Posts by tag: RG500

Yamaha July 17, 2016 posted by

V4 Race Replica: 1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale

1985 Yamaha RZ500 R Front

Like any market, collector car and bike values can be difficult to predict, which is why they call it “speculating.” Sure, that Anniversary Edition Corvette looks pretty sharp in a giant, plastic wedge kind of way, but will it ever be valuable enough to really justify squirreling away one instead of driving it? The same holds true for motorcycles: at the time, who would ever have expected the Yamaha RZ500 to be so much less sought-after than its direct competitor, the Suzuki RG500 Gamma?

1985 Yamaha RZ500 L Rear

On paper, the two bikes share a similar mission and specifications and both have their engine as the centerpiece: shared with no other bike in either company’s lineup, the Yamaha used a 50° V4 two-stroke and the Suzuki used a square-four two-stroke. Both were meant to mimic their respective company’s GP race bikes’ configurations and made similar power: 88hp for the Yammie and a claimed 94hp for the Suzuki. Both had paired cranks and a whole host of sophisticated engine and suspension trickery, with the Yamaha using their YPVS power valve system to boost midrange torque.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 Rear Wheel

Frame on the RZ500, known as the RD500LC in some markets, was made of steel, although the Japanese market RZV500R used a lightweight aluminum frame. Unfortunately, that bike was restricted in terms of power to 64hp, so any performance advantages, at least in a straight line, were muted. And now we’re getting to the root of the problem. Basically, Yamaha hedged their bets to make the RZ500 more accessible to the average rider, watering down their “GP bike with lights” to increase appeal: a balance shaft smoothed the raucous engine but added weight. The steel frame kept pricing down, but once again: increased weight. At 452lbs dry the RZ outweighed the RG by a staggering 80lbs.

1985 Yamaha RZ500 Clocks

Period reviewers were quick to praise the raw, authentic feel of the Suzuki compared to the more civilized Yamaha. And for racing fans looking for a connection, however tenuous, to the prototype racing machines being raced by their heroes, those pounds and the lack of edginess matter.

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale

This bike is in possession of the coveted California Registration. I did start it, sounded good, but 2 of the cylinders were over oiling, and 2 of the carbs started leaking, so I shut her down.

This rare bike needs a new owner and a little TLC.  

1985 Yamaha RZ500 Front Wheel

But just because they don’t command quite the rabid following as the Gamma doesn’t mean the RZ isn't a blast to ride, or cheap exactly. Prices have been rising recently, as they have with all two-stroke sports motorcycles, although this one hasn't attracted much attention yet at the $9,000 starting bid. This example isn’t perfect, obviously, and will need those engine issues sorted before it's ready to go. Some minor blemishes mean you can feel comfortable hooning your bike without fear of violating a pristine collectible, because even though the RZ might be less racy than the Gamma, don’t think it doesn’t provide two-stroke race-rep thrills for children of the 1980s.

-tad

1985 Yamaha RZ500 L Front

V4 Race Replica: 1985 Yamaha RZ500 for Sale
Suzuki May 17, 2016 posted by

Gamma From Down Under: 1985 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale

1985 Suzuki RG500 R Side

Today’s very clean Suzuki RG500Γ "Gamma" hails from power-mad Australia, where it seems like there are a disproportionate number of these two-stroke terrors stashed away. With fewer than 10,000 produced for all markets during three years of production, the bike was a true race-replica and shared its wild liquid-cooled square-four engine with no other model in Suzuki’s lineup. Styling was distinctive as well, with a pair of low-mount pipes for the front cylinders and an additional pair of pipes running under the seat and exiting on either side of the tail-section.

1985 Suzuki RG500 Front Wheel

The approximately 100hp produced by that very compact powerplant obviously looks pretty limp by today’s sportbike standards, since even the weakest 600 makes well north of that figure with far less effort. But that’s exactly the point of the Gamma: the skill needed to get the most out of the bike and the lightswitch power delivery made the bike both feel faster than it was on paper and made handling that much more exciting. Hey, anyone can jump on a liter bike and go fast, but it takes talent and nerve to extract every last one of those two-stroke horses.

1985 Suzuki RG500 Cockpit

Both the RG500 and its rival, the Yamaha RZ500 are both surprisingly small in the flesh: that slab-sided 80s styling and bulky tail-section suggest that they’ll be huge, in spite of the design brief and claimed 340lb dry weight. This example is helped by a very handsome white-and-blue Suzuki color scheme.

1985 Suzuki RG500 R Side Front

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Suzuki RG500Γ "Gamma" for Sale

FOR SALE - #00069 1985 SUZUKI RG500, 18,849 Kilometres VIN – JA1HM31A7G2100069

A rare find today - they’re not making any more of these!

This RG is damn near mint condition – nearly ! Showing 18,849 KMS – that’s about 9,000 miles - she presents very, very well. Tastefully upgraded with 17” wheels from a 1988 GSXR750 – 3.50 x 17” front and 4.50 x 17” rear, the STOCK wheels and discs are INCLUDED in the sale. In the sought after factory blue and white colour scheme.

Bike is currently located in Australia – we are a reputable Classic Bike Dealer and have USA references available if required. Price includes crating, Australian export charges and sea freight to the West Coast of the USA.

1985 Suzuki RG500 R Side Detail

Miles are low but, according to our readers, it has been common practice to disconnect the odometer cables on these increasingly valuable machines... With a $20,000 starting bid and no takers as yet, I’m curious as to why there’s been so little interest in the bike so far. Gammas have been blue-chip collectibles for a while now, with established demand and ever-increasing values. Have those values plateaued? Or is it just the Australian provenance that’s putting off buyers? The 17" wheels might offend some purists but should, at the very least, improve handling by allowing the fitment of modern, sticky rubber in widths the original designers could only dream of. And the seller includes the original wheels and brakes, if that's how you prefer to roll.

If it were my money, I’d keep the modern wheels and tires: I like the updated looks and having a bit more grip at the rear when that manic powerplant is “on the pipe” sounds like a good idea to me…

-tad

 

1985 Suzuki RG500 L Side

Gamma From Down Under: 1985 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale
Suzuki March 7, 2016 posted by

Time Capsule Two-Stroke: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale with Just 30km!

1986 Suzuki RG500 R Side

Fans of bikes like today’s RG500 Γ “Gamma” may fantasize that they are every bit as fast as a modern sportbike. But they’re probably viewing things through rose-tinted glasses: 95hp and 350lbs dry aren’t exceptional numbers today. Matched with the flexible frame and shockingly skinny tires, you’re looking at something would probably have a hard time shaking a modern 600 on road or track. But that’s hardly the point: like many vintage machines, it’s the sense of occasion that these bikes bring to the table and the experience of taming such a famously wild motorcycle.

1986 Suzuki RG500 L Side

The RG’s tach doesn’t even read below 3,000rpm and that should give you a hint of what to expect. With 500cc’s, the bike has enough displacement to work at lower rpm but it’s pretty unimpressive until you pass 6,000rpm. Between that point and 8,500 however, the power literally doubles and the bike lurches forward with a ferocity that belies the dyno sheet. And although the RG’s power is relatively modest by today’s standards, the overall package is still impressively light.

1986 Suzuki RG500 Dash

And it isn’t just the twin-crank, liquid-cooled two-stroke square-four engine that shouts its racy intentions: the bike featured a cassette gearbox that was a joy to use and a very high-spec suspension that included Suzuki’s Full Floater rear suspension, a clever system of linkages that applies equal pressure to both the top and bottom of the rear shock.

1986 Suzuki RG500 Rear Suspension

The slab-sided styling and upright riding position suggest more of a sport-touring mission and trick you into thinking these are much bulkier machines. I’ve never seen this particular paint scheme before and it is very flattering: these 80s two-stroke race-replicas are very compact and light, but they sure don’t look it in photos.

1986 Suzuki RG500 Front Wheel

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale

All original with only 30 kilometers!

The Suzuki RG500 "Gamma" was produced between 1985 and 1987. The Gamma sports a liquid cooled two stroke, rotary valve, twin crank, square four engine displacing 498 cubic centimeters with 93.7 brake horsepower, aluminum boxsection frame with castings for the headstock and swingarm. The front suspension has pre-load adjust and an anti-dive system. At the rear the full-floater suspension design uses dual-swingarms. The motorcycle weighed 154 kg (340 lb) dry. The Gamma is an up and coming collector motorcycle and this example with only 30 kilometers on the clock is possibly the lowest mileage and best example to exist! Selling with a clear Minnesota title!

 

1986 Suzuki RG500 R Detail

The seller also includes a nice video of the bike here.

