Lot 377

Dare to Dream Collection

1983 Suzuki RGB500 Gamma


$38,400 USD | Sold

Canada | Toronto, Ontario



Frame No.
Canadian Registration
  • A fine example of Suzuki’s multi-Grand Prix-winning competition bike of the sort fielded by the wealthiest of privateers in the 1980s
  • From the penultimate year of production, benefitting from numerous incremental improvements Suzuki applied throughout the model’s lifespan
  • Powered by Suzuki’s unorthodox 500-cubic-centimeter square-four, two-stroke engine producing in excess of 100 hp
Please note, this lot is registered in Canada and import duty will be applicable to all countries outside of Canada, including the United States. RM Sotheby’s will assist buyers with importation and for residents of the USA, in obtaining a US title.

In 1973, already hugely successful with small-capacity motorcycles, Suzuki set its sights on competing in the prestigious 500-cubic-centimeter class of the Federation Internationale de Motorcyclisme (FIM) Grand Prix. Key to its success would be the decision to adapt its well proven square-four, two-stroke engine architecture developed during the company’s successful Grand Prix program the previous decade. A four-cylinder U engine, it was essentially two parallel twins mounted on a common crankcase—an unconventional approach for larger 500-cubic-centimeter applications, but one that would prove wildly effective. A new frame was developed to contend with the hugely powerful engine, and the suspension was set up with the most advanced hardware.

The resulting RG500 was immediately successful with podium finishes in 1974 and 1975. With further tweaking, it came into its own, dominating the 1976 and 1977 world championships. On a regimen of continual improvement, gaining innovations such as an anti-dive fork to keep the bike level under braking, factory teams would race the RG500 alongside privateers fielding the virtually identical RGB500 to great success. For 1981, an updated “Gamma” model received numerous additional improvements and would again win the 500-cubic-centimeter world championship that year and the following. By this time the company’s signature “Full Floater” rear suspension—a single, vertical shock mounted nearly vertically and working from both ends—was in use, and by the final years of the RG500 Gamma program in 1983 and 1984, the engine had been further improved to produce more than 120 horsepower, allowing for a staggering top speed of 170 mph.

This RGB500 Gamma is from the penultimate year of production and thus benefits from the numerous incremental improvements Suzuki applied throughout the model’s lifespan. Not to be confused with the roadgoing replica produced from 1984 through 1987 to commemorate Suzuki’s resounding Grand Prix success, this example is a true competition model, the likes of which would have been fielded by only the wealthiest and most successful privateers. Acquired by the Dare to Dream Collection out of Alabama in 2014, it remains well-preserved in its signature blue and white livery, showing mild patina throughout—an impressive totem to Suzuki’s monumental success in 1970s and 1980s motorsport.