The RM-Z received major updates in 2015, including frame changes and the addition of the Showa TAC air fork. For 2016 Suzuki implemented minor tweaks, including revised mapping for the Holeshot Assist Control, a lighter front brake caliper and revised graphics.While it’s the least changed machine in the 2016 MotoUSA motocross shootout, the RM-Z450 still warms riders’ hearts of riders for its amazing ability to corner confidently in any situation. Simply think of initiating a turn and the RM-Z450 is carving away.
Unfortunately, the 2016 RM-Z450 is not a bike you just jump on and feel immediately comfortable. It took a lot of suspension tweaking to get it working well, and many of our test riders never came to terms with its overall harsh feel. The RM-Z450 was more favored by average-skilled riders who weighed over 200 pounds. Lighter-weight riders never got comfortable with the fork during our tests.
And speaking of weight, at 248 pounds the RM-Z450 is one of the heaviest bikes in the shootout. In fact, in terms of dry weight the Suzuki is the heaviest, since the only bike registering more lbs was the 249-pound YZ450F, which carries a half-gallon more fuel than the RM-Z. As a comparison, the lightest bikes in the shootout, the KTM 350 and 450, tipped the scales at 238 and 239 pounds respectively – a feat made all the more impressive by their use of electric start.
Rumor has it Suzuki will be hit the market with an all-new RM-Z450 in 2017, and we hope it’s true. The 2016 RM-Z doesn’t look much different than it did in 2008 and it needs some change. It’s heavy weight, missing top end horsepower, lack of comfort in the suspension and an old look lands the Suzuki in the seventh position in the 2016 MotoUSA shootout.
• Great cornering
• Easy to ride engine
• Harsh overall feel
• Dated package
Suzuki RM-Z 450 Suspension Settings
Inner chamber: 171 psi
Balance chamber: 171 psi
Outer chamber: 0 psi
Hi-compression: 2 out