The Vital MX '18 RMZ450 (2018 Day In The Dirt Race Report and LONG TERM WEAR status)

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1/18/2018 4:49 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/10/2018 3:10 PM

I've spent a couple of months with this bike in Punk Rock Stock form...
(That term is stolen from a fellow forum member)
Here she is in her various stages of stockness from November thru this week (her last week as a Stocker).

Here's week one when I'm at the track with Fabio's son, ML512...and his blinged out Honda clutch-eater.



Here it is up at Ione Sands with Vital's famous Slipdog at the helm.



No, that's NOT Sasquatch! That's Vital's very own Scooter5002. The dude must have played CBL! (That's like the NBA; but, in Canada). He drove down from The Great White North to grab A LOT of laps at A LOT of tracks. Scooter is an absolute Bad Ass.

And here's your's truly at Ione and Pala




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I ripped a start from Egypt and I was happy about that.

1/18/2018 5:12 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/18/2018 6:15 PM

She's spent PLENTY of time in Punk Rock Box Stock form and I've had A LOT OF HELP getting her sorted out. Suprisingly, the stock chain and sprockets lasted about 25 hours. That's better than usual for stock stuff from the Japanese brands. Btw, the RMZ no longer comes stock with an o-ring.

As the Bridgestones and Chain/Sprockets wore off, I replaced things with Renthal and Pirelli.
As you can see...


Tires: Pirelli Mid-Softs in 120/90-19 & 90/100-21. And...NO! There aren't any "tubes". I'm running Pirelli bibs...because flats SUCK!

Chain and Sprockets: Renthal Twin Ring 50, 13 Ultralight Grooved front and their R1 race chain (non-o-ring).

The bike has 40 hours on it and it's wearing/lasting/looking better than ANY of it's Japanese cousins at this time. The Suzuki's clutch is BULLET-PROOF. The gearbox is precise and the engine, over-all, is Diesel-Truck tough. The bodywork is suprisingly clean for all the time she's got and even the seat has held up well. Stock bars are excellent for me (5'8") and the overall ergonomics are superb for my riding style and ability (see the shoutout for an explanation).

The forks are damn good once you get in there and start clicking. Just like the Honda, there are pre-load/ride height issues that make the turning sensitivity seem to be hard to nail-down...until you start really adjusting things & eventually you find your sweet-spot.

The shock: yes, it's different. For all conversational purposes, this is a Japanese Ohlins...it blows thru the stroke on ocassion and has some hi-speed/fast travel issues. I've had IDENTICAL issues with Ohlins. It works pretty damn well on tracks that're natural outdoor style "hillside" tracks. It's the Man-Made stuff that confuses the shock. This ain't no Supercross shock!

The suspension settings are: (Suspension counseling and set-up tips were provided by "SlipDog" aka Roth Racing Suspension. The dude is GOOD & he's awfully damn fast on a dirt scooter).

Fork: Raised to the 1st indented line for ride height (approx. 5-6mm). Compression 16 out. Rebound 8 out.

Shock: sag at 104. Compression 2 to 4 out. Rebound 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 out. You have to add compression for Big Hit/Big Vertical Launches.

What's coming up:
Yoshimura Pipe
Some Mettec Ti goodies
Guts Racing Seat
Moto Hose
Rekluse Core Manual TorqDrive
Dyno-tuning by Twisted Development
Maintanence and Servicing input from Vital member Xeno of JCR Speed Shop fame
Suspension servicing by Roth Racing Suspension
Dyno-Tuning by Twisted Development's Jamie Ellis
Metzler Mid-Softs

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I ripped a start from Egypt and I was happy about that.

1/18/2018 7:34 PM

Is that really Fabio’s son?

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1/18/2018 7:46 PM

I dig the fators sticker

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1/18/2018 9:01 PM

Does Jamie Ellis have the equipment to re map Suzukis? Not many people do, and my 2015 was a nightmare for flame out

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1/18/2018 9:13 PM

TeamGreen wrote:

She's spent PLENTY of time in Punk Rock Box Stock form and I've had A LOT OF HELP getting her sorted out. Suprisingly, the stock chain and sprockets lasted about 25 hours. That's better than usual for stock stuff from the Japanese brands. Btw, the RMZ no longer comes stock with an o-ring.

