Tagged: Grand Prix

All-Original GP Machine: 1982 Suzuki RGB500 Mk7 XR40 for Sale

1982 Suzuki RGB500 R Side

Ridden by such luminaries as Barry Sheene and Randy Mamola, the two-stroke Suzuki RGB500 was eventually developed into the dominant machine you see here, but it went through a significant evolution following its introduction in 1974. As you’d expect, the bike always had power to spare, but high speed handling was suspect at first…

1982 Suzuki RGB500 R Side Naked

By the time the 1982 bike rolled around, Suzuki had moved to a “square” 54mm x 54mm engine for a grand total of 495cc. It was far more reliable than previous iterations and featured the same stepped cylinders seen on the RG500 Gamma road bike that had the rear pair of cylinders raised up slightly higher than the front pair. With a dry weight of 292lbs and 120hp, the bike could reach speeds of up to 170mph, which is pretty terrifying considering the tire technology of the time.

1982 Suzuki RGB500 R Side Grip

Fascinating details seen in the photos include the square-four’s complex throttle cable assembly and the anti-dive front system on the front forks.

From the original eBay listing: 1982 RGB500 Mk7 XR40 for Sale

This is not a street bike folks, this is the real deal, A real factory Suzuki GP road race bike… This bike has the stepped square 4 motor with magnesium crankcases, magnesium carburetors, and dry clutch… The Chassis is loaded with magnesium, Titanium and Aluminum, stuff you would expect to find on a factory race bike… First year of “Full Floater” monoshock suspension… Chassis number 42 motor number 49… Bike is in unrestored, excellent condition, just as it rolled off the race track in 1982… This bike from part of the team Heron Suzuki stable, bike has been museum store in Japan since last raced… these bikes are tad more rare than a TZ750 and much more powerful… It is the perfect bike to dominate vintage racing and is eligible for the “classic TT” in Phillips island This is a rare opportunity to own a real factory GP bike, don’t let it slip by, you’ll be sorry if you do…

1982 Suzuki RGB500 R Side Front

With a beautiful period paint scheme and tons of rare, race-spec parts, this bike may not have been ridden by any famous racers to any notable victories, but it’s also available at a price much lower than you’d expect to pay for one of those machines. Bidding is just north of $25,000 there’s a ways to go until we hit the $65,000 Buy It Now price. It’s in impressively original condition and would make a stunning collector’s piece, but hopefully, the rise in popularity of vintage racing will see this bike returned to the track.

-tad

1982 Suzuki RGB500 L Side

Racer for the People: 1975 Yamaha TZ250B for Sale

1975 Yamaha TZ250B R Side

A production roadracer with no street-legal counterpart, the Yamaha TZ250 was a water-cooled update of the older air-cooled TD and TR bikes. Designed so that privateers of the era could pop down to a local dealer and literally buy a bike over the counter that they could expect to be reasonably competitive, the TZ250 cleverly used many production parts to keep costs down: some engine parts were shared with the RD350 and various suspension bits were taken from existing machines.

1975 Yamaha TZ250B L Side Rear

Unlike the often exclusive Hondas, the TZ was an everyman machine, with moderate pricing and strong support in the aftermarket and what it lacked in outright power, it made up for in user-friendliness. But keep in mind that “user-friendly” is relative: in spite of the small displacement, this is a very highly developed racing motorcycle and will require a correspondingly high level of attention to keep it running.

Luckily, it appears that, although this bike has been sitting a while, it appears to have been owned by a racer, not a collector, and the original listing contains tons of detailed information about what has been done to set up, modify, and maintain this machine.

1975 Yamaha TZ250B R Side Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1975 Yamaha TZ250B for Sale

In 1981 I was newly out of high school, bumbling around, partying, chasing girls and trying to figure out my life.  I desperately wanted to become a motorcycle road racer and was privileged to be offered a job as a mechanic at Cycle Works in Stamford, CT.  As it turns out, a year later they were out of business.

