PRODUCT: Ride Engineering’s 2018 Suzuki RM-Z450 Performance link is 1mm longer than stock and allows the rear to be lowered (5.5mm) to help achieve a balanced chassis on the 2018 RM-Z450.
POSITIVES: The 2018 RM-Z450 is all new, so, of course, there are some areas that need some help. When running a normal sag measurement of 102–104mm, the rear feels high, which leads to a divey/nervous front end and a ride that has you constantly fighting to hold your line. It feels unhinged. We know of riders who have backed off the rear-end sag to 115mm in an attempt to find a sense of balance. Ultimately, this leads to an unpredictable feeling when the machine is riding too low in the stroke. The Performance link is 1mm longer, which lowers the rear and allows for a 105–108mm sag measurement. With the fork height set between 5 and 7mm, the balance of the RM-Z chassis goes from confused to manageable.
NEGATIVES: The price tag is challenging.
BOTTOM LINE: Although pricey, this is one bolt-on item that offers instant performance gains in the chassis department for the 2018 RM-Z450. It removes the confidence-eroding doubt brought on by the confused handling. Being able to set the sag at a respectable number turns the Suzuki RM-Z450 back into a handling guru.