Max 44.4HP (33.1kW) @ 8500 rpm
All aluminium rectangular section frame
1,195 mm (47.0 in)
2,050 mm (80.7 in.)
685 mm (27.0 in)
Max 37.3 Nm @8,000 rpm
Bore x stroke:
54.0 mm x 54.0 mm
Mikuni VM28SS Flat Slide, Twin
Wet Multi-Plate Type
Telescopic, Oil-Damped/Air Assisted with Anti-Dive
Full Floating Suspension System
Front tyre dimensions:
Michelin 100/90-16 54S
Rear tyre dimensions:
Michelin 100/90-18 56S
1,385 mm (54.5 in)
17 litres (incl. reserve)
Engine 1.2 litres
155 mm (6.1 in)
Suzuki RG 250 Gamma 1983 - Thanks to Bitacticus Gehaasticus for the images
The boss has just brought one of these, so what better time to analyse the hell out of it! This was also one of his first ever project motorcycles, and so there is an in-built adoration already before he’s even laying spanners on it. Although from the pictures I’ve seen, it doesn’t even have an engine, so . . . good luck to the mighty Shepster!
A two-cylinder, parallel-twin, water-cooled two-stroke (I knew engines were supposed to come as standard!) the biggest selling point of the Gamma was its excellent power to weight ratio, producing 45-49 BHP for a 130kg motorcycle. In the early 80’s the battle of Japan was raging: Yamaha had it’s RZ250R, Honda had it’s VT250F and MVX250F; and then along came the Gamma!
The Suzuki styling team didn’t quite go hell for leather on the budget as in all honesty the whole thing looked fairly pedestrian upon launch in 1983, but it moved like a whippet on crack. Suzuki packed absolutely everything from the race track into the Gamma, minus perhaps the rider themselves that were clinging onto it as it left the factory. It was the first mass-produced motorcycle with an aluminium frame and aerodynamic racing fairings, getting hearts-racing and wallets bleeding across the globe.
Equipped with a six-speed gearbox and floating suspension, Suzuki even chucked in anti-dip forks so that the suspension jammed when the brakes were hit rather than enabling the rider two kiss the bitumen every time they wanted to stop. As the years rolled on from their 1983 inception where only a single front brake disc was present, someone within Suzuki decided to employ an artist to paint lipstick on the pig i.e. cosmetic changes were afoot (thank the Lord!). Although you’d barely notice the difference in the 1984 model, the 1985 model produced a far more handsome beast, with a shorter wheel base, updated fairings and mudguard, and a conservative yet confident dark blue colour scheme.
In 1986 the Walter Wolf’s were introduced, and that’s Walter, not water - a water wolf sounds more like some kind of brazen wallowing sea-cow. Yet, Walter was a man of power, passion and immense wealth – an oil magnate originally from Austria, Wolf moved to Canada and made his fortune, investing in F1 and motorbikes as a past-time. As you do. Not only did he have a Suzuki or two named after him, he also had a Lamborghini Countach named in his honour. The kid did all right. The 1986 version also had the Automatic Exhaust Control system i.e. a power-valve system whereby a butterfly valve is partially closed at lower speeds to produce more power.
The Gamma was finally replaced by the V-twin engine RGV250 in 1988, but not before the 1987 version increased the diameter of the front forks, increased the brake discs (always a good idea!) and increasing the tyre sizes. This sexy little thing even has its own facebook page. However, it must be said the black and red Walter Wolf specials are so good-looking they shouldn’t not be circulated for general populace consumption, perhaps only be found in top-shelf magazines. They are utter filth.
It will be fascinating to see what kind of dog Mr Shepster has actually pulled up from the grave: will it be a genuine 1985 classic or a cocktail of 80’s mongrel magic? Watch this space!