The mid-noughties was a magic time for the British Superbike championship, producing a raft of top-flight motorcycle racers who have since graduated the ranks of World Superbikes and MotoGP, as well as multiple British titles.
One of the biggest teams of the time was the Crescent Suzuki squad who - complete with their iconic light blue Rizla livery - ran riders including: Chris Walker, Tom Sykes, Cal Crutchlow, John Reynolds and Shane 'Shakey' Byrne.
MCN MODEL GUIDES
Arguably two of the best bikes produced in that era are those currently on display at the Devitt MCN Ally Pally show. In the static display is John Reynolds' 2005 GSX-R1000, which he rode the year after winning his third British Superbike title, as well as the 2008 1000, ridden by 2013 World Superbike champion, Tom Sykes.
The 2005 bike is part of the static display, sharing the floor with a plethora of two and four-stroke former racing machines, with the Sykes Suzuki being ridden by road racer, Olie Linsdell, in the sprint races over the show's weekend.
It was Sykes' last year in the series, before graduating to the World Superbike paddock with Yamaha and then Kawasaki. Sykes was involved in a five-way scrap for the championship that year, doing the double at Oulton Park and taking a win at Knockhill. The bike was also raced in the World Superbike series as a wildcard.
Although enjoying winning success in the previous year, the 2005 Reynolds racer was to be his last, after a huge accident at the final round of the season led to the three-time champ hanging up his leathers – not returning to competitive racing until 2018 with the Team Classic Suzuki endurance squad, alongside MCN Senior Road Tester, Michael Neeves.
To find out what the bikes have been getting up to since their domestic championship dominance, MCN spoke to the bikes’ new owner; Chairman of the Brackley Festival of Motorcycling, Dominic Copas, who uses both bikes as his trackday toys.
"The 2008 bike is a fabulous bit of kit and perhaps the ultimate development of the non-electronic superbike," Dominic said "and although it’s got an ECU in it, it is a raw bike and fantastic to ride."
"I have only ridden it at a nadgery circuit, but there is potential there. It’s also been ridden by Trevor Nation this year at the Festival of 1000 Bikes at Mallory Park, alongside the 2005 bike, which he found very impressive.
"The Tom Sykes bike is very interesting because it’s the end of an era of Rizla sponsorship of British Superbikes and after that they moved their support to World Superbikes and ultimately MotoGP. It was the end of that iconic paint scheme, which is a shame really."
If you want to see these bikes and more, then make sure you get to the Devitt MCN Ally Pally Show today. Remember, tickets cost just £10 on the gate after 1pm today.
Find your next two-wheeled companion at MCN Bikes for Sale.