The guys from MCN have published the video of the test of two historic motorcycles, Barry Sheene's Suzuki RG500 XR14 and Kenny Roberts' Yamaha YZR500 OW48R. Two contemporary motorcycles and riders from the late 1970s and early 1980s. A time when the dominance of the four strokes and MV Agusta ended and another golden age of the Motorcycle World Championship began, the reign of the two strokes.
And it is that from 1958 to 1974 the premier class had been dominated with an iron fist by a single brand MV Agusta with its four-stroke mechanics. Despite attempts by Honda the Japanese were unable to beat the Italian machines in any of those 16 years. Although throughout that long decade and a half, what would eventually become the future Grand Prix motorcycles with two-stroke engines.
At MCN, they have had the opportunity to Compare a Suzuki RG500 XR14 with a Yamaha YZR500 OW48R and what they say is quite interesting. On the one hand, the Yamaha say that it is a much more compact and small motorcycle, in which the rider is quite embedded in the seat. The Suzuki, on the other hand, seems more spacious.
They comment that the Yamaha engine is considerably more treatable than you might expect, with a carburetion hole over 7,000 rpm It reaches 9,500 rpm, at which point the storm breaks out and it pushes like a madman. Although that push ends around 10,500 rpm, at which point you have to engage one more gear. For its part, the Suzuki does not seem to have that carburetion hole so its thrust is much more linear, making it much easier to drive, more of the old school style.
Taking advantage of this test we have dusted off the technical sheets of these two motorcycles and a video of the time to see how these motorcycles were from the late seventies and early eighties. And that marked the beginning of the reign of the two strokes in the Motorcycle World Championship. Stay tuned these days that this will continue …