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British Motorcycles of the 1960s and '70s

by Mick Walker

For the first half of the 20th century Great Britain led the world in motorcycle design and production, exporting its products to countries in every section of the globe. However, as the second half of the century began in 1960 this once great industry commenced what was to be a terminal decline. During the 1960s and '70s Britain still manufactured a wide range of machines, but a combination of poor management, lack of investment, foreign competition (notably from Japan), and the arrival of the small, affordable car transpired to effectively sound the death knell of the British motorcycle by the end of the 1970s.

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