Skip to content


Over 500 pictures and significant stories of early 1970s motorcycle racing in Europe

Dutch photographic husband and wife team Jan and Hetty Burgers have released a second pictorial book of 1970s’ road-racing images, every bit as good as the first.

It contains more than 500 photographs, the majority black and white. The Burgers selected the published images from 12,000 scans of photos they shot from 1969 to 1976. There are some biographic rider details and some background information gems on factory bikes and riders in extended captions. However, the book is mainly about the images, which often fill double-page spreads.
Riders featured include a who’s who of the era; Giacomo Agostini, Steve Baker, Johnny Cecotto, John Cooper, Hideo Kanaya, Tepi Lansivouri, Angel Nieto, Victor Palomo, Renzo Pasolini, Patrick Pons, Cal; Rayborn, Phil Read, Kenny Roberts (including his 1974 GP debut at Assen), Michel Rougerie, Jarno Saarinen, Barry Sheene, Paul Smart, Ike Takai and Walter Villa. Lansivouri wrote the epilogue.

Pasolini and Saarinen are featured on the cover. It is sobering to recall that May 2023 will mark 50 years since the crash at Monza that claimed them both.

Australian riders figure too…notably John Dodds and Jack Findlay. And popular figures such as Gianfranco Bonera, Alex George, Pat Hennen, Tom Herron, Bruno Kneubühler, ‘Noddy’ Newbold and Chas Mortimer. Sidecar racers include Klaus Enders, Rudi Kurth/Dane Rowe, Werner Schwarzel and Chris Vincent. There’s even a section on the notable journalists and other photogs of the day – John Brown, Chris Carter, Volker Rauch and Mick Woollett.

Jan Burgers began his motorcycle photography career in 1969-70 using his father’s camera at the Hengelo and Tubbergen internationals, and Assen. From 1971 he and Hetty became serious travellers, venturing to Brands Hatch and Mallory Park in England, Anderstorp, Circuit Paul Ricard, Daytona, Hockenheim, Imatra, Imola, Jarama, Nürburgring and Spa-Francorchamps.
They covered the Trans-Atlantic Match Racers and Race of the Year, Grands Prix and Formula 750 events, even the long forgotten 1974 F750 round at Hämeenlinna in Finland.

A sad addition is the section In Perpetual Memory, listing 38 racers lost during the book’s span, including Australia’s Les Kenny and New Zealand’s Kim Newcombe.

Continental Circus-2

(Uitgeverij Herman, 2022) by Jan and Hetty Burgers

Stars: 5 out of 5
Size: 214 pages
Contact: Automoto book shop
Price: $89.95