Category: 1972-1982

Mike Hailwood  in 1979 racing the Dunstall Suzuki GS 1000 in a one off ride at Mallory Park,, finished 10th due to brake problems, 3 Suzuki GS1000  race bikes were delivered from the USA in  Superbike race spec but here in the UK F1 rules allowed  race frames, Other riders included,, Bob Smith, Dudley Cramond, Steve Manship and Barry Sheene.  Steve Parish and Tom Herron should have been the fultime racers but Steve was drafted in the GP squad and Tom was killed at the North West 200 before the season got under way.

Photo copyright  motorcycle weekly/classic achives




The machine offered here for sale was raced by Barry Sheene at the August bank holiday meeting at Oulton Park 1979 .
UK importer heron Suzuki was interested in promoting production -based racing and asked Paul Dunstall to enter a Yoshimura prepared factory
GS1000s Suzuki in TT Formula One events in 1979.
Barry Sheen was the Texaco -sponsored Heron Suzuki teams number one rider in Grand Prix and his dislike of racing heavyweight four strokes was well known , once referring to them as ‘muck spreaders’ Nevertheless Barry acquitted himself with distinction in his one off ride at Oulton Park,
Finishing a close 2nd to Honda mounted Ron Haslam .
Indeed the Suzuki star might have one had he not been balked by a back marker on the final lap
For its first foray into formula 1 racing Suzuki adopted a relatively cautious approach to tuning the GS 1000 s roadster.
The machine was sent from Japan to Pops Yoshimura in California where the engine received special cams , larger inlet and exhaust valves , High compression slipper Pistons, self generating ignition, close ratio gears and a stronger clutch basket , The crankshaft conrods and bottom end being left in stock . Retaining the standard 28 mm carburettors a Formula One requirement. Do you see tuned GS produced around 114 bhp with a wide spread of usable power .
As well as other additions to inside the engine which were a Kawasaki KZ 1000 idler wheel fitted into the cylinder head below the intake cam and an inverted stock GS 750 idler roller was installed into the GS 1000 cylinder head to help keep the cam chain under control when revs were 10,000 RPM plus confirming this is an original yoshimura race tuned F1 engine
Changes to the chassis included a shorter Peckett and mcNabb swinging arm and RG 500 fork yokes .
Period photographs of the Sheene Suzuki racing at Oulton Park show it equipped with only a cockpit fairing , whereas photographs taken later in the season show the type of full fairing that it also wore .
It can also be seen that this machine was equipped with a right foot gearchange as were many of Barry Sheene’s bikes

The Dunstall Suzuki teams regular riders were Steve machin and Bob Smith but Sheene’s 2nd place at Oulton park would be its best result in 1979 .
The Ex-Sheene Suzuki was later sold by Tony Robinson ( Who was involved in the running of the Suzuki Dunstall team ) to Martin Jones of Muswell Hill London then sold it to Mike Ryan of Cheltenham in April 1998 then purchased by Richard Ford in June 1999 , since 2002 the Suzuki has been on display in the Lake land motor museum .
This Suzuki has not been run since being loaned to the museum BUT HAS just recently been recommissioned by Dyna tech and the present owner only requiring new tyres to be able to race this one off classic machine .
Believed the only four -stroke ever raced by the late ex-world champion
This is very rare X factory production racer is now offered with various bills of sale and period press cuttings tracing its history

The Dunstall Suzuki F1 race team came into effect for the 1979 British race season, The bikes came direct from the USA as raced by Wes Cooley, under US race regs they had to use stock frames, however on their arrival in the UK it came to light that this would not be good enough to fight the mighty Honda’s raced by Rocket Ron Haslam.

The day to day running of the team was handled by Tony Robinson or Robinson racing and although many modifaciations were made they were not really successfull.

Tom Herron should have been rider but his untimely death meant this was not possible, so Steve manship and Dudley Crummond were drafted in.

They were also raced by Barry Sheene for one race (finished 2nd to Ron) and Mike Hailwood again for one race..they seemed to be dogged by brake problems thoughout the season.

At the end of the ’79 season they were advertised for sale via Motorcycle News by Suzuki but failed to sell and it is believed Robinson Racing took over.

One bike is now in the Lakeside Motor Museum which also houses the last water speed record boat of Donald Campbell the Bluebird K7 Hydroplane in which he was tragically killed… The Dunstall is the one ridden by Barry Sheene, although i have yet to see any eveidenc eod this since it was for sale many years ago by Strightline Racing. Funny how no one says theirs was raced by Mike Hailwood.

Another Dunstall was racing in the forgotten era series a few years back,, also claimed to be the Sheene one…its current location is unknown..

If you wish to see the Dunstall which was fully restored by George Beale go to ;

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