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Rare Suzuki at Bonhams Auction to fetch £35,000

By October 7, 2021General Posts

by Rob Hull from https://www.dailymail.co.uk

A 34-year-old motorcycle with just TWO ‘Push Miles’ on the clock: Rare Suzuki road bike that’s never been ridden is tipped to sell for £35,000

  • The Suzuki RG500 Gamma is an ultra-rare two-stroke road bike from the 1980s
  • It’s based on the factory 500cc Grand Prix racers of the era that won two titles
  • This example has never been ridden with its two recorded miles accrued while being manoeuvred during storage
  • Bonhams will sell it at auction this weekend with an estimate of £30k to £35k

A late eighties Suzuki RG500 motorcycle is set to go under the hammer this weekend with an astonishingly low number of miles clocked in its 34 years – and none of them came from it being driven.

The two-stroke road-going replica of the factory Grand Prix race machines of the era is already a hugely collectible motorbike today – but this particular example stands out for having just two miles on the clock.

Bonhams, which is offering the bike at its 9 October sale at the Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show in Stafford, says these are ‘push miles’ only, accrued by owners moving the bike around by hand – meaning it’s never actually been ridden.

The auction house has estimated that the motorcycle could sell for between £30,000 and £35,000 – though its like-new condition and lack of use could see it easily eclipse that valuation when bidding commences on Saturday.

Bonhams says it represents ‘a possibly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire an unused and unregistered example of this iconic Suzuki model’.

The RG500 ‘Gamma’ was only produced by the Japanese motorcycle brand for two years between 1985 and 1987 and was heavily based on the racing machine used by its factory team.

And it was a title-winning package, with Italians Marco Lucchinelli and Franco Uncini taking the riders’ world championship in back-to-back years in 1981 and 1982.

Suzuki’s advertisement for the motorcycle at launch said: ‘No one has ever built a road machine so close in technical basis to a current GP winner. Quite frankly we do not expect that any one else ever will.’

This example was first delivered to GS Motorcycles on 7 February 1989, which is confirmed by documents that are sold with the machine – as well as copies of the owner registration card, warranty card, dealer record, and new vehicle licence application.

However, it was never actually registered, with the bike instead being retained in storage and never ridden on the road.

That means the liquid-cooled, four-cylinder, two-stroke 498cc engine has never had its full 95bhp of power exploited at 9,500rpm.

The engine used the same square-four engine layout, geared-together crankshafts, and disc-valve induction, as the racer, while the aluminum frame, rear suspension and triple disc brakes were also taken from the GP machines.

Performance was mighty for the era, with a 130mph-plus top speed, 11.5-second quarter-mile time and incredibly agile handling and brakes.

But the peaky two-stroke engine could easily punish riders who were unable to exploit the narrow power band it provided, with surges of acceleration being developed when the revs peaked.

Suzuki RG500 Gamma specs

Production: 1985-1987
Engine: 498cc, liquid cooled, square-four cylinder, two-stroke
Gearbox: 6-speed
Power: 95bhp @9500rpm
Torque: 52.6 ft-lb @9000rpm
Suspension: Front: 38mm telescopic forks, Rear: full floater rear
Brakes: Front: 260mm discs 4-piston calipers, Rear: 210mm disc 2-piston caliper
Weight: 154kgs
Top speed: 133 mph
Fuel tank capacity: 22 litres

‘Today this legendary model is highly sought after by collectors of modern Japanese classics,’ says Bonhams.

And it won’t be the first time this specific model goes to the block, with it last changing hands at the same Stafford Sale held in October 2017, where it sold for £31,050.

‘The machine has not been used/run since acquisition and has been kept dry stored in the garage,’ the lot description explains.

‘Accordingly, it will need to be fully re-commissioned to a greater or lesser extent before use,’ it adds.

Other collectible two-wheelers up for grabs this month

Ex-Barry Sheene 1979 Dunstall Suzuki GS1000 F1 race bike
Auction: Bonhams’ The Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show, Stafford – 9 October
Estimate: £30,000-£35,000

The late Barry Sheene is the last Briton to win a premier class motorcycle Grand Prix riders’ championship, having taken the title in 1976 and ’77.

While his 500cc career continued until 1984 (his last win coming in 1981), in 1979 Suzuki GB requested for Sheene to guest ride this GS1000S at a domestic August Bank Holiday meeting at Oulton Park in 1979.

That’s despite the Briton – who made his career racing two-stroke machines – making his dislike for four-stroke racing bikes well known. He previously referred to them as ‘muck-spreaders’.

This Dunstall Suzuki is believed to be the only Japanese four-stroke he ever raced.

Despite this, Sheene finishing second in the event, narrowly beaten by fellow GP rider Ron Haslam.

Sheene, who died in March 2003 after suffering from cancer, is still today considered on of the country’s greatest motorcycle racers – hence the expectation for this rare model to achieve a high sale price this weekend.

Barn-find 1964 Lambretta GT200 scooter
Auction: H&H Classics National Motorcycle Museum Sale, Birmingham – 27 October
Estimate: £3,000-£4,000

This ‘extremely rare’ 1964 Lambretta GT 200 Italian has been sitting in a makeshift lean-to shed since 1976 and was uncovered in July before being brought to auction later this month.

While it needs plenty of restoration, Mike Davis of H&H, said: ‘There has been lots of commission bids already after it appeared on our website for the coming sale. I will not be surprised if it far exceeds its estimate. It is a fantastic opportunity to restore and ride.’

The scooter is mostly complete with original tinware and it has been confirmed as a correct numbers machine.

The engine turns over with compression. It comes with an old RF60 continuation logbook, but the V5c will have to be applied for. Once restored by its new owner, it would easily become a collector’s item.