1971 Suzuki TR500 Seeley frame

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Two stroke engines started to creep on to the GP circuit starting the in the early 1960’s. Lets not forget that Ernst Degner came from behind the Iron Curtain to join Suzuki in 1961 and a gained a 125cc World Championship in 1963. By the end of the 60’s 500cc twin cylinder 2-strokes were racing, and racing well. This 1971 Suzuki TR500 in Seeley frame could have been in the mix at a little race in Daytona.

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From the seller

Suzuki TR 500 Seeley Framed Factory GP Racer.
This is a pristine, fully restored Suzuki TR 500 Factory GP Bike, one of only a handful or examples in the world. The bike has racing provenance and has been authenticated by Colin Seeley. The frame is stamped by Colin Seeley CS 262 S (August 1971)
The engine is a Factory Suzuki TR 500 Motor, direct from the Suzuki Factory to their team riders. The Engine has been completely rebuilt by a Suzuki specialist and features a number of details unique to an original TR 500 Motor. Factory stamped cases, etc etc.  Front end is original Ceriani 35mm GP. Magnesium Triple Trees. Ceriani Wheels, front and rear. Borrani Alloy Rims. Complete hand sculpted bodywork in Aluminum by the master Mr Evan Wilcox. Twin Mikuni Flat sided race Carburetors. Every nut and bolt on this bike has been professionally restored or replaced with original Factory Suzuki Parts.
The bike is located in Seattle, USA.

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The seller says the bike has a racing background, but does not list a race or rider that this bike may have been attached with. From what I gleaned from the world wide web, the TR500 first raced under the factor designated XR05, and instead of a Seeley frame like this bike, it was cradled in a “Norton Featherbed” inspired frame. They first raced in Daytona in 1968 and were able to reach 135mph on the high banks because of the 63hp generated at 8000rpm. A year later, with 1hp more and 12 more mph top speed, the factory TR500 was able to place two riders in the top 10.

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I found that by 1971, the year of this TR500, the Suzuki was producing 71hp and was good for 154mph. But the big leap came with water cooling and in 1973 and 78hp at 8700rpm were reached for 160mph top speed. These kind of jumps really show what factory efforts can achieve, even with the relatively new 2-stroke technology. It wasn’t much later that 10, 12, 13,000 rpm screamers were effecting the GP circuit.

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As I have stated before, I sure wish that the winning bid for ex factory bikes came with an ex factory mechanic. The name and phone number for the Suzuki specialist who rebuilt the engine should at least be included  with this 1971 Suzuki TR500 in Seeley frame. I am in the Greater Seattle area, wonder if the seller will allow some window shopping? BB

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3 Responses

  1. Aaron says:

    I had a T500–not a Seeley framed bike like this, but a super cool bike regardless. It had an alloy tank, Cerianis and a huge four-leading shoe brake. It had a solo seat, steel rearsets, the whole bit. It looked a LOT like this one. The problem was that although I was able to see that it was COOL, I had no idea how to make it run, and no cash to even consider doing so. I honestly have no recollection of what even happened to the bike. I no doubt sold it off to pay rent or some foolishness along the way. Thanks for bringing back the memories, or rubbing salt in the wounds–whichever!

  2. micky says:

    Degner took Walter Kaden’s knowledge to Suzuki when he defected. Without Kaden there would not have been any rotary valve 2 stroke rockets. The man was a genius. Degner was merely fast. I believe he ended up committing suicide.