Beach Bike

In the early 70’s suzuki launched the RV “Recreation Vehicle” range to try and grab a slice of Honda’s Monkey Bike sales.
Due to their large balloon type tyres, the strength of the RV is driving on sand, making it the ultimate "beach bike". All suzuki RV models were called "VanVan" in Japan, a word expressing a sound like "Bang". It also means "Keep going on!" in Japanese.

The RV range consisted of the RV50, RV90 and RV125. The RV50 “VanVan” seen in this picture had an Air-cooled 4hp two-stroke engine, giving brisk performance to this 79kg machine. The ingenious CCI (crank cylinder injection) lubrication system made manually mixing fuel and two-stroke oil a thing of the past.

The RV model range ceased production in 1982 and collectors of these distinctive minibikes have pushed values of this increasingly rare model into the stratosphere! Especially in Japan!

In 2003 suzuki reintroduced the RV125 as the RV125 VanVan, equipped with a four-stroke, air-cooled, single-cylinder, SOHC engine and six-speed gearbox but without the benefit of the fun and freedom of the California influenced 1970’s beach scene.

Like many small capacity all-terrain vehicles, most surviving RV’s have had a tough life and a beach equals the sea and salt water so expect some (or a lot) of corrosion. Buy as complete machine as possible and prioritize chassis parts over engine components as missing fenders, seats and other parts are very hard to source.

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image from instagram

issued: Thursday, August 05, 2021
updated: Thursday, August 05, 2021

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