The team over at Cycle News has put together one hell of a 2018 Suzuki RM-Z450 Supermoto build.
Our staff drooled over this build, and not because it won a bunch of races on its very first outing, which we’ll get to in a minute.
If you’re the type of person who gets more excited about shredded rubber and scraped footpegs than Mother’s wax and tire shine, you’re going to love this for the same reasons we do. It’s an honest, purposeful, functional supermoto build amid a sea of shiny wheels and Instagram fashion shows.
Background: Cycle News
If you don’t follow Cycle News, you might not know how much they love turning stock bikes into something amazing. Throughout their years, some of their builds have been supermotos, but nothing to this extent.
That’s when they decided to take a 2018 Suzuki RM-Z450 next door to their friends at AHM Factory Services. The hope was to create a racing machine ready to hit the track. There’s no question that they took everything to the next level on this project, and the resulting supermoto is one we would love to have.
How it All Came Together
Cycle News used some parts that were left over from their last supermoto build. This included 17-inch Dubya rims complete with Talon hubs and Motomaster front brakes. They also added Metzeler Racetec SM tires.
To update the appearance, the guys added Rad Graphics with the company’s blue and yellow color scheme. We think it looks pretty amazing, don’t you think?
AHM Factory Services then worked on the suspension. The stock Suzuki suffers from front and rear pitch. By tweaking the build, they were able to gain a fully compressed fork during high speeds. This offers similar rebound and compression to those typically experienced in motocross.
The geometry of the stock RMZ puts a lot of weight on the front, causing fork dive. There are also troubles with rebound and acceleration. To resolve this, the team bumped up the spring rate in the forks. This helped the forks hold up better while braking and added more pressure on the rear to help it turn.
To reduce the quick rebound of the shock, compression damping had to be stiffened. This induces less pitching from the front to back. They also implemented a JGR lower adjustable pull rod for further comfort. All in all, this bike became a dream to maneuver and control.
Aside from that, no special parts were used in the build, just tons of skill, talent, and dedication. That’s what made it so cost-effective while still creating a versatile monster of a bike.
Testing it Out
Typically, riding a motocross bike with these wheels and tires on it feels like being on a speedy see-saw. You experience crazy pitches in the front and all the weight hits the rear when accelerating.
When driving this build, the Cycle News team found that the redone Suzuki was like a brand new bike. The next logical step after spending 5 minutes in a parking lot was to sign up for a full-on supermoto race.
They took it to the 2018 West American Racing Supermoto series. The practice was held in over 100-degree weather, but that didn’t stop the team from having a good time.
In the end, they won all four Pro races and left with $280 in prize money. Overall, the bike wasn’t as easy to handle in the dirt, but it did take the bumps better than a stock Suzuki did. It also showed off the composed braking and allowed the riders to pin down some insane throttle action.
If you want to read more about it, make sure you check out the full article at Cycle News, of all places.
Congratulations, Cycle News!
I have to say, our staff got together and drooled over this build, but not for the reasons you may expect.
It’s refreshing to see a quality supermoto build that doesn’t completely reinvent the wheel. So many builds these days involve tens of thousands of dollars in off-the-shelf components that turn the bike into something radically departed from the spirit of a racer. Those builds are usually great at garnering attention on Instagram, but they often fall short of expectations at the track.
It’s also refreshing to see a news outlet where the people behind the keyboards are just red-blooded enthusiasts like everyone else.
This RMZ is a practical, useful, and mechanically intelligent build that actually works as advertised. Cheers to Cycle News and AHM Factory Services for setting out to create a race machine and succeeding in every way, all while inspiring the lowly journalists of the supermoto world in the process.
What are your thoughts on the Cycle News Suzuki RMZ supermoto build?
Are you impressed with the efforts these guys put forth? What do you think is the best upgrade they made? Let us know your thoughts and if you’ve even made some crazy modifications to a supermoto of your own.