WHY DID IT FINISH FOURTH?
The RM-Z250 finished fourth place
by the skin of its teeth. It could have
been worse; some MXA test riders
rated it last. And, it was never
mentioned in the same breath as the
class-leading KX250F and YZ250F.
We didn’t punish Suzuki for failing
to make quality updates to the 2015
RM-Z250, but the buying public
probably will. Instead, the MXA
wrecking crew docked the RM-Z250
several spots due to its inefficiency
against the competition.
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT THE
2015 SUZUKI RM-Z250?
(1) Cornering. The RM-Z250 has
no equal when it comes to navigating tight tracks or where there’s a
tuft of dirt to bang off of. It can hit
inside lines with ease. The chassis
is balanced, so transitional situations
where the RM-Z250 must turn from
one side to the other quickly are no
( 2) Forks. Test riders have
learned how to set up Showa
Separate Function Forks, particularly
on the RM-Z250. By stiffening up the
compression and slowing down the
rebound, we’ve discovered that the
front end settles well in chop.
( 3) Engine. Truth be told, there’s
a powerband in this shootout for
every type of rider. The Suzuki
RM-Z250 dwells in the midrange,
which is an admirable trait for
slower riders and those who prefer
to short-shift through the gears.
WHAT’S BAD ABOUT THE 2015
(1) Engine. How can the RM-Z250
be on the good side of the ledger
and still be considered bad? It’s
all about the scope of competition.
Four out of the six bikes in this test
break the 40-horsepower barrier; the
RM-Z250 is not one of them.
( 2) Clutch. Have you held an
RM-Z250 clutch pack in your hands?
It’s puny. Add in soft clutch springs
and you have a recipe for clutch
( 3) Handling. Just because the
RM-Z250 won the cornering
category doesn’t make it a standout in the handling department.
Cornering is one aspect of the
handling category, but straight-line
stability and controllability in
transitional sections are also
important. As good as the Suzuki
is at carving turns, the bias on the
front end creates instability when the
perfect amount of pressure isn’t on
the front tire. It can be scary to blitz
a braking-bump-laden downhill on
( 4) Brakes. The front brake is
bad, although not as terrible as the
Yamaha YZ250F’s (but that’s due to
the fact that the YZ250F has a
superior engine, making it more
difficult to stop).
WHICH SKILL LEVEL BEST
SUITS THE RM-Z250?
This is a bike that excels in the
hands of Beginners, Novices and
Vets. It’s also excellent for anyone
who rides tight tracks or only cares
WHAT ARE OUR FINAL
THOUGHTS ON THE RM-Z250?
There are two standout areas that
the MXA test riders loved—cornering
and the forks. However, those bright
spots cannot make up for the blasé
powerband, pitiful clutch, tight ergonomics, subpar reliability, sketchy
high-speed handling and weak
brakes. The RM-Z250 is showing its
age against an ever-improving class.