2014 YZ450 vs my 08 RMZ

Had a chance to test ride a 2014 YZ450F last weekend on my regular local track. It's the second time i can try a newer bike in the last couple of months, last time being a '13 CRF. Well, i still like my  RMZ best. The Yam was easy to adapt to, had better brakes, precise shifting feel, nice big foot pegs and easy-to-use yet powerfull engine. What i didnt like was the ergos, the bike felt wide between the legs (less than a '10 but still wide) and the chain was making alot of slapping noise when braking (maybe needed ajustment). Handeling was good but turning is not as precise. For a bike that is 6 years newer, i was expecting to be amazed and be no more in love with my RMZ...not so! Dont get me wrong, it is a nice bike but my 08 (stock save for an FMF full exhaust and stiffer springs in the front, still on oiginal piston) hold it's own very well against newer machinery. Hope to have a chance to try a KTM and a KX in the near future, but as of now, the Zuk is for me the king of the hill !!

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Nice.....how about the 13CRF against your RM?

If you like the RMZ because of the ergo's wait till you ride the KTM. I actually liked the KTM just as much as the RMZ, maybe more but the RMZ's motor felt a little easier to handle since I am not the fastest guy in the world (very smooth) and it had the right price tag on it. The KTM feels like it has a monster of a motor too!

 

The KX felt like a pig to me. Felt heavier than the rest in the corners, but had a really fun and strong motor. I say it felt heavier in the corners because they all feel really light and balanced in the air, so the corners are the only way a guy at my skill level can judge the bike.

Edited by BDubb106

Wow if you like the bike that much with those mods you really should get a revalve and slap a pim2 on it. With those 2 extra mods the bike will blow you away.

Have you ridden a 13 rmz450?

Coming off of the 350 I felt that the ergos were indeed very close.  I ran the extremely flat ktm bars on the 350 ( think they had like 38mm of sweep) but like I stated in another thread I kept the zook bars stock (which ironically are the same stock bars the ktm came with).  I am weird I guess.

 

But man the KTMs are so good these days.  If the KTM came with Showa suspension I think a lot of us would still be orange.  The KTM suspension can be made to work good of course but for me after riding the Suzuki it was still missing something.  I honestly don't get it.

There is something to it with the Suzuki.  Something with this tried and true chassis design I  guess.   I mean even when my suspension was stock and I kind of lost the shock it was still good.  We keep talking about the suspension and headshake in a few of the threads around here and I can honestly say that before I had it set up right I still loved it.  I could still throw down the same times as I did on my modded KTM.   Whatever formula they have I hope they do not change it.

 

Mike Alessi is running all 12s this year because he actually feels the difference in the two frames.  When his mechanic showed me the change I couldn't believe that a seemingly small change (the curved brace by the head tube) could yield such a differene that he wouldn't run the new frame.  I hope they don't go to crazy on the 15 model.

Coming off of the 350 I felt that the ergos were indeed very close.  I ran the extremely flat ktm bars on the 350 ( think they had like 38mm of sweep) but like I stated in another thread I kept the zook bars stock (which ironically are the same stock bars the ktm came with).  I am weird I guess.

 

But man the KTMs are so good these days.  If the KTM came with Showa suspension I think a lot of us would still be orange.  The KTM suspension can be made to work good of course but for me after riding the Suzuki it was still missing something.  I honestly don't get it.

There is something to it with the Suzuki.  Something with this tried and true chassis design I  guess.   I mean even when my suspension was stock and I kind of lost the shock it was still good.  We keep talking about the suspension and headshake in a few of the threads around here and I can honestly say that before I had it set up right I still loved it.  I could still throw down the same times as I did on my modded KTM.   Whatever formula they have I hope they do not change it.

 

Mike Alessi is running all 12s this year because he actually feels the difference in the two frames.  When his mechanic showed me the change I couldn't believe that a seemingly small change (the curved brace by the head tube) could yield such a differene that he wouldn't run the new frame.  I hope they don't go to crazy on the 15 model.

