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Chi Slamma Gamma – 1986 Suzuki RG500

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.

1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma for sale on eBay

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.

-donn

 

15 Comments

  • Looks like old styled Lance filter kit. Missing the gas tank mount post. Otherwise looks all there. I’m to the point I need to see the bike in person. You would be able to tell much more with low miles claimed. Looks nice in the pictures.

    • Seller has updated the listing to show the mount post is now present. -dc

  • The gas filler cap looks to be inserted backwards but I’d still buy it…

  • Sellers quotes
    “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. No restoration performed to any part of it. Everything on this motorcycle is original with exception of the tires”
    It’s obvious from the Ebay photos the upper nose, right and left mid fairings are aftermarket fiberglass, looks like seat cowl, grips, bar ends and air filters are aftermarket, upper triple clamp has been power coated.
    This looks to be a nice Gamma but it seems to me that this example is not completely stock and untouched with the exception of tires as the seller states.

    • DC,

      Can you detail how it is obvious to you that those pieces are aftermarket fiberglass and that the tank has been repainted?

      Thank you 🙂

      dc (Dan Crouch, RSBFS)

  • How bout those bar ends??

  • Fuel cap on backwards, after market grips, incorrect bolts on seat cowl, after market tires, bracket missing for fuel tank fastening, not original brake lines and so on and so on, anyway it looks like there is more of a story behind this bike but not bad considering I’ve seen a lot worst and I have seen a lot better like my one.

  • Actually this looks like a nice cosmetically restored Gamma.

    I missed a few things – The steel braided lines, the rear sprocket, the windscreen and the belly fairing are aftermarket, I can’t see the inside of the remaining bodywork but It makes me question ‘If is it aftermarket fiberglass as well’?
    Also, the fuel tank appears to be a repaint, the tire label is missing and I can see a prep sand mark under the paint on the right side under the RG T.
    Once again, I don’t want to take away from this awesome rare motorcycle and the work done to it should not have too much impact on the sale price, It just bothers me that it is clearly misrepresented.
    Hoping to help any potential buyer, they should do their homework and get all the accurate details from the seller .

  • So far 74 bids $26200 and reserve not met.
    Not that long ago you could get a nice one for early $20k money and a decent one for $15k

  • I looked at a completely unmolested stocker in 2000, and I thought the price was crazy at 9K.

  • Is it me, or has the rear suspension off, with it on the rear stand it looks the correct height but what happens when you put it on the ground, is it just me?

  • Dan,
    In the photos you can see the fiberglass weave on the inside of the upper, the mid fairings and the belly fairing, OEM fairings are not fiberglass and the inside edge is smooth plastic, also the upper does not have the opening vent below the headlight or the front turn signal openings in the front, depending on which country the bike is from they either had filler caps or turn signals.
    Hope this helps

  • Dan,
    Sorry you asked about the tank. I noticed if you scroll past the text in the Ebay add the 12th picture down there is a close up of the right side of the tank, it has a sand prep scratch under the paint below the R GT, you can definitely see it, also the tire warning label that is normally hidden by the seat is missing.

  • $30200 and reserve not met. The more I looked at it the more I saw that made it look a little ordinary.

  • 30k for a bike that seriously needs a lot of work.
    What a bizarre market.

Comment rules: Add something useful and constructive, and don't be a jerk. Comments that don't add value will be deleted. Comments will automatically close after 30 days. Thank you. -dc

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