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Raleigh Grifter

Launched in 1976, the Raleigh Grifter became the ultimate 1980s bike – chunky and funky with throttle-style hand-twist gears. This was BMX before BMX. You even got blisters on the insides of your hands (from doing wheelies you understand).

And with a deft fold of the mud flap you had a realistic moto-cross noise – even if it did leave a U shaped melted hole on your flap (oo-er missus).


The Grifter was a motorbike minus a motor. Unfortunately, it had a very solidly built frame. It was damn heavy. Much heavier than most nine-year-old herberts . . .

Production ceased in 1983 as Raleigh focussed their attention on the Burner, which debuted in 1982 and remains perhaps the most iconic BMX bike not featured in a Holywood movie.