Stealth technology makes warplanes all but invisible to the enemy. They're smooshed before they know the airplanes are in the neighborhood. Suzuki is practicing its brand of stealth technology with the 2003 RM250. It's sort of hide-in-plain-sight stealth. The '03 model is sitting right in showrooms and will be on starting lines loaded with newfound firepower, and externally no clues hint at its potential. That's why Dirt Rider is calling a glowing yellow motocrosser a "stealth" weapon. Aside from the usual bold new graphics, it will take a careful eye to notice major changes. Trained scouts will pick up on the new hole pattern in the brake discs and note production versions of the sidepanel vents that Suzuki's works bikes sported this year. Once you look inside the bike, though, you'll conclude the engineers were way too busy on the inside to change the outside.The entire engine received far-reaching changes, and the on-track performance confirms that every change was dead on target. This bike is an easily guided missile, with propulsion superior to any past RM. Suzuki sent reinforcements to the ergonomic division, and even though they only perfected the seat, the end (pardon the pun) result is appreciated. We'd have been satisfied with RM's battle readiness if Suzuki had stopped there, but it ordered Kayaba to accomplish covert operations within the support units.Suzuki is betting it has the weaponry to rule the moto battlefield, and after this initial skirmish, we aren't counting the company out. In fact, we've looking forward to the war games (AKA our annual shootout) to learn the final outcome.Suzuki chose to debut the '03 machine near the Northern California town of Susanville at Larry Wosick's Honey Lake motocross track. The largely natural-terrain track has soft dirt over a hard base that offers good traction, as well as many uphill pulls that test the engine very well. Additionally, there is a massive uphill that makes the one at Mammoth Mountain seem like a mole hill! Suzuki was confident in the boost factor of the new bike, or it would have turned around and gone home after seeing the track. Its confidence is understandable. Even with aggressive Bridgestone M70 rear tires on the bikes (temporarily in place of the M601/M602 stockers) the RM has instant throttle response and pulled hard in the deep dirt. The bike runs strong in each gear, and from gear to gear. The one headache was the giant uphill. The RM would pull fourth up the hill, but with a 200-pound rider it was necessary to wind third gear tight before shifting to get strong acceleration in fourth gear. That's pretty amazing performance since the steepest grade started at 4200 feet elevation--and climbed another 400 feet in elevation!On any part of the track that resembles a normal motocross track the engine picked up each gear effortlessly with the stock gearing.So for turns and jumps the bike has plenty of hard-hitting but tractable power. There were some jump sections as well, and the new motor has all the snap the heroes will want to clear technical stadium-type jumps. At the same time, the hit isn't too violent for novice pilots.