As you may remember, I liked my 2013 Suzuki RMZ 450 during my first few rides in on it in Alabama, but felt somewhat uncomfortable on it. Part of my struggle was just trying to get used to the four stroke. Besides for a short stint on a 2011 KTM 350 SX-F, I’ve ridden two strokes since the end of 2008, when I bought a 2009 KTM 250 SX (which was a great bike, one of the best I’ve had). The other issue I had was that the bike’s ergonomics were a bit cramped for me. At 6’2″ I usually have to make a few adjustments to make a bike comfortable for myself. To make more room, I installed bar mounts that moved the bars up and forward a bit, Fastway Evolution 3 Footpegs, and Renthal RC bend Fatbars. The stock bars were a very low bend, so I just went with a bend that I have used a lot and am comfortable with. I put lower pegs on almost every bike I have and the bar mounts were something a buddy of mine had around. I measured the mounts against the stock mounts to see if they offered a benefit to me.
The difference was noticeable. These changes made the bike’s rider compartment much more roomy and comfortable for me. Still struggling with the four stroke thing/handling though. I did a lot of stalling and ended up cranking up the idle to solve this problem. It seems much higher than what I ran on four strokes in the past, but you gotta do what you gotta do sometimes. So I got the rider compartment figured out, what’s next? The handling. Especially in race situations I was very uncomfortable one the bike. I wasn’t comfortable charging into corners and when I got to the corners I didn’t trust the front end at all. To solve this problem I got with Ryan at Speed Technologies. Turns out my sag scale isn’t very accurate (it is close to 10 years old) I only had 85 mm of sag–this is way off, plus my spring was too stiff. After getting the right spring on the back, the shock and fork (sff) re-valved, the sag right and making a few clicker adjustments I am much happier with my bike. It still takes me a while to get comfortable on the bike, a moto or two, but after that I’m definitely starting to feel good on the bike. Now lets talk about Suzuki’s legendary build quality..
I have 10 hours on the bike and have had a couple of little issues.
- At 5 hours my right fork seal started to leak. Hopefully this was some sort of fluke.
- I had a slow-mo tip over on my left hand side and my radiator started to leak. It’s a very slight leak, but this really stands out to me because I’ve actually never had a radiator leak before.
So I’m working on getting used to the four stroke. I’ve got the suspension and ergonomics set up to suit me and things can only get better from here. That is, as long as this thing holds up…
Recent helmet cam on my 2013 Suzuki RMZ 450 from Red Bud: