ONE PHOTO & ONE STORY: RIDING DAVI MILLSAPS’ UNUSED RM-Z450

RAY_RM-Z450_STATIC_5By John Basher

Eddie Ray is a friend of mine. He’s married to Jessica Patterson (the winningest women’s motocross racer in history), and together they live for dirt bikes. Eddie is the type of guy who can talk the arms off an elm tree. Jessica is much more reserved. They’re a dynamic duo. In racing, Jessica was the competitor and Eddie was the mechanic. The tables have turned since Jessica retired at the end of last year. Eddie has recommitted himself to racing, competing in the Amsoil Amateur Arenacross series. He won the 35+ and 40+ classes, which goes along with his 2003 Loretta Lynn’s title. Eddie is no slouch on a bike.

This brings me to Eddie Ray’s Suzuki RM-Z450, which he purchased from his good buddy, Davi Millsaps. Do you remember when Millsaps was let go from Monster Energy Kawasaki during last year’s Supercross series and fell off the radar? Davi bought several Suzuki RM-Z450s with the intent on racing the AMA 450 Nationals. It never panned out, but Millsaps had a sweet race bike at his disposal. Enter Eddie Ray, who by happenstance asked Davi if he would sell it. Millsaps obliged, and lo and behold the bike ended up back in Eddie’s garage in South Carolina.

“A MONTH LATER MOTHER NATURE DECIDED TO MOVE ALONG LIKE A RELUCTANT GAWKER PASSING BY AN ACCIDENT ON THE 405 SOUTH. A WINDOW CLEARED, SO WE MET AT CLUBMX’S BRUTAL SAND TRACK IN CHESTERFIELD, SOUTH CAROLINA, FOR THE SHOOT.”

Eddie called me up in November and inquired about MXA testing the bike. I was all for it. Then the weather turned south and the Carolinas were pummeled with torrential rainstorms. A month later Mother Nature decided to move along like a reluctant gawker passing by an accident on the 405 South. A window cleared, so we met at ClubMX’s brutal sand track in Chesterfield, South Carolina, for the shoot. It turned out to be an awesome bike. See the specs below:

(1) Throttle body. Jamie Ellis from Twisted Development is a mechanical genius. He added the Under Mount Injector throttle body kit (click here for more information). It’s a plug and play package that uses a Vortex programmed ignition for the ultimate in performance. The Under Mount Injector turned the stock RM-Z450 into a hot rod.

(2) Gas tank. Millsaps needed a larger gas tank, so he used a CRM Karbotank carbon fiber gas tank. The tank included a low-profile aluminum gas cap that sat flush with the top of the carbon fiber. CRM are out of Italy and are impossible to get ahold of. I would provide their information, but you’re better off flying to Europe and and knocking on their front door.

(3) Forks. The RM-Z450 came with Showa A-Kit spring forks–a nice touch, given the stock forks are atrocious. Pro-Motion tuned the suspension, and Ride Engineering 20mm offset clamps were installed for sharper handling.

(4) Clutch. Eddie Ray likes Rekluse clutch components, so it was only natural that a Rekluse TorqDrive Core Manual clutch was used. I noticed a slightly heavier pull at the lever. That’s not a bad thing. If you’re riding a 450 four-stroke, then you shouldn’t be complaining about how stiff the clutch feels.

(5) Exhaust. Ray inherited a trick FMF Factory 4.1 RCT titanium exhaust with carbon fiber end cap. How do I know? The small strip of titanium welded to the head pipe is done for the factory teams. It’s meant to protect the header from roost damage.

(6) Wheels. Boy, do I like a set of Duyba wheels. The RM-Z450 was equipped with Kite hubs and D.I.D. DirtStar ST-X rims. The all-black look was stealthy cool. It’s too bad black is so underrated.

(7) Air boot. Moto Tassinari provided its Air4orce tunable velocity stack. It allows you to customize the power through different length velocity stacks. Ray opted for the longer stack to improve bottom-end power.

(8) Components. I can’t leave out the Hinson Racing ignition cover; Cycra Stadium front number plate, fork guards and bike stand; Boyesen Supercooler; Hammerhead shifter; Galfer oversized brake kit; Guts Phantom seat foam and cover; Works Connection hard parts; Emig V2 lock-on grips; and Armored Graphix bike graphics kit.

Eddie Ray’s Suzuki RM-Z450 was another classic example of blowing one’s life savings in order to make the most trick machine possible. Here’s the kicker: Eddie bought the bike off Davi Millsaps for $5000. It pays to have good friends in high places.

Click here to read the full bike test, or consult the April 2016 issue of MXA. See below for another angle of Davi Millsaps’ unused Suzuki RM-Z450.

RAY_RM-Z450_STATIC_1
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