Review of the 2022 Suzuki RM-Z250 [The Playful Motocross Racebike]

At first glance, the 2022 Suzuki RM-Z250 looks good. The Suzuki Champion Yellow No. 2 pairs well with blue accents for a unique and eye-catching appearance. As soon as you throw a leg over the RM-Z250, you notice the narrow chassis and slim bodywork. The RM-Z250 has always set the standard for one of the best, if not the best, handling bike in its class. It maintains a high level of balanced ergonomics and superb cornering performance. Combined with a motor package that delivers strong peak power and quick throttle response, this bike can make the rider feel like a champ.2022 Suzuki RM-Z250 Review: For SaleWe tested the Suzuki on a few iconic Southern California motocross tracks. We started at Glen Helen Raceway and then took it to Fox Raceway and Cahuilla Creek MX. Each track offers its own conditions of dirt, terrain, obstacles, weather and altitude. We’ll outline where the bike thrives and what riding styles the RM-Z250 complements. Hopping on the 2022 Suzuki RM-Z250, the narrow cockpit immediately feels comfortable. The subframe, chassis and body are quite slim allowing the rider to move freely. Ergonomically, the RM-Z250 is balanced – nothing is out of place or awkward. The shape of the saddle helps the pilot to position himself in the turns. The Renthal Fatbar offers a flatter turn with slightly less setback than previous models, making it easier for the rider to control through aggressive maneuvers. The controls are basic, with a buttery-smooth cable-actuated clutch and a hole-assist button.2022 Suzuki RM-Z250 Review: PriceOne missing feature on the handlebars is the electric start button—this is the latest 250cc four-stroke motocross engine that requires a kick. Luckily, the Suzuki EFI system makes starting the RM-Z250 effortless, so it wasn’t an issue in the pits. One or two kicks, and you’re on your way. The downside of a kick start only is evident in a race when you stall the engine. Electric start has an indisputable competitive advantage in racing. However, if you don’t race – or at least not seriously – then electric start is nothing more than a luxury. By dispensing with the e-start, the Suzuki RM-Z250 is the least expensive motorcycle in its class. Combined with balanced ergonomics and quick throttle response, the RM-Z250 will get you out of any situation. The engine revs quickly and is punchy in the low-to-mid rpm range. The power delivery will absolutely launch you out of corners.2022 Suzuki RM-Z250 Review: MSRPHowever, the engine assembly is no match for the rev range, as it quickly runs out of power when approaching the rev limiter. Although it is a characteristic of all 250s to demand frequent shifting, the RM-Z250 requires more shifting than usual, so a rider will have to adapt. Here in Southern California, it’s common for our local tracks to have speed-ups, doubles, rollers, and tabletops straight out of a corner. You need to be in a gear with a lot of traction to project yourself into the face of this jump. Especially with the RM-Z250 you will need to click through gears much faster as the gears seem to drain faster. Second gear quickly launches you out of tight corners. Almost immediately you’ll shift into gear to catch more gears as you exit the corner. Third gear, which is very short, helps deliver punchy power in the low-to-mid rpm ranges. You will almost immediately drop into 4th place on the straights. Again, it depends on your riding style and speed. You could probably drag 3rd gear all over the vet or hobby motocross track on any modern four-stroke off-road bike these days.2022 Suzuki RM-Z250 Review: Motocross BikeAll this is not necessarily negative. Each motocross bike offers unique packages to suit different riding styles. The 2022 RM-Z250 packs a meaty low-to-mid punch, while other manufacturers deliver smoother low-end power, with the meat of the high-end power delivery. We like the hit on the bottom, combined with the nimble and predictable handling. It’s a fun bike to ride and can make even the slowest rider feel fast. Negotiating corners on the RM-Z250 feels completely natural. You won’t feel like the bike is fighting you; it will do just about anything you want it to. The RM-Z250 is easy to control – you can place it wherever you want and it will follow your lead. If we could define grip in one word, it would be “playful”. The Suzuki isn’t afraid to dance around a bit, but you’ll still feel in complete control over the fast, choppy technical sections.The cornering performance of this bike is unmatched. The RM-Z250 is easy to turn, so this bike will likely help you improve your technique. The slim body and strong, lightweight chassis float on KYB suspension. From the factory, the fork is on the rigid side. This creates a stiff frontal feel that delivers more vibration than usual to the hands and arms. Initially, pilot fatigue sets in more quickly. However, the longer you put on the RM-Z250, the lighter your hands will be. Despite the stiffness, your confidence is further boosted by the day-saving rigid forks – more on that later. the same fork setup due to the higher speeds and weights of 450 riders versus 250 riders. Knowing that, we were expecting a steep ride.2022 Suzuki RM-Z250 Review: Motocross RiderThe standard fork clicker setting for compression is 11 clicks out and rebound setting is 13 clicks out. With these standard factory settings, you can feel every pebble you roll into the pits. After one lap on our first ride, we turned the clickers all the way and got back on the trail. From there, we slowed down the bounce a few clicks, and those settings worked well. The firm front end gives you a good feel of the ground, but it’s not exactly plush and comfortable. Rigid forks can act as your guardian angel, so to speak, in some of those “uh-oh” moments. When you miss a double or overshoot the landing in the flats, the forks absolutely absorb it and you’re on your way. The forks won’t bottom out, as they help maintain control and prevent a tuck n’ roll – this admittedly happened a few times in our testing when we thought we were definitely going over the top. bars. Luckily the high spring KYB forks saved the day! Although the forks can be stiff and stiff, rest assured that they can handle any circumstance. The KYB shock felt nice all around the trail. The rear of the bike feels anchored through the harshest bumps at speed and acceleration – the rear doesn’t dance uncontrollably. We didn’t need to adjust the shock clickers much; we just slowed the rebound down a click or two. It suited our riding style, but for the outliers, Suzuki says the KYB shock has a wide range of damping adjustment, but we didn’t need it.2022 Suzuki RM-Z250 Review: MX Race BikeOnce we dialed in the damping settings, the overall suspension system provided a balanced performance. Right off the showroom floor, the 2022 RM-Z250 comes with a set of Dunlop Geomax MX33 tires—an 80 in the front and 100 in the rear. While you can’t go wrong with the ever-popular MX33s, we’d probably prefer a wider 110 rear end. While the 100 tire is lighter than the 110, the wider footprint of the 110 might serve the rider well when managing the low-end of throttle response. The 100 wasn’t a bad tire selection, but we did notice a loss of traction in the hard, sandy corners of the track. Next time we might try the RM-Z250 with a wider rear end.2022 Suzuki RM-Z250 Review: Novice MotocrossApproaching corners, the stopping performance of the 270mm rotor and Nissin caliper does not disappoint. At Glen Helen there are some legendary fast downhill sections leading to sharp 90 or 180 degree turns, so better have your braking control precise or you’ll go over the berm! The braking system of this RM-Z250 offers precise control and great stopping power. All in all, Suzuki delivers a fun, nimble-handling 250 platform with predictable handling characteristics and a punchy engine package. You will want to keep the rpm in the low to mid range for optimum power. This is a rider-friendly bike rather than a nationally winning package. The slim chassis and tight ergonomics make you one with the 2022 Suzuki RM-Z250. It handles easily and can help improve your cornering technique. The engine’s quick throttle response helps you get out of corners and keep you on two wheels in tough situations. You know what they say: “When in doubt, fuel up!”Photograph by Don WilliamsDRIVING STYLE2022 Suzuki RM-Z250 SpecificationsENGINE

