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Suzuki posted by

Featured Listing – Street-Registered 1986 Suzuki RG500 Racebike

Update 3.15.2018: SOLD IN ONE HOUR! Congratulations to buyer and seller. -dc

Please note: Ted from AutoManiaGP has asked us to open the comments on this post in the hopes that the RSBFS community can assist in determining what has been done to construct this bike. There was no accompanying documentation and we would appreciate your help by examining the pictures and commenting with any additional information you can provide. The text below is our first shot but we look forward to what else can be learned. Please forward widely and thank you for your help! -dc


Suppose you had been a racer, and owned a race team, over the years acquiring intimate knowledge of several different brands of factory race gear - what might you build as a street machine?  The few production years of Suzuki RG500 Gamma imprinted Mike Canepa of 10K Racing, and he put together a race-derived machine with Spondon Engineering chassis, with trackside details stem to stern, in race livery.

Suzuki RG500 For Sale at AutomaniaGP

Suzuki's RG500 used a twin-crank square-four two stroke, with almost unmatched power-to-weight, 95 hp in factory street tune.  No doubt well above that with racing carburetors and exhaust.  Like any privateer's racebike, specs are hard to come by, but this RG appears to have a Spondon chassis, an English specialty manufacturer with a long history of chassis development for major manufacturers and well-heeled weekend warriors.  The twin spars are at least twice the size of a road-going RG.  Later upside-down Showa forks are installed, with Nissin 6-pot front calipers radially mounted.  The swingarm is thought to be from a Yamaha TZ250, an asymmetrical fabrication with a massive right side but straight left side with a brace to allow the chain to pass through.  Fairings are quite like a later RGV-500, with air scoops just above the front fender feeding the four sidedraft carbs inside.

Unlike any actual racer, this RG500 is clean, polished, and road legal despite the Skoal Bandit graphics.  Trim carbon mudguards are installed, along with a full featured instrument cluster.  Conflicted as the four expansion chambers and turn signals, there's a locking gas cap on the tank.  The fairing's post-and-pin supports are safety-wired to keep the cotter pin around.  Consigning dealer Automania of Oregon has a great collection of pictures - here - and says this about the bike:

Mike Canepa, owner of race team 10-K Racing was in the later stages of building this race bike for the street when he passed. I had been hearing about it for over two years and unfortunately did not pay attention to what he was telling me at the time. Hind sight is 100%. The engine is V-4 Two Stroke out of a 1986 Suzuki RG500 according to the records we found, but everything else has been a guess or information others have offered up. It was not finished, but he had been riding it recently.

This motorcycle is based on a 1986 Suzuki RG500 but everything except the engine is either custom or race track sourced. The rear swing arm looks to be from a 1991 Yamaha TZ250, the front forks Honda RS250 and the frame appears to be a Spondon that had no identifying numbers or manufactures id on it. It has been titled with an assigned OR State VIN plate and the bike is registered for the street. I am open to anyone looking at the images and suggesting where they think the parts came from. Don’t be shy…

The selling price is $16,695. The VIN# is ORSPERG9G1003 and miles are unknown.

Hard to tally up the hours and dollars invested in this racer-with-lights, though the preparation is immaculate.  Likely the frame has a pedigree, and Spondon Engineering has quite a following, even a fan website for reference.  Power-to-weight is probably more important here than on a factory machine, and the weight should be closer to 300 than 400 lbs.  Evidently inspected by Oregon DMV, it is titled and has road registration, which speaks to how close to completion the bike is.  RG and RGV did well in the 500cc years of Grand Prix racing, accounting for four championships and seven constructor's titles.  Automania invites knowledgeable comment and asks $16,995 for this one-of-one, and can be reached at (541) 479-8888 or emailed - here -.

19 Comments

  • SOLD

  • Damn thats a cool bike

  • Tail piece looks like nsr 250 mc28.

  • Not a V4 but beautious!

  • How did I miss this bike????

    I would have bought it in a heartbeat had I seen it, Damn it!!!

  • any bike builder will tell you the last 10 percent of the build is the toughest, especially with a bike of this sophistication

  • Wholly sh** this bike is awesome. I too would of jumped on this bike in a second if I would of seen it in time. Seller most certainly left $ on the table as this would of fetched 20k for certain. Absolutely beautiful bike and congrats to Buyer! I picked up a couple race bikes off this site recently but man would this one would of been cool! Love seeing these great builds, so much better then these hipster builds I keep seeing lately.

  • Sinister looking bike! What front end fairing is that? I have a Suz SV1000S which I love but not crazy about the kinda goofy Darth Vader-ish look of my front headlight fairing. Ride wise I wouldn’t trade her.

  • looks like a TLS fairing up top

  • Wow what a stunner!

  • First I just have to say WOW. I’ve never been a two stroke guy, but suddenly I seem to be wanting one. This one. Lovely bike, lovely build, and I would really really like to ride it.
    The frame does look like a Spondon. I have one myself, of this same design and those side spars, the mounting bosses, it all looks like Spondon to me. I would expect a frame number to be found on the cross brace directly behind the steering head. The brace would be tying together the two spars and will probably be welded to the steering head too, creating the whole front structure. The number is usually on the underside of this brace. You’ll probably have to remove the fairing to see it and will need to look up right in front of the motor. It can be hard to find, even when you know it’s in there. The number format should be something like SPE-LAV 747 (my number, Laverda motor, 747’th frame Spondon made).
    I would expect this bike to be SPE-RG *** as their GSXR frames use the GSX designator. They didn’t need to make a model designation for the Laverda’s as they only made frames for the triples. There could be some other letters in there after the SPE used I think in some cases to indicate more detail as to the motor the frame was intended for. I’ve seen a Yamaha LC frame number of this type.
    Fantastic frames and a great basis for such a lovely build. It was a sad day when Bob sold Spondon Engineering and a sadder day when he died. He was quite a character and man could he weld aluminum…

  • Hmm would not pay for that… nothing original anymore, not like that zero km sold for 45k recently now that is an investment

  • A beautiful build. I didn’t know Mark Canepa, but he obviously was a two stroke guy with quite an eye. I hope when I am gone I leave behind a few bikes I have built to be admired like his. RIP two stroker you did real good.

  • I knew someone would post the “it’s not stock, and hence not worth anything” comment. Predictable, and laughable. Stock RG500”s are garage art. Anyone who really thinks that isn’t a rider, and not driven a Rick Lance built RG big bore gamma. Investors should Stick your money in a real estate and a Roth IRA. At the same time, Some lucky guy will be out riding and enjoying his Spondon RG!

  • I’m with ya on this one. Being a Spondon elevates the value This price was a steal. Hence it sold in an hour.
    45G for the no miles? I don’t see the appreciation there. A lot of people have overpaid for muscle cars and are stuck Shy of a Hemi or a Shelby and some Vettes. Prices have dropped.

  • Seeing bikes like this is the primary reason I love RSBFS. It would have been interesting to have seen this bike sell on Ebay just to see what kind of price a premium build could demand. Well done. Congrats to the buyer.

  • This is an investment in the present. An investment in pure enjoyment. While it may nice to have investment quality bikes to hold for future returns, to admire and to dust and to polish but never ride, you also need to invest in the here and now. This bike says here and now in very clearly. Someone did very well with that purchase. I hope it gets used as intended.

  • vert cool….top shelf build

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