2014 Suzuki RM-Z250 Motocross Racing Test
The Suzuki RM-Z250 has had a history of being a great handling machine and along with that has held on to Suzuki’s long standing as one of the best turning bikes out on the motocross track. For 2014, Suzuki decided to stand on their laurels and only make a few small tweaks to the RM-Z250.
The only cosmetic change for 2014 was the addition of the yellow side number plates to match the yellow front plate that the 2013 edition had. We can’t say we are too fond of the yellow plates, but it does look better in person than in pictures. A change that we welcome is the re-mapping of the EFI to ease starting, and this change certainly did the trick.
Last year’s Suzuki could be a little finicky at times to get started, which in these days of EFI four-strokes isn’t acceptable. For 2014, the RM-Z 250 is as easy and predicable to start as any four-stroke out there. Nice job, Suzuki!
As for how the bike performs on the motocross track, the power can best be described as average. It doesn’t have the advantage of sheer horsepower, but it’s not so far behind that it can’t compete head to head with other bikes in the class. The power is smooth all the way through the power band and rewards the rider best when ridden hard at the upper rev range. Keep your flow through the corners and you won’t give up anything to those other bikes.
Speaking of corners, that is where the 2014 Suzuki RM-Z250 really shines! It has the ability to take the inside line where other bikes struggle. Just turn it in and the bike just lays over easier than any other 250 four-stroke.
At the other end of the scale, the RM-Z250 is not the most stable bike on the track. While we never experienced any bad headshake, it just wasn’t that confidence-inspiring when the track opened up.
As with the power, the Suzuki it handles best when ridden aggressively and you ignore whatever uncomfortable feeling you may get in the faster sections. When taking lap times of test rider Ty Cullins at Milestone MX track in Riverside, CA, his laps where as fast on the RM-Z as any other bike he has ridden out there.
On the suspension side of things, we had no complaints with the rear suspension at all. It tracked well, wasn’t harsh at all through acceleration bumps and didn’t bottom out harshly when flat landing from big jumps.
We did experience some mid-stroke harshness from the forks on medium sized bumps. It wasn’t real bad, just not the most compliant or comfortable feeling. This may be due to the fact that, at 185 pounds, our test riders might more than the target weight for a 250 four-stroke and the forks were riding lower in the stroke.
The Suzuki does have a smaller feel to it, and felt a little cramped for our six-foot test riders. Everything is placed in a nice comfortable position and the bars have a nice bend to them, the 2014 Suzuki RM-Z250 just seems to be more suited for a smaller motocross pilot.
On the component list the 2014 Suzuki RM-Z250 has some nice features that include Renthal fat bars, Excel rims, Dunlop Geomax MX51 tires, wide footpegs, a nice grippy seat cover, and a really cool aluminum gas tank which only the Suzuki has. The brakes are standard issue Nissin, which all the Asian brands use and work well, though not as strong as the Brembos found on some of the Euro bikes. The cheap chain stretches quickly and steel sprockets are to be expected on a Japanese bike.
The 2014 Suzuki RM-Z250 is a good choice for a smaller aggressive rider, which describes most of the kids who move up to the class from youth bikes.
Action photography by Don Williams
Photo rider: Ty Cullins (sponsored by Moose Racing and TEC-Cycles)
Chris Cullins is the owner of TEC-Cycles in Riverside, California
2014 Suzuki RM-Z250 Specs
- Engine: 249cc, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, single cylinder, DOHC
- Bore x stroke: 77.0mm x 53.6mm
- Compression ratio: 13.5:1
- Fuel system: Fuel injection
- Starter: Primary kick
- Lubrication: Semi-dry sump
- Ignition: Electronic ignition (CDI)
- Transmission: 5-speed constant mesh
- Final drive: DID520DMA4, 114 links
- Front Suspension: Inverted telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
- Rear Suspension: Link type, coil spring, oil damped
- Brakes f&r: Disc
- Front Tire: Dunlop MX51 80/100-21
- Rear Tire: Dunlop MX51 100/90-19
- Overall length: 85.4 inches
- Overall width: 32.7 inches
- Overall height: 50.0 inches
- Wheelbase: 58.1 inches
- Ground clearance: 13.6 inches
- Seat height: 37.6 inches
- Curb weight: 235 pounds.
- Fuel tank capacity: 1.7 US gallons
- Champion Yellow / Solid Black
2014 Suzuki RM-Z250 MSRP: