To celebrate the arrival of summer, we’re looking back on one of the best summers ever – 1976. Those of us lucky to be biking that year will recall the most prolonged, rain-free period ever – an English summer when you woke up every day for weeks on end, knowing the sun was going to be burning all day long. You were guaranteed the most perfect ride, no matter what time of day – from the early morning cool through the stiflingly hot daytime with sticky roads, to those balmy evenings and inspect-spattered visors or goggles. That summer also produced memorable racing: Barry Sheene’s first 500cc world title and his continued success on the home circuits, John Williams setting new records at the TT, British success in the Bol d’Or, 19 year-old Graham Noyce running up front in motocross GPs, Peter Collins’world speedway crown.
And it also saw the arrival of some incredible new bikes like the Laverda Jota, Suzuki GS750, Yamaha XT500 and RD400. We’ve strayed from our regular format to recall some of the great memories of that summer. And if this triggers some of your own biking tales of that year, write in and tell us about them.
Free with this month's magazine is a 56-page Royal Enfield mag: an entire magazine devoted to the marque, featuring Enfields around the world, Continental GT road test, Bullet engine stripdown, new Enfield revealed, plus much more.
Inside the June issue
Yamaha created a new class of bike in 1976. With the release of the rugged yet refined XT500, the adventure bike was born.
One more from the road
In the summer of ’76, our Gary did a regular ride out west to his home town. Now seemed the time to relive it, with the sound of Freebird ringing in his ears...
Collection sells big at auction. Surely there are no more to be discovered..?