To some of you, low-speed, technical dirt bike trail riding isn't your "cup of tea." When you "saddle up," it's for intense riding punctuated by eyeball-watering speed and nosebleed jumps. For you, there's the Suzuki RM-Z450.
The core of this bike is a powerful, fuel-injected, liquid-cooled 449cc engine. The major components of the fuel injection system include a Keihin throttle body, Keihin fuel pump (located inside the aluminum fuel tank), and a magneto that powers the battery-less system. The fuel injection system offers a variety of benefits over a carburetor, including better roll-on power and strong low- to mid-range power. The engine itself has an intake port angle and cam timing that result in reduced intake resistance and heightened intake efficiency. Likewise, the exhaust port and cam timing are designed to regulate exhaust pulses. Further, the engine has narrower intake and exhaust valve angle guides along with increased "squish" areas that improve air/fuel mixing and faster flame-propagation speed when the mixture ignites. In English, this boils down to exceptional power at the flick of the wrist. All that power is routed through a five-speed transmission with a link-type shifting mechanism.
The RM-Z 450 uses a lightweight aluminum alloy twin spar frame that is designed to contribute to agile handling. To the frame is mounted a fully adjustable Showa cartridge-style front fork and a rear aluminum alloy swingarm with Showa shock absorber. Even the front and rear fenders are high-tech. The front fender incorporates a sloped-down shape that efficiently guides wind to the front number plate air ducts for improved cooling performance. The rear fender incorporates air intakes on both sides for heightened intake efficiency.
When it comes time to scrub off some speed, there is a pair of race-inspired disc brakes front and rear, and they offer better cooling performance and increased mud deflection. They are more than capable of reigning in the bike's 247-pound weight.
When you're straddling the RM-Z450, you won't find any gauges or instruments. This machine is all business. Among the many things you will find are footpegs that include maximum clearance between the mounting bracket and footrest to prevent mud from caking up. You'll appreciate that on the trail.
So how fast and agile is the RM-Z450? Well, it was the first fuel-injected bike to win in AMA Supercross racing. 'Nuff said.
Vehicle model: 2009 Suzuki RM-Z450
Base price: $7,899
Color: Solid black, Champion Yellow No. 2
Type: Four-stroke, DOHC, liquid-cooled
Displacement (cc): 449
Bore x stroke (mm): 96 x 62.1
Compression ratio: 12.2:1
Fuel system: EFI
Starter: Primary kick
Transmission: Five-speed, constant mesh
Final drive: Chain
Front: Telescopic, coil spring, oil-damped
Rear: Link-type, coil spring, oil-damped
Weight (lb.): 247
Ground clearance (in.): 13.8
Fuel capacity (gal.): 1.6
Seat height (in.): 37.6
Wheelbase (in.): 58.3
Overall length (in.): 86.0
Overall width (in.): 32.7
Overall height (in.): 37.6