Fully ten years after Barry Sheene won the GP world championship on his RG500, Suzuki had tamed the beast for the showroom. Though the delay missed the window of opportunity in the U.S., many examples have been imported, and this looks like one of the finest.
Unthinkably complex in this day of 400cc singles, the RG was actually two 250cc twins geared to a common lay shaft, which was protected by a shock damper on the road machine. The low-profile 28mm Mikuni carburettors and their air shared filter are wedged against the sides of the fairing, with disc induction valves underneath. Suzuki’s Automatic Exhaust Control power valve system and expansion chambers made their way aft closer to the centerline. Alloy chassis and cast frame connectors are seemingly more modern than the earlier race bike, the seat fairing covering the upper exhausts and stretching all the way to the footpegs.
With just over 6,000 miles, this Chicago resident is even better looking than the odometer would suggest, with no evident runs, hits, or errors. The owner says this in the eBay auction:
As you can see from the photos in the photo section as well as the body of the description, the machine has had absolutely no restoration performed to any part of it. The condition is exactly what it looks like in the photos. I looked at a quite a few of these bikes before I finally bought this one, and I’ve never seen a better original one before or since.
The paint on all of the fairings, tail section and tank is original, and have never had any type of paintwork or touchup. The fairings have never had any type of cracks or damage. The bike has never been in any type of accident or been dropped at any time.
The RG500 runs and rides the way you expect a machine with this type of mileage to run. All of the mechanical components have been checked over to ensure they work properly including the clutch and brakes. The fuel delivery system was also completely gone through this season and functions perfectly.
Suzuki began the square four saga with two 125’s making 250cc, and offered a 400cc variant alongside the 500 in appropriate markets. But the RG500 was the race winner, and the great powertrain was in a 340 lbs. ( dry ) package, a power-to-weight ratio that was years ahead of its time. Bidding is quite active but hasn’t met the reserve, and we’ll be keeping an eye on this one.