Watchlist Wednesday: Pepsi Suzuki RG500


Pepsi Suzuki RG500 Kevin Schwantz left side

Suzuki have had some cool sponsors for their race bikes particularly their MotoGP (formally GP500) team over the years, many of which have spawned race rep paintwork for the masses.

Putting aside the fact their MotoGP will be retired this year and forgetting the cigarette sponsors that have adorned fairings, for many fans the simple red, white and blue Pepsi scheme from the 1988 and 1989 seasons is one of the best! 1989 was also one of the best seasons for lead rider, Kevin Schwantz, (see bike below) who placed either first or second in every race he finished that season, taking six wins and a further three runner-up finishes. If he didn't crash so much he would have been champ!

Pepsi Suzuki RGV500 Kevin Schwantz right side

Pepsi made the ‘max’ of their tie up and even presented the Prince of ‘Pop’ with a Pepsi rep Suzuki RG500, this was after Michael Jackson had caught his hair on fire shooting a promotional video for the cola brand, from memory. Maybe he should have worn a helmet…

Suzuki UK had a few unsold RG500s resprayed in Pepsi colours as a way to shift them out of showrooms and this 1988 model on ebay appears to be one of them; so it’s officially unofficial.

Pepsi Suzuki RG500 Kevin Schwantz right side

The previous owner had made some of the ‘era upgrades’, including some Swarbrick ‘spannies’ and GSX-R three spokes. I’m not sure about the paintwork on the wheels, but we all have different tastes. A Maxton rear shock and revalved forks should mean the handling is not too dated and watching the accompanying video from the advert, it sounds stunning.

Pepsi Suzuki RG500 forks wheel brakes

On the plus side, all the standard bits come with the bike too in case you wanted to put it back to full period spec.

Prices for RG500s went ballistic a few years back and, other than the odd superb example, they’ve settled down at around the £20,000 mark and this one is sat fizz-bang on the money.

Pepsi Suzuki RG500 Kevin Schwantz exhausts seat

I’m confident that if you tucked it away and looked after it you would probably make a drink on it…