Rare chance to own Mick Grant's Isle of Man TT and North West 200 Suzuki XR69 Superbike
Motorcycle fans have a rare opportunity to own an ex-works 1982 Heron Suzuki XR69 raced by seven-time Isle of Man TT winner Mick Grant.
Yorkshireman Grant won on the machine in the Superbike class at the 1982 North West 200 in Northern Ireland and also put the machine on the podium at the TT and claimed a runner-up result at the Macau Grand Prix.
The bike is, according to Grant, one of only six genuine 130bhp XR69s produced and today, historians believe this example is one of just three known to still exist. It is the same machine that featured in the 1982 Shell film about the TT: ‘You’re on Your Own - From Bray to Governor’s’.
Retaining every magnesium or titanium ‘nut, bolt and washer’ since its handover from an appreciative Suzuki to Grant following his retirement in 1985, this historic racing machine is being auctioned by Car & Classic, ending on June 26.
The Suzuki XR69 made an immediate impact in both road racing and circuits when it debuted in 1980, beating the once mighty Honda CB900s. This factory machine, first ridden by Grant in ’82, still features its period and original Heron Suzuki livery, flecked with stone chips and light scuffs from its successful and documented on-track career.
Since receiving the XR69 from Suzuki, Grant has completed demonstration laps on the bike at Spa in Belgium and even won a race on it in the South Africa Classic TT. Most recently it has been a major attraction at the motorcycle museum on the Isle of Man.
Grant believes that there’s only a handful of people who have ridden his bike including himself and Alan Cathcart.
“This XR69 is still a lovely machine and has been well maintained to enable me to continue to enjoy it on track,” he said.
“Every nut, bolt and washer is as it was in 1985, meaning it is highly original. That’s very rare for a race bike that usually end up evolving over time, losing their special parts and patina.
“It still feels as fresh as when I was racing it. On this bike I had lap records and second places in the Isle of Man. I won the North West 200 on it, set the lap record Donington Park and came second in the Macau GP,” he added.
“A lot of great memories but it’s time for someone else to enjoy it,” added Grant, who said the XR69 was, alongside the KR750 Kawasaki, one of his favourite machines.
Grant will also supply a small cache of spares he has collected for the machine and may be tempted to sign the tanks and include a set of his leathers if the expected selling price in the region of £90,000 is achieved.
Chris Pollitt, head of editorial at Car & Classic, said: “This is an incredible machine and we are so proud to offer such a piece of history owned by one of the most likable and respected people in the world of motorbikes.
“Hugely original and with unquestionable providence, we are sure that demand will be strong to acquire this very, very special motorcycle.”
The auction can be accessed online at www.carandclassic.co.uk/auctions/1982-suzuki-xr69-tt-genuine-works-racer-G4m6J8* A message from the Editor:
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