Like its competition, Suzuki's early-release 2006 models revealed new colors and updates but only a handful of technological changes.
Bikes garnering the most changes for '06 fall into the motocross category - the RM-Z450 ($6,599), RM250 ($6,099) and RM125 ($5,099).
Updates to the 2006 RM-Z450 include a new cylinder head, revised carburetor settings, revised ignition mapping, a higher final drive ratio, reinforced steering head pipe for improved frame rigidity, a new swingarm, new front fork and rear shock settings, and a new rear brake caliper.
The 2006 RM250 obtains redesigned cylinder exhaust ports, a revised exhaust valve system, a shorter intake pipe, a new carbon fiber reed valve, increased clearance between the crankshaft and crankcase, increased clutch durability with redesigned plates and more durable clutch housing, and a revised ignition map.
Chassis changes to the RM250 include a new frame with reinforced tank rail, reinforced lower engine bracket, plus head pipe relocated 5mm rearward for increased straight line stability; Renthal tapered aluminum handlebars with Renthal-labeled handlebar pad; an updated swingarm design; new front fork and rear shock settings; an improved front fork; improved rear shock performance; new hex-head-style rear brake rotor mounting bolts for easier brake disc maintenance; and new rear brake pad material for increased braking performance and improved rider feedback.
Equally updated, the RM125 receives an updated swingarm design, reshaped reed valve air guide, narrower crankshaft diameter, reshaped exhaust chamber, a new CDI ignition map, Renthal bars and pad, improved front fork, revised compression and rebound damping valve settings, improved rear shock performance, the new hex-head-style rear brake rotor mounting bolts and rear brake pad material.
Other news pertaining to Suzuki's motocross bikes includes a limited edition RM250Z ($6,399), which will be available with special Team Makita Suzuki graphics, gold-colored wheels and a black seat similar to Ricky Carmichael's championship-winning RM250. Plus, the smaller RM-Z250 ($5,599), RM85 ($3,099) and RM85L ($3,199) have new Blue graphics for 2006.
Rounding out Suzuki's off-road range is the returning DR-Z400E ($5,499); DR-Z250 ($4,699); DR-Z125/DR-Z125L ($2,299, DR-Z125 / $2,499, DR-Z125L); and the JR50 ($1,099).
The company revealed no news regarding its '06 supersport line-up, but shared only the retail price of the '06 GSX-R1000: $10,999.
In Suzuki's cruiser segment, updates for 2006 include new Gun-Metal Gray paint for the touring-oriented C50T and C90T, plus a still-to-be-announced larger displacement “M” series model.
Returning unchanged for 2006 are the Boulevard C90 ($10,499; $10,299 for Black); Boulevard C90T ($11,499); Boulevard C50 ($6,799; $6,699 for Black); Boulevard C50T ($7,949), the only touring model in its class with a windshield, special seats and backrest, saddlebags, and white-wall tires; the Boulevard M50 ($6,899; $6,799 for Black); Boulevard S83 ($8,499); Boulevard S50 ($6,499); and Boulevard S40 ($4,399).
Suzuki's dual-sport model receiving the most updates for 2006 is the DR-Z400SM ($6,199), first introduced to the public in 2005. It gets clear turn signals for '06. The company's remaining dual-sports - the DR-Z400S ($5,599) and DR200SE ($3,949) - return largely unchanged.
- Guido Ebert