Ex-Barry Sheene race bike to be auctioned this October

The final race-winning bike of two-times 500cc World Champion Barry Sheene will be auctioned by Bonhams in Stafford this October.

FWD Norton 500 FW02. - Bonhams

The motorcycle with which Barry Sheene was victorious for the final time will be auctioned at this year’s Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale. 

Barry Sheene’s final motorcycle race win came on a FWD Manx Norton ‘FW02’ 500 at the 2002 Goodwood Revival. 

Sheene, aboard the Fred Walmsley Development (FWD) 500cc Norton recreation, won the second Lennox Cup race at that year’s Revival, 18 years on from his retirement from Grand Prix racing, where he was 500cc World Champion in 1976 and 1977.

It was Sheene’s third race win on a Walmsley-engineered motorcycle. He won twice earlier in 2002 at Donington. Between those victories and his final one at Goodwood, Sheene was diagnosed with cancer, to which he succumbed the following March. Following his death, the Lennox Cup was renamed the Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy.

The existence of the bike itself is somewhat fortuitous. A late call from Sheene to Walmsley while the latter was at Most in the Czech Republic for the InCA European Classic Series race saw the well-respected engineer and tuner hurry back to the UK overnight in order to get the build completed in time for Goodwood. 

The engine needed replacing, because the original that was fitted to the bike was made of the least-tired components of the two engines Walmsley had fitted to the bike when it was used by John Cronshaw in Most, and deemed “unsatisfactory,” according to Bonhams, to compete at Goodwood. As a result, Walmsley had to dig out a ‘90-bore’ he’d sold to George Cohen, a Norton specialist. 

When it is auctioned in Stafford on 15-16 October, the FWD Manx Norton will feature its original race engine, that used by Cronshaw in the Czech InCA European Classic Series race. The front wheel, forks, controls, gearbox and swinging arm are also not those used by Sheene at the 2002 Revival. 

The sale of the bike also includes a race fairing bearing the name of 1987 500cc World Champion Wayne Gardner and a scrutineering sticker from the 2003 Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy; a seat with a sticker for the 2005 Sheene Run, and an alloy fuel tank. 

The estimate for the bike is £55,000 to £75,000.

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