Q: FIRST AND FOREMOST, IS THE 2017 RM-Z250
BETTER THAN THE 2016 RM-Z250?
A: Suffice it to say that when you read “2017” in this test,
it could just as easily mean 2016. Why? Because apart from
the plastic color, graphics and anodized foof, the 2017 Suzuki
RM-Z250 is the 2016 RM-Z250.
Q: ARE THERE ANY MAJOR ENGINE CHANGES
ON THE 2017 SUZUKI RM-Z250?
A: No. The 2017 bike is the 2016 Suzuki RM-Z250 with a
yellow rear fender and new graphics; however, Suzuki did make
80 mechanical updates to the 2016 model, including a longer
head pipe, AMA-legal muffler, shot-peened piston, L-shaped oil
ring, slimmer stem on the valves, new cam lobes, flat-topped
valve heads, DLC-coated wrist pin, 0.5mm-smaller crank halves,
a 9-percent increase in magneto inertia, a 4-percent leaner white
map coupler and 4-percent richer gray coupler.
Q: WHAT WAS THE OUTCOME OF THE RM-Z250’S
80 ENGINE CHANGES IN 2016?
A: When we read the brochure stating that Suzuki had
made 80 changes to the 2016 RM-Z250 engine, we couldn’t wait
to ride the bike. Sadly, we were disappointed to find that the
2016 RM-Z250 engine didn’t gain any significant power over the
2015 engine, which was a carbon copy of the 2014 engine. That
seemed impossible, so we dyno’ed it. It wasn’t good. So, we got
a second brand-new RM-Z250 from a dealer to double-check our
first dyno readings. It confirmed that the 80 changes didn’t result
in any significant power gains.
What happened to the 80 all-new engine mods? We have two
theories: (1) In order to improve low-end power and the transition
into the midrange, Suzuki increased flywheel inertia by 9 percent
and lengthened the head pipe by 40mm. While these changes
made small improvements to the power from 6000 rpm to 7000
rpm, they had a negative effect on top-end power. ( 2) In order to
meet the sound limits of both Pro and Amateur racing, Suzuki’s
engineers put a V-shaped strip of perf-core into the muffler. It did
a good job of knocking down the decibels, but also killed throttle
response and hampered the power across the range.
MXA RACE TEST
2017 SUZUKI RM-Z250
THE TALE OF