Suzuki to restore Barry Sheene race bikes at Motorcycle Live

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Suzuki GB have taken delivery of three iconic Barry Sheene race bikes, ready to be restored at the 2019 Motorcycle Live trade show.

The bikes in question consist of Sheene’s final grand prix bike; a 1984 DAF Trucks-sponsored, Harris-framed XR45 RG500, alongside a 1978 XR27 RG500 and a special XR23A 652cc big bore RG500, raced in the 1979 Trans-Atlantic and F1 Championships.

Taking place at Birmingham’s NEC between Saturday, November 16 and Sunday, November 24, all three machines have been shipped from the family home in Australia, with the XR45 and XR23A being refurbished in conjunction with Suzuki’s Vintage Parts scheme.

Both bikes will be fired up at the show, with the X27 being displayed alongside Sheene’s 1976 and ’77 world championship-winning XR14 Suzukis, which were both restored through the same parts program in 2017.  

In a statement, Suzuki GB aftersales marketing coordinator, Tim Davies, said: “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.

“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,” he added.

“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.”

You can find the Suzuki display at Motorcycle Live on stand 4D20.

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Dan Sutherland

By Dan Sutherland

Senior Writer (motorcycling), sportsbike nut, currently riding a FireBlade