2023 Suzuki RMZ250 MXA

(1) Timeline. The 2023 Suzuki RM-Z250 is identical to the 2019 RM-Z250. Compared the 2018 and earlier RM-Z250s to the 2019, ’20, ’21, ’22 and ’23 models models feature an updated frame, fork, front rotor, dual injectors, new shock, revised cylinder head and cam chain tensioner. Additional the piston pin and gear ratio were also refined and new plastic was added. All of these updates made the 2019 and up RM-Z250s significantly better than the 2018 and previous models.  It should be noted that the 2019 updates, were the last updates that the RM-Z250  has received.

(2) Horsepower. The 2023 RM-Z250 offers the least peak horsepower in its class by almost 6 horsepower. The 2023 Suzuki RM-Z250 produces 39.22 horsepower, while the KX250 makes 44.66, the Husqvarna FC250 puts outt 44,46 horsepower and the KTM 250SXF hits an amazing 45.20.

However, thanks to its low-to-mid powerband, the 2023 Suzuki is one of the easiest bikes to ride. It is at is at its best below 8000 rpm and  there is no advantage to over-revving the RM-Z250 because the power is relatively mellow after 8000 rpm. Its easy-going nature makes it perfect for young riders who aren’t ready for the fire-breathing, 14,000 rpm powerband of the 2023 KTM.

The plug-in coupler is found behind the radiator wing. Your RM-Z250 came with a black one and a white one—along with the stock one. Run the white one.

(3) Maps. The 2023 Suzuki RM-Z250 comes with three easy-to-use, plug-in fuel couplers that change the EFI tuning. Don’t waste your time with the grey or black couplers. The white coupler is the most aggressive off the bottom and gets the rpm to rev through its range faster. Every MXA test rider chose the white coupler, as it produced the most responsive power.

The worst part about the RM-Z250 is its atrociously stiff forks.

(4) Forks. The 2023 RM-Z250’s forks are terrible. The 2023 RM-Z250’s forks come with 5.0 N/mm springs in them. That is the same spring that Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki run in their 450 forks. They are unbelievably stiff in motion. We dropped the fork spring rate to 4.9 N/mm for fast riders and 4.8 N/mm or lower for smaller or slower riders. The stock compression clicker setting is 11 clicks out. We turned it out 3 to 5 clicks more, but left the rebound alone. 

2022 SUZUKI RM-Z250-3_e

(5) Shock. The 2023 Suzuki RM-Z250 has an overly stiff  52 N/mm shock spring. This is way too stiff. We dropped the 52 N/mm shock spring for a 50 N/mm and set the sag at 107mm. The shock has lots of clicker dials, but thankfully they are easily accessible.

(6) Clutch. At the lever, the clutch has the easy pull that everyone loves. Unfortunately, that easy pull translates into the friction plates needing to be replaced more frequently. Put stiffer clutch springs in on day one.

(7) Electric start. The 2023 Suzuki RM-Zs (250 and 450) are the only 2023 four-strokes that you have to kick. Given that fact, you’d think they would be lighter than the competition. 

(8) Weight. At 227 pounds (without fuel in the tank), the RM-Z250 is  too heavy (so are the YZ250F (227) and KX250 (228) . The RM-Z250 weighs 3 pounds more than the KTM 250SXF, and Husky FC250, but is 8 pounds heavier than the 2023 Honda CRF250 and 10 pounds more than the GasGas MC250F.

(9) Handling. Given more practical suspension (which you will have to send out), the RM-Z250 is great cornering bike. It gets in the corner with ease and doesn’t oversteer or want to stand up in the middle of the corner. Although we blame the ultra-stiff coil spring forks and shock for much of the bike’s handling flaws, the rigid aluminum frame is equally to blame for the bike’s harsh ride. We should also mention that the engine’s horsepower, or lack-there-of, is also a contributing factor to the stiff feeling of this bike. It doesn’t always have enough power to get on top of the bumps or square edges.

(10) Hop-ups. The Suzuki RM-Z250’s most positive sales pitch is how affordable it is. It’s no secret that Suzuki hasn’t made the technological leaps over the last five years that the red, blue, green, white and orange bikes have. Without the R&D investments of the other brands, Suzuki’s retail price has continued to stay low while other brands’ prices have gone up. The suggested retail price is $7899, but Suzuki dealers often wheel-and-deal on the out-the-door price to move inventory off the showroom floors.

You will save money by buying a Suzuki RM-Z250, especially if your get a deal, but be careful when spending your windfall on trying to make a 2023 Suzuki RM-Z250 faster. MXA spent $5000 building an AMA National-ready engine, and when we were done, it still didn’t make more horsepower than a stock KTM 250SXF.  Save all your money on getting the fork and shock to move.




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