Imagining the 2018 Suzuki RM-Z450 Supermoto

02/07/2017 @ 11:42 am, by Jensen Beeler12 COMMENTS

It is a tremendous shame that the options for a road legal supermoto for are so limited, with the venerable Suzuki DR-Z400SM being the only offering in the 450cc on-road class.

For virtually a decade, Suzuki has left the DR-Z basically unchanged – as it has done with many of its sport models – so we would love to see Suzuki and other manufacturers give this space more attention (a hat tip to Husqvarna for bringing the track-only FS450 to market, long with the 701 Supermoto).

Although you can wake-up the DR-Z400 with a few simple modification, and there are a bevy of aftermarket kits that can punch the 398cc machine out in size, what we really want from Suzuki is a proper 450cc street supermoto – one that doesn’t stray too far from the brand’s current strong motocross offering.

So, when we saw this little bit of Photoshop work by the folks at the German Suzuki dealership of DSR-Suzuki, we got a little excited.

The base motorcycle for the photo is the recently debuted MXGP (that’s the FIM’s motocross championship) race bike, the 2018 Suzuki RM-Z450WS.

Adding some 17″ wheels with slicks and leveling things out, we the resulting RM-Z supermoto is an appropriately handsome machine for kart-track foolery.

Who knows if Suzuki will ever get around to updating the DR-Z platform, but if they do, hopefully the photo above provides some guidance in the design brief. See below what the 2018 Suzuki RM-Z450WS looks like with its race livery and knobby tires.

Source: DSR-Suzuki (Facebook)

  • Sam Miller

    They photochopped a KTM swingarm and KTM fork lowers on to it? I guess it was easier that way…

  • RD350

    The SV650 twin in a light weight chassis would be a great “Street Tard” .. or perhaps the DR650 single? MX motors, while great for racing, don’t work so well on the street.

  • 314Daws

    Have you ever felt the weight of an SV650 engine? At around 100lb (50kg) it’s a little on the porky side even for a street motard.

    I’m a little biased as I own a few but if you’re looking for a better option than a single for street use, it’s hard to go past the the Aprilia V-twin engine used in the SXV, especially the 550, a complete pig to race in the dirt but it generates a lot of smiles on the tar ;) Aprilia never quite got on top of it after the early issues with the SXV engine but the later MXV is a great base for a supermoto bike… with a few mods.

    Mine –

  • RD350

    I was just considering engines already in the Suzuki lineup. I dont think the RM/MX motor would work on the street and the Japanese, especially Suzuki, aren’t going to be coming out with an appropriate single or twin anytime soon.

  • How many engines have you gone through on that Aprilia?

  • 314Daws

    The MXV is on its original engine but it doesn’t get ridden much anymore and gets serviced often.

    I used to race an SXV550 and had 2 engines that I rotated for rebuild when they got to the service limit. I never had a mechanical failure in 4 years of racing the SXV in supermoto and Road-racing (aside from a clutch cable and oil pressure switch) but the engines were built by professionals who were familiar with the model and I serviced them very frequently.

    I have seen most of the SXV horror stories first hand in other people’s bikes but the root cause is not usually down to the quality of the engine.

  • LeDelmo

    Wait wait wait.

    When the heck did Suzuki make a new RMZ?

  • thestove

    such a shame that suzuki and the other Japanese brands haven’t put any real effort into the streetable 400-500 dirt/sm area.

  • Alam R

    SXV is such an expensive bike for what it is! great bike though.

  • Alam R

    I agree… surely KTM have shown the market is there. The price of the 690 SM-R is eye watering. Could we get something similar from the Japanese? That is if Trump allows it.
    The beauty of the 690 is the engine is so versatile. I used to own a 07 690 SM and the bike could cruise at 100mph (I had that screen) and it was so much fun. The engine required an oil change every 3k and it seemed a useable package.


    The first and second gen SV650s are already fairly light for what they are. I imagine that from a mass production standpoint, making it lighter would result in a far more expensive bike on the floor. At which point it becomes under powered and over priced. The first and second gen SV650s were great bikes for their time. At this point though there are more modern, more powerful, better suspended offerings from other manufacturers in the same price range. The SV650 is dead. I can buy an R6 or CBR600 of the same vintage for about the same money. SV650s were great because they were cheap and fun. They’re still fun bikes, but there are a lot more options to be had at the same price point, new or used.

    Oh and 450MXs don’t work on the street why?


    I was just about to ask the same question. The one friend that I know that had one went through two motors. And I believe by the time that it was all said and done Aprilia bought the bike back. It’s a shame, those bikes look like the best kind of trouble.