Author(s): Chris Low (Artist)
The 1970s was the high-water mark for motorcycling in Australia. The Japanese motorcycle boom rippled around the nation attracting a new wave of enthusiasts to the sport. Women rode step-thrus, thousands of kids were zipping around on minibikes, and suburban bushlands were filled with burbling trailbikes. Wheel-standing Japanese superbikes were menacing the streets, and race grids were bursting with a sea of new riders eager to try their hand on the race circuits of Australia. Blessed with a great climate, Australia was the only country in the world to stage racing all-year round. But instead of top racers emerging from the big cities, the new wave of Aussie talent would come from the bush. Wollongong's Wayne Gardner was Australia's first world 500cc champion. His firebrand spirit was forged as a young teenager racing his mates on minibikes in the creek beds of Balgownie. Ten years later Gardner would make his world 500cc GP debut and four years after that he would win the fabled world title. The book explores why Australia became the world epicentre of motorcycling for a moment in history and details how the major races of the 70s were won and lost. It also uncovers the fascinating story behind the birth of the world's first Superbike series that went global.This book is tribute to the 1970s and how it shaped motorcycle racing in Australia, and the world. Enjoy the ride!