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.
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.