I say privileged because Cycle Works was one of the last “real” racing dealerships from the golden era of the nineteen seventies.  This was the kind of shop that you could walk into and see a TZ250 or a race prepped RD400 for sale on the showroom floor or a TZ750 in line for service and race prep, I was twenty years old and thought I had died and gone to heaven.  Years earlier, Mike Baldwin had worked there and had purchased and ran a TZ250.  This TZ250.  Learning to race on an RD350, I then graduated to this TZ250.

The TZ hasn’t seen much action in the last ten years and has spent most of that time in my living room.  A few years back, I redid the motor which included: a freshly plated “F” model cylinder, new pistons, rings seals, bearing etc…, crank rebuilt by Lynn Garland. It has not been started since.

Previously I relocated the temp gauge holder to the opposite side so it wouldn’t interfere with the cables, I have the original tang.  In early 2000, I replaced the original Koni’s with a pair of Works Performance shocks.  The Koni’s will need to be rebuilt.  Other than that it is a really nice example of an early seventies GP bike.  It will have to be gone through if you intend to vintage race, but it’s really to valuable to be ridden in anger. (It is really fast though!)  It also comes with a State of CT title, yes in 1981 you could walk into motor vehicle and register you race bike for the ride. Never rode it on the street though.

1975 Yamaha TZ250B Engine Detail

1974 saw the introduction of the TZ250B, but it was nearly identical to the “A” that was introduced in 1973. The later “C” of 1976 saw the frame changed to a more modern monoshock setup, but this twin-shock bike certainly has plenty of period charm.

With no takers yet at the $13,750 starting bid, this machine is obviously overpriced for the market, or just hasn’t managed to find its audience. Luckily for us, the seller took some very nice pictures for us to drool over as we indulge our own vintage racing fantasies…

-tad

1975 Yamaha TZ250B L Side

Grand Prix Single: 1962 Matchless G50 for Sale

1962 Matchless G50 R Side Front

Possibly less well known than the incredibly long-lived Norton Manx, the Matchless G50 was a beautifully simple Grand Prix race bike that used lightness and simplicity to great advantage, as seen in the photos of this bike that clearly show the magnesium engine cases.

1962 Matchless G50 L Side

The 496cc chain-driven SOHC air-cooled single was connected to a four-speed gearbox and could push the 320lb bike to a top speed of 135mph. Supposedly named for the 50bhp it made at the rear wheel, the Matchless G50 was a direct competitor of the Norton Manx and, although it made less power, it was 30lbs lighter, making it that bike’s equal on tighter tracks… Unfortunately, the G50’s career was much shorter, with just 180 built in total between 1958 and 1963.

1962 Matchless G50 Dash

If you want one and you’re not particularly bothered by originality, near-perfect replicas are still being built by folks like Colin Seely, although with modern tolerances and production methods and often with higher-spec internals. They’re pricey for sure, but you won’t have to worry about finding someone willing to sell you a real G50, or be concerned about crashing a piece of history.

1962 Matchless G50 R Side Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1962 Matchless G50 Factory Racer for Sale

500cc Single Cylinder, with magnesium cases, Amal GP carburetor, correct front and rear brakes, older restoration on a very correct and unmolested factory racer. This motorcycle has been on static display in a private collection for many years. A full inspection and a new set of tires will be required prior to returning to competion use. The 1962 was the last year model for the Matchless G50 and is the most collectable and desirable of all years. Selling on a bill of sale.

1962 Matchless G50 Engine Detail2

The bike’s $62,750.00 Buy It Now price might seem pretty shocking, but Bonhams sold one in 2013 that went for just a shade under $60k so I’d expect this is right on the money for a genuine GP racer from the golden age of the British biking industry. It’s certainly an amazing machine, and would make a stunning vintage racer or display piece.

-tad

1962 Matchless G50 R Side

Vintage Grand Prix: 1982 Suzuki RGB500 for Sale

1982 Suzuki RGB500 R Front

When Suzuki dipped their toe back into Grand Prix competition in the early 1970’s, it was with a production-based, water-cooled two-stroke twin from the T500. But while that bike did see some success, it was clear early on that a ground-up redesign would be needed. What followed was the twin-crankshaft, disc-valved square-four format that we all know and love from the RG500 Gamma road bike. In racing trim the RG500 was extremely successful in the hands of riders like Barry Sheene and variations the bike were a dominant force through much of the 1980’s.

