First Ride: 2005 Suzuki RM250 - Dirt Rider Magazine

Although rumors have been flying about the uncertainty of two-strokes, 2005 should be a great year for them. Many thought Suzuki would overlook its two-stroke lineup and focus on the all-new RM-Z450. Even though Suzuki did indeed put a big emphasis on the RM-Z450, it also put in a big effort to continue development on the '05 RM250. In 2004, the RM250 was one of the best two-strokes of the year. For '05, Suzuki basically took the '04 model and refined the motor and suspension. Suzuki engineers also spent some time putting better hardware in critical areas, as well as completely redesigning the rear brake system.Riding ImpressionAs in past years, the RM250 handles well and really inspires confidence. The new suspension settings make a big difference compared with last year's bike. In addition to the honed internal surface of the inner fork tube, which provides smoother movement, the Showa fork saw some revised settings. The shock also got a going-over and now uses a larger inner rod diameter for increased oil flow at full compression. All of the changes made to the suspension provide better overall handling. The new suspension settings also make the bike much more reactive to clicker adjustments. Our initial test, which was conducted at Victorville MX, was conducted in conditions that were fairly smooth. The track did form some big braking bumps and acceleration bumps, however. Even though we had three different test riders, our suspension settings varied only a few clicks. Recommended sag is 100mm, which our lightest tester preferred; but the others opted to run 106mm. The revised suspension settings feel much different from last year's settings—almost as if the suspension was revalved by an aftermarket company. One of the biggest components to better handling on the '05 RM250 is the revised swingarm, which is a bit stiffer and made a big difference in overall handling.The RM's motor was also redesigned. On the track, there is much more roll-on power off the bottom-end. Midrange power packs a serious punch, and the power carries into a hard-hitting top-end. With stock jetting, we did have a few complaints about top-end power going a bit flat. We made some minor jetting changes and were able to get the bike to rev to the moon while still making good usable power. The new motor is impressive, and now more than ever, the RM250 caters to a wider range of riding abilities.For a full test on the 2005 Suzuki RM250, pick up an October issue of Dirt Rider Magazine.
Check out more of Dirt Rider's 2005 bike tests: