2014 Suzuki RM-Z450 & RM-Z250 First Look

June 14, 2013
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
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Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.

Suzuki has revealed its 2014 RM-Z450 and RM-Z250 models, with the yellow and black thumpers getting the BNG treatment for the new model year. The latest crop of MXers are expected on dealer sales floors in July, with pricing still to be determined.

Suzuki claims improved starting performance for the new models, courtesy of updates to the ECM ignition programs. Other than that, the only change is the Champion Yellow-and-black graphics. Race-inspired graphics, of course.

The minimal changes for 2014 aren’t unexpected, as Suzuki gave its 2013 RM-Z models a significant revision. The 2013 RM-Z250 sourced a wider 48mm fork and other chassis revisions. Powertrain changes included a lighter piston, revised cams and timing, as well as a new five-speed transmission.

Last year’s RM-Z450 sported updates similar to its smaller sibling, like the bigger fork and chassis alterations. The piston was lightened as well, with tweaks to the transmission and electrical system.

The changes didn’t benefit the RM-Z’s fate in MotoUSA’s annual MX Shootouts. The 2012 250 MX Shootout-winning RM-Z250 dropped to third. The 450, runner up in 2012, slipped all the way to fifth.

The 2014 Motocross model year changes thus far are highlighted by a complete overhaul of Yamaha’s YZ250F, which finally makes the switch to fuel-injection and incorporates the rear-facing cylinder design showcased on the Tuning Fork brand’s 450 model. Speaking of which, the YZ450F also gets significant updates, with the second generation of its rearward Single as well as revisions to the frame and suspension.

From the other Big Four, Honda has revamped its 2014 CRF250R with engine and chassis updates. Kawasaki is yet to reveal its 2014 KX450F/KX250F models, both reigning MotoUSA MX Shootout champions.

KTM has also tweaked its 2014 SX models, with transmission updates.