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New vs old rmz450

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Had a discussion with some buds today, got me thinking a bit. For c/b class riders, does it matter if I'm riding an 06 vs a 2017 model? I rode a 2011 crf450r for a bit and it's smoothness was awesome but my 06 rmz450 feels better overall. Anyways...! 

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I also had an "11" CRF 450. My "07" RMZ 450 surpassed that bike even before Ron Hamp did the motor. The CRF was slow and wouldn't turn or wasn't stable. How bad is a bike that is slow and won't handle? Revalved, link, and heavier fork springs. Remapped, Yosh full exhaust, two teeth bigger on the rear. Did I mention it was slow? Did I say it wouldn't handle? My "13" and "16" RMZ 450's are much better than my "07"RMZ 450.

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I think the only real benefit I see on a 17 or a 16 would be getting on the Suzuki contingency program. They send you a card you can use at the dealer for parts at a discounted price if you're actually placing in races. I believe it's only first-third that gets money though and the race has to be on their approved list. A first place finish will get you at least 150 bucks which isn't bad at all and it goes up. Myself and a couple guys I ride with regularly, sometimes rack up over 500 bucks a month. If you are dedicated enough, you could race a 2016 or a 2017 all season and make enough or almost enough money to buy a 2018 next year or go a little longer next year on a 16 or 17 and buy a 2019. It's a great program over there and being part of the program opens you up to a lot of opportunities like the FMF rider support program, the rockstar energy rider support program, the list goes on and on. If your serious about racing, this is how you open the door to real sponsors. If you ever go to any of the big races, you also get to sit in the Suzuki contingency tent like I was at hangtown. It makes you look kind of official if nothing else. I loved it. LOL.

In terms of the bike itself though, the engine from 05-17 hasn't really changed all that much, sure they made overall improvements and introduced fuel injection, but the HP ratings have stayed pretty much the same plus or minus a couple horsepower. At the c/b levels i don't think that would be noticed. At the AMA supercross or outdoors level it definitely would be. Fuel injection is where it's at though, being able to flip mapping on the fly for holeshots and more power is irreplaceable in a race. Being able to dyno the bike and get your own custom mapping for how you ride is a big bonus too. But all that can really be thrown out the window, practice and proper technique, proper maintenance, and suspension tuning will get you further than any new bike ever will.

Best of luck man!

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The frame design has been the biggest improvement. The new RMZ is a much better machine in terms of overall performance and yes it does make a difference.

Confidence is king at the amateur level! The faster you get, the more you can overcome confidence issues and bike short comings with skill. That is why a pro's will be fast on anything. At the beginner level, the more confident you can become... the faster you will progress. Corner speed is where races are won and lost. HP means very little if you can't get it to the ground. In fact, HP means little even if you can. Believe it or not, there is such a thing as too much HP. 

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13 hours ago, xMUDKINGx said:

I think the only real benefit I see on a 17 or a 16 would be getting on the Suzuki contingency program. They send you a card you can use at the dealer for parts at a discounted price if you're actually placing in races. I believe it's only first-third that gets money though and the race has to be on their approved list. A first place finish will get you at least 150 bucks which isn't bad at all and it goes up. Myself and a couple guys I ride with regularly, sometimes rack up over 500 bucks a month. If you are dedicated enough, you could race a 2016 or a 2017 all season and make enough or almost enough money to buy a 2018 next year or go a little longer next year on a 16 or 17 and buy a 2019. It's a great program over there and being part of the program opens you up to a lot of opportunities like the FMF rider support program, the rockstar energy rider support program, the list goes on and on. If your serious about racing, this is how you open the door to real sponsors. If you ever go to any of the big races, you also get to sit in the Suzuki contingency tent like I was at hangtown. It makes you look kind of official if nothing else. I loved it. LOL.

In terms of the bike itself though, the engine from 05-17 hasn't really changed all that much, sure they made overall improvements and introduced fuel injection, but the HP ratings have stayed pretty much the same plus or minus a couple horsepower. At the c/b levels i don't think that would be noticed. At the AMA supercross or outdoors level it definitely would be. Fuel injection is where it's at though, being able to flip mapping on the fly for holeshots and more power is irreplaceable in a race. Being able to dyno the bike and get your own custom mapping for how you ride is a big bonus too. But all that can really be thrown out the window, practice and proper technique, proper maintenance, and suspension tuning will get you further than any new bike ever will.

Best of luck man!

Thanks for the awesome answer! To be fair, I have no real desire to be a competitive rider in any class- Just ride and have a good time. Power definitely is not the issue with any 4 stroke in my opinion, definitely no with the RMZ450. I enjoy the simplicity of the carb'd design, easy to work on, no big failure points that aren't easily serviceable and so on.

My 2 thoughts stemming this thread is will I even be better on a newer bike and if I'm planning a bottom end rebuild after the season, I should just sell it and shell out a bit more for a low hours modern bike. I clearly lack in the practice and technique department and that's definitely number 1. Thanks again for your input!

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11 hours ago, BDubb106 said:

The frame design has been the biggest improvement. The new RMZ is a much better machine in terms of overall performance and yes it does make a difference.

Confidence is king at the amateur level! The faster you get, the more you can overcome confidence issues and bike short comings with skill. That is why a pro's will be fast on anything. At the beginner level, the more confident you can become... the faster you will progress. Corner speed is where races are won and lost. HP means very little if you can't get it to the ground. In fact, HP means little even if you can. Believe it or not, there is such a thing as too much HP. 

No doubt! Any 450 is a monster and as I stated above, I have no desire (at this point I suppose) to win races. You always have great input! 

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I think the biggest thing with the 06 is the reliability. If it is in good shape and taken care of, then that means more than anything. Performance-wise, ya it might not be right there with the 17 on a few things performance-wise, but I am a firm believer that if you have your equipment dialed in and in good condition, your results will be the same as if you go out and get a new bike. I have never once got a new bike and it changed my results. Skill, fitness and set-up mean so much more. If you like the bike, it's dialed in and it is treating you well then run it. I had an 06-07 RMZ450 and it was pretty cool. I wasn't a huge fan of the 4spd but other than that I really liked it. The newer bike feels a little slimmer and flatter, which is nice. The motor wasn't much better aside from the efi response, in my opinion. By all means if you want a new bike then the new ones are sweet, but nothing wrong with keeping the 06. 

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4 hours ago, ah665 said:

I think the biggest thing with the 06 is the reliability. If it is in good shape and taken care of, then that means more than anything. Performance-wise, ya it might not be right there with the 17 on a few things performance-wise, but I am a firm believer that if you have your equipment dialed in and in good condition, your results will be the same as if you go out and get a new bike. I have never once got a new bike and it changed my results. Skill, fitness and set-up mean so much more. If you like the bike, it's dialed in and it is treating you well then run it. I had an 06-07 RMZ450 and it was pretty cool. I wasn't a huge fan of the 4spd but other than that I really liked it. The newer bike feels a little slimmer and flatter, which is nice. The motor wasn't much better aside from the efi response, in my opinion. By all means if you want a new bike then the new ones are sweet, but nothing wrong with keeping the 06. 

Exactly!!! I think you are spot on. You worded it much better than I did though, as I was attempting to make the same point. 

If you are already comfortable on your bike, no matter what it is... and it can handle your riding style then that is the best bike for you. That is until you push the boundries of what your current bike is capable of handling. I don't know many people that can ride a 125 to its full potential so I would say that a 450 is plenty capable of handling what most riders can throw its way. 

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