Suzuki invited the Dirt Rider gang out to Pala MX today for the release of their 2012 RM-Z250 and 450. It was a long day testing both of the bikes so by the time you read this, hopefully we will be out of that wonderful LA traffic. Yes, we are writing this test on the freeway while riding shotgun. Here on dirtrider.com, we are going to give you the motor test and what the young soon-to-turn-pro test rider Chris Green, the goofy office guy Pete Peterson and the entertaining photographer/chauffer-so-us-editors-can-write-in-the-car “guy,” aka Scott Hoffman think of the powerplants on these yellow beasts. For what we thought of the bikes’ handling, check motocross.com through the link at the end of this story.
Engine – 2012 RM-Z250
There are a total of three ignition couplers on this motor – the “middle” setting that comes stock on the bike, the lean setting and the rich setting. All provide different feel for different track conditions. These are also helpful when it comes to rider preference. Our girthy guy had a good time on the 250F and claims it provides fun power for his size. He did find there was a bit of a gap between second and third but again, he blames the number on the scale for this issue. The young show-off got a chance to play with all three of the couplers and he liked the bottom end hit that the stock setting had but felt that it was a bit lacking in the revs. The lean setting mellowed out the bottom end and provided a snappy mid range hit, and the rich setting widened the entire range of power making it very usable on bottom, strong through the mid with plenty of top-end to rev. The one and only novice rider had great things to say about the responsive throttle. To him, there was plenty of low end meat that enabled him to steer the bike with the power.
Engine 2012 RM-Z450
While looking for a prom date, the young fast guy was burning lap after lap trying out new couplers. His feelings for the ignition changes on the 450 where very similar to what the couplers did for the power on the 250. The standard setting had an aggressive bottom end, which would be good for high traction situations. The lean and rich couplers provided likeable torque but the rich setting gave a much broader spread of power from bottom to top. Our throttle blipper noted that the bike’s overall power was strong and had no unwanted surges to surprise you. Captain America thought the stock mapping was nice but once he tested what Suzuki calls the rich coupler he came to appreciate the power delivery and realized how rideable the bike could be for his style. The leaner coupler was just not in his corner. He felt less bottom right off idle. He also noticed that it was tractable in the middle but kind of a weak tractable, and that the power curve was very narrow. He mentioned it may be good for a slick snotty day but that’s about it.
One thing for the 2012 Suzuki’s is for sure, and it is that these bikes are definitely solid machines. While the only changes they saw were new skins, a revised breather hose and revised fuel pump, there is plenty of performance where it counts. These are two yellow bikes that are worth considering.To read about what this trio thought of the bikes’ handling, go to motocross.com by clicking HERE.