Barry Sheene was a Grand Prix motorcycle racing legend of the 1970s and early 80s, until the aftermath of one of several major crashes led to him retiring in 1984. His frequent on-track battles with Kenny Roberts were among the closest in racing history, leading them to frequently swap places at the top of the standings. In 1982, Sheene gave an interview for the little-known video magazine Bike Rider, with the most 80s-tastic power rock theme song ever. This rare interview, shot on grainy Super-8 film, recently popped up on YouTube thanks to one of its producers, Dave Knowles.
Sheene comes across as a very down-to-earth guy in the interview, rather like Tim Watson's experience meeting him (and my own experience with Travis Pastrana). This also comes across when he talks about how he relates to his fans. He discusses a wide variety of topics, starting with his humble beginnings where he had to steal some diesel fuel to get himself to the 1971 Munich Grand Prix. He also talks about how he learns race tracks, and how much he loved racing against Kenny Roberts. Sheene had the utmost respect for his toughest competitor. Sheene says he would ride just a quarter inch away from Roberts at 160 mph with complete trust that they wouldn't take each other out.
Although Sheene is known for having survived some massive crashes, he explains why he believes that only two of them were truly his own fault. Other topics include how Sheene hates racing in the rain and how he rides his own ride without worrying so much about his finishing position in each race. His philosophy is that whoever keeps their bike upright the most, rather than being the fastest at times and crashing out other times, earns the most points and wins the championship. Sheene should know, having won it in 1976 and 1977.
This is a unique glimpse of Sheene near his racing prime, before his retirement to Australia in 1984 and premature death from cancer in 2003.