Posts by Category: Suzuki

Suzuki June 21, 2017 posted by

Clean, Low Mileage, All-Original Gamma: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale

For a very brief period in the mid-1980s the Grand Prix racing fans were able to sample two machines of singular purpose: Yamaha's V4 RD500LC/RZ500 and Suzuki's wild, square-four powered RG500Γ "Gamma." Each was intended to showcase the style, performance, and feel of a two-stroke GP motorcycle in a road-legal package, although they went about it in different ways. Of the pair, Suzuki's was closest to the true spirit of a "race bike for the road" and is generally considered more valuable than the Yamaha, although the RD/RZ has its fans as well, and prices for both are steadily climbing.

Part of the reason the Gamma is so desirable is that Suzuki never made that many of them in the first place, the other is that it might be one of the most authentic race replicas ever made, with a twin-crank, two-stroke, square-four engine that wasn't shared with any other motorcycle in their lineup. Although, like the similarly exotic Desmosedici that shared no parts with its MotoGP inspiration, Suzuki's powerplant merely aped the configuration of their 500cc Grand Prix machine, but was more much more road-oriented. So it may not have exactly been a detuned race bike, but it's as close as you're likely to get.

With around 100hp pushing almost 400lbs wet, the RG500 isn't the quickest thing around at this point, and it wasn't even the fastest thing going in 1986. But it was lightweight for the time, and the whole package was so exotic: two-stroke sports twins were the order of the day, so a twin-crankshaft, square four cylinder with the same eye-opening power delivery, only even more so, must have made the RG feel like it rolled right off a race track, with an experience of speed and agility that far outstripped the measurable performance.

If you're searching for a Gamma, today's example is about as good as it gets, unless you're looking for one that's been modified with more modern suspension, brakes, and wheels.

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale

Up for auction is my 1986 Gamma. This bike is completely stock with only 3,711 original km or roughly 2,300 miles. This bike has never been rebuilt, is all original and is by far the nicest Gamma I have ever seen. The bike has lived inside my house for the last five years. Originally a Canadian bike stored in a climate controlled environment I imported the bike legally and it now has a Maryland state title.  I just trailered it to the shop for a new battery and fresh plugs and it starts right up on the first or second kick.

 In the time I have owned the bike I can't make myself ride it. Its just too nice. It really belongs in a museum or in someone's private collection or take it to shows which I have done. First place winner every time. Unless you find one still in a crate somewhere you'll not find a nicer Gamma anywhere.
I'm willing to work with the buyer as far as shipping but cost will be their responsibility. I can also take as many pictures as you need and am willing to talk with any serious buyers. I also have another RG 00 with 8000km and a California title in amazing condition as well that is going to be auctioned next.
Gammas are perennially popular, and only going up in price these days: the starting bid for this one is $30,000 although there are no takers yet. Many are in nice condition as a result of those increasing values, but these are thirty-year-old motorcycles and a large percentage have been restored or modified at this point. As they say, "it's only original once" and this one is claimed to be that. Certainly, most have far more than 2,300 miles on them. Gammas are very cool bikes, but this example is sadly very likely to end up in a collection, instead of being properly thrashed on a track or canyon road.
-tad
Clean, Low Mileage, All-Original Gamma: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale
Suzuki June 18, 2017 posted by

Full Power: 1996 Suzuki RGV250SP VJ23A Export Model for Sale

The history of the quarter-liter sportbike seems to be one of convergent evolution: twins obviously make sense given the size and capacity, or even triples, if we go back to the 1970s and consider a Kawasaki S1 a "sportbike." But early bikes could be powered by parallel or vee configurations, and by the time the early 1990s rolled around, Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki were all using  90° v-twins backed by six-speed gearboxes. But when the 70° v-twin powered RGV250 VJ23 came along in 1996, it was packing a 70° unit with a dry clutch [and an electric start!], presumably because it's more compact and doesn't increase vibration significantly, compared to a 90° unit with theoretically better balance.

