The RM-Z450 has had a full makeover this month with a new sticker kit custom-made for ADB by KustomMX Graphics. KustomMX has made graphics kits for my long-term test bikes for the past few years.
This update was published in ADB issue #465 – June 2018
I keep going back to these guys because their designs are always stylish and stand out in a big market.
The thing I like the most, though, is their durability. I’ve had graphics kits on my bikes for more than 12 months and they still look great. Actually I’ve even come across old long-termers of mine that still have the ADB logos still stuck on the tank.
Now that the RM-Z was looking fresh on the outside, it was time to freshen up the insides. Suzuki sent me some Ecstar 10W40 fully-synthetic engine oil to try as well as some Suzuki oil filters and air filters. I’ve never used Ecstar oil before so it will be interesting to see how it goes.
I’ve given the RM-Z a full lube change with a new filter and cleaned out the oil strainer and so far so good. I’ll keep you updated on what I think of this oil as the months progress. So far I haven’t noticed any difference in the clutch or shifting gears and there have never been any metal particles in the oil filter or the strainer on any other change so hopefully it will stay that way with this new oil.
I now have three Genuine Suzuki air filters for the RM-Z that I swap out after every ride. They come pre-oiled and once I’ve ridden the bike I take the old one out and wash it after I’ve fitted a fresh, oiled one.
That way I always have a clean air filter in my bike every ride and never have any excuse to ride the bike with a dirty one. I’m sure the valves will thank me for this in another few hours’ time when I do a valve clearance check.
I’m really happy with how the bike is handling at the moment. I have the geometry set up perfectly and it’s now cornering much more easily. I’m still amazed at how the RM-Z feels a little heavy to lift on and off the pitstand and to push around but once you’re riding it the weight seems to disappear a bit. This is a blessing because the last bike you want to be wrestling around the track is a 450.
This month I’ve done a little adapting of a Suzuki RM-X450 skidplate to make it fit the RM-Z. These skidplates will bolt straight up to pre-2018 RM-Zs but the frame is slightly different now and they need some slight adapting. Basically the trick is to warm the skidplate with a heatgun until the plastic is soft and then stretch it until the bolt holes line up.
It’s an easy trick as long as you take your time and don’t completely melt the plastic. What I’ve done is drill a few holes in the skidplate to stop mud building up in it and now I have some crankcase protection without adding much weight.
The Mid/Hard Pirelli Scorpion MX32 tyres I’ve been running are still going strong but I have a few new ones on the way which will allow me to mix up a few compounds to see how they go. I’m going to continue using the Mid/Hard on the rear because I like the durability but I’m going to pair it with the Mid/Soft tyre on the front to see if it adds some extra grip. I’ll get back to you guys on how this ends up.
Overall it has been a productive month with the RM-Z. I have nothing to complain about. It’s been reliable and we are really gelling together nicely. I have a few other plans for the RM-Z over the next few months so stay tuned and I’ll get back to you next month with what those are and how they are panning out. Technical Editor Mat Boyd
Mods this month: KustomMX graphics kit, Suzuki skidplate
Mods next month: None