Had the odd debate over the last few decades about designations for TR500s. Decade or more ago had discussion with Ray Battersby about his book Team Suzuki which perpetuated the idea that the watercooled TR500s were all Mk IIIs. His view was the 1968-71 air-cooled TRs were TR500s. The 1972 air-cooled was the TR500 Mk II and the variations on water-cooled TRs were Mk IIIs. This doesn’t bother many people of course but it does complicates things when researching the machines, looking for parts or just reading and writing about them. Anyway to cut a long story short I have unearthed from my archives a tech sheet (attached) which has settled the debate and Ray has agreed he had it wrong. The air-cooled TR500s were just that TR500s. The 1st watercooled model came out in 1973 & is a TR500 MkII, recognisable by rounded water cooled barrels. The TR500 MkIII has squarer barrels and many other modifications and came out in 1974. In 1975 the MKIII frame was modified further. A piece of Suzi T500/TR500 history resolved. Only of interest to someone like me of course! Don’t get me wrong though, Ray’s book is a treasure, I love my copy, great read & is full of great information on Suzuki 2 stroke racing bikes through the 60, 70, & 80s.

Categories: TR500