Friday, 29 April 2011

Crossbow Guzzi

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


  1. steve bateman comments on the autosport forum well worth checking out,,

  2. The mechanic who came down from Sports Motorcycles to work at Three Cross was Graham Whitaker. At the time there were three mechanics working for Three Cross, Steve, Graham (spoke rather like George Formby) and myself. I too rode the Guzzbox up the road a couple of times. I was racing a Ducati 900 SS at the time. Also have some pictures of us together at Hullalvington should anyone be interested. The bike belonged to Three Cross who sponsored Steve to an extent. John Wynthrope started up his Crossbow operation from the Three Cross workshop. Remember it all well... Should you wish for photos contact me on:

  3. More on Crossbow Guzzis if you follow the link here