New 2014 RMZ 450 vs New 2019 KX450 ?

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12/17/2018 6:50 PM

Hey everyone, a new old guy here, used to be "Karma" on here for 2-3 years. Place got kinda annoying but I guess just have to ignore the BS and enjoy the other aspects of Vital,
Anyhoo, I have decided to return to the sport this spring, on a 450. I love everything I see and hear about the new KX, but I also know of a 14 RMZ that is brand new, and way way cheaper. My question is, how much difference would there be between the 2? My thinking is that if I spend some $ to improve the Suzuki's forks, plus a bit of bling, I would be perfectly happy with the zuke? My rational is the the RM turns and handles great, has a pretty good motor, and the ergos are great too. Is there anything else besides the forks, and lack of E-start
that are of any note that would make the KX a way better choice?
I will be riding Vet over 50 class and used to be a fast local pro.
thanks
ps This will be my first 4 stroke.

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12/17/2018 7:42 PM

I have a ‘14 RMZ and love it ! I did put a SHOWA A-Kit on it, but left the motor completely stock, with the exception of a Yosh exhaust.
I’ve owned ever brand, currently have 2- KTM’s and 2- Suzuki’s. I had the 14.5 and 15.5 KTM 450’s and while they were great bikes, I like my RMZ better.

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12/17/2018 7:47 PM

Hydraulic clutch on the new KX450 I believe, may be another plus worth factoring in.

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12/17/2018 7:52 PM

Get the Suzuki, save a ton on price, plus use some of what you saved for bling/your riding season. Electric start I’m certain, but to me not the end all to be all. As far as performance, durability, ask yourself some honest questions.....
1. Can you on a performance standpoint utilize everything either 450 offers? (Not to insult, but I’m comfortably betting no....)
2. Will the E-start button alone decide what you pick? (You never mentioned price, but I’m betting it’s substantial. Is it really worth it that much to you?)
3. You named a handful of things you really liked about the Suzuki, all positives, meaning your right off the bat going with something you already like. Plus, it’s brand new..... Falling for a new latest greatest, that’s as simple as drinking someone else’s kool-aid.
4. Someone well respected in this sport told me 2 years ago a line about E-start I’ll never forget.....(Yes, it’s a selling point, but not necessary. We have it to help our guys get going quickly, period. At this level, time, and position, is money. Lots of it.....)
5. Which one will make you the happiest? It’s your cash, and that’s what matters most. With all that said, it just essentially depends on what you want to see every time you flip the lights on in your shop....
Good luck, be safe, have fun ?

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12/17/2018 7:54 PM

You used to be quite fast. Not as much these days, but, I bet the difference in lap times is 1/2 second, probably more fun on the zook.

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12/17/2018 7:55 PM

dadofagun wrote:

Get the Suzuki, save a ton on price, plus use some of what you saved for bling/your riding season. Electric start I’m certain, but to me not the end all to be all. As far as performance, durability, ask yourself some honest questions.....
1. Can you on a performance standpoint utilize everything either 450 offers? (Not to insult, but I’m comfortably betting no....)
2. Will the E-start button alone decide what you pick? (You never mentioned price, but I’m betting it’s substantial. Is it really worth it that much to you?)
3. You named a handful of things you really liked about the Suzuki, all positives, meaning your right off the bat going with something you already like. Plus, it’s brand new..... Falling for a new latest greatest, that’s as simple as drinking someone else’s kool-aid.
4. Someone well respected in this sport told me 2 years ago a line about E-start I’ll never forget.....(Yes, it’s a selling point, but not necessary. We have it to help our guys get going quickly, period. At this level, time, and position, is money. Lots of it.....)
5. Which one will make you the happiest? It’s your cash, and that’s what matters most. With all that said, it just essentially depends on what you want to see every time you flip the lights on in your shop....
Good luck, be safe, have fun ?

Thanks! I appreciate your insights, all good.

