I know that an awful lot of riders are waiting to read the RMX’s reviews before committing to purchase. It’s difficult to really make a telling judgement on a bike like this when thanks to short winter days and the need to get photos, the testing period is relatively limited - though we’ll be testing the bike again in a shootout in the near future. That said a brief foray onto the Devonshire trails in the afternoon really confirmed for me what this bike is all about.
Zipping along in third, fourth and fifth gear with the suspension soaking up every bump and hidden pothole without unsettling the bike at all; easily being able to pick the central line along ruts without the need to take a steadying dab and with the utmost confidence in its handling; and powered along by an engine that can be relied upon to offer sufficient grunt at the precise moment you need it to get you out of trouble, makes it a mighty fine trail tool in my book. Then when you get to a gate there’s a decent sidestand with a proper foot to keep the bike upright in the rich Devonshire mud.
Yes the RMX has been built as an enduro bike, and it fulfils that role perfectly too - no doubt about that. It’s a typical Japanese machine: ultra reliable, ever so slightly conservative in terms of handling, performance and weight saving, and extremely well put together, though it lacks some of the finer details or cutting edge style of a European machine.
But I’m going to stick my neck out here and say that this RMX is going to go stratospheric in terms of sales - at least for a year or three. But I’m going to temper that by saying that I think it may date reasonably quickly. Not the styling as such, but more the fact that the Suzuki doesn’t offer anything new, nor move the game any further forward with this product.
What they’ve done however is build a brilliant DR-Z replacement (actually it’s a whole lot more than that, but you get what I mean), a bike for the new decade which will see trail/enduro riders enjoying their sport for the next few years to come. And best of all they’ve done it a really competitive price.
And this last nugget of information is absolutely key to the RM-Z’s success, because along with a good product, a healthy dealer network, a reserve of existing customers (many of whom will have owned, or will still own a DR-Z400), Suzuki have pitched the new bike at an astonishing £5899 (full rrp in 2010), seriously undercutting all the opposition by a healthy margin.
Yes I know the bike is not road registerable as it comes and there’ll be a good few quid spent in putting a plate on the back, but that’s not the point. The point is that Suzuki has launched a brand new model which is not only long overdue, but also bloody capable and at a half-decent price. Form an orderly queue right now…
Thanks to: Luke, Helen and Richard at Suzuki, the guys from Wheeldon Farm (lovely bunch of blokes who will take you trail riding on the new RMX - call them on 01548 821784), Paul Eddy and Tom Sagar, and Ray Archer for his limitless patience and fine Geordie humour!