RIDE ON

Hop is smashing up the hours and having a ball on the project Suzuki RMX450Z

Talk about extremes — it’s gone from bull-dusty dry conditions to extremely wet in my part of the world. We’ve had some of the biggest floods since 1968. You couldn’t get out for a ride without getting soaked straight off the bat so I just didn’t.

Call me soft but I wasn’t that keen to punish myself or the RMX. It would’ve been just my luck to have ended up upside-down in some flooded creek which wouldn’t have helped keep me on the DA project bike team.

The first sunny break we had, my son Jett and I loaded up and went to my mate Terry’s farm which is only a half-hour drive away. The farm has a great little bush loop as well as a well-used moto track and a lush grass track. After a few laps around the bush loop it was obvious the grass track was the pick of the day.

Judging by how many laps I cut, I was having a ball on the DA MX1 Suzuki project bike. It was a good test for the RMX450. The conditions were very much like what you would experience at an Amcross event: fast straightaways with mostly loamy turns. However, there were a couple spots where you were in third gear but only moving at walking pace.

I wouldn’t mind doing a couple of Dirt Action Amcross rounds this year while the RMX is in my care. With the bike tuned more towards the torque end of the scale rather than just brutal power, it hooks up in corner exits and straightaways real well.

RACKING UP THE HOURS

I’ve ridden the RMX450 for around 40-plus hours now and whether in the bush or on a grass track I feel as though I can take on obstacles more aggressively than I usually would.

Now, it’s what happens after I hit the obstacle that usually makes my chocolate starfish pucker up but I’ve found the bike has a tendency to do exactly the same thing lap after lap. I’ve had other bikes in the past where you’re just not sure what’s going to happen from lap to lap so I’d pull back to stay alive and upright.

The RMX has been maintenance free so far but it’s due for some TLC this week with another oil and filter change on the cards. With all the wet conditions and the many hours I’ve clocked up thus far, the suspension linkages and swingarm are going to get some greasy loving as well.

The guys at Serco have recently sent me a Yoshimura system, the same as what Trent Lean runs on his AORC-winning MX1 RMZ450. So, with a local motocross on this weekend I’m keen to bolt it on and see how it goes. Next month I’ll let you know how the Yoshimura system and I performed at the MX club day.

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