PLANET MECHANIC ‘Is it worth putting an old RGV250 or RS250 on the road?’
Sean Hadley, 43, set up The Tuning Works, specialising in Suzuki RGV250S and Aprilia RS250S, in 2005
“It’ll take a bit of work, but it’ll be worth it in the end. If you’ve just got the bike, or it’s been laid up for a while, the power valve assembly and carburation will need maintenance. I recommend dismantling, cleaning and adjusting the valve assembly every 3000 miles.
“Make sure the power valve control cables are adjusted correctly, otherwise they will stress the valve. It takes 30 minutes to adjust the cables and a powervalve strip is an afternoon’s work because the radiator has to come off too.
“Inspect carb jets and needles for wear as they could be 20 years old. If it’s an Aprilia RS250 with a plastic tank the ethanol in fuel can make the tank expand - though it might regain some of its shape if it’s hung up somewhere warm and dry.
“Freeing off 20-year-old fasteners can be a challenge, especially the screws retaining the powervalve. My top tip is to use a left-handed drill bit that is a touch smaller than the seized fastener’s shaft. That way you can start slightly off- centre and the drill should get enough purchase on the head to start freeing it off. I replace the valve retainers with 8mm hex flange bolts.
“Apart from OE bodywork, Suzuki spares availability is good. For example the factory recently made a new batch of cranks. But Aprilia chassis spares are more difficult.”
‘Freeing off 20-year-old fasteners can be a challenge’