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Posts by tag: Square-Four

Suzuki May 31, 2018 posted by

Canadian Stroker: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale

Suzuki's RG500Γ "Gamma" didn't actually use a detuned version of the racing RGB500's engine, but at least shared that machine's square four two-stroke configuration, so it looked and felt like it could have been developed from the real thing. The specifications were certainly unlike anything else on the road: twin cranks, disc valves, four cylinders and 498cc, surrounded by a lightweight aluminum frame.

A quartet of very compact Mikuni flat-slide carburetors tucked in on the sides of the engine and fed the liquid-cooled two-stroke, a six-speed cassette gearbox kept the engine on the boil, and Suzuki's "Full-Floater" suspension system and anti-dive forks helped put the power to the ground.

That square four turns fuel and air into a combination of power and heavy smoke that dribbles out of the four separate exhausts at idle. Once "on the pipe," it puts a claimed 95hp through the impossibly skinny 120-section tire, enough to easily motivate the 340lb dry weight. Handling and braking were both exemplary in 1986, but have obviously been far surpassed.

The feeling is still there though and, in spite of Suzuki' Automatic Exhaust Control power valve that helped give the lightweight machine a more manageable powerband, the bike was still a very raw experience. Which is exactly what makes it such a desirable bike today: it's a race-replica that does more than just look the part.

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale

The bike has never been plated or crashed.  Have owned it since 1990.  Very low mileage, very fast and reliable, 1 -2 kick starts (usually 1).  The only mar on the cosmetics is 4 small dimples , the result of a board sliding over and contacting the tank while in storage.  Can put the winning bidder in touch with the shop that did the engine work.  The shop owner races a gamma in vintage Class, he is the predominate specialist in Eastern Canada.  The entire engine, including the crankshafts and powertrain have been rebuilt and/or inspected, the invoices exceeded $6,000 US and can be emailed to the winning bidder.  My storage people can also do crating, export documents and shipping (Div. of Tippet Richardson Int.)  Shipping are dependent on destination, an advanced quote can be provided.

There hasn't been much activity so far, but the opening bid was set at $18,000 and the seller is in Canada, which may be limiting interest in the bike. While I think this color and graphics scheme is very flattering, it may also be that purists prefer the classic blue-and-white Suzuki scheme. Hopefully, we'll see some interest over the next couple of days!

-tad

Canadian Stroker: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale
Suzuki April 12, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale

Suzuki's RG500Γ "Gamma" is a modern classic, a bike from the tail end of the two-stroke sportbike era, at least here in the USA where lightweight, smoky strokers were gone by the mid-80s. At the time, it offered significant on-paper advantages over something like a GSX-R750: it was lighter and the 498cc engine made similar power and torque to the four-stroke 750. But the two-stroke engine was much more highly-strung, making it a more challenging bike to ride quickly, but that's exactly what two-stroke sportbike fans love about them. They relish the involvement required by the narrow powerband and the trail of heavy, oily smoke that drips from the four tiny exhaust pipes.

Why four pipes? Well the Gamma was powered by a square four engine that, although not actually based on the unit that powered Suzuki's Grand Prix machines, at least used the same format, with twin crankshafts and a pair of very compact Mikuni carburetors on either side. Of course, like all two-strokes of the period, it featured a power valve system, in this case Suzuki's AEC or "Automatic Exhaust Control" and a cassette-style six-speed transmission theoretically allowed quick changes to the gearing trackside. The aluminum frame resembled the GSX-R's, and the Gamma had hydraulic anti-dive forks at the front and a complex, rising-rate monoshock rear suspension that Suzuki dubbed their "Full-Floater" system. A 16" front and skinny 17" wheel out back seem odd today, but were fairly standard at the time.

This particular bike should be familiar to long-time readers, as it was posted up here a couple years back. The individual who purchased it has decided the time has come to pass the bike along and let a new owner appreciate the craftsmanship that has gone into it. Most Gammas look very much alike, as 99% of them originally were, or have been repainted, in the traditional blue-and-white Suzuki colors, with a few blue-and-red Walter Wolf examples thrown in for good measure. But this particular example was custom-painted and, lest you think the less traditional colors mask a bike that's been less than lovingly maintained, let's dissuade you of that notion right now: it was rebuilt a couple years back from the ground-up, and tuned by none other than Rick Lance. Basically, this bike has had a kitchen sink worth of upgrades thrown at it, as you can see from the seller's description, and the result may not be original, but is pretty spectacular.

