Product Report 49

YOSHIMURA TRC PRO-SERIES EXHAUST

APPLICATION: Most 4-stroke MX bikes (tested here on a 2005 Suzuki RM-Z450)

PRICE: $745

RATING: 7

WHAT IT IS: Yoshimura is the official exhaust of Team Suzuki, and its exhaust systems can be found on the factory RM-Zs of Sebastien Tortelli, Broc Hepler and Davi Millsaps. The TRC Pro system we tested features a titanium header and mid-pipe, and an anodized aluminum muffler.

HITS: The quality of the Yoshimura system is undeniable, as every part of it fits onto the bike perfectly. Even though the header is attached via a bolt-on flange and a pair of exhaust springs, the system bolts on to the bike in mere minutes, and fits perfectly. A USFS-approved spark arrestor comes installed in the muffler, but we pulled it out before we even rode the bike since we rarely spend time away from the track. Still, it is a plus to have the option of trail riding legally. Power is much improved from the middle of the rpm range on up, with much more top-end overrev in each gear. With the Yosh system installed, it was easy to get another 10 bikelengths out of each gear before being required to shift. The system has a healthy exhaust note that barks with authority, yet is not overly loud and offensive.

MISSES: Simply put, average riders will not enjoy this pipe. With zero gains down low over the stock exhaust system, the Yoshimura pipe does not make the RM-Z450 any easier to ride. While other systems we’ve tried boosted the bike’s low-end throttle response and gave it a beefier hit down low, the Yosh exhaust offers no gains right off idle. Couple that with the bigger hit in the upper mid-range, and this pipe makes the bike seem lazy on the bottom, with a big hit and long pull up top.

THE VERDICT: Though having the same pipe bolted on our test bike as the rest of Team Suzuki gave us that “works” feel, the performance of the Yoshimura TRC Pro-Series exhaust-on our Suzuki RM-Z450 at least-left us wishing for much more.

Call 800/634-9166 or visit www.yoshimura-rd.com

WORKS CONNECTION RADIATOR GUARDS

APPLICATION: All MX bikes (tested here on 2005 Suzuki RM-Z450)

PRICE: $99.95

RATING: 10

WHAT IT IS: If you’ve ever replaced a stock radiator on a motocross bike, you know that it is a pricey affair. Works Connection has been producing the best radiator braces available for years now, and the braces for the new Suzuki RM-Z450 even feature a petcock relocating bracket.

HITS: After seeing a buddy poke a hole in his RM-Z450’s left radiator when his radiator flexed rearward into the fuel tank petcock in a simple tip-over crash, we knew that someone would soon offer a relocating kit for the switch. Because of the RM-Z’s frame design, Works Connection was required to fabricate special bolt-on brackets to anchor the guards to. At the same time, they addressed the petcock placement issue and have come out with a must-have kit for all RM-Z450 owners. The kit takes some time to install, but the directions are top-notch, and if followed correctly, the kit bolts right on and fits absolutely perfectly. When the petcock is relocated, the fuel line is rerouted up and over the carburetor, making the hot start and choke knobs on the carburetor much, much easier to access.

MISSES: The only step in the installation process that annoyed us was having to drain the fuel tank, as the kit requires you to spin your petcock 180 degrees in the tank. If you’ve already crashed and bent your radiators, the kit may be tough to install.

THE VERDICT: If you own a Suzuki RM-Z450, please call Works Connection and order one of these today; your pocketbook will thank you the next time you dump it in a left-handed corner!

Call 530/642-9488 or visit www.worksconnection.com