Ronax 500 V4 two-stroke | Two-stroke Tuesday. This wild machine is every 500cc two-stroke GP fan's dream bike... A decade on, we look back in awe... Photography: Ronax GmbH
Ronax announced a V4 500 GP bike for the streets a decade ago in 2014. Anyone who grew up riding two-stroke motorcycles would relate to just how mind-blowing that news was. But as much of a dream as it was for many, this mind blowing bike has seemingly vanished…
The reason for me that a Ronax 500 is so amazing is partly due to the many, many nights watching 500 Grand Prix on telly in awe of heroes like Wayne Gardner, Kevin Magee, Mick Doohan, Daryl Beattie, Garry McCoy, Peter Goddard, Mark Willis, Kirk McCarthy, Anthony Gobert, Troy Corser, Simon Crafar and co sliding the uncontrollable brutal 500s around, leaving blue smoke from the tyre and the pipes in a screaming, howling cyclone of high rpm insanity…
The price? Around $100,000 Euros, not including tax.
With light switch throttles, up to 200-horsepower and a 115kg weight limit at one stage, there was nothing on the street that related to the 500 GP bike – much like F1 and cars now. MotoGP bikes have nothing on these beasts…
Over the years there have been some specials around – we have our own Costin Engineering 500s that have been featured over the years. The Suter 500 seemed to have vanished but this Ronax 500 is was the real deal and Ronax were taking deposits when we first published this story.
They were only making 46 of the machines, in tribute to Valentino Rossi I can only assume, with a 30 per cent deposit required to place an order. The price? Around $100,000 Euros, not including tax. So yes, this is a bike that is reserved for the wealthy or those willing to sacrifice part of a house for one!Ronax had been developing two-stroke engines for many years and this exclusive machine has been developed using their vast experience racing. Looking at the Ronax 500, there is no denying it resembles the last generation Honda NSR500 – not a bad thing.
The bodywork is 100 per cent lightweight, extra strong hand made carbon-fibre with the tail unit a single self-supporting sub-frame in itself. The fuel tank is stunning and also carbon-fibre. There are no compromises when it comes to weight saving and performance on this bike…The frame is handmade and of lightweight alloy with fully adjustable steering head and swingarm pivot point and has that fantastic beefy 1990s 500 GP look around the main spars and the steering head stock.
Running gear is all top end, as you would expect for a motorcycle worthy of the true 500 grand prix tag. Ohlins 43mm FGR T208 inverted forks, TTX rear shock, forged alloy wheels and ultra expensive forged Brembo monoblock radial-mount GP4-RR calipers with Brembo 320mm rotors and a full Brembo GP spec set-up at the back also. The triple-clamps are stunning billet alloy CNC units, as are the rearsets.
Bore and stroke is 54 x 54.5mm, the same as the YZR and NSR, while the Ronax uses twin counter-rotating crankshafts supported inside CNC billet alloy crankcases…
There are plenty of gorgeous GP handmade alloy parts to drool over. The front dash/fairing mainstay for a start is an absolute work of art. Even small details like the various alloy brackets and the upper fairing supports look very trick and lightweight, making this a true grand prix motorcycle. At 145kg dry it is certainly light by any standards… The airbox itself is incredible, taking in a tuned ram-air system and following the contours of the front of the bike around the stunning, huge handmade dual radiators. Really, this is pure bike porn itself…
The engine is the heart of this beast and is an extremely high tech two-stroke engine. For a start, it is fuel injected, technology that was just not up to scratch back when 500s were the premier class. The EFI is a lot more compact than carburetors, allowing a narrow 80-degree V-angle (NSRs were 112-degree and YZRs 70-degree).
Bore and stroke is 54 x 54.5mm, the same as the YZR and NSR, while the Ronax uses twin counter-rotating crankshafts supported inside CNC billet alloy crankcases that also house a cassette-style gearbox and a wet multi-plate clutch to make the bike more useable on the road.
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Ronax are claiming 160-rear-wheel-horsepower at 11,500rpm for the bike, which is incredible! Amazingly, the bike even has electric start… The exhaust system is steel according to the specifications rather than titanium, however the mufflers are carbon-fibre. There are two riding maps – Rain and Sport.
SPECIFICATIONS: Ronax 500
500cc liquid-cooled fuel-injected 80-degree V4 two-stroke, twin counter-rotating billet crankshafts, billet CNC machined crankcases, cassette-style six-speed close-ratio gearbox with wet multi-plate clutch
CHASSIS & BODYWORK
Alloy frame with adjustable steering-head and swingarm pivot points, alloy handmade swingarm, CNC machined billet triple-clamps and rearsets, Ohlins TTX shock, Ohlins FGRT208 forks, Brembo GP4-RR brake calipers, 320mm floating rotors, forged alloy wheels, carbon-fibre bodywork and fuel tank.
RONAX 500 GALLERY
Rating | Ronax 500 V4 | Two-Stroke Tuesday