Much of the power band improvement came from redesigned, better-sealing exhaust-port valves and more precise control of those valves. A new actuation system controls how far and how fast the valves open and close, matching exhaust port timing and area to engine rpm to improve throttle response and power delivery.
New ducts in the side covers feed cool air to the airbox, while a new rubber cover keeps air warmed by the radiator from entering the front of the airbox. The subframe cross-brace tube located behind the airbox is now round in cross-section instead of square, improving air flow to the airbox and also slightly reducing weight. The radiator is about 10% larger, with 11 rows instead of the previous modelís 10 rows.
A new press-fit gearshift stopper pin, a stronger shift-cam stopper spring and a shouldered shift pawl pin all contribute to more precise shifting. The shouldered shift pawl pin fits into the coils of the shift pawl spring, instead of sitting on top of the end of the spring, reducing side-to-side play.
The RM125 built its reputation with handling to match its engine performance, the type of handling that gives a rider a choice of lines, inside or outside, to make a critical pass. Itís the type of handling that comes from the right combination of geometry, frame rigidity and suspension response.
The 2003 RM125ís single-backbone, double-cradle high-tensile steel-alloy frame has detail refinements, while the mid-stroke response of the front forks and rear shock has been improved. Slightly stiffer fork springs, 0.42 vs. 0.40, allow the use of less compression damping, and reshaped and resized compression damping valves help smooth mid-stroke response and improve response over small bumps. The inner cartridge rod and pipe nut are now made of aluminum alloy instead of steel, reducing weight, and the spring guide bush is now metal instead of plastic, increasing durability. The fork cap head is now hexagonal instead of oval and can be turned with a conventional wrench instead of requiring a special tool, simplifying maintenance.
The piggyback-reservoir rear shock has revised rebound and compression damping, again aimed at improving mid-stroke and low-speed response, improving acceleration traction. The shock shaft has been hardened for better durability, and the reservoir cap head is hexagonal instead of oval.
The brake discs have reshaped holes to reduce squealing and pad wear while improving braking power and feel, and the rear brake pad material provides more stopping power and longer pad life. The center and lip sections of front wheel rim are thicker for better durability and the reshaped front wheel spacer helps locate the axle properly when the wheel is installed.
The foot peg mounts are redesigned to not pack with mud on a wet track, and the rear brake pedal mount has been moved up to keep it from dragging on the ground in rutted corners. As a result, the rear brake lever can be straighter, slightly reducing weight. The foot pegs are now 10mm longer for better boot grip.
The seat is reshaped, lowering the riding position by 7mm, and the seat cushion foam is about 8% firmer to compensate for the reduced thickness. The seat cover is now made of thicker vinyl, increasing durability.
The 2003 Suzuki RM125ís brilliant chrome side graphics stand out against its bright Suzuki Champion Yellow color, and an extra-thick clear plastic lamination helps keep those graphics looking good. The number plates are white, ready for the application of racing numbers.
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