Friday, 30 January 2009
Ex-Roberts XS650 for sale in UK
Thanks to Steve H for point it out on eBay. Seems to be up for £23,500, but then says make an offer. Be our guest. This is from the advert... McQ, your thoughts, please.
'Thank you for looking at the famous and legendary Ex-Kenny Roberts (senior!) Yamaha Flattracker. If you are of a certain age, you might recall the Classic Motorcycle Mechanics magazine featured this bike as a series of rebuild articles, over several years, in the late 90’s. When they’d finished the bike (of which more later), Bob Berry, the then editor, sold it to me.
The history of the machine is very well documented, but in essence, this is the story:
Roberts was already world 500cc Grand Prix champion in 1978 when he agreed to take part in a ‘demonstration race’ with Dave Aldana, against some British speedway riders, at Haldon Raceway, in Exeter. This event was sponsored by Bulmers Cider. His bike was basically a works Yamaha flattracker, built by the legendary Sheldon( Shell) Thuet. Thuet was, and possibly still is, responsible for some of the greatest oval racers ever made, cutting his teeth on Enfields and Indians. Roberts employed him to personally look after his bikes when he raced for the US #1 plate, which of course he won. Although no longer racing flat track, due to his GP commitments, Roberts took everything very seriously and instructed Thuet to bring with him a competitive machine and to fly it over for the races.
The races are well recorded and I have a copy of the report in Motor Cycle News, at the time. Roberts lost, and had the ar*e over the bike’s performance, he has since told me!'