The RM85 is loaded with technology derived from Suzuki’s championship-winning motocross bikes. The bike offers smooth power delivery, loads of mid-range and lightweight handling, being perfect for learning to race - and learning to win!
Suzuki created the RM85 in order to gain a certain clientele that would catch on with the feel and performance of a Suzuki from and early age. Being accessible, bulletproof, and awesome performing, the Suzuki has done the job and many little racers begin their riding years on such machine which offers a great balance between fast and safe.
The Suzuki RM85 was launched in 2002 as a new model for smaller motocross enthusiasts. RM80 has been around for some time, and RM85 shares the success of its 80cc model. The bike featured disc brakes in both ends, liquid-cooled single cylinder two-stroke AETC equipped engine, rigid aluminum cradle frame, and progressive suspension. Also it features 70/100-17 (front) and 90/100-14 (rear) wheels. A high-wheel kit (from 2003 offered as a different model called RM85L) was available as an option.
The model was kept unchanged for 2003 and further years, except for the RM85L, that was introduced for 2003 and the new graphics changed year after year. That model features longer wheelbase and bigger wheels as standard for bigger riders.
Being a great deal, the bike sells constantly but we all know that this is not a company’s target with strong competition coming from Yamaha YZ85 (a faster bike for a few more dollars), Honda CR85R (Yamaha’s strong opponent), and Kawasaki KX85 (an even cheaper bike with as much to offer as the Suzuki). RM85 is Suzuki’s attempt of gaining terrain in front of the previous mentioned manufacturers with a strongly balanced package.
Probably the primary attractive thing on the Suzuki resumes on the bike’s appearance which feature great fit and finish, slim and easy to maneuver bodywork all gathered to compose an attractive design which makes a true statement of what’s about to come. All the controls are well positioned and easy to reach, the handlebars are specially fitted to ensure a good riding position and together with the front number panel and fender complete the functional and yet aggressive front of this motorcycle. This year’s model also features new decals on the side panels. Let’s hope that the image described will be the one seen first before the finish line.
Suzuki RM85 isn’t quite the most powerful minibike for starters but Suzuki kept one thing in mind while creating the motorcycle: not every parent wishes the fastest, hardest-hitting bike on the starting line especially if its child is just starting out. And no, I am not trying to find any excuse. In fact, I would have to say that though Suzuki has won plenty of races and national Championships with its popular RM85, the small yellow bike is known for its potent and yet bigger-friendly engine. As a manufacturer which equips its mini with a power-valve, Suzuki has an 85cc powerplant that has tons of hop-up potential, but is at the same time easy for beginners and novices to ride. In fact this is the bike’s objective: to initiate riders in the world of motocross as well as possible.
The engine provides an impressive amount of low-end power and pulls strong through the middle of the powerband. But keep in mind that this is an 85cc and it doesn’t jerks as the motor builds revs bringing us again the thought that this is what it was created for which means that it does the job perfectly. Instead of jerking, the bike pulls strong and easily into an average top-end overrev. The Suzuki will make beginner rider feel much ore at home on the Suzuki than on the other bikes in its class, especially Yamaha YZ85.
Suzuki’s RM85 suspension is set to suit the majority of riders with some effort dialing it in. The bike sets a good cornering position and that helps when heavily accelerating at the exit of the curves giving confidence to the rider which already starts accumulating experience on the RM85.
The brakes are very important in motocross and in every motor sport but when it comes to the rider’s safety and efficiency concerning stopping power, Suzuki takes quite a few safety measures resulting into a strongly braking motorcycle.
The general impression given by the Suzuki is very promising after a good 20 hours of aggressive riding on a bike that didn’t made any wrong noise or sign of decreasing power on the threatening jumps.
For a MSRP of $3,099 the future champions will benefit of a fast but safe motorcycle with great winning capabilities which will mark the beginning of a beautiful story. The perfectly balanced package will secure the rider’s every need and desire in any conditions of track or riding and it does it for a small amount of money.
Already the choice for up-and-coming motocross stars, the RM85 has proven to be a balanced and capable race-winning machine. The 2008 RM85 is aiming to become an even greater machine with even more chances of winning.
Engine and Transmission
Type: two-stroke, single cylinder, liquid-cooled, AETC, crankcase reed
Bore x Stroke: 48 x 46.8mm
Compression Ratio: 9.5:1
Fuel System: KeihinT PE28
Final Drive: #428 chain
Chassis and Dimensions
Suspension Front: Inverted, cartridge-type, 20-way adjustable compression & fully- adjustable rebound damping, 10.8 inches of travel.
Suspension Rear: Link-type, fully-adjustable spring preload and 4-way compression and 16-way rebound damping, 10.9 inches of travel.
Brakes Front: Single hydraulic disc
Brakes Rear: Single hydraulic disc
Tires Front: 70/100-17 40M
Tires Rear: 90/100-1449M
Overall Length: 1805mm (71.1 in.)
Overall Width: 735mm (28.9 in.)
Overall Height: 1100mm (43.3 in.)
Seat Height: 850mm (33.5 in.)
Ground Clearance: 325mm (12.8 in.)
Wheelbase: 1240mm (48.8 in.)
Dry Weight: 65 kg (143 lbs.)
Fuel Tank Capacity: 5.0 liter (1.3 gal.)
-High-revving 84.7cc, liquid-cooled, case-reed engine produces strong peak power and torque – includes aluminum exhaust valves for more stable exhaust flow and RM125-style exhaust valve governor and linkage for precise valve movement and strong throttle response
SCEM-plated cylinder – lighter than a steel-sleeved cylinder with superior heat transfer capability
KeihinT PE28 carburetor provides smooth throttle response and is designed for simplified maintenance
Smooth shifting 6-speed transmission – shift drum detent plate and detent spring designed for positive shift feel, plus needle bearing mounted on the left side of the shift drum to reduce friction
Knurl-finished gear shift lever tip for improved appearance and feel
Large-capacity radiator for efficient engine cooling
Magneto covered with style similar to RM/250
-Frame designed for increased rigidity, durability and straight line performance; features large diameter tubing in key areas and large front reinforced plate
Aluminum swingarm with chain adjustment system similar to RM250
Brake and shift pedals designed with thick cross-section for durability
Showa 37mm inverted fork featuring cartridge damping system with fully-adjustable rebound damping and 20-way adjustable compression damping – Includes fork guards to protect inner fork tubes
Showa rear shock absorber with large diameter shock body and valving designed to produce a plush feel and increase bottoming resistance
Two piston front brake caliper and large 220mm diameter front brake rotors, plus large capacity front master cylinder
Lightweight rear brake system with large 200mm diameter rear brake rotor for positive brake feel
Chrome-moly footpegs for increased durability and improved rider feel
Easy to use clutch lever with long lever stroke for precise clutch operation and feel
Wheel sizes to meet AMA 85cc class regulations F: 70/100-17, R: 90/100-14
Fuel tank, radiator shroud, seat and number plates with design and graphics similar to RM250