Own a Niall Mackenzie Suzuki GP Replica for as Little as £14,000

A Suzuki GSX-R750 is set to be auctioned in April, dressed in a replica livery of the Heron Suzuki team that Niall Mackenzie made his 500cc debut with

Suzuki GSX-R750 Skoal Bandit. - Iconic Auctioneers

Only 50 Suzuki GSX-R750s were built in Skoal Bandit colours, as a replica of Suzuki’s Grand Prix bikes of the day, and one of them is going up for auction.

Ducati’s recent racing successes have led it to create a number of special edition motorcycles with replicas of the liveries used by some of its riders. After 2023, five new editions were launched, tributing Marco Bezzecchi, Jorge Martin, and Francesco Bagnaia from MotoGP, Alvaro Bautista from WorldSBK, and Nicolo Bulega from WorldSSP.

But Ducati’s latest collection is hardly the first case of race replica paint jobs being applied to production bikes - back in 1986, Suzuki was one of the first to do it.

The bike of choice (or, one of them) was the Suzuki GSX-R750, and the paint was the Skoal Bandit livery of that year’s Heron Suzuki Grand Prix team.

It was a historic year for Suzuki because it marked the 10th anniversary of Barry Sheene’s first 500cc title with the brand, and 10 years later it would welcome another Brit into its ranks, this time in the form of Niall Mackenzie.

The Scot stepped into the Skoal Bandit-sponsored Heron Suzuki team that year from the ninth round, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, in place of the Australian Paul Lewis, who had scored a best result of 10th place in the first eight rounds of the season and crashed in practice for the Silverstone race which meant he didn’t start. Mackenzie made an immediate impact, finishing seventh on his 500cc debut in Silverstone, before repeating that result at the next race in Sweden, and finally ending the season with an eighth place at the final round in San Marino.

In 1986, Suzuki built 100 motorcycles with replica Skoal Bandit Heron Suzuki liveries. 50 of them were RG 500s, and the other 50 were GSX-R750s, one of which is pictured here and is set to be auctioned at the Shuttleworth Spring Motorcycle Sale on 7 April with a guide price of £14,000-£16,000.

The bike was registered new on 21 June 1986 by the Worcester-based Suzuki dealer, John Skellern Motorcycles. Paperwork that comes with the bike includes email verification from Chris Skellern that the bike was originally sold through John Skellern Motorcycles.

It comes with its original toolkit, two original keys, its original seat (although it is fitted with a replacement seat), and with 11,512 miles on the odometer.

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