We take a look at Mick Hansen's Suzuki RM-Z450 powered by a CR500 engine!
WHAT Suzuki RM-Z450 with Honda CR500 engine
WHO Mick Hansen
WHERE I GOT IT Mackay
HOW MUCH Over $10,000
WHY I BOUGHT IT
We went with the Suzuki 450 basically because we wanted something with a bigger engine bay and also something that turned really well. The Suzuki is renowned for how well it turns and it does seem to flat track really well. I’ve got a bigger-capacity kit that is a 600cc cylinder that goes straight onto the top of the CR500. We haven’t had the 600 in it yet, but when we do, it will fit in nicely. The project was purely for the Mackay Beach Races.
WHAT I DID TO IT
I’ve been racing CR500s for about 25 years. I’ve been using this engine for about 10 years and it’s just been trial and error to get it to this level. Every time I’d make an improvement or lose power, I’d find out at the drags. The best time I got at the drags was a 10.5 seconds at 123mph over the quarter mile.
The exhaust pipe is off a snowmobile. Someone sourced them in the States for me and I got 12hp purely from the pipe. Mark Barrett (aka Big Red) from Bullet Bikes helped me set up the nitrous. With the nitrous, the bike gained about 10-15 km/h down the beach. I’ve got a button on the handlebar and I can just hit that button between fourth and fifth.
HOW DOES IT GO?
The steering geometry was perfect for the beach. I was really happy with how it slid in the corners. I made a bit of a mistake down low. I had it jetted a bit too rich and coming around the corners you’d have to clutch it. You’d still be turning and it would go from full lock into a wheelstand while it was still turning. I’ve been doing this race for 33 years and I’ve never felt anything like this. It is a real experience to ride.
SHOULD I BUY ONE?
I would definitely recommend this bike. If it were a show ride, you’d make a bit of money out of it because it’s a good experience to ride. We put it on the dyno and got 107 horsepower out of it.
with Dylan Ruddy