Team Classic Suzuki have handed over their latest build, a Suzuki GSF600 Bandit, to be raced in 2019 by last year’s Bandit Challenge winner, James McHardy at Motorcycle Live. Team Classic Suzuki announced the build earlier in 2018 and promised it would go to whoever won the race series.
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The machine was prepared in partnership with Suzuki's Vintage Parts Programme and adheres to the race series’ strict rules that restrict entries to Mk1 and Mk2 bikes and limit modifications to keep the costs low and the racing tight.
McHardy will hope to make 2019 his third title-winning year in a row having also won the series in his first season in 2017. "I’m really looking forward to riding the Team Classic Suzuki Bandit," he said when presented with the bike.
"It looks so well prepared and put together as I knew it would be, and it’s going to be great to run it next season for the team. I won the championship this year and it was my second one."
McHardy comes from a two-wheeled racing background, but not necessarily on the tarmac. "I raced a lot of motocross right into my 20s but didn’t go road racing until 2017 – my dad always raced and wanted to have one last stab at it so we got a couple of Bandits for that year. And I managed to win it at the first go.
"I had a few ups and downs and actually won it at Pembrey with a broken ankle after a crash in practice. It’s a great class and a great club, everyone gets together in the evenings for a barbecue and there’s a real camaraderie."
Team Classic Suzuki enjoyed raiding the Vintage Parts Programme to complete the build which was completed by Nathan Colombi, explained Tim Davies from Suzuki GB.
"It looks fantastic, and it was brilliant to be able to formally hand it over at Motorcycle Live. We’ll be supporting James with a spares package and Motul are kindly supplying an oil package as well. So hopefully he’s got everything he needs to win the title next year and make it a hat-trick."