WE RIDE TRU TECHNOLOGIES’ SUZUKI RM-Z450

September 21, 2006
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TRU TECHNOLOGIES EPITOMIZES THE ONE-MAN SHOP. RICH IS THE CEO, CFO, COO, JANITOR, INVENTOR, SUSPENSION TECHNICIAN, MOTOR GUY, WELDER AND CHIEF BOTTLE WASHER.

The MXA wrecking crew is all about helping the little guy get a leg up. Yes, it is true that we spend a lot of time testing the products, pipes and hop-ups of the big aftermarket companies (the ones with the big-name riders), but you have to remember that when we first met them, they were little guys too. We like to dedicate time to guys who aren’t even a blip on the motocross radar. It not only makes us feel good, but most of these little guys are gems in the rough with creative ideas just waiting for an audience.

Tru Technologies is one of those companies. Started in 1992 by Rich Truchinski, a professional racer from the early 1990s, Tru Technologies epitomizes the one-man shop. Rich is the CEO, CFO, COO, janitor, inventor, suspension technician, motor guy, welder and chief bottle washer. Being a little shop has pluses and minuses. Just ask Rich. The biggest positive is that you can do anything you want. The negative is that you don’t have the money to do anything you want. This was the problem Rich had when he first approached us about building a Tru Technologies RM-Z450 race bike for the MXA wrecking crew. Rich didn’t have the extra cash lying around to buy a brand-new bike to build up for us to test. He had some companies that would lend him a bike, but there were strings attached. We rejected the strings and decided to donate our 2006 Suzuki RM-Z450 to Rich’s cause. We don’t normally do this, but we’ve known Rich since his years at Answer Products and trusted that he would treat our bike like his own.

WE HAD RULES AND REGS. FIRST, NO BIG BORES. SECOND, KEEP IT SIMPLE. WE DIDN’T WANT TO GET OUR RM-Z450 BACK AND HAVE IT WEIGH 250 POUNDS BECAUSE IT HAD EVERY AFTERMARKET PART AVAILABLE ON IT.

But beggars can’t be choosers, and we didn’t lend him our bike without stipulations. We had rules and regs. First, no big bores. The last Tru Technologies bike we tested was a Honda CRF498, and to be honest, nobody could ride it. Not that Rich’s work on the bike wasn’t good, but the bike was just way too powerful for mortal man to hang on to. Second, he had to keep it simple. We didn’t want to get our RM-Z450 back and have it weigh 250 pounds because Tru Technologies felt they had to put every aftermarket part available on it. That was it; the rest was up to him.
Before we start, we should explain all the services that Rich Truchinski’s Tru Technologies company offers. Tru Technologies offers suspension revalving, suspension rebuilds and fork and shock dyno services. Tru Technologies also offers fork coatings if you want to give your forks that factory titanium nitrite look. Additionally, they have an engine department that offers two stages of engine modification (the stages depend on what you’re looking for when it comes to horsepower output). They also offer a complete engine rebuilding service, just in case you don’t want to do it yourself. Last, but not least, are Tru Technologies’ unique top triple clamp, stepped seat conversion and subframe shortening service.

We won’t lie. We gave Rich our RM-Z450 a long time ago. It only took him a couple of weeks to get it finished, but then he had a slight problem. The exhaust cam quit spinning and, needless to say, that stopped the bike dead in its tracks. A new exhaust cam, cam carrier and cylinder head later we were back in business. Was it Tru Technologies’ fault our bike died? Absolutely not. We didn’t give Tru Technologies a pristine machineit had a ton of hours on it and was in desperate need of some TLC. That’s a chance you take when you add a healthy chunk of horsepower to a tired old engine. Our suggestion is, if you’re going to have head work done, you might as well freshen up the top-end while you’re at it.

SEEING AS HOW TRU TECHNOLOGIES MAINLY FOCUSES ON STUFF THAT IS INTERNAL, RICH VIOLATED MXA RULE #2 AND MADE OUR RM-Z450 LOOK LIKE A WORKS BIKE.

When Rich finally rolled his creation into our photo studio, we were impressed. Rather than use aftermarket graphics and a seat cover to spruce up the old lady, Rich created his own clean silver graphics for our Suzuki RM-Z450 with the help of ZLT. Seeing as how Tru Technologies mainly focuses on stuff that is internal (suspension and engine), Rich violated MXA Rule #2 and made a few calls to get enough aftermarket products to make our RM-Z450 look like a works bike. The triple clamp is Tru Technologies’ unique suspended unit; the bars are ProTaper’s (as well as the grips); the chain, sprockets, levers and hand guards are from Sunline (owned by his old boss at Answer, Eddie Cole); tires are from Maxxis; engine plugs from Yoshimura; exhaust from Leo Vince; and frame guards, skid plate and just about every other guard from Works Connection.The first thing we noticed about our new Tru Technologies RM-Z450 when we hit the track had nothing to do with the power output. Tru Technologies had lowered the subframe 10mm and put a step in the seat that lowered it even more. How low did this make our RM-Z450? Let’s just say that if you are six feet tall, you’ll be able to stand flat-footed on the starting line. As for whether or not we liked the lowered subframe and stepped seat, the wrecking crew was split right down the middle. Riders under five feet ten inches loved the shorter stature. Those over five feet ten inches felt that they were sitting in a deep hole.

WHY DIDN’T WE GO WITH THE STAGE 2? THAT’S SIMPLE. WE’VE LEARNED OUR LESSON ABOUT BUILDING FIRE-BREATHING 450S. THEY ARE BEASTS AND BEASTLY TO RIDE.

So did Tru Technologies go all out with our RM-Z450 engine? No. The company offers a Stage 1 kit (which we got) and a Stage 2 kit. Why didn’t we go with the Stage 2 kit? That’s simple. We’ve learned our lesson about building fire-breathing 56-horsepower 450s. They are beasts and beastly to ride. We weren’t looking for monster horsepower from Tru Technologies, but rather a pleasant-to-ride bike that could beat all our buddies to the first turn. Tru Tech’s Stage 1 kit delivered as promised. A high-compression CP Piston, a little head work and a Leo Vince exhaust combined to form a 52-horsepower 450 that anyone could have fun riding. The engine makes more power down low, carries it through the middle and revs out just far enough to catch the next gear. Should you want a little more rev, Leo Vince offers a shorter head pipe that lets the engine rev further.Just like with the engine package, Tru Technologies didn’t go crazy with our suspension. If you want to drop a ton of coin, Tru Technologies offers special coatings, titanium springs and hard anodizing. We didn’t go this route. We got a complete fork and shock revalve with Tru Technologies’ anti-bottom collar/cone kits. The stock Suzuki RM-Z450 suspension is good, so we weren’t looking for any huge improvements. We more or less were looking to have the suspension freshened up and stiffened up. We got what we asked for.So the real question we were left asking ourselves after riding our Tru Technologies RM-Z450 was this. Why go with a little shop like Tru Technologies instead of one of the big power houses? Our answer? At the big guys you’re just another number on the call board. At Tru Technologies, you’re the only number (and that is number one).

For more detailed info, contact Tru Technologies at (951) 280-9010 or www.trumoto.com


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