We didn’t expect to see so many changes on the 2006 RM250, but one look into the press kit showed it was more than just bold new graphics. Suzuki gave nearly everything a little tweaking, and not surprisingly, it was in all the areas we were looking for after reviewing the 2005 RM.During the intro at the yet-to-be-opened-to-the-public Competitive Edge MX park, we spent a day getting familiar with the RM250. The first thing we noticed was the meatier motor. It has improved gusto from the bottom to the top, as if it has a heavier flywheel. Compared to the ’05, the new motor feels the same in speed. The difference is in the more deliberate delivery, and it seems to rev out a bit more on top. Shifting wasn’t very smooth—we found the clutch adjustment to be critical when shifting under power.The chassis received some fine-tuning, and it showed. The RM felt much more stable which was especially noticable on the choppy, high-speed track. The turning is still crisp, but now the bike tracks in the turns a lot better. Sprung on the lighter side of 250cc two-strokes, the RM has all-new valving in the fork and shock. Overall it is a very well-balanced setup although we were getting some blow-through in the rear mid- and high-speed compression. We tried tuning it out with the clickers; we never improved upon the standard setup, but we’re still trying.Are the changes enough to bring the yellow bike to the front of the pack? In pure numbers, we’d say yes. But it only matters when we can test the bike head-to-head with the other 250s.
Right now we’re working on the full test for an upcoming issue of Dirt Rider where we’ll give you a more thorough breakdown of how the bike works for a number of riders and tracks.