Barry Sheene Was My Hero

Bikes People

For some reason, Barry Sheene’s cheeky mug popped into my mind some time this morning.

It may have been a Suzuki superbike passing that tweaked my unconscious – or something about the number seven that had the larrikin charm of Barry nudging my mindless noggin.

Barry was bowling about front and centre in the British mediascape back in the mid-late seventies – a time when I was first coming to carnal consciousness – and by carnal I mean everything to do with cars, girls – and of course motorbikes, were becoming more and more important to me.

Around that time the supermarket over the road launched – and there was a Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans Mk 1 on display as some sort of prize draw. Imagine.

...and saucy.
…and saucy.

Anyway – the great man was a typical hero of the era – a hard riding, hard drinking (and smoking) purveyor of trad manly values – representing the Brut 33 tang of English maleness and winning a World Championship along the way.

The Kenny Roberts Vs Barry Sheene battles were the stuff of playground debate. A lot of the older kids who already had their provisionals were riding those Roberts style Yamaha fizzies and so were unhealthily attached to the American’s style.

I didn’t really care who won the races. There was just something endlessly appealing about our Bazzer – he seemed to represent everything a young lad wanted to be.

Who are the heros now?