Joe Carrillo’s 1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma
By Joe Carrillo
Rider: Joe Carrillo, Menlo Park, California
Occupation: Property management
Current rides: Ducati Desmosedici and 1299 Superlegerra, Husky 701 S/M, KTM 1290 Super Duke, Yamaha TZR250, Honda NSR250, Suzuki RGV250, Honda NS250, Yamaha RD350LC, Kawasaki KH400, Velocette LE200 and about 50 more!
Joe’s 1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma find: “I had pretty much given up on the idea of ever finding a nice Suzuki RG500 for my collection, but the other day, my good friend Graham Yates called to tell me an acquaintance of his had just done some handyman work for an elderly woman. Apparently, the woman’s late husband was a bit of a motorcycle buff and had several bikes of his still in her possession. The handyman did a couple of weeks of work for her, and in lieu of payment, he could choose one of the bikes. Guess what he picked out and came home with? Yep, a basically new 1986 Suzuki RG500 Gamma with only 800 miles on it!
“Graham works at a local motorcycle shop called Catalyst Reaction in San Carlos, California, where the bike was taken for a carburetor cleaning and fluid change. Graham called me to come check it out. At this point, although I was jealous, I never thought I had a chance of owning it. I was just thinking that guy was in the right place at the right time, and I was happy for him. So as I was leaving, I halfheartedly asked Graham to offer the guy a trade for my Ducati 999R and some cash. Well, 10 minutes after I left, the phone rang. It was Graham, and he said load up your 999R and grab your cash, because the guy agreed, and it’s yours! I couldn’t believe it, so I moved very fast, before the guy changed his mind. Well, to make a long story longer, after I got it home and was going through all the extra stuff that came with the bike (spare parts, owner’s and service manuals, etc.), I came across a handwritten note that had my name, phone number and address on it.
“Yes, apparently I had originally sold the bike to this late gentlemen back in 1986, when I had a small business selling exotic motorcycles that I imported from around the world. I guess it was just meant to be!”
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