Barry Sheene tribute motorcycle

Barry Sheene motorcycle

UPDATE 19 August 2010: Icon has revised the styling of the Sheene. The latest images are on the Icon website.

By guest writer Tom Stewart. Looking for the world’s most powerful and expensive production road bike? Well look no further, because according to the newly formed, Nottinghamshire-based manufacturer Icon Motorcycles, it’s £107,000 tribute to Barry Sheene: the +250bhp Icon Sheene.

First revealed at the recent Goodwood pre-season media day, this arresting machine is British businessman Andrew Morris’ vision, now a running reality, of the ultimate road-going motorbike and a tribute to his boyhood hero. Endorsed by Barry Sheene’s widow Stephanie and by ex-team mate and best mate Steve Parrish, just 52 Icon Sheenes are planned to be built—one for each year of Barry’s life.

When it was put to chief Icon test rider Parrish that £107,000 (US$160,000) was ‘quite a lot’, even for a 200 mph motorcycle, he replied, “If you look closely then you can see the value”. So, let’s look closely. The engine is a hand-built, Garrett turbocharged Suzuki GSX1400 air-cooled lump (because it looks like an engine) with Carrillo rods, Wiseco pistons and other competition-spec internals. 250bhp with 133lb/ft is claimed at the rear wheel, even in lowest (0.4bar) boost mode. This is wrapped in an all-aluminum, purpose-built Spondon tubular frame complemented by an aluminum Fabrication Techniques swing-arm with Bitubo rear suspension and usd forks.

With carbon-fiber race wheels, ISR calipers, discs and levers, hand-laid carbon-fiber bodywork, a handmade aluminum tank, twin hand-crafted aluminum oil coolers, a handmade stainless exhaust, Bosch Motronic engine management (with custom mapping and datalogging), digital instrumentation, keyless starting and F1-spec wiring throughout, this is obviously no bargain basement machine.

The Icon also flaunts detailing to further woo wealthy buyers such as etched and engraved plaques and yokes, a hand-painted 1940s style pin-up girl and Barry Sheene’s lucky no.7 embroidered into the heart-shaped alcantara bum-stop.

So: powerful, fast and expensive it undeniably is. But could this Icon also be a gauche, mildly exploitative, over-priced white elephant, much of which—frame, engine and styling—wouldn’t have been cutting-edge twenty years ago? You decide.

Barry Sheene motorcycle

  • Peter

    what a tragic mess, makes a D-16 RR look like even better value for money….

    how sad.

  • Anders

    What an over-designed mess. That front view is truly horrible.

  • Kozzy

    Uhh…yeah. What they said.

  • Turgut

    It is undoubtedly an icon, as the name suggests, but hardly an icon for taste, sophistication, refinement and style.

    If this ever sells 52 copies, I will have to rethink about quite a lot of things I know for fact.

  • http://www.speedjunkies.gr Astroman

    fairing looks like a Katana Unit on Acid… Good try but i wouldnt pay that much for a Spondon GSX1400 with a turbo….

  • vernon marsh

    250 hp from that air-cooled 4 banger? How long before it melts down? I don’t buy it; even if I could afford it.

  • BryGuy9

    107K GBP =~ 160K USD. For 160Kilobucks, you could buy and insure and fuel, 5 infinitely cooler, Motorimoda CB750’s and go for a long haul trip with 4 friends.

  • http://www.bendpress.com Jenks

    Over-designed is an understatement. This thing is like a Art Center student design on steroids.

  • Peter

    I’ve seen better looking GSXR1100 streetfighters that cost a fraction to build, alright not with as much power but, how much power can you use on real roads?
    The frame, engine and design are things of the past.

  • felix

    what an abomination! this bike has no place amongst the other bikes here.

    covering a bike in stupid gills and a face like a porpoise should be illegal. it beats the Y2K Turbine Superbike on ugliness, and doesn’t even have a turbine.

  • http://www.peterlombardi.com Peter Lombardi

    uhhhhhhh…. i’d build my own with a modern lump for a lot less.

    minus the gills the swingarm is sexy though.
    -peter

  • francois

    Batman called, he wants his broke ass 1980s bike back.

  • The Phantom

    Oh dear…

  • da

    Arrgh! When I saw this at breakfast time I almost threw up my wheeties.
    I came back for another look 8 hours later, had a look at their website gallery- and now I dont have the appetite for dinner!
    Just a shame they had to bring Barry Sheene into this……

  • steve.

