Retro: 1975 Suzuki RG500 XR14

Dailies, Galleries -


In 1975, this motorcycle, the 7th Suzuki RG500 XR14 ever made, was imported into New Zealand where it was raced by a privateer team. That moment was a historical milestone because it was the first time a top-tier GP machine was made available to non-factory teams. This XR14 is identical to the one Barry Sheene would ride to World Championships in 1976 and 1977.

Suzuki employed rotary disc valve induction and separate geared-together crankshafts driving a six-speed transmission via an intermediate gear. Over-square bore/stroke dimensions of 56.0 x 50.5mm were used and a maximum output of 100bhp at 11,200rpm and 48lb/ft at 10,500rpm was claimed. Top speed was said to be in the neighborhood of 170mph. A large amount of attention was given to weight reduction with magnesium and aluminium being utilised at every opportunity. This state-of-the-art power unit was housed in a conventional tubular-steel duplex-loop frame.

Frame number 11007, the bike you see here, was raced by Gentleman John Woodley throughout the ‘70s before undergoing a complete restoration in 1987. The only non-standard part on it is the Lockheed-pattern Brembo brake, a common period upgrade. The bore was also increased to take total displacement out to 499cc. In the last 24 years, it’s only been on track for a total of 60 minutes.

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11007 is being auctioned by Webbs of New Zealand, where it’s expected to achieve $60,000 to $92,000. Images in the gallery are huge, so you can save wallpapers.

  • Deep6Dive

    Thanks for the new desktop Wes! Vintage sports bike write up goes right along with going to barber this weekend.

  • HammSammich

    Some great film of these bikes…

  • Erok

    When are ducktails coming back?

  • Denzel

    The front of the bike shot is a great image…

  • Mike Brooklyn

    The rear looks incredibly modern in some ways. Gorgeous rims as well.

  • jason McCrash

    Flatten out the nose a little bit and look at the bike from the front of the seat forward and you can see the original 85-87 GSXR’s. Sexy.

  • 1

    Needs indicators and a license plate.

  • stefano

    bike boner

  • KR Tong

    I’d kill for an old two stroke track bike. Something about the power to weight and ease of wrenching on just gets me.

    Someday one of these’ll be mine.

  • tomwito

    Nothing sounds as cool as a muti-cylinder 2-stroke.