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1961 Suzuki RV61 Racing Motorcycle
1961 Suzuki RV61

modified versions off their production motorcycles, however in early 1959 a change in policy resulted in a new model, designated the Colleda RB being prepared for the Asama race meeting. The engine was the work of Takeharu Okano and although only one of the five machines entered finished, its fifth place was enough to encourage the company to participate in international events. A team was despatched to the Isle of Man for the 1960 equipped with a new Okano designed 125cc twin coded RT60. The results were less than impressive although, in mitigation star rider Itoh's crash in practice cannot of helped the team and the team undoubtedly benefited from the opportunity to view rival companies products, particularly the disc valve equipped works MZs.

For the 1961 Okano designed two new air cooled, twin cylinder machines, the RT61 125cc and RV61 250cc, both equipped with six speed gearboxes and magneto ignition systems.

With Paddy Driver, Hugh Anderson and Alastair King in a team committed to contesting a full European season expectations were high. Unfortunately, events at the TT demonstrated that the Suzuki's were still not competitive, with Anderson ultimately finishing in tenth place as the teams highest placed finisher, results in the subsequent Dutch and Belgian GPs persuaded the team to withdraw for the rest of the year. Ultimately Ernst Degner's defection would provide the key to success for the factory and the RV62.

The RV61 therefore marks a significant step on Suzuki's road to competition success, despite its own lack of success.

This historic example is fitted with a T20 engine but in all other respects is presented in the form that appeared on the Isle of Man in 1961.


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