2015 Suzuki RM-Z250 Test

2015 Suzuki RM-Z250

Same As It Ever Had been

Story By Sean Klinger • Photos By Adam Booth

Very rarely does a Talking Heads song eloquently wrap up how we feel about a new motocross bike, but this is that rare exception. Intended for 2015, Suzuki decided to focus the R& D muscle on the big bike and rerelease the quarter-liter racebike with BNG (Bold New Graphics). The only changes towards the ’15 RM-Z250 are purely cosmetic and include a new seat color, new shroud graphics, new bar protect color, and a new engine safeguard color. But , as we have learned previously, “new” is not necessarily a synonym for “better. ”

2015 Suzuki RM-Z250

Starting with the motor of the little yellow thumper, there were no surprises here. The underside to midrange is where this bike likes to be ridden, and moving up to the next gear is a better strategy than trying to rev it out. After the meat of the strength, the top-end flattens out. In no way is this bike slow; it simply has a very linear power that builds predictably and in a steady fashion. It doesn’t rev super quickly or have any burst of strength, and some testers like this because you could be pretty aggressive with the throttle and not worry about an unwanted surprise burst open of speed or wheelspin. The clutch pull feels as easy as other 250 four-strokes, but if you like to take every inside line and really work the left lever, the RM-Z’s clutch will start to fade.

2015 Suzuki RM-Z250

The RM-Z250 still employs the use of a coil springtime in its fork, and we’ve reach really enjoy the Showa SFF (Separate Function Fork). Compression and come back are handled by the left fork leg while the right fork leg houses the single main spring in the fork, with a preload adjuster on the top. After years of using this setup we know how to dial it in for ideal comfort and performance. Most riders like the overall feel of the fork, but there is a mid-stroke harshness which is mostly the fault of the Suzuki’s notoriously rigid frame. The Showa shock works pretty well, but it is on the squishy side. That means it absorbs small hits, bumps, plus chatter well but doesn’t remain up in the stroke. It is also really sensitive to sag adjustment. Suzuki recommends 105mm of sag, which worked best for our testers; inadequate sag negates the bike’s great handling characteristics.

2015 Suzuki RM-Z250

Just like last year’s bike, and the one before that, the 2015 RM-Z250 absolutely lights in the handling department. It is pleased to tuck into an inside rut, it stays planted throughout the turn, and it is just as happy to rail the outside berm. The yellow racer is very attentive to input, making quick line modifications a nonissue. Also, not only does it corner with grace, but it has great feedback for the rider. Whenever leaned over farther than grip allows, the RM-Z loses hold in a controlled manner rather than at the same time. You can feel when you are on the advantage and pull it back, unlike other bikes that just push all of the suddenly and you are on the ground. In the air the Suzuki feels very light however balanced.

2015 Suzuki RM-Z250 whip

Unfortunately, the RM-Z’s great turning characteristics are a product from the rigid chassis. Heavier riders do not notice the rigid-feeling chassis as much, but as the track got rougher and the testers got lighter, the bike’s harsh feeling on braking plus acceleration bumps was more obvious. If the track is softer plus loamy this is less noticeable. It really is when the track gets dried out plus choppy that the Suzuki feels much less comfortable.

2015 Suzuki RM-Z250

In the fit and finish category, we have to give props in order to Suzuki for not making an obnoxiously loud exhaust; the system on the RM-Z is a great balance of a throaty grunt and a responsible noise level. Also, while the brakes aren’t the best within class, they do their intended work well enough. Like last year’s bike, neutral is a little hard to find, and it is not really the easiest bike to start; a thorough, deliberate kick is needed. Like them or hate them, the bike nevertheless has yellow side panels, which require racers to get preprinted skills instead of using individual numbers.


Even though this 2015 bike is essentially exactly like the 2014 model, that doesn’t mean it should be overlooked. Races are won in the corners, not for the straightaways, and that is just where the Suzuki is king. Plus, the electric motor is a great platform to build on and is only a few aftermarket goodies away from being a total ripper. We’ll have to wait around and see if “same as it actually was” stacks up in the 2014 250F shootout.

2015 Suzuki RM-Z250

2015 Suzuki RM-Z250 SPECS

MSRP : $7599

Seat height : 37. six in.

Clearance : 13. 6 in.

Fuel capacity : 1 . 7 gal.

Weight (tank full) : 237 lb.


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