Steve Parrish under pressure in the pits

1970s
winning in style

In the 1970s, Suzuki’s racing livery brought much-needed colour to a Britain that looked - and felt - rather drab after the heady excitement of the 1960s. The bold mix of bright red with waspish yellow and black highlights made the bikes instantly recognisable on the track and became an instant design classic.

But it wasn’t just a distinctive paintjob that made Suzuki stand out. This was a golden age, in which Randy Mamola, Steve Parrish, Tom Herron and, of course, Barry Sheene, were household names in a way riders have rarely been since. They were poster-boys for motorcycling as a way of life, as well as the Suzuki brand. Forty years later, they’re still an inspiration to us, and a new generation of Suzuki riders.

Not all aspects of 70s style and fashion have aged well, as anyone who’s had to endure their children’s mirth at old photographs will testify. But Suzuki’s racing colours have proved timeless - and for many fans, it’s still the look that defines the decade.