Sunday, February 25, 2024


Suzuki fans have always been hardcore. Back in DeCoster’s heyday in the early ’70s, some riders had an almost spiritual love for the brand. It was easy back then; Suzuki won more than any other manufacturer in those days. It’s harder now. The RM-Z250’s stats in particular have been a bit depressing over the past 10 years. Win Outdoor Championships: 0. Win Regional Supercross Championships: 0. Winning outdoor national competitions: 0. Win Regional Supercross Races: 2. However, the RM-Z250 is still loved by many. This is the bike for the purists. It’s cheap, reliable, performs well, and doesn’t have the complications of electric starters and batteries.

The 2022 Suzuki has a lot to offer, but sheer performance isn’t on the list. Peak output is under 40 horsepower, compared to around 44 horsepower with the KTM motor. The good news is that the motor hasn’t been replaced in a while, and there are plenty of shops out there that know how to get the most out of it. For this project, we chose the path of least resistance and asked Pro Circuit to help. We know they know what to do.

The Suzuki RM-Z250 is a 250 motocross bike like no other than lagging behind. This can be fixed.

Motor necessary

When we say the RM-Z motor hasn’t changed in a while, we mean it hasn’t changed it is good. It did get some new high-end parts for 2019 and more extensive changes for 2016. Sadly, these updates aren’t enough to keep the Suzuki up to speed with the other models. The modifications Pro Circuit has been making have had a bigger impact. They have four main components: cylinder head

work, camshaft, high compression piston and exhaust system. In order to install Pro Circuit’s cams, you had to use stiffer valve springs. The good news is that in order to use the piston, you need is not required to run race fuel . This is certainly a good idea. Higher compression always puts you at risk of blowing up. High-octane fuels fight this and keep the engine running cooler. In some cases, race fuel can also provide more horsepower, although this can get expensive. We think the ETS ExtraBlaze 100 is perfect for this engine build. It’s 100 octane and very low oxygen (3%), fully compliant with AMA guidelines and doesn’t require remapping. It’s also much cheaper than the exotic fuels used by factory teams. We also installed a Pro Circuit T-6 full exhaust system. We didn’t change the igniter to one of the options typically used for full, no-cost builds. At some point you will run into diminishing returns on any four-stroke build. If we cranked up the compression and opted to use more exotic fuels, then a programmable ignition like a Vortex or GET would be mandatory. Then came a lengthy testing and programming process. With such a modest build, we felt we could get away with Suzuki’s three coupler-based mapping options.

To make Suzuki Motor reach Standard, four parts need to be addressed – cam, piston, cylinder head and exhaust. Pro Circuit has a solution for all of them.
we like Suzuki’s appearance. Decal Works and MotoSeat helped a lot.
We used Hoosier tires for this project. They were actually made in the US who knew that was even possible?

The only other part of the motor we changed was the clutch, replaced by a Hinson basket with Pro Circuit springs.

Classic Case

We still love how the Suzuki RM-Z250 handles. Yes, we know it’s a bit heavy for a bike without electric start. Yes, we know it has an old-school feel to it. But, to be honest, we’re a little bit Like

that old-school one Feel. Suzuki was ahead of the other manufacturers back in 2008 with quick steering geometry and a well-planted front end. In the decade that followed, everyone tried to replicate Suzuki’s formula and then crossed the line. Today’s 250s are tighter, and the Suzuki still has a comfortable, stable feel in the corners. Where the RM-Z really needs help is in the suspension department. The current bike has an oddly mismatched setup that doesn’t actually work as well as it did in 2016. The front end is stiff and the rear end is loose. Not a terminal problem either, but you can’t necessarily solve it with a clicker. Pro Circuit’s suspension department has handled hundreds of Suzukis. What you need depends on how old you are and what kind of ride you ride. While most younger, lighter riders in the 250 class need lighter springs, you might be able to get away with stock fork springs.

Factory Chassis Parts manufactures replacement motor mounts and titanium footpegs. Hinson clutch baskets are common in Suzuki-land upgrade.

You can also make some progress in the chassis department with different engine mounts. The stocker is very sturdy and there are replacements for the factory chassis parts (FCP) to make the frame more compliant. Replacing the stock bar on the Mika Pro Series handlebars and having MotoSeat rebuild the saddle also helped make the Suzuki a more comfortable bike.

Factory Killer

Finally, do we have a car that will end Suzuki in pro racing Dry bikes? No, but we do have a bike that is definitely rideable. The RM-Z250 went from being a penalty bike in the 250 class to a machine capable of even winning at the athlete class. We closed the gap with the Austrian-powered 250 motocross bike in motor performance, and almost all riders would agree that the Pro Circuit RM-Z250 handles better than the stock KTM/Husky/GasGas.

Having said that, Suzuki haters will still point out that this bike doesn’t have electric start and it’s unfair to compare a modified RM-Z250 to a stock bike. Even though you can buy a Suzuki for a few thousand dollars less, we certainly put those thousand dollars back on the bike.

If you’re pressing buttons to do math on your calculator, you’ll find that the numbers aren’t friendly to projects like this. We are fine. If you’re a fan of motocross history and want to preserve your personal Suzuki heritage, it’s not about the numbers and we love the results.



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