Minichamps MIN122932034 1993 Suzuki RGV500 Motorcycle - Kevin Schwantz, World Champion (1:12 Scale)
"Growin' up as a kid, always thinking, 'you know, if I could ever just race motorcycles and make a living, that would be the coolest thing known to mankind.'"
- Kevin Schwantz
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-swing arms. The motorcycle weighed 343lbs/156kg (dry).
Pictured here is a 1:12 scale replica of a 1993 Suzuki RGV500 GP Motorcycle driven by World Champion, Kevin Schwantz. This replica comes in a handsome presentation case befitting this world class rider.
Length: 7 inches
Height: 3-1/2 inches
Release Date: September 2010
Historical Account: "Brand 34" - Born on June 19th, 1964, Kevin Schwantz is an American former World Champion motorcycle road racer during the late 1980s and early 1990s. He was hugely popular for his aggressive, all-or-nothing riding style.
Schwantz, whose parents owned a motorcycle shop, learned to ride at the age of three. He began his competitive career as a trials rider, following his father in that sport. From trials, he progressed to motocross in his teens, becoming a top regional MX racer. After a serious crash in qualifying for the Houston Supercross in 1983, he decided to quit motocross.
At the end of the 1984 season, he was offered a test ride with the Yoshimura Suzuki Superbike team, who promptly signed the Texan to a contract. In his first race for Yoshimura, he won both legs of the 1985 Willow Springs AMA Superbike National. He would finish seventh overall in the championship despite only competing in half the races. He finished second to Eddie Lawson in the 1986 Daytona 200 on the new GSXR-750 Suzuki. Then, in what would become an all too common occurrence throughout his career, he broke his collarbone in a qualifying crash and missed several races. Once again he finished seventh overall in the Championship.
He culminated his career in 1993 by winning his first and only 500cc World Championship. After suffering through a crash infested 1994 season, the injuries he had incurred over the years began to take their toll on him, as did the career ending injuries suffered by his rival Rainey, at the 1993 Italian Grand Prix that left him paralyzed from the chest down. Early in the 1995 season, after a conversation with Rainey, Schwantz decided to retire from motorcycle competition. Schwantz had accumulated 25 Grand Prix wins during his career, one more than his great rival, Wayne Rainey. This made him the second most successful American roadracer behind Eddie Lawson. In a rare display of respect, the FIM retired his racing number (34) as a testament to his popularity.
In the late 1990's, Schwantz ran a couple of seasons of the Australian NASCAR Championship before returning home to the USA where for several years he competed in the NASCAR Busch Series, running 18 races with 2 top tens, and touring car races. He currently owns and operates a motorcycle riding school in Atlanta, Georgia. Schwantz was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999. The FIM named him a Grand Prix "Legend" in 2000.