These Barry Sheene Suzuki race bikes are to be restored… live!

More of Barry Sheene's iconic Suzuki race bikes will get the full restoration treatment at the upcoming Motorcycle Live show in London

Barry Sheene Suzuki

Visitors to November’s Motorcycle Live event are to be treated with an opportunity to watch three iconic Suzukis raced by the legendary Barry Sheene undergo a full restoration and be placed on display

Winging their way over from Sheene’s family home in Australia, Suzuki GB recently took delivery of the precious cargo ahead of the show.

They are a 1984 Harris-framed XR45 RG500 in DAF Trucks livery – his last Grand Prix bike – a 1978 XR27 RG500 and a special XR23A 652cc big bore RG500, which raced in the Trans Atlantic series and the F1 Championship in 1979.

Set to be updated and refurbished by Suzuki’s Vintage Parts Programme, the XR45 and XR23A will get the gold standard in front of an audience during the show, while the XR27 joins the already restored Suzuki XR14s that took Barry Sheene to the 1976 and 1977 World Championship titles

“This is another special moment for us,” said Suzuki GB aftersales marketing coordinator, Tim Davies. 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. 

“And 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.”