The 2006 Suzuki RM-Z offers the four-stroke technology (and legality) that most riders are gravitating toward. The 2006 RM-Z models are based on a power platform of 249cc and 449cc single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, four-stroke engines, which offer ample power to riders of all shapes and sizes. The Suzuki RM-Z easily outperforms the competitive 125cc, two-stroke models from the top motocross manufacturers, and represents a great bike for track riding, as well as a sufficient choice for trails and cross-country enjoyment.
The base model, the 2006 Suzuki RM-Z250, is a solid bike. It is far from being the greatest four-stroke option available when considering comparable bikes from the Yamaha and Honda lines, yet for joyriders who are somewhat concerned with aesthetics and mostly concerned about maneuverability, the RM-Z250 will more than suffice.
The drawback of the 2006 model is lost somewhere in the joint effort of Suzuki and Kawasaki. The 2006 RM-Z relies on the engine technology of Suzuki, yet the chassis of Kawasaki. Kawasaki got the true benefit of this partnership, relying on the Suzuki engine, where Suzuki sacrificed one of its key selling points: the best-handling bikes in the business. The RM-Z doesn""t handle like Suzuki motocross bikes of the past, as the handling and maneuverability is based on a Kawasaki design. Simply put, the bike is different and not as good as the paradigm offered throughout the years by Suzuki.
The Suzuki research and development team was optimistic to introduce a formidable competitor to the four-stroke realm in 2006, yet the design was pushed to 2007. By no means is the 2006 Suzuki RM-Z250 lacking in power—it features a very good, reliable engine. However, for anyone hoping to score premium output in this motorcycle class, other options may present more allure. Some of these issues are experienced with gearing and low-end torque problems in and out of turns. Additionally, the rear suspension stiffness has enjoyed its fair share of criticism.
Aesthetically, the 2006 Suzuki RM-Z is sharp, and the blue and yellow Suzuki team colors have always been head turners. The near 38-inch seat height will be too much for many beginning riders, or those who have little experience on motocross bikes with impressive ground clearance and loads of travel in the front and rear suspension. As mentioned, the stiff rear suspension is problematic on the Suzuki RM-Z250 (and 450). It will make lightweight riders feel like they""re riding down a hill, and consistently pushing against the handlebar to be better balanced from front to back.
Ultimately, the enjoyment of this bike will depend solely on a rider""s habits. If it""s a first-time bike, then it will be like an action movie wrapped into two wheels. For more experienced riders—especially those with Suzuki experience—it will feel different. A test ride is a definite recommendation before making a purchase.