Two-Stroke Beast: 1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma

The seller says that this 1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma has been in storage for the last eight years and is anything but stock, it’s been modified and ridden in anger. For any of you who have driven on just about any street in America over the last two years, you know what driving in anger means, sadly. They have it listed here on eBay in Phoenix, Arizona and the current bid price is an eye-watering $25,100. There is also a buy-it-now price of $42,995 if you just can’t wait.

I want to go back a bit, I made it sound like the seller was, well, driving in anger. I’m guessing that they mean driving with gusto and aggressively and skillfully carving up the track, etc., not actually being angry and driving angrily. Is that enough of a disclaimer? This bike is amazing even without the incredible modifications that take it way above the next level. The seller is an ex-AMA Pro Roadracer, so they know a thing or two about these motorcycles.

Suzuki based the RG500 Gamma on a famous race bike, the RG Gamma that all but dominated the Grand Prix circuit in the 1970s, coming home with seven wins in a row for 500 cc motorcycles. Jeff showed us an RG500 Gamma back in February here on Barn Finds with only 800 miles on it. This example has considerably more than that. The seller lists 12,733 but the odometer shows 21,221 – the catch is that this is a Canadian model so those are 21,221 km which = 13,186 miles.

This is no Motocompo, everything about this machine scares me and it’s not just the price. The complexity and power are both awesome as is the list of incredible modifications that someone has lavished on this RG500. I don’t believe that the RG500 was ever officially imported to the US and this is a Canadian model according to the seller who has owned it for the last decade. You have to read the eBay listing to get the full story, please check it out. I wouldn’t have been surprised to read that the air in the tires was gathered by cherubs.

By the beard of Zeus! The engine certainly isn’t a visual work of art as with a lot of motorcycles, but it’s a mechanical tour de force that’ll kick you both in the gut and in the seat of the pants every time you ride this thing. It’s a Suzuki 498 cc two-stroke rotary valve square four-cylinder which had a micro-hair under 95 horsepower, or almost quadruple the hp of a Subaru 360. The seller “pickled” the bike eight years ago after a back injury and hasn’t seriously, or angrily, ridden it since – it’s been resting in his indoor storage area. They recently started it on the fifth kick after it had been sitting for eight years! Some of mine don’t start on eight kicks a day after putting them away. Properly synching the carbs was a major Achilles heel of these bikes but I would have to bet that this one is fully sorted and ready to ride. Any thoughts on this angry, beautiful, significant, desirable Suzuki?


  1. Cooter914 Cooter914 Member

    If any of y’all have never even heard one of these bad boys, take yourself straight to YouTube and find a video right now

    Go on. We’ll wait. 😜😜😜

    Like 8
  2. wuzjeepnowsaab

    Oh man, does this take me back. The screams of these bikes on the GP circuit are etched into my memory, as is the way that Barry Sheene used to embarrass the competition as he ripped and tossed around his factory square four like a fighter pilot.

    Like 3
  3. MrBZ

    I chose my Suzuki 1200 Bandit for its relative comfort for a 6’3” 250lb old man like me. Having owned an RD350 and GT750, I still miss my 2 strokes. This is the real deal, Scottie—thanks!

    Like 4
    • Stan

      Nice bike choices BZ…love the big bandit.
      So.. 2 buddies i know had two smoke 500s
      A buddy had a Gamma 500 in H.S… I recall it surprising 750s in light to light races, the sound is wild from the 4 pipes a very loud machine. Another bud had the 500 2 stroke Yamaha, and it was a real neat ride also. Both guys pretty excellent riders, i think to enjoy these motorcycles, you need to know what you’re doing folks.. these are a handful, green riders beware.

      Like 6
      • RC Graham

        Sooo… no ape hangers, sissies or road pegs?

        Like 1
  4. SMS

    Those of us old enough to afford such a bike may be too old to ride them.

    I just don’t fold that way or react fast enough anymore

    Still love the sound and smell

    Like 12
  5. FrankD Member

    I had a 84 Ninja and my riding buddy had the Gamma. I rode his bike once. The bike is scary fast in the right rpm range. One of my hang on moments!
    Riding position for a tall person is terrible.

    Like 2
  6. Brad460 Member

    Growing up in northern ND roughly 40 miles from the canadian border we used to have a couple guys in town that would buy these bikes in canada, somehow get them across the border and get the mad dmv to title them as a suzuki 500. Another familiar sight was the yamaha rz500. Back in the late 80s one guy had his gamma for sale for 4500 dollars.

    Man oh man did I want that bike but at that stage in life he may as well have been asking 450000. My wallet couldn’t accommodate either.

    These are absolutely incredible machines. As the revs climb the rather peaky nature of their powerband will flat wake you up.

    I never did ride the gamma, but my brother managed to procure the Yamaha RZ 500, which is similar in style and type. I remember riding it and conducting some informal rolling drag races on some of the back roads, always a joy.

    One night some guy on a 900 honda 4 stroke looked at me and laughed at the little 500. All I remember was his headlight in my rear view mirror visible through two blue smoke vertices getting smaller and smaller as the 900 quickly disappeared.

    At the next country intersection he no longer had the smug grin on his face.

    This particular bike in modified form has to be an absolutely special ride. As another commenter said go to youtube and watch some of the magical rg500 gamma videos.

    While new sport bikes are of course faster, this bike, at its place in time was a sight to behold and something we probably wont see duplicated anytime soon.

    The seller is asking plenty, but where else are you going to find a machine of this pedigree and caliber?

    Like 2
  7. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: this one ended at $30,100 and no sale.

    Like 2

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