1982 Suzuki RGB500 L Side

Of note are the air-assisted anti-dive forks, something that I’m sure works well here or they would never have been included, although roadgoing versions are of dubious value. Also of note is what appears to be a coolant expansion tank on the inside of the front fairing, something I haven’t seen on other examples.

1982 Suzuki RGB500 Dash

This one comes to us from our new best friend Gianluca over in Italy and is clearly photographed, something you’d expect when we’re looking at so rare a machine, especially considering an ex-racebike could be in very tatty condition.

1982 Suzuki RGB500 L Grip

From the original eBay listing: 1982 Suzuki RGB500 for Sale

model year 1982

VIN 10003 
Engine 10072

This is an Iconic model and does not need any presentation. The bike advertised has a very low VIN number, it was rebuilt 15years ago and rarely used, just paraded, it comes also with original cylinders. This is the bike bought and used my Riondato (Italian Champion in the 350cc class) beetween 1982 and 1984 in the Italian and European Championship including the 200miles of Imola. 

Race and collect! Bulletproof investment.

Bike is currently located in 33080 Roveredo in Piano, Pordenone, Italy but I can get them delivered all around the World at cost, no problem.

1982 Suzuki RGB500 Clutch

Clearly photographed and in beautiful, but well-used condition, what more could you ask for in an eBay listing? The original listing also includes some period photographs of the bike in action, although the paint scheme has changed since then to a more traditional Suzuki blue-and-white design, a decision that works for me: racebikes get crashed, painted, re-painted, torn apart, and rebuilt, so “originality” is pretty relative anyway.

-tad

1982 Suzuki RGB500 R Engine

Instant collection #2

Camano Island is going to be known for more then just the Barefoot Bandit Colton Harris-Moore after . Offered for sale are some of the best Grand Prix racing Motorcycles known to man, AS ONE LOT. Bikes that readers of both RSBFS and CSBFS have dreamt about owning, and now they can.

The first bike that caught my eye was the AJS 7R that heads up this auction. The 350cc bike was called the Boy Racer, likely because the 350cc class was called the Juniors to the 500cc Seniors. Developed by AJS after the war, the chain driven OHC engine developed 32bhp at 7500 rpm and would push the bike and rider to 120mph on the right track with the right gears. Between 1948 and the end of production in 1963 improvements to the engine were made, and a 3 valve engine was offered in 1951, called the 7R3 adding 8hp and 300rpm.

Part of the history of the British motorcycle industry, companies would combine but kept the marquees separate. This is the case with Associated Motorcycles (AMC) which joined AJS and Matchless. Having more then one Company under one roof allowed the 350cc AJS 7R to grow up and become the 500cc G50.

The Matchless G50 offered for sale in this collection is a 1965 Richmand/Kirby combo. The G50 engine got its 51bhp with the 496cc single overhead cam turning 7200rpm. Don and Derek Richman made frames for many different engines, and were able to sell them because they were good. Kirby appears to be a team that raced during the 1960’s in England. For better or worst, both the Rickman frame and the G50 engine are being reproduced today, using the original designs but with modern technology. 

The Norton Manx was another world beater during the 1950’s and 1960’s. Offered in both 350cc and 500cc over head cam engines, the Norton used its famous featherbed frame to dominate GP racing for many years. The bike offered in this auction has the 350cc engine, but also comes with a Dustbin fairing, that was banned by the FIM as a hazard to the rider. With the 348cc you would get 35hp with a top speed of 115mph, (likely naked). Again like the 7R and G50 the engine from Norton went through development over the years, but the basic overhead cam layout stayed the same.

This is a collection of three motorcycle, from three companies (well maybe 1 ½) who went racing in the 1950’s and 1960’s, and won. If you wanted to collect the best examples of the time, these three would be on a very short list. And if you are someone who likes to ride their vintage bikes, these again would put you in a very good position to win in vintage races.

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