For years the RM125 has been on the podium in the handling department. Showa suspension has done wonders for the yellow machine. In stock trim the Showa fork is a tad on the soft side. Most of our test riders went in on compression and had to slow down the rebound a few clicks. The front end seems to have push in slow, tight corners and tends to sit too high in the stroke. The shock works perfectly with the entire chassis. Under hard acceleration the bike stays perfectly straight and takes any hits thrown at it. The shock is responsive to small adjustments and easily dials in. The new front brake works better than ever. The system has more stopping power and doesn’t fade in long motos. The new ergonomics are better for everyone; taller riders don’t sit as high as on the ’03 model (which was too high). Lowering the seat made the bike more comfortable for a wider range of riders, and our test staff liked the new fit.Horsepower has never really been an issue for the RM125. The power curve has always seemed to be liked by intermediate and pro-level riders. Off the bottom there is virtually no power. In order to go fast and make time out of corners you really have to rely on the clutch and keep the rpms high off the bottom. Midrange pulls hard and has a good punch that rolls over to strong top-end power. The motor characteristics, typical of a 125, are very labor-intensive if you want to go fast or feel fast. With all the use of the clutch we were concerned about problems, but it’s built with durability in mind and never showed any signs of wear. The transmission works smoothly and consistently.If you are serious about racing, the RM has your name on it. The bike definitely worked better for our advanced test riders. If you know how to keep up momentum, you will love this bike. Suzuki has also taken its time with detail. The new RM is a better overall package than it has been in past years. From the new front brake to all the little hardware changes, the RM is a quality piece of machinery. With Branden Jesseman earning the number-one plate on his RM125, there is no doubt the bike has what it takes to win. Championships are won with consistency, not mechanicals. Suzuki uses a lot of the race-team development on the production bikes and continues to push the evolution of the 125. For a serious racer this would have to be a top candidate, with Suzuki’s track-side support at all the major amateur races and a hefty contingency payout.
| Corey Neuer
ABILITY: Intermediate • AGE: 27 • WEIGHT: 162 lb • HEIGHT: 5’11″
I liked the RM125 much better in past years than I did this year. I don’t know if the competition got better or if I didn’t like the changes to the bike. I didn’t like the motor characteristics; the power felt inconsistent and there was absolutely no bottom-end. In order to get the bike to go out of tight corners I really had to work the clutch–I know it’s a 125, but it just felt like total abuse. Mid to top-end the motor runs strong but tends to go flat on top. The RM125 handled great for me; in tight corners it was predictable and it felt light. It also worked really well in fast sweeping corners and gave lots of front-end feedback. I like the ergonomics better than on last year’s bike; lowering the seat makes it easier to have good body position.
The suspension and ergonomics are excellent. After I got it dialed in my only real gripe was it felt a bit on the tall side. I think most riders probably liked the roomy feel, but I prefer a more compact cockpit. The Showa fork is awesome, especially on big landings, and the shock also worked well for me everywhere. I came away from the RM125 wishing it had an RM-Z motor in it; maybe the RM-Z just needs the RM125′s suspension components.