A Matchless Sheene

Blazer, tie and a canny smile: that must be wor Baz, here seen aboard a stunning Matchless at the Goodwood classic meet; his last visit there. Now there is a Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy race held there every year where fast paced Matchlesses go head to head with Nortons, AJS’s, Triumph and Beezers. 


2002 was his last race, where, aboard a beautiful Manx Norton bedecked with his crossed seven he saw a victory amidst peers and fans alike: truly a great in the world of motorcycling.


Barry Sheene 11 September 1950 – 10 March 2003


5 Comments to “A Matchless Sheene”

  1. I saw Sheene ride at the Isle of Man in 1977, a simply bloody amazing rider and all round nice guy….

  2. David son,
    Nice photo’s and very evocative.. a fine rider tho’ not I think a great one.
    Talents more given to self promotion, at which same he was a GENIUS, than racing per se. Under the continual, sustained pressure from that damn Yank.. Roberts.. he psyched himself out [IMO] and wilted. Roberts clearly had the “Indian Eye” on him..
    Bugger eh..
    He was tremendous fun tho’ and here at home there have been many articles recording this 10th anniversary year of his death.
    I wouldn’t dare tell you on here what Phil Read told me.. some f**cker would come after me with an axe.. or a writ ! Hey ho..
    Remind me and I’ll tell you when we have that pint..
    His swansong at Goodwood was more of that promotional genius.. a race to remember me by.. and people do. It’s lovely.
    What was more lovely, for me, was that he got to know the magical Fred Walmsley, who provided his race bikes for his vintage rides. Freddie always says that Barry was a lovely guy to work with and although Barry was dubious at the start.. he’d rubbished singles for years.. he was soon away with Fred’s bikes. And winning.
    If you don’t know, the little guy in the last photo, wearing the white overalls and the beret.. is the genius.. Fred Walmsley.
    On which subject, Son.. I sent you a long text t’other day on the Fall and Fall of the AMC empire and the sale of our best beloved Matchless.. to furriners..!
    I got no response from you.. at which I was greatly disappointed AND for days on end, I was “awaiting approval” or somesuch..
    It was I .. Moi ! Your Cumbrian buddy.. Billbothebear. “Awaiting approval” heaven help us.. it this what we’ve come to..
    And I mistakenly binned the text [yours] whilst awaiting approval and can’t get the bugger back.
    Bugger..! Again..
    Regards ever

    • Bill, I did see your Matchless response, apologies for slipping the approve! I have a new phone… I post the blog almost entirely from one of these fangled smart phones! Wonderful stuff this technology! As always thank you for your further insights in to some of my subjects; especially when it concerns some of the ‘actors’ in the recent history of the British scene. Love your tales from the horses mouth so to speak. I think you’re correct on Baz: a showman, likeable chap, and racer, probably in that order. Somewhat like James Hunt… But I’d rather watch that sort of racer than a Schumacher or Lorenzo any day. Still winter here, front-end project still underway; my new triple tree was sent off to be powder coated yesterday, once that comes back then it’s just assembly. I’ll hold you to that pint someday pal! Dave

  3. David son,
    Thank you for the above.. how very kind [as we say in Cumberland. ]
    As you know full well, we may get cold snaps, and the last few days have been bitter, BUT.. in no way do they even begin to compare with what you’se endure..
    Wouldn’t do for me.. as a good Viking/Saxon northerner.. I totally can’t deal with the cold. Yikes !
    Are you, being in Chicago, in the american “Snow Belt”, or, do you’se escape the worst of that to some degree..?
    As I understand it, the worst of the winter weather in the northern US, sort of follows the US/Canadian border line.. on which, Chicago is surely sited..? or not far from.. do let me know.
    However, great excitement here.. it’s Cheltenham Gold Cup week.. you remember.. National Hunt racing over hurdles. 250k Anglo’s and Irish will attend for the 4 days of the event. As I write now, my head is turned to watch the tv, at the 2nd race of the 1st day.
    Must go.. toooooo exciting.
    More to write and will do on e-mail, son.
    Best regards ever

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