Why did it finish fifth? To the MXA
wrecking crew, the Suzuki RM-Z450 has
always felt like an unfinished project.
Test riders love the incredibly accurate
cornering but hate the high-speed stability issues. They love the broad and luscious midrange powerband but can’t use
it because of the pitiful stock brakes.
For 2015, Suzuki gave it the old college
try with all-new SFF TAC air forks, recon-figured radiator hoses and a bundle of
electronic gizmos. They should have left
the electronics on the shelf and fixed the
clutch and brakes.
The common misconception is that the
Suzuki RM-Z450 is the best-handling bike
on the track. That’s not true. It is the
best-cornering bike, not the best handling.
When it isn’t turning left or right, it is
nothing to write home about. But, when
it comes to making sharp cuts, it has no
equal. And, its ability to dive inside is
highlighted by its very interesting power-
band. It is a no-frills engine that has just
the right amount of power for every situa-
tion. There are faster engines on the show-
room floors, but they don’t offer the flexi-
bility of the low-to-mid Suzuki powerplant.
Good thrust without much fanfare.
Why should it lose? Weak brakes,
weak clutch, questionable stability and