First Impression: 2005 Suzuki RM125

Suzuki invited the TransWorld MX testing crew out to Cahuilla Creek today to debut their 2005 RM125, and we gladly accepted the invitation. The 2004 version swept through our 125cc shootout and almost unanimously took the Bike of the Year honors in its class. For 2005, Suzuki technicians changed very little with the bike, but as the top performer last year, we don’t mind a bit.

Last year, the RM125 was one of the easiest bikes to hop on and spin fast laps. Its ergonomics seemed to agree well with most who rode it, and its stellar handling complimented a very strong motor, making it the clear-cut winner. Lightweight, nimble, and controllable, the RM125 was simply easier to ride faster than any other bike.

With that in mind, the engineers at Suzuki made only minor tweaks to their two-stroke tiddler to further refine an already great package. Among the notable changes for ’05 are a redesigned cylinder head for more stable combustion, revised exhaust port timing for better response off the bottom, a new crankshaft for better wheel traction, an updated swingarm for better tracking, footpegs that have been moved back 10mm for a more optimal center of gravity, front fork and rear shock refinements for plusher handling, and a pair of brand-new aluminum handlebars replace the old steel units.

On the track, the new RM still feels great. For the majority of testers, the RM has a welcoming rider compartment that makes adjustment to the bike a snap. Cornering on the RM is a blast. Whether you choose to relax into your favorite turn or stuff it in with aggression, the Suzuki does either with ease. The suspension and overall handling still feels plush and well balanced, and the motor is as strong, if not stronger, than ever. Is it powerful enough to compete with the 250cc four-strokes that are now so prevalent at the track? That remains to be seen… But we do know that our 185 lb. intermediate tester was able to pull fourth gear up the long, rough Cahuilla Creek uphill. Not bad!

The reigning champ of our 125cc two-stroke shootout is better than ever, but only time will tell if its minor refinements are good enough to keep it on top. Stay tuned for a full bike test, as well as our 125cc shootout in a later issue of TransWorld Motocross magazine. For now, click on the video link on the top right-hand side of this page to see Brian Minter and the 2005 RM125 in action.