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2015 rmz 250 or 2016 rmz 250

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Lots of changes made from 2015 to 2016, so I would choose the 2016.  I just picked up a 2017 myself, which is identical to the 2016.  I did a lot of research on the RMZ's before hand and didn't find any significant reliability issues.  Most of these bikes are really very similar, especially the Japanese ones, so it just comes down to treating the bike right and doing the maintenance.  Worst and most common mistake with a 250 4T is to rev the hell out of it in neutral, which you see almost everyone do.  I do feel that comparing the RMZ to the YZ side by side, that the YZ has a much cleaner look and nicer fit and finish.  The RMZ by comparison looks sloppy, generic and almost chinese-like.  But the cost difference and financing offers from Suzuki were enough for me to go with the RMZ, that and no matter how hard I try, I just can't get comfortable on a YZ.  I will say that its true what people say and the RMZ does handle better than any other bike I've owned.  Its just goes where you want, when you want and feels really good doing it.  I'm definitely comfortable sacrificing some power for that kind of handling and not feeling like I have to wrestle the bike to get it to do what I want in the corners.  I'm a bigger guy (215lbs) and the stock suspension actually felt pretty good compared to my CRF450R with FTi Racing suspension.  Might be a little stiff for a smaller/lighter rider, but your likely going to find that across the board.      

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