Wednesday, 17 December 2014

OEM Merlin

The lads at Old Empire are doing a lot of great quality work at the moment. I found these old(er) photos of their Merlin, based on a Kawasaki W650, that are worth sharing. G

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Superfinal Video

Ben found this on YouTube.
So proud to see Ollie with his DTRA sticker on his helmet and DTRA plate on the grid in this company.
Can anyone find a YouTube post with Chris Carr commentating? G

Monday, 15 December 2014

Ollie Brindley - Hero

No apologies for harping on about the Superprestigio for the last few days. It was an amazing race.

Apparently, it's on BT Sport from 6-8am tomorrow.

In this photo of the grand finale, the Superfinal you will see:

#4 Thomas Chareyre (multiple World Supermoto champ, I said he was a dark horse) going down having been nudged from behind going into turn 1 on lap 1.
Marc Marquez is so close to crashing, but manages to stay up, but pushes Dani Ribalta (yellow and black helmet) out wide.
#1 Jared Mees gets fouled up in the crash, losing momentum and running wide.
MotoGP star Bradley Smith in the pale blue sleeves (on the podium Philip Island earlier this year) is outside Mees and outside him is…
Ollie Brindley!

Little Ollie Brindley! The DTRA's Ollie Brindley. Ollie Brindley that smashed his shoulder to pieces (ask to see the scar) just four weeks ago while racing to qualify for this meeting. Ollie Brindley who turned 16 just one week ago.

Marquez, Mees,  Smith, Brindley!

Ollie came in sixth, ahead of Smith. Kenny Noyes was an amazing third.

The list of riders who didn't make this final includes - Shayna Texter, Alex Marquez, Tito Rabat, Troy Bayliss, Taddy Blasuziak, Toni Elias, Guy Martin, Mikka Kallio, Scott Redding, Lorenzo Baldassarri, Joona Kylmakorpi, Ivan Cervantes...

Thanks from Sideburn and the British dirt track community to Kawasaki UK for sponsoring both Ollie and Alan Birtwistle (who made the Open Class final).
If anyone out there wants to help out this young lad in terms of sponsorship (or any of the other young Brits who did amazingly well in Spain - Tim Neave put in a faster qualifying time than everyone except Brad Baker, Tom Neave was only a tenth behind), contact us and we'll put you in touch. G

Dani Ribalta's Superprestigio Final

Lining up next to young Brit Ollie Brindley and alongside Marc Marquez, Jared Mees, Kenny Noyes, Bradley Smith, Thomas Chereyre, Gerard Bailo. G

Sunday, 14 December 2014

The Black Arrow Summer Memories

I love these photos by Jean-Francois 'Jeff' Muguet of me and my Suzuki at the Cafe Racer Festival, Montlhery from earlier this year. Good memories of a really nice event.
I write regular updates on this bike for Performance Bikes magazine. G

James Brown Dance Lessons

Christmas party season is upon us.
Watch James Brown and get practising. He gives both dance and style tips in this great clip. I'm going to watch it every hour, on the hour, until I can do the Soul Train. G

Saturday, 13 December 2014

The Film is Over

Ask any photographer over the age of 20 about film and they are liable to get misty eyed. Like with vinyl revivalists there has been a fighting rekindling of the magic that is white noise and all the other touchy feely properties of something that isn't scientifically perfect. Sure the digitisation of photography has cut off lots of inconvenient and expensive corners, but with its obsolescence something wholly has been lost.
Having found my first camera, a Kodak Instamatic, in a field recently camped in by Girl Guides, I worked my way up to the mighty Linhof 6x12", a Brough Superior of a camera. I've worked both as a commercial and editorial photographer, and as a darkroom mole.
Although big jobs were shot on a Hasselblad 6x6" or a Mamiya 6x7", my personal favourite was the more humble Zenza Bronica 6x4.5". It's quality defied its modest size and pedigree. But with the digital tsunami it was relegated to a dusty crate in my office along with a Super 8 film projector and a once state-of-the-art Kodak Carousel slide projector. Both saw action in Amsterdam clubland before the video killed the fumbling celluloid star.
My beloved Bronnie has been kept like some holly relic, as I thought one day I'd like my son to use it. Family heirloom and all that. I'm so romantic. But I haven't touched it for what, 15 years. So I've broken it down into its constituent parts and chucked it on eBay for 99p.
What made me saddest was, while I was cleaning it at my desk, ike came in and said "Dada what does this do?" as he tried to reassemble the wonderful mechanism. BP

Ellaspede Helmet and Gear Hanger

From the fellas in Australia. They've designed this helmet and kit hanger and are trying to get the tooling financed. This is what they say...

Let's get the Helmet & Gear Hanger project firing on all cylinders! 
For as little as $1 you can back the project & help create a new motorcycle product. 
Check out our Kickstarter page & get a Helmet & Gear Hanger of your own!

Friday, 12 December 2014

Watch Superprestigio LIVE

The Superprestigio goes off tomorrow evening in Barcelona, Spain. It's arguably the most hotly anticipated dirt track race of the 21st century, and Fanschoice TV, the same great service that has brought live casts and YouTube recordings of every GNC race this year,  is offering a live feed.

If that wasn't enough, our old mate Chris Carr is guest commentator.

The official press release (aimed at Americans, hence the Eastern Time - just google it to work out what time that is where you are) says:

The Superprestigio is set to begin at 12:00 noon ET (9:00 a.m. PT) on Saturday, Dec. 13 and all of the action will be broadcast live on, the official home for live streaming of all AMA Pro Flat Track events.

There is an incredible line-up of riders including:

Marc Marquez - 2014 MotoGP WC
Tito Rabat - 2014 Moto2 WC
Alex Marquez - 2014 Moto3 WC
Scott Redding
Bradley Smith
Toni Elias - 2010 Moto2 WC
Troy Bayliss - 2001, 2006, 2008 WSB WC
