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Suzuki announced its 2015 Motocross lineup, headlined by a revamped 2015 RM-Z450. The 450 MX platform makes the switch to an air fork and now features launch control. The RM-Z450 is joined by its 250 four-stroke MX sibling, the RM-Z250, with Suzuki also bringing back its RM85 two-stroke to the MX lineup.
2015 Suzuki RM-Z450
Suzuki joins Honda and Kawasaki in the switch to an air fork on its 450 MX platform. An evolution of the RM-Z’s Separate Function Fork (SFF) tech, the new Suzuki fork swaps the conventional metal spring for three adjustable air chambers. Developed and tested by factory rider James Stewart, Suzuki claims the standard issue Showa SFF Air Fork delivers more progressive suspension feel and easy adjustment via a handheld pump. The new air fork also sheds 2.5 pounds from the conventional spring fork setup it replaces.
Overall the 2015 bike drops two pounds from its predecessor, with a claimed curb weight of 247 pounds. Aside from the new fork, engineers redesigned the frame’s downtube and inner ribs to balance rigidity and reduce weight 4%. Rear suspension remains coil spring, oil damped and chassis geometry like wheelbase (58.9 inches), ground clearance (12.8 inches) and seat height (37.6 inches) are all identical to the 2014 model.
A 449cc liquid-cooled Single continues to power the 450 thumper. The 96mm bore and 62.1mm stroke are unchanged. Suzuki does claim a 16% increase in cooling efficiency from better fluid travel in the radiator, along with revised hose connection with the water pump. A new exhaust muffler meets AMA regulations.
The biggest engine alterations for the new RM-Z revolve around its starting capabilities. Suzuki updated de-compression and redesigned the exhaust camshaft, as well as revise the kick-gear ratios to make the 450 easier to start. The kickstart lever is also 30mm longer, for extra leverage.
Once fired up, the other headlining update fort 2015 is RM-Z’s Suzuki Holeshot Assist Control. The new launch control system modulates ignition timing to reduce wheel slippage and increase traction. It features two modes, selected via left-side switchgear button. A-Mode is designed for smooth launches on less than ideal surfaces, and it disengages after 1.2 sections or when riders reach third gear. B-Mode is for stronger acceleration and shuts down after throttle is open for 4.5 seconds, riders shift into fourth gear or the throttle gets closed.
The RM-Z450 is expected to hit dealers starting in July with pricing still to be determined.
2015 Suzuki RM-Z250
The RM-Z250 arrives for 2015 identical to the 2014 model. The last major overhaul for the quarter-liter RM-Z was the 2013 version, which featured a new transmission, reworked top-end and the SFF fork (conventional spring). Like its big brother, the 2015 RM-Z250 will arrive at dealers in July with pricing still TBD.
2015 Suzuki RM85
The RM85 returns to the Suzuki MX lineup after a two-year hiatus. The RM85 is powered by an 84.7cc liquid-cooled two-stroke Single. The entry-level RM model tips the scales at a claimed 161 pounds. It sources a tubular steel frame with aluminum swingarm, with Showa suspension and dual-disc braking package. For now it appears the 2015 RM85 will not be offered in the L-spec, which swapped 17-inch front and 14-inch rear wheels for 19 and 16-inchers. The RM85 shares its four-stroke siblings’ July arrival date and TBD pricing status.