|Brochures · Reviews · Ads · Videos|
The Suzuki RG500 Gamma was a motorcycle built by Suzuki between 1984 and 1987 and inspired by the RG Gamma Grand Prix racer of the 1970s, capitalizing on Suzuki's seven consecutive constructors title wins in the 500 cc-class. The Gamma was powered by a two stroke, rotary valve, twin crank, square four engine displacing 498 cubic centimeters. The power output was 93.7bhp at 9,500 RPM. The engine employed liquid-cooling by means of a front-mounted radiator with a thermostatic control. Suzuki employed an aluminum boxsection frame with castings for the headstock and swinging arm for the Gamma. The front suspension had pre-load adjust and an anti-dive system called "POSI DAMP" to control the tendency of a motorcycle's nose to dive under braking. At the rear the full-floater suspension design used dual-swingarms. The motorcycle weighed 154kg dry.
The bike was also offered as a RG400 mainly for the Asian markets.
During the first half of the Seventies Suzuki's efforts in the 500cc class had been focused on machines utilising a twin cylinder two stroke engine developed from the road going Suzuki T500 powerplant. In its final, watercooled form, the powerplant was reputed to develop in the region of 80bhp, however, although there were marketing benefits in campaigning a machine displaying a direct relationship to a road going model, it was becoming apparent that a specialist Grand Prix design would be required if Suzuki were to achieve success in the "blue ribbon" class at international level.
During 1974 the four cylinder works xr14 made its debut. The new new machine featured a square four, liquid cooled two stroke engine with disc valve induction. An interesting feature of the design was the use of an independent crankshaft for each cylinder, which were themselves independent units. Breathing through four 34mm Mikuni carburettors and equipped with a six speed gearbox the compact unit was housed in a steel frame. The first two seasons showed considerable promise and in 1976, using an engine that had moved from the original 56mm x 50.5mm bore and stroke to square 54mm x 54mm dimensions, Barry Sheene took five wins in the ten round World Championship winning it by a considerable margin.
1976 was also notable for the introduction of "over the counter" RG500 which would have a similar impact at all levels of 500cc class racing to that which the TZ series twins from Yamaha had in the 250cc and 350cc classes, rejuvenating the class at club and national level and offering privateers a competitive mount at international level.
Derived from the early works machines the "production" example retained the 56mm x 50.5mm engine dimensions. Interestingly, it employed the Suzuki "posi - lube" oil injection system with the oil being carried in the frame, although in practice virtually all riders discarded the oil pump and reverted to pre-mix.
The RG500 was Suzuki's answer to the TZ Yamaha, four cylinders in a square configuration, a design that they had used ten years earlier. Although very successful in the late 1970s, the 1984 MK4 version was not quite up to the performance of the Yamaha's, with their best finish in the World Championships being night. There were only twenty two 1984 MK4s built.