1987 Suzuki RG500

Classic Suzuki RG500 Up For Auction

This rare Suzuki RG500 is a one-owner survivor time warp with all its documents and just 3,085 miles on the clock. It comes to sale at the NMM with H&H Classics on October 27 for an estimate of £19,000 to £22,000.

It will be on display on the H&H stand M41 at the world famous Stafford bike show on October 9th & 10th October.

This wonderful discovery was purchased by its owner on 1st March 1987 despite the fact that at the time he did not even have a motorcycle license. Taking on a widow-maker before you even knew how to ride a motorbike seems foolhardy in the extreme. But he has lived to tell the tale.

The owner writes: “In the mid-1980s, Bike magazine was necessary monthly reading for two primary reasons– firstly, Ogri the biking ‘rocker’ cartoon and secondly for the ‘one-liner’ summaries of all the bikes on sale in the UK. Their summary for the RG500 read something like “Only for people who have had a frontal lobotomy”. As a reserved person, the words did not resonate particularly as I wondered how any machine could be described in such terms.

In the days before the internet, in February 1987, there was an advertisement in Motorcycle News offering RG500s at a significant discount in Leamington Spa. After a telephone call to the Dealer and a 10% deposit later, a brand-new machine was mine and so one cold and very snowy Saturday, and an appropriately early start, the bike was collected by trailer and ferried back to its new home in Chelmsford.

This may seem a not unusual story apart from the fact that its new owner did not have a motorcycle licence at all let alone a ‘full’ one to allow it to be ridden. Most people would be forgiven for thinking that it was somewhat foolhardy and even a little arrogant to think that such a bike was an appropriate first machine in view of its reputation, which at that time, was being reinforced by the number being ‘crashed and trashed’.

However, I hoped [and believed] that being sufficiently old enough and daft enough would enable it to be ridden within my capabilities as an International Racing Driver, always assuming a test could be passed. More frightening, however, was the thought and embarrassment of failing. 
Thankfully some practice on both a closed site and the open road with an excellent school in Chelmsford – sadly no longer there – led to a successful ‘pass’ and the bike being registered from the all-important [then] 01-August in 1987 when the registration letter changed.

Unfortunately, longer and longer working hours and then working in Europe for a number of years, curtailed enjoyment mitigated by the thought that it was always there at home where it lived in a centrally heated house waiting for the next ride where it remained one of the most iconic and ‘bonkers’ bikes to have graced the roads. It was, and still is, ‘perfect’ as there has been nothing like it before or since in the world.”