As the Bridgestones and Chain/Sprockets wore off, I replaced things with Renthal and Pirelli.
As you can see...


Tires: Pirelli Mid-Softs in 120/90-19 & 90/100-21. And...NO! There aren't any "tubes". I'm running Pirelli bibs...because flats SUCK!

Chain and Sprockets: Renthal Twin Ring 50, 13 Ultralight Grooved front and their R1 race chain (non-o-ring).

The bike has 40 hours on it and it's wearing/lasting/looking better than ANY of it's Japanese cousins at this time. The Suzuki's clutch is BULLET-PROOF. The gearbox is precise and the engine, over-all, is Diesel-Truck tough. The bodywork is suprisingly clean for all the time she's got and even the seat has held up well. Stock bars are excellent for me (5'8") and the overall ergonomics are superb for my riding style and ability (see the shoutout for an explanation).

The forks are damn good once you get in there and start clicking. Just like the Honda, there are pre-load/ride height issues that make the turning sensitivity seem to be hard to nail-down...until you start really adjusting things & eventually you find your sweet-spot.

The shock: yes, it's different. For all conversational purposes, this is a Japanese Ohlins...it blows thru the stroke on ocassion and has some hi-speed/fast travel issues. I've had IDENTICAL issues with Ohlins. It works pretty damn well on tracks that're natural outdoor style "hillside" tracks. It's the Man-Made stuff that confuses the shock. This ain't no Supercross shock!

The suspension settings are: (Suspension counseling and set-up tips were provided by "SlipDog" aka Roth Racing Suspension. The dude is GOOD & he's awfully damn fast on a dirt scooter).

Fork: Raised to the 1st indented line for ride height (approx. 5-6mm). Compression 16 out. Rebound 8 out.

Shock: sag at 104. Compression 2 to 4 out. Rebound 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 out. You have to add compression for Big Hit/Big Vertical Launches.

What's coming up:
Yoshimura Pipe
Some Mettec Ti goodies
Guts Racing Seat
Moto Hose
Rekluse Core Manual TorqDrive
Dyno-tuning by Twisted Development
Maintanence and Servicing input from Vital member Xeno of JCR Speed Shop fame
Suspension servicing by Roth Racing Suspension
Dyno-Tuning by Twisted Development's Jamie Ellis
Metzler Mid-Softs

Fantastic write up! Keep us posted!

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1/18/2018 9:47 PM

Man, I dig your truck ! I busted a good laugh when I read of Fabio's offspring, which may stick, lol ? On a serious note, I'm glad to see you working with the RMZ, once you get the bike dialed to your favor you'll be riding....Cadillac style. Good look'n bike also.

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There's something happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear.

1/18/2018 10:05 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/18/2018 10:06 PM

Bruce372 wrote:

Does Jamie Ellis have the equipment to re map Suzukis? Not many people do, and my 2015 was a nightmare for flame out

I have seen some at his shop and know he used to work with some Suzuki race teams. Definitely recommend working with them!

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1/19/2018 4:04 AM
Edited Date/Time: 1/19/2018 1:12 PM

Awesome write up.

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1/19/2018 7:55 AM

nice write up, always cool to read this type of posts

just curious, why are you replacing the clutch if you said the stock one is bulletproof?
that Rekluse you are planing to install is like a conventional clutch?

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1/19/2018 9:02 AM

Manny- Did Suzuki change the clutch for 18? That was always a weak spot on my dads last 3 suzukis(13,15 and 17) and he definitely isn't a clutch abuser. I'm looking forward to watching this thread

p.s- good to see Fabio's kid out riding!

