Riding The 2018 Suzuki RM-Z250

Motocross bike Long Haul update

Primary use: Motocross
Main Mods: None
Moment of Glory: Testing the RM-Z250 alongside former pro supercross and motocross racer Steve Boniface.
Forgettable Experience: Getting a frightening amount of headshake in acceleration chop
Hours: 17
Aftermath: Several bike washes

If you read our 2018 250F MX Shootout and watched the corresponding videos, you know how the Suzuki RM-Z250 stacked up against the rest of the field. Although it finished sixth, by no means is the RM-Z a bad or mediocre bike. After spending additional time on the Suzuki since the shootout, I have come to the conclusion that there is something great to be said about the direction motocross bikes are headed. Yes, the RM-Z250 is a little down on power, and, yes, it has a KYB PSF2 air fork, but is it a "bad" bike? Absolutely not!

RM-Z250
“Suzuki hit the nail on the head once again with the phenomenal cornering ability of the RM-Z250.” —Evan AllenJeff Allen

After riding the first-place bike in our 250F shootout, the Honda CRF250R, and the sixth-place bike, this RM-Z250, and comparing my lap times on both, I realized how close these machines are and just how amazing every single bike in the shootout is. On complete opposite sides of the spectrum between the first-place bike and sixth-place bike, my lap times were only 0.8 second apart. If you’re racing over the course of 20 laps like a professional supercross racer, this can equal a huge difference. However, for most riders in the market for a new 250F, the pleasure of riding is getting out on the track and having a good time. So when it comes to pulling the trigger on a new 250F motocrosser in the golden era of moto we live in today, it all comes down to preference.

RM-Z250
“After spending nearly a month in the saddle of the Suzuki, I am pleased with the RM-Z’s friendly demeanor.” —Evan AllenJeff Allen

Suzuki hit the nail on the head once again with the phenomenal cornering ability of the RM-Z250. Although the bike is the second heaviest in the class, the nimble chassis makes the bike feel light and helps it effortlessly carve through corners. With precise handling characteristics, the yellow machine feels extremely flickable and responsive. After spending a few days riding with stock suspension settings, I had a reoccurring issue with front wheel stability through acceleration bumps as well as small chop. The fork never seemed to act in a progressive and plush manner, thereby creating quite a bit of violent movement in the bar. However, after softening the KYB PSF2 air fork from 32 psi to 30, the fork fell into the beginning of the stroke more progressively. After this minor adjustment, I gained confidence and grew more comfortable on the bike. No other changes have been made to the RM-Z and the shock has felt adequate for me with the stock settings.

RM-Z250
“The RM-Z250 is a manageable bike that allows me to burn laps all day.” —Evan AllenJeff Allen

Although the motor has been deemed docile, I have found it fun to ride for it requires precise technique and skill in order to maintain momentum through corners. After spending nearly a month in the saddle of the Suzuki, I am pleased with the RM-Z’s friendly demeanor. The bike is a fun overall package with an engine that has a linear powerband and a chassis that corners phenomenally. All in all, the RM-Z250 is a manageable bike that allows me to burn laps all day.