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First Impressions! Dan Grove finally meets up with the ’16 RM-Z 250

First Impressions! Dan Grove finally meets up with the ’16 RM-Z 250

After meeting for the first time at our Mega Test Dan and the RM-Z 250 finally meet up for a first date…

It’s been a fairly warm but very wet winter which has kind of stopped me from getting some laps in but I finally wheeled the RM-Z out of the back of the team truck and onto some dirt. In truth it’s been so wet around here that I haven’t ridden it since the Mega Test which was absolutely ages ago. Hopefully by the time this issue hits the shelves I’ll have put some proper motos in at a practice track and can report back next month with some decent feedback on the bike and how it performs out on the track.

I plan on leaving the bike in stock trim for the first few rides just to get a feel for the bike as it would be out of the dealership so that when any changes are made I can tell what difference it made, if any. With all the time off the bike I could have thrown the aftermarket book at it but then I wouldn’t know the true capabilities of a stock 250F and as I’m new to them it’s only fair to tell you the truth about the bike from scratch as I’m sure every year there’s a lot of riders jumping up to a 250F from a 125, or with poor rules and regulations not forbidding it, an 85.

I have however put a little bit of time in on the bike around a little private track – and by little I mean that it’s just over a one minute lap time – so not ideal but it was still time on the bike which was better than not riding at all. The conditions were a bit on the soft side.

I used the time to just get all the controls in the right places and set the sag to 105mm as per the manual as this bike is totally different to a YZ250 especially the seating position. The RM-Z seat is completely flat except for the very front of it and this makes moving around the bike really easy compared to moving around on a bike with a low dip in the middle of the seat like I was used to.

Just before where the front of the seat curves up it was right in the sweet spot of where I sit for cornering so I think Suzuki have something really good here as you’ll never be trying to pull yourself forwards to weight the front in the corners, you’ll always be in the right place gripping the shrouds with your legs and the less you have to think about while riding the better…

As I’ve only ever owned two-strokes and the first thing that came to light when I set off was that the bike just hooks up from nothing. You could be barely moving and it would just pick up in second and third gear. Pretty crazy that they’re in the same class as 125 two-strokes where this definitely isn’t the case!

The track I rode was quite twisty with a few trees around the place and so on a two-stroke you’d only want to be at about 80 per cent of your limits as when you got it on the pipe you’d soon be heading for a tree or a stream and then have to try and corner the thing. On the 250F the power was so controllable and usable even in the mud that you knew what the bike would be doing. It’ll be good when it dries up a bit so I can get back down there and push the bike some more.

Due to the muddy conditions the brakes and suspension didn’t really get a decent test so next time – even if I have to drive to Tain or Spain for some rideable tracks – I can give a full review of the bike in standard trim and from that I’ll know a lot more about it which will help with personalising the bike for the upcoming season…

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