    What the hell is this pile of crap? £107,000 for what? It is a £20,000 street fighter with crap bodywork dressed up in expensive paint and polished to hell.
    Will wait until this appears on eBay and buy it for 10th the price.

  • Nate-dog

    Don’t care who’s name they put on this P.O.S.! You cant polish a turd much more than they have with this, it is still a turd. Seems the saying is true!

  • terry

    Its good that there is somebody willing to go so all out on a bike. I am a hardcore biker and although cant afford something like this think its high time there was a bike equivelent to the crazy exotica cars that seem to be all over. I have checked out their website http://www.iconsheene.com and think this helped bring the whole thing together for me.

    I must admit I was unsure at first but now I think its damn sexy…

    check out their website!

  • http://www.iconsheene.com TWOWHEELSONLY

    I am with you Terry, once you see their website its actually quite impressive. I certainly think the styling grows on you too…

    I am positive they have taken influence from the Katana… (another hero of yesteryear…) but is that a bad thing… I remember wetting my pants about those when they came out.

    The website explains that its not trying to be a race bike but something that captures Barrys character… I think its hard to say what he would and wouldnt have liked but if his best mate and his wife are part of the whole thing (which they are) I would guess they would know better than any of us…

    Anyway good luck to them… i would give my right bolock… not wait both for one of these puppies

  • KWH

    The last two posts look like spam…… Possibly from the manufacturer… Sheene was a racer… Hard as nails. But a racer. The styling looks like an art school drop out has done it… Looks bloody awful I am with Felix on this one. What is the deal with the love hearts?

  • Turgut

    Looking once again, I still think it’s a piece of crap, but stripping it down to the frame and completely redesigning the fairing is the only way to go for this bike’s producers, who seem to be commenting just above, disguised.

    Come on guys, exotic does not mean kitsch. Forget about shark fins, nostrils and matt grey and give it another try. Though, don’t go to Seymour&Powell, Starck, or that guy who designed Mission One electric motorcycle. Try Kiska Design team, or the italians, they are good stylists.

    Evolution leads to perfection.

  • http://www.bikeexif.com Chris Hunter

    KWH, you are correct that the comments from ‘terry’ and ‘TWOWHEELSONLY’ are suspect.

    They have both come from the same IP address.

    I’m just going to wait and see what happens.

  • WRXr

    I guess it is supposed to look like an insect???

  • mingh

    let me put it very simple:
    if you’re can spend 120K euros on a single bike, would you buy THIS bike…How much would it still be worth in 5 years? Wouldn’t a brough superior be a much better investment?

    if you need me i’ll be at Bonhams or the midamericas auction

    lets see
    Vincent rapide: 30K
    restored guzzi lemans 15K
    rickman metisse replica ISDT: 20K
    Rob North Trident or Triumph hurricane: 15K
    Bultaco Sherpa: 2k
    Triumph trophy scrambler: 3K
    Moto Morini 3,5: 2k
    zundapp K600: 12k
    and some 20K left for rides out to the mountain tracks, IOM TT, and track days at francorchamps, beers inclusive.

  • Turgut

    Damn! I just saw the front end on the web site.

    Icon Guys, forget about it, motorcycle design is not your thing.
    Whoever decided on the style of this faring should not be allowed to talk any further about motorcycles.
    I mean, i know you may be reading this and I don’t want to discourage you, but you see.. it’s just too much. Either hire someone, or try crowdsourced design method. You’ll find many talented people willing to sacrifice their skills for such a project. Otherwise, you are simply wasting our time, your money and the name of a good racer..

  • PB

    “sheene”?? come on guys, how dare you?
    l´d reather proudly ride a vespa 50 than look like a cock with a masculinity complex on this horrid (and, to be fair, passé) “thing”.

  • http://benschkade.com Ben

    A honda cub is more badass than this thing.

  • http://ridethetorquecurve.blogspot.com/ hoyt

    Tough comments, but that is to be expected with that insane price. What does the “New Blue” from NCR cost?

    I’m not affiliated with the builder, but I like the idea of an air-cooled full-on performance bike using a purpose-built frame, killer swingarm, & cf wheels. (again, NCR)

    However, it wouldn’t be a 4 cylinder. Turbo? depends on the unit as there are some cool ones out there.

    $40k USD is more like it, but 4x that? c’mon. This may have surpassed Ecosse’s ti level of weirdmoney

  • Josh Hofhine

    Bleh. Overpriced abomination. Deep pockets can’t make up for a lack of vision, and spam can’t make up for lack of interest.

