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The Restoration of Barry Sheene's Legendary Bike
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The Restoration of Barry Sheene's Legendary Bike

All fans of the legendary bikers and their powerful vehicles can celebrate – one of the greatest legends of the motorsport, Barry Sheene, is being restored. The restoration works are in progress, and the mechanics, Nigel Everett and Martin Ogborne, want to keep the motorcycle parts as similar to the original as possible.

The Legend

Barry Sheene is one of the most famous and respected racers. During his memorable times in the 1970s, he won the two consecutive world 500cc titles in 1976 and 1977 and also became a European Formula 750 champion in 1973. His overall balance includes 19 wins of world 500cc races. Sheene was named a motorcycling Grand Prix legend by the governing body of the championship in 2001. He passed away in 2003, as 52 years old, after eight months long battle with cancer. He remained the only British racer to win the championship up to 2015 when Danny Kent secured his victory.

Commemoration of the Anniversary

The champion´s old Suzuki which secured him the championships is still owned by the racer´s family and nowadays is undergoing a repair in the UK. The bike was moved back to the country from Australia, where Sheene and his family emigrated in the 1980s. The repairs are made to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 1976 championship, and the bike was moved from Australia where Sheene emigrated in the 1980s. Suzuki company, the original manufacturer of the legendary bike, backs the project. Only with its help, it is possible to get the necessary parts suitable for older models.

The Restoration of the Bike

Nigel Everett and Martyn Ogborne  aim to repair every single part of the bike. The first problem they had to solve was to replace the corroding parts with the new one. There was water left in the system of the bike which led to the huge corroding effect leaving holes in the bike's chassis. The repairers inserted copper tube strengthen by magnesium which add an anticorrosive layer to the material. By the combination of the two metals which do not weld they ensured that the corrosion wouldn´t continue.

The next problems they have to face were the tires. With age, the rubber became completely solid, so it was not possible to remove them with force. Ogborne and Everett put the wheels into a greenhouse, and the scorching sun helped to soften the rubber and made it feasible to replace the tires without the risk of damaging the other parts of the bike. They also have replaced the remaining devices made of rubber such as brakes and forks.

After they made the engine up and running, they have to now focus on the last fixes. It is crucial to check the electronics as it is clear that these parts of the bike are outdated and damaged by water. The constructors will also have to make sure that all the holes in the engine and chassis of the motorcycle are fixed to make it running properly.

The repairers inform about their progress via social networks. They released the first video on May 31 and the second one will follow shortly.

Image credit: Motofire.com

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