'm 6'5 and don't have a problem on my RS

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17 hours ago, peter187 said:

194cm with long legs. It was painful for anything more than 10-15 minutes.

So about the same, but height is of course only one factor. I actually find modern 1000's smaller than the RS.

Love the story from the OP, looking forward to seeing it all back together.

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Dug the engine out and today and put it in my racking. 

Ive already stripped the engine and given it a good cleaning, ready to be sent off once lockdown eases. 

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Been quite busy today, set the chassis up, so I can work on it without having to put the forks, swingarm or wheels in. 

2020-05-30_07-41-30

Some Pics of the chassis, found these strange ripples on the inside r/h frame spar, now I did have a rather spectacular crash on this back 1993, it put me off work for 4 weeks, just hoping it's not related to that, however I have measured everything meticulously and cannot find any discernable twist or bend in the frame. 

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Also a result of the 1993 crash was a snapped rear subframe, a good friend of mine who is a proper fabricator jigged it up and welded the break, some years ago, thankfully once the covers are on you cannot see it. 

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The metal quality on the 21 frames is far better than the 22 ones. 

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I laid out all the engine parts today to check what I've got and what I may require, it's a lot of bits, but simple in comparison to a 4 banger

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Budget, lol, yes I'm sure there will be one, just no idea what it is yet. 

The engine and bodywork alone is going to be significant, both fork stanctions need replacing (bent), I'm looking to upgrade a few bits, new radiator, shock. 

If i can get it in for £8k, then that would be OK, looking at how Kevs KR1S went, as I bought this thing new back in the day, its a keeper, I'm, sure it'll appreciate at some point. 

Can't take the coin with you

 

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I'd already stripped and cleaned the engine a few years back whilst I was gathering other parts, just to get it ready to send off for replate  & build, I'm going to enhance the engine by oringing the heads and maximising the efficiency of the motor. 

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I love the cassette gearbox on these, I once had a selector go 2 days before going to Donington for the GP, just being able to access the box without splitting the engine was just so awesome. 

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The crank looks spot on, which is a good job as 21 cranks are not as readily available as 22 ones. 

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Original 2 piece power valves look OK, on the surface, but the holes for the lift pins are elongated, but still better than the shitty 22's 3 stage valves, told you the 21 was right first time round. 

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I must own more unique 88 cylinders than anyone else in the world, 7 at last count. 

2020-05-30_07-43-30

 

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Forks are bent, but as the chrome has gone anyway, they will replaced with new. 

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Some,nice touches that took me an absolute age to find, were good standard end cans, I, had to buy 2 sets off 2 different people, who happened to have crashed on opposite sides. 

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Also an holy grail uncut rear mudguard. 

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So there it is so far, engine will be away over the summer, parts list of various items to be bought, refurb of existing parts, basically shit loads to do. 

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3 hours ago, Ray Von said:

Been quite busy today, set the chassis up, so I can work on it without having to put the forks, swingarm or wheels in. 

2020-05-30_07-41-30

Some Pics of the chassis, found these strange ripples on the inside r/h frame spar, now I did have a rather spectacular crash on this back 1993, it put me off work for 4 weeks, just hoping it's not related to that, however I have measured everything meticulously and cannot find any discernable twist or bend in the frame. 

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Very nice work you are doing with the bike. Its going to be worth it.

 

The ripples are most probably a result of the bending process in the factory, this is where a part of the press fixture presses against the box section. Nothing to worry about.

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Who is doing the motor?

talk to colin skillicorn on the rgv form.

theres nothing that he doesn’t know about vj21,s.

 

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I've spoken with Colin, we keep in touch through FB, he's doing the motor for me as I want the heads o ringed and all the ports matching, PVs blending. 

He's the absolute master on these engines. 

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Being doing some frame prep, run a tap through all the threads and fitting thread inserts. 

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Also found a stripped thread in one of the footrest mountings, luckily I had a M8 thread insert kit, so drilled out and fitted a helicoil in. 

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2020-06-01_11-53-12

 

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