Roads: Mick Grant's Heron Suzuki XR69 set to be auctioned

Mick Grant's Heron Suzuki XR69
Mick Grant's Heron Suzuki XR69

Road racing fans will have the opportunity to bid on Mick Grant’s North West 200-winning Heron Suzuki XR69 later this month.

The original and period-correct factory Suzuki XR69 motorcycle will go to auction on June 20 and comes with a guide price of £95,000 – £110,000. Historians believe this example is one of just three XR69s known to still exist and the actual machine on which Grant secured his 1982 North West 200 victory.

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Grant was presented with this bike as a gift from Suzuki when he retired from competitive racing in 1985. The bike is exactly as he received it, wearing its Heron Suzuki works racing colours and Mick’s number 10 racing roundel.

Since receiving the XR69, Grant has demonstrated it at Spa and won a race on it in South Africa Classic TT. The seven-time Isle of Man TT winner and is selling it due to lack of use. Most recently it has been a major attraction at the motorcycle museum on the Isle of Man.

Grant believes that there’s only a handful of people who have ridden his bike including himself and Alan Cathcart. “This XR69 is still a lovely machine and has been well maintained to enable me to continue to enjoy it on track,” Grant said. “Every nut, bolt and washer is as it was in 1985, meaning it is highly original. That’s very rare for a race ‘bike that usually end up evolving over time, losing their special parts and patina.

“It still feels as fresh as when I was racing it. On this bike I had lap records and second places in the Isle of Man. I won the North West 200 on it, set the lap record Donington Park and came second in the Macau GP. A lot of great memories but it’s time for someone else to enjoy it.”

This factory XR69 still wears its period and original Heron Suzuki livery, flecked with stone chips and light scuffs from its successful and documented on track career. Unusually for a racing machine, it remains exactly as it last raced and retains its dry clutch, rare triple barrel magnesium carburettors, hand-finished billet forks and twin spark plugs.

The bike also keeps all its original sponsors’ logos including Team Heron Suzuki, Shell Oil, Champion, Dunlop and Sonic Intercoms.

Grant, who also secured three Grand Prix victories in the mid-1970s, will supply a small cache of spares he has collected for the machine and may sign the tanks and include a set of his leathers if the expected figure in the region of £90,000 is achieved.

The auction for Grant’s XR69 gets underway on June 20 and there will be no buyers fees involved for the winner.