The VJ23 was pretty much the final word in two-stroke performance: the Suzuki-powered Aprilia RS250 continued in production alongside, but used their earlier 90° v-twin engine. Honda's NSR250 was still in production as well, but their MC28 was introduced in 1994 so the VJ23 really does represent the very last generation of two-stroke performance

I'm not a huge fan of the swoopy curves of the VJ23 model, although plenty of two-stroke fans love the very 90s styling. Maybe the graphics aren't helping: the VJ23 definitely looks much cooler in Lucky Strike colors. But you certainly can't argue with the performance available: today's example is claimed to be the full power "export" model, meaning it's not limited per Japanese market rules that restricted power to 45hp on models intended for sale domestically, and 60 claimed horsepower should make this little bantamweight a real rocket, with handling to match.

Experts may want to chime in here: these were supposedly extremely rare in any form, and I'm not clear if this has simply been de-restricted or if it came from the factory with all the horsepower present and accounted for.

From the original eBay listing: 1996 Suzuki RGV250SP VJ23A for Sale

Rare 2 stroke bike from Japan!! Suzuki RGV250SP

VIN: VJ23A-1020**
Year: 1996
Mileage: 24,325 km
Condition: Running very well.
It is 60ps of export model!! It was overhauled an engine, brakes, front forks when 20,000km of mileage. It has some scratches, tiny cracks at body work, tiny dent at left under side of gas tank. But still GOOD condition. Belly pan is aftermarket product. Other cowlings are original.

Shipping : We'll put it into the wooden crate and ship by surface. We'll enclose Japanese original title, and also Sales Certificate and Bill of Sales issued by us in English. Shipping cost: The bid price includes shipping cost to overseas, and it's charged from our office in Japan to the nearest port to your address. We expect you'd pick it up at the port and arrange the land transport to your address by yourself. The other cost, such as the handling cost, duty fee, tax, etc. which will be charged in your country, they're not included there.

The Buy It Now price is listed at $9,400 which would seem very reasonable if the bike was here in the USA, considering what nice NSRs are going for these days. Obviously, the fact that this bike is currently in Japan means the buyer will have to deal with all the importation and titling hassles. If you're in a permissive state, that might not be too much of a headache, but for many of us, it remains out of reach, considering the year of manufacture means it's still a few years short of the 25-year mark. Depending on your local DMV, there might be some shenanigans you can pull to get it on the street, but I'd expect this makes the most sense as a collectible or occasional track day ride.

-tad

Full Power: 1996 Suzuki RGV250SP VJ23A Export Model for Sale
Suzuki June 15, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1996 Suzuki RGV250V Lucky Strike!

Update 7.30.2017: Seller has notified us that this bike is now sold. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

In the glorious 1990s, big tobacco made motorsports run. Cigarette sponsorship was everywhere, and every major series and team was titled by a cancer stick hawker; The Winston Cup, The Camel GT series (as well as the Camel AMA Supercross and Camel Trophy events), Marlboro McLaren, Marlboro Ferrari, Marlboro Penske, Mild Seven Benetton, Rothmans Williams, Benson & Hedges Jordan, John Player Lotus, 555 Subaru Rally, Silk Cut Jaguar Group C just to name a few. On the bike front, you cannot ignore the Rothmans Hondas, Skoal Suzukis, Smokin' Joes Hondas, Gauloises Factory Yamahas, and many, many others. Of course in the world of RSBFS, the one that really matters is the partnership of Lucky Strike and Suzuki. Which brings us to our bike: An original 1996 Suzuki RGV250V VJ23 Lucky Strike.

The RGV series was a popular and successful one for Suzuki. Using a liquid cooled v-twin to replace the earlier, parallel twin RG models, the RGV provided more power in a slimmer package. The results were impressive on the racetrack (so much so that Aprilia licensed the VJ22 powerplant for use in their own bikes), and translated tolerably well to the street. Suzuki RGV models are some of the most popular of the import two-strokes we see on these pages. So while RGVs may not be uncommon, this specific variant - the factory Lucky Strike livery - is very rare indeed. Just over 100 of the VJ23 "V" series were released for export as Lucky Strike models. There were an additional ~240 LS "T" models created for the domestic home market. To find a clean example that is not a fake Lucky Strike (cheap body panels are available) is a tough chore. Buyers need to be very careful, scrutinizing chassis numbers, SAPC versions, and other details such as exhaust chamber part numbers to ensure that they have 1) a VJ23 to begin with, and 2) the holy grail of the RGV lineup, the Lucky Strike Edition.

From the seller:
1996 (97 model) Rgv250v
Factory Lucky Strike
One of 119 in this scheme, these were the last of the vj23 line.
This was originally exported to China and is one of three that I own.
The full power bikes were quoted at 55ps in the sales brochure not 70.
This is unrestored except for the fact I've renewed all chassis/wheel brgs and consumables like carb rubbers.
Brakes and forks have been overhauled.
Engine is fine and has perfect compressions
Only non or parts are the carbon cans/nitron shock/brake lines
All oe parts are included,;seat/rear pegs/original shock/hoses/OE cans
Recent chain/sprockets
This bike needs nothing.

Price: £16,000 (plus shipping)

Like most Japanese bikes, there are a couple different variants of each model depending upon the intended market. Japanese home market bikes will always be restricted to a lower output due to licensing regulations. Bikes destined for Western Europe (specifically Germany and Italy) had a mid-grade output specification. Bikes headed to Canada and Australia usually were full-power examples, and where the higher HP numbers were quoted.

This seller is extremely knowledgeable in this model. While doing some research in the past, I came across some of his wisdom on a RGVs site, and I refer to it now and again. This is a good thing when it comes to very rare machinery; with Lucky Strike fakes pretty common, nobody wants to plunk top dollar down for any less than genuine. Fortunately, this looks to be a verifiable article from the factory. It is the last gen of the RGVs and probably the most desirable of the models. As such, it can command market price. The seller is looking for 16,000 GBP, which equates to approximately $20,400 USD at the current exchange. Drool over the pictures a little bit; your computer won't mind.

Featured Listing: 1996 Suzuki RGV250V Lucky Strike!
Suzuki June 14, 2017 posted by

Fresh Off the Boat: 1988 Suzuki RGV250 VJ21A for Sale

The quarter-liter sportbikes of the 1980s and 1990s might look virtually identical on paper and offer very similar performance, but they all managed to have their own individual character, although that may have been down more to marketing and brand loyalty than any distinct differences. In any event, the Suzuki RGV250Γ had a reputation as a bit of a wild man and may been less refined than the Honda NSR250, but these little machines were all about snarling and snapping and adrenaline anyway. The VJ21 version of the bike seen here didn't have any of the usual acronyms on the fairing, but it does offer "REAL SPRINTER SLINGSHOT" performance. "Slingshot" typically refers to the GSX-R that used Mikuni semi-flat slide carbs that look like a slingshot in cross-section, although I've yet to find a good pic that really shows anything that looks like a child's toy hiding in there... I'm assuming the RGV used similar carburetors to earn that text printed on the tailsection.

Otherwise, the RGV stuck close to the class formula, with an aluminum beam frame, a liquid cooled, 90° two stroke v-twin with power valves and backed by a six-speed gearbox. The later VJ22 had the very desirable banana swingarm, although that also increased weight over the VJ21 seen here. Front wheel is 17" and the rear 18" as was common for the class at the time.  With a sub 300lb dry weight, the 50-ish horses are plenty to move the RGV along at a good clip, assuming you beat the little bike mercilessly.

And that's really the point of the RGV: it was an angry little machine that required and rewarded abuse to make good progress. Tiring for sure, but plenty of fun of fun and, if you love to attack the back roads, bikes like the RGV are your willing accomplice. This example has been freshly imported and is in original, slightly worn condition. The seller includes a video walkaround of the bike here.

