Two more of Barry Sheene’s Suzukis will be restored by factory technicians at Motorcycle Live this year.
Sheene’s last Grand Prix bike – a DAF Trucks-sponsored 1984 Harris-framed XR45 RG500 - and a special XR23A 652cc big bore RG500 - raced in the Trans Atlantic series and F1 Championship in 1979 - will be meticuously taken to bits and put back together over the show’s duration.
There will also be a 1978 XR27 RG500 on display too, alongside Sheene’s two championship-winning XR14s, both of which were also restored thanks to the Vintage Parts Programme in 2017.
“This is another special moment for us. These bikes haven’t been back in the UK since Barry and his family emigrated to Australia, so it’s quite something to get them out of the crates and see them here again,” said Suzuki GB aftersales marketing coordinator Tim Davies.
But it’s going to be even more of a special occasion when they live again, thanks to the restoration process which will be carried out by former ‘70s and ‘80s Grand Prix technician Nigel Everett and former mechanic for Barry Sheene, Martyn Ogborne.
“And it’s a great opportunity for fans to again see, hear, and smell them as they would have existed at the time. We can’t wait.”
Launched in 2013, Suzuki’s Vintage Parts Programme exists to help owners of older Suzukis keep their machines maintained or help with restoration projects, with a host of parts available from cylinders, pistons, and conrods, to a range of bearings and seals, and everything in between.