2015 Suzuki RM-Z450 - Dirt Sports AlternativesPosted in Vehicle Reviews on August 29, 2014
Every year, dirt bike enthusiasts anxiously await the unveiling of new production models. Some manufacturers give their bikes a whole new makeover, while others supply their models with minor face-lifts. When Suzuki first introduced their RM-Z450 back in 2005, it was full of features that allowed Ricky Carmichael to win three back-to-back motocross and supercross championships. In 2008, Suzuki once again gave their 450 a makeover, this time by being the first production motocross machine with a fuel injection system. This gave Chad Reed and Ryan Dungey the opportunity to bring home three more championship titles for the Japanese brand. Now, Suzuki is back at it again with the 2015 RM-Z450.
With over 10 years of research and development since their first RM-Z450 combined with the input from their top-tier riders, Suzuki was able to build on an already proven machine by implementing some new key features: holeshot assist control, Showa SFF-AIR fork, redesigned engine and frame, EFI coupler system, and other miscellaneous components. By doing all of this, Suzuki hopes to add more names to the list of championship titles, and provide the consumer with a bike that offers a better feel.
If lining up behind a gate gives you that adrenaline rush that you crave for, you might like Suzuki’s new holeshot assist control. The Suzuki holeshot assist control (S-HAC) is a selectable launch mode system that will help you get out to the first corner before your opponents. Suzuki is able to do this by offering two different selectable modes: one for slippery surfaces like concrete, and one for when there is tons of traction underneath you. If you feel like you don’t need S-HAC, simply turn it off.
Suzuki also ditched the conventional spring fork for 2015, and went with the newer SFF-AIR fork. By doing so, they were able to drop over two pounds. Another added benefit to running an AIR fork is that you’ll be able to make adjustments on the fly with ease. A setting that might have worked on one track might not work for another, but by adjusting the amount of air pressure in the fork with a simple handheld air pump, you should be able to find that right setting that will get you feeling comfortable on the track once again.
If you are familiar with four-strokes, you are aware of how stubborn they can be when you try and start them up. Suzuki was able to improve on this by redesigning many of the components inside the engine, and by providing a longer kick-starter lever. With these changes, you can easily start up this machine, even with your hand (we’ve seen it done). Suzuki didn’t stop there, though, and made the power and torque much more manageable by changing more of the engines internals. This didn’t affect the overall dominance of the engine; it just made it a lot smoother through the rpm range.
Another major change for the yellow bike is the frame. For 2015, the RM-Z450 frame went under a whole new redesign, and the engineers at Suzuki were able to cut the weight by 4 percent. This may not seem like a lot, but when it comes to racing, everything is a weight game. By cutting down the weight, Suzuki was still able to maintain strength and rigidity by implementing inner ribs within the frame. The Japanese brand also ensures that the rider will feel better handling in the corners, and a plusher ride from start to finish.