Minichamps MIN122770007 1977 Suzuki RG500 GP Motorcycle - Barry Sheene, World Champion (1:12 Scale)
"[He was] an inspiration to millions."
- Carl Fogarty, four-time World Superbike champion, discussing the death of Barry Sheene in March 2003
The RG500 Gamma was a motorcycle built by Suzuki between 1985 and 1989 and inspired by the RG Gamma Grand Prix racer of the 1970s, capitalizing on Suzuki's seven consecutive wins in the 500cc-class. The Gamma was powered by a four-cylinder two-stroke square engine displacing 500 cubic centimeters. Early models gave 93.7 brake horse power (95ps) at 9,500 RPM. The engine employed liquid-cooling by means of a large front-mounted radiator with a thermostatic control. Suzuki employed a backbone frame with aluminum boxsection tubing for the Gamma. The front suspension had pre-load adjust and an anti-dive system called "POSI DAMP" to control the tendency of a motorcycle's nose to dive under braking. At the rear the full-floater suspension design used dual-swingarms. The motorcycle weighed 343lbs/156kg (dry).
Pictured here is a 1977 Suzuki RG500 GP Motorcycle driven by World Champion Barry Sheene. This 1:12 scale diecast replica comes in a handsome presentation case befitting this world class rider. Pre-order! Ship Date: 2014.
Length: 7 inches
Height: 3-1/2 inches
Release Date: ?
Historical Account: "Space Rider" - Barry Sheene MBE (September 11th, 1950 - March 10th, 2003) was a British former World Champion Grand Prix motorcycle road racer.
Sheene was born in London, England the second child of parents Frank (resident engineer at the Royal College of Surgeons) and Iris. He grew up in Queen's Square, Holborn, London.
He became the British 125cc champion aged just 20, and finished second in the World Championships for that class a year later. A spectacular crash at the Daytona 200 in 1975 threatened to end his career, breaking his left thigh, right arm, collarbone and two ribs, yet he recovered and was racing again seven weeks afterwards.
In 1976 he won five 500cc Grands Prix, bringing him the World Championship. He repeated as champion in 1977 with six victories.
After the 1979 season, he left the Suzuki works team, believing that he was receiving inferior equipment to his team-mates. He shifted to a privateer Yamaha machine, but soon started receiving works equipment. In 1981, Kenny Roberts was the reigning World 500cc Champion for the third time, and Barry Sheene, now on a competitive Yamaha, was determined to regain the championship. Ironically, Sheene and Roberts battled all season and let Suzuki riders Marco Lucchinelli of Italy and American Randy Mamola beat them for the top two spots. Roberts finished third and Sheene fourth for the 1981 championship. A 1982 crash largely ended Sheene as a title threat, and he retired in 1984.