People sometimes misunderstand the “racing machine for the road” description. There’s the assumption that a race car or bike has ungodly amounts of power and massive amounts of grip, but that’s really not the point. Weight is the enemy of performance and, no matter how much power you’re throwing out, lighter weight to achieve the same power-to-weight ratio is better. More weight means more stress on components, more fuel and tires consumed for the same result, and so on. Race bikes are often more powerful than their roadgoing counterparts, but it’s really the lightness, the precision of a racebike, all the jewel-like engineering details, and the way it all works together when handled by a skilled rider. It’s the experience that people are really looking for, a connection between themselves and the road that simple power can’t create, and that is something the RG500 delivers in spades, regardless of the ultimate performance available.

The question in this case is: just how much are you willing to pay for one of the purest sportbikes of all time? It’s probably one of the lowest-mileage examples to be found anywhere and is in pristine condition, but the Buy It Now price is an eye-watering $36,950!

-tad

1986 Suzuki RG500 L

Time Capsule Two-Stroke: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale with Just 30km!
Suzuki February 28, 2016 posted by

Tasty Replica: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ Walter Wolf for Sale

1986 Suzuki RG500 Walter Wolf R Side

Race-replicas are generally garish affairs: race bike paint is intended to offer up a striking rolling billboard that differentiates the machine on track and gets attention for sponsors. But the Suzuki RG500 Walter Wolf replica offers up subtle but effective style that's very unusual among race-reps. Maybe that's because Walter Wolf never actually sponsored racing motorcycles... Although named like a Bond Villain, Walter Wolf was actually an Austrian-born, Canadian oil-industry success that sponsored a Formula 1 team in the 1970s.

1986 Suzuki RG500 Walter Wolf L Side

 

The RG500 was fitted with an exotic, race-inspired powerplant, a water-cooled "square" four with a pair of cranshafts that was shared with no other production motorcycle. Dry weight was under 400lbs and, with 100 crankshaft horsepower, the RG offered up a roadgoing Moto GP experience unavailable anywhere else.

1986 Suzuki RG500 Walter Wolf Front

The seller mentions that he's also owned Yamaha's RD/RZ500 but considers the Gamma to be a "far better performer." While on paper the two were very evenly matched, in practice the Gamma was edgier, sportier. In what likely seemed like a good idea at the time, Yamaha pitched their two-stroke V4 for the street, fitting a balance shaft that gave the bike a far more refined feel. But Suzuki's RG500 managed to more closely replicate the racebike feel buyers were looking for, and is generally far more sought-after today. The Yammie certainly has it's devotees and is a very desirable motorcycle, but reviewers are pretty clear: the Gamma is where it's at for speed and thrills.

1986 Suzuki RG500 Walter Wolf L Side Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ Walter Wolf Replica for Sale

I'm selling my 1986 Suzuki RG 500 Walter Wolf. If you are not familiar with this bike, read below.

The RG500 Walter Wolf  was a very limited, very distinctive edition of the 500cc Suzuki machine that has won seven championships in world class Gran Prix racing. That racing heritage continued in 1986 with the Walter Wolf sponsored RG500 winning the Canadian National Pro and American Production Championships. The full power Walter Wolf RG500 Gamma of which on 99 were produced, were only exported to Canada. No one (including the Japanese domestic market) was to receive the real deal 95 HP Wolf. The Canadian bikes did not have the WW logo on the gauges nor the WW key. Of the 99 production Canada WW's a surprising number went to Mexico where Walter Wolf was a big name in F1 auto racing circles.

I bought my WW from the original owner in 2001. He was a Suzuki dealer in Long Island New York. He used his connections to get the bike delivered to his dealership, and had it registered and titled in New York State. When he sold it to me he included a  Walter Wolf key blank, lots of magazines articles about the Suzuki Gamma. He also included a scale model "kit" that is in the original box, as well as "odds and ends".

Included in the "odds and ends" is misc hardware turn signal lenses and "blanks"... and a fairing retro-fit from Suzuki Japan. I have the original owners manual and the factory shop manual. I also have a MPH speedometer. I believe I have the "proper" front and rear turn signals as well.

I have the 2-up seat.
I have the factory lift stand with the GAMMA Logo.
I also have a complete set of micro-fiche..
I have the original factory tool kit.
When he sold it to me he also gave me the original shipping container... which I (sadly) threw away.

Just before he sold the bike to me he had a "low side". I had it repaired and refinished by Sean Lezotte of CCR. The color match is perfect. One of the canisters was "scuffed". I have some cans of the proper blue paint.

I installed new tires (Avon's). I had a gear dog break off... which I replaced.

