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The revival of an icon: 40th Anniversary Edition of the Raleigh Tuff Burner

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16 Jan 2023
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Sponsored: Revel in nostalgia and relive the 1980s BMX heydays with the legendary Raleigh MK1 Tuff Burner, now offered in a limited number

Bikes might come and go over the years, but some are so iconic that they deserve a revival – especially when they are bright blue and yellow like the Raleigh Tuff Burner.

To celebrate the bike’s 40th anniversary, Raleigh has brought back the legendary MK1 Tuff Burner, offering a limited number of these special editions.

A complete one-off, the anniversary edition of the Tuff Burner is already in high demand and presale has now sold out. But there is still time to grab a piece of BMX history as general sale for this iconic bike begins in early 2023.

‘Demand is so high because the Tuff Burner unlocks a sense of nostalgia that brings back happy memories from people’s youths,’ says Edward Pegram, head of marketing and partnerships at Raleigh.

‘We don’t produce re-releases very often, and when we do, they’re in limited numbers. This 40th anniversary re-release presents an opportunity for our fans to get their own piece of history – an opportunity not to be missed.’

Established back in 1887, Nottinghamshire-based Raleigh is renowned for its much-loved designs which have become true icons in the world of cycling, and the Tuff Burner is a perfect example of this.

One for the history books

First launched in 1982, alongside four other models, the Tuff Burner was an instant success among kids.

The Tuff Burner stole hearts with its performance, dazzling design and overall personality. But most importantly, the Burner redefined what many believed was possible to achieve on two wheels.

The bike’s evocative yellow and blue could be seen tearing round BMX tracks across the country, doing spins and tricks like the toothpick grind, bar spins and no-foot can-cans, as well as massive ramp jumps.

The 1980s were the height of BMX’s popularity, with BMX featuring heavily in the storyline of Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster film ET. Riding a BMX bike soon became the epitome of cool among children and teenagers.

By 1984 the Burner had proven to be the most successful BMX ever.

‘The 80s saw the launch of the Burner series, which sold over a million units across the range and became the must-have bike of the times,’ adds Pegram. 

‘The Burner is an iconic part of Raleigh’s history and has a long-standing and dedicated fan base to this day.’

Success on the pro scene

Alongside the launch of the Burner back in the 1980s, Raleigh invested heavily in a BMX team.

In 1985 Raleigh signed the UK’s premier BMX racer Andy Ruffell to Team Raleigh and went on to dominate British BMX.

Raleigh rider Craig Schofield won the World Title in the Superclass 20-inch category in Whistler, Canada.

Soon enough, Raleigh and BMX became synonymous.

Iconic remake details

To recreate and reignite the totally rad 1980s BMX scene, the 40th anniversary edition Tuff Burner stays true to the original with its pure retro aesthetics.

The one-off Tuff Burner features the legendary yellow 20-inch Skyway Tuff wheels, the unique blue gumwall tyres and the original aero blue Kashimax BMX saddle.

All of the bike’s classic elements are back, including the double-hole chromoly frame with the three-piece BMX pad set.

Kraton blue and yellow grips wrap up the limited-edition Burner in its archetypal 1980s style.

There is one change, however.

Raleigh has tweaked the geometry of the Tuff Burner so that it rides even more comfortably than the original, making it perfectly suited to adult riders.

The Tuff Burner also comes in a special anniversary edition box.

To help bring the Tuff Burner back to life Raleigh collaborated on the launch campaign with the We Were Rad collective, a group of Burner enthusiasts.

How to get your hands on a little piece of BMX history

The Tuff Burner will go on general sale in February, please check Raleigh’s social media and/or subscribe to their email newsletter for more information on availability.

Find out more about the Raleigh Tuff Burner

• Visit the specialist Retro Raleigh website to sign up to the mailing list.