The Suzuki RG500 is a fairly common sight on most auction websites these days, whilst browsing ebay I could see around 10 examples for sale ranging from almost mint original bikes to rough projects.
This particular auction listing raised my interest because it was for two Suzuki RG500 motorcycles, one near stock example and one project bike. I’ve seen lots of RG500 based specials over the years, which include complete one-off special builds which just utilise the RG500 engine to build around one-off rolling chassis and bodywork.
I’m sure that many people have passed this listing by purely based on the 30K asking price, however when considering the value of the stock RG500 and the one-off special, this does seem like a good deal.
Most owners would have sold these bikes individually based on the types of buyer in the market, many of which are looking for original examples to add within their collection.
Riding a Suzuki RG500
As someone who’s ridden a near stock Suzuki RG500 many years ago, I do think building a one-off special around the engine is also a good way to go. The original bike has a certain charm, however you are riding a bike based on design and technology from the early 1980s. The engine is a peach but the chassis can catch you out if you decide to wind open the throttle.
My friend’s bike had received some minor minor modifications, such as dymag three spoke wheels for better tyre choice, and did improve the stability of the bike, but ultimately you are fixing issues around the edges.
The seller hasn’t provided many details around the one-off special, however the deltabox style frame will obviously provide more modern riding characteristics when compare to the original aluminium cradle frame, a common feature of Suzuki sports bikes of the 1980s such as the GSXR750.
Maintaining your Suzuki RG500
There are still lots of specialists suppling parts for the RG500, however rare parts which are no longer manufactured or remade can command high prices on the used market. Steel fuel tanks are prone to rust due to modern fuels and finding a useable replacement can be a challenge.
The RG500 engine often made its way in to non-motorcycle platforms, such as hovercraft and buggies. Engines may turn for sale on the second hand market, but don’t chance a non-runner unless its very cheap and comes with receipts for any work and replacement parts.
Like all two stroke engines you won’t need to worry about valve clearances and camshafts, however regular servicing and maintenance is a must. You may also consider running you bike with pre-mix two stroke and petrol rather than relying on the two stroke oil pump. My friend’s RG500 suffered an untimely two stroke pump failure which detonated the engine beyond repair, throwing a connecting rod through the gearbox after a piston seized.
You may also want to consider kitting out your workshop or garage with some suitable tools. We recently published a workshop tools article which may provide some inspiration if you’re looking to restore a project or just take on the maintenance yourself.
Happy biding and good luck
If you are looking to bid for this interesting collection please let us know how you get on, especially if you win the bid and looking to do more with these awesome motorcycles. The one-off special reminds me of the MotoGP Suzuki ridden by Kenny Robert Junior during the latter days of the two stroke 500GP racing before everything moved over to the four stroke prototype machines.
If you’d like to share your experience we’re always happy to hear motorcycle stories on our Facebook Group.