From the seller: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale

I have been blessed to own 3 of these legendary motorcycles. Out of the 3, this is the nicest and best out of my collection. I purchased this bike in October of 2016 from California. It was a recent build done by Rick Lance. I was talking to Rick at the time about doing a build with him in the exact format. However the cost was more and the timeframe was about 2 years wait. I came across this one on eBay and snatched it up. When it arrived it was nicer than the pictures detailed. Furthermore, it was listed as a 1985 and the California title reflected it as a 1986. The details are as follows:

This 1986 RG500 has ~1200 miles on it since being fully rebuilt in 2011 by Rick Lance from Lance Gamma lancegamma.com

It has the following features:

Motor: full motor rebuild including:
555 upgrade, GSX-R radiator, valve kit
Maranello transmission kit
Lance Gamma clutch upgrade
Lance Gamma TriPod air filter kit
Lance Gamma supplemental petcock
Lance Gamma pipes

Chassis, bodywork, etc:
Battery + oil tank conversion
Wheels ands rotors
Forks
Shock
Lance Gamma fiberglass bodywork with custom paint scheme

This bike is something special and unique

BTW– when Randy Mamola visited the previous owners home he autographed the bike on the gas tank, so that makes it even more unique!

The bike is the nicest you will come across. I have very much enjoyed it. I only put 200 miles on it since the purchase. It has spent more time sitting in the storefront window of my Indian dealership. My business circumstances have changed and I am looking to reinvest in my business.

I have a service manual and extra windshield that will go with the bike if desired.

I will ship worldwide on your dollar. Feel free to contact me for pictures, videos, or call me if you desire to discuss specifics.

As the seller states, this bike has covered just 200 miles since it was last seen on RSBFS. Frankly, I wasn't a huge fan of the looks when it was posted previously, but the photos that feature the bike indoors, in less glaring light, show just how classy and striking the paintwork is and it's sure to stand out in any crowd [?!] of Gammas... I generally prefer the Walter Wolf colors for the RG500, but there's no denying the quality on display here. It is posted on eBay, no reserve, so submit a bit and take a chance!

-tad

Featured Listing: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale
Suzuki March 28, 2018 posted by

Worth the Trip: 1983 Suzuki RGB500 for Sale

This time of year, really interesting sportbikes can be a little thin on the ground, so our online searches naturally take us farther afield. In this case, all the way to Japan for a 1983 Suzuki RGB500 that was the Grand Prix racing inspiration for the two-stroke RG500Γ. This Mk8 version was highly-developed, although the earliest iterations of the bike were notoriously brawn-over-brains machines, with plenty of power but sometimes terrifying high-speed handling...

Suzuki's initial foray back into Grand Prix competition in the early 1970s was built around a production-based, water-cooled parallel twin borrowed from their T500 Titan, which saw limited success. Something different was needed if Suzuki wanted to win, and that meant the development of a brand-new four cylinder engine that featured a pair of cranks, disc valves, and the now famous square-four architecture. The new four-cylinder machine was first competed in 1974 and won its first Manufacturer's Title in 1976, then went on to dominate Grand Prix racing for years, and actually drove the shift from four-stroke machines to smokers: if you wanted to compete, you made the switch. That change defined prototype motorcycle racing up until 2002, when rules changes specifically intended to allow four-strokes to compete on more equal footing were introduced.

The original design for Suzuki's new square-four used front and rear cylinder banks that were the same height and made 110hp, although later versions used the more familiar "stepped" arrangement familiar to fans of the Gamma and made even more power. Suspension and tire technology took a while to catch up with the engine's brutal performance: 120hp may not sound like much today, but two-strokes deliver that power in a famously abrupt manner, and the early machines ate tires and chains with startling regularity. By 1982, the bike weighed 238lbs and produced over 120hp, with top speeds of up to 170mph and the RGB500, helped along by talented riders like Barry Sheene and Randy Mamola, was a dominant force in top-level motorcycle racing throughout the 1980s.

From the original Yahoo! Japan listing: 1983 Suzuki RGB500 for Sale

Racer RGB 500 I-MK 8 Works specifications. (Marco Rukkinelli player in Japan has riding)

Frame engine · swing arm Other than Works parts · Exterior manufacturer original.

(Engine) Works Mechanic · Full Overhaul (Replacement of new parts such as expendable parts)

It is running for 2 hours including a mustard and test course.

Basically present car verification. On... examination can receive person hope, in any case present condition delivery no claim.

