We will admit to being judgmental about he 2017 Suzuki RM-Z450. Why? Because it is virtually the same bike as the nine
models that came before it. While other manufacturs have attempted to move forward over
the last decade with upgrades and technological
leaps, even if they were wrong, the pencil pushers
at Suzuki of Japan were complacent. Only small
refinements have been made over the last decade.
Why? For starters, Suzuki’s understanding of what
the American consumer wants has been all wrong.
Instead of dumping money into developing the
RM-Z450 further to keep the competition in sight,
they took that money and signed big-name riders
in hopes that race wins could sell machines. Suzuki
didn’t hire just any factory riders. Suzuki hired
the biggest names in the sport: Chad Reed, Ryan
Dungey, James Stewart and Ken Roczen, just to
name a few. But, none of the greatest riders in the
world, or their Championships, could sell a Suzuki
to a local Intermediate at Chicken Licks Raceway.
What Suzuki never understood was that “product
is king.” If you build it, they will come; and if you
don’t build it, someone else will.
“THE MAJORITY OF
We don’t think that the 2017 Suzuki RM-Z450 is
a terrible bike, although it has finished last in the
“MXA 450 Shootout” for the last couple years run-
ning. The fact is, the RM-Z450 has lots of potential.
Yes, it is the slowest and heaviest bike currently
available, but it is also the best-turning bike in its
class, has good ergos and has a nice, easy-to-ride
powerband. Sadly, Suzuki hasn’t made an iota of
effort to shed an ounce of the 18-pound weight
penalty that it carries over the 2017 KTM 450SXF.
For Suzuki to sell bikes to consumers who really
care about the bikes they ride, Suzuki needs to care
So, the MXA wrecking crew went looking for
someone who did care how its Suzuki RM-Z450s
ran, and, even better, had no choice but to find
every ounce of potential that was hidden away in
the RM-Z450. That someone was JGRMX.
At the end of 2016 season, JGRMX signed a
last-minute deal to break away from longterm bike
supplier Yamaha and switch to Suzuki for 2017.
This kicked the JGR team into high gear to learn
the ins and outs of the RM-Z450 in time to make
Justin Barcia and Weston Peick not only happy
but competitive. With JGR’s arsenal of engineers,
engine technicians, mechanics and riders, the
objective was completed in time for the start of the
2017 Supercross season.
The majority of parts, engine work and suspension development used on the Suzuki are
available to the public through the JGRMX Store.
This also holds true for all the Yamaha YZ450F
parts that were developed for the team during
its blue period. JGRMX is currently in the process of making parts for all other brands, such
as the CRF450 and KTM 450SXF. The JGRMX