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Photos: Barry Sheene Festival of Speed


Posted on April 15, 2011 by Andrew in Classic, Other, Racer. 6 comments

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Barry Sheene, in case you were born yesterday or have spent all your life in a Shaker community, is a World Champion Grand Prix motorcycle road racer. Yes yes, I know. Sure, he was a Pommie; but don’t let that put you off. He was sensible enough to move to Australia in the late 80s and we accepted him with open arms – knowing full well that here was a man that was a legend in his own lifetime. Throughout most of the 70s and the first half of the 80s, Sheene reigned supreme as a Grand Prix master par excellence, challenged only by the American Kenny Roberts. Indeed, their battle at the 1979 British Grand Prix is the stuff of legends and is oft-sited as one of the best motorcycle races of modern times.

Less well known is his invention of the world’s first back protector out of used visors; an idea which he gave (!) to Dianese, and which has obviously developed into the units many of us use today. He was also a great proponent of historic motorcycle racing. Which leads us conveniently to the aforementioned festival. As the organisers put it, “Barry Sheene was the epitome of a modern sports superstar, attracting fame, the media and public attention. Except that Barry had that larrikin edge that made him so much more interesting and fun than some of our more modern sanitised sports heroes. Barry was something more, he was funny, brave and above all else unaffected and modest. We are dedicated to running this race meeting as a memorial to what one special person means to all of us motorcyclists: Barry was a friendly, free spirited bike racer and rider. He is a great example to us all.” Of course Pipeburn was there, trusty Nikon in hand. And my God, it was bloody brilliant – hopefully these meagre photos will convey a little of the event. Drink ’em in, guys – drink them in.

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  • Looks like there was some nice things on show. Its a pitty it was not well advertised, I heard about it after it has happened from some friends, had I known about it I'd have made the time to visit.

  • Emaychee

    nice photos skip. us poms are right proud. 😉

    maybe see you at the next one?

  • jack

    i always hear about these sorts of things after they happen and all the great photos are uploaded to the internet. that triumph tank is pretty nice, and the photos are great!

    on a sort of related note, the broadford bike bonanza is on here in victoria on the easter break, should be good as always.

  • Andrew

    If any of you guys feel comfortable taking shots of bikes at shows (or wherever) and would like to have them shown on Pipeburn, feel free to send us a few examples. If they are up to my standard (i.e. just barely better than a backward four year old with bad eyesight) then we'd be more than happy to feature them. Go for it.

  • Paddy

    Well, on your say-so Andrew I just watched the 79 British Grand Prix on youtube. Not to be a sourpuss but I don't know what those folks who say it was a great race were watching. I thought it was only good. Not great. Kinda xpected a barnburner with the lead being constantly swapped but alas it was anti-climactic IMHO.

    On a happy note, I absolutely love listening to Murray Walker doing the voice-over. Brings back many GP memories. For example the 1979 French Grand Prix. (Cars this time. Sacralidge I know) Watch the last few laps and see the best hardass racing I've ever seen!!!

    Incredible stuff!

  • Ratchop

    Love those bikes. Id put tail lights on them and race the phuck out of em around town.