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Suzuki RGV250Γ VJ21A for Sale

The bike is imported from Japan. Not registered yet in the U.S. This bike is sold without title. NO TITLE. We don't know how to get a title: please ask DMV

Start engine. Original Cowl. Switches and lights working. Oil leak on front fork. No battery. Some scratches and rust  So look carefully all pictures and video. Some touch-up painting. This motorcycle is 29 years old. Sold as is with NO warranty NO refunds NO return. 20,456 km (12,710 miles)

Buyer responsible for vehicle pick-up or shipping to your location. You can check Your Shipping Cost. (Item in Carson, CA now. Our Zip code 90745)

If anyone wants to come see the motorcycle. Please contact me.

I can pretty much tell you what the DMV will say, at least here in California: "Sorry bub. No title for you. Have you seen the great number of very nice race tracks we have where you can ride your for-off-road-use-only motor vehicle?" Obviously, this is not a pristine, collector-quality motorcycle in its current state, but it is straight, with relatively low miles. It'll obviously need some attention if you plan to actually ride it on the road, but that shouldn't surprise anyone shopping for a 1980s motorcycle. We've see plenty of Honda NSR250s up for sale over the past couple years, but the RGV is still pretty rare around here. Is this slightly worn example worth the $3,500 starting bid? There's not much time left on the auction, so it might be a good time to jump in if you've been looking for an RGV and have bags of cash lying around to bribe that guy you know down at the DMV...

-tad

Fresh Off the Boat: 1988 Suzuki RGV250 VJ21A for Sale
Suzuki June 13, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1986 Suzuki RG500 Walter Wolf Edition

Born in Austria, Walter Wolf made his fortunes in oil drilling equipment in Canada, and proceeded to spend much of it on motorsports. He poured millions into Formula 1 teams (including Williams and his own eponymous Walter Wolf Racing), sponsored numerous classes of racing and even sponsored individual drivers and riders. It is through his involvement with motorsports - and Suzuki - that the Walter Wolf Edition of the famed RG500 Gamma was born. If the big Gamma is the rare unicorn of the sport bike world, consider a Walter Wolf Edition a unicorn of an even more rare color.

1986 Suzuki RG500 Walter Wolf for sale on eBay

With 95 HP on tap and a 340 pound (dry) package, the RG500 was the most potent sporting motorcycle available to hungry buyers. Of the big two strokes, the RG was the most like the GP bike that inspired it, and far sharper than the Yamaha or Honda offerings. The Walter Wolf Edition RG500 (there was also a 400 and 250 model) was introduced as a limited production special that was separated from ordinary RGs by the graphics package. Liveried in dark blue / purple with red and gold accents and highlighted by the Wolf insignia, this special edition was released to the home market (in power restricted format) as well as Canada (estimated 100 units) and Western Europe. There are slight differences between each of the market-specific models largely due to local regulations (i.e. headlights, turn signals, etc). Japanese market bikes utilize a specific WW gauge package, while Canadian bikes make due with stock RG units. Logo placement is also slightly different between the markets. Today's bike just so happens to be a Canadian market example.

From the seller:
Absolutely stunning and original 1986 RG 500 Walter Wolf Edition, one of 100 ever built. In truly nice condition, bodywork is outstanding with very few scratches and blemishes. The whole bike is corrosion free, never been dropped. This machine has been very well taken care of and doesn't show her 31 years of age at all. Great effort has been put into preserving it's beauty and originality. All consumables are well within specs and ready to go for the summer.

More from the seller:
Interesting fact about this machine is that is was originally purchased and used in Montreal Canada in the market it was originally destined to and sold in France. The machine was spotted by a Canadian visiting Normandy during the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the Vimy Ridge, purchased from a reluctant seller and sent back "home" in Quebec city Canada. Four new spark plugs, air filter cleaned.

