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2011 review so far...

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i am mainly writing this review to clear up some of the nonsense that I've been reading on the net about these bikes (mainly from people who have "heard that this is bad..." or in other words from people who haven’t even thrown a leg over it). Until about 2009 ive been a yamaha/honda guy simply because it was recommended to me by other race buddies. When i asked about the rmz's they always told me to stay away from them without any real reasons except for the usual "they blow up, or have bad reliability issues). In 09 i had the opportunity to test ride the 09 RMZ250 at a dealer intro, which I then made my purchase on. which brings me to my current rmz250:

The BIKE TEST: i got the 2011 rmz from the dealer about 2 months ago now, after all appropriate break in time for the motor i took it out for some riding. Initially I had to make a lot of changes to get it to work well for me, Im 5'10" and weigh 165lbs (without gear) riding at a novice B level so the suspension i felt was a little too stiff front and rear but before doing any clicker adjustment SET YOUR SAG!!! this makes ALL the difference in the bikes handling both in the corners and on the straights. Initially I only had about 90mm of race sag which made the bike severely oversteer and unsettled on straights, I set it to 105mm for motocross and its PERFECT , the bike turned anywhere, everywhere, at anytime. NEVER have I had a bike that does EXACTLY what you want it to do. next was the clickers I eventually found my sweet spot on the forks (12 out on compression, rebound stock at 12 clicks out) and shock (high speed 2¼ turn out, low speed compression 13 clicks out and rebound stock at 11 clicks out) for sand-loamy conditions, although my setting worked very well for me the fork isn’t the best Ive had, when the forks compress quickly (high speed) on a successionof bumps they are quite harsh, I believe this is what the magazines are referring to as the mid-stroke harshness they experienced, I will try to remedy this with a lower fork oil height. The front tire wasn’t the greatest overall so I changed it for a Dunlop D773 which although quite soft, I feel finds traction very well in sand-loamy conditions. the motor well… impressed would be the right word, it feels like a torquey 4-stroke down low and a peppy 2 stroke up top (by far the most usable stock powerband I’ve ever had) . And although it is a “heavier” 250F, rider input is effortless, especially in the air. and stopping power is very well modulated, until now ive logged 30.5 hours (4 races + training/play time), oil change intervals have been about every 5 hours of riding, ive checked the valves and they are within spec, and haven’t had ANY problems with it so far. The claimed “false” neutrals on the suzukis have only occurred from poor or rushed shifting (which has happened on my previous bikes as well: Yamaha and Honda included). But I will confess that my 09 rmz250 had to have a new countershaft +3rd and 4th gear put in due to excessive wear on the thicker countershaft spline (the edges tapered causing the thrust washer against third gear to cone out and create a larger gap between 3rd and 4th thus causing the false neutral condition. But this happened at 190 hours when I was changing out the crank anyway. But for those who are on the fence about getting this bike due to "tranny" problems, Suzuki claims that for 2011 they widened 3rd and 4th gears and improved lubrication on the countershaft (the exact trouble spots from the previous years which I had) this gives me piece of mind on my 11. In closing I find it a shame that more of these bikes aren’t being sold, they offer the best platform for improvement: the chasis is a dream, the motor is excellent and any suspension pecadilos can be tuned, it’s a shame that this bikes durability is so underestimated by the majority of motocrossers. I made the jump in 09 against the “good” intentions of my race buddies, its coming 2012 and ive convinced a lot of them to go yellow, not through words, but by my actions. Great bike highly recommended.👍

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im not gonna bad mouth the CRF as ive owned two of them and after putting in stainless valves they were great bikes. i just think its unfair to assume that the RMZ's are inferior when the things have been just as reliable. yes i did have tranny problems, but i had the same issues (rounding of engagement dogs) on previous race bikes including my first CRF, its just wear and tear. and i stand by what you said: Suzuki's are greatly underrated.

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