VIDEO: 2016 Suzuki RM85

2016 Dirt Rider 85cc MX Shootout: Fifth Place

The 2016 Suzuki RM85 is one of the minis that’s been around for years without any performance updates, but still won plenty of young fans during our two days of testing. The engine’s power is focused in the low to mid range, but strangely riders liked the yellow bike more at the high speed track of Glen Helen and less so at the tight desert track of or second day of testing. The RM’s suspension held it back a few places with some riders describing the feel as loose, others as saying it was harsh initially. The bike didn’t bottom, though, even with our speedy crew putting it through its paces. The handling is pure Suzuki – nimble and excellent in the turns. The bike is similar to the Kawasaki in that the rider cockpit is more compact than some of the other bikes in the class, but several riders didn’t like the handlebar, which they felt had too much sweep.

A general note to non-riders: We tested with a group of six young but highly skilled and very experienced racers, and our shootout was geared toward this type of top-level racer. If you're researching a first bikes for a kid, none of the 85cc race bikes are a great choice, a trail bike (CRF-F, TT-R, DR-Z, KLX) would be the right machine to get a youngster into the sport.