One for the Guzzi lovers out there. Ian B came across this photograph whilst printing some old film stock from his time as an aspiring motor sport photographer in the early eighties. According to the negative folder it was taken at Hullavington airfield at the practice session for a North Gloucester club racing season. It's Ian's story...
"I remember the bike as being purple & loud. A telephone conversation with John at Crossbow Calendars revealed that this was an early version of his body kit with the one piece glass fibre tank & seat unit (later outlawed). He couldn't remember too much detail but did remember that the bike belonged to club racer Steve Bateman who, via email, was happy to take up the story for me:
“Yes we built the Crossbow Guzzi in 1980 onto a standard 850 Le Mans. We had a mechanic working with us Graham...? Sorry, forget his surname, who had worked at Sports Motorcycles in Manchester and he built a Guzzi for Roy Armstrong for the TT and we made loads of mods on the bike.
Firstly fitted 1000 barrels and PR cam, PR close ratio gearbox, lightened flywheel, drilled rocker gear to aid draining from the heads, lightened and polished the rocker arms, fitted Lucas Rita ignition Then I fitted the front end from an MV Agusta that was sitting in the firms barn!
It had two steering dampers and I had a fair bit of success at Brands and the airfield circuits. It was a complete animal but it taught me how to race a bike!"
Steve later went on to considerable success with a Peckett & McNab framed Suzuki (there I've done it again- mentioning the unmentionable on this site) but I wonder where the thundering Guzzi is now?"
Ian's also fired up his own blog at rattlingracing.blogspot