Additional photos are available here for your perusal.
Having spent his childhood in his parents’ motorcycle dealership, Kevin Schwantz began riding a Bonanza minibike as early as age three. In no time at all, he was competing in youth trials events, after which he moved up to motocross during his teenage years.
Come 1984, Schwantz finally made his start in road racing when he got a test ride for the Yoshimura Suzuki Superbike team at Willow Springs. There, he nearly broke the track record, immediately earning him a starting spot for the following year. During the 1987 season, Kevin Schwantz battled Wayne Rainey in one of the most intense battles in AMA Superbike history.
On and off the track, the two proved fierce rivals — beyond their personal disagreements, they demonstrated markedly different riding styles. Though Rainey was precise and calculated, Schwantz liked to keep things fast and loose (and often dangerous). In fact, because Suzuki’s RGV500 couldn’t keep up with the competition, Schwantz famously developed a strategy for braking extremely late — something he coined as “See God, then brake.” In the 1992 season, Kevin placed 4th overall with two podiums and a win in the Italian round:
That season also provided the iconic moment when Schwantz (and other riders) lost the front end due to oil in the track, and Kevin took it upon himself to wave the appropriate caution flag as the marshall in the corner did not (you can skip to 36:48 for the drama):
The following year, Kevin would win the 500cc World Championship. He retired soon later with 25 Grand Prix races to his name, one more than his rival Rainey and second only to Eddie Lawson in American competition success.
Cosmetic Blemishes: please see the album up top for all known cosmetic blemishes. Here is a selection:
Currently located at our facility in Santa Monica, California (please make an appointment for an inspection), these Schwantz Team Suzuki leathers are offered on a bill of sale only. Have any Schwantz stories or questions about this listing? Let us know in the “Comments” tab!