Party time at Spa-Francorchamps: part 1

Regular visitors of the Bikers' Classics have known for a long time that it's party time in the first weekend of July at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Suzuki RG500 and that surely is an extra reason to party hard. This 12th edition of the Bikers' Classics marks by no means a dirty dozen. There is an unprecedented line-up in the Sidecar Parade, there's the 4 Hours of Spa Classic and lots more. Any questions?

YES, A FEW. HOW MANY RGs WILL BE SMOKING UP THE RADAILLON?
Honestly, at the moment that is still unclear. Thanks to the hard work that the 'connaisseurs' of the Amicale Spirit of Speed are putting in, names and bikes are still being added to the list. You can be sure that it will be dozens of RGs. Brit Steve Wheatman is one proud owner of the world's biggest private collection of Suzuki racing bikes and thankfully he will be joining this year's party again. He will be bringing along some of his two-wheeled treasures for men like Mick Grant, Steve Parrish, Tepi Länsivuori and Wil Hartog. And more. 'Suzuki' Steve is bringing fifteen bikes. Yes, fifteen!

FIFTEEN? GO ON, NAME US A FEW...
A few, well... Okay. There's the Suzuki XR14 that Barry Sheene won the 1975 Dutch TT on. That was the first Grand Prix win for an RG rider. Pretty historic! Then there's the XR27 that Sheene rode during his unforgettable battle with Kenny Roberts in the 1979 Silverstone Grand Prix.... The XR34 that Randy Mamola won the 1980 Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder on... A rare Daryl Beattie XR86… Nobu Aoki's XR88... And what about Kevin Schwantz's 1994 Lucky Strike XR84. His former teammate Didier de Radiguès will be riding the bike. But there's more exotic stuff. Jack Middelburg was the last privateer to win a Grand Prix and his 1981 bike is on display. As is a very exclusive HB Suzuki TGA1-500 that Roberto Gallina and Massimo Tamburini built. The bike was not successful but with Tamburini at the helm, it is a true beauty. You can see and hear it at Spa-Francorchamps.

Copyright: Jan & Hetty Burgers