Long Term Update: 2011 Suzuki RM-Z250 - Dirt Rider Magazine

Summer is right around the corner and the weather has been great for riding. I have been riding the 2011 RM-Z250 now for a of couple months and since I last wrote an update on the bike my hour meter now reads 31 hours of engine performance. I have really enjoyed riding this Suzuki. It is a lot of fun because it has great power, it feels very light and it is very easy to handle. Recently, I have also had the chance to ride Dirt Rider's 2011 Kawasaki KX250F long haul bike. The Kawi rode pretty smooth but it did not win me over compared to my RM-Z250. The KX250F has a strong engine pull but does not follow through all the way like the RM-Z, and I felt that it lacked a little bottom end power compared to the Suzuki.

I have made several changes to the RM-Z throughout the time I have been riding it and the bike feels like its getting better and better. I have made gearing changes, handlebar changes with different Renthal Fat Bar heights, grip changes, brake changes with the Galfer front oversize rotor, suspension changes with Enzo and tire changes to name a few of the modifications I have gone through. With gearing I have found that it can be tricky to choose the right ratio that will work at most So Cal tracks, and Suzuki chose a stock rear 49-tooth sprocket with a front 13-tooth that to be honest works really well. I tried a 48-tooth rear sprocket and found that the engine on the RM-Z can't deliver its true power. With a 50-tooth rear sprocket the bike feels a bit tied up to its power delivery and I found myself shifting a lot and not really getting the speed I needed through different sections on the track. Back to the 49-tooth rear sprocket, the bike felt at home riding at most tracks. It delivers plenty of power and has room to breathe in tight sections. Engine power is delivered with great consistency and shifting is nice and smooth from start to finish compared to the other sprockets. Finally, I chose my gearing ratio for now to stay at 13 front and 49 rear because it works best at most of the tracks I ride at.

As for suspension, Enzo has worked great for me, the last change I made was going from a 53 rear spring to a 55 which balanced out the bike and allowed me to be more aggressive coming off hard landings. I find myself riding really aggressive at times and have to slow down to take a breather because I just get too excited on how well my bike handles. I no longer have problems with rollers, whoop sections, tight choppy corners, long choppy sweepers, flat landings and fast choppy long straights. At times I have made some minor click adjustments and other than that, the bike handles really well.

Other changes made that I mentioned earlier were handlebars and grips. The RM-Z comes stock with some Renthal Fat Bars that are a bit low for me, so I threw on a pair of Windham bend Fat Bars and those felt much better. Along with the bar, I added some medium non-waffle Renthal grips and they have been really comfortable up to now. The brake changes I made were superb with the Galfer brake lines and the front oversize rotor. I have never enjoyed a front brake like this before. Each time I ride, I feel the confidence gained charging into fast turns and tight corners. I have said it before and I will say it again, with these brakes, you are allowed to stop on a dime. Emergency braking has never felt safer than now because of my oversize 270mm front rotor. If I feel like I am coming close to overshooting a corner, Galfer has my back, if a rider makes a mistake and it seems like he is getting too close in front of me, Galfer has my back. Concluding my brakes, I might have not had a chance in the past to experience some of the other aftermarket oversize front braking systems, but I can tell you that Galfer has worked really well for me. Wear and tear has not shown on the Galfer products and the front brake pads are holding strong.

When changing the oil on the RM-Z, the magnetic drain plug has been looking pretty clean and the bolts and most stock parts have been holding up very strong. I recently threw on a new pair of Dunlop Geomax MX 71's and have had great traction at most MX tracks that I have ridden, the knobbies also hold up really well. I would say that this is a good tire if you are planning on having the same rubber for several riding hours. On the other hand, the FMF megabomb header and Factory 4.1 RCT muffler I have on the RM-Z250 has performed very strong. I have had great power when needed which is most of the time when riding the 250F and as hours go by on this bike, the power delivery does not seem to get old. I love the sound delivered by the FMF Factory 4.1 RCT muffler and Megabomb, you really feel the power gain by pull and sound.

Riding the 2011 RM-Z250 has been a great experience so far and I feel like I can just not get enough of the bike. My goal is to keep riding this bike hard and try to make it a better bike for me and you so we can one day both agree that the 2011 RM-Z 250F is a perfect bike. Many more riding hours will be added to the 2011 Suzuki RM-Z250 so stay tuned for the next long term update!