experience with the Italian-made CRM Karbotank before,
but it still always captures our attention. As super exotic
as it is expensive, the tank shaves weight and holds more
fuel than the stock aluminum tank. Believe it or not, the
carbon fiber tank was included in the $5000 Eddie Ray
paid to Millsaps.
( 3) Forks. In place of the Showa SFF-TAC air forks
were Showa A-kit spring forks. A wise move, given the
abysmal settings on the 2016 RM-Z450 stockers. The
49mm stanchions increase rigidity, while the beefy
internals improve performance. Gold DLC coating lessens
stiction, but let’s not kid ourselves. The coating looks
straight-up factory. Pro-Motion, a suspension tuner out of
Greer, South Carolina, handled tuning duties. By the way,
the A-kit forks were also part of the sales package. It
pays to be good friends with Davi Millsaps.
( 4) Clutch. Rekluse clutches have become very popular
in motocross, but Rekluse offers more than just automatic
clutches. Its TorqDrive Core Manual is worlds better than
the putty-soft stock clutch pack and has a slightly heavier
pull at the lever.
( 5) Exhaust. Eddie Ray inherited Davi’s FMF Factory
4.1 RCT titanium exhaust with carbon fiber end cap
($899.99), but the pipe on Ray’s RM-Z450 cannot be
purchased. Why? It comes with an extra strip of titanium
welded on the head pipe as a means to protect the area
from impact. This is a common measure taken by race
teams in order to prevent a failure.
( 6) Wheels. A complete Dubya wheelset, replete with
Kite hubs and D.I.D. DirtStar ST-X rims, ensures that
wheel malfunctions caused by excessive force are taken
out of the equation. Dunlop MX32 tires were matched to
the bulletproof Dubya wheels.
( 7) Triple clamps. The Suzuki RM-Z450 is the
best-cornering 450 in the class, bar none. Believe it or not,
Eddie Ray wanted even sharper handling, so he tested
Ride Engineering’s 20mm offset triple clamps. For tight
tracks and on loamy dirt, Ray preferred the Ride clamps
to the stock 21.5mm offset.
( 8) Air boot. Moto Tassinari unveiled its Air4orce
tunable velocity stack a few years ago and gained a lot
of support from factory teams. In fact, Ryan Villopoto
won several titles using the Air4orce. Eddie Ray installed
the longer velocity stack for more bottom-end power.
( 9) Components. The already expansive package got
an indestructible Hinson Racing ignition cover; Cycra
Stadium front number plate, fork guards and bike stand;
Boyesen Supercooler water pump impeller and cover;
Hammerhead shifter (+5mm length); Galfer oversized
front brake kit; Guts Phantom zero gravity seat foam
and cover; a wide assortment of Works Connection hard
parts; Emig V2 lock-on grips; and an Armored Graphix
bike graphics kit.
TEST RIDE: HOLD ON AND PRAY
It’s no secret the 2016 Suzuki RM-Z450 has the underpinnings to be outstanding—if only the forks weren’t so
wretched, the engine weren’t so meager and the bike
weren’t so overweight. Keep in mind that MXA deals
mostly in testing stock motorcycles. While Ken Roczen
and James Stewart might set the world on fire among
the racing elite, their equipment is considerably different
from what rolls off the showroom floor, as Davi Millsaps’
RM-Z would have been. Fortunately, it is possible to
make the RM-Z450 a formidable weapon at local races for
the average Eddie. This build is a testament to that fact.
The engine was left stock, but a UMI throttle body kit,
Rekluse clutch and full FMF exhaust system were installed.
The best turning bike in its class just got better by installing
Ride Engineering 20mm offset triple clamps.