Fullnoise introduces our RM-Z250

Author: Aaryn Minerds

Author: Aaryn Minerds


Everyone loves to spend their weekends riding, and we here are are no different, though the amount of available weekends to actually throw a leg over a bike are reduced due to the weekends spent travelling and reporting at all forms of motorcycle racing, but don’t get me wrong I would not change that for the world.

For the next six months thanks to Suzuki Australia, the weekends I do have free and the odd weekday, will be spent aboard a 2012 RM-Z250 which arrived just on two weeks ago and has already been put to good use during the current break in the racing seasons.

We were lucky enough to put Suzuki’s small bore four-stroke through its paces during the launch back in September at the Maitland motocross track and gave that you can read here. This opportunity to keep the bike in our hands for a longer period of time will give us a great chance to really put the RM-Z250 through its paces both on the practice track and also the race track with plans to enter a few local and national events along the way concluding with one of Australia’s biggest off road races, the 2012 Hattah desert race in the first week of July.

The bike will also provide the perfect vehicle as we move towards increasing our product reviews section of the site, giving us the chance to give a more in depth look at some of the products that come across our desks throughout the year.

Christmas came early this year, 28 years after seeing a JR50 under the Xmas tree as a kid, history has repeated in 2011.
As mentioned above, we have had the bike in our possession for just on two weeks now giving us the chance to run the bike in during its first weekend, and then on the Sunday just gone, really get a feel for the bike by taking it to a local track that I know well and feel comfortable on and really get to see how our new bike performs. A big thanks must go to my local Suzuki dealer Kessner Suzuki for the pre delivery carried out on the bike, Rodger and his team over at Kessner were a great help as always.

The running in on the first weekend went smoothly, Everyone has different ideas on how a bike should be ran in, luckily for me , the way I have always ran bikes in is exactly the way describe in the Suzuki Manual that comes with the bike.

A quiet, hard packed Tea Tree Gully motocross track provided the perfect venue to ease my way into riding the RM-Z and by day’s end all was set for the first maintenance session back at the bikes new home.

IT did not take long to feel at home on the RM-Z250
Whenever you swap to a new brand of bike, the biggest thing to get used to and the thing that normally takes some rhythm to get into is the regular maintenance. The basics that are done after every ride, such as air filters, spoke checks and the ever so fun cleaning are something that become a fine art and to get everything happening in clockwork fashion takes a little time, then there are the oil changes and oil filter changes, again working out the best sequence to minimise both the time frame and the amount of tools you need to have available at any given time is an art, and each and every bike is different.

Being the first ride, everything needed a going over, again thanks to the work manual provided by Suzuki, everything I needed to know was explained before I even made my way to the shed and it was not long before I had all the tools I would need to carry out the first service and had located all the bolts that would need to be undone and which parts would have to be taken off or apart. The good thing to note was everything from the air filter change to the oil and oil filter change where simple to carry out and done in no time flat. In future updates we will go through the exacts on how to carry out filter and oil changes on the RM-Z250.

With the first service over and done with and the week passing by it was time to again load up and head out to get acquainted with the new toy. This time it was a trip down to the Gillman motocross track, which would provide the perfect hit out, with the track being semi prepped, leaving a perfect combination of loamy deep bermed corners, smooth flat straights, and then also hard packed chopped out corners with small ruts, rough straights with some nasty acceleration bumps and some harsh breaking bumps and a good combination of jumps to really test out the bike.

Without going into a full ride impression on the bike, the days riding provided a great overall feel for the RM-Z250 and did highlight some of the areas I will need to make some changes to get myself more comfortable on the bike.

I still had the bike in dead stock form at the start of the day, suspension had not been touched at all, clickers were still in the same spots as when I picked up the bike, all right in the midpoint of the adjustability range both front and back. I had not changed a thing what so ever on the bike, the bars had not been moved an inch and the same with the levers, as mentioned on our initial ride impression at the launch, everything on the RM-Z250 is quite comfortable straight out of the box.

From the get go I felt comfortable on the bike and it was not long before I was riding a decent pace and the bike was handling well, not perfect though I have never owned a bike that was perfect in every way straight out of the box. The more I pushed the more I started to notice the small things I would like to change to get myself a little more comfortable.

Grant Beale from Bike Tune was on hand and was more than happy to help with getting myself more comfortable with a few basic set ups tips to get started. Grant is well known in South Australia for the suspension work he carries out and a lot of the top riders in the state entrust him with their bikes, Grant has been looking after the suspension on my bikes for the past few years as well as a lot of other servicing on my bikes along the way and over the coming months will play a big part in helping myself to get this bike perfectly suited to my skill level and the type of riding that I will be doing.

The big S.
We started with the basics, getting the ride height and sag set on the rear shock, the good thing to note with Suzuki’s 250 four stroke is that the spring rate on the rear does suit the heavier riders, even with my 95 plus Kg frame we were able to get a setting near spot on with a static sag of 35mm and a ride sag of 104mm.

I was having a little trouble with the front end handling the chopped out high-speed sections as well as the braking bumps into a couple of corners, mainly into corners that had a lot of smaller and larger chopped out bumps. By winding out the rebound four clicks and softening up the compression just two clicks, we were able to make a very small but noticeable change, though I think we may be doing a little more work to get things the way I like. As for bottoming resistance when flat landing be it over jumping or under jumping a big table top, the whole bike front and rear held up well, very well considering my weight.

The power of the bike is simply unreal for a 250 four stroke, though we may chase a little more, in its stock form even in loamier conditions the RM-Z250 had no hassle pulling me around, and on more than the odd occasion I was leaving corners with the front wheel wanting to lift, well more than wanting to lift, there were a few times the front fender was pointed skyward on the exit of a corner. This was the first time I had a chance to ride this bike in loamier conditions with both the media launch and the day I ran this bike in both taking part on hard pack dry tracks. It did take a little bit of time to get into the grove of changing gears so much being back on the smaller bike after riding a 450 four stroke for the past three years, but once I worked out when I needed to be in each gear and started revving the bike out more through corners, it became apparent that this bike had more than enough power to keep me happy.

With the initial rides out the way, and some insight on where I would first like to make some changes to feel more comfortable on our new long term project bike, we are all set to get underway and turn this bike into our person race weapon for the first half of 2012.

The first thing we will look at doing is getting the front end to handle the way I like, which will probably mean a increase in the front fork spring rate and some re valving, at this stage we will look at staying with the original internals and see if what we can do without going all out.

From there we will look at the basics that are normally the first thing to be changed on any bike. The stock grips have to go, I have never been a fan of half waffle grips, and the stock grips are also a little bit too hard for my liking. The renthal bars that come standard are comfortable, though I like a slightly lower more swept back bend, plus a set of black bars will tie in nicely with the colour combination with the Yellow black and red colour layout that comes standard on the RM-Z range. The other early change will be a fresh custom graphics kit and the numbers 234 added to the number plates.
We are looking forward to spending the next six months with our long term project bike.

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