Ready to go!

Sheene’s 76 ti­tle-win­ning bike will ride again

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Jor­dan Gib­bons SE­NIOR RE­PORTER

There are few bikes that draw peo­ple in from ev­ery cor­ner of the mo­tor­cy­cling world but Barry Sheene’s 1976 World Cham­pi­onship­win­ning race bike is one of them. Over the last six weeks, Mar­tyn Og­borne and Nigel Everett have been painstak­ingly restor­ing the bike and this is the re­sult: a race-ready 40-yearold ma­chine that makes grown men go weak at the knees.

Ex­haus­tive restora­tion

There are some parts of the bike that are true ge­nius, such as the ex­hausts. They look brand new but in fact they are the orig­i­nals, just mas­ter­fully re­stored, a trick that Everett learned dur­ing his time as a Suzuki race me­chanic.

“The boys used to ask for new ex­hausts all the time,” says Everett. “But there was no money for them, so we used to blast them and go back over the welds with a torch to put the heat marks back in. It’s the same as we’ve done here and un­less you knew oth­er­wise you’d think they were brand new.”

De­spite the bike look­ing al­most new, very lit­tle of it was re­placed. Lots of rub­ber parts were swapped be­cause they had hard­ened. A few parts, such as the fork ad­justers, had to be re­placed be­cause they had been dam­aged over the course of the bike’s life. The real piece de re­sis­tance are the new footrest rub­bers, which Everett has had made as the orig­i­nals are long out of pro­duc­tion. On the whole, how­ever, the bike didn’t put up much of a fight.

“No big sur­prises re­ally. The pis­tons were in good shape but the wa­ter­ways had to be welded as they were cor­roded. We changed the crank­shaft oil seals as they had gone hard and if you don’t change them they suck the gear­box oil in.

“The forks were a bit of a pain. In­stead of a cir­clip they used this threaded in­sert but it was so tight to get out that I had to make a spe­cial tool.”

See­ing the bike in all its glory like this also al­lows you to ap­pre­ci­ate some of the finer de­tails, such as the unique

wooden bar-end plugs be­cause wood was both cheap and light.

What’s next?

The bike will be tour­ing the UK mak­ing ap­pear­ances at var­i­ous fes­ti­vals, so you can see it for your­self. As for lis­ten­ing to the steady chat­ter of that 500cc block, Fred­die Sheene will be rid­ing the bike dur­ing the Sheene Fes­ti­val at Oliver’s Mount (July 22-23) – for more info and tick­ets visit oliv­ersmoun­trac­ing.com

‘We used to blast them back and go back over the welds with a torch to put the heat marks back in’

NIGEL EVERETT

eight bikes in the scheme and it is steadily ex­pand­ing. For more info visit bikes.suzuki.co.uk mon­ethi­sis­the­viewthatwill­greet­fred­dieshee­neash­erideshis­dad’s1976bikey­oudon’tsee­many­wood­en­partsin­mo­togp…it­wasal­laboutweigh­tandy

Everett and Og­borne’s labour of love

It’s im­pres­sive how many orig­i­nal parts have been brought back to life Mak­ing the ex­haust look new was an old trick for the team You can see the bike in ac­tion at Oliver’s Mount in July

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