Q: FIRST AND FOREMOST, IS THE 2015
SUZUKI RM-Z450 BETTER THAN THE 2014
A: Last year, Suzuki’s complete list of updates on
the 2014 RM-Z450 consisted of changing the side panels
from white to yellow. Heady stuff. So, for 2015, the new
air forks and extra electronic gizmos ensure that the 2015
RM-Z450 is an improvement over the 2014 model.
Q: WHAT DID SUZUKI CHANGE ON THE 2015
A: Quite a few things, and one of them of major
importance, but let’s analyze what they did in 2013 and
Last year, Suzuki’s complete list of updates consisted
of changing the side panels from white to yellow and
some gobbledygook about a single-spark ignition that
turns into a dual-spark ignition or vice versa. But, they
had two different explanations about how it worked, so
let’s forget that mod, because it didn’t add anything to
the package anyway.
MXA cut Suzuki some slack for its benign neglect
of the 2014 RM-Z450 because, after all, they had gone
through bankruptcy court and had given the 2013
RM-Z450 a 13-percent-lighter piston, DLC piston pin,
0.4mm-higher lift cam, three-dog gears, more
magneto power, a redesigned muffler, enlarged
air boot, and Showa SFF single-spring forks.
The big changes for 2015 are:
(1) Showa SFF Air TAC forks. No forks on the
planet were as bad as the 2014 Suzuki Showa SFF forks.
It would take a reading on the Richter scale to get movement out of these forks. “Bad” is too good a word for
them. Thus, 2015 sees an all-new fork, also used on the
2015 KX450F and CRF250. The new fork is still a Showa
SFF fork, but unlike last year’s single-sided coil-spring
design, the 2015 version is a single-sided air-spring
version with Triple Air Chambers (TAC). The air is in the
right leg and the damping is in the left. There is no coil
spring, but there is a complex interplay of air pressures.
( 2) S-HAC launch control. Okay, they can’t call it
Launch Control because Kawasaki got there first with
the naming rights. So, Suzuki calls it Suzuki Holeshot
Assist Control (S-HAC) to prove that they are bad with
acronyms. In keeping with the complexity of the SFF
TAC air forks, Suzuki S-HAC one-ups Kawasaki’s Launch
Control system with three different programmable modes.
A-Mode is for concrete, rock-hard dirt or slippery starting
pads (you access A-Mode by holding the button down for
0.7 seconds). B-Mode is for loam, good dirt and plentiful
traction (you access it by holding the button down for
more than 1.8 seconds). And, of course, if you don’t hold
KTM 350SXF 2015 RM-Z450
Visually the 2015 Suzuki RM-Z450 is getting a little old
looking. When consumers place its seven-year-old
aesthetics against the new designs from KTM, Honda
and Yamaha, the RM-Z450 looks tired.