Britain's great road racing
hero Barry Sheene won his 1975 and 1977
500cc world championships on foreign machines.
But when Bazza returned to the sport decades
later to contest historic bike events, he
rode a newly-made version of the most classic
British racer, the single cylinder Manx
In 2002, Sheene scored two wins on this
Manx at Donington Park in classic support
races for the British round of the MotoGP.
In both events, staged by the international
historic racing organisation INCA, the popular
ex-champion showed his evergreen skills
and courage by beating the cream of Europe's
classic racers. Barry said the victories
meant a lot to him, since he had never won
a British GP race during his original career.
The Norton is one of the fast and light
500cc Manx replicas built by Fred Walmsley.
While mainitaining a sixties appearance,
the Walmsley Manx incorporates modern refinements,
including a belt primary drive that does
not drop oil on the track like the original
chain's drip feed. It has a six-speed Hemmings
gearbox, a Gardner flat-side carburettor
and a cylinder head cast in magnesium alloy.
Thanks to a shortened crankshaft stroke
and modern valve springs, its engine can
be revved harder than the original, producing
more power strokes over a given distance.
Although assembled principally
for Barry to race and displayed just as
it was set up for him, thia FWD Manx also
took other riders to success. John Cronshaw
won two INCA races on it in 2002 and Glen
English rode it in some races on his way
to winning the 2003 FIM world classic series.
Sadly, Barry Sheen succumbed
to cancer in 2003. In that year Barry's
Australian friend Wayne Gardner, a former
500cc world champion, was invited to ride
the FWD Manx at the annual Goodwood Revival
meeting. Appropriately, he won a Barry Sheen
Memorial Trophy race.
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