Posts by tag: Square-Four

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
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