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Time Capsule Two-Stroke: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale with Just 30km!

1986 Suzuki RG500 R Side

Fans of bikes like today’s RG500 Γ “Gamma” may fantasize that they are every bit as fast as a modern sportbike. But they’re probably viewing things through rose-tinted glasses: 95hp and 350lbs dry aren’t exceptional numbers today. Matched with the flexible frame and shockingly skinny tires, you’re looking at something would probably have a hard time shaking a modern 600 on road or track. But that’s hardly the point: like many vintage machines, it’s the sense of occasion that these bikes bring to the table and the experience of taming such a famously wild motorcycle.

1986 Suzuki RG500 L Side

The RG’s tach doesn’t even read below 3,000rpm and that should give you a hint of what to expect. With 500cc’s, the bike has enough displacement to work at lower rpm but it’s pretty unimpressive until you pass 6,000rpm. Between that point and 8,500 however, the power literally doubles and the bike lurches forward with a ferocity that belies the dyno sheet. And although the RG’s power is relatively modest by today’s standards, the overall package is still impressively light.

1986 Suzuki RG500 Dash

And it isn’t just the twin-crank, liquid-cooled two-stroke square-four engine that shouts its racy intentions: the bike featured a cassette gearbox that was a joy to use and a very high-spec suspension that included Suzuki’s Full Floater rear suspension, a clever system of linkages that applies equal pressure to both the top and bottom of the rear shock.

1986 Suzuki RG500 Rear Suspension

The slab-sided styling and upright riding position suggest more of a sport-touring mission and trick you into thinking these are much bulkier machines. I’ve never seen this particular paint scheme before and it is very flattering: these 80s two-stroke race-replicas are very compact and light, but they sure don’t look it in photos.

1986 Suzuki RG500 Front Wheel

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale

All original with only 30 kilometers!

The Suzuki RG500 “Gamma” was produced between 1985 and 1987. The Gamma sports a liquid cooled two stroke, rotary valve, twin crank, square four engine displacing 498 cubic centimeters with 93.7 brake horsepower, aluminum boxsection frame with castings for the headstock and swingarm. The front suspension has pre-load adjust and an anti-dive system. At the rear the full-floater suspension design uses dual-swingarms. The motorcycle weighed 154 kg (340 lb) dry. The Gamma is an up and coming collector motorcycle and this example with only 30 kilometers on the clock is possibly the lowest mileage and best example to exist! Selling with a clear Minnesota title!

 

1986 Suzuki RG500 R Detail

The seller also includes a nice video of the bike here.

People sometimes misunderstand the “racing machine for the road” description. There’s the assumption that a race car or bike has ungodly amounts of power and massive amounts of grip, but that’s really not the point. Weight is the enemy of performance and, no matter how much power you’re throwing out, lighter weight to achieve the same power-to-weight ratio is better. More weight means more stress on components, more fuel and tires consumed for the same result, and so on. Race bikes are often more powerful than their roadgoing counterparts, but it’s really the lightness, the precision of a racebike, all the jewel-like engineering details, and the way it all works together when handled by a skilled rider. It’s the experience that people are really looking for, a connection between themselves and the road that simple power can’t create, and that is something the RG500 delivers in spades, regardless of the ultimate performance available.

The question in this case is: just how much are you willing to pay for one of the purest sportbikes of all time? It’s probably one of the lowest-mileage examples to be found anywhere and is in pristine condition, but the Buy It Now price is an eye-watering $36,950!

-tad

1986 Suzuki RG500 L

29 Comments

  • I remember going to AMA Superbike races at BIR in Brainerd, MN from 1985-1988 and someone from Canada usually rode one these down from there. Everyone always stopped to check out the odd 2 stroke that was as fast as the FZ600 that was the middleweight champ in the US at the time.

    • Same here. I think it was the reason why I pursued the Grey Market like I did becasue of all the kool stuff we couldn’t get but got to see from time to time. I actually had #105 Bl/Wht….sold it for $5000 to buy a VJ23 back in the day.

  • Does anyone know the retail back in the day for this bike I cant believe its four times the price today

  • Finally we have a Gamma with the right asking price,pricey but it does say obo, I would think $30k is fair for this beauty, curious what brings in at the end of the auction or if anyone gets tempted to make a generous offer and stop the auction early, I had mine is the same color trim and I think is fantastic, far few this combo than white and blue. Glws

  • This web site seems to be increasingly perpetuating the myth about RG500’s. All I can say is,….don’t believe the hype.They are not that quick.A brand new ’85 GSX-R750 would blow my RG away,back in the day,and if you rode an ’85 GSX-R750 today,they fell pretty lame.
    I bought one,brand new,for $4995.(Australian)

    • Which part of this post is perpetuating that myth? I went out of my way to mention that a modern 600 would probably outperform it.

    • Out of the box they were pretty FAT. They ran like crap and I personally think Suzuki did it on purpose to sell they’re new GSXR. With a little hands on tuning and more than a few plug chops these thing did run quite well.

  • Beautiful bike. Dollar to dollar, I’d still rather have a Rick Lance tuned RG to tear the road up with.

  • I agree, the RG in stock trim is a performer but lance can turn a great bike into a formidable motorcycle and he has done sooooo many it guaranteed to get everything right. I ordered parts from him, very helpful and resourceful, supper pricey but everything was top notch and immediately improved performance.

  • This same bike has been on here before and sold for $36,900 on May 20, 2014.
    He did not own it long and why is he selling it ?

  • The bike appears to be a well preserved example of an RG500. There is a couple of incorrect fasteners on the bike and the belly pan is a replacement item. Ill fitting and different colour in a number of photos. Missing some fasteners and the push pins. Still not a big thing. Rubber grommet is missing from the rear guard. Clock surrounds appear to have been replaced suggesting that the bike has had a tart up as evidenced by the residual polish in the fuel cap. Apart from these minor details it is a lovely bike. Good luck to the vendor with the sale.

  • At an asking price of $49,875.14 Australian Dollars (Or make an offer) l would not be surprised to see it go down under…
    Rg 500,s are very popular here & good examples are hard to find..

  • Bob…l wonder where the bike originally came from…As its got a Km per hour speedo…:0

  • SteveO the bike is almost certainly from Canada originally. I agree, I know of two bikes in Australia that went for high 40`s Aud.

  • Bob,
    Quote; I know of two bikes in Australia that went for high 40`s Aud.

    I think I know of the two you are talking about.

  • It’s a real shame that you guys in the U.S never had the chance to experience these bikes in the 80’s because i feel if you did you would understand how greater bike they were in their time like the RC30, super mono and so on.

    If i was living there, i would put in a offer on this bike and snap it up with a big smile on my face.

  • This web site seems to be increasingly perpetuating the myth about RG500’s. All I can say is,….don’t believe the hype.They are not that quick.A brand new ’85 GSX-R750 would blow my RG away,back in the day,and if you rode an ’85 GSX-R750 today,they fell pretty lame.
    I bought one,brand new,for $4995.(Australian)

    “Myth” ?? You claim to have had both bikes back in the day…………you have totally missed the point !!!
    Not that quick ?? Back in `85 they were petty swift. They can`t be compared to bikes of the modern era.
    Its like comparing a `48 Vincent Black Shadow to a modern day bike.
    Whilst a GSXR750 may pull stronger out of a corner the RG500 always put a bigger grin on my face 🙂

    • Bob.
      I didn’t compare it to a modern day bike,I compared my RG500 to an ’85 GSX-R750,at the time of release.I sat on Castrol curve at Oran Park for the 6-Hour and watched RG500’s getting annihilated by the new GSX-R,FZ750 and VF Honda’s.The RG’s got lapped and this was after a pretty decent attempt by Action Suzuki with respectable riders. All this after I had just bought a new one from Action’s.But,I was expecting this, as I had more than once,taken a stop light challenge from a GSX-R,and there was no way I could stay with it.Ride an ’85 GSX-R today and they feel dog-slow.
      Most of the hype from this site is from U.S. enthusiast that have never owned one,for obvious reasons,and are probably watching Youtube clips of modified RG’s. Ride a stocker today and you will come away deflated.
      Also,the last RG500 that was on this site from Australia,sold to a collector in Queensland for $44,000.The bike was as new, immaculate.A lot better than the bike in this thread.On a current currency conversion,they are priced the same.

  • Realist, I never paid more than $3995 for any of my dozen or so new RG500`s

    • BOB.
      I think you may be right on the price as I clearly remember paying $3,650 for my brand new RZ500 from Highside Motorcycles in Liverpool.When I bought the RG500,Action Suzuki had a row of about ten of them which they were having a hard time moving.The two-stroke fad had passed pretty quickly and all the grown-up motorcyclists were buying the 85-86 GSX-R and their UJM equivalents.So,I think they were discounting the RG for $3,990,but they were still a slow seller.
      Do I want to go back to one? CERTAINLY NOT.
      It would spoil the fond memories of that wonderful era of motorcycle technology.A time that if you were not fortunate enough to be part of,you could never know how special it was.You had to live it.

  • lm not sure why people continue to compare the RG 500,s to newer bikes in performance or even compare it to bigger capacity bikes from the same era…
    You cant really do that…There is no comparison…
    Back in 85 there were many bikes that were quicker…(GSXR 750 that has been mentioned) & many other brands were quicker..
    But…This bike is different…Its a big bore 4 cylinder 2 stroke…
    The last of its kind…
    Its only direct comparison at that time was the Yamaha RZ 500…& after owning both, My preference is the RG….
    By todays standards the RG 500 is slow, old & has poor handling….
    But you know what…?
    l would rather own and ride an RG 500 compared to anything else…

    & the main reason for that is they make me feel like lm 20 years old again…
    Times when l didnt have a care in the world…
    No kids, No mortgage No wife…& l could spend all my money on bikes…:)
    Thats a feeling thats hard to replicate…
    I still have an RG 500,
    Had it since new,
    l dont ride it…l have never ridden it…
    I always had others to ride
    Its still brand new…It was for sale a little while ago (3 Years ago ish)
    & my wife talked me out of selling it…Bless her…

    l know im opening myself up to ridicule by confessing l own 1 of these things that has never been ridden..
    So if you have to bag me, do your best…
    l have heard it all before

    The kind of money asked for the above bike is not unrealistic…
    Maybe in the US of A it might be…
    But not here in OZ…

    I have said my piece and will now shut up…(lol) & wait for the bagging to begin…
    But before l go l have 1 question…

    If a “Brand New” 1985 GSXR 750 turned up for sale what would that be worth…?
    Its still an old, slow ill handling bike too…

  • the ducati supermono didnt debut anywhere near the 80s, first year of production was 1993

  • Guys, they are what they are. Technology has caught up in every respect. But they are from 1985 and truly were a great bike in their day. I had several GSX-R750`s in the day and found them course I preferred the Kawasaki GPX 750 as it was liquid cooled and way smoother. The RG500 is still a classic in my eyes probably because I owned more than a dozen new ones in my youth.

    Baffled, If I could buy a new GSX-R750 I would pay $$$$ for it in a heartbeat.

  • OK…..time to be realistic.
    You would be insane to buy this thing for $36,000 when you could buy the as new OW01 above for $30,000………

    ….IMHO.

  • The Realist….
    Its all personal preference…
    l would not buy the above OWO1 at any price…
    l have no interest in it at all,…
    & thats a good thing cause it would be boring if we were all the same…:)

  • The mileage claim is a flat out lie.

    Period.

    Any cable driven speedo can be disconnected to never rack up the miles.

    I recall in the 1980’s this was a common thing to do – and amazingly almost all used sport bikes always had “less than 10,000km’s” after a few years riding.

  • RC, the wear/grooves on the rear disk kind of makes you wonder. There should be next to no marks on the disk at 30kms however if you blow up one of the photos from the ebay auction it appears that the wear is not consistent with the mileage.

    • Back in the day there was a gent with an RZV500 and a friend of his with an FZR750R (the one before the OW01) – both bikes where immaculate and looked showroom perfect.

      The RZV was at about 68km and the 750R at 30ishkm.

      On most Sundays the breakfast run out to the mountains, the 4 passes and back into town was about a 200km round trip.

      In the time I knew those bikes I put about 3,000 km of weekend mountain and breakfast runs on my 1985 FJ1100. The RZV and 750R where often in the group running out for fun.

      It was always worth a laugh as the pair where the “under 100km club”.

      Now, 30 years and multiple owners later, any cable-speedo sport bike from the 1980’s with ultra low miles is a joke to me.

      Even if it is zero miles and still in the crate or with nipples on the tyres and dry stored with never having had coolant in the radiator, these “almost zero mile” bikes are really no different to a 2,000 mile old well maintained showroom stored bike.

      They are as good as a time capsule as ever, but no more of these intelligence insulting “25km” 30 year old bikes.

      Only in the motorcycle world are ignorant retarded premiums paid for “zero mile” and “crate bikes”.

      In the classic car world a collector car with mileage and that is driven and well cared for is no less valued than the ‘never driven’ examples.

      What is sometimes valued is delivery or survivor patina – and even then, only really for concourse restorer research purposes.

      People pay MILLIONS for classic cars that can and do get driven. WTF makes a crate RG or RZ or Bimota so special versus the superbly maintained stable mate that does get ridden and cared for??

      Nothing!!!!!

      Oh well, a fool and their money and all that.

  • RC 45…
    l respect your opinion & l would really hope you would respect mine…
    & l dont want to get into a slinging match as thats not my style…

    You wrote…
    “Even if it is zero miles and still in the crate or with nipples on the tyres and dry stored with never having had coolant in the radiator, these “almost zero mile” bikes are really no different to a 2,000 mile old well maintained showroom stored bike.”

    You yourself must know that a Honda RC 45 is worth more “In the crate” or “Brand new” than 1 that has been ridden, (Even if it has only been for a few thousand miles}
    This has been proven time & time again all over the world by collectors who pay the money to have one…
    & this goes for many other bikes as well…

    With all due respect l think you are not a fan of the RG 500 & cant see what all the fuss is about…
    & thats fine…
    Everyone is different…
    I cant see the fuss that the OWO1 has created…
    Its just not my thing

    “Only in the motorcycle world are ignorant retarded premiums paid for “zero mile” and “crate bikes”.”
    l believe this to be an incorrect statement, as a brand new older car of any description is going to be worth more to a collector
    than 1 that has been used & car collectors are always going to pay big money for the car they want..

    Now in saying all the above,
    We here in Australia do seem to have more of a fascination for older collectable cars & motorcycles…
    I,m not quite sure why that,s so…
    It may have something to do with the lack of bikes that get sent & have been sent here in the past…
    We are a very miniscule market in the scheme of things…

    i suspect that you own a Honda RC 45 by your user name,
    & l would also say that you get some good use out of it…
    (You lucky, Lucky man…:) )

    Unfortunately l, as well as a couple of other contributors on here are not in a position anymore to ride a bike…
    Not though choice mind you…
    & to go & look at my bike brings back many good memories & a few scary ones as well….
    & that,s all l have left & that,s it…

    On the subject of miles not matching condition…
    For anyone that has a
    lot of knowledge on a brand of bike or particular model will be able to tell if the miles don,t match the condition quite easily…

    & l think that it would be very hard to make a decision on the above RG 500 as to the Kms being genuine & those Kms matching the condition without seeing the bike in the flesh…

    Cheers,

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