Posts by tag: Square-Four

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 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 December 29, 2016 posted by

Sensible Upgrades: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale

One of the most desirable sportbikes of the 1980s, the Suzuki RG500Γ was in a class of basically two with the Yamaha RZ500. Powered by a two-stroke square four it shared with no other bike in Suzuki's lineup, the Gamma was intended to evoke their Grand Prix racebikes, which led to an interesting dilemma: two-strokes were still king in the racing world, but their smoky emissions and poor fuel-consumption were dooming them to irrelevance in the real world. And while quarter-liter two-strokes continued well into the 1990s, "big" 500cc two-stroke fours from Suzuki and Yamaha lasted for just a couple years.

The Gamma's 400lbs and 100hp weren't cutting-edge numbers even in their day, but the relatively light weight and 500cc power meant that, although there were faster bikes in a straight-line, the Gamma had that magical combination of agility and top-end hit that two-stroke fans find so addictive. Or maybe burnt two-stroke oil has some sort of narcotic effect? Sure, yesterday's Triumph Daytona would probably kill it in any quantifiable measure of performance, but what would you expect from a thirty year-old motorcycle?

Today's example is very sharp-looking and has been modified to use wider 17" wheels front and rear. Purists might balk, but finding sticky [and safe] modern rubber to fit those very skinny [120 wide at the rear!] stock items might be difficult and I think it improves the look of the bike, although aesthetics are certainly subjective.

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale

GAMMA, totally refurbished, Lance Gamma tune, top end, pipes. Carbs bored, air filters, ride height adj, RaceTech forks, Fox shock, GSX-R400 rims, new body work and paint. Bike comes with owners manual, shop manual, custom stand, race stand, cover, and Suzuki leather jacket size 48. Bike runs and idles perfectly. If u have ever wanted one, this is the one. Don't let this pass you up, bike will only appreciate.

Digging back through our archives, it doesn't look like this example has graced the pages of RSBFS. Obviously, restomods can be a bit divisive, but I'm a fan as long as they're done tastefully and this one looks pretty class, assuming that carbon dash is real carbon fiber... Even the slightly updated graphics on that solo tail look great, and it has the required Lance Gamma tune. The price for this pristine, tastefully-modified Gamma? A cool $23,000. That's pretty steep, but the bike looks sharp enough to justify that kind of cash, and if you've been looking for a lightly-modified RG500, this might be the time to dig deep.
-tad
Sensible Upgrades: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale
Suzuki October 19, 2016 posted by

Good As New: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale

1986-suzuki-rg500-l-front

"It's only new once" is pretty axiomatic in the collector car and bike worlds. Meaning that a slightly imperfect, but time-capsule machine with a bit of wear and tear is generally more desirable than a perfectly restored, better-than-new example to many collectors. Original machines have flaws: they're often mass-produced, or have little cosmetic flaws from the factory, but they accurately reflect the bike as it would have been at the time it was running around, terrorizing the backroads. This 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ "Gamma" is claimed to have been restored to "as-new" condition. Personally, I'd actually prefer a bike that improves a bit upon the original, adds in a few modern parts for the sake of reliability and performance at the cost of some period-correctness. But then I'm not a well-heeled motorcycle enthusiast.

1986-suzuki-rg500-dash

If you're not familiar with Suzuki's Gamma, hello and welcome to RareSportBikesforSale! The bike was Suzuki's very trick race-replica, competing in a class of two against Yamaha's RZ500. Both used four-cylinder, two-stroke powerplants exclusive to their respective models and shared with no other bikes. In the Suzuki's case, it was a water-cooled 500cc square-four with a pair of cranks versus the Yamaha's V4, also with two crankshafts. The RG500 made in the neighborhood of 100hp and weighed in at around 400lbs dry.

1986-suzuki-rg500-l-rear

Not very impressive today but it was considered pretty quick in 1986. But the numbers don't tell the whole story, and straight-line performance wasn't really the point of this race-replica: that highly-strung engine provided an addictive hit when it came "on the pipe," while cutting-edge handling rewarded skilled riders. Of the two, the Suzuki was considered far more "hard core" and is the more desirable choice today, although both are very collectible motorcycles that evoke a lost era of two-stroke performance.

1986-suzuki-rg500-rear-wheel

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale

Totally restored to new machine it is a great bike
I have all the bills and documents for what was done for this rebuild
Bike comes with a service manual and a very rare microfiche of all parts for the Gamma
This bike has 2 seats a mono and double, original keys
New tires and bearings and many more original parts from Suzuki
Bike has been totally re-calibrated to factory Suzuki spec by Pulsion Suzuki call ask for Mike on this bike
Location is in Drummonville Quebec Canada
Will miss it reason for sale moving to Africa

1986-suzuki-rg500-engine-detail

The Starting Bid and the Buy It Now on this bike are both $12,500 with no takers yet. I'd prefer some higher-resolution photos that show the bike off in all its glory, but from what I can tell, it looks pretty clean, so I'm not sure what's causing bidders to be gun-shy. Maybe it's the lack of detail in the listing? The bike's inherent Canadian-ness? I'm sure our readers will have some ideas... "Restored" can have a few different meanings in eBay Land so it might be worth it to email the seller for a few more details before plunking down your cash, but for those of us just dreaming this should serve as inspiration.

