Kevin Schwantz 1989 RGV500 Complete Restoration


 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.”


ABOUT Kevin Schwantz

Grand Prix World Champion Kevin Schwantz raced only one way — he raced to win. When he made his move for a pass the world held its breath.

Schwantz showed levels of desire, determination and raw courage that ‘s never been equaled. His heart-stopping style and charismatic personality won him legions of loyal fans worldwide.

By the time he was done, Schwantz amassed 25 Grand Prix wins, 21 lap records, 29 pole positions and the 1993 World Championship. When he made his tearful retirement the world wept with him and the FIM felt the loss to the sport was so significant that they retired his signature competition number 34. It’s the first time in the history of the sport that a rider had been so honored.

Throughout his professional career, Schwantz and never settled for second place. When it comes to choosing a riding school, we think you should do the same and come and experience the best, the Schwantz School.

Fast Facts:

Birthdate: June 19, 1964
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Residence: Austin, Texas
Hobbies: Dirt bike riding, cycling, and golf
Hero: My Dad, Jim and Uncle, Darryl
Currently Owned Motorcycles: 2007 Suzuki GSX-R1000, 2007 Suzuki RMZ250, 2007 Gas Gas 280Pro
Motorcycles Raced: All of them Suzuki… except a Honda RS250, Kawasaki GPZ750 and Yamaha FJ600 and RZ350
Favorite Motorcycle Owned or Raced: My 1993 RGV500

First Motorcycle and at What Age: 1968 Bonanza mini-bike 3.5HP with a Briggs & Stratton engine, 3 years old
Favorite Track Ridden: Donington (England)
Favorite Thing about Racing: Winning
Favorite MotoGP Rider: Wayne Rainey
Favorite Olympic Sport: Cycling
Favorite Movie: Stripes
Favorite Food: Mexican
Favorite Musician: Lyle Lovett
Favorite Place on Earth: Home, wherever it might be!

“When I started road racing I just used to ride like I was on the dirt, it wasn’t pretty. I just used to lock up the rear brake going into the corner trying to get it stopped with the bike hopping and skittering all over the place. That was the way I thought you did it.”
Kevin Schwantz

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