Q: FIRST AND FOREMOST, IS THE 2016 RM-Z250
BETTER THAN THE 2015 RM-Z250?
A: If you’ve read the press releases and seen the ads,
you know that the 2016 Suzuki RM-Z250 has undergone 80
mechanical upgrades this year. The expectations generated
from such a wholesale R&D overhaul are very high;
however, while the 2016 RM-Z250 is a virtually new machine
from the ground up, it is not necessarily a better machine.
Q: WHAT ARE THE MAJOR CHANGES TO THE
A: Believe us when we say that we can’t list all 80
changes and give them the amount of coverage that they
deserve. Suffice it to say that Suzuki’s marketing department
did a disservice to the 2016 RM-Z250 by saying it had 80
changes, because that makes it appear to be a reworking of
an old engine. Instead, they should have said that it has a
totally new, redesigned and refined engine. It’s not modified;
it’s all-new. This is significant, because last year’s Suzuki
RM-Z250’s list of improvements was limited to a silver stripe
down the center of the seat cover and a black rear fender.
Not the most noteworthy performance mods.
But, don’t just take our word for it that the 2016 changes
are major; here is a perfunctory list.
(1) Exhaust pipe. The head pipe is 40mm longer, and
the muffler has a restrictor in the perf core to allow it to
pass both the AMA Pro sound limits and the AMA Amateur
( 2) Top end. The piston, wrist pin, rings, connecting
rod, cams, intake valves and compression ratio have been
redone. The piston is shot peened. The wrist pin gets a
DLC coating to reduce friction. The oil ring is L-shaped
to seal better. The intake valves have slimmer stems,
new lobes, flat-topped valve heads and are 2 grams
heavier, but the buckets are lighter. Finally, the automatic
decompression release has been redesigned on the end
of the cam to improve engine starting.
( 3) Crank. The crank halves are 0.5mm smaller in diameter to keep them from dragging through the engine oil in
the bottom of the crankcase. Additionally, the oil passage
that leads to Suzuki’s unique reed valve pressure relief valve
has been enlarged. While the smaller crank is lighter, the
magneto rotor has a 9-percent increase in inertia (which was
achieved by moving the weight to its outer edge).
( 4) Ignition couplers. Suzuki supplies two plug-in
couplers to change the EFI mapping. The aggressive white
coupler is 4-percent leaner and the mellower gray coupler is
4-percent richer. The stock mapping is achieved without a
coupler (although you still have to put a protective cap over
the electrical port).
( 5) Launch control. Suzuki’s Holeshot Assist Control,
which has an acronym that sounds like a bad cough
(S-HAC), is the most complex launch control system made.