-tad

1986-suzuki-rg500-r-front

Good As New: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale
Suzuki August 4, 2016 posted by

Stunning Gamma: 1988 Suzuki RG500Γ MK14 Race Bike for Sale

1988 Suzuki RG500 R Side

The road-going two-stroke fours from Suzuki and Yamaha normally tend to look a little awkward to my eye. The wheels and tires look too skinny, the brakes too small, the fairing bulbous and a little ungraceful. That all goes out the window with this 1988 Suzuki RG500Γ race bike, which seems better balanced all-around, and does away with pointless frippery like headlights, turn-signals, and rear-view mirrors...

1988 Suzuki RG500 L Tank

Motivated by a liquid-cooled square-four engine that was basically made up of a pair of parallel-twins geared together, the Suzuki was far more raw than the competing RZ500 from Yamaha. Many two-strokes of the period featured complicated technology designed to make them more practical for road use. While the RG500 had some of those as well, it seemed to revel in the very qualities that attract two-stroke fans, instead of masking them: light weight, narrow powerbands, and a generally unruly, experts-only handling.

1988 Suzuki RG500 Fairing

Power hovered right around 100hp for the road bike and, for a bike of the period that weighed under 400lbs, this represented state-of-the-art motorcycle performance. Even today, these are some of the most highly sought-after bikes of the 1980s and, although they don't offer cutting-edge power compared to modern machines, the level of involvement required to ride one quickly and the highly-strung, chainsaw-maniac shriek of the engine mean plenty of entertainment, all wreathed in heavy two-stroke smoke that drips from the four stingers.

1988 Suzuki RG500 Dry Clutch

This example is a pure racing machine that obviously doesn't even share a frame with the roadgoing model, and competed in the late 1980s in the UK, as described by the seller.

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Suzuki RG500 Race Bike for Sale

Suzuki RG500 MK14 - 1988 British F1 Winning bike. Model year 1988 VIN RGB500-10511

For the 1985 season Suzuki adopted a new approach in respect to their hugely successful RG500 partly in response to changes being seen in domestic racing. National championships were moving towards production based, four stroke formulas resulting in less demand for over the counter Grand Prix 500's. Suzuki opted to stop producing complete RG500's, instead supplying Padgett's of Batley with up rated, magnesium cased, stepped RG500 engines and their associated power valves and expansion chambers. Padgett's would then supply complete machines using a steel frame built by Harris Performance and based on the Suzuki Mk VII/VIII frame. A total of twelve engines were supplied to the Yorkshire based company with machines being built between 1985 and 1988. The machine offered is number 11 of the 12 and was ridden by Darren Dixon, a Padgett's sponsored rider to victory in the 1988 British F1 Championship. It was subsequently sold to Brian Burgess in November 1988 for his son, John, to ride in the British Superbike Championship which, at that time still allowed machines such as the RG500 to compete. The ACU eventually banned two strokes form the British Superbike Championship at the start of the 1990's. The owners continued to run the RG500 in National and club events until 1996. Roger Keen prepared the engine during the period that the motorcycle was racing and recently the engine has been stripped and rebuilt with new parts by Phil Lovet. The machine was recently returned to the livery that it wore when being raced by Darren Dixon in 1988 with the paintwork being applied by Padgett's. It is in good condition in all respects following its restoration. This significant machine is offered with a letter from Clive Padgett confirming that it was Darren Dixon's Championship winning RG500 and that Padgett's sold the motorcycle to Mr Burgess in November 1988 together with a letter from Mr Burgess outlining the machines history during his ownership and a DVD showing Darren Dixon winning three races.

1988 Suzuki RG500 Rear Wheel

The seller indicates that the bike is currently in the UK but, given the bike's rarity and the fact that it's a pure racing bike, I don't think that will be any sort of issues for buyers here in the USA or anywhere else, for that matter. I honestly don't know enough about RG500 race bikes to vouch for this bike's authenticity, so I'm happy to defer to the experts in the comments section on this one. Real, or not, it's a stunning bike, with just enough wear to suggest that it actually gets used from time to time. Bidding is active, but currently sits just north of $10,000 which is well short of where I expect it to end up.

-tad

1988 Suzuki RG500 L Side

Stunning Gamma: 1988 Suzuki RG500Γ MK14 Race Bike for Sale