SUZUKI RM-Z450: $8749
Suzuki made massive updates in 2015; the 2016 model,
on the other hand, underwent only minor changes. It is still
the best of all the 450s in turns, and the power delivery
can be personalized with the use of electronic couplers
that are color-coded. Up front, the RM-Z uses Suzuki’s
version of the Showa Triple Air.
KTM 350SX-F: $9099
We got an early preview of most of KTM’s 2016 MX line
with the release of the Factory Editions. But not this bike.
The 350 was held back, and it was worth waiting for. It lost
weight and has more low-end power. The electric start is
back, and so is the 14,000 rpm redline. The engine and
frame are all new.
HUSQVARNA FC350: $9199
Of all the new bikes in Husqvarna’s 2016 line, this is the
one that had Dirt Bike’s test riders the most impressed.
The FC350 has more power, weighs less and is making it
harder and harder for anyone to justify a full-size 450. It
has electric start, a Magura hydraulic clutch and significant
differences that set it apart from the KTM.
TM RACING MX450: $10,500
TM is a very small Italian company that builds bikes for
each customer. The four-stroke MX models will only be
imported to the U.S. on a special-order basis. They are
fuel-injected and have TM-built shocks and KYB forks. The
aluminum frames are hand-made works of art. Both the
450 and 250 four-strokes are the same price.
TM RACING MX300 (TWO-STROKE): $8800
You won’t find a TM dealer on every corner, or even in
every state. TM is a small Italian company with only a handful
of dealers in the U.S. For 2016 TM will only import the two-strokes, except by custom order. That makes the MX300 the
only 300cc two-stroke motocross bike that is brought in to
the States. There is also a 250 version for $8650.
YAMAHA YZ450F: $8590
The Yamaha YZ450F is fast and very unconventional.
The engine is configured with the exhaust in the rear
and the intake in front. For 2016 there were a number of
changes in the chassis department, including a beefed-up
frame. There’s a yellow-and-black 60th Anniversary Edition
YZ450F that sells for $8690.