Kevin Schwantz’s iconic Pepsi Suzuki to be restored

Published: 02 November 2017

Arguably one of the best looking and most distinctive GP motorcycles of all time – the 1989 Pepsi Suzuki RGV500 – will be meticulously restored by Team Classic Suzuki at this year’s Motorcycle Live at Birmingham’s NEC later this month. 

The bike will be completely stripped before being carefully restored and rebuilt over the duration of the show, which will be taking place between November 18-26.


Though Schwantz didn’t lift the title in ’89, it was one of the most successful seasons of his racing career. Finishing in either first or second in every race he completed that year, he won an impressive six races, accompanied with a further three runner-up finishes. Crashes were the only thing that prevented him from taking the championship.

The restoration follows the success of previous builds at the show over recent years and includes other iconic machines such as a TL1000S and a GSX-R750 ‘Slabby’. Last year was Team Classic Suzuki’s biggest challenge to date, with the GSX1100SD Katana endurance racer being brought to life at the show, before being put through its paces throughout 2017 in classic endurance races all over Europe.

“Kevin Schwantz is still, undoubtedly, a legend among motorcyclists in the UK. His 1989 RGV500 is an iconic machine that we’re looking forward to restoring,” said Suzuki GB aftersales marketing co-ordinator, Tim Davies. “We’ve built or restored a number of bikes at Motorcycle Live in recent years but this is the first time we’ve restored a legendary racing machine like this. It’s also allowing us to highlight just how many genuine Suzuki parts can be ordered through the Vintage Parts Programme.”

As with previous years, the restoration will run in association with Suzuki’s Vintage Parts Programme – which ensures that owners of classic machinery can obtain new parts for their long-discontinued bikes.

It’s been a busy year for Team Classic Suzuki, alongside the running and maintaining of the Katana endurance racer, another legendary machine was also painstakingly restored. The glorious number 7 of Barry Sheene’s World Championship-winning Suzuki XR14 was brought to its former glory before being run at Oliver’s Mount by Sheene’s son, Freddie.

Schwantz’s RGV500 will be restored over the course of Motorcycle Live alongside a display of Suzuki’s 2018 machinery and other race bikes such as the GSX-R1000 that took Michael Dunlop to victory at this year’s Isle of Man TT.

Tickets are on sale now, and can be purchased from the Motorcycle Live website.

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