Can you believe that the 2003 models are already starting to arrive? Here it is June, and the 2003 Suzuki RM125 is already set to hit dealership floors within a few weeks! TransWorld Motocross took delivery of our RM125 test bike today at Saddleback MX Park.
Though the 2003 RM125 received only updates, the list of changes is extensive enough to make some notable improvements. Engine-wise, new power valves are the biggest news. In addition to an all-new shape, the power valves are now actuated by a linkage system, instead of a pull-rod like the ’02 had. The new system was designed to provide better throttle response and a broader spread of power. The tranny received several minor updates to keep the Suzukis at the front of the pack, as far as buttery smooth shifting is concerned. In order to keep the bike running cool and breathing easy, Suzuki engineers adapted larger RM250 radiators and incorporated larger, channeled vent holes in the side panels.
Suspension-wise, both Showa components received updates–stiffer front fork springs and revised valve settings up front, and new compression and rebound dampening out back. Other changes include wider RM250 footpegs and a new rear brake pedal, a stronger front wheel and new brake discs.
We know what you’re thinking–enough of the technical mumbo jumbo! How does the new bike work? Well, with only one day of testing aboard the new Suzuki tiddler, we came away impressed with the changes made to the already potent package. Last year the RM125 came very close to winning the 2002 125cc Shootout, and from what we can tell thus far, we expect the yellow bike to be a contender again in ’03.
Our pro tester and resident fast guy Michael Young was impressed with the motor, but asked to have a one-tooth larger rear sprocket installed for better low-end. The motor still packs a hell of a punch as the RPMs begin to rise, and the power keeps going and going as the engine revs out. Young felt that this bike, by far, has the most top-end overrev of any stock 125 he has tested. Jetting was very close as delivered, and we only made minor changes to get the bike revving cleanly. Whether or not extremely hot weather or different track elevations affect the carburetor settings remains to be seen.
Handling-wise, the RM125 is typical Suzuki-quick and razor sharp. The RM125 is one of the best handling bikes in its class, and all who rode the bike today were pleased with its cornering, jumping, accelerating and braking manners. Surprisingly, we were able to get the suspension to work for all of us-from pee wee lightweight Michael Young, all the way up to 6’5″ Goliath Boy Garth Milan.
We’re looking forward to spending more time with the 2003 RM125 in the coming weeks, so that we can bring you a full track test in the next issue of TransWorld Motocross. Stay tuned!