To those familiar with this era of racing, Suzuki’s XR69 needs little introduction. To those not, let me explain. Debuting in 1980, it immediately made a mark on the road and circuit racing scenes, surpassing even Honda’s late, great CB900. Its 130PS four-stroke, four-cylinder, air-cooled engine was derived from the road-going GS1000, and sat inside a steel tube frame, with GP spec rear suspension and forks. Nowadays, XR69s in any spec are as rare as hen’s teeth, and a replica of a Mick Grant model is already listed online for a not-insignificant £28,500. This one owner bike is expected to sell for more than three times that, and if the estimated price of £90,000 is achieved, Mick Grant may even sign the tanks and include a set of his leathers, alongside the small cache of spares he has collected for the machine over the years.
“This XR69 is still a lovely machine and has been well maintained to enable me to continue to enjoy it on track,” Grant commented. “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. A lot of great memories but it’s time for someone else to enjoy it.”