have to be that way. The Suzuki excels in both stability
We also have to list the suspension as one of Suzuki’s
assets, but this year it’s not quite as good. Despite no disclosed significant changes, test riders didn’t rave about the
RM-Z’s fork or shock this year as they have in the past.
Still, no one had big complaints in that department, either.
The 250 Suzuki’s fork has a much bigger fan base than the
WEAK POINTS: In the past, the Suzuki’s lack of serious flaws was its biggest advantage; it didn’t do anything
badly. But, now the RM-Z’s motor is slipping toward the
back of the pack. The power output is acceptable, but it
doesn’t excite anyone. It revs slowly and seems to labor
on loose, deep soil. The clutch fades quickly, and despite
recent attention, the bike doesn’t start or shift particularly
BOTTOM LINE: Staying in the same place is impossible in a dynamic universe, thus the Suzuki RM-Z250 has
lost some of its glamor this year, but it’s still very effective
because of a remarkable lack of true flaws.
The Suzuki RM-Z250 is the motocross world’s best-kept
secret. It always has been. While Kawasaki has been winning all the races, Honda has been stealing all the sales,
and KTM has been getting all the headlines, Suzuki has
been quietly at work building a great motorcycle. Since its
introduction 10 years ago, the RM-Z has won more shootouts in Dirt Bike than any other 250F. Its strong suit has
always been the same—handling. It’s been called the best-handling motocross bike in the world.
Last year, the RM-Z received a number of changes,
including a gearbox redesign, a reconfigured frame and
a switch to the Showa SFF fork, similar to that of the
KX250F. The list of changes for 2014 is considerably shorter. There are slight changes to the ECU for easier starting,
and the number plates are a different color.
STRONG POINTS: At the risk of sounding like a broken
record (if anyone remembers records), the Suzuki is still
great in the handling department. It turns with very little
effort, and it always gives you a good, secure connection
with the track. Some Hondas and Yamahas have taught us
to accept a vague, wandering feel in turns, but it doesn’t
The unknown champion
Suzuki was able to
coast into 2014 with an
unchanged bike that’s still
very capable of winning.