2018 Suzuki RM-Z450

A rider-friendly motocross monster

2018 Suzuki RM-Z450
2018 Suzuki RM-Z450CRS

Fully redesigned for 2018, the RM-Z450 is touted as Suzuki’s best production motocrosser ever. The new 449cc DOHC engine is equipped with the company’s latest three-mode holeshot assist system, which lets the rider select the ignition timing setting most appropriate for conditions at the start, whether that means a hard-packed dirt or a concrete starting pad, or even “normal” dirt. The rider can also turn the system off completely. The motor has more low-end pull and a flatter overall torque curve to boot, while a revised ECU processes throttle position and engine-speed data more quickly, improving rideability.

Dimensionally shorter than before, the aluminum chassis helps improve the claimed 247-pound RM-Z’s turning performance—especially when diving down to grab the inside line—and the new Showa fork returns to coil springs in lieu of the previous-generation RM-Z450’s air setup. The Showa shock, meanwhile, shares its “Balance Free” technology with the MotoAmerica title-winning GSX-R1000 superbike. New bodywork mimics the appearance of Suzuki’s factory bikes, while also subtly improving rider ergonomics.

Likes: The revised engine, chassis, and ergonomics make the RM-Z450 easier to ride. And no more air fork!

Dislikes: Could shed a few pounds—and where's the electric starter?

Verdict: Suzuki understands "normal" MX riders, and here's the proof.

2018 Suzuki RM-Z450 Specs and Pricing

MSRP $8,899

Cycle World 2018 Suzuki RM-Z450 Reviews