Suzuki usually built bulletproof bikes with not much thing in common with styling and visual attraction, but starting with the new millennium and, later, with the RM-Z250, things were about to change.
Testimony to that is the fact that for 2009 there are only exterior changes that were brought to it. As you earlier read, graphics were everything for 2009 so they were changed as well as the seat cover which has now matching paint. The same treatment was applied to the now yellow front number plate and the yellow radiator shrouds.
But the bike was already unveiling its racing character through its looks so the 2009 changes come as an extra demonstration of taste. I know you would expect to read “power” instead of “taste”, but let’s hope we’ll be saying that about the 2010 model year.
Because Suzuki didn’t worked that much at the 2009 RM-Z250, testing a 2008 model year seems as conclusive as you get, at least until we finally jump onto the latest presented. It is an incredible riding experience and despite the fact that the competition has made a few steps further, the RM-Z retains its aggressive character and versatility.
The 250cc, four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC engine is strong-pulling and very responsive, especially in the mid and upper range of the powerband, allowing for wide-open throttle fun on various sections of the track, especially in the short straight. The modified carburetor now feeds a little bit more gas, increasing horsepower and, implicit, the rush you get when riding the thing.
Something truly worthy of appreciation and a Suzuki characteristic is the heavy-duty clutch which together with the aggressive and light handling allows awesome corner carving, perfect to fight against fairly more advanced motorcycles. Also, the five-speed gearbox shifts easily and I never managed to miss a gear during the time I spent in RM-Z’s seat. With these three qualities to benefit of, the Suzuki RM-Z250 becomes very easy to get caught up by and that’s not all.
Handling is the sweet spot as the frame is designed for aggressive cornering and due to the narrow and grippy seat the rider can position itself in the adequate riding spot. This slightly modifies the center of gravity and allows for even greater control over the balky bike.
On the model year we’ve tested, the hot start is a brand new feature and brings a touch of modernity on what appears to be a traditionally thumper.
The Suzuki RM-Z250 offers great bottoming resistance thanks to the retuned suspensions (stiffer valving) while passing over whoops feels like the easiest thing now.
With waved rotors, the great breaking performance is maintained in muddy riding conditions and they also cool down more efficiently.
So what could you ask more? Fuel injection? Let’s just hope that 2010 will bring that as a result of the RM-Z450 influence.
Suzuki hasn’t added much thing to the price either and that is what makes it go strong on the market today. The RM-Z250 comes with an MSRP of $6,299 while other options are the Yamaha YZ250F ($6,549 or $6,649 for the White/Red version), Kawasaki KX250F ($6,499 or $6,699 for the Monster Energy version) and Honda CRF250R (MSRP: $6,549).
Although not totally new, the 2009 Suzuki RM-Z250 exerts its wonderful attraction and is here to do a great figure given to the manufacturer’s specific reliability and performance. Although with a characteristic sense of constancy, the RM-Z250 misses no dirt track battle and carries on competing, which is the thing it knows doing best.