MXA TEAM TESTED: HINSON SUZUKI RM-Z250 BILLETPROOF CLUTCH

October 3, 2011
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WHAT IS IT?
The Hinson Billetproof clutch is a be-all, end-all solution to the lame-duck clutch that comes stock in the 2011 Suzuki RM-Z250.

WHAT’S IT COST?
$199.99 (fiber/steel plates and springs); $169.99 (clutch cover); $274.99 (clutch basket); $189.99 (pressure plate); $309.99 (inner hub).

CONTACT? www.hinsonracing.com or (909) 946-2942.

WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with Hinson’s Suzuki RM-Z250 Billetproof clutch.

(1) Problem. Suzuki has a longstanding reputation for outfitting their bikes with weak clutches. Need proof? Our 2011 Suzuki RM-Z250 test bike has an inferior clutch that we burned up in only five hours. Dreadful! A temporary solution is to invest in stiffer clutch springs, but the stock clutch is a fader under most circumstances The MXA wrecking crew yearned for a permanent solution.

(2) Solution.
Hinson is the official clutch supplier of the Rockstar Makita Suzuki team. We figured that if the clutch was good enough for Ryan Dungey, then it would be more than sufficient for us. Hinson clutches are made in the USA, manufactured out of billet T-6 aluminum (more on that below), and received a hard-coat treatment for five times the wear resistance of the stocker. This equates to a strong clutch that solves all the clutch problems that arise on a Suzuki RM-Z250 (such as clutch fade, clutch basket tang wear, chatter, poor clutch pull and heat buildup).

(3) Quality.
There are two reasons why Hinson’s clutch components are called “Billetproof.” First, Hinson’s clutch baskets, pressure plates, inner hubs and clutch covers are made from billet aluminum; hence, the cute “Billetproof” play on words. However, there’s a much more logical reason for the name: Hinson’s clutch kits are bulletproof. Because of an expensive billet aluminum manufacturing process (each part is carved out of a solid block of aluminum, ensuring uniform structure), Hinson’s products are incredibly strong. An OEM cast clutch basket will begin to show moderate tang wear in short order, while a Hinson basket should last well over 200 hours. The Hinson Billetproof clutch is peace of mind.

(4) Options. We tested Hinson’s complete clutch kit, which will set you back over $1150, should you buy every single part. That’s a lot of moolah! However, don’t feel inclined to go for the gusto. On a budget, we would opt for the clutch basket, inner hub and pressure plate. That’s still over $775, but for most riders it will be a one-time purchase and should last the life of the bike.

(5) Installation. Suzuki owners should rejoice in knowing that it’s rather simple to install a Hinson Billetproof clutch kit. The most trying part is removing the gear from the stock clutch basket, but only a drill press or grinder is needed. Hinson includes highly detailed directions for each step of the process. The whole procedure should take an  experienced mechanic an hour and the casual wrench turner just a little longer.

WHAT’S THE SQUAWK?
Price, and price alone.

Every MXA tester raved about the performance and feel of the Hinson RM-Z250 Billetproof clutch. Is it worth the money? You betcha!

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