Suzuki RG500  

The Suzuki RG500 was without doubt one of the maddest bikes I have ever owned. I started out on a Suzuki AP50, then went to Yamaha RD200, Suzuki X7, Suzuki GT380 then into the world of 4-strokes on a Kawasaki Z650 with a brief spell on a Suzuki GT750 thrown in. After many years having the Z as my main bike and having had the engine and chassis tuned about as much as you reasonably could, I had a test ride on one of these and it blew me away. After spending more than an RG (at the time) cost in total on my Z's aftermarket bits I realised I could get all this performance in this standard bike.

So £2999 paid to Johns of Romford in 1985 for an RG the same colour and model as above (some pic below) and off I went. Thirsty little bike, often getting only 20 to the gallon, but boy was it fun. It had decent horsepower and was so light and flickable. I read that the engine basic design was the same as Barry Sheene's Race bikes, so not as much a Race Rep as actually a Race bike put on the road.

As with quite a few of my bikes, I didn't actually take too many picture while I had it, so the quality of the ones here is not great. I actually had a single seat unit on the bike which made it look a lot better.


I'd ridden the Yamaha version the RD500 as well before opting for the RG. In my opinion, there was no contest as the RG had bags more power. As for the rest of the comparisons, they were pretty similar. The engine on the RG was very very responsive, the only thing which I would have looked into further was the dead spot when it hit the top end of the revs. Whereas most bikes fizzle out, the RG just hit a brick wall, almost like it had a restrictor although it didn't. I know people would take the engines to Stan Stephens who would work this little quirk out.



The sound of a 2-stroke is brilliant at the best of times, the sound of one of these through the four exhausts was about as good as it gets.

I used to frequently work on bikes and bike engines, particularly on my Z and was unnerved by anything I'd come across before this bike. One look under the fairing and for the first time on any bike, I though blimey that's all a bit complex is that.


You really could tell this was a race bike for the road, just by looking at the fittings. All the cleaver stuff on the main go fast and handling bits was top draw, but the lashed up brackets for attaching the fairing and the like was akin to the racetrack.




A truly awesome bike which I wish I had kept, especially given the money these fetch nowadays. I sold mine for silly reasons really, I wanted a bike with a starter plus there'd been a few warnings about the engines blowing on these and costing a fair few quid to repair.