The RM-Z has the same basic, predictable feel as the ’06 model but with added traction on acceleration. The bike would never skate away, anywhere. Although in stock form it has some of the same settling issues coming into braking bumps as last year, I felt that the rear was a little soft and was packing. With a little more time and some suspension tuning, I’ll bet that problem will disappear. Once you get the bike to drop into the wave of dirt that we call a berm or rut, the RM-Z is unstoppable. As a matter of fact, it could be a flat turn-it finds traction everywhere. The motor is also an improvement, with a minor bump-up in power off the bottom plus an increased usable midrange. It was definitely hard to stay forward on the seat. As a pro, I could use a little extra up top. It didn’t run flat, but it didn’t really have that crazy top pull near the rev-limiter, either. But a smart rider could still rip by short-shifting the bike and using the meat of the motor where it is good. Then there would be no point trying to find the rev-limiter.
-Ryan Orr/5’10″/170 lb/ProStarting off from a smooth, solid low-end, the RM-Z’s motor doesn’t hit violently, but it still has a powerful pull that reminds you why it’s called a 450. Revving the bike into the midrange showcases a dose of incredible traction, with the rear tire never failing to make a footprint. The Suzuki can be slid into or out of just about any corner, and the power somehow always manages to find the ground. For my ability and weight, I thought the motor presented a lot of ridability without wearing me out too much; it is somewhat of a gentle giant when it comes to delivery, but you still have to be prepared for the generous amount of available horsepower. Ergonomically, the Suzuki’s footpegs feel a little far back at first, but this actually set up my 5-foot 10-inch frame in a great standing riding position. The brakes are solid, and I am yet again a fan of the stock Renthal handlebar. After a day of testing the ’07 RM-Z, I can easily say that it has one of the most usable motors of any stock 450 I have ridden recently. Only time will tell if Big Yellow has it in her to win our upcoming shootout, but I definitely think she has a swinging chance.
-Chris Denison/5’10″/155 lb/IntermediateI can pick this bike apart piece by piece, but when I ride it, the thing hauls around the track and is really confidence-inspiring. It is one of those bikes that you should just twist the throttle and quit thinking about it-the bike gets the job done and pretty fast, too! My only concern about buying one would be that the suspension may loosen over time, though I’m sure a suspension shop could cure that. The clutch is magic, the bike is great going in, through and coming out of turns, and the power is easy for me to time jumps with. On the track, the four-speed gets the job done. If you are a Suzuki fan, you won’t be let down one bit by this RM-Z.
-Jimmy Lewis/5’10″/185 lb/Vet ProSpecifications
Claimed dry weight: 220 lb
Weight (ready to ride, no fuel): 235 lb
Seat height: 37.3 in.
Seat-to-footpeg distance: 20.6 in.