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Tech Tips

Frequent breakdowns are not normally in the RL250 owner's vocabulary.

The RL250 was built and imported into the US in 1974/75 and the passing years have proven that the Suzuki engineers had a lot of the bike just right. The transmission, shifter, and clutch mechanisms are almost bullet proof and usually need only inspections at teardown. The life of the crank and top end are subject to the level of owner care and riding conditions but have no fundamental weaknesses. Suzuki's Pointless Electronic Ignition (PEI) is a true 'set and forget' system and has to rate among the finest ignition systems of the era.

In some areas the RL250 may even be considered a bit overbuilt. The RL250 engine is only rated at 18HP while the TM250, with much of the same basic architecture, puts out upwards of 30HP. The 40HP TM400, which is a much different engine, has only one more pair of clutch plates than the RL250.

That is not to say that it was perfect when new or that the bikes haven't deteriorated to some extent over the years. But, it does imply that they are good candidates for the effort required to put them into shape or keep them in good running order.

The RL250 did not benefit from the ongoing factory effort to fine tune their product like, say, the Yamaha TY bikes. There just wasn't time, being imported only for the two years. The Beamish effort made those changes but they did not migrate, or many even apply, to the US version of the RL250.

This section will discuss the maintenance, repair, refinement, and tuning of the RL250 as I have experienced the machine. I believe that many of these points would have been what the factory would have addressed given the chance. Other areas will include tips on updating, addressing wear and tear, and the inclusion of newer technology.

Your comments concerning the information is encouraged and I will consider including relevant information from other owner's experiences and ideas.

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Last modified: 05/26/14