Suzuki RM-Z250 101Kg 36.8 bhp
After many years of minimal changes, the RM-Z250 has revived Suzuki’s presence in the the MX2 class as it uses the bodywork and chassis of the latest 450, twin-injector engine and KYB suspension.
But that 250 was new last year, so for 2020 Suzuki has limited itself to updating the graphics and in Italy, making the mapping adjustable from smartphones thanks to the MX Tuner App from Athena GET. The rest of the world doesn’t get this.
The KYB 48mm forks initially feel hard and not very comfortable. Opening the compression to the limit of the adjustment improves it a little. The forks need work for serious racers.
The rear KYB 4WAYS shock has separate adjustment for low and high speeds both in compression and in return. It also feels solid and not very comfortable. Once again, reducing compression damping does improve things.
Motor oil: 1.0 litres.
Oil and filter replacement: after break-in and then every 6 hours
Air filter cleaning: after each use.
Piston Replacement: every 30 hours
Valves: Check every 40 hours.
Starter motor: N/A
Front: Dunlop Geomax MX33F 80 / 100-21
Rear: Dunlop Geomax MX33 100 / 90-19
What the testers said:
The engine is decent, and feels like a Honda. In the air the bike handles well and the clutch seems the best of the Japanese bikes, rivalling the Yamaha. Doing repeated starts, the bike doesn’t miss a beat but is not very responsive. When it comes on the power, it delivers everything in a big hit then doesn’t stretch out too far.
I didn’t like the forks and found it impossible to find a fix. Even with the compression all the way open, I attacked the track but the forks were still too hard. The shock is OK, but too complicated to fix with the four adjustments in the limited time we had.
Overall I had a poor initial feeling when I got on the bike, and it didn’t get any better the more I rode it.
It takes a couple of laps to get used to the Suzuki’s riding position. It has a high seat and feels a bit old school. In general the bike feels very rigid, especially at the front end, which makes it turn into corners very quickly like so many Suzuki have done over the years. But further round the corner, the bike isn’t as good.
I worked on the forks and eventually them got softer. The shock is stable on the fast straights but when you hit a holes you really feel it.
The engine has a nice mid-range boost but you can’t keep it in a gear and rev it on, you have to change to keep the bike in the best bot of the powerband.
All new in 2019, a year ago the RM-Z250 seemed like a good base but in need of fine tuning to iron out the niggling mistakes. Unfortunately, the 2020 model arrived with an extremely rigid fork which penalised it. Even the rear shock was very stiff.
In real terms, the bike didn’t perform as well as the 2019 version even though they are mechanically identical paper. Suzuki have the basis of a good bike, but it needs more attention from Japan.