Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - Know It ► Buy It ► Ride It ► Love It -

Yamaha RD500LC 1984-1986

499cc liq­uid-cooled, reed-valve, V4 two-stroke with YPVS

The orig­i­nal 500GP replica. Less full-on than the RG, and ar­guably a bet­ter road bike for it. Tun­ing po­ten­tial isn’t as great as with the RG though, but the RD’S ap­peal re­mains strong due to its trail-blaz­ing de­sign, V4 con­fig­u­ra­tion, and Roberts replica link. Val­ues now: £7000-£12,000

Honda NS400R 1985-1987

387cc liq­uid-cooled, reed-valve, V3 two-stroke with ATAC

An 111cc deficit was al­ways go­ing to back-foot the NS against the RD and RG, but the Honda’s ex­quis­ite chas­sis and im­pec­ca­ble han­dling go a long way to bridg­ing that gap. Build qual­ity and at­ten­tion to de­tail is typ­i­cally peer­less HRC spec, but it lacks the Gamma’s bite and bullish rep­u­ta­tion.

Val­ues now: £3000-£7000

Kawasaki GPZ600R 1985-1990

592cc liq­uid-cooled, dohc, 16v in­line-four No GP rep, but the 600R ap­peared at the same time as the RG of­fer­ing com­pa­ra­ble per­for­mance for sim­i­lar money in an ad­vanced four-stroke pack­age. De­spite kick-start­ing the pop­u­lar 600 class, the GPZ has never achieved the cult sta­tus of the Gamma – its mod­est val­ues re­flect that.

Val­ues now: £700-£2000

Suzuki RG400 Gamma 1985-1987

397cc liq­uid-cooled, disc-valve, square-four two-stroke with AEC

Down­sized vari­ant of the 500 built to suit Ja­pan’s strin­gent li­cens­ing laws. Al­though vis­ually al­most iden­ti­cal the 400 has a num­ber of dif­fer­ences from the 500. Per­for­mance is much re­duced, how­ever, hence the sig­nif­i­cantly lower val­ues.

Val­ues now: £3000-£6000

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