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12/17/2018 8:00 PM
Edited Date/Time: 12/17/2018 8:22 PM

dadofagun wrote:

Get the Suzuki, save a ton on price, plus use some of what you saved for bling/your riding season. Electric start I’m certain, but to me not the end all to be all. As far as performance, durability, ask yourself some honest questions.....
1. Can you on a performance standpoint utilize everything either 450 offers? (Not to insult, but I’m comfortably betting no....)
2. Will the E-start button alone decide what you pick? (You never mentioned price, but I’m betting it’s substantial. Is it really worth it that much to you?)
3. You named a handful of things you really liked about the Suzuki, all positives, meaning your right off the bat going with something you already like. Plus, it’s brand new..... Falling for a new latest greatest, that’s as simple as drinking someone else’s kool-aid.
4. Someone well respected in this sport told me 2 years ago a line about E-start I’ll never forget.....(Yes, it’s a selling point, but not necessary. We have it to help our guys get going quickly, period. At this level, time, and position, is money. Lots of it.....)
5. Which one will make you the happiest? It’s your cash, and that’s what matters most. With all that said, it just essentially depends on what you want to see every time you flip the lights on in your shop....
Good luck, be safe, have fun ?

Sluggo77 wrote:

Thanks! I appreciate your insights, all good.

No problem, just enjoy yourself! No matter which color you choose.....
On a side note, my Daddy said something at a race about a year ago that made me laugh.....
He’s 75, and overheard some guys beside him having the whole E start debate. He casually looked at both and said....
“Boys, listen. This isn’t that difficult . If you think you really need electric start, and you’re not doing this for a living, you’re one of a handful of things....”
“A wimp, lazy, or old like me. I’m old, and that’s a badge I proudly wear. I sure as hell would hate to have to admit to the world I was one of the others.... especially if I was young like yourselves. If it’s too much trouble to kick it to life, you damn sure don’t need to be part of it, good chance it’s gonna knock you on your ass. I don’t see electric start on any of the Mini’s out here today....”. I just laughed ?

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12/17/2018 8:07 PM

I would say Fun is pretty much the only focus at this stage. That being said, going as fast I am able to will still be a part of the equation. My mantra going in, is: "Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast." Focus on proper technique and be smooth and efficient as possible. Whatever speed I get from that will be fine with me. I can afford the all new fancy one, but if it's not really worth it, why do it is what I am thinking about.
The RMZ is $5,100 K. and the KX, around 11K

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12/17/2018 8:11 PM

I had that Suzuki and i loved it. The motor is absolutely bulletproof. 60 hours in and nothing wore out. I now have the 2019 Kawi and that’s a great bike too. I’d go with the Suzuki because it’s just one of those bikes......fix the forks and enjoy. The motor is mild but plenty powerful.

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12/17/2018 8:21 PM

These dudes are nuts. You’re in your 50s going into your golden years, you can afford it. Treat yourself to the best motocross bike. The zook is 6 years old and probably got last place in every shootout back then. The new kawi is state of the art cutting edge. If you were a beginner I’d say doesn’t really matter. You were a pro you will appreciate the new Kawi. . It’s slick. There’s no way in hell I’d get the zook and neither would these guys if they could afford it. I call BS. Go green.

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12/17/2018 8:38 PM

TogaSet wrote:

These dudes are nuts. You’re in your 50s going into your golden years, you can afford it. Treat yourself to the best motocross bike. The zook is 6 years old and probably got last place in every shootout back then. The new kawi is state of the art cutting edge. If you were a beginner I’d say doesn’t really matter. You were a pro you will appreciate the new Kawi. . It’s slick. There’s no way in hell I’d get the zook and neither would these guys if they could afford it. I call BS. Go green.

You are so right.... I so wish I could afford a new KX450. ermm

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12/17/2018 8:39 PM
Edited Date/Time: 12/17/2018 8:40 PM

I have some ohlins inserts for those forks if you're interested

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12/17/2018 8:46 PM
Edited Date/Time: 12/17/2018 8:51 PM

TogaSet wrote:

These dudes are nuts. You’re in your 50s going into your golden years, you can afford it. Treat yourself to the best motocross bike. The zook is 6 years old and probably got last place in every shootout back then. The new kawi is state of the art cutting edge. If you were a beginner I’d say doesn’t really matter. You were a pro you will appreciate the new Kawi. . It’s slick. There’s no way in hell I’d get the zook and neither would these guys if they could afford it. I call BS. Go green.

