M. Webb lofts the Yosh/RG3 Suzuki with little effort. He
praised the broad power and suspension balance, calling it a
huge improvement over stock.
The SFF Showa fork has a single spring.
RG3 feels it’s too stiff for average pilots.
For our main pilots in the 200-pound
range, it’s spot-on. Their valving is crucial and targets control, cush and the
ability to soften the hack factor.
RG3’s shock mods target shifting the
load points so that the fork actually
takes more of the hit. This requires valv-
ing changes to the low speed with a
reduction in high-speed damping to aid
in suspension balance.
small bumps without unloading on the rolling bumps. With
the shock, it’s all about how it loads the fork, traction and
balance with the fork. Finally, we kept the stock fork spring
since the rider here was over 200 pounds. The 450 is over-
sprung for normal-sized pilots, so we used stock coils with
six clicks of preload. Out back, we went up to a 6.0 kg/mm
rear coil, setting the rider sag at 100–102mm.”
A LOOK BACK AT THE POWERPLANT MODS
The skinny on the fully modded Yoshimura motor is 95
percent positive, with one caveat: Power numbers went
upwards in a strong fashion, besting the stock numbers
by almost five full horsepower. But more important than
the sheer numbers is the fact that the power feels lighter,
quicker, smoother and then, of course, longer. This is the
exact engine spec that Mat Moss used to pull several holeshots at the early Supercross rounds. The power builds
strongly and cleanly and is less throbby than stock, but
getting it to fire up is tougher than stock (and the stock
starting was not a highlight of the RM-Z). The kick-starter
feels short, lacks good leverage, and once Yosh installed
its race cam and performed its head mods, the compression went up slightly, and we could never find the sweet
zone where four-stroke starting ease is a must.
Yosh went back in, altered the cam profile slightly,
and reconfigured the decompression zone in an effort to
improve the starting prowess without killing the power. In
our eyes they succeeded, and even our gimpy-kneed editors could get fire far easier.
Considering the cost of the excellent performance
mods, the hard starting hurt the appeal and needed fixing. Done deal now. We understand that for 2015 Suzuki
fit a longer kick-start lever onto the machine in an effort to
get it KX-like (the KX450F is a super-easy starter) and that
Stewart has a special lever since he, too, had issues with
getting a proper kick.
A RECAP PLUS
Since the original test, we updated the wheels to Dubya
Kite billet hubs fit with black Excel rims. They proved to
be incredibly resilient, super tough and looked wicked.
Brembo’s oversized rotor was fit up front (a necessary mod
since the stock power is average at best), and Dunlop MX
31s got the nod fore and aft. This is a seriously great inter-mediate-based chunk of rubber.
We stuck with Vortex sprockets, though we went up one
tooth on the back (to a 51). The DID 520 ERT2 racing chain
performed phenomenally, stretching a little out of the hole
but then maintaining its integrity after 40 hours of track
Hinson’s clutch actuator kit re-routes
the cable via a new mounting point and
clutch arm. The action is smoother with
better feel. All good here.