Posts by tag: Gamma

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 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 April 19, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1985 Suzuki RG400Γ for Sale

With prices of Suzuki's RG500Γ "Gamma" through the roof right now, fans of 80s two-stroke exotica have had to look elsewhere for their smoky thrills, and today's Featured Listing RG400Γ might be just the ticket for collectors seeking two-stroke performance on a less extravagant budget. Certainly, values of the Japanese-market RG400Γ have been below those of the bigger bike, in spite of it being less common, owing to a significant power deficit: claimed weight is nearly identical at 340lbs dry, but claimed power is down significantly from 93hp to 59. That'd still make for a pretty fun package in a road bike, and you're still looking at better straight-line performance than the 250cc machines of the same period.

1985 Suzuki RG400 for sale on eBay

The Gamma was introduced in 1985 and lasted until 1987, although none of the bigger two-stroke machines lasted very long on the market. Suzuki's race-replica two-stroke was powered by an unusual liquid-cooled, square four engine that was configured like a siamesed pair of parallel twins, with two crankshafts and the "rear twin" slightly higher than the front for a sort of stepped design. The firing order helped to cancel out vibrations and the Gamma was designed without a heavy, power-consuming balance shaft as a result. The smaller RG400 was intended specifically for the Japanese market and was powered by a version of the engine that used the same 50.6mm stroke, but a smaller bore of 50mm versus 56mm to arrive at the reduced 397cc displacement.

Two-stroke engines are simple and very light weight, making them perfect for off-road and commuter machines. But that same incredible simplicity and a relatively high power-to-weight ratio also make them ideal for road-racing motorcycles and, once Walter Kaaden's two-stroke tuning secrets were "acquired" by Suzuki, they dominated Grand Prix motorcycle racing into the modern era. Riders familiar with performance two-stroke motorcycles love their incredible agility and savage power delivery, characteristics that defined the Gamma when it was new. As has been pointed out ad nauseam in the comments sections, even the RG500 isn't really all that fast by today's standards, although it's still a challenging ride: handling was superior for a 1980s motorcycle, but suspension has come a long way since then and the 59hp of the RG400 is being channeled through a 120-section rear tire that you'd be more likely to find on the front of a sportbike these days... But fans of the Gamma love the rawness, the purity of the bike. Or are just high on sweet, sweet two-stroke exhaust fumes.

This particular example features Walter Wolf graphics, which could be a plus or a minus, depending on your tastes. Suzuki fans might prefer the iconic blue-and-white colors, but I think Gammas are a little bit bulbous in the traditional Suzuki colors, and the Walter Wolf graphics slim the bike down nicely.

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Suzuki RG400Γ for Sale

This early RG400 Walter Wolf is in good original condition with ~19,500km  / 12,100 miles. Recently purchased out of Japanese collection with 1987 Ducati 750 F1 Laguna Seca also listed on eBay. The mid to late 1980's was a great time to be a motorcyclist. Technology was evolving rapidly with the Japanese and European manufactures innovating at a tremendous pace. There were a myriad of engine layouts, number of cylinders, 2-stroke and 4-stroke vying for top honors and in the case of the NR500 - oval pistons! Technology proven on the race-track inevitably made it's way to the showroom to the great benefit of the riding public.  For a couple years in the later 1/2 of the 1980's enthusiasts in the rest of the world could go to their local dealer and buy an honest-to-goodness 2-stroke 4-cylinder F1 race-replica! The RG400/500 Gamma - along with the Yamaha RZ500 and Honda NS400 - brought the sound, the smell, and the looks of the GP circuit within reach of the knowledgeable motorcycle enthusiast.

The RG's square-4, twin-crank, rotary disk-valve RG400 is durable and reliable and easy to service and and readily modified for more power.

I've owned about a dozen RG500 as well as RZ500 in the early 1990's and this really takes me back. This one is a great 'rider' that draws a crowd and thumbs-up. It starts right up, idles well with and runs like 'back in the day' (a little smokey). Still has original oil-injection, airbox, and the original paint and bodywork. The aluminum frame is clean and bright with no sign of damage. Chassis and brakes are original and work like they should. Riding down the road, it's well-composed. A couple points worth noting 1) no belly-pan; 2) crack in upper fairing near windscreen at right rear-view mirror; 3) a couple touch-up on seat-section plastic; 4) turn-signal button missing (signals still work).

Ride it as it is, restore, or modify to suit your preference - whichever way you go, it'll bring a smile on your face and make a fabulous addition to your collection.
Currently on it's importation paperwork - Japanese de-registration certificate / English translation of certificate / NHTSA HS7 / EPA 3520-1 / CBP 7501 (stamped). Washington State title is available for $400 documentation fee approx. 5-week wait. WA state buyers responsible for Tax & License.

Happy to work with your shipper. In the past year I have shipped to/from Japan / Germany / England / Australia / Chicago / Georgia  / Arizona / California / Oregon / etc.i. I have been happy with Haul Bikes and would expect shipping to be in the $500 range to California and maybe $600-700 to the East Coast.

This looks like a pretty nice bike, considering the $9,250 asking price. There are a couple of cosmetic issues clearly disclosed by the seller and, although you might have to go with some aftermarket bodywork to replace that bellypan if you're on a budget, the bike is obviously usable without it. As always, it's important to do your homework if you plan to use this on the road: it sounds like the seller has all the paperwork needed to register this RG400, but whether or not that's even possible will vary, depending on your home state. Hm. I wonder what a Washington State PO Box runs per year...

