2012 Suzuki RM-Z250 Project Part 1

April 6, 2012
Adam Waheed
By Adam Waheed
Road Test Editor|Articles|Articles RSS|Blog|Blog Posts|Blog RSS

His insatiable thirst for life is only surpassed by his monthly fuel bill. Whether rocketing on land, flying through the air, or jumping the seas, our Road Test Editor does it all and has the scars to prove it.

2012 Suzuki RM-Z250 Project Dirt Bike
MotoUSA’s 2012 Suzuki RM-Z250 project bike has been turning frequent motos since winning the 250 MX shootout.

In the 2012 250 Motocross Shootout, Suzuki’s RM-Z250 proved to have the ideal combination of motor and handling which helped it earn title to best 250F of the year. Since its shootout victory we’ve continued to ride the Suzuki 250 and we are happy with how it’s held up as the hour meter steadily climbs.

Aside from a bit of routine service, including oil/filter swaps and air filter cleaning, it doesn’t take a whole lot of work to keep the RM-Z in tip top shape. Considering the engine’s propensity for revs and the how it spends most of its time at wide open throttle we’ve been changing the oil at five-hour intervals using Maxima Maxum4 Blend Oil

This premium lubricant features a semi-synthetic blend making it less likely to break down with heat, dirt and condensation plus it is compatible with the clutch and gearbox. It’s available in two viscosity ranges (10W-40 and 20W-50) depending on application. At $9.99 per liter it’s a little on the pricy side, but since the engine only requires one liter of oil it isn’t a deal breaker. As far as filters go we rely on the OEM paper filter available at any Suzuki dealer.

2012 Suzuki RM-Z250 Project Dirt Bike
Maintenance has been trouble free on the RM-Z250 with our testers employing a lot of preventative care product.

Cleaning air filters is usually a messy job that is until you use Maxima Air Filter Cleaner. Simply spray it on the filter, rub it in and let it sit for 30 seconds. Then rinse with water and the air filter come out looking brand new again—it’s crazy how effective this product is. The best part is that it doesn’t have any harsh chemicals and won’t irritate your skin or nostrils. Once the filter is dry we oil it with Maxima FFT Foam Filter Treatment. However, Maxima also offers spray-on filter oil for added convenience (Maxima Fab-1 Spray-On Filter Treatment). 

Next to the original set of tires the chain and sprockets are one of the first consumables in need of replacement, but with 29 hours on our bike there is still some life left in the stock set-up. We’re pretty religious about keeping our chain and sprockets clean, adjusted and lubricated with Maxima Synthetic Chain Guard so perhaps that the reason why we’re experiencing surprising durability.

2012 Suzuki RM-Z250 Project Dirt Bike
MotoUSAs 2012 Suzuki RM-Z250 project bike has been turning frequent motos since winning the 250 MX shootout.
The Suzuki project bike has benefited from new Dunlop treads for thrashing at the SoCal circuits, including some fun night rides.

At the 25 hour, mark we mounted up a fresh set of Dunlop rubber. Since we ride exclusively at racetracks in Southern California it makes since to run intermediate terrain tires as they offer the great versatility on most terrain. So we slung on the Dunlop MX51 Geomax Intermediate Rear Tire in a one size wider profile (110/80-19) for added grip while cornering. Having never ridden on the Dunlop MX71 Geomax Hard Terrain Front Tire we were anxious to give it a shot so we mounted that instead of a Dunlop MX51 (80/100-21). 

As usual we love the grip and carcass feel of the back tire. Another plus is its durability and wear resistance even with repeated use at rocky tracks like Glen Helen and Zaca Station. The front tire offers a relatively stiff carcass and sharp profile, which complement the quick steering mangers of the RM-Z. Grip was also excellent and the tire felt just as versatile as the MX51. Overall we’d have to say that we prefer the MX71 as it offers more grip/feel at the tracks we visit frequently.

Overall the engine, clutch, transmission and brakes still feel fresh and tight on our RM-Z. Heck we haven’t managed not to wear out the graphics yet. Though the suspension feels like it’s ready for a rebuild, which we’ll address in the next part of our project.