I moved to Georgia in 2007 and titled the bike in Georgia (clean). In 2010 I had the bike "looked over" by one of the famous "Gamma Gurus" who gave it a clean bill of health.

After his work and assessment I rode the bike for about 100 miles. I then parked it in a climate controlled garage..

That is the entire history of the bike except the issue of mileage. When I bought the bike it had a MPH speedometer on it that the previous owner said was necessary to pass NY inspection. The last "mechanic" to work on the bike replaced my MPH speedometer with my KPH speedometer... for unknown reasons. I would say the MPH speedometer number is correct. I have BOTH speedometers.

I am a motorcycle enthusiast. I have owned many high performance motorcycles over the past 30-35 years including RZ 500's,  Nortons, Triumphs, Rickmans and other iconic street bikes.

This is a fine example of a really high performance motorcycle. Riding one of these V-4 Two Strokes is quite fun. Having owned the RZ and the RG, I thought both were incredible..but the Suzuki was a better performer.

My pictures are not arranged in any particular order....and look horrible. I am no photographer.

I hope to get a fair price from an enthusiast.

If not, I'll keep it.

1986 Suzuki RG500 Walter Wolf Dash

Well that seems fair. And given the interest a regular Gamma generates, I don't think he'll have too much trouble drumming up the interest he wants. Mileage isn't super-low at 12,000 but it certainly is in super condition otherwise. The bike looks beautiful and is claimed to run well, but will the fact that the bike lacks the iconic "WW" logo gauges deter the purists?

Time and the comments section will tell.

-tad

1986 Suzuki RG500 Walter Wolf R Side Front

Tasty Replica: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ Walter Wolf for Sale
Suzuki December 4, 2015 posted by

Featured Listing: Suzuki RG500Γ Gamma for Sale

Update 2.19.2016: The seller has decided not to sell at this time. Contact information removed. -dc

DSC03260

Today's Featured Listing is one of our fire-breathing favorites, the Suzuki RG500Γ "Gamma." The Gamma is a bike from another era, a period of wild experimentation we may never see again. Certainly we're seeing almost unimaginable leaps forward today in the field of motorcycle electronics and sure, we've seen a wave of V4 superbikes in recent years. But we've pretty much narrowed down our choices to what works at this point: narrow, torquey v-twins, powerful inline fours, soulful sporting triples, simple thumpers, and economical parallel-twins.

DSC03265

But in the 80s? The field was wide-open, with the stereotypically up-tight Japanese Big Four sending us some very weird powerplants, including the water-cooled, two-stroke square four that powered the Gamma. One of the most exciting bikes of the 80s, the RG500 made almost 100bhp at the crank and weighed in at under 400lbs dry. If you were raised on modern superbikes, that might not sound impressive.

IMG_3584

But the peak power figure is deceptive: two-strokes have a notoriously on/off power deliver only mildly mitigated by the bigger displacement and there were, of course, no rider aids other than the rider's reflexes. This was without a doubt an "experts-only" motorcycle when new.

So is this particular example a purist's delight?

From the seller: 1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma for Sale

Jolly Moto pipes with carbon silencers ceramic coated.
Stock mirrors (like new) included.
Magnesium wheels with near new Q2 Dunlops.
Fresh Chain & sprockets.
Lots of Rick Lance stuff.
Breaks are near new freshly detailed.
Rick Lance clutch upgrade.
Fresh Penski  rear shock.
I have the chain guard.
NOS belly pan in the box included.
NOS foam instrument housing in the box included.
Lots of Gamma bits & pieces.
Front and rear stands.
Original tool kit.
Factory passenger seat.
Smoked high quality extra wind screen.
Everything I have Gamma related goes with the deal (service manual, parts book, etc. )
I ride this about 10 miles every Sunday and keep fresh fuel in it religiously.
Battery is at least 10 years old (I'm amazed it still works.)
If your really interested you can Face time me to look closely and listen to it run.  (For the serious bidders I welcome to ask questions and closely point out all the nitpicky imperfections.)
This bike is NOT restored or repainted and has your normal chips, scrapes and imperfections as a machine of this age (very, very sweet looking and running great)
Current CA registration in my name.

IMG_3581

Well, with bikes like this, fans are often obsessive about period-correct details. But honestly, while the 1980s may have featured a number of fascinating engine configurations, the tacked-on safety equipment of dubious efficacy, bulky exhausts, and period tires are probably better left in the decade that spawned Men Without Hats. The bar-end mirrors seen here are clearly not stock, but they clean up the fairing and improve the bike's lines. Plus, you could always replace them with the included OEM items. The stickers on the belly-pan may not be to everyone's taste, but could easily be removed with a heat gun and some elbow grease or replaced with the included OEM bit and, while the seller says that the original paint isn't perfect, it looks to be very well cared-for from the pictures, in spite of some expected wear-and-tear.

