2001 Suzuki DR-Z250 –

19 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2001 Suzuki DR-Z250 –
Suzuki DR 250 S

Suzuki Introduces the U.S. to a Japanese Favorite

Torrance, California, April 17, 2001 — We were a bit shocked when we found out about the new DR-Z250 a few months ago. You see, with media attention trained on bikes like Yamaha’s YZ250F and the new moto thumper that Honda is set to debut at the Glen Helen Nationals very soon, we couldn’t help but question Suzuki’s motives in bringing out a 250 trail bike.

The DR-Z seems well-equipped to go up against the likes of Honda’s XR250 and maybe even Yamaha’s TTR-250. It has been selling well in Japan since 1996, but does the US market really need another trail bike?

Suzuki thinks it does. And to that end, their new 250 comes in as an entry-level off-road bike that has a few nice bits on it, though nothing truly innovative. Then again, as a beginning off-road rider, you’re more concerned with ease of use and reliability for years to come.

To that end the Suzuki has a few nice touches such as electric start, a low seat height and adjustable suspension, but will that be enough to make people want the bike?

Tech Inspection At the heart of this new Suzuki is a wet-sump DOHC 4-valve, air/oil-cooled motor. It features Suzuki’s TSCC (Twin Swirl Combustion Chamber) cylinder head and even a balancer shaft for smooth running, just like its big brother DR-Z400. The motor’s power comes courtesy of its 249 cc displacement via 73.0 x 62.6 mm bore and stroke figures.

The mid-sized motor also features a 10.4:1 compression ratio and a six-speed gearbox.

The motors in 49-state bikes get their fuel/air mixture from a 28 mm Mikuni carb while California versions get a special 32 mm Mikuni that meets California’s green sticker requirements. Oil temperature is kept in check thanks to an air-cooled oil cooler that directs its contents to a cooling chamber in the cylinder.

The cylinder itself is made of aluminum and features Suzuki’s SCEM (Suzuki Composite Electro-chemical Material) finish. This nickel-phosphorus-silicone-carbide finish is supposed to be very light and durable, ensuring long life and cool running temperatures even under heavy loads.

Power makes its way to the rear wheel thanks to a 13-plate clutch that uses five coil-type springs. The number-two driven plate features a larger inner diameter to accept anti-vibration spring washers, and the pressure plate gets a lift off of the clutch plates from a rack and pinion release mechanism just like the system on the old DR350.

Also similar to the old DR350 is the way the DR-Z250’s electric starting system works: The starter clutch is mounted to the generator rotor and is driven by the starter motor, through a pair of reduction gears mounted behind the cylinder. The motor also features an automatic decompression mechanism for easy starting should you decide to go with the old-world approach. Naturally, the safety people require that you pull in the clutch in before you hit the magic button to get the motor spinning.

Suzuki DR 250 S

Not surprisingly, Suzuki claims the frame for this trail bike was inspired by their RM line of motocross bikes. The geometry is similar, designed to offer good turning as well as the requisite stability afforded by the 1455 mm (57.3 inches) wheelbase. The 26.5 degrees of rake and 108 mm of trail no doubt help in this area.

The front forks are conventional 43 mm Showas that feature externally adjustable compression and rebound damping. No provisions are made for pre-load tweaking, though for most riders, the stock setting should be in the ballpark. After all, this is a trail bike and not a race bike that needs to be tuned to the n th degree.

The forks feature 280 mm (11 inches) of travel and combine with the rear Showa shock’s 280 mm of travel to offer up a nice, balanced ride.

The rear shock works through an RM-style linkage, and features a remote gas/oil reservoir, just like on the RM series and the DR-Z250’s larger brother, the DR-Z400. Thankfully there are provisions for pre-load adjustment on the rear shock.

Fitted to each wheel are disc brakes specially designed for use on the DR-Z line of bikes. The front wheel features a 250 mm front rotor while a 220 mm item resides out back. Tire sizes are an 80/100-21 up front and a 100/100-18 in the rear.

Other notable features are a low 900 mm (35.4 inches) seat height and 253-pound claimed dry weight which is pretty decent for a bike of this nature that features electric start. The bike even comes stock with a resettable odometer as well as a head lamp, tail lamp and hand-guards.Right after picking up our DR-Z250 we headed out to Rhower Flats Off-Highway Vehicle Park in Southern California. Our main test dummy was off-road newbie Calvin Kim who has very little time on dirt bikes.

Because his experience amounts to little more than a few leisurely laps at the Lake Elsinore vet moto track on a two-stroke moto bike and one illness-shortened stint in the high desert on a DR-Z400, he was the chosen one . Long-time dirt rider Minime joined along on a Yamaha WR426 to shoot photos and make fun of Calvin at inopportune times throughout the day.

Suzuki DR 250 S
Suzuki DR 250 S
Suzuki DR 250 S
Suzuki DR 250 S

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