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Bike Review

2015 Suzuki RM-X450Z

Author: Aaryn Minerds

Author: Aaryn Minerds


2015 Suzuki RM-X450Z
The Suzuki RMX-450Z is not what you would call a all new bike, in fact the latest bike in Suzuki's road registrable trail bike ranges has been here in Australia since 2010.

While the bike itself is not all new, it is certainly a very exciting road legal addition to off-road market, giving Suzuki a bush weapon for the more serious fast paced trail rider and more importantly for the Suzuki fans around the country who like to mix a little or a lot of racing along with their trail riding a bike that is aimed at the race scene.

The Suzuki DRZ250 and DRZ400 are two very respected trail bikes in the Australian market with the Suzuki DRZ400 a consistent front runner at the top of trail bike sales charts in Australia and while both bikes certainly have their work horse like strengths, Suzuki until now was missing the race orientated Off-Road / trail machine that all of the big players already had in their stables, which is right where the 2015 ADR approved Suzuki RMX-450Z fits in

We were lucky enough to spend a day recently in Victoria's High Country riding the latest offering from Suzuki Australia, being led through some epic trails by the the great guys at Mt Buller Off-Road Adventures.
2015 Suzuki RM-X450Z
The 2015 Suzuki RMX-450Z in de-restricted form make a lot more power than how it comes out of the box!
So the question is, how does it ride in full ADR form straight out of the crate?

For the time being that is not a question we can answer, as the bikes we spent the day riding had been de-restricted and in competition ready trim, taking advantage of all the "Race Ready" parts that come as standard equipment when you purchase your 2015 Suzuki RMX-450Z from your local dealer.

How had they been de-restricted?

There are a number of things that are done to "Open" the engine up on the Suzuki RMX-450Z that include the removal of the throttle stop screw that restricts the throttle plate opening up to no wider than 32degrees. There is a air cleaner cap in the air box that is removed along with a silencer end pipe in the muffler while a Suzuki RMX450 Power Up engine map will re-map the ignition to account for the physical changes that have been made.
2015 Suzuki RM-X450Z
In competition trim the Suzuki RMX-450Z really does feel like a motocross bike that can be ridden legally in the bush!
For the ride the mirrors had also been removed from the bike, though the indicators front and rear that are quite small we left in place along with the rear numberplate and light set up.

Also for the test the bikes were fitted front and rear with a set of Pirelli tyres. For the front tyre for this test, the 80/100-21 Scorpion MX 32 was the tyre size chosen while a 120/100-18 size Scorpion XC Mid Soft was fitted to the rear.

Now this was not the first time I had personally ridden a RM-X450, having had the chance back in 2010 to spend a day riding the then all new bikes at a private property in New South Wales. My impression of the bike back then was a very positive one and it did not take long to remember how easy and how much fun these bikes are to ride.

Sitting on the RMX for the first time, the bike feels very comfortable, though for myself that could come down the fact that my current bike is a 2014 RM-Z250, a bike that does share quite a few parts with the RM-Z250 and has a very similar chassis set up and also the same 6.2 litre fuel tank, that can be viewed as an advantage or disadvantage depending on how you are planning on using the bike.

The other thing that first came to mind was the wiring that was going on between the head-stem/top triple clam area and the backside of the headlight. It is not the tidiest set up you will ever see though it is completely forgotten about once you start riding.
2015 Suzuki RM-X450Z
From rocky waters crossings, uphill climbs, rutted out down hill sections, flowing single trial to wide open fire trails the 2015 Suzuki RMX-450Z was a pleasure to ride.
Heading into the trails, it did not take long to feel at home on the RMX-450, sure I had a little trouble with the first hill climb of the day, but that was more due to rider skill and being off the bike for close to a month leading into the ride.

By lunch I was feeling completely at home and it was only when I looked directly down at the front plate that I would remember that I was riding the 450.

Once you are up and flowing the bike has a very light feel to it and has a very narrow feel between the legs. The 47mm SHOWA inverted telescopic forks at the front felt reasonable well suited to my 100kg frame in stock form, though the front end did catch me out early on a couple of occasions when tipping into corners. On a couple of occasions the front end seemed to deflect off either a small rock or a tree root in the ground, though on both occasions I was able to quickly remedy the situation and continue on.

The power plant on the RM-X450 in de-restricted form is for the weekend warrior like myself, near perfection. Suzuki have found that nice middle ground of having more than enough power down low to keep you tracking forward, without giving so much that you are worried about rocketing into next week with a tiny flick of the wrist.

The power comes on strongly yet predictable with the bike being able to be ridden well down in the rev range. This does not mean you are constantly flicking through the gears though to keep the bike in the sweet spot. The RMX-450 revved out quite well and really gave you a choice to either flick up another gear and keep the relatively mild mannered power delivery going, or hold the gear and rev the bike out.
2015 Suzuki RM-X450Z
The 2015 Suzuki RMX-450Z
The combination of the strong yet somewhat tame 450 power plant along with the light front end feel of the Suzuki made it a pleasure to hit pretty much any corner we tackled, be it a wide sweeping bend or a tight twisty single trail. The only real test we did not get to find out was how the bike faired in a deep rutted corner, though I am sure we will get a chance some time down the track.

Overall the 2015 RMX-450 is a great all round package and from my perspective it lived up to what I was expecting from the bike. It sits right in the middle ground of a fast agile trail bike and full blown ready to race AORC weapon and with a few modifications either way could easily be made to suit either style of riding perfectly.

In fact we will find out throughout 2015 how the ADR legal RM-X450 stacks up as a race weapon at a national level, with the Suzuki MX1 Australia Off-Road team bringing Luca Bussa on board to race the E2 class in this year AORC, while usual team rider and owner Trent Lean will also line up in the Vets class aboard one of the new bikes.

For more information on the 2015 Suzuki RMX-450Z head to including specifications, pricing and a large range of genuine after market parts.

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