2019 Suzuki RM-Z250 Motocrosser Updated

It is no secret that Suzuki has been suffering in the 250 class in both Supercross and the AMA Nationals of late. With the seriously updated Suzuki RM-Z250, the fellows in Champion Yellow No. 2 are looking to change that.

We had a first look at the 2019 Suzuki RM-Z250 back in July. Now, more details are emerging, so let’s take a closer second first look at the 2019 Suzuki RM-Z250.

  1. The 2019 Suzuki RM-Z250 motor isn’t all-new, but it is seriously upgraded. The big physical changes are the new cylinder head and dual fuel-injector system. However, electronics have also been improved for 2019. Suzuki claims “greater power output with improved throttle response through the entire rev range.”
  1. The big change is the cylinder head gets new intake ports, and new cam timing. The new shape is designed to improve the delivery of the fuel/air mixture into the combustion chamber for additional power. The intake cam now has move valve lift for additional power production.
  1. Twin fuel injectors feed the motor, with increased pressure behind them. The primary fuel injector is mounted on the bottom of the throttle body, and aims the fuel at the butterfly valve for more complete mixing. A second injector is placed at the inlet duct from the air filter. This adds additional air/fuel mixing time before entering the engine, as well as keeping the charge cooler. The new fuel pump output pressure is a 17 percent increase over last year.
  1. Air intake has been improved via a 30 percent larger air cleaner opening. The routing from the air cleaner is also more direct.
  1. A new throttle body simplifies actuation. Suzuki tells us this gives the rider a better feel between the motor and the throttle.
  1. After combustion, there is an all-new exhaust system for the 2019 Suzuki RM-Z250. The new system has a longer head pipe, a midsection that is tapered, and a four-layer muffler that is legal for AMA racing. 
  1. With the additional power comes a new second gear. The ratio has been changed to interact better with the new power delivery, though Suzuki hasn’t yet told us if it’s higher or lower. The five-speed transmission and multi-plate clutch are otherwise unchanged.
  2. If you don’t like electric starting, you’ll love the kickstart-only RM-Z250. For the holdouts who don’t trust the magic button, the 2019 RM-Z250 retains kickstarting with automatic decompression.
  1. Rather than a complex external electronic tuning system, Suzuki goes with plug-ins that change the fueling. In addition to the stock air/fuel mix setting, Suzuki includes two couplers that you can plug in. As you would expect, one makes the mix richer and the other makes it leaner. This will appeal to racers who don’t want to get into complicated and detailed settings they may not understand—or get right.
  1. Suzuki’s traction management system has been updated to react more quickly. The ECM monitors throttle opening, engine speed, and gear position (though not wheel speed) to come up with the best possible ignition timing and fuel injector operation.
  1. The Suzuki RM-Z250 not only has a holeshot mode—it has three holeshot modes. There’s an always-on Base Mode. The A-Mode is for low-traction starting conditions, and the B-Mode for high-traction conditions. Once you hit fourth gear or six seconds elapse, the Suzuki Holeshot Assist Control (S-HAC) shuts off and reverts to the normal power setting.
  2. To go with the engine updates, the 2019 Suzuki RM-Z250 gets a new chassis—frame, swingarm, and suspension.
  1. The frame is a bit lighter and has additional torsional rigidity. The basic twin-spar configuration remains with both cast and extruded aluminum sections. However, it loses nearly a pound and has 10 percent more torsional rigidity to reduce twisting.
  1. Using hydroforming in manufacturing, the swingarm loses more than a half-pound while increasing rigidity. The new swingarm loses weight by reducing welding.
  2. The new frame raises the crankshaft in the frame to improve mass centralization. Suzuki says this makes the RM-Z250 handle more nimbly.
  3. The subframe is narrower and lighter. According to Suzuki, the 2019 RM-Z250’s new subframe allows quicker access to the air filter, and makes it easier for the rider to move around on the machine.
  4. Ergonomics are tightened up slightly. The pegs are moved a hair forward (0.12 inches) and up (0.2 inches), while the grip position is moved forward (0.3 inches) and down (0.15 inches).
  5. The seat is slimmer, lighter, and has new foam. The seat is a half-pound lighter than last year, and has a nose-to-tail gripper panel on the cover. Suzuki has changed the foam density, claiming it will “aid the rider’s control of the motorcycle.”
  6. KYB delivers new suspension for the 2019 Suzuki RM-Z250, including a traditional spring fork. Gone is the air fork, and replacing it is a simpler design. Both fork legs have identical springs and damping components. The new shock gets updated linkage and damping settings to go with it. To assist outliers, the shock has a wider range of damping settings available. The new shock and link are a pound lighter than the previous model.
  7. To go with the new fork, there is a lighter triple clamp with new Renthal bars. The Renthal bars have a flatter bend this year.
  8. New Dunlop Geomax MX33 tires are mounted to lighter DID DirtStar rims. Additionally, the MX33 rear tire is a half-pound lighter than the tire used on last year’s RM-Z250.
  9. With a faster bike, the RM-Z250 gets improved braking in the front. The new wave-style rotor is now a 270mm disc matched to a two-piston Nissin caliper. There are also new brake pads, along with a more efficient front brake lever. The rear brake master cylinder is tucked in more this year to prevent damage and conflicts with the rider’s right boot.
  10. Last year’s aluminum tank is gone, replaced by a plastic tank. Suzuki claims a half-pound weight reduction.
  11. The wheelbase, seat height, curb weight, and the price of the 2019 Suzuki RM-Z250 all remain a mystery. Suzuki hasn’t released a full spec sheet yet. We look forward to getting one, and riding this motorcycle!Action photography by Simon Cudby

2019 Suzuki RM-Z250 Specs

ENGINE
Type: 4-stroke single
Displacement: 249cc
Bore x stroke: 77.0 x 53.6mm
Compression ratio: 13.75:1
Valve train: DOHC
Fuel delivery: EFI w/ dual injectors
Transmission: 5-speed
Clutch: Wet multiplate
Final drive: DID 520 chain

CHASSIS
Front suspension: Fully adjustable inverted KYB fork
Rear suspension: Linkage-assisted fully adjustable KYB shock
Tires: Dunlop Geomax MX33
Front tire: 80/100 x 21
Rear tire: 100/90 x 19
Front brake: 270mm disc
Rear brake: 245mm disc

DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
Wheelbase: TBA
Rake: TBA
Trail: TBA
Seat height: TBA
Ground clearance: TBA
Fuel capacity: 1.6 gallons
Wet weight: TBA
Color: Championship Yellow No. 2
2019 Suzuki RM-Z250 Price: MSRP TBA

2019 Suzuki RM-Z250 Second First Look Photo Gallery