Suzuki’s 2022 RM-Z450 model has no major changes from the previous year’s model and hasn’t seen any significant changes since this platform was introduced four years ago. A lot of professional-level championships have been won on this platform, so the technology is proven. Is Suzuki getting left behind in the 450 class, or is no change a good thing?
Suzuki’s 2022 RM-Z450 model features an aluminum-alloy twin-spar main frame that has combined cast and extruded sections designed to achieve balanced weight distribution. The swingarm is also lighter than previous generations and has flex characteristics to match the subframe and main-frame flex points. Suzuki also moved the subframe rails inward with the last model update, slimming the bodywork to try to make the bike feel smaller overall.
• No price increase
• Spring fork
• Easy-to-use power
• Good handling characteristics
• Heaviest in 450 class
• No electric start
• Lack of adjustability
Showa suspension components are used on the RM-Z450 with a cool spring fork up front and a Showa Balance Free Rear Cushion (BFRC) shock in the rear. The BFRC uses a separate external damping circuit designed to improve the responsiveness in all types of terrain and soil conditions. Braking power is still handled by Nissin components at both ends. Suzuki is the only manufacturer in the 450cc motocross class coming off the assembly line with Bridgestone Battlecross X30 tires.
The 2022 RM-Z450 returns with virtually the same engine configuration it has had since 2018. It is equipped with a throttle-body design used only by Suzuki that has a fuel injector located on the bottom with fuel being sprayed directly at the butterfly valve to improve atomization of air and fuel. Suzuki Holeshot Assist Control (S-HAC), commonly referred to as Launch Control, also returns on the 450 motocross model. Quick and easy mapping changes are made via a colored coupler system, and Suzuki also offers its MX-Tuner 2.0 system that allows quick fuel injection and ignition tuning through a smartphone application.
2022 SUZUKI RM-Z450 SPECS
- Engine type: 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, single cylinder, DOHC
- Displacement: 449cc
- Bore & stroke: 96.0mm x 62.1mm
- Fuel delivery: EFI
- Fuel tank capacity: 1.7 gal.
- Lighting coil: No
- Spark arrester: No
- EPA legal: No
- Running weight, no fuel: 239 lb.
- Wheelbase: 1480mm (58.3”)
- Ground clearance: 325mm (12.8”)
- Seat height 955 mm: (37.6”)
- Tire size & type:
- Front 80/100-21 X30 Bridgestone
- Rear 110/90-19 X30 Bridgestone
- Front suspension: Inverted telescopic, coil spring, oil-damped
- Rear Link-type, coil spring, oil-damped
- Country of origin: Japan
- Suggested retail price: $8999
- Manufacturer: www.suzukicycles.com
We still think the 2022 RM-Z is a solid all-around machine in the 450 class right off the assembly line and has great hop-up potential. Handling-wise, the Suzuki is still a very stable, predictable bike overall that never dances or does anything completely out of left field. It turns very well once you have the suspension set up properly for your weight. The chassis and suspension combination is good at dealing with braking bumps and hard landings for a wide variety of riders.
In general, riding a rough track makes you appreciate the RM-Z450’s handling characteristics. The RM-Z450 power is smooth and linear, making it easy to control for a variety of skill levels. If there was one feature we could magically have appear on the RM-Z450, it would definitely be an electric starter.