Yea... I honestly like the 12 better than the 13 in stock form. IDK if it was the change to the forks or not but it didn't feel as balanced to me. The 13 was still good just not quite as good as the 12' in stock trim IMO. With a little work they could both be potent. 

 

Another thing I noticed was that the suspension on the RMZ was the easiest suspension to set up that I have ever had. It honestly took me about 1 hour of testing to get it feeling damn near perfect after the revalve and respring. A few clicks here and there with the clickers and the bike was planted as could be and soaking up everything in its path. Very plush and predictable and I have not bottomed the suspension since. I am amazed at how good it is and the more I ride it the better it feels. Could be due to the suspension breaking in, but I think I am just getting used to it.

Had a chance to test ride a 2014 YZ450F last weekend on my regular local track. It's the second time i can try a newer bike in the last couple of months, last time being a '13 CRF. Well, i still like my  RMZ best. The Yam was easy to adapt to, had better brakes, precise shifting feel, nice big foot pegs and easy-to-use yet powerfull engine. What i didnt like was the ergos, the bike felt wide between the legs (less than a '10 but still wide) and the chain was making alot of slapping noise when braking (maybe needed ajustment). Handeling was good but turning is not as precise. For a bike that is 6 years newer, i was expecting to be amazed and be no more in love with my RMZ...not so! Dont get me wrong, it is a nice bike but my 08 (stock save for an FMF full exhaust and stiffer springs in the front, still on oiginal piston) hold it's own very well against newer machinery. Hope to have a chance to try a KTM and a KX in the near future, but as of now, the Zuk is for me the king of the hill !!

Thanks for the info. Was in love with the Yamahas forever and was really disappointed this year with my 13 RMZ so far. Had it re-valved and it sucks. Can't slam into anything. Need to have it redone. Glad to hear the Yami is nothing special! lol

Could you imagine if the Suzuki suspension felt like the Yamahas?   That would be it.

The '13 CRF i tried was stock with a yosh full dual exhaust, 33psi in  the forks. The way the bike feel takes a bit to adapt, like if the stearing pivot is much lower than on my RMZ, plus the shape of the front fender points down wich reinforce the impression of a too low front end. Engine was ''smooth'' in the power delevery, a bit flat at top end but effective-easy to go fast on but a faster rider might want more agressive, stronger engine. Vibrations were more present than on my Zuk, not as in bad vibration but more of a mechanical feel of a classic Honda 450. Good precise shifting but for my size 11 feet the shifter was way too short wich made shifting hard to do, again nothing an afternarket part can fix ( I run a DRZ400SM shiter on my rmz for the same reason). A nice quality machine but not able to make me go faster than my 08 RMZ. I got my Zuk new in early 09, upgrading from a mint 2001 CR250, i was amazed at how much faster i went, everything was way better: brakes, suspension, turning and of course the power delivery of a 450 efi. The day i will feel the same about a new bike, i might change model or even brand but it didnt hapened yet.

 

About how easy it is to tune the suspension, i agree! I set my sag at 105mm, put heavier springs in the fork et voilà! I change 2-3 cliks for soft/hard track but thats all. I remember trying a new 09 YZ450 back then and was shocked at how good and smooth the suspension was, so yeah an RMZ with the plush feel of a YAM would be awesome.

 

Because of bad weather i mised the KTM demo day last july, i was really curious of the '13 350 and 450. From what i read in MXA the new 350 is finally what it was promised to be when it first came out, competitve in power to a 450. But i cant see myself spending 8k on a new bike. I'll try to find a mint, low hours '12 RMZ, best bang for the buck if not i'll give mine a engine/susp rebuild and keep it.

You can probably find a brand new leftover 12 for dirt cheap. There is one sitting in the dealer down the street from my house. I paid 6000 for mine OTD and never looked back. Stopped in there yesterday and they had it marked down to 5500 only 3 months later. They are getting to the point where they have to make room for the 14s.

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