More from the seller:
This machine is for the serious collector. For the US buyer, shipping, export fees and paypal fees are the buyer's responsibility. I can gladly assist with all these processes, take over it, or totally leave it up to the buyer. Export process normally takes less than a week and is based on a % of the value of the machine. Can ship throughout North America.

Walter Wolf Editions are striking machines - especially in person. The colors make the bike pop in sunlight, imparting an ageless beauty to an already beautiful machine. Since such a small percentage of Gammas were shipped in this unique livery, Walter Wolf Editions are among the rarest of the two strokes that we are likely to see on RSBFS; they certainly do not come around every day, and we can expect a long drought before the next good example emerges. This being a Canadian market bike means that it is a full-power RG in Wolf's clothing! If a Wolf is on your shopping list, an all-original bike with reasonable miles such as this should really get the blood pumping. This beast appears to be very clean, and very well cared for.

This RG500 Walter Wolf is currently on eBay. There is not much time on the current auction, so if you desire this Suzuki unicorn, you better act quickly. Click here to check it out before it's gone! Today's seller is an RSBFS fan, and a collector; there are hints at more bikes to come (check out the pictures). The summer is looking better and better - but its going to be hard to beat this Wolf Gamma. Time to ride into the sunset. Good Luck!!

Featured Listing: 1986 Suzuki RG500 Walter Wolf Edition
Suzuki June 11, 2017 posted by

“A” for Effort – 2001 Suzuki TL1000R

Hard to fault Suzuki ( and Honda ) for trying to follow Ducati's "win on Sunday, sell on Monday" strategy - with a big twin superbike which took advantage of WSBK rules and had torquey street performance.  The TL-1000R had some unusual innovations and great power and sound.  Though it didn't result in a long term model for Suzuki, the TL-R has the makings of a cult classic, and this is an excellent example with Yoshimura exhaust and Power Commander.

2001 Suzuki TL1000R for sale on eBay

The L-twin in the TL-1000 has an engaging sound because of the hybrid chain/gear cam drive.  And the booming twin exhaust.  Internals slightly updated from its sister TL-1000S, the -R claims 135 hp.  Since the vertical cylinder took the spot usually used by a centerline monoshock, the beefy twin-beam chassis has a side-mounted spring and a rotary damper, a space saver but problematic once temperatures went up.  Brakes are superb 6-piston Tokico, and the fairing has fresh-air intakes and a Hayabusa-like pillion cover.

Having covered only 6,600 miles, this TL-1000R looks stock and unblemished in the factory's racing blue and white.  Seems quite original except for the polished exhaust system, the increased flow compensated by an fuel injection box from Dyna-Jet.  Not much on recent maintenance, and appears almost ready for new rubber.  From the eBay auction:

This bike is the nicest you will find out there.  Bike was babied, truly a garage gem, 6550 miles of pamperedness... never down, always cleaned and polished after every ride, well maintained.  Not a scratch on it!  All fairings are perfect, no scratches, no rust, no corrosion, no dents (not even a ding) or cracks of any kind, there is a small discoloration on the left midfairing on top, but it's barely noticeable...  Even the rims are perfect!  Aftermarket YOSH exhaust that sounds amazing....dynajet performance (130hp/78ftlbs TQ stock!)...  Bike runs and shifts smooth but make no mistake it's a beast...  There are NO more out there like this...  Comes with the back seat and stand as well...  I have the title in hand!!  Don't miss out, it just might be your day to take it home for an awesome deal.

The TL-1000R gained a reputation for quirky handling, and acquired a steering damper in response.  Build quality was at a high level for Suzuki, and the TL-R is well appointed and finished.  Maybe because the Superbike wins didn't come, the bikes were slow sellers and the model wasn't re-newed for 2004.  Still, it's an interesting take on the big twin and though the owner has an optimistic ask, the condition and performance of this TL-1000R  just might result in offers...

-donn

“A” for Effort – 2001 Suzuki TL1000R