Nathan says

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Suzuki RGV500 Celebration -

“Al­though the en­gine is a devel­op­ment of those in the early bikes, there were no fun­da­men­tal changes, so it’s still very sim­i­lar, al­though they changed the V an­gle sev­eral times right up to 2001, vary­ing it be­tween 70° and 80°. Other than that it’s just tweaks to carbs and ig­ni­tion, which is where they found the ex­tra power.

The early Pepsi bikes had a sin­gle guil­lo­tine ex­haust pow­er­valve set-up, but this one has a twin power valve sys­tem: a guil­lo­tine and ro­tary, which gave bet­ter low down power. It also had a rudi­men­tary quick­shifter for the first time.

You can see that as they learned more about the chas­sis it’s a bit neater look­ing and eas­ier to work on. They had three or four dif­fer­ent chas­sis in 1994 to suit dif­fer­ent cir­cuits. This was the era where the frame had an ad­justable steer­ing head an­gle with dif­fer­ent in­serts, ad­justable off­set for the triple clamps and dif­fer­ent swingarm pivot and also ad­justable ride height po­si­tions for the first time.

Suzukis were al­ways known to have fickle han­dling, but Kevin could no­tice a mil­lime­ter of ride height and it would make a big dif­fer­ence to the bike.”

Kenny won the cham­pi­onship in 2000 car­ry­ing the num­ber two plate. The 2001 bike is dis­tin­guish­able by its or­ange bel­ly­pan car­ry­ing For­tuna spon­sor­ship. There were a lot of en­gine changes in ’01 and the crank was off­set slightly for the first time. Early bikes had a 54mm bore, then a 56mm and from 1997 back down to a 54mm, but with a longer stroke to in­crease ca­pac­ity slightly. But the en­gine ar­chi­tec­ture is sim­i­lar and the cas­sette gear­box is al­most in­ter­change­able be­tween much older mod­els.

Over the RGV’S life they went from proper big bang mo­tors, to screamer en­gines. Two bikes from the same year could have dif­fer­ent crank­shaft tim­ing – they changed them to suit the tracks, con­di­tions and rider pref­er­ence. They had 180°, 90° and 45° cranks.

2000 was the first time they went with the self-sup­port­ing car­bon fi­bre sub­frame and an­other change in sus­pen­sion brand, go­ing from Showa to Öh­lins. Lim­ited elec­tron­ics started to creep in with se­lectable power maps.

The wheel de­sign changed over the years. Early RGV500S had three spokes, but were bend­ing a lit­tle, so they went to five spoke March­esi­nis in ‘94, and to multi-spoke BBS wheels with the KR bike. From 1998 the bike had Brembo ra­dial-mount calipers.

Sch­wantz on his way to the ti­tle in 1993

Lucky Strike were syn­ony­mous with Suzuki

This is a world cham­pion’s view. Nice, isn’t it?

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