The picturesque Barrabool motocross circuit just west of Geelong in Victoria was the location for the press launch of the revamped RM-Z450 L0.
Suzuki was first onto the market in 2007 with a production based fuel injected motocross machine. With the new fuel-injected RM-Z450 Suzuki made an immediate impact in the racing scene capturing the World MX1 Championship with Steve Ramon at the helm. More recently Chad Reed has flown the Suzuki winner’s flag capturing both the 2009 AMA Motocross title and the Inaugural Super X title here in Australia.
The RM-Z450 LO has come in for a range of modifications this year including work to the power plant along with a new frame and suspension. I was chomping at the bit to get out and give this new 450 some curry.
After going through the normal pre ride ritual of setting the lever positions to my liking and race sag to suit my weight, it was time to fire this baby up and head out to learn a new track.
The Barrabool circuit is an amazing array of ups and downs with some fast straights that allow a 450 to really breathe and stretch its legs.
The only problem was the track had been watered the night before and there were a couple of very greasy spots early on. I decided to see how soft the dirt was at Barrabool by having a little lie down not once but TWICE on my second lap. Yes I felt like a gumby!
I eventually found some lines and ruts that kept me away from greasy hard pack sections and got into a nice rhythm and busted out a good 30 mins in my first hit out. I also figured if I stayed out there for long enough the guys would forget who that gumby was that crashed twice in one lap! I think it worked.
The first thing that sprung to mind while I was letting the blood flow back into my forearms was just how tractable the power is on this machine.
It pulls strong off the bottom, without hesitation, and has a nice spread of power all the way through the rpm range. It does not feel quite as strong as the KX450F high in the rev range, although on most motocross tracks it’s about getting the power down and being able to use the power available – which this bike does fantastically.
The RM-Z450 L0 power plant has had a host of improvements for this year including a new cylinder head, piston, crankshaft, cam shafts and throttle body. The fuel injection has also been updated with reversed throttle valve movement. This directs mist away from the valve, producing more power and enhanced throttle response.
The hot start lever on the RM-Z450 L0 is mounted on the throttle side with this bike. Injected 450’s don’t like any throttle when being started warm and the RM-Z450 L0 seem to fire within the first five kicks each time….