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2017 RMZ450
2005 YZ250-sold :,(
1998 YZ250
2005 KX250F

80% of the time it works every time
IG @hamdaddyof2 & @2HRacing
Thanks to : Factory Effex, N2Dirt, Acerbis, DT1, Fasthouse, Matix, FMF, ASV, 100% & Mika Metals

1/19/2018 3:02 PM

About the clutch...
First point: I've had quite a few VERY accomplished riders tell me to "GET OFF the damn clutch!...And...quit shifting so damn much!" Since adapting some of these disciplines, I find I'm accelerating harder in lower gears, clearing big jumps WAY easier, using lower gears/higher revs in turns/staying in my line easier...
AND...clutches last FOREVER (except on a certain red brand that seems to have a TERRIBLE CLUTCH).
2nd point: the clutch on the '17 RMZ worked excellent and this bike feels just like it. I pulled the clutch on a Factory Services FC250 today...Yech! The Zook is soooo much nicer!
3rd point: The Rekluse is made SOOO well, has such amazing surfaces and machining...it's simply a premium product and it lasts FOREVER. So, I'm running it as of the upcoming "tear-down, inspect, replacement schedule" that I'm on.

As for Jamie & tuning: I'm thinking we're gonna see what we can do w/Suzuki's tuner for now. Eventually it'll probably end up w/ a Vortex. Right now, it runs realllly good on VP T4e.

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I ripped a start from Egypt and I was happy about that.

1/19/2018 8:12 PM

CM46 wrote:

I dig the fators sticker

Rode this scooter at the Redding Dirt Riders New Years Day Poker Run. Fator's has serviced it a few times. I figure a Suzuki should be taken care of by an Old School Suzuki Dealer.

There'll be more Fator's on this project and some Donnell's, too (dealership that is run by a fellow forum member in Independence, Missouri).

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I ripped a start from Egypt and I was happy about that.

1/19/2018 9:22 PM

@TeamGreen nice build! When you update with that Guts racing seat cover i could gladly take your oem cover of your hand, cant seem to find oem blue covers in canada, will be following for sure! good luck.

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2002 KX125 (SOLD)/2001 KX250 (SOLD)
1999 KX250 (SOLD)
2016 RM-Z250(SOLD)
2018 KTM 150XC-W(current)

1/20/2018 6:47 AM

Manny, question for you. You mention some ti Mettec stuff coming. I would wonder why you put a twin ring sprocket on the bike and then go to the extreme of adding ti bolts? You must know the twin ring not only is quite heavy, specially on a 50 tooth, even worse its unsprung weight! Yes, it will last longer but its counter productive to add ti bolts if you bolt on unnecessary steel! haha

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1/20/2018 8:33 AM

Was SOOOO cool meeting up with you at Pala after A1 Manny! Pala is the best run I have ever seen a riding track do and hoping to get down to SoCal to ride there myself after the Vegas Aimexpo in October driving the Moto Hose box van out from SC.

We have worked on deals to sponsor the 2 NEW Suzuki teams in SX but factory Suzuki has yet to give them a go ahead to install the kits already in the teams possession sooooo ...... cant wait to see the Vital RMZ450 the 1st to have the Moto Hose hoses installed on it!





OK The Valley roads are ahhhh interesting for an East coast guy!!! and notice the road in the mirror



This was a cool bike to see ridden there!



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1/20/2018 10:01 PM

Ese', you didn't mention how hard the seat was. Is THAT why you're changing it? Damn, that thing is brutal, compared to my '07.

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1/20/2018 10:13 PM

CM46 wrote:

I dig the fators sticker

TeamGreen wrote:

Rode this scooter at the Redding Dirt Riders New Years Day Poker Run. Fator's has serviced it a few times. I figure a Suzuki should be taken care of by an Old School Suzuki Dealer.

There'll be more Fator's on this project and some Donnell's, too (dealership that is run by a fellow forum member in Independence, Missouri).

Right on I worked there when I was younger.

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2/1/2018 5:24 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/1/2018 5:26 PM

So...
I’ve got a little bit of “Revision 1” done and rode it yesterday in what we’ll call “Rev. 0.1”...
Motor Hoses
Galfer brakes








The hoses look and fit great and are available...which is nice! The blue looks REALLY Good on the Zook!

The Galfer Superlight Tsunami front is INSANE and makes ANY braking issue a one -LIGHT- finger affair. The rear Taunami is ABUSE PROOF! (I really, really tried).
Btw, those are Galfer brake-lines, too. The brake set-up is VERY JGR!

Both products get a Mega-Thumbs-Up.
You can see these parts on some of the best Suzuki’s in the paddock, too!
The hoses WILL be available with a “Y” hose soon & I’ll report on that when it is.