-tad

Featured Listing: 1985 Suzuki RG400Γ for Sale
Suzuki February 18, 2017 posted by

Game-Changer: 1977 Suzuki RG500 Grand Prix Race Bike for Sale

Update 2.17.2017: Last posted in August of last year, this bike reached $34,101 reserve not met. Back on eBay and closes on Sunday. Links updated. -dc

1977 Suzuki RG500 Race Bike R Side

Prior to the RG500, two-strokes were found only in the smaller racing classes, and Suzuki was breaking new ground with this bike: no one had ever really built a two-stroke to challenge bikes in the premier class. Launched in 1974, Suzuki’s RG500 racing machine was impressively successful: with a Manufacturer's Title in 1976, the bike dominated Grand Prix racing for the next decade. That success drove the move to two-strokes for any manufacturer who wanted to remain relevant in Grand Prix racing, and two-strokes were the only game in town until rules changes for the 2002 season made four-strokes competitive again.

1977 Suzuki RG500 Race Bike L Side Tank

Power was no problem for the new, liquid-cooled engine, and the same lessons learned racing smaller bikes were scaled up for the square-four. But while four-strokes generally deliver their power in a smooth, progressive manner, two-strokes are notoriously on/off devices: a stumbling mess when “off the pipe” with an abrupt powerband like a jagged, lethal spike, characteristics only exacerbated by the dramatic displacement increase: early bikes ate chains, tires, and other consumables at an alarming rate, although development eventually cured these problems.

1977 Suzuki RG500 Race Bike R Side Engine

Early motors produced 110hp and used front and rear banks of cylinders that were the same height, but the later bikes saw the front bank a bit lower than the rear for the “stepped” motor that gave 124 hp for the 238lb machine. This 1977 machine is probably of the earlier type, although it's hard to tell for sure with the fairings in place. Either way, this is a very light, very fast motorcycle. And that's really always been the appeal of the two-stroke: simplicity, extreme light weight, and massive power for a given displacement.

1977 Suzuki RG500 Race Bike Dash

With the introduction of the new Suter MMX500, two-strokes have been heavily featured in the motorcycle press recently, and it's been interesting to read how many mechanics and riders loved preferred them to four-stroke machines: riders loved them for their light weight and challenging nature, mechanics for their simplicity and tunability.

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Suzuki RG500 Race Bike for Sale

Suzuki RG500 GP MK2 ex-Newbold, model year 1977, VIN 110077

An ICONIC RG500 version 1977 in the best paintwork scheme ever. It is an ex-John Newbold bike with all the correct standard original bits plus some works parts (tank etc). The bike was campaigned by Newbold in the Shell Sport 500 TT races beetween 1979/1981 and North West 200. It was completely restored by John Mossey who bought it in 1995 from a gentleman in Cardiff and sold then in 1997. It was just kept as showbike in collection since.

1977 Suzuki RG500 Race Bike Throttle

Bidding on the last couple of RG500 race bikes got up to between $26,000 and $44,000 although those were later bikes, and an individual bike's race history can make a huge difference in terms of value. Bidding for this one is up north of $22,000 with plenty of interest, but very little time left on the listing. Sitting in a collection means it's in amazing physical condition, although it will probably need extensive work if you plan to use it in anger...

-tad

1977 Suzuki RG500 Race Bike L Side

Game-Changer: 1977 Suzuki RG500 Grand Prix Race Bike for Sale
Suzuki January 24, 2017 posted by

New Arrival: 1983 Suzuki RG250 Gamma

Rarity is a curious question of locality. For US riders, the RG250 Gamma was always forbidden fruit (those residing in California were prohibited from even looking at pictures of these exotic machines). However in the home markets where small bikes rule, RG250s - as well as a host of other "exotic" small-bore rockets - are as plentiful as Honda Civics. Where you live has a great deal to do with the laws of supply and demand. As such, when we see the big RZs, RZVs, TZs, K1s and RGs, American riders tend to drool. After all, these are a delicacy in the otherwise land of plenty.

1983 Suzuki RG250 Gamma for sale on eBay

Although improperly listed as a Ganma (we are willing to overlook minor editing errors - after all RSBFS has been known to make them), it is unclear how much the seller knows about the history and condition of the bike. There are a number of photos and a video of the bike in question, so at least there is a willingness to provide as much info as possible to prospective buyers. The bike runs, and damage has been noted in both text and pictures.

From the seller:
The bike is imported from Japan.
Not registered yet in the U.S.
This bike is sold without title.
Original cowl , some re-painted, small dent & scratches.
Engine repainting, brake dragging, re-covered seat, changed to single seat
Some repair is necessary

This RG was recently imported directly from Japan. As is common with many such imports, corrosion and damage is prevalent. Because Japan is densely populated and real estate is at an absolute premium, most of the smaller bikes sit outside (usually alongside dozens - if not hundreds - of others). Proximity to the ocean accelerates the aging process, as does the occasionally tip-over or bump in the overcrowded parking locations where these bikes live. Nice to see that the spirit of modification is alive and well in the Far East. According to the seller, the saddle has been converted to a solo seat. I'm not sure what it looks like under the tail cover (that cover normally houses a second seat), nor is it clear what other mods a potential buyer may face.

There is also the issue of title. I'm sure this bike will be sold with a bill of sale, but if it has not been officially imported into the US then you will have some significant paperwork to do. If you know your state's vehicle code (and don't live in California), this may not be a tremendous hurdle. Or, you may be looking at a very cool track-day toy to make your fellow riders jealous. Either way, be aware that this is not a buy-and-ride-away sort of situation. Check it out here, and be sure and share your thoughts in the Comments section. Good Luck!

MI

New Arrival: 1983 Suzuki RG250 Gamma