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2009 Suzuki RM-Z450 Shootout Photo Gallery

Suzuki has refined its ground-breaking RM-Z450 in 2009. It's the only bike Chad Reed wanted to ride as he chases his third Supercross title.

Slideshow
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2009 Suzuki RM-Z450
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The smooth, usable power is puts down fast lap times, but of the EFI trio, the RM-Z is the most difficult to get started.
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Although our tester’s had mixed feelings about the RM-Z’s handing, all praised the quality Showa suspension components. While both the fork and the shock aren’t the plushest in this moto quartet, action and response are amongst the best.
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Another plus was the RM-Z’s narrow seat, Pro Taper handlebars, and extra-wide footpegs, combining for a very intuitive riding position.
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The Suzuki feels just as good as it did last year and is still on par against its rejuvenated competition.
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Deep ruts and sharp corners are just one of the many features of Racetown’s main track and this is one area where the RM-Z impresses.
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Our testers all noted the Suzuki's cornering ability, though some praised it higher than others. The aggressive entry was met with mixed reviews.
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Not only do the Suzuki’s extra few pounds of mass make it less agile in the sky, it also seemed to affect its ability to shed excess speed. All but one of our testers ranked the Suzuki’s brake setup the lowest.
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Problems with Suzuki’s drivetrain were few and far between. Although Minor claimed that the bike popped out of out gear once or twice.
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Showa and Suzuki have a good working relationship. Suspension was suitable for our wide range of physical size and riding ability.
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2009 450 MX Comparison - Torque
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'The motor ran great,' stated Simon. 'But it didn’t quite feel as fast as the Kawasaki. Still, it actually made it a lot easier to ride though, because, you could ride it closer to its potential and it’s more fun that way anyway.'
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'It soaked up braking bumps at corner entry and exit really well,' said Simon, who weighs in at 180 pounds. 'Both the fork and shock were a little soft for me but we went in a couple clicks on the compression, front and rear, and that really helped out.'
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The entire crop of Japanese MXers is flying high this season.
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'The biggest complaint I have on the Suzuki is how heavy it felt in the air as compared to the other bikes. It isn’t bad in the corner, it actually feels pretty compact, but, coming off jumps especially, it just felt heavy like when I was scrubbing or whipping it,' said Simon.
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2009 450 MX Comparison - Horsepower