As part of its display at the 2017 Motorcycle Live Show last month in Birmingham, England, Suzuki GB completed a live full restoration of Kevin Schwantz‘s 1989 Pepsi Suzuki RGV500 Grand Prix race bike.
In a garage set up on the show floor with visitors dropping by to watch during the nine-day show, a crew led by Team Classic Suzuki Chief Mechanic Nathan Colombi completely stripped down and rebuilt the RGV500 which won six races in the 1989 500cc Grand Prix season.
The 1989 RGV500 is fourth bike in what has become an annual tradition of Suzuki GB building a bike at the Motorcycle Live Show. The program started in 2014 with the assembly of a brand new TL1000S made completely from old stock parts. In 2015, Suzuki GB restored an original 1985 GSX-R750F as part of the celebrations for the 30th anniversary of the GSX-R line, and last year, the team used vintage parts to build a GSX1100SD Katana that was later raced at a four-hour endurance race at Donington Park this May.
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Kevin Schwantz’s 1989 Pepsi Suzuki RGV500 received a full strip-down and rebuild at last month’s Motorcycle Live Show in Birmingham, England as part of the Suzuki GB presence at the annual nine-day event.
The iconic Grand Prix machine was completely stripped, before being carefully and meticulously restored by Team Classic Suzuki Chief Mechanic, Nathan Colombi.
1989 was arguably Schwantz’s best season for results, with only crashes preventing him from lifting the world title. He finished either first or second in every race he completed that season, taking six wins and a further three runner-up finishes. He would eventually lift the world title for Suzuki in 1993 and the Texan was named a Grand Prix legend in 2000.
This particular RGV was originally kept by the team as a show bike at the workshop, but it had a partial rebuild in 2015 and Schwantz rode it at that year’s ‘Sound of the Engine’ event at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan.
“It was all in remarkably-good condition both inside and out,” explained Nathan Colombi. “We fitted new bearings and pistons and did a complete nut and bolt rebuild of the chassis during the Motorcycle Live event.
“It was a lot of fun meeting and chatting with all the Suzuki and Schwantz fans at the show.”