The legacy of Barry Sheene, the legendary British Grand Prix World Champion, has been restored and ready to race. Thanks to Suzuki, Sheene's 1976 XR14 RG500 is back in its former glory. This very motorcycle propelled Sheene to win his first world championship title in 1976.
Martyn Ogborne and Nigel Everett worked hard and long for six weeks to breathe life into the 40-year-old machine, and now it is up and running. Ogborne was Sheene’s mechanic during his championship-winning seasons and Everett worked on the factory version of the RG500 that dominated Grand Prix racing carried Sheene to four victories during the 1976 season.
Suzuki has released the second video following the restoration of Barry Sheene’s 1976 world championship-winning XR14, which documents the journey through to the moment the iconic machine was started for the first time. Part one of the restoration can be viewed here.
To mark the 40th anniversary of Sheene's first world title, the motorcycle was flown to the UK last year. Following its restoration, which was made possible by Suzuki’s Vintage Parts Programme and the Sheene family – to whom the machine still belongs – the bike will now appear at a number of events this year, including the Sheene Festival at Oliver’s Mount, the Donington Park Classic Motorcycle Show, and the British Grand Prix in August.
Born in London in 1950, Barry Sheene's first GP race was in the 125 cc class in the 1970 Spanish round. His first victory came in the following year and his last win came in the 1981 Swedish GP in the 500 cc class. He won the World Championship in 1976 and 1977 in the 500 cc category. He passed away in 2003 after suffering from cancer. Barry Sheene remained the last world champion from Britain in 1977 until recently when Danny Kent won the world title in 2015.