Today, Suzuki invited the press out to Yoshimura’s headquarters in Chino, California, to not only unveil the new 2013 RM-Z450 and RM-Z250, but to also give the press a tour of Yoshimura’s impressive manufacturing facility. Many people might not realize, or even be aware, that Yosh actually produces most of its products in the United States with very little of it coming from Japan. Surprising considering Yoshimura is a Japanese company. With the increasing cost of shipping and exchange rates, producing products in the United States is actually cheaper to do than it once was. After the tour, everyone sat down for a presentation of the new updates to the RM-Z line up, and while the two bikes look very similar to last year’s offering, they actually have quite a few exciting new changes.
For 2013, both the RM-Z450 and RM-Z250 received Showa’s second generation Separate Function Fork as well as some shock and linkage updates. Both bikes also have changes done to the frame for better handling. As for the motor, Suzuki updated the gearbox on the RM-Z250 and focused on improving the power of both bikes. And when looking at the dyno charts provided by Suzuki, it’s easy to see that the goal was accomplished.
Tomorrow we will be taking to the track aboard the RM-Z450, so you’ll have to wait until then to hear what we think of how the bike performs out on the track, as well as a more in-depth breakdown on the changes. Until then, enjoy the photos from today.
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The Yoshimura headquarters in Chino, California, also house the Suzuki factory motocross and Superbike race shops. There were a few vintage bikes—built by James Stewart's mechanic, Lee McCollum—and some factory race machines on display out front.
Ricky Carmichael's championship-winning RM250 two-stroke was out front of the race shop.
On the surface, the 2013 RM-Z450 looks to have only received minor changes. Underneath, however, there are actually quite a few updates, including Showa's SFF fork.
The RM-Z250 also received the new SFF fork. It got some new engine updates as well. We get to ride this bike next week.
The front entry of Yoshimura prominently shows off all the championship plates the company has won over the years.
The shipping department is the last stop Yoshimura systems see before being sent to dealers and customers. How much money do you think is in this box?
The product storage warehouse is impressive to say the least.
Yosh has a lot of raw material. The metal you see here is rolled into mufflers for Yosh's various exhausts.
Here is what the mufflers look like after being rolled into shape.
There are numerous welding stations at Yosh. This is where exhausts or other accessories are welded together. Yosh also produces various brackets and racks for scooters and street bikes.
This roll of raw material feeds into a stamping machine that punches out end caps for mufflers.
These are the end caps that come out of the stamping machine.
Yoshimura also has numerous CNC machines to produce everything from cams to exhaust brackets like the ones pictured here.
This is Yosh's R&D department where exhaust systems and engine products are developed. In the back there are three dynos for everything from motorcycles to four-wheeled buggies.
Here's a look inside one of the three dyno rooms.
Yoshimura also produces all the carbon on its exhaust systems. Mike Bier heads up that department and explained the process to everyone in attendance.
Here's what the carbon end caps on most of Yoshimura's mufflers look like before being finished to install on a muffler.
The tour wrapped up inside the factory Yoshimura Suzuki race shop where James Stewart's bike was being housed. Stewart is back riding and currently in California testing for his return to the outdoor nationals. Mike Webb said the plan is to have him back for the last couple races to get some racing under his belt before the Monster Energy Cup.
Check out the photo gallery below for more photos from the day at Yoshimura.