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'Specials' in this instance does not refer to the one off, personal creations that so many owners have built but rather to those small, limited production runs of T/GT500's made to fit a specific marketing opportunity.
500/Five Short Wheelbase Prototype
Not a 'special' in the sense of it being a limited production model, but special as it was the first.
- A short wheelbase of 52.7 inches and therefore also a shorter seat, shorter rear grab rail and frame extension for the rear shoke mounts.
- Note: I have found four different lengths of wheelbase for the production models: 55.7 inches per the letter from Suzuki at this link, 56.1 inches per the T500 MK I owners manual, 57.2 inches per the MK II service manual, and finally 57.3 inches per the 'K' owners manual. The only thing for certain is that the pre-production model was at least 3 inches shorter than any of the production models.
- Cross head screws for the fender stays (changed to riveted for production versions)
- Mufflers are 'cut' verticlly at the rear, and the divot for the lower shock bolt is further forward
- Black instrument cases and fork ears, although painted fork ears appear in some photos.
- Chromed rear shocks, although painted ones also appear in some photos.
- Passenger footrest bolted to frame, and not the swing arm.
- Examples include both gold and red versions
- The ignition leads come from the front to the plugs (so coils point forwards) - true till the introduction of the 'A'.