Suzuki RM-Z450 gets new chas­sis, updated engine and trac­tion con­trol

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

It’s not even the height of sum­mer but, as is usual in the off-road world, man­u­fac­tur­ers are al­ready un­veil­ing their fresh temp­ta­tions for 2018. So here’s Suzuki’s new RM-Z450 – boast­ing a rush of changes to bring it bang up to date.

The big­gest change is the all-new chas­sis, which Suzuki say has lost 700g while re­main­ing just as rigid. The swingarm has fol­lowed suit, shed­ding 100g, while the sub­frame has a new struc­ture that en­ables it to be slim­mer and to mount the new Showa Bal­ance Free shock. With the changes in the sus­pen­sion, the wheel­base has been re­duced by 15mm which, com­bined with the weight sav­ings, should im­prove agility.

There have been some changes in the engine too, in­clud­ing smoother port­ing, big­ger in­takes and a new cam pro­file, which Suzuki say have given the 450 a stronger midrange and smoother throt­tle re­sponse.

De­spite their dirty in­ten­tions, the lat­est mo­tocross bikes are of­ten packed to the rafters with clever electronics and the 450 is no dif­fer­ent, gain­ing a new ver­sion of Suzuki’s Holeshot As­sist sys­tem. Hold­ing down a but­ton on the han­dle­bars se­lects ei­ther A or B mode, which ei­ther ad­vances or re­tards the ignition tim­ing for race starts – de­pend­ing on the amount of grip avail­able. Af­ter six sec­onds of rid­ing, the map re­turns to nor­mal but con­tin­ues to mon­i­tor the throt­tle po­si­tion to match the rid­ing con­di­tions.

The new model ar­rives in deal­ers this Au­tumn, with the price to be con­firmed. The cur­rent model costs £6599.

New frame and swingarm con­trib­ute to 800g of weight sav­ing for 2018

RM-Z gets a new Showa Bal­ance Free shock, too

Ad­vanced rider as­sis­tance is all avail­able at the push of this but­ton

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