Not starting an argument at all, but I’m far from
Nuts. Fun is what he is after, and I merely said that he had quoted positive things about the Suzuki that appealed to he. Is the Kawasaki more modern? Sure is! But, I can also read shootouts, and it’s cuttiing edge design didn’t win shit either..... Golden years? I’m certain the man has worked his entire life, so that’s why I said, pick whatever you want, just be safe, and have fun.
And yes, I can offord either one of the two......
Paying for a third year college student, plus a daughter fixing to start in June proves easily I can afford to buy a new motorcycle. I’ll be in my golden years here before too long, and I’m sure I’ll ask members here for new bike advice as well, once my kids are taken care of. But I have a good inclination to not bother yourself with any curiosities I may have........ Take care.

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12/17/2018 8:56 PM

With money being no object.....obviously get the kawi

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12/17/2018 9:13 PM

Moto520 wrote:

I had that Suzuki and i loved it. The motor is absolutely bulletproof. 60 hours in and nothing wore out. I now have the 2019 Kawi and that’s a great bike too. I’d go with the Suzuki because it’s just one of those bikes......fix the forks and enjoy. The motor is mild but plenty powerful.

Thanks.
..."it's just one of those bikes." Yeah this is what I have a feeling about with this bike. One of those meaning, really easy ride, which for me translates to fast and fun. It doesn't hurt that RC put a lot of input into this bike. He would know how to make a bike work well.
The Kawi sounds great too, and all that new bling, food for thought too.

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12/17/2018 10:00 PM

Sluggo77 wrote:

I would say Fun is pretty much the only focus at this stage. That being said, going as fast I am able to will still be a part of the equation. My mantra going in, is: "Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast." Focus on proper technique and be smooth and efficient as possible. Whatever speed I get from that will be fine with me. I can afford the all new fancy one, but if it's not really worth it, why do it is what I am thinking about.
The RMZ is $5,100 K. and the KX, around 11K

I don’t think $5,100 for a new 14 rmz is a good deal. I know of guys barely paying over that in 2014 for a 14 model (one was friends of the dealers and acutally paid less).

Now that the bike is 4-5 years outdated I’d have a hard time pulling the trigger on that. With that being said I had a 2013 rmz 450 and I loved it. But it was heavy.

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12/17/2018 10:32 PM

After owning a 14 RMZ450 I would say you’re better off looking else where. Perhaps you will have better luck with the SFF fork but whenever mine wasn’t leaking oil from a blown seal, it was performing marginally.

I had it revalved by ProValve in Costa Mesa and eventually had RG3 put their patented smart valve in the fork but after all was said and done there was just no justifying throwing more money at something that didn’t work well.

What did work well on the bike was the chassis, the rear shock, and smooth power delivery. I can safely say my 18 fc350 is better in every way though.

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12/17/2018 10:34 PM

Sluggo77 wrote:

I would say Fun is pretty much the only focus at this stage. That being said, going as fast I am able to will still be a part of the equation. My mantra going in, is: "Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast." Focus on proper technique and be smooth and efficient as possible. Whatever speed I get from that will be fine with me. I can afford the all new fancy one, but if it's not really worth it, why do it is what I am thinking about.
The RMZ is $5,100 K. and the KX, around 11K

Benihana225 wrote:

I don’t think $5,100 for a new 14 rmz is a good deal. I know of guys barely paying over that in 2014 for a 14 model (one was friends of the dealers and acutally paid less).

Now that the bike is 4-5 years outdated I’d have a hard time pulling the trigger on that. With that being said I had a 2013 rmz 450 and I loved it. But it was heavy.

He is in Canada, and $5.1K CAD is only about $250 USD.

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12/18/2018 3:25 AM

I went from a 15 Rmz to a 19 kawi. I’m 9mph faster through the rollers and my lap times dropped 2.5 seconds.

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12/18/2018 3:38 AM

TogaSet wrote:

These dudes are nuts. You’re in your 50s going into your golden years, you can afford it. Treat yourself to the best motocross bike. The zook is 6 years old and probably got last place in every shootout back then. The new kawi is state of the art cutting edge. If you were a beginner I’d say doesn’t really matter. You were a pro you will appreciate the new Kawi. . It’s slick. There’s no way in hell I’d get the zook and neither would these guys if they could afford it. I call BS. Go green.

dadofagun wrote:

Not starting an argument at all, but I’m far from
Nuts. Fun is what he is after, and I merely said that he had quoted positive things about the Suzuki that appealed to he. Is the Kawasaki more modern? Sure is! But, I can also read shootouts, and it’s cuttiing edge design didn’t win shit either..... Golden years? I’m certain the man has worked his entire life, so that’s why I said, pick whatever you want, just be safe, and have fun.
And yes, I can offord either one of the two......
Paying for a third year college student, plus a daughter fixing to start in June proves easily I can afford to buy a new motorcycle. I’ll be in my golden years here before too long, and I’m sure I’ll ask members here for new bike advice as well, once my kids are taken care of. But I have a good inclination to not bother yourself with any curiosities I may have........ Take care.

