I remember… RG500
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I remember… RG500

By JeffWare - 19 January 2023

Memories: Jeff Ware

For one glorious year – 1985, two of the most iconic two-stroke motorcycles ruled the streets. One of them was the RG500…


It was on the cover of a book I picked up, The World’s Fastest Motorcycles, which I still have!

The best angle, showing the four pipes out the back.
The book that started Jeff’s RG500 dreams…

Watching 500 GP on TV, Wayne Gardner had just arrived on the scene, plus the RG500 Gamma’s were racing in the Coca Cola series and other races like the Swann Series, which I saw at Oran Park.

The red/white/blue was a less popular colour than blue/white.

The RG500 was just a pure racer’s dream for the street. It was the ultimate machine and to this day there is no truer GP replica bike available and there never will be – no wonder they are so collectable…

Around that era, RG and RZ500s were popular, and the hard-core two-stroke fans were still choosing them over the better performing GSX-R750F and FZ750N, simply due to the street cred, the two-stroke sensation and the smell!

Rotary disc valve twin crank square four engine.
Specifications and details to drool over.

Man, do I remember that sweet four-cylinder two-stroke smell through the mountains. You always knew when you were chasing one even if you could not see it…

The RG500 was the closest thing that has ever been mass produced to a GP 500.


The look, the colours and the way it resembled the real GP racers with the same fairing shape. Fat tyres for the era, four stunning mufflers, a trick race dash and a very cool aircraft style fuel cap that nothing else had back then.

The more traditional blue and white version.  

The alloy frame was also very trick for its day and so was the suspension. With a top speed of 225km/h it was fast, 95hp and 154kg was unheard of. The disc valve square-four 500cc two-stroke engine was simply the coolest thing on the planet and still is!

Jeff on his RG500 on the Old Road.


Own one? I would swap all of the bikes in my garage for an immaculate RG500 and that includes my RG250HB and Royal Enfield. Does that answer the question? I had one, as you may have read, but had to sell it when Covid-19 hit…

Riding the super rare RG500 Walter Wolf was a great experience. 


They are on the market but mainly from Japan. I want another Aussie spec one and I am looking at $40k plus for a good one, if I can find it! So it’s out of the question now…

On his own RG500… 


Engine: Liquid-cooled, twin crank, rotary valve two-stroke 500

Colours: Blue/White or Walter Wolf

Claimed power: 70.8kw[95hp]@9000rpm

Claimed torque: 72Nm[53.1ft-lbs]@9000rpm

Dry weight: 154kg

Fuel capacity: 17L

Chassis: Double cradle alloy

Suspension: 38mm telescopic, air adjustable with adjustable preload and anti-dive

Front brakes: 270mm dual rotors with four-piston calipers

Some of the 1985 propaganda.


NEW PRICE: $5,795 + ORC (stocker)

USED PRICE: $25,000 - $90,000 AUD

BAD POINTS: Brittle seals and possible rusting on main bearings and big-ends, weak gearbox, 16in tyre choice could be limiting and high price may put the bike out of reach.

GOOD POINTS: Blistering performance, good brakes/handling and ultimate bragging rights.

Protect your motorbike. Call Shannons Insurance on 13 46 46 to get a quote today.