A bid please those who can understand old racers · those who can understand by image.

Since cancellation of a bid can not correspond, please bid carefully under self-responsibility.

Those who can withdraw to Saitasa city, or if you can arrange for land transportation by yourself as a guideline after about a week after a successful bid

If it is BAS, we will bring it to Kashiwa depot for 5000 yen.

BAS Please bear the shipping fee from Kashiwa Depot by the highest bidder

Please, no jokes about the listing: I ran this though Google Translate so the original seller isn't responsible for any atrocious syntactical mistakes. Although I'm really interested in "a mustard and test course." Obviously, potential buyers won't be worried about the need to register their purchase, since this isn't a street bike. You'd just need to figure out whether to to race or display this bit of history.

-tad

Worth the Trip: 1983 Suzuki RGB500 for Sale
Suzuki October 13, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ Gamma for Sale

Update 10.27.2017: SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Like Ducati’s MotoGP inspired Desmosedici, the square four in the Suzuki RG500Γ "Gamma" in today's Featured Listing wasn’t actually a detuned version of the race bike's engine. Race bikes engines are built for power, not longevity, and simply “de-tuning” is probably not going be enough to make one work in a road bike. So in both cases, the engines shared the configuration and general specifications with their MotoGP racebike counterparts, but few or no actual parts. Which almost makes them cooler in my mind: in both cases, the one-off engines were built to be installed in a very limited run of exotic motorcycles, with no intention that they be mass-produced or turn much of a profit. These engines and bikes exist seemingly only for a very small group of enthusiasts, and there's something inherently cool about that. Also, I love using the Greek alphabet typing up these posts.

The "configuration and general specifications" we're talking about in this case refers to the two-stroke, twin-crank, disc-valve square four that displaced 498cc. Four very compact Mikuni flat-slides fed fuel and air into the engine, and the gearbox was a quick-change cassette six-speed. Of course it featured a power valve system, in this case Suzuki's AEC or Automatic Exhaust Control that helped smooth out the two-stroke's abrupt powerband. The result? The Gamma put just a bit less than 100hp worth of stinky, heavy exhaust smoke out of its four tiny stinger exhaust pipes.

The rest of the bike was more familiar, with an aluminum frame not all that different from the GSX-R, with hydraulic anti-dive forks in the front and Suzuki's "Full-Floater" system out back. Skinny period 16" front and 17" rear wheels mean terrifyingly skinny tires that look like they'd be more at home on a beach-cruiser bicycle today, but were par for the course in 1986. With 340lbs worth of dry weight to push around and less than 100 horses to do it with, performance seems like it would be unimpressive. But it's the very nature of that spiky power delivery, the all-or-nothing acceleration that requires constant use of the gearbox to make fast progress, the challenge that seems to get two-stroke fans excited.

Unless you're "of a certain age" or younger and a bit of a bike nerd, the appeal of the whole two-stroke thing may fly over your head. They're smoky, buzzy, and generally pretty high-maintenance. They also have famously narrow and fairly abrupt powerbands, making them challenging to ride quickly. But even though they do require more regular maintenance than a four-stroke motorcycle, the upside is that they're relatively simple to work on, lacking traditional intake valves, and therefore cams, cam chains, cam belts, pushrods, or any of the other bits typically associated with "normal" motorcycles.

This particular bike is claimed to have seen the attention of the famous Rick Lance during its refresh and appears to be in extremely nice condition, ready to become the showcase of the next owner's collection and hopefully be the talk of every motorcycle gathering when the new owner takes it out for a spin and stretches its legs.

 

From the Seller: 1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma for Sale

Located in Greater Chicagoland Area 1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma

This 1986 RG500 Gamma with 17,769 km (approximately 11,041 miles) is in near mint original condition.  It comes out of the famous BAC car and motorcycle collection. It was extremely well cared for by the previous owner and the current owner.  BAC has owned this bike for almost ten years.  The current owner searched for almost two years to find the best one that could be found.  After purchasing the bike, he had Mike the Chicagoland expert on Gammas along with Rick Lance, a Gamma guru, to supply necessary technical information to bring this bike back to its original factory condition and near mint condition.  The bike runs just as you would expect an original factory bike to run.  And looks exactly like an original factory bike would look after only a few thousand miles were put on it.

