2018 Suzuki RM-Z450 First Look Preview

It isn’t all-new this year, but the 2018 Suzuki RM-Z450 gets a number of serious updates. Here are the essential fast facts that you need to know about the latest flagship Suzuki motocross racing motorcycle.

1. The 2018 Suzuki RM-Z450 gets a new chassis. There is a new, lighter frame and swingarm (about 1.5 pounds), and the 2018 RM-Z450 gets a new Showa BFRC (Balance Free Rear Cushion) shock. Additionally, the coil-spring fork has been updated for 2018.

2. The wheelbase is shorter and the bodywork slimmer. Along with the reduced weight—other tactics are mentioned later—Suzuki is working to quicken its handling. Also, the Renthal bars are less swept-back.

2018 Suzuki RM-Z450 specs
2018 Suzuki RM-Z450
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3. Power is increased for 2018. The cylinder head gets a new intake port shape, and that comes into play after air flows through a 30 percent larger air filter. There’s also a new Suzuki-only throttle bottle design, as well as a new intake cam profile that offers more valve lift. The new throttle body’s fuel pump is higher pressure and sprays fuel directly at the butterfly valve for improved atomization.

4. Suzuki has updated its holeshot assist and traction management electronics. Not traction control as we are used to seeing on street bikes, the RM-Z450’s ECM keeps track of the throttle opening, engine speed, and gear position to determine if intervention is needed to prevent unwanted wheelspin. The holeshot assist has two modes. One mode is for novice riders, or for slippery or hard surfaces—it returns the engine to normal settings after 1.2 seconds or when you hit third gear. The other is more aggressive and suited to expert riders, as well as high-traction conditions—this runs for 4.5 seconds or fourth gear. There is also a standard, all-around holeshot assist setting.

2018 Suzuki RM-Z450 First Look | 10 Fast Facts
2018 Suzuki RM-Z450

5. Rather than complex off-bike mapping tools, the 2018 Suzuki RM-Z450 uses dongles. While some may welcome precise control of the fuel mapping, Suzuki keeps things simple with two dongles that plug into the wiring harness—one for richer running, and the other for leaner fueling.

6. The 2018 RM-Z450 is shod with Bridgestone Battlecross X30 tires. These tires aren’t as well-known or common on Supercross or National MX tracks, but they are good intermediate rubber.

7. The aluminum fuel tank is gone, replaced by a lighter plastic tank. This saves a half-pound, and fuel capacity is slightly increased.

8. Even the seat loses weight in 2018. The seat is a half-pound lighter, and has a gripper panel its entire length. The base of the seat, along with the plastic around it, is designed to keep dirt away from the airbox.

2018 Suzuki RM-Z450 frame
2018 Suzuki RM-Z450

9. If you feel like you’re going faster, you’ll appreciate the new 270mm front disc. A larger disc means more stopping power.

10. There is no battery on the 2018 Suzuki RM-Z450. That means you have to kickstart the motor. On the upside, it has an automatic decompression system, plus a long lever for good leverage. Still, we prefer electric starting.

2018 Suzuki RM-Z450 Specs

ENGINE

  • Type: Single-cylinder four-stroke
  • Displacement: 449cc
  • Bore x stroke: 96.0 x 62.1mm
  • Starting: Kick w/ automatic decompression
  • Compression ratio: 12.5:1
  • Fueling: EFI w/ 44mm throttle body
  • Valve train: DOHC
  • Cooling: Liquid
  • Lubrication: Semi-dry sump
  • Transmission: 5-speed, constant mesh
  • Clutch: Web multi-plate
  • Final drive: DID 520 chain

CHASSIS

  • Front suspension: Fully adjustable inverted forks
  • Rear suspension: Linkage assisted fully adjustable Showa BFRC shock
  • Front tire: 80/100-21; Bridgestone Battlecross X30
  • Rear tire: 110/90-18; Bridgestone Battlecross X30
  • Front brake: 270mm disc
  • Rear brake: Disc

DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES

  • Wheelbase: 58.3 inches
  • Seat height: 37.8 inches
  • Ground clearance: 13.0 inches
  • Fuel tank capacity: 1.7 gallons
  • Curb weight: 274 pounds

2018 Suzuki RM-Z450 Color:

  • Suzuki Championship Yellow

2018 Suzuki RM-Z450 Price:

  • MSRP TBA

2018 Suzuki RM-Z450 Photo Gallery