  • Sheene-fan

    Funny, Chris, I thought they were spam. But when Steve, Kev and Nate saw what was put it was just a bit odd to go so totally against the grain and thought so too. I know a few of us posted from work as we work in a bike shop. But posting up self promotion is not good. It makes Icon look needy and desperate fo attention. Sad as I guess if the design were different and the comments more positive then the build quality and the bike may win a few hearts, Just dont cover the bike with them. It seems their real skill is in the building and not the design. Build us a Moto GP bike for the road and now you have peoples attention.

  • LL

    I’m surprised they didn’t write “HARDCORE” on the side of it.

  • big ted

    I wouldn’t own this “bike” if they gave it to me for free it is that ugly! On the other hand I would pay lots for a bike that looked like the sweet 1968 Honda CB450-k1,,,, thats a beautiful bike with fabulous proportions. The Icon looks like crap.

  • http://www.iconsheene.com thereisonlyonesheene

    yesterday i thought this was the most ugly bike in the world…. now i think its damn sexy…! am i the only one who is changing their mind on this thing…?

    Look again at the pics… it really is stunning….

    Brits are always on the edge of cutting edge design… the side, the seat unit, the swing arm is all just pure sex… sure I think maybe the fairing could have been better but I do think its still good… where can one be seen in the metal?

  • Griso

    Yes, you are the only one changing their mind.

    Pure ugly, horrid.

  • Peter

    All the positive comments, what 3 of them, are suspect. This bike is utter crap at any price – among the many reasons we all got into bikes, among them surely must be that sense of utter joy you feel when you see a perfect blend of art and engineering – Vincent, early MV Agusta, 62 Bonnie, Laverda triple, 74 Duc 750SS, name your thing. But I just don’t care what these 3 herberts say, it’s a total dog and it wouldn’t sell at 20k never mind a 100. Icon, stop you poor sods, stop now and send the plans to Italy or somewhere, anywhere, cos you clearly don’t have a freakin’ clue….

  • kevin antrimnifstbks

    I agree, its growing on me…the Norton has a spondon frame and that clocked 196 mph at the IOm , the fastest by far..the styling is different but evertime i look at it, its getting sexier..checked out their web site and its making more sense…some of the comments ive seen dont seem to know bikes at all…that swinging arm is by fab techniques, they made the Foggy petronas! a 62 bonnie icononic..get a life, i`m pleased they are different and if its at the FOS in July then im going..

  • KWH

    The last few years Norton were NOT using a Spondon Frame it had a Harris frame built to Ron Williams spec.The Spondon frames were used earlier in their lives but the most successful TT bikes used the Harris chassis. So PLEASE get your facts right. Also the fastest trap speed was Bruce Anstey at 206MPH on a GSXR1000. Also what about their website makes sense? It is a bike and very expensive at that plus it looks UGLY. WTF is with the sharks head for a seat unit? The Bonnie is a classic and as much an icon as the Yamaha RD series both air cooled or LC, Honda CB750 or Kawsaki Z900. It defines a period of time for bikes. The Bonnie was used as a race bike and Flat tracker, Honda CB750 and Kawasaki Z900’s were also used as bases for race bikes and the Yamaha LC Pro-Am series gave many people a real feel for speed and got many involved in racing. Iconic cars are cars we dream about but Bikes are more about feel and experiencing them. Iconic bikes are all affordable when new and bikes we have loved and lost or have kept because we love them. My Suzuki GT750 is my passion and could NEVER be replaced by this thing.

  • Sam

    poor guy, imagine what the designer feels when his reading these comments.. hehe
    for that kind of money I’ll get a ducati streetfighter, a 1198s and a house with a garage to keep them..

  • Jay

    As much as I appreciate the workmanship that has gone into the bike, I’m really not taken with the way it looks at all. Considering what you could buy for that price it’s really not selling itself with the styling.

  • Jay

    yh im not being funny, but this bike does look pretty sexy, yeah it might be slightly expensive, but look at the specs man! that looks like one FAST bike! i would love to have a ride on this beast, im guessing most of you are sitting here and can’t even afford this bike lol and your ripping into it :P Who ever said this is uglier than the Y2K Turbine Superbike is f**king retarded, I bet you this bike is amazing to ride, if i had the money i would buy one, but i don’t sooo ya kno

  • carboncanyon

    I have to agree with the other comments. This is truly a terrible design. Taste is subjective, but when the vast majority of people think it’s ugly you’ve failed.

