Test rider Dennis Stapleton’s first response to riding JGR’s bike was, “This is the best overall RM-Z450 package I have ridden.”
biggest complaint about air forks in general is that they
don’t follow the ground as well as spring forks. So, JGR’s
Joey Bray took the air forks and converted them to coil-spring forks—with an air booster. On the track, the MXA
test riders felt the forks were on the soft side for a Pro.
They absorbed every nook and cranny, but they were too
soft initially and would bottom on any of the big jumps.
Joey Bray denied MXA’s request to go stiffer on the compression damping. Instead, he added a small amount of air
to each fork leg. Joey was confident that the forks would
not bottom now, no matter how the bike landed. He was
right. The addition of the air ramped up the stiffness at
the bottom of the stroke, so the bottoming resistance was
greatly increased. It was the best of both worlds—air and
steel working together in harmony. The forks tracked the
ground well and didn’t bottom on the hard hits.
As for the shock, at first the MXA test riders complained
that the rear felt too high and put too much weight on the
forks, giving the bike a stinkbug feel. Joey had installed an
adjustable JGR shock link on the RM-Z450, so he dropped
the rear down by changing the adjustable inserts. After
the rear end was dropped, we felt the bike was better
balanced and worked well with the shock.
The Cycra/JGRMX RM-Z450 did not lose its baby fat—
that would have cost thousands of dollars in titanium and
carbon fiber parts—but it was transformed into a bike
that showed its full potential. It was faster, handled better, offered working suspension and was a blast to ride.
Hopefully, Suzuki Japan gets a few tips from Cycra and
JGRMX when finalizing its all-new 2018 RM-Z450. ❏
CYCRA/JGRMX SUZUKI RM-Z450
With the GET system, you have 10 different power options to
choose from, with 1 being the strongest and 10 the weakest.
“IT WAS THE BEST
OF BOTH WORLDS—
AIR AND STEEL