Posted by James in Features on 19th June 2013
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Suzuki Specials: RGV500
In the second instalment of our Suzuki Specials feature, we take a look at Mark Griffiths’ RGV500. It started life as an RGV250, which Mark acquired in 2000, before it became a 300 and eventually a 500. We spoke to Mark about the project and how it came about.
http://2wheelwiki.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Mark Griffiths’ RGV500 is a work of art. It started out as an RGV250, which Mark came to own in 2000, and at the time, it was never going to form part of a project such as this. It was briefly converted into a 300, before Mark tracked down an RG500 motor to bolt in.
“I was riding by my local bike shop in 2000 and saw it in there,” Mark explains. “I took a look at it, and it was a bit secondhand and needed a bit of a clean and a tidy up, but it sounded great and I had to have it. But at the time I had no plans to do anything with it. I just bought it as a bike to ride around on.”
Mark was brought up on a diet of old two-strokes and field bikes, spending his formative years riding all over his local pits on whatever he and his friends could cobble together, and like so many others, having family members into bikes meant that Mark grew up around them.
“I started riding bikes when I was 12. I used to ride around the local pits with my friends on whatever we could buy or get our hands on. My brothers rode bikes too and got me onto them, and I grew up with bikes around me. My first proper road bike was a Suzuki GP100. I couldn’t afford the 125!
“After I picked up the RGV I kept it standard for a few months, but then decided to take it up to a 300, and added a set of Arrow pipes. It went well and I enjoyed riding it, but I missed the power of the RG500 I had a few years before. Then one day I was flicking through Performance Bikes magazine and they featured a guy who’d put a 500 engine in his RGV, and I knew that’s what I wanted to do. So I set about tracking down a 500 motor.”
However, fitting a square-four 500 engine into the RGV’s frame wasn’t ever going to be the easiest of tasks.
“A friend of mine tracked down an engine, the pipes and the electrics that would be needed for the conversion. There were no mounting kits available either, so everything was hand made for the job. The frame was cut back to allow the back of the motor to fit in, and this was then welded back up and dressed. The frame was braced between the frame rails under the tank with 6mm alloy, and this holds all the electrics as well.
http://2wheelwiki.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/“The engine was treated to a 570cc bigbore kit and stage 3 tune with straight-cut primary gears, ignition advancer, 34mm bored carbs, swarbrick race pipes and an uprated clutch. Brakes are six-pot AP’s up front and AP rear, it has Maxton fork springs, Penske rear shock, all finished off with a lucky strike paint job.
“The whole project took about six months to finish. The exhausts were the hardest thing to fit; the lowers were fine but the upper two were a pain to route!”
The finished article now puts out over 116bhp at the back wheel, and is used on the road by Mark when he finds time.
Got a Suzuki Special you want to see featured on the Suzuki Bulletin? Send the details and some pictures to [email protected]
For more Suzuki Specials, click here.
Tagged in Custom, RG500, RGV250, RGV500, Suzuki Special
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