Last year with all the hoopla around the joining forces of Kawasaki and Suzuki, most of us were expecting big things out of their all-new 250 four-stroke. In the long run the ’04 had some strengths but durability problems began to surface as the bikes hit dealerships. Many of the glitches have been addressed for 2005 and the second generation KXF/RM-Z 250 has a newfound life. Though the list of fixes to the new bike is rather small, it got exactly what it needed. The biggest problem with last year’s model was the cooling system. The bike would overheat on a regular basis. This is no longer a problem thanks to a new 40mm larger radiator. A few minor revisions were made to the cylinder head to help clean up overall throttle response. Fortunately, the engineers didn’t make to make any dramatic changes to the motor as it one of the strongest in its class.Other than new low-friction oil seals, the Kayaba suspension remains the same for ’05. Last year the suspension was not liked by any of our test riders and this year looks like it might be a repeat. In rough conditions the suspension is hard to set up and the fork tends to ride high in the stroke with very little dampening progressiveness. The shock works a little better than the fork but needs to be way more progressive.Overall the 2005 KXF/RM-Z 250 is more fine-tuned and it should be much more durable thanks to the updates. The handling and motor characteristics appear on the same level as rest of the class, it’s just a matter of getting the suspension sorted out.Look in the November issue of Dirt Rider for the full test on the 2005 Kawazuki.