save a few hundred dollars. It was
a viable option, but we wanted
to shave weight off the RM-Z450
(and avoid spending thousands of
dollars on a titanium bolt package). The Pro Circuit Ti- 6 Pro pipe
was a breeze to install, looked
great and performed even better.
Wiseco clutch ($414.25):
After the 2009-2012 Honda
CRF450 clutch design, the Suzuki
RM-Z450 has the second-worst
clutch in the class. We burned out
the stock clutch in no time, and
the clutch-basket tangs became
notched in short order. As a solution, we installed a Wiseco clutch
performance kit. It included a basket, retainer plate, stiffer springs
and clutch plates. Problem solved.
($269.95, front; $109.00, rear):
Getting the Suzuki RM-Z450 to
stop is a chore, because the
front brake is inadequate for a
motorcycle that weighs around
240 pounds. We drop-kicked the
stock front rotor for a Moto-Master
Flame floating rotor kit. While we
were at it, we swapped out the
stock rear rotor for a Moto-Master.
The results were excellent, as
expected. Note that we stuck with
the stock brake pads because we
like the feel of the stockers.
UFO black plastic kit
($149.99): Okay, you caught us. In
all of our excitement over building
this project bike, we splurged and
bought a complete plastics kit.
Was it necessary? No; however,
the blacked-out theme drew attention to a bike that would have
otherwise been disguised by the
normal yellow motif. Not all of our
testers liked the black look, but it
stood out against a sea of color.
Factory Effex DX1 Electric
series graphics kit ($189.95):
To coordinate with the UFO black
plastics, we opted to run Factory
Effex’s DX1 custom graphics.
The kit included shroud, fender,
fork guard and swingarm decals.
You’ll notice the MXA logo on
the shroud, as well as Stapo MX.
What is Stapo MX? Our dear
friend and longtime test rider
Dennis Stapleton owns a riding
service for motocross riders travel-
ing to the U.S. He also builds
project bikes, and our Suzuki
RM-Z450 is his handiwork.
We ordered the products, and
Stapleton spun the wrenches.
Of course, there were a bevy of
other parts ordered for this build,
and though relatively inexpensive,
they made a big difference in
overall performance and durability.
We can’t forget to mention the
Works Connection clutch perch,
brake lever, axle blocks, holeshot
device, radiator braces and skid
plate; Renthal TwinWall 997 bend
handlebars, Kevlar grips, chain
and sprockets (stock gearing);
Hammerhead shifter and rear brake
pedal; Dunlop MX32 tires; and a
Twin Air gas filter and air filter.
What did all of these perfor-
mance products add up to? Aside
from a few thousand dollar hit on
the bank account, the upgrades
were significant improvements to
a bike that needed help in some
key areas. We were amazed to
discover how much the Pro Circuit
Ti- 6 Pro exhaust bolstered the
powerband by spreading out the
curve and creating more hit in
the low end. The 2015 RM-Z450
greatly benefits from an after-
market exhaust, and to our way
of thinking, the Pro Circuit Ti- 6
is an excellent choice. Of course,
we can’t forget the indestructible
Dubya wheels, consistent feel of
the Wiseco clutch, superb stopping
power of the Moto-Master front
brake rotor, and the traction-
positive Dunlop MX32 tires.
The devil is also in the details.
Riding a motorcycle should feel just
like sitting in your favorite chair.
We were able to accomplish that
by installing Renthal 997 bend bars
and durable Kevlar grips, along
with a very trick Hammerhead rear
brake pedal. What’s enticing about
the Hammerhead product is that
we were able to customize the
length of the pedal. The titanium
tip was a nice touch. Although the
Hammerhead shifter took some get-
ting used to, because we opted for
a rubber tip (just like the factory
Honda riders), Hammerhead has
a plethora of options and lengths
that cater to individual tastes.
Was our 2015 Suzuki RM-Z450
project bike a success? Yes and
no. We’ll admit that we went over-
board, spending around $3500,
but the modifications were for a
good cause. As a result, our care-
fully selected aftermarket parts
improved an already solid platform.
It’s a bike for the family man...who
recently received a raise. ❏
Dubya: www.dubyausa.com or
or your local dealer.
Factory Effex: (800) 866-0709 or
or (866) 436-6869.
Moto-Master: Your local dealer or
Renthal: www.renthal.com or
Twin Air: www.twinairusa.com or
your local dealer.
UFO Plastic: (815) 756-9400 or
Wiseco: www.wiseco.com or
Works Connection: (530) 642-9488
SUZUKI RM-Z450 CONTACT LIST