2019 Suzuki RM Z450 Update
Project: Race Tech, Dubach Racing, Dunlop, Ride Engineering, Supersprox
Since our 2019 450 Comparison/Shootout, we spent lots of time riding the Suzuki RM Z450. It finished on the bottom of the list during our test but it’s far from a bad motorcycle. Small setup and chassis balance issues made it difficult to find a good setting during the test. Following the test we rode the bike at several tracks with several different riders to fine-tune the RMZ that we are unable to do during the test. First was trying to get the fork to work better and second was trying to balance the chassis and not have to run massive 110mm plus shock sag or drop the fork tubes in the clamps to get the bike from feeling twitchy, stink bug, and soak up the chop better.
Our first mod was to raise the fork oil height by adding 10cc to each fork leg. This allowed us to run the fork clickers out 2-3 clicks over stock to smooth out the chop but the oil level also helped keep the fork running slightly higher in the stroke as well as improving bottoming control. The stock fork is harsh on small chop but still is prone to bottoming. When you back out the compression for the chop, it makes bottoming even worse and rides too low in the stroke. The fork oil height is a quick and easy way to improve the feel.
From there we ended up testing a Ride Engineering lowering link. The link lowers the rear 5.5mm. The RM-Z works best with lots of race sag, 110mm or more but it also makes the rear end feel odd and not planted. The Ride link lowers the rear and then you can run more realistic sag settings from 103-108 depending on preference. This was a major change if you plan on keeping your Suzuki pretty stock. It just gives overall chassis a better feel and gives riders more confidence.
With a low mod budget, the above items are the best first start to making the RM Z450 better but we knew there was more to achieve. Our RM-Z was getting a little long in the tooth and it was about time for it to be freshened up. Instead of just rebuilding the suspension, we went to Race Tech including their Gold Valves, custom valving and rebuild. RT has spent a lot of time with the BRC shock and has found settings that really work. From there we wanted to give the engine a little snap and went with a Dubach Racing slip-on exhaust. The chain and sprockets were toast so SuperSprox took care of the deed, Dunlop with new MX33 meats along with new graphics and Thrill Seeker Collection seat cover. The RT setup also worked with the Ride Engineering lowering link. Below is a full video of the project with test rider Dustin Hoffman.
Race Tech: 951.279.6655, Racetech.com
Dubach Racing: 951.808.1114, dubachracing.com
Ride Engineering: 949.722.8354, ride-engineering.com
Dunlop Motorcycle Tires: dunlopmotorcycletires.com
Thrill Seekers Collections: thrillseekerscollection.com
Motion Pro: 650.594.9600. motionpro.com
Support DBT, Shop and search for products through the link below: