2022 Shannons Summer Timed Online Auction

1985 Suzuki RG500



Passed In


Engine 498cc four-cylinder
Gearbox Six-speed manual
Colour Black/White
Trim Black
Wheels Spoked alloy
Brakes Disc/disc


This lot is no longer available

Suzuki's history can be traced back to manufacturing silk looms in 1909, however it wasn't until the 1930s that the company began experimenting with internal combustion engines. The early post-war period saw Suzuki producing heaters and farm machinery, but its small two-stroke engine resurfaced in 1952 and used to power the “Power Free” motorised bicycle. In 1954 Suzuki began making its own motorcycles, starting with a 90cc two-stroke Colleda, notable as one of the first to have oil injection which saved the rider from having to mix the oil and petrol manually. Over the next three decades Suzuki established itself as one of the major Japanese motorcycle manufacturers, whilst diversifying into everything from small cars to outboard motors. The RG500, also known as the Gamma, was a short-lived sports bike derived from the two-stroke factory Grand Prix bikes raced by Italian world champion Franco Uncini in 1984. Produced by Suzuki in 1985-1987 (alongside a smaller RG400 version built for the domestic market), the RG500 was a low-volume model, with only 7340 made in 1985, 1412 in 1986 and just 532 in 1987, for total production of 9284 units. Displacing 498cc and cranking out an impressive 95 horsepower, the liquid-cooled square four engine used rotary valves and a twin crank, housed in an alloy box-section frame, and mated to a six-speed gearbox. The front suspension used Suzuki’s patented Posi Damp system and Full Floater rear set-up. Launched at the IFMA Motor Show held in Cologne, West Germany in 1984, the RG500 was the closest thing you could buy to a real GP bike at the time.