The 1980s was a vibrant period of motorcycling in Britain. In bikes a golden era saw a dominance of Japanese bikes and evolution from old, twin shock UJMs into racer-replicas, fully-faired tourers, screaming strokers and turbos. Behemoths like Suzukis GSX1100 gave way to the Suzuki Katana and Kawasakis revolutionary GPz900R. The mid-decade saw the first racer replica, Suzukis GSX-R750, GP replica two-strokes like Yamahas RD500 and turbo-charged follies such as Suzuki XN85. Yamahas FZR1000 EXUP and Nortons F1 rotary sports came along. In bikesport, GPs were dominated by an American invasion of Kenny Roberts, Freddie Spencer and Eddie Lawson while Broton Dave Thorpe grabbed glory in world motocross. And on the street, hooligan LC Johnnys evolved into Simpson Bandit wearing streetfighters and day-glo bedecked road racers on GSXRs. All of this and more is remembered in Phil Wests fascinating book.
Phil West has been a journalist since 1987. He has written for many magazines, including MCN, Bike, RiDE, Practical Sportsbikes, Motorcycle Sport and Leisure. Throughout his career he has ridden and written about virtually every motorcycle since 1970, visited and met key figures at all major manufacturers and interviewed figures from Barry Sheene to Charley Boorman. He has held a number of editor roles on Bike, Motorcycle News, Performance Bikes and MCN, and created and launched Bike Buyer and Biking Times. He has also written several books on motorcycles and lives in Peterborough.