The True Brit BMX – Even Beckham is Believed to Have One!
It’s only a rumor mind you, but it has been reported that football (soccer) great, David Beckham has a Raleigh Super Tuff Burner on the wall at one his homes. No wonder, this model is one of the most sought after and hard to get models in the Burner Range.
However, nothing is reported as to whether he did burns on the Burner.
The Raleigh Burner is a BMX bike, made by the Raleigh Bicycle Company, in 1982. This was to replace the Raleigh Grifter. The Grifter was a children’s bike created in 1976, virtually at the onset of the BMX craze.
The brand name Burner continued until 1988 and was brought back in the early 2000s.
Six different frames make up the Burner range:
- Mk1 Burner
- MK1 Pro Burner
- Mk2 Burner
- MK2 Aero Pro Burner
- Team Frame (only six made)
The Burner was a late arrival on the BMX scene. All of them had 20-inch wheels, V bars, but no gears. Definitely not for the faint hearted. Burner sold half a million in its first two years and is still dubbed as the ‘most iconic BMX ever’.
The Easy Rider
This cool kids’ bike came about in the 1970s and was based on the look of the Chopper Motorcycle as seen in the movie, Easy Rider.
Canada was the first country to sell the first of the prototypes – now known as the Prechopper – this was back in June, 1969. There is speculation that Australia and South Africa also had the ‘Prechoppers’.
The US introduced the bike, with Chopper markings, in September of that year. It came to the UK in 1970.
A distinctive feature was the wide ape hanger handlebars and long padded, high back banana-style seat – Trés Easy Rider. The bike featured a 3 and 5-speed and single-speed Sturmey Archer hub. Gears were selected on a frame=mounted console gear lever – dubbed as being a ‘cool feature’. What was also un usual – yet still cool, were the different sized wheels – 16 inch front and 20 inch rear; bobbed fenders and a rear hoop above the seat, akin to the motorcycle’s ‘sissy bar’. The kickstand was designed to ape the look of a parked motorbike.
The tires were wider featuring a chunky tread on the rear wheel.
In 2004, a new model was launched, this being the Mk3 after a 23 year non-production period. The Mk3 was modified in favour of safety, such as a more conventional seat to discourage pillion riding (backies); the gear lever was switched to the handlebars – saving wear and tear on the groin and the frame is now aluminium instead of steel, this makes the bike lighter.
The front and rear wheels remain the same 16 inch and 20 inch.