  • Type: 4-stroke single cylinder
  • Displacement: 249cc
  • Bore x stroke: 77.0 × 53.6mm
  • Compression ratio: 13.75:1
  • Valvetrain: DOHC; 4 valves
  • Lubrication: Semi-dry sump
  • Fuel: EFI dual injector
  • Start: Kick
  • Transmission: 5 speed
  • Clutch: Web multi0plate
  • Final drive: DID 520 chain


  • Chassis: Double-girder aluminum
  • Handlebar: Renthal Fat bar
  • Front suspension; Travel: Fully adjustable KYB inverted fork; 12.2 inches
  • Rear suspension; Travel: Fully adjustable linkage-assisted KYB shock; 11.8 inches
  • Wheels: D.I.D. DirtStar
  • Tyres: Dunlop Geomax MX33
  • Front tire: 80/100 x 21
  • Rear tire: 100/90 x 19
  • Front brake: 270mm disc
  • Rear brake: 240mm disc


  • Wheelbase: 58.5 inches
  • Rake: 28.5 degrees
  • Trail: 4.9 inches
  • Seat height: 37.5 inches
  • Ground clearance: 13.0 inches
  • Fuel capacity: 1.7 gallons
  • Wet weight 233 pounds
  • Colours: Champion Yellow #2

2022 Suzuki RM-Z250 Price: $7899 MSRP

2022 Suzuki RM-Z250 Test Drive Photo Gallery