Tobacco advertising has led to some of the greatest liveries in motorsports, but some countries were quick than others to ban advertising from cigarette companies. One such country was Australia, which stopped allowing such advertising in the early 90s. In response, race teams and advertisers often came up with alternatives that swapped out certain words but tried to keep the same aesthetic. Suzuki’s alternative to the Lucky Strike logo was to keep the red circle but replace the text with “Team Suzuki” when legends like Kevin Schwantz were racing in the 500cc World Championships. The legislation also posed a problem when Suzuki wanted to offered up some production replica bikes – so Suzuki painted 50 VJ22’s in the “Team Suzuki” livery instead for the Australian market. Here’s one of those bikes, which was actually sold new in California.
As an Australian model, this example (VIN: JS1VJ22A8M2100646) is a full-power bike. The seller acquired it in 2011 and partially restored it. In the process he swapped in a MPH dash and installed an Arrow exhaust. He then pickled it for display – but he just had us make it a runner again for the next owner. A nice little bonus is that the tail section has been signed by Kevin Schwantz.
Find this VJ22 for sale in Santa Monica, California with bidding up to $11,000 and the reserve already met here on Iconic Motorbike Auctions.
Disclosure: Bike-urious is a partner in Iconic Motorbike Auctions.