PRODUCT: Ride Engineering’s 2018 Suzuki RM-Z450 22mm offset triple clamps (stock is 21.5mm) are anodized blue, are 4.5 ounces lighter and grip the fork about 12mm higher up than the stock clamp. The one-piece bar mounts feature 12mm posts instead of 10mm for much-needed additional strength. The bar mounts retain the stock height and can be adjusted plus or minus 3–5mm, and 10mm spacers are available for bar-height adjustment. Finally, soft poly cones isolate the bar post from the triple clamps, which provide additional cushion for your hands. The clamps come equipped with a steering stem and a tapered bearing pressed on, so they are ready to roll.
POSITIVES: First off, we could tell no discernible difference between the stock 21.5mm offset and the Ride Engineering 22mm offset. The big news was due to the clamping zones where the Ride Engineering lower clamp grips the fork leg 12mm higher than stock. This provides a different fulcrum point that allows the fork some additional flex. This translates into a more forgiving feel without sacrificing the handling characteristics. All the factories have similar setups for their riders, depending on how much flex helps decrease track hack without affecting precision. The adjustability of the bar mounts allows a wide range of riders the ability to dial in their cockpit area. Weight savings and a more forgiving feel are the goals, and they are accomplished. Finally, the Ride Engineering isolation cones come in three durometers, which allows you to dial in the degree to which the bar mounts will give under duress. The softer the cone, the more wiggle you get, which increases comfort. Naturally, some riders hate the bar mounts flexing, and they prefer the stiffest of the bar cones.
NEGATIVES: Switching to a billet clamp and bar mount system is not cheap.
BOTTOM LINE: The Ride Engineering RM-Z450 triple clamps are a lot more than a cool blue color, and an investment of this magnitude should offer a performance gain. Our test bike was the 2018 RM-Z450. The forgiving feel in the fork makes a difference in square-edged hack entering and exiting corners. Fork performance was not affected on jump take-offs or landings, and cornering remained solid. Also, the ability to alter the ergonomics for taller riders is a plus.
PRICE: $549, triple clamp set; $104.95, one-piece bar mount; $24.95, poly cone kit