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LONG TERM UPDATE: 2018 Suzuki RM-Z450 Part 2 | Back End | Bike Reviews | Features

There is not much racing this time of year and Christmas is fast approaching so I’ve just been spinning laps and enjoying the RM-Z.

This update was published in ADB issue #462 – March 2018

I have tossed the standard ’grips and fitted a set of Renthal ones, which are much more forgiving on the hands.

I’ve also received a trick-looking custom seatcover from Mario at Topline Upholstery. Topline have been supplying me with seatcovers for my long-term test bikes for a few years.

They do a fantastic job and make such an excellent product that I wouldn’t want any other seatcover fitted to my bike. They always nail the design and the covers last well while giving great grip.

I’ve also been playing around with the KYB suspension valving and have come up with a set up that works perfectly. The standard spring rates were fine for my 85kg so there was no need to change them. I’ve adjusted the internal valving to get the bike balanced better.

The front was a little on the soft side and the rear was too firm. So I’ve softened the valving inside the shock while firming up the fork. This makes the bike more balanced and gets it steering and handling a whole lot better.

The standard shock and fork are great products but the firm damping made the rear-end dance around a little, which made it a little tricky to keep the back-end planted. Once I adjusted the valving the bike handled perfectly.

The rear is following the front and carving ruts with ease. I feel much more comfortable on the bike now that its handling to true Suzuki form. If you are looking at buying an RM-Z then don’t be put off, the suspension work I’ve done can be handled by any qualified suspension technician and is a must do for any serious racer.

In actual fact, the RM-Z has needed much less suspension tuning than many other long-term test bikes I have had. It has been relatively easy to set up.

Once the bike had a few hours under its belt it was time for some love so the RM-Z got its first service. I washed, dried and re-oiled the air filter, which I do after every ride, but this time it also got an oil-change and oil filter.

The chain was adjusted and lubed and the spokes were re-tensioned. I also ran a spanner over all the nuts and bolts to make sure everything was still tight.

Then I adjusted all the cables back to the manufacturer’s specifications and fitted a set of Pirelli Scorpion MX32 Mid/Hards to test.

All in all the RM-Z is performing flawlessly with no issues to report. In coming months I would like to fit an aftermarket exhaust to liven up the power. Stay tuned to see how that fares up. Tech head Mat ‘The Body’ Boyd

So Far
Hours: 8
Mods this month: Renthal handgrips, suspension revalve, Topline seatcover, Pirelli MX32 Mid/Hard tyres
Mods next month: Aftermarket exhaust