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From a rider/racers perspective..

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...I have a 08' RM-Z450 that I bought new last yr.. I've added a few goodies on it, Factory Connection suspension, Yoshi slip on, & remaped. I know all the differences between the 2008's vs the 11 & 12'. From a riders perspective, how different do the new ones 'feel' from the 08'?

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Buddy has an 08 and I have an 11 so I have spent good amount of time on both. Frame feels a bit more stable-think it flexes less than the 08. 11 has better throttle response and pull from bottom to top. 11 starts easier,but that could be age. suspension feels better on the 11,but the 08 is stock. I could ride either one...it doesn't really matter. You can definitely feel the improvements on the 11 though. Hard to compare a bike with hours on it (08) to a newer bike with less overall wear and tear. Newer pretty much always feels better,unless the old bike was completely refreshed.

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I have not rode anything other than the 08, but if what ac717 says is true. The motor stuff can be changed easily. The stability of the frame cant, unless you get a newer frame. I know that much hasn't changed from 08-12. If it was me, I would just stick with the 08. I love mine, its a great bike.

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Buddy has an 08 and I have an 11 so I have spent good amount of time on both. Frame feels a bit more stable-think it flexes less than the 08. 11 has better throttle response and pull from bottom to top. 11 starts easier,but that could be age. suspension feels better on the 11,but the 08 is stock. I could ride either one...it doesn't really matter. You can definitely feel the improvements on the 11 though. Hard to compare a bike with hours on it (08) to a newer bike with less overall wear and tear. Newer pretty much always feels better,unless the old bike was completely refreshed.

I also had the 08 and the 11. Like ac717 says the 11 is more stable. I am able to put the power down on corner exits much harder and stay straight. The 11 is also more stable on the straights at speed. I like the improved power - mostly stronger roll on and mid and especially upper mid and top end. Add in the leaner coupler and it livens up the response even more. A well set up 08 RMZ450 is a great bike. The 11 model just felt a little better to me.:bonk:

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i have been able to ride all RMZ450's from 07-2011 with the most time spent on the 2011, and although i haven't ridden them back to back, as mentioned above, the 2011 is a fantastic bike, its frame is more compact, and the motor is very good from low to top. its motor is friendly and aggressive at the same time, it just depends on how much you twist the throttle. i personally think that the 2011 is a considerably better bike stock, but with some goodies on the 08 it can become quite comparable.

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Own 09' and tested this last summer Vs 11' Model. Bone stock the 11' is a better bike (stock Vs Stock that is) But since your bike is moded like mine. I would keep yours. Here is what I found test the thought as new bike.

Engine: 2011 (Stock the 11' as it revs out like it should)

My 09' I have Yosh FS - YOSH ECM MAPPING and Loudmouth intake. Mine ran better than the 11' as it should. Mine revs almost exactly the same and throttle response was much better. Give the 11' same changes it would be better since you could move the power around (low/mid/High) as it already covers the whole spectrum and stock the 09' does not rev like it should. Get the ECM on the 08/09' mapped and it WILL REV and not run into the limiter all the time.

Frame/Handling: TIE

All RMZ since 08' flat handle. I like the 08/09' better as it does flex a bit in the frame as the 11' felt more rigid. Personal pref honestly. You can set either model year up to fit you perfectly so this is really not a issue with either bike.

Suspension: 2011

As it should be, as they have had 2 years to tweak it. Mine is way better but it is modified and sprung correctly for me. BUT I do recall hating my forks and mid stroke harsness and the 11' did not do that. Rear end I would call even stock. This is a hard spot to pick becuase if you race you know that any bike you buy you will modfiy the suspension to fit you, either springs or full out. But if your going stock the 11'.

Overall I think it depends on FUNDS. If it is "mental" aspect of having a newer machine get the 11'.

The 08/09' is capable of running with any of the new bikes. Get the ECM mapped ($75ish) is must and suspension ($300-1000) if you need it. Just set the correct race sag and the 08/09 will run with any of the bikes once you unlock the ECM issue.

3-4 years difference on a bike is not that big a deal now days. The economy has shown us that changes are small now.

Hope that helps.

EDIT: I will say my next bike, maybe REAL soon will be a KTM 250SX. Rode one and WOW they are fun. Wear you out faster but I was smiling the whole time.

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Exactley the info I was looking for. Thanks guys. My 08 is really set up good. Ziggy and the guys at Factory Connection nailed the suspension (took a couple of times) but it's pretty dang good now. I do have it remapped, slip-on yosh.. But you guys know how it is- every season we all get the bug for a new scoot, but I'm at the point where I just can't justify shelling out $9k for new bike every couple of yrs, then spending another $3k on it it personalize it/set it up.

if I ever figure out how to post pics I'll throw it on here....it's sick looking. :smirk:

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