Suzuki has released this video of its latest Barry Sheene restoration project, with two more of the former champion’s RG500s returned to their former glory at Motorcycle Live 2019.
Nigel Everett and Martyn Ogborne, themselves ex-Grand Prix technicians, worked in conjunction with Suzuki’s Vintage Parts Programme to rebuild the last 500 Sheene raced for Suzuki in Grand Prix – the 1984 XR45, recognisable for its DAF sponsorship – and a special XR23A from 1979, which was a big bore RG500 raced in the Trans Atlantic series and Formula 750 Championship.
The bikes were stripped and, where required, repaired or refurbished, before being reassembled on the Suzuki stand at Motorcycle Live, where visitors could see Everett and Ogborne plying their trade before starting the bikes up over the final weekend.
Suzuki GB aftersales coordinator, Tim Davies, said: “We were blown away by the reception and feedback this restoration again received at Motorcycle Live, and it was really humbling to hear people’s stories of meeting and watching Sheene race. With these rebuilds and the additional Sheene bikes on display – including the refurbished 1976 and 1977 title-winning XR14s – it really was a great celebration of, arguably, Britain’s favourite motorcycle racer.
“These rebuilds are only possible thanks to the Vintage Parts Programme and the support it receives from owners of older Suzukis that want to keep them running, keep them alive, and looking their best. It enables us to undertake projects like this and we’re already plotting the next one.”