Tires: Pirelli Mid-Softs w/Pirelli bibs. They LAST & all the while...from Pala to Cahuilla to The Shasta National Forest...
They WORK!

Fuel: VP Racing Fuels T4e

Sprockets-Chain: Renthal

Next up: Yoshimura Ti-Carbon pipe, a report on “some” Mettec Ti and a “Fabricator The Factories Use”...
Maybe even a Dyno-Run or two at Twisted Development.
Oh...a Guts Racing Light Seat w/Velcro-System.
A few Carbon Bits...

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I ripped a start from Egypt and I was happy about that.

2/1/2018 5:28 PM

Btw, this week’s new goodies mounted by...& the bike was serviced by...
Allan Brown of Allan Brown Motorsports in Riverside.

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I ripped a start from Egypt and I was happy about that.

2/1/2018 6:39 PM

Do the pirellis come with painted lettering or do you have a hook up? I always loved the painted letters and could never understand why manufacturers didn’t offer it. I would assume it would help sell tires and be a good marketing tool with how noticeble it makes them.

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2/1/2018 7:04 PM

Pirate421 wrote:

Do the pirellis come with painted lettering or do you have a hook up? I always loved the painted letters and could never understand why manufacturers didn’t offer it. I would assume it would help sell tires and be a good marketing tool with how noticeble it makes them.

They’re mounted by Pirelli and they put the decals on. I agree, they should be available.

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I ripped a start from Egypt and I was happy about that.

2/1/2018 7:37 PM

That's a lot of motorcycle for the money. I'm an old vet, like good turning bikes, and think that bike is cool. That's all I have to say about that.

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2/2/2018 12:02 AM

Ted722 wrote:

That's a lot of motorcycle for the money. I'm an old vet, like good turning bikes, and think that bike is cool. That's all I have to say about that.

Isn't that the truth? Keep the updates coming-

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Current rides-
1988 RM250
2019 KX450

2/3/2018 10:11 PM

Team Green,

Are you planning on getting the 1 inch lower Guts seat?

Curious how you think the 18 Suzuki fits a shorter rider? (seems to be taller with less seat foam available to remove) Maybe compared to the 17 Suzuki or other brands.

Thanks! Appreciate It

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2/4/2018 11:55 AM

I will continue watching this thread. What I'm gathering is Suzuki gets a bad wrap. Yet it seems as though they are providing a pretty good 450. Weird.

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2/4/2018 12:58 PM

Speeder757 wrote:

Team Green,

Are you planning on getting the 1 inch lower Guts seat?

Curious how you think the 18 Suzuki fits a shorter rider? (seems to be taller with less seat foam available to remove) Maybe compared to the 17 Suzuki or other brands.

Thanks! Appreciate It

Here ya go...
Manny Ornellas
Age: 54
Height: 5' 8" / Weight: 188 lbs.
Riding Experience: 50+ Intermediate
Recent Bikes: 2016 Husqvarna FX 350, 2017 Honda CRF450RX, 2017 Suzuki RM-Z450

I’ll be running the Guts seat just slightly lower due to the indentations that I run for grip on the front 1/2 of the seat (instead of ribs). The bike is really easy to get on, start...etc. for a short old fart, like me.

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I ripped a start from Egypt and I was happy about that.

2/4/2018 7:57 PM

Thank you for posting the pictures Manny they look great!

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2/20/2018 9:28 AM

CM46 wrote:

I dig the fators sticker

TeamGreen wrote:

Rode this scooter at the Redding Dirt Riders New Years Day Poker Run. Fator's has serviced it a few times. I figure a Suzuki should be taken care of by an Old School Suzuki Dealer.

There'll be more Fator's on this project and some Donnell's, too (dealership that is run by a fellow forum member in Independence, Missouri).

Who is the forum member that runs Donnell's? Please DM if you'd prefer.

And another question, now that you have some seat time sorting the '18 RMZ, how would you rate it or compare it with your '17 CRF450RX and '17 RMZ450 experience?

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2/25/2018 4:04 PM

Any new updates Manny on this bike? Has your opinion changed any about this bike? With simple mods does it really improve the machine?

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