KSF Racing Suzuki RM-Z450

A close up look at Daniel Herrlein’s mount for the 2017 ASX

By Marc Jones

KSF Racing spent the best part of 2017 running Husqvarna bikes under their tents, but when the opportunity to grab one of the all-new RMZ-450 bikes came up they thought it an offer too good to refuse.

KSF Racing Suzuki - 2018 RM-Z450 - Daniel Herrlein
KSF Racing Suzuki – 2018 RM-Z450 – Ridden by Daniel Herrlein

The teams motor and suspension technician Daniel Bartsch walked us through the new bike, and what they did to make it a better fit for their American import rider, Daniel Herrlein.

KSF Racing Suzuki - 2018 RM-Z450 - Daniel Herrlein
The 2018 RM-Z450 is all-new, including spring forks and BFRC shock

Daniel Bartsch: The 2018 RMZ-450 is an all-new bike from top to bottom. It starts with the suspension returning to spring forks, after several years using the air forks, like most other Japanese manufacturers. They also use a new BFRC shock which is very similar to the aftermarket Ohlin’s TTX shock. The new chassis and swingarm provide better geometry on the bike, while the plastic fuel tank reduces weight compared to the aluminum tank of previous years. The front brake comes standard with a 270mm rotor, and updated motor and ECU settings provide a vast improvement in torque and horsepower with a wider spread of power.

KSF Racing Suzuki - 2018 RM-Z450 - Daniel Herrlein
The BFRC shock is very similar to an Ohlins TTX

DB: For Daniels bike we so all the suspension in-house, ensuring we can change his set-up at any moment without relying on a contracted source. He runs modified internals for the shock and fork, which allows him to adjust it more to his liking. Like most SX bikes, it’s set somewhat stiff but still allows for the bike to absorb the small bumps on the track and get the traction to the ground. We’ve spent a lot of time behind the scenes getting the bike to handle how he likes.

KSF Racing Suzuki - 2018 RM-Z450 - Daniel Herrlein
Tyres front and rear are Pirelli offerings

DB: We run a Factory Pirelli front tyre, which is specifically designed to track better on the clay, and maintain traction in the slippery and hard-pack conditions. For the rear, it’s just a standard Pirelli mid-soft 32.

KSF Racing Suzuki - 2018 RM-Z450 - Daniel Herrlein
Kite Products provide a number of accessories

DB: Kite Products supply us with our brake rotors which provide extra ventilation, which is vital in supercross when the brakes get such a large load put on them throughout a race. Kite also supply the wheels which are great and don’t buckle under the extra pressure that a hard-park track full of jumps creates. The bike is fitted out with plenty of Kite bling parts and chain adjusters.

KSF Racing Suzuki - 2018 RM-Z450 - Daniel Herrlein
Kite Products provide rotors and wheels

DB: Suzuki provide great triple clamps out of the crate, so we didn’t feel the need to change these up at all, however, we do use Renthal 999 bars, as that’s what suits Daniel best.

DB: We modify the clutch to ensure it can meet the demands on race day, which includes putting in heavy duty clutch springs to keep the clutch feeling good throughout a 20-lap race.

KSF Racing Suzuki - 2018 RM-Z450 - Daniel Herrlein
The engine has seen head work and had a Yoshimura exhaust added

DB: The engine isn’t tampered with too much, but we modified the head to give the best power output, and also changed the compression ratio, again to suit the rider. The Yoshimura exhaust provides massive gains in the bikes usable power and is probably the most useful aftermarket part on the bike.

KSF Racing Suzuki - 2018 RM-Z450 - Daniel Herrlein
The airbox has also been modified

DB: The airbox was cut and drilled to create the maximum amount of airflow needed to keep the bike running smooth. We also remove the rubber matting in the box and the backfire screen. Stock radiators are big enough and strong enough to keep the bike cool, so we didn’t see the need to upgrade them.

KSF Racing Suzuki - 2018 RM-Z450 - Daniel Herrlein
Moto Kit provide the graphics and decals

DB: Moto Kit ensure the bike is looking great giving us the best graphics in the game, as well as our gripper seats which all the team riders love.

KSF Racing Suzuki - 2018 RM-Z450 - Daniel Herrlein
Yoshimura exhaust