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Suzuki RG500

The Suzuki RG500, the end of an era
and in red
ER Classics Desktop 2022

The Suzuki RG500, the end of an era

The Suzuki RG500 was the last time that Suzuki, after the successes with the T500 twin and the GT750's, appeared seriously with a two-stroke. And what a two-stroke.

Past successes ...

The brand had of course been very successful in the two-stroke area in the cross and road racing scene for the RG (1985) years ago. And the RG brought the best of the circuit on public roads. Now everyone could buy 'the motorbike of d'n Boet'. Including the Automatic Exhaust Control (AEC) that had to improve the power and torque at lower revs. The 500 cc four-cylinder had a power source that actually consisted of two coupled (and height-adjusted) two-cylinders. Each crankshaft had a gearwheel in the middle that drove the intermediate shaft. The differences with the racing version were in fact only that the RG500 had a vibration damper that massaged the power before it went to the clutch and that that clutch on the road model unlike the racers ran in an oil bath.


The conversion to a dry clutch was easy to do. The gearbox had also retained its racing genes. It was one of the cassette type, it could be removed in its entirety if the coupling had been dismantled. To increase citizen-friendliness, there were a few large plastic discs on the front sprocket to dampen the noise that the chain causes when running over the sprocket.

The differences between road and circuit

The big differences were in the inlet and outlet side. Noise reduction was the major approach there. On the suction side, this happened by allowing the inhalation to take place via the air filter under the tank. The outlets received considerably more inside work to cord them into the mouths and, moreover, were packed tightly on the outside. Packing had the additional advantage that less heat was delivered to the driver and passenger.

The frame

Suzuki had been a leader in the field of alloy frames. The RG500 had a frame of aluminum castings and a rectangular tube. The large space between the upper tubes was not only useful for the placement of the air filter, but also promoted the stiffness of the frame. And because it was 1985, the Suzuki also had an anti-dive system. That made sense, because the calipers with a total of ten pistons were the best guys who could almost hug the relatively small, floatingly mounted brake discs.

Start and go

You could start such an RG with the kickstarter, but the thing, like a real racer, was of course a lot. And despite the fact that the RG500 sounded like a satisfied outboard at zero load, it moved so fast in the first four gears that the front wheel had very little ground contact. And remember that 95 hp at 9.500 + rpm at a weight of 154 kilos in 1985 was almost unimaginable. At full trot, the RG ran at around 230 km / h.

Exit two-stroke

In the meantime, two branches have been legally killed. Something about the environment or something. But that makes the RG500 from Suzuki no less monumental. The prices of these powerhouses with their rotating inlets are now also monumental. Do not be shocked by amounts from 15.000 to 20.000 euros. The rare barn finds left there ...

Just as funny to know: with its introduction to the Dutch market, such a Suzuki 15.000 cost…. guilder

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