Suzuki RM-Z250 - Dirt Rider Magazine

When the checkered flag finally dropped on the 2007 Dirt Rider 250F motocross shootout (April '07), the RM-Z250 was a solid bike length ahead of the rest of the pack. Yet we still had moments of curiosity about the RM-Z's durability, even after 32 hours of hard testing. This made the likable yellow machine an obvious addition to our 2007 Long Haul testing fleet.Less than a week after we decided to long-term the RM-Z, Suzuki needed the bike back as soon as possible. Apparently, the RM-Z's early availability to us (and correspondingly low VIN number) had the bike tagged for a trip to the crusher from day one, but Suzuki promised a replacement unit. We agreed to the exchange on the condition that we could ride both bikes back to back and be present for the teardown of the used model to make sure it wasn't a ringer. And so, after ensuring that both machines were in fact the same, I acquired not only our shootout-winning 250F as a Long Haul bike, but a brand-new one at that!Compared with the new machine, our shootout Suzuki still felt really good. Aside from being freer feeling, faster revving and more broken in, you could hardly tell our used RM-Z had more than 30 hours on it-the Suzuki's suspension was still solid.One of my biggest complaints about the stock RM-Z is the bar bend. Low and flat, the standard Renthal makes for a cramped cockpit and a slightly awkward sitting position for my 5-foot 10-inch frame. I immediately installed one of Sunline's AVone OSX handlebar kits, which came with the crossbar-style oversize bar as well as grips, doughnuts, glue, throttle foam and safety wire. The Sunline YZ-F's bend is really similar to that of the stock Suzuki Renthal bar, but the slightly taller stance and more-abrupt bend absolutely fixed the original handlebar's woes without altering the handling too drastically.I have been sticking to a strict schedule of two 30-minute motos in order to help log regular time on the machine. The regimented practice has reinforced my opinions of the bike and helped me discover what I would like to modify (besides the ergos). I would like to stiffen up the fork a little more than what I can do via the clickers. The shock feels fine. Also, I have had some gripping issues with the sides of the bike, evidenced by heavily worn sidepanels, right around the airbox junction. A new set of graphics along with some Stomp pads or other grippy substance should do the trick.The first 10 hours came and went smoothly, and the oil looked great despite the time. I already know this bike rips, and our previous model had no qualms with being ridden hard. If I can get the same response from this bike, we should be in great shape come teardown time.Running Tally
Hours on Bike: 10
Modifications: $166.94
Sunline AVone OSX handlebar kit: $129.95
DR.D hourmeter: $36.99
Maintenance and Repairs: $12.95 (not including tires)
1 bottle Maxima Maxum4 oil: $12.95