Just out of the spotlight
Weight without fuel: 226 pounds.
Suzuki has been shuffled out of the limelight in the 250
class by newer bikes and pro teams with bigger names. It
was, however, the standard of the class for years, especially in the handling department. Suzuki tried to revive
that legacy with considerable changes for the 2016 model
year, but the bike didn’t really look or perform any differently. Now, the 2018 model is completely unchanged
aside from graphics. It features one of the most adjustable
air forks in the business. The KYB PSF- 2 fork has independently adjustable high- and low-speed compression
and separate air chambers in the left and right legs; the
Showa triple air and the WP AER 48 only have air chambers in one leg. The Suzuki still uses couplers that allow
you to adjust the power delivery, like the Kawasaki.
STRONG POINTS: The Suzuki’s fundamental per-
sonality hasn’t changed for years; it’s still an extremely
good-handling bike with a smooth, torquey motor. The
RM-Z250 is still excellent in the turns. It lays into corners
effortlessly and doesn’t demand any special technique. It’s
also very stable. To this day, no test riders have serious
complaints about the bike’s overall handling.
WEAK POINTS: The Suzuki’s motor is underpowered by
modern standards. Even in its heyday, it wasn’t especially
fast, and all the other bikes have long since moved ahead.
The Suzuki also is a bit heavy despite having no electric
starter. It weighs 226 pounds without fuel and feels like a
very big motorcycle.
BOTTOM LINE: The bike still has a place in the market,
and it can certainly be made competitive, but the RM-Z
250 hasn’t quite kept up with the rest of the class. It needs
more power and less weight. An electric starter certainly