A lightweight racer's lightweight racer.
To celebrate Suzuki’s 100th anniversary, the folks at Hamamatsu are digging deep into their video archives to bring us selected gems from the company’s motorcycle manufacturing history. The gloriously ‘90s two-stroke you see before you is a 1991 Suzuki RG125 Gamma. Like the best two-stroke racers, its diminutive size belied its true rocketing abilities when unleashed in capable hands at a track.
The RG125 Gamma made the rounds of motorcycle shows in Europe in 1984, following on the heels of its bigger RG250 and RG500 Gamma siblings. One of the many cool things about the 125 was that its water-cooled, single-cylinder engine was incredibly narrow, making it possible to lean incredibly far going through corners without scraping. Its light weight (around 231 pounds dry for the first gen; 275 pounds dry for the second gen) also didn’t hurt those efforts.
As originally released, that engine made 25 bhp and 19 Nm (or 14 ft.-lbs) of torque. It utilized Suzuki’s Automatic Exhaust Control system (AEC), which used a butterfly valve to shift the exhaust’s capacity as needed, effectively maximizing the powerband. As U.S. fans could only press their noses up wistfully against the window as the rest of the world got yet another cool bike that we didn’t, the UK got a restricted version that only made 12 bhp and did not utilize the benefits of AEC. According to Bennetts, you’d have to go to the continent to find one with the AEC in good working order.
Graphics changed from year to year over the RG125 Gamma’s lifespan, but only one major change occurred. From 1985 to 1991, things mainly stayed the same except for cosmetics. From 1992 forward, however, the bike got a head-to-toe redesign. Frame, suspension, and every little bit was refined to offer better performance. The new engine now made 33 bhp at 11,250 rpm, had a fancy electric start instead of a kick start, and even got a counterbalancer to reduce one complaint about the previous version: its mega-vibey nature. Suzuki also released a naked version in 1992 called the RG125U Wolf.