    Usually expensive bikes have a more refined, tasteful design that avoids any weird bits or fads. Expensive bikes like this should have an enduring look. At this price, I’d rather have two Desmosedici’s.

    This is simply horrible. Sorry Barry!

  • Kevin

    Fairly unoriginal name, I hope this guy has good lawyers, ones good enough to take on Icon (www.rideicon.com) and Parts Unlimited :P

  • richie v

    maybe a different colour? … what’s with the weld at the end of the swing arm (near the rear axle) , will it stay together? a 1400cc motor pulling it along at 200mph it’d want to wouldnt it.The front fairing could be bigger with a little more visor for wind break so you dont have to think about hanging on tightly when riding at speed. Cant say I like the bubble at the back , aero dynamic maybe but it’s a bubble…is it a stowe compartment? I can still picture that quizical look barry used to give when he saw strange things he was’nt to sure about when looking at it…that little shake of the head and the grin.. uummm…well…know wat I mean..?

  • http://www.iconmotorcycles.co.uk peter

    They put a leter in MCN few weeks back about the ‘Sheene Link’ they backers of this bike are huge… there is the entire Sheene family friends and even mechanics etc…

    I like profile and back but the front fairing is the most disgusting thing i have ever seen…

    HOWEVER, the video on MCN site says its a prototype… i emailed them through their website on http://www.iconmotorcycles.co.uk and they said new pics should be on their next week…

    we will see :D

    • http://www.bikeexif.com Chris

      If it’s a prototype, hopefully the backers will come to their senses and get a professional to restyle the bike. It’s the least they can do to honor Sheene’s name.

  • Sharky

    Sies!!!

  • http://www.treatspetresort.com/71cb450/ scott h

    looks like a suzuki bandit w/ a shark jumping out of its ass. blu-ah (puke noise)!

  • Mark

    I was at brands this weekend and took a good look at the bike and dont understand were you guys have come from on this. The picture on here are not the same as the bike i saw at the weekend i belive that icon has updated there bike with new fairings. I watched Steve Parrish take her round the track for 4-5 laps and it looked out of this world so i wanted to find out more and found this site how wrong you all are perhaps you take a look at the bike in the real world to understand how much work has gone into this not only from the designers but the Sheene family.

    kind regards

    Mark

  • http://www.treatspetresort.com/71cb450/ scott

    Mark you are entitled to your opinion, but here, it seems, most peoples opinions are that it is a very homely creation, and I would have to agree. Unless its undergone a major redesign, it’s still ugly. putting “a lot of work” into something doesn’t make it pretty. good design is needed and these guys don’t seem to know what that is.

  • frenchy biker

    Hi; I found this forum, when trying to follow up more information on the icon sheene bike from this weeks visit to the British Superbike at Brands Hatch. I saw not only Steve Parrish there but other members of the Sheene family supporting the bike; which I must is the most stunning and beautiful creation.Ive read some of the comments and clearly your keyboard warriors without an ounce of style.Its also the most powerful bike in the world, get real when some people think a cb450 honda is in the same leauge, The icon sheene breaks new ground and its truly amazing from my own view.best wishes f;b

  • FattyBoy

    Sheene Icon? It’s rubbish!

    They even have the cheek to say on their website that a guy called Mike Fairholme paints the graphics and that he is “…the man who painted Sheene’s own helmets.” First off, Mike Fairholme didn’t start painting helmets until 1984, the year Sheene retired from racing. Second, it was John Moffatt of Croydon – a guy known as ‘John the Paint’ – that hand-painted all of Barry’s helmets (and sprayed all the Heron Suzuki factory bikes too).

    For the record during the , it was Mike Randall (AKA ‘Mike the Pipe’) of Wallington who repaired and made the team’s exhausts and Alex MacFadzean who rebuilt all the factory racers’ cranks.

  • scott

    opinions are like a$$holes frenchy, everybody’s got one. and while you’re entitled to yours, you’re weigh outnumbered which would lead one to wonder who exactly has more “ounces of style”

  • ozzy

    I saw it at Brands and it changed my mind… and yes the pics here are out dated as I took plenty of pis of the weekend including a couple of the Sheene bike and its a lot different at the front (dont know about elsewhere cant see anything). I thought it was a bit wierd before but there was always a crown around the bike and everyone was saying how good it looked… I do think it needs to be seen in the flesh as it were… their site has same bike as i saw at Brands. keep it safe boys!