The KX450 won the majority of the shootouts this year.

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12/18/2018 4:03 AM

Id go for the rmz with one caveat. Be absolutely willing to upgrade the forks. Ohlins, a-kit, conevalves, something. Dont screw around with the stock stuff and i think youll have the best experience.

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12/18/2018 4:54 AM

I’m a vet myself. The reason I would go with Kx is how safe it is and feels. It doesn’t do anything weird. You won’t have to get used to it. And if everyone is saying the RM needs upgrades the second you get it, that’s just down time. That kx needs nothing. It’s also lighter then the rm. Just haveing a lighter feeling bike will be worth the extra money. I promise. It will perform better in every way.

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12/18/2018 4:59 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/18/2018 5:01 AM

I had a 14 RMZ 450 with a Factory Connection revalve and it was a REALLY good bike. Handled awesome. Suspension was money. Smooth motor.

With that said, I wouldn't ride a new KX if you aren't prepared to buy one. I have an 18' Honda 450 and even though I don't care for the ridge chassis I know I wouldn't trade it for my old Suzuki.

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12/18/2018 5:02 AM

Id be willing to bet that kawi will handle better than the zook out of the box. Its got hydro clutch, akit forks, better motor, estart. Well worth the money imo if you can swing it

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12/18/2018 5:06 AM

kb228 wrote:

Id be willing to bet that kawi will handle better than the zook out of the box. Its got hydro clutch, akit forks, better motor, estart. Well worth the money imo if you can swing it

For 6k less in his case he can make the rmz exactly how he wants. Vortex, full exhaust, suspension, bars, levers, pegs and still be less than the kx.

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12/18/2018 5:26 AM

kb228 wrote:

Id be willing to bet that kawi will handle better than the zook out of the box. Its got hydro clutch, akit forks, better motor, estart. Well worth the money imo if you can swing it

yz133rider wrote:

For 6k less in his case he can make the rmz exactly how he wants. Vortex, full exhaust, suspension, bars, levers, pegs and still be less than the kx.

And then the RMZ will still only be worth 3500$.....With all of the extra stuff. It's a terrible investment to buy old bikes and build them up with thousands of dollars worth of parts.

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12/18/2018 5:31 AM

kb228 wrote:

Id be willing to bet that kawi will handle better than the zook out of the box. Its got hydro clutch, akit forks, better motor, estart. Well worth the money imo if you can swing it

yz133rider wrote:

For 6k less in his case he can make the rmz exactly how he wants. Vortex, full exhaust, suspension, bars, levers, pegs and still be less than the kx.

JB 19 wrote:

And then the RMZ will still only be worth 3500$.....With all of the extra stuff. It's a terrible investment to buy old bikes and build them up with thousands of dollars worth of parts.

Except you can sell that all seperately easily and for good money...

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12/18/2018 6:04 AM

I just bought an 18 RMZ for $6,306 OTD. I'll spend at the most 2 grand on an Exhaust, HC piston, tune, a Link, and Revalved suspension, and I feel I'll have the best bike out there for me.. and still be under the total cost of every 2019 non Zook out there sitting on the showroom floor bone stock.

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Name withheld... Esquire


12/18/2018 6:23 AM

If your're leaning towards the RM I'd suggest looking at an 18 left over model instead. For a little more $ it will have the latest upgrades without the air forks. That being said the 19 Kawi sounds like a good bike from the showroom floor.

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Speak softly and carry a big stick.

12/18/2018 6:30 AM

H4L wrote:

If your're leaning towards the RM I'd suggest looking at an 18 left over model instead. For a little more $ it will have the latest upgrades without the air forks. That being said the 19 Kawi sounds like a good bike from the showroom floor.

Ya I agree you can still pick one up for atleast a grand cheaper. Once you get the suspension and link set up and exhaust your set. But those new 19 kx seems really good.

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