Over the years many of these bikes have either been raced into the ground or had the engines pulled out to put in a smaller bike leaving the close to mint original bikes very few and far between.  The current elderly owner has collected cars and motorcycles and says that these Gammas have a long way to go in terms of appreciation and wants to be sure that the next owner is going to preserve the intrinsic and cosmetic value as he has invested so much time, energy and money to bring this bike to its highest level.

Mike the master Gamma mechanic and Rick spent two long years getting this bike and all its necessary parts together to make this bike one of the finest original Gamma’s that exists.

Great bike for those who want only the finest and priced accordingly.

Asking price is $18,500 negotiable.

Other two-stroke GP replicas of the period compromised: the RD500LC famously added a balance shaft to make the bike more civilized, while Honda's NS400R went with a smaller displacement to help home-market sales. Both offered a much more refined experience, and both have a far less rabid cult following than the RG500 as a result. Prices have been steadily rising, although the RD and NS have increased in value as well, perhaps simply because RGs have been nearly unobtainable for a while now. If you've been looking for an RG and have the cash to spend, this one is worth a look.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ Gamma for Sale
Suzuki August 18, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: Untapped Potential – Zero-Mile 1985 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale

Update 8.24.2017: Dean has notified us that this bike is sold. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Update 8.18.2017: Price dropped $10k to $35,000 or BEST OFFER. -dc

Update 7.31.2017: Dean has contacted us to upgrade this post to a Featured Listing. Dean mentioned that he's working to help a deceased friend's family, and that he doesn't have much history on the bike other than a 1988-89 conversation where he mentioned the bike came through Canada, maybe from the UK? The family is open to offers near the asking price. -dc

I'm obviously a big fan of the phrase "squirreled away" but it's never really been more appropriate than here to describe a zero-mile 1985 Suzuki RG500Γ. A perennial favorite here at RSBFS, the Gamma pretty much embodies everything we love about bikes: it's rare, features exotic specifications, and has very real motorsports links. Sure, the RG500's exotic, two-stroke square four shares no actual parts with Suzukis Grand Prix machines, but neither was it used in any other bike in their lineup. Much like the Desmosedici, it was designed from scratch to resemble the racebike motor, but doesn't need rebuilds after every weekend ride...

So two crankshafts, four cylinders, a slick-shifting six-speed cassette gearbox, and sophisticated suspension that featured Suzuki’s Full Floater rear suspension, a system of linkages that applies equal pressure to both the top and bottom of the rear shock. A racing-style tachometer that doesn't have any numbers lower than 3,000 to help you keep tabs on a powerband that's dead below 6,000rpm and signs off past 8,500rpm in spiky, two-stoke style. All wrapped up in racy bodywork that is much smaller in person than you'd expect.

But as authentic as the style and specification may be, the hundred-ish horses and 350lb dry weight won't have you leaving many modern sportbikes in your wake. And once you introduce a set of serious corners, those skinny little wheels and tires won't leave you all that much grip to play with. However, fans of two-stroke performance won't likely argue any of that. It's the sound, the feel, and the general lightweight character of bikes like this that won them their admirers.

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Suzuki RG500 for Sale

Purchased new in Canada, shipped to USA and put in storage. 0 Miles. Engine kicks over and 99% of bike looks beautifully new. Never had fuel in the gas tank. Never had the seat off before today. Tool kit is still folded and strapped in from the factory. Stored in dark, dry garage since 1985. Never seen sun before this year!

Inside of tank looks even more beautiful than the outside.

Note nibs still on tires. Note black rubber shipping band still on the headlight from Suzuki!

One mirror and mount are dinged from a storage incident.

Sold on bill of sale and transport is responsibility of buyer. I have shipped bikes previously and can be here for truck but nothing more.

Payment in cash or cashiers check my bank will accept and clear.

Bike is for sale locally. Also selling Honda NR750 : $145,000.

I have been on eBay since 1998. I have owned, ridden and raced motorcycles for 44 years. I have also worked in a motorcycle shop. I believe I am honestly describing the condition of this RG500. I currently own something like 20 bikes.

Considering its condition and $45,000 $35,000 asking price, you're not likely to head out to the garage on a Sunday morning, kick this RG500 over, listen to its crackling idle, then take it out for a spin. But I hope the new owner will at least give it pride of place in their living room or office, instead of storing it in a "dark, dry garage since 1985"! That just seems a sad fate for such a fêted machine. Considering what a comparably-sized sculpture might cost, this RG might actually make sense as decoration...

-tad

Featured Listing:  Untapped Potential – Zero-Mile 1985 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale
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