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The Suzuki RGV-Γ 500 was a racing motorcycle manufactured by Suzuki from 1986 to 2001 for competition in the Grand Prix motorcycle racing series. The motorcycle was powered by a 499.3 cc two stroke engine.
The Suzuki RGV500 of Alex Barros, pictured at the 1993 Australian Grand Prix.
|Predecessor||Suzuki RG Γ 500|
|Engine||499.3 cc two-stroke V4|
Suzuki factory racing team rider Kevin Schwantz rode the RGV500 to its first Grand Prix victory at the 1988 Japanese Grand Prix. It won its first 500 cc world championship in 1993 when Schwantz outscored Wayne Rainey and Mick Doohan to win the title. This was the most successful period in the motorcycle's history. The Suzuki suited Schwantz's riding style, as he often pushed beyond the limit of the machine, which often lead to Schwantz crashing as often as he won.
The Suzuki was always slower than its opposition, as both the Yamaha and especially the Honda were much faster in a straight line; to compensate for this, Schwantz set the RGV up so it would compensate in the braking zones, and in the corners, allowing the Suzuki to slipstream the machines in front. This style of riding was famously quoted by Schwantz stating that he would "See God, then brake".
Other riders failed to adapt their style to the Suzuki, talent such as Doug Chandler and Alex Barros. However many did manage the Suzuki well such as Daryl Beattie who finished second overall in 1995 and Niall Mackenzie.
- 2 World Championships (Kevin Schwantz in 1993 and Kenny Roberts Jr in 2000)
- 37 races won (Kevin Schwantz 25, Kenny Roberts Jr 8, Daryl Beattie 2, Alex Barros 1, Sete Gibernau 1).
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