Sheene’s RG500

Fred­die Sheene’s ul­ti­mate tribute Sammy Miller MBE founded a mu­seum to pre­serve the planet’s two-wheeled his­tory

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week In Mcn -

Son Fred­die rides an icon

The an­nual Barry Sheene Fes­ti­val was held over the week­end at the world-fa­mous Oliver’s Mount road cir­cuit in North York­shire. While many of Bazza’s orig­i­nal race bikes have at­tended over the years, of­ten be­ing pi­loted by fa­mous rid­ers, it’s pretty hard to beat this year’s per­fect storm. Not only was his orig­i­nal 1976 championship-win­ning XR14 RG500 in at­ten­dance, freshly re­stored by Sheene’s orig­i­nal me­chanic Mar­tyn Og­borne, along with restora­tion guru Nigel Everett – but it was rid­den by his son, Fred­die Sheene, along­side Barry’s 1977 team-mate, Steve Par­rish. That’s as close to a real-life time ma­chine ex­pe­ri­ence as you’re ever likely to get.

“I’m a lucky man. I’ve been rid­ing mo­tor­cy­cles since I left school and had a pas­sion for them since I was seven. In the early days, I would ride tri­als in the win­ter and go road rac­ing in the sum­mer. I was for­tu­nate enough to have a suc­cess­ful time with it, too. I won the North-west 200 three times on the trot – that’s when it ran over 200 miles, not like the sprint it is to­day. I also re­mem­ber win­ning the Scot­tish Six Day Trial and the NW200 the week be­fore! Over­all, I won over 1482 tri­als events in 55 years.

“I’m still rac­ing and go­ing on ‘high-speed’ pa­rade laps to­day, but what’s most im­por­tant is my mu­seum, which I started be­cause of my pas­sion for mo­tor­cy­cles, I’ve al­ways loved them. The first bike in there was the Ariel GOV 132 – the most suc­cess­ful tri­als bike in the world. I then started a col­lec­tion and made a lit­tle mu­seum be­hind our work­shop in Gore Road, New Mil­ton, Hamp­shire.

“Since then it’s grown from a pri­vate col­lec­tion to a pub­lic mu­seum with over 400 mo­tor­cy­cles and is one of the pre­mier col­lec­tions in the world. I’m still work­ing in there, too, start­ing at 8am and fin­ish­ing at 5pm, six days a week. Bob Stan­ley and I are the only two work­ing on restor­ing the bikes. We’re do­ers not thinkers and there’s def­i­nitely a lot to do.

“I love the Nor­ton hall the most as it re­minds me of my boy­hood days. And the rac­ing depart­ment, too, with all of the Moto Guzzi bikes. It all gives me so much plea­sure re­ally. It’s a great hon­our and I feel very priv­i­leged to have es­tab­lished the col­lec­tion for ev­ery­one else to ad­mire for years to come.”

‘Over­all, I won 1482 tri­als events over a 55-year pe­riod’

His mu­seum, in New Mil­ton, Hamp­shire, is a des­ti­na­tion well worth the ride

roy­alty Sammy Miller is mo­tor­cy­cle

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