  • Rich

    I agree the pics of the bike on here look shit… i was ready to give the guys at Icon some real grief at the weekend at Brands (which was a corker by the way!) but everyone there was saying how shit hot it was… well first off i was impressed by how much the they knew their shit… secondly the bike doesnt look much like the pictures on here (thank f**k!) and thirdly most people their who saw it were willing to sell their right nut and rent their bum to Michael Barrymore to own one… so… yeah just want to say… i totally agree with the slating on here and I was happy to have a bash myself before but once you see it i garantee u, like everyone at brands, will do a little happy squirt in your pants! Off to go scare some old ladies on my R1 in the rain (and prob myself)

  • Richy D

    I saw the bike close up at Goodwood and appreciate the detail and quality finish put into the bike something you can’t do from a mag pic or even the vid on the icon website so don’t have a go guys from yr armchairs. The bike looks fab and does bear resemblance to the early 80’s Katana ( I still have one , the 1000cc which was the first and best). I seem to remember the Katana was slated at first. Fair play to the manufacturers of the Sheene bike. If you can afford it (52 serious 2 wheel petrol heads who can must be out there) then what a fab unique gr8 bike to own. Good on the Icon Sheene guys, what a stunning bike – whatever the cost… Richy D

  • Turgut

    I’m getting a notification on followup comments about this bike.
    Today, after so many moths i first saw it, i decided to give it a second look.

    Bad idea: It’s 2 am, and i’m afraid i won’t get to sleep!!

    It’s just such a horrid bike. It’s even worst than my
    first year design students works.

    I mean, who penned this shyt? What’s his/her name? Is he/she a designer?

    Icon guys, please, next time you decide to build the worlds fastest, most powerful bike, hand it to a pro’s hands. The name deserves some respect.

    And stop posting “opinion maker” comments on bikeexif, you are being silly.

  • scott

    turgut you must not have seen it at brands, or goodwood, or… it’s a whole different bike in person! LOL seriously guys, I don’t care if I see it in my garage w/ adriana lima draped over it, it D@MN ugly. there’s no getting around it. shark fins on the tail, ribs on the swingarm and squiggly lines on every other body part… icon, give me the bike and 3 months. I’ll do this thing justice!

  • Andy H

    I also saw it at Brands and Goodwood, and I think that unless you’ve seen it up close and personal you’re just not going to appreciate the quality and build, not to mention the sheer joy of listening to it roar up the Goodwood Hill! The bike has been designed to be unique – those who think it’s ugly, I defy you to get it between your thighs and say the same!!!!!!

  • Sea

    guys i saw this thing at brandswood and goodhatch and it was all sexie sexy sexxy and then it flew out of a cave full of hot ass women all covered in sheene’s family just clinging on hoping to hell that this bike with ol’ barry’s name on it was gonna let them down easy and it DID. it is engineered so good you really gotta see it in the the flesh when his whole family are hangin to it and it still goes round corners and finishes the financial year somehow in the black.

    just to save chris from pointing out that my next post is from the same ip i will post it below

    OMG!! this bike has to be seen, i thought it was ugly at first too. but then i smoked some drugs and went on a spiritual journey.

  • Sea

    on a more serious non-sarcastic note, people have been building 500hp turbo’d hayabusa’s for ages. how is a 250hp 1400cc any kind of achievement. sure i only have a 120cc two stroke bucket in the garage, but to be fair i’ve dyno’d at 24hp. per litre my 30 year old single beats this “cutting edge” four.

    for the amount they are asking, i can’t see where the money went. i suppose they have alot of people to pay off for name-dropping so heavily.

  • Turgut

    This is the ugliesy bike ever!

    Point final, à la ligne.

    It’s not worth a dime, till you get rid of its bodywor.
    Accept this, and redesign it, or i’ll keep posting to your messages till i die.

    People are not as dumb, nor as tasteless as you wish.

  • JustJoe

    I love bikes. I see a Suzuki B-King with stock exhaust and I think “what a beautiful creature, poising to take interstellar flight.”
    I look at this and think, “damn, girl U UGLY!”

  • jim

    it’s a ’81-’83 katana copy. I have the original , and i like it better.

  • Randomfactor5

    Yeah that’s a really great looking bike that’s worth every penny. Not.

    OK, I’m just going to come right out and say this: what a complete bag of shite…