WHY SHOULD THE SUZUZKI RM-Z250 WIN
The 2017 RM-Z250 is a very fun bike to ride. It corners so well that MXA test riders are willing to overlook the engine’s failings just to dive inside of every
rider on the track. It is quick, agile and free-feeling. It
can hit any line in any turn.
WHY SHOULD THE RM-Z250 LOSE THE
Suffice it to say that when you read “2017” in this
test, it could just as easily mean 2016. Why? Because,
mechanically, the 2017 Suzuki RM-Z250 is the 2016
WHAT’S NEW ON THE 2017 SUZUKI RM-Z250?
Nothing important. The 2017 bike is the 2016 Suzuki
RM-Z250 with a yellow rear fender, new graphics and
black anodized doodads replacing last year’s red-anod-ized trinkets.
WHAT DOES THE RM-Z250 WEIGH?
226 pounds. The RM-Z250 is the heaviest 250 four-stroke in 2017. It is 8 pounds heavier than the 2017
HOW DOES THE RM-Z250 RA TE IN THE MAJOR
Power output: Poor. This engine is not fast.
It lacks throttle response, aggressive hit, adequate
over-rev or competitive ponies. It is, at best, a Novice
engine. It picks up nicely off the bottom and has pep
into the midrange, but it is the only bike that we had
to downshift to keep drive going on steep uphills.
Suspension: Good. Suzuki ran Showa SFF sin-gle-spring forks in 2013–2015, but for 2016–2017 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.
Handling: Very good. The RM-Z250 has long held
the distinction of being the best-turning bike in its
class. Suzuki discovered its magical frame geometry
formula 20 years ago and has stuck with it. It can hit
inside lines with very little rider input, but can also
blast around sweeping turns with relative accuracy.
The only downside to the RM-Z250’s geometry is instability at speed. The solution? Slide the forks down in
the triple clamps, tighten the steering-stem nut, and
carefully adjust the race sag (it affects the frame’s
head angle). Every MXA test rider was willing to trade
some straight-line stability for the RM-Z250’s precise
Brakes: Poor. Every manufacturer, save for Suzuki,
switched to oversized front brake rotors in order to
keep KTM’s awesome Brembo brakes in sight. In a
strange symbiotic relationship, the Suzuki RM-Z250’s
weak brake is in line with its weak horsepower. If it
were faster, it would overpower the little front rotor.
WHAT DO WE HATE ON THE RM-Z250?
The weak clutch. It’s never a good thing when a
manufacturer trades feel on the showroom floor for
performance on the racetrack.
THE FINAL QUOTE?
“The Suzuki RM-Z250 won the ‘2011 MXA 250 Four-Stroke Shootout.’ What’s hard to believe is that 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 tells the