The Suzuki RM-Z250 gets the first upgrades of this project
It has been a little over 2 months since we picked up the 2019 Suzuki RM-Z250. Although we as a media outlet didn’t hold a 250 MX shootout this year, the bike has received harsh criticisms and has not fared well in any local or international media shootouts.
Given that its 2019, and all 6 major manufactures are turning out recently updated models, to claim that a bike is “No Good” is a complete injustice. Personal preference, dealer relationships and things such as the cost of spare parts really should be factored in when buying a new bike for yourself.
For 2019 one thing Suzuki has the upper hand on other manufacturers, is the lower RRP’s that their machines are selling for. You can wheel a brand-new RM-Z from the showroom and save yourself nearly $1,500.00 on the competition.
What I wanted to do for this first stage of the build was to use this $1,500.00 price difference to see if I could create a 2019 RM-Z250 that rivalled the shootout winners.
With $1,500.00 quickly burning a hole in the back-left pocket of my jeans, I set about thinking what I felt was missing from the bike and where my money was best spent. For the purpose of this stage, we are excluding any suspension modifications.
It is no doubt that the bike is way over sprung and needs attention, however I would say that there is only a slim percentage of new motocross bikes purchased, that are not receiving some sort of suspension work or re-valve to better suit the rider almost immediately.
Saved for the final stage, (aside from some small items I couldn’t resist) I tried to avoid putting anything on the bike that wouldn’t have a direct effect on the performance. Rest assured that this build will continue to grow and I have some pretty special parts in the works, however if you’re interested in what I have done so far and its outcome, read on!
Mod: Yoshimura RS4 Stainless Steel Exhaust System
Why: Assist mid-top range power delivery/throttle response and reduce weight.
Verdict: The first time that I started the bike after installing the new pipe, there was a distinct change in the tone as I cracked the throttle open with the bike on the stand. Yoshimura are claiming a full horsepower increase over stock, but where I really noticed an improvement was at mid throttle when the bike was under load. The increased torque was a pleasant surprise as the bike pulled harder and for longer than it did previously. We opted for the S/S system for durability. I have had the same Titanium exhaust on an earlier generation RMZ and had issues breaking the “midpipe” section at the mount. As all Yoshimura products, this pipe fit up perfectly in a matter of minutes and does its job very very well.
RRP: $1,099.95 via Serco Pty Ltd
What: Renthal Half Waffle Mx Grips – Soft Compound
Why: Office hands don’t 100% agree with the standard grips that seem to have been formed from some sort of diamond like substance. Verdict: Grips are obviously one of the first things that get changed on any new bike, and I have for years used Renthal’s Half Waffle Soft Compound. Their narrow profile and soft compound are a creature comfort that I have become used too over the years, and that light grey colour really gives the bike that “Factory” look.
RRP: $19.95 via Cassons
What: Renthal Intellilever Brake & Complete Clutch
Why: Nobody likes cutting a day short due to a broken lever!
Verdict: This one wasn’t a necessity by any means, however with the RMZ still boasting a cable clutch, Renthal’s aftermarket offering improves the clutch feel via a smoother more linear pull and looks too trick not to have. The intellilver technology is unique in that the lever pivots in the middle on 3 different axis, making breaking a leaver nearly impossible. Paired with a front brake lever that retro fits onto the standard master cylinder, although not necessary these units really do set off the cockpit nicely.
RRP: Clutch $219.95, Brake $139.95 via Cassons
What: X-Tech CNC 60mm Bar Risers
Why: Create a more open feel to the ergo’s due to my height.
Verdict: I certainly don’t have the stature of most professional motocross riders (except that of Ken DeDyker or maybe Kevin Windham) and the standard Renthal fatbars had me feeling cramped and hunched over on the stock Suzuki machine. Now the first thought would be to just put a higher set of handlebars on the bike, however I don’t particularly like the sweep that is associated with higher bend bars, and there is nothing wrong with the standard units. The 60mm risers bring the bars up higher by about 30mm or so whilst retaining a flatter bar bend and neutral ergonomic feel. If Josh Hansen has been using this method for the past few years, no reason why it isn’t good enough for me!
RRP: $49.95 via Cassons
What: Dunlop Geomax MX-33’s
Why: Improve Traction and mid corner feel.
Verdict: The bike does actually come standard with Dunlop Geomax 33’s, however the rear comes as a 100/90-19. There are very few instances where a 100 rear tyre will outperform a 110, and for the sake of a few grams in carcass weight, I much prefer the 110/90-19 option for its tractability and improved feel in the mid turn. I have opted to keep the 80/100-21sizing up front as it’s what I am used to, and the slightly narrower profile helps in ruts and on initial lean in. I have been riding across a few different surfaces of late and the MX33’s are performing exceptionally well from the grass at Amcross to some deep private sand tracks.
RRP: $214.90 / set via Ficeda
What: Motoseat Ribbed Gripper Seatcover
Why: Now that the ponies are on the way up, I needed something to keep me in the saddle!
Verdict: Again, the seat of any bike has become something of quite a customisable area. Although the bikes standard seat is made of a gripper material, it does not have any ribs. I went for the 3-rib option that Motoseat offer with the ribs located closer to the rear of the seat. This assists in keeping me where I should be when accelerating out of corners whilst improving the overall look and feel of the bike (I am not a fan of the blue….).
RRP: $94.55 via MX Store
What: Hinson Hi-temp Clutch Springs and Billetproof Cover
Why: Improve clutch feel and performance
Verdict: Although the new model does have a redesigned cylinder head, the bottom end of this motorcycle has remained largely unchanged since 2010. Given that I have had a handful of RMZ’s in this period of time, I did have a box of goodies in the garage that I was eager to put to use if possible. I threw in a set of Hinson Hi-Temp clutch springs, which are a slightly heavier duty than standard. This assists to improve fade over the distance of a moto and helps plates and fibres last that little bit longer than standard. The billetproof cover is a nice addition, however aside from keeping your standard cover in good condition for when you sell the bike, serves no real performance upgrade. I do like the oil fill plug on the Hinson unit as it has a 12mm hex head meaning no more over tightening the standard cap and having to break out the pliers!
RRP: Clutch Cover $259.95, Clutch Springs $99.95 via Serco Pty Ltd
If we take out the few luxurious items (levers and clutch cover) I have spent just over $1,500 to tailor this bike to myself. Performing these minor modifications has greatly assisted in the improvement of our 2019 Suzuki RM-Z250. I would still like to see a little more out of the bike in terms of overall and top end power, as there are still 1 or 2 stock bikes that feel faster than our RMZ in its current trim. Keep an eye out for the upcoming second stage of this build as we take things to the next level, in order to build as close to a factory bike as possible.