We’d all read about Kenny Roberts in the American magazines, but the first time we saw him race was during the 1974 Trans- Atlantics. He and Yamaha US team-mate Gene Romero came to Britain armed with their TZ750s – two characters as colourful as their yellow and black Yamahas. The speed block livery wasn’t new by then, but it felt special seeing them rip round our own back yards at Brands, Mallory and Oulton as if they raced there every weekend. Kenny became King and the yellow and black speed blocks became an iconic emblem that helped to define ’70s motorcycle sport – in road racing, dirt track and motocross. Yamaha used the speed block imagery to market its road bikes, and specials builders worldwide continue to faithfully recreate the famous racing livery to this day. So the memory of that fantastic era of racing will continue to burn as brightly as those buzzin’ bees did in the ’70s.
Hope you have as much fun reading the issue as we did creating it,
Inside this issue...
‘EVERYTHING WAS YELLOW & BLACK’
King Kenny Roberts was the man who took the bumblebee look from Daytona to the world championship and beyond.
IS THE BROUGH SUPERIOR?
Or does it live in the Vincent's shadow? The Brough Superior SS100 and Vincent Black Shadow are two of the world’s most iconic motorcycles – and the most expensive. But how do these creatures of different eras compare on the road?
OPEN CLASS HEROES
Two generations of big-bore YZs show why Yamaha was top of the motocross heap in the ’70s.