IMG_3582

They aren't mentioned in the description, but no one who plans to ride this bike hard are likely to argue with the new 17" wheels those upgraded front brakes, as improved tires and stoppers are always welcome on a performance bike with such a wild-and-wooly reputation.

IMG_3586

As you can see from the picture of the speedometer, this is not some low-mileage garage-queen. Collectors may scoff, but it's generally accepted that a high-mileage machine that's been well cared-for is preferable to a low-mileage bike that's been sitting, unless you're just going to display it. Considering the apparent condition and the tasteful, performance-oriented modifications, this could be a good choice for someone who's looking to ride and enjoy their little piece of two-stroke history.

-tad

DSC03261

Featured Listing: Suzuki RG500Γ Gamma for Sale
Suzuki November 9, 2015 posted by

Featured Listing – 1985 Suzuki RG500 for sale in Australia

Update 11.9.2015: Back on the market and with a lower opening bid. Good luck to buyers and seller. -dc

20150910a 1985 suzuki rg500 left

As new, unrestored, low miles, mint - we have all seen these phrases accompanying motorcycle classifieds.  Rarely does a factory GP replica survive 30 years with only 3,200 km. and without a mark.  The low number of owners might account for how this RG500 survived the decades in such condition.

20150910a 1985 suzuki rg500 right side panel detail

Inspired by their GP successes in the late 1970's and early 80's, Suzuki introduced the RG500 as a street machine for the 1985 model year.  Though production ended only three years late due ever-tightening emissions regulations, the 498cc, 93 hp machine is the stuff of legend.  Developed for racing, the square four two-stroke is a powerhouse, twin crankshafts with gears driving the primary shaft.  Despite Suzuki's efforts with its Automatic Exhaust Control, it's a peaky engine, starting to really scream as you cross the 6,000 rpm mark.

20150910a 1985 suzuki rg500 binnacle

20150910a 1985 suzuki rg500 left engine detail

Around 350 lbs., the light weight helps make it a handler, assisted by staggered 16-inch front and 17-inch rear wheels, and Full Floater rear suspension.  The aluminum box frame is welded to cast steering head and swingarm mounts which accommodate the footpegs.  There are four individual exhaust expansion chambers and mufflers, two under the seat and two next to the swingarm.  Dual 260mm discs ride floating buttons up front, and a 210mm disc in back.

20150910a 1985 suzuki rg500 right exhaust detail

20150910a 1985 suzuki rg500 left front wheel

Seeming to be recently rolled out of a 1985 showroom, there's no evidence of wear or corrosion anywhere on this RG500.  The 3rd owner states in the eBay auction:

3200 KMS ONLY WITH FULL PROVENANCE FROM NEW
COMES WITH ORIGINAL OWNERS MANUAL WITH SERVICE HISTORY, 2 ORIGINAL KEYS, FACTORY SERVICE MANUAL, MICHELIN A48 AND M48 TYRES, GENUINE SUZUKI RACE STAND, GENUINE SINGLE SEAT, ETC
BIKES IS UN RESTORED AND IS CERTAINLY ONE OF THE BEST EXAMPLES IN THE WORLD TODAY
ENGINE REGULARLY HEAT CYCLED AND JUST SERVICED WITH COMPLETE CARB KIT AND RUNS LIKE NEW
BIKE IS TOTALLY AS YOU WOULD HAVE PURCHASED IN 1985 NOT A MARK ON IT "AS NEW"
ALL GENUINE PLASTIC FAIRING PANELS AS NEW

20150910a 1985 suzuki rg500 right fairing

As close as could be to a 500cc GP Gamma for the road, there are accounts of Kevin Schwantz riding an RG500 from a English dealership ( after mechanics changed wheels, forks, and carbs ) in the 1986 championship TT at Assen, placing 2nd, and returning the bike to the showroom the next week.  Though an example like this seems to belong under glass on a fairly high pedestal, you could go through it and prepare for vintage racing, or title and register it for the road.  After transferring what appears will be pretty serious funds, the choice will be a great privilege.

20150910a 1985 suzuki rg500 right

-donn

Featured Listing – 1985 Suzuki RG500 for sale in Australia
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