any buttons down, you have the stock ignition map. The
stock map and the B-Mode seem redundant.
( 3) Longer kickstarter. The kickstart lever is 30mm
longer than last year’s, and the drive and idler gears
were changed to complement it.
( 4) Frame. The aluminum frame is 4 percent lighter
than last year and claims to have reduced rigidity. These
changes come via a new downtube and redesigned
ribbing on the main spars.
( 5) Hoses. The radiator hose connector has been
changed from a T-shape to a Y-shape design to equalize
water flow between the left and right radiators. Plus, a
new water-pump cover increases water flow by 16
( 6) Shift cam. To help with shifting, a revised gear
shift cam, not the shift lever, has been set up for more
Q: WHAT WOULD MXA HAVE LIKED SUZUKI
TO CHANGE FOR 2015?
A: As with every bike we test, we have a hits-and-misses list—and no bike ever comes perfect from the factory. Suzuki deserves kudos for 2015 because they made
a serious effort to fix two things on last year’s list—the
terrible forks and the RM-Z450’s tendency to boil over.
Here is what’s left to do:
(1) Looks. Never cutting-edge in the looks department
to begin with, Suzuki continues to produce the same
basic aesthetics package from 10 years ago. Oh, the seat
cover color and shroud decals have changed over the
years, but this is a stale design.
( 2) Clutch. Suzuki shouldn’t be allowed to call what
comes on the RM-Z450 a clutch. It should be called a
“fiber plate disintegrator.” Don’t try to race this bike
without stiffer clutch springs.
( 3) Hot-start lever. Didn’t hot-start levers go out
with Keihin FCR carbs? We’ve broken so many of these
that we don’t even replace them anymore. Plus, no other
bike has a hot-start lever. They are kind of like Braille
instructions on the driver’s side of a drive-up bank window.
( 4) Rear brake adjustment. Suzuki’s rear pedal
has a very narrow window of adjustment. Caveat: There
must be free play in the master cylinder’s slotted clevis.
Q: HOW FAST IS THE 2015 SUZUKI RM-Z450?
A: It’s not as fast as it is nice. The RM-Z450 has a
very well-placed low-to-mid powerband that works best if
you shift at peak. It isn’t as fast or broad as what KTM,
Yamaha, Husqvarna or Kawasaki are offering, but it
makes up for its power shortcomings with almost perfect
Four out of six brands offer new fork designs for 2015. Suzuki
and Kawasaki both have Showa SFF TAC air forks on their 450s
and Showa SFF single spring forks on their 250s.