Suzuki made its international motorcycle racing debut in the Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) race in 1960. To celebrate this the Isle of Man has marked the 50th anniversary of Suzuki’s TT debut with the issue of a commemorative 50-pence coin.
The obverse of the coin bears a profile of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The reverse bears an image of racer Mitsuo Itoh on the Suzuki RM63, the 50cc bike on which he became the first-ever Japanese-born TT winner in 1963.
The Isle of Man TT was first held in 1907 and is the world’s oldest motorcycle road race. Suzuki first competed in 1960. It claimed its first victory in 1962 in the newly created 50cc class and enjoyed a second consecutive year of TT glory with Mitsuo Itoh’s victory in 1963. Itoh is the only Japanese winner in the TT’s 103-year history.
This year’s Isle of Man TT runs from 29 May to 11 June. The Isle of Man’s Manx Museum will have an exhibition marking Suzuki’s 50th year of TT participation from the end of May to the beginning of September.