Motorcycle racing is often defined by the rivalries among riders. Recent rivalries include Rossi vs Biaggi, Schwantz vs Rainey, Fogarty vs Russell. Back in the days of 500cc two strokes, one of the major rivalries was Barry "Bazza" Sheene vs "King" Kenny Roberts.
Roberts famously said the only reason he got out of bed in the morning was to beat Barry Sheene, Sheene felt the same about Roberts and neither was very shy about talking to the press about how they felt. The Sheene vs Roberts rivalry lasted about five years and was highlighted by an epic battle at the 1979 British GP when in the middle of the race Sheene took the lead and then took his hand off the handlebar to give Roberts the finger behind his back.
This particular bike is a Barry Sheene tribute bike, modeled after the Suzuki 500 Gamma he rode in 1984 (which was his last year of top level professional racing). While normally I am not a fan of tribute bikes, beneath the period correct bodywork lies a 1988 Suzuki RG500 which is always a RSBFS favorite. Also, despite looking like a racebike it’s road legal. According to the seller, the bike is completely standard except for the custom paint and some new brake lines.
Is this tribute bike worth the nearly 20,000 USD price? Well we have seen stock Suzuki RG500's go for steadily increasing prices, ranging from a 15000 USD example in canada earlier this year to a Skoal Bandit replica that was bid up to an astonishing 35000 USD. The mileage on this one is still reasonable and the seller indicates a the bike was restored last year after being off the road for a few years. Personaly I think this a fair price for a RG500 and a bargain for any Barry Sheene fan.