Motorcycle Live Online Archive: Suzuki UK’s Sheene bike restoration
For Custom, retro and classic day, we’re taking a short hop back in the Motorcycle Live Online Archive to 2019 when Suzuki restored not one – but two – very special bikes on their stand live at Motorcycle Live.
Suzuki UK’s 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.”
Were you there last year? Did you hear the unmistakable sound of the two bikes as they were fired up? Be sure to head over to the Motorcycle Live social channels to tell us about it…
Take a look at the video here…