The Suzuki RM400 Experience

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The ultimate dirt bike was the Suzuki 400, fitted with a piston that put the compression ratio above a measurable compression range.

There were two Dont’s with this bike:

  • Don’t use the kick starter
  • Don’t use the seat

Using the kick starter resulted (twice) in broken legs. We now use a tow strap to compression-start the beast with a pickup truck.

Sitting on the seat resulted in the bike flipping you off the back when you cranked the throttle. Sitting on the gas tank in front of you gave you a chance to accelerate while remaining in control of the bike.

It was wild.

I remember zooming across a field at about 70 mph and hitting full throttle.

The bike (me on the gas tank, standing on the foot pegs) went vertical and accelerated to about 85 mph.

Good times are often terrifying.

This was a good time!

The Suzuki RM400 was a terrifying beast to ride … but I would do it again, if given a chance!



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