This is how we set up our 2017 Suzuki RM-Z250 for
racing. We offer it as a guide to help you get your own
bike dialed in.
KAYABA PSF- 2 FORK SETTINGS
Suzuki ran Showa SFF single-spring forks in 2013–
’ 15, but for 2016–’ 17 they switched to Kayaba PSF- 2
air forks. Suzuki’s version of PSF- 2 forks differs from
Honda’s in that the high- and low-speed rebound damping clickers are on the top of both fork caps, while the
compression damping is on the bottom. Honda has its
high- and low-speed compression clickers on one fork
cap and its high- and low-speed rebound clickers on the
other fork cap. For hardcore racing, these are MXA’s
recommended 2017 Suzuki RM-Z250 fork settings (stock
settings are in parentheses):
Spring rate: 34 psi ( 35 psi)
Compression (bottom of fork):
7 clicks out
15 clicks out
16 clicks out
Fork-leg height: Flush
Notes: Once you find the correct air-pressure setting
for your weight, speed and track, focus on making all
the adjustments with the compression clickers first,
the low-speed rebound clickers second and high-speed
rebound last. Given our druthers, we would prefer to
have high- and low-speed compression damping instead
of Suzuki’s focus on incremental rebound damping.
KAYABA SHOCK SETTINGS
For hardcore racing, these are MXA’s recommended
2017 Suzuki RM-Z250 shock settings (stock settings are
5. 5 kg/mm
Race sag: 105mm
Hi-compression (blue): 9 clicks out
10 clicks out
Hi-rebound (bottom of shock): 17 clicks out
Lo-rebound (red): 11 clicks out
Notes: The 5. 5 kg/mm spring might be a little stiff
for minicycle transplants, but use free sag as your
gauge. Check the race sag at regular intervals throughout the life of the machine. Don’t discount the shock
when it comes to handling. If it is too stiff or the race
sag too little, the RM-Z250 can go from a sweet-handling
machine to a yellow ogre. Balance the front and rear
with careful setup. ❏
170 psi. There is one major caveat: on the 2017 Suzuki
RM-Z250, the clickers on both fork caps are for rebound
damping only (both high- and low-speed). The compression
clickers are on the bottom.
Q: WHAT DO WE REALLY THINK?
A: Believe it or not, the Suzuki RM-Z250 won the 2011
MXA 250 four-stroke shootout but couldn’t win a dog show
in 2017. Well, now that we think about it, you probably do
believe it, because the 2017 RM-Z250 only makes a 1/2
horsepower more than it did seven years ago. Over the
same time span, the KTM 250SXF gained 8 horsepower.
That is the tale of the tape.
If you need launch control on the slowest and heaviest bike in
the 250 class, you need to take up tiddlywinks.
Suzuki is the last manufacturer to come with undersized
rotors and equally undersized pucker power.
You can’t tell a book by its cover, but the RM-Z250 gives up 6
horsepower to its competition. Time to close the book.