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06 worth it to keep and legendary suzuki handling??

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hey guys, i have a 2006 rmz 450 i picked up. i use it mostly for trails( i know its an mx bike) and wanted to get your opinions on a few things. i got this bike because i was given a good deal on it ($1500) literally ready to ride, overall a pretty clean bike and not neglected. it had new fork seals,swingarm pivots, tires blah blah. he was a friend who simply owned other bikes and he has lots of money so he gave me a deal. anyway, one of my reasons for buying it was i keep hearing in mags and in person about suzukis legendary turning, and i will totally give up straight line stability for some sweet corner action. however i have had nothing but the worst handling with this thing, most likely due to the fact the fork is sprung harsher than anything ive ever felt. probably stiffer than stock mx. the front tire wont hold a line, constantly pushes all over the place. i understand this to be opposite of what im supposed to experience on this bike, correct? the 4 speed box is a minor bug, i am using 13/51 sprockets, id still overlook it if this thing railed on the singletrack. this bike is mostly just a second bike to me right now. so my question is, given how cheap i got it, is it worth it to hang onto and do the suspension? maybe try lower gearing(anyone try a 12t on the cs?), or 52 on rear? im willing to swap sprockets when i go to open places. or just bail and sell it and move onto to something better suited? im really curious about this sharp turning thing. if it was a rm250, id sink $$ in it forsure.

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Any bike that has has an improper setup for you will be unstable. Old or new. Get it setup for you then make that judgement, you've got equity in the thing so you can always gain your money back. Sprockets are so cheap it's worth it to try, many go up in the rear sprocket. I don't feel a much different between the 4 speed and the 5 speeds so I wouldn't worry about that either.

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LOL get the suspension set up for your weight, speed, and terrain. If he used it for MX it will be valved and sprung entirely too stiff for the trails. Esp if the PO is fast. 

Once you have that done, set sag and ride the crap out of it. You will enjoy it. A new bike will not fix anything if you don't set it up either. 

Edited by BDubb106
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Agreed^ no bike is set up for you, unless you set it up for you. In the suspension world, everything can make a difference, right down to removing a .5 mm shim in the fork valve stack or the rear shock, to what weight oil and how much oil is being used, all the way up to the major things like sag settings and clicker settings. Send it off and have it reworked for you and I promise you will notice a difference. I own a 05 and a 12. The 05 was sent off to factory connection to be set up for track riding and the difference is night and day, especially compared to my 12 which has not been touched other than setting sag.

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Sorry for taking forever to reply, I thought I was going to be notified when replies happened in the thread! Thanks for the replies and I will try to get the suspension done soon. I don't know why people don't seem to like suzukis like the other brands, this bike has been really good to me and the PO.

if I'm correct the forks on this don't have adjustable preload? And they are sff forks right?

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No, they are conventional twin chamber spring forks (which many Suzuki fanatics will tell you are the best forks that the Zuke ever came with from the factory). They have a rebound and compression setting. Also you can adjust oil height to get the fork to stay in the part of the stroke that you are happy with. I like 375cc's, but I like the fork to stay a little higher in the stroke because I am a front end heavy rider. Most of the mag's claim 370cc's is the magic number.  It blew through the stroke a little quick for my liking, but you can easily play around with that to find out what works for you. Valving is what will make the biggest difference in terms of over all performance. Good valving will allow the fork work the way it is capable of working through the entire stroke. The same goes for the shock. Correct springs and good valving on both ends will turn it into a completely different bike! 

Set them at 5mm in the clamps and set your sag (again, I run mine at 104mm, the mags claim 100 is the magic #)then go ride. You will be blown away at how much better the bike feels. 

Edited by BDubb106
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Thanks guys!

isnt the overall ratios on the 4 speed ~basically the same as the 5? Maybe minor differences later on but not big. Just bigger gaps between gears 

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