Thursday, August 24, 2017

Ex Frankie Chilli F1 RG500

Based on its World Championship-winning RG500 racer, Suzuki's Gamma roadster retained the same square-four engine layout, geared-together crankshafts, and disc-valve induction. A box-section aluminium frame, 'Full Floater' rear suspension, and triple disc brakes completed the picture. More racetrack focussed than Yamaha's rival RD500, the Gamma, with its 150mph (240km/h) top speed, 11.5-second quarter-mile time, and superlative handling and brakes, remains the closest anyone has got to offering a modern Grand Prix 500 for the road.
Not surprisingly, many found their way onto the world's racetracks, the example offered here being one such. It was prepared in 1986 for the FIM's production machine-based TT Formula 1 race series, which pitted 1,000cc four-strokes against 500cc two strokes. Its creator was the Italian Team Gallina, whose founder, ex-racer Roberto Gallina, already had plenty of experience of campaigning the Suzuki RG500 in Grands Prix, his riders Marco Lucchinelli and Franco Uncini having won the 500cc World Championship in 1981 and 1982 respectively.
In developing the Gamma for Formula 1, Gallina used many parts taken from his Suzuki RG500 Grand Prix bikes, including a magnesium dry clutch, Kokusan GP ignition system, Mikuni TMX 36mm carburettors, Tecnomagnesio wheels, braced swingarm, special exhaust system, Forcelle Italia fork, and more. Out of six starts in 1986, Chili scored five wins and ended up 3rd in the Trofeo Grand Prix F1 and 4th in the Campionato Italiano F1. Frankie Chili went on to race for Gallina in Grands Prix, but it was his switch to World Superbike racing in 1995 that set him on the path to real success. In a 12-year career in WSBK, he scored 17 race wins and twice finished 4th in the Championship. The full story of the Team Gallina Suzuki Gamma is recorded in an article in Motociclismo d'Epoca (copy available). Believed to be the sole survivor of the three machines built, this ex-Gallina Gamma was raced many times by the vendor in 2014 and 2016 in the Italian Old GP Championship. It was photographed at the Varano circuit on the 50th anniversary of the start of Roberto Gallina's racing career. Roberto Gallina's signature is on the fuel tank together with that of Vincenzo Biagioli, maker of the special cylinders.

The ex-Team Gallina, Pierfrancesco Chili
1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma TT Formula 1 Racing Motorcycle
Frame no. OHM31B - 101120
Engine no. M302 - 101050
• One of three built for TT Formula 1 racing
• In-period race history
• Many special Suzuki Grand Prix parts
• Signed by Roberto Gallina and Vincenzo Biagioli
(Thanks to Bonham's for the pics and the information)
For more pics see 
Ex Chilli F1 RG500