- Bounced as jumped?
- Test result: Suzuki RM-Z 450
- Test result: YAMAHA YZ 450 F
- Test result: KTM 450 SX Racing
Comparison test 450er Crosser, Honda CRF 450 R, KTM 450 SX Racing, Suzuki RM-Z 450, Yamaha YZ 450 F
Bounced as jumped?
Is the Suzuki RM-Z 450 the new high-flyer? Or will the 450 Honda retain control of the air? Maybe the four-stroke engines from KTM and Yamaha can challenge them for their airspace? Or it doesn’t matter which machine you take off on anyway?
A monster, you need arms like a gorilla. «MOTORRAD tester Didi Lacher looked quite confused after doing a few laps on the GP track at the presentation of the new Suzuki RM-Z 450 last September
Valkenswaard had turned. So much power, so much pressure, he only knew it from the 500cc two-stroke engines that he used to drive in the World Cup. As is well known, there are good reasons why these overpowered powerhouses have died out.
The tingling questions: Do they want
Yellow really bring such a hammer into series production? Isn’t that a bit of a smoke for mere mortals when even the current factory drivers groan? And why does it take so long until the RM-Z is finally delivered?
February 2005. The first series machines have arrived by air freight, one of which is being maneuvered directly to Lloret de Mar for the MOTORCYCLE comparison test. On the bone-dry
There should be a showdown on the slopes north of Barcelona, where it remains to be seen whether the RM-Z will be the established four-stroke competition from Honda, Yamaha and KTM really drives into the ground. And whether not just absolute top drivers? to whom multi-master Didi Lacher certainly still counts ??, but also to which average drivers have this powerhouse under control.
In terms of key data, there are hardly any differences between modern four-stroke models-
to identify de between the brands; with weights around 106 kilograms, they are all at the same high level. However, very different paths lead to the goal, every manufacturer has its own philosophy. KTM stands out from the competition with the well-known PDS suspension, the single is still the classic four-valve engine with a central camshaft, but which could be replaced by a double-cam engine in the future. Of course, Honda holds strong at the 2005
renovated 450s to the Unicam design with an intake camshaft that actuates the exhaust valves via rocker arms. The aluminum chassis has been thoroughly renovated. In 2005, Yamaha contented themselves with detailed changes to the typical dohc five-valve engine, the original concept remained
the steel frame that goes back to the revolutionary 400 series from 1998. Suzuki installs the new two-cam four-valve engine in a newly designed aluminum chassis that is very similar to the bridge frame of the Honda.
Technically, the Suzuki engine is completely up to date, but by no means unconventional. At the first contact, it behaves a bit unruly, the high kickstarter requires powerful kicks. Finally, when the RM-Z is standing, it bubbles away very discreetly. Didi
is surprised: where is the hoarse bark
of the presentation machines? A real screamer, on the other hand, is the new CRF. The Honda slams out of the short silencer so mercilessly with every throttle that your ears ring. Yamaha and KTM make far less spectacle, although they are not exactly the quietest either.
Four-strokes like the free blowing. This is confirmed on the first cautious laps on the hard concrete track. The Honda is incredibly snappy and hangs directly on the gas. Regardless of the speed, the slightest tug on the throttle is converted into brutal performance without delay. Dealing with it is correspondingly delicate, like a ride on a cannonball. The rear wheel is constantly spinning on the dry ground. In principle, only high gears and a lot of feeling in the right hand help. Force is insidious-
however, by no means development. The performance is aggressive, but calculable. The problem is turning power into thrust.
So the Honda is now running exactly like that,
as Didi expected from the Suzuki. And the? Surprised with a much tamer drive. The audio sample did not disappoint, the series machine behaves much more civilized than the pre-series-
Models. The single cylinder pushes from the very bottom in the speed cellar with powerful thrust, but it is soft
and manageable. At the top, the last bit of liveliness is missing compared to the relentlessly turning CRF. But who can say of themselves that they can squeeze out such a four-stroke 100 percent? On the bone-hard ground, the RM-Z definitely offers more effectiveness and traction and places less demands on driving ability.
Lack of traction has also been a problem for Yamaha riders for the past two years. But, oh wonder, the new vintage is finally easier to care for and noticeably less impulsive. What has remained is the typical YZ characteristic, which only harmonizes with an aggressive driving style: Not too much happens around the bottom, in
in the middle, the YZ comes straight to the point. Unlike the Honda and the
Suzuki, the YZ looks more like a classic four-stroke these days. The engine runs like a tractor, vibrates and has more braking torque.
Similar to the Yamaha, the KTM also has its strength in the middle. There she is not brutal, but lively. At the top it turns properly and doesn’t have to hide in terms of performance. Still, you seem to run out of breath in front of the limiter. Which is certainly easy to get over. Because the lively character makes up for it.
Although the top performance on most slopes and for the vast majority of drivers in this class is hardly an issue anyway, the chassis are at least as important. It is noticeable that the dimensions of the current four-stroke generation are practically the same as the two-stroke models, although they still weigh a few pounds more. The KTM in particular looks extremely compact. And drives like that too, the chassis is clearly oriented towards handling. Like the proverbial jackknife, the SX divides every curve with a radical line. The disadvantage: it gives you a somewhat unsafe feeling at first,
appears wobbly. After a while the feeling evaporates, but the KTM still needs to be navigated with a hard hand.
What besides the nervous geometry
is due to the uncomfortable suspension. While the previously tricky PDS strut now works brilliantly and absorbs even the worst of edges, provided that the sag is set to at least 35 millimeters, the steering of the 450 SX seems extremely nervous. On bumpy sections, straight-line stability is disastrous. A few laps of the rodeo and the KTM rider has blisters on his hands. And that practically independent of the speed. Whether it’s slow-paced or aggressive heating, the fun falls by the wayside because of the bad fork set-up.
The Yamaha also promises little joy at first. If you check the suspension while standing, you will hardly believe that this fork can work. The first impression
is confirmed when walking slowly around-
roll. It turns out especially in narrow passages
the YZ as stubborn and clumsy, the suspension hops over the waves.
As soon as the Yamaha runs out and the
Pilot is allowed to turn the gas vigorously, turns
the picture turns. The Yamaha is in top form on fast passages and at high speeds. It remains stable, regardless of whether on wave slopes or
when braking down. And the suspension works better the tighter you are
pulls on the cable. If only there weren’t those tight turns.
The RM-Z has no problem with straight lines or curves. It is both stable and handy. An excellently responsive suspension supports the flowing line. If you gradually increase the speed, the suspension appears a bit soft. A few clicks more cushioning bring calm back into the framework, but do not change the fact that with a sharp pace and fast drivers, more hardness at the front and rear would be helpful. The fact that the forehand seems a bit restless when driving quickly could have something to do with the soft fork design as well as the dosage of elasticity and rigidity in the aluminum frame. Overall, the Suzuki chassis looks stiffer than that of the Honda.
That is based on the same Showa elements as the Suzuki, but goes a completely different way in its basic setup. The CRF is rather tightly designed. Therefore, the comfort for a hobby driver is initially limited. For professionals, however, the design is ideal. But even ambitious amateur drivers like the perfect balance of the Honda. The red ones have
the aluminum frame has been refined year after year, the current generation finally looks mature. What can already be seen from the fact that the Honda no longer demands extra sausage when it comes to voting. Unlike before, the 2005 model works with a usual sag of 20 to 30 millimeters.
Conclusion: The development trend with the four-stroke engines is clear, they are becoming more and more aggressive, more similar to the two-stroke engines. Gone are the days when the steam hammers were valued by many recreational crossers for their gentle characteristics. The Honda shows where to go, while Suzuki has obviously stepped on the brakes a little. The series RM-Z
is designed so that it can be controlled without gorilla arms. Not a bad decision for the general public. Sometimes less is more.
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Comparison test 450 Crosser
Bounced as jumped?
Test result: Honda CRF 450 R
Honda CRF 450 R If it is too strong, you are too weak:
The CRF is a grenade, not for untrained amateurs. Anyone who has the monster under control can enjoy the perfectly balanced chassis.
Test result: Suzuki RM-Z 450
Suzuki RM-Z 450 The RM-Z can be at the front right away-
Mix. The engine spoils with strong acceleration and excellent traction, but ambitious drivers need more rigidity in the chassis.
Test result: YAMAHA YZ 450 F
YAMAHA YZ 450 The former top of the class is getting on in years and looks clumsy. The engine needs more thrust. Aggressive pilots are impressed by the stability and the progressive suspension.
Test result: KTM 450 SX Racing
KTM 450 SX Racing It’s not the most powerful machine in its class, but it still looks dynamic. But screwed up
the mediocre fork set-up gives the otherwise decent impression.
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