Racer X Tested: 2014 Suzuki RM-Z450

November 13, 2013 9:30am | by:

Film: Simon Cudby
Words: David Pingree

The RM-Z450 is a great bike out of the crate and the choice of many top privateers who can select whichever bike they want to race. The RMZ is very capable in stock trim and doesn’t need a lot of modifications for most riders. It is comfortable, fast and turns as tight as you want it to. With that said, we wanted to try to make some improvements without throwing too much money at it. Most riders won’t need extra power from a 450 but if you are a heavier rider or you just like to flap off the back of the bike when you twist the throttle this kit is for you.

To affordably beef up the motor we went with a high compression Vertex piston, which adds a bit more Bottom-to-mid power. The Hot Cams stage-two cams help with the mid-to-top end power. A full FMF system with a Hinson clutch pack was the extent of our engine modifications. The stock Mapping was still ok to use, though you can play with different couplers to find the power delivery you like.

For the suspension we went to Race Tech to try and help with the front end of the bike mainly. Depending on how you ride, steering with the front, the rear or a little of both, the Suzuki can have a nervous feeling up front. I like a lot of feedback from the front so I really get along with the Suzuki front end but if you are having issues the folks at Race Tech have a good fix. With valving and spring rate adjustments they will get anyone comfortable in a hurry.

Race Tech feels that in stock form the RM-Z450 is extremely stiff causing a harsh feel. Gold Valves provide a plush feel for the small chop while providing excellent bottoming resistance. RT also put in the recommended rate RT Hi-Performance Springs to balance the bike properly. RT Springs are light-weight and treated to not sack out.

Tusk provided the rotors to add a bit of stopping power to our yellow machine. Our traction was courtesy of Dunlop and their latest line of racing tires and many of the finishing pieces were supplied by Works Connection. Those items include the titanium footpegs, front brake lever, hour meter, chain blocks, elite clutch perch and radiator braces. Works Connection products add a professional finish and also provide protection and performance that is unmatched.

Decal Works provided the very loud graphics and Moto Seat finished the bike off with one of their custom seat covers.

Nearly all of our key components and OEM parts were obtained from www.rockymountainatvmc.com.


Vertex Pistons 515-270-2302

Forged High Comp piston kit


Hot Cams 515-402-8200

Stage-2 intake and Exhaust cams


Cometic Gasket 800-752-9850

Top End gasket kit


FMF Racing 310-631-4363

Factory 4.1 RCT Ti Muffler with Ti header


CV4 800-874-1223

Formed Silicone Coolant hoses

High Temp radiator cap


Tusk 800-336-5437

Oversized Typhoon front rotor kit

Tusk Typhoon rear rotor

Impact Complete wheel set


Dunlop Tire 800-845-8378

MX 51FA front tire

MX 51 rear tire


Works Connection

Front Brake lever

Hour Meter

Chain Blocks

Elite Perch

Radiator Braces


Hinson Clutch Components 909-946-2942

Fiber spring steel clutch kit

Billet clutch cover


Race Tech 951 279 6655

Re-valving of suspension


Renthal 877-736-8425

Front & rear sprocket

R1 Works Chain

Twin Wall 997 Bars

Dual Compound grips


DeCal Works 815-784-4000

Semi-Custom Graphics kit

Pre printed number plates backgrounds


Moto Seat 951-258-5229

Custom seat cover


MX Plastics 800-843-8244

Plastic kit


Uni Filter 714-535-6933

Two-Stage Air Filter


Raptor Titanium

Xtreme Footpegs