What's up guys,
This is Scott Champion. I wanted to provide you guys some more input on my experience riding the new 2013 RMZ-450. Getting the opportunity to ride the new Suzuki 450 bike at the private test track was something I wasn't going to miss out on. I knew the bike was going to be good, but I was a little confused of how we were going to ride the Supercross track on these stock bikes. I spent a little time riding the 2012 model a few months back and was very interested in shaking down the changes they made to the 2013 bike. We arrived at the private test facility pretty early and realized they had mellowed the track down quite a bit but with just enough obstacles to get a real feel for the bike and the changes they made. So here is how it went...
Automatically, I felt comfortable on this new 450. I did several laps to get the overall feeling of the bike and came back to sit down with Suzuki's engineers for my first impression notes. The motor felt very strong and very responsive. There were plenty of changes for 2013 with a larger power and torque range from bottom to mid which I noticed right away. Doing so improved the acceleration and throttle response which was noticeable. With the redesigning performance, the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th gears, seemed to improve the smoothness and shifting characteristics of the bike. As well as when shifting under power and felt noticeably stronger.
The chassis is something they made plenty of changes to as well for 2013. Changes to the front and rear suspension, the frame, muffler, and linkage, made for a much more controllable and well handling bike. The new second generation Showa SFF (separate function fork) is equipped for absorption performance and reduced weight by 2%. These forks felt very planted and stable around the entire track. They changed the radiator shroud which made the surface flat from the side of the fuel tank to the seat. This gives you no issues going from standing to sitting and eliminates any chance of catching knee braces on the fuel tank.
The last thing I really noticed was the electrical EFI couplers that changes the fuel setting to running richer or leaner. It is a very quick changing wire harness located under the left radiator shroud that changes the characteristics of the motor quite a bit. The leaner setting seemed to give it a bit more bite on the bottom/mid range which I liked on the smaller, tighter track we were riding. It also gave the bike much more engine braking which was good coming into the corners not having to ride the brakes as much. The richer setting seemed to smooth the bike out a lot with less engine braking and less throttle response to the bottom and mid range.
I'd like to thank Vurb and Suzuki for the opportunity to ride the new 2013 RMZ-450. The positive changes made to this bike will definitely keep it at the top of the leader boards.
-Scott Champion #67