difference to the engine’s performance. We are particularly
fond of the lean (white) coupler, but depending on your
track conditions, the gray coupler or no coupler at all could
be the cat’s meow. You can change the coupler in less
than a minute, so take the time to test each one.
( 4) Clutch. At the very least, install stiffer aftermarket
clutch springs. It will save you money on clutch plates in
the long run and build up your left forearm.
( 5) Steering stem. Just because the RM-Z250 is the
best-cornering bike in the class doesn’t mean that it’s
the best-handling bike. Overall handling performance is
not based on cornering alone but a combination of traits,
including straight-line stability, balance at speed and
rough ground manners. Unfortunately, the RM-Z250 is not
very stable at high speeds or through rough terrain. We
always tighten down the steering stem to eliminate wag
in the front end.
( 6) Front tire. Even the best-turning bike on the track
can perform better with premium rubber on the front. That
isn’t the 2017 RM-Z250’s Dunlop MX52. We prefer to run
either a Bridgestone X30 or Dunlop MX3S front.
Q: HOW MUCH DOES THE 2017 RM-Z250
A: The 2017 Suzuki RM-Z250 hits MXA’s trusty scales
at 226 pounds (without gas in the tank). It’s a shame that
the slowest bike in the class is also the heaviest when
compared to the 218-pound KTM 250SXF, 219-pound
Husqvarna FC250, 221-pound Kawasaki KX250F, 222-
pound Yamaha YZ250F and 224-pound Honda CRF250.
Q: HAS SUZUKI KEPT UP WITH THE TIMES?
A: The obvious answer is no. The bike’s weight,
horsepower and brakes are old school; however, the biggest rap against Suzuki comes from social-media critics
who claim that the 2017 Suzuki RM-Z250 is really just the
2008 RM-Z250 with BNG. Here is a breakdown of year-to-
year changes over the last decade.
2008 Suzuki RM-Z250: The aluminum frame was first
introduced on the 2007 RM-Z250. Since the bike was new
from the ground up in 2007, the 2008 only got Wave rotors,
a right-hand hot-start lever, gold axle blocks, a gripper seat
cover, gold-tone chain and slight jetting revisions to the
Keihin FCR carb.
2009 Suzuki RM-Z250: There were three changes for
2009: (1) Bold new graphics on the radiator shrouds. ( 2) A
new seat cover. ( 3) A yellow front number plate.
2010 Suzuki RM-Z250: The 2010 RM-Z250 got fuel
injection borrowed from the 2009 RM-Z450’s system. Along
with EFI came a new muffler, new cam timing, a stronger
connecting rod, thicker walls on the frame-cradle tubing,
an aluminum gas tank, braced swingarm, anti-mud clogging footpegs, revised spring rates, improved cooling and
black backgrounds on the number plates.
2011 Suzuki RM-Z250: Suzuki made 34 changes to
the 2011 RM-Z250. They included a new exhaust system,
revised intake cam timing, higher-lift exhaust cam, wider
third and fourth gears, increased oil capacity, redesigned
kickstarter, aluminum front brake pistons, better valving
on the 47mm Showa forks, updated wiring and two different map couplers.
2012 Suzuki RM-Z250: Since the 2011 RM-Z250 was
totally remade, the 2012 model only got a new breather
hose, lighter fuel-pump holding cover, a red stripe on the
seat cover and black fork guards.
2013 Suzuki RM-Z250: The 2013 engine got a revised
piston, connecting rod, piston pin, cams, oil strainer, shift
cam, muffler, radiator fins and water-hose routing. The big
change was the switch to 48mm Showa Separate Function
(SFF) forks. This was the first year of the black rear fender,
which would last through 2016.
2014 Suzuki RM-Z250: Suzuki only made two changes
to the 2014 RM-Z250. The ECU had a “single-fire spark”
mode that only fired the plug on the compression stroke,
not the exhaust stroke. Second, the previous year’s white
side panels were replaced with yellow ones.
The 2017 Suzuki RM-Z250 is a pleasant bike
with a good personality, but it’s not a stunner.
That description is not good for a blind date or
a motocross bike.