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Long term update: 2017 Suzuki RMZ450

By Dave Willet. Some people are just out-and-out Suzuki fans. The RMZ machines may not always be the coolest, fastest or most exotic bikes on the track but it’s almost impossible to think of a yellow bike that’s been a lemon. Not in the past decade, at least. That’s maybe why they have an almost cult following with some riders.

I’m always banging on how good the 2017 RMZ450 is and how I enjoy riding it. It is that good and really is a bike for everyone, as it’s fast and has an awesome power delivery. We all know it’s not had a huge transformation cosmetically over the years but Suzuki didn’t stop developing the machine, they just didn’t concentrate on changing the looks.

If you’re honest they look pretty good, but it’s just been the same for far too long. One thing I don’t understand is why Suzuki hasn’t cut the weight from the bike.

The Suzuki is as solid and reliable as they come
The Suzuki is as solid and reliable as they come

The 2018 RMZ450 is much changed and won’t be any lighter, as it still uses the same basic engine which is, of course, the bulk of a bike’s weight. And now it has spring foeks instead of air.

But I’m so pleased with the current model as it’s so cost effective for anyone to buy one and go racing. Suzuki has kept the price realistic and as the bikes are so fast as stock and are totally reliable, they are very cost effective race bikes.

There's plenty of power on tap
There’s plenty of power on tap

I’ve had a few people contact me saying they’ve struggled with the air suspension on the bike which I haven’t experienced at all. I find most people think the forks drop too fast in the mid stroke when entering some turns. I personally run 16psi in the valve chamber, outer is 10psi, inner is 165psi and the rebound clickers are 20 turns all the way out from fully closed and the compression is 10 clicks out from fully closed. I love these setting and find the forks work really well. The beauty with air forks is that by just changing air pressures in the three chambers, you can adjust the overall spring rate, preload and the amount of bottom resistance right at the end of the stroke. To do that on spring forks would take lots of rebuilds and experimentation. And that would cost, too.

If you’re watching your money and would like something realistically priced that offers good value for money, don’t be scared to go and pick up a new 2017 Suzuki while there are still some new ones about. You won’t be sorry.

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