Sporty, nimble, and surefooted – these are only some of the laudable qualities of the Suzuki Ozark 250. The 4×4, introduced in 2003, had a design and characteristics reminiscent of the trailblazers that created the ATV boom in the early ’80s. This machine may seem simple and lightweight, but its powerful and gutsy manners make it fully capable of rivaling present-day big-bore quads.
The Suzuki Ozark 250 is a sport-utility quad that was launched in the market from 2003 to 2014. Featuring sleek styling, an easy-to-use gear system, sport-quad capabilities, and broad powerband, this highly-acclaimed Suzuki Z250 prototype offered so much more than its affordable price.
Read on to know more about the Suzuki Ozark 250’s specs and features, and judge for yourself if this nostalgic four-wheeler’s straightforward but refined attributes can still stand on par with today’s feature-rich 400-class trail tamers.
About the Suzuki Ozark 250
A vehicle that ranks high on the fun factor and delivers well on yard duty, the Suzuki Ozark 250 has once been regarded as a resurrected version of the LT250R Quadrunner. While this notion does not make much sense, I can only assume that it was probably due to them having the same model number designator/prefix (LT-F250 for the Ozark and LT250R for the Quadrunner). As a result, many confused the Ozark for the 250-cc Quadrunner released two decades before this sport-utility rig.
Unlike the pure-sport LT250R, the Suzuki Ozark was more utility-natured – the reason it became Suzuki’s carrier quad in the sport-utility segment in the early 2000s. That was until the legendary KingQuad series dominated the scene a few years later with its multi-displacement trims and became the Japanese firm’s flagship ATV.
Air-cooled and tuned for exceptional mid-range torque, the 2WD Suzuki Ozark 250 was a perfect hybrid vehicle capable of becoming a reliable workhorse and a weekend warrior. It offered a screw-type valve adjustment system, a link-plate-type cam chain/automatic tensioner, and low mechanical engine noise – to name a few.
This lightweight ATV boosted rider confidence and delivered power without hurting the throttle, attracting hardworking folks and mid-experienced off-roaders alike.
Trims & Models
During its 12-year production run, the Ozark 250 produced a total of two trims and 10 models. Its base versions were released in Sweden, Australia, Canada, the US, and California yearly, with body plastics available in black, blue (Canada only), Champion Yellow, Flame Red, and Terra Green for each trim.
Until its final year of production, the Ozark 250 satisfied consumer expectations, gaining the respect of enthusiasts, ATV magazine editors, and test riders.
2003 Suzuki Ozark 250 Specs & Features
Engine & Lubrication
The Suzuki Ozark 250 carburetor is a 29-mm constant-velocity type designed to meet emissions regulations and create more fluid airflow travel, resulting in proper mixture levels and better engine performance. It is best paired with a 10W-40 high-performance 4-stroke oil or its equivalent.
|Engine Type||4-Stroke OHC|
|Cylinder Arrangement||Single cylinder|
|Carburetion System||Carburetor, Mikuni BS29SS x 1|
|Engine Cooling||Air cooling|
|Engine Fuel||Unleaded gasoline of at least PON 87 or RON 91, containing MTBE (Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether), < 10% ethanol, or < 5% methanol w/ appropriate cosolvents and corrosion inhibitor|
|Fuel Capacity||10.6 L/2.8 US gal (reserve – 2.6 L/(0.7 US gal)|
|Bore x Stroke Ratio||66 x 72 mm (2.598 x 2.835 in)|
|Displacement||246 cm³ / 15 in³|
|Valve Diameter Intake||32 mm (1.30 in)|
|Valve Diameter Exhaust||28 mm (1.10 in)|
|Valve Clearance Cold Intake||0.03 – 0.08 mm (0.001 – 0.003 in)|
|Valve Clearance Cold Exhaust||0.08 – 0.13 mm (0.003 – 0.005 in)|
|Top Speed||50-63 mph (80.5-101.4 km/h) – owners’ claim|
|Air Filtration||Polyurethane foam element|
|Engine Oil & Quantity||2.2 L (2.3 US quarts, oil change) 2.3 L (2.4 US quarts, filter change) 2.5 L (2.6 US quarts, overhaul) SAE 10W-40 Suzuki Performance 4-Stroke motor oil or its equivalent Options: SAE 5W-30, 10W-30, 15W-40, 15W-50, 20W-50 w/ API grade of SJ meeting JASO T903 MA or MB standards|
All Ozark 250s are 2WD machines activated via a push button located on the handlebar. A 5-speed manual transmission (with reverse) transfers engine torque to the front wheels with the flip of a switch, which was later upgraded to a 6-speed gearbox in 2014.
|Clutch||Wet multi-plate, automatic, centrifugal type|
|Transfer, Transmission Type||5-forward & 1-reverse, manual|
|Gearshift Pattern||Forward – All up (foot lever operated); Reverse (foot/hand lever operated)|
|Drive System||Shaft drive|
|Primary Reduction Ratio||3.250 (65/20)|
|Secondary Reduction Ratio||1.235 (21/17)|
|Final Drive Ratio||3.200 (32/10)|
|Transfer Gear Ratio||Low – 3.083 (37/12)|
2nd – 1.933 (29/15)
3rd – 1.388 (25/18)
4th – 1.095 (23/21)
Top – 0.913 (21/23)
Reverse – 2.833 (34/12)
The four-wheeler’s Start-in-Gear feature and electronic CDI system make starting and maneuvering the quad easier. A 150/200W charging system, maintenance-free battery, and optional 12V DC outlet power up electronic accessories for added convenience.
|Ignition||Electronic ignition (CDI)|
|Ignition Timing||5° B.T.D.C @ 1,500 RPM|
|Spark Plug||NGK DR7EA or DENSO X22ESR-U, Gap: 0.6 – 0.7 mm (0.024 – 0.028 in)|
|Generator||Triple-phase A.C. generator|
|Generator Max Output||14.0 – 15.5V 150 W @ 5,000 RPM (200 W for LT-F250K6)|
|Battery||12V 36.0 kC (10 Ah)/10 Hr, YTX12-BS format|
|Battery Dimensions (L x W x H)||6.00 x 3.44 x 5.12 in (150 x 87 x 130 mm)|
Tires & Brakes
Front and rear wheels use 22-inch Dunlop® tubeless tires that lend to the vehicle’s terrainability. Depending on rider weight and road conditions, you can swap the stock tires with slightly wider or paddle-like knobbies like Carlisle Paddles AT489 ATV Bias Tires (view on Amazon).
|Front Tire, off-road/road air pressure||Dunlop® AT22 x 7-11, tubeless|
25 kPa (0.25 kgf/cm2, 3.6 psi)
|Rear Tire, off-road/road air pressure||Dunlop® AT22 x 10-9, tubeless|
20 kPa (0.20 kgf/cm2, 2.9 psi)
|Tire Tread Depth (F/R)||Limit: 4 mm (0.16 in) / 4 mm (0.16 in)|
|Front Brake Type||Disc brake, twin|
|Rear Brake Type||(Expanding) Drum brake|
Oil-damped shocks on both front and rear ends of the Ozark 250 make for a plush ride. The quad’s long-travel suspension helps, too – although riders may not always find it ideal when going down declines at high speeds. Adjustable aftermarket shocks with at least 180 mm (7.09 in) of wheel travel will give your vehicle more versatility and better bump-absorption capabilities.
|Caster, Trail||9° 30’, 42 mm (1.65 in)|
|Toe-in||2 ± 4 mm (0.08 ± 0.16 in)|
|Steering Angle||Inside 41.5°; Outside 29°|
Right & left 45° (LT-F250K4 and later-year models)
|Turning Radius||2.6 m (8.5 ft)|
|Front Suspension Type, Travel||Independent, double wishbone, coil spring, oil-damped, 140 mm (5.5 in)|
|Rear Suspension Type, Travel||Swingarm type, coil spring, oil-damped, 140 mm (5.5 in)|
Units released in North America were slightly smaller than those in Sweden and Australia. Similarly, the dry mass of the Suzuki Ozark 250 is a bit lighter in the US and Canada than in other countries.
|Length||1,800 mm (70.9 in) – E-03, 28, 33|
1,870 mm (73.6 in) – E-17, 24
|Width||1,045 mm (41.1 in) – E-03, 28, 33|
1,070 mm (42.1 in) – E-17, 24
|Height||1,070 mm (42.1 in)|
|Seat Height (Unloaded)||785 mm (30.9 in)|
|Ground Clearance||210 mm (8.3 in)|
|Wheelbase||1,140 mm (44.9 in)|
|Track (F/R)||790 mm (31.1 in) / 790 mm (31.1 in)|
|Dry Weight||183 Kg (403 lbs) – E-03, 28, 33|
187 Kg (412 lbs) – E-24
188 Kg (414 lbs) – E-17
|Vehicle Load Capacity Limit||132 Kg (291 lbs)|
Exterior & Lighting
The quad comes standard with a skid plate, a tubular bumper, and a grille guard where you can attach a 103253 VR EVO 10-S Electric 12V WARN Winch (view on Amazon). The vinyl saddle is well-padded and has a low seat height. Full floorboards and saw-toothed footpegs provide grip and comfort for all-day trail rides. Front and rear cargo racks and a 4-Liter under-seat storage offer plenty of room for cargo and other off-roading essentials.
|Trip Odometer & Computer||Standard|
|Emergency Off Switch||Standard – E-17|
|Headlight||Hi-Lo beams, 12V 30/30 W x 2 12V 35/35 W x 2 (LT-F250K6 to K8 models) 12V 30/35 W x 2 (LT-F250K9 onwards)|
|Brake Light/Taillight||12V 21/5 W|
|Indicator Lights||12V 3 W (reverse, neutral)|
|Backup Light||12V 21 W – E-17|
|High Beam Indicator Light||12V 3 W – E-17|
|Turn Signal Indicator Light||12V 3 W – E-03 (’07 models)|
|Turn Signal Light (F/R)||12V 21/18 W x 2 – E-03 (’07 models)|
|Position Light||12V 4 W x 2 – E-03 (’07 models)|
|License Light||12V 5 W x 2 – E-03 (’07 models)|
|Horn Button||Standard – E-17, 24|
How Much is an Ozark 250 Worth?
Auction listings for the Suzuki Ozark 250 are quite rare, with prices between $300 and $1,675. Based on my research, most (if not all) resale units are 2003-2006 models located in Maryland and Texas, with Terra Green body panels.
If you investigate further, you may find some of these quads with yellow plastics. However, the latter are typically below $500 and would have some form of defect. Some examples of what to expect are as follows – the 4×4 does not run or will not stay running, has a bent rear wheel, or requires electrical repair.
For those of you wondering about the list prices, I have consolidated them in the table below. Due to the two-year hiatus of the Ozark, you will not find MSRPs for 2010 and 2011 versions:
(Source: Nada Guides and Kelley Blue Book)
|Year – Trim – Model #||List Price||Retail/Trade-In Values|
|2003 Suzuki Ozark LT-F250K3||$3,499||$1,320 – $2,125|
|2004 Suzuki Ozark 250 (LT-F250K4)||$3,499||$1,410 – $2,175|
|2005 Suzuki Ozark LT-F250K5||$3,499||$1,545 – $2,305|
|2006 Suzuki Ozark LT-F250K6||$3,499||$1,590 – $2,370|
|2007 Suzuki Ozark LT-F250K7||$3,499||$1,635 – $2,530|
|2008 Suzuki Ozark LT-F250K8||$3,499||$1,710 – $2,600|
|2009 Suzuki Ozark LT-F250K9||$3,899||$1,800 – $2,780|
|2012 Suzuki Ozark LT-F250L2||$4,499||$2,155 – $2,835|
|2013 Suzuki Ozark LT-F250L3||$4,499||$2,200 – $2,895|
|2014 Suzuki Ozark LT-F250L4||$4,599||$2,145 – $2,825|
The downside of a quad with a CV-type carburetor is that it is sensitive to dirt or excessive oil lubrication. When unnoticed, a dirty carb would eventually lead to any of the following – a sticking float bowl, a leaking needle, or an incorrect carb setting – indicated by a faulty fuel level.
Depending on the problem you encounter, either your choke or your fuel mixture would go awry. A leaking choke plunger or sticking linkage would trigger the former, while clogged/restricted jets, an overly lean/rich float level, or air leaks in the intake manifold would result in the latter.
In addition to carb issues, the carb itself (even if it is working) can be cause for concern as well. The stock carb of the Ozark 250 is a Mikuni BS29SS.
If you are to replace that part with a universal carb with a much older design, then I reckon the dilemma will come from adapting that carb to your machine. Naturally, any other aftermarket carb will not perfectly replicate the stock one. As such, there are things that you will need to check and do a workaround to make the replacement part work.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Does it fit the inlet tube on the engine and the air filter tube?
- Is there enough room for you to adapt the throttle and starter/choke cables?
- Is the jetting correct on all the fuel and air circuits (after resolving potential issues with the first two queries)?
- After installing the aftermarket part, are you getting the correct volume of airflow for your engine?
If you’re an experienced and highly skilled mechanic who happens to own this quad, you will be fine getting a replacement carb that does not exactly fit in your vehicle. But if not, you may need a professional to lend you a hand, especially if you do not have the necessary equipment to correctly tune or fabricate parts that you require for your quad. Either that, or better stick to factory parts.
Suzuki Motor Corporation is an industry-leading corporation well-renowned for its automobile, marine, and motorsport products. Founded in Hamamatsu, Japan, the firm started as a loom manufacturer in 1909 and ventured into the automotive industry soon after, taking it by storm.
Thanks to a century’s worth of engine expertise, Suzuki has grown into one of the most successful automakers worldwide – forever remembered by off-roading and racing communities for its groundbreaking vehicles like the Suzuki Ozark 250 and KingQuad series.
With a network of over 133 distributors in 192 countries, the Japanese company has more than ample bandwidth to continue providing consumers with exceptional service and performance-driven offerings – including motorcycles, ATVs, wheelchairs, and internal combustion engines.
Conclusion – Suzuki Ozark 250 Review
With a carb that can stay around forever, a frame that can handle the most difficult jobs, and handsome styling that can make its counterparts look bad, this bulletproof machine was one of the good ones. It offers a higher compression, a larger engine, and more ground clearance.
Sure, it may need softer hand grips, a rear drop basket, or a bolt-on gun scabbard. But other than accessories, it asks nothing more for you to enjoy the quad and take it places. Robust, powerful, and impressive – these words speak truth about the Suzuki Ozark 250.
Kris is an avid off-roader and outdoor enthusiast who loves to brave the elements and take on challenging terrain. He also enjoys sharing his passion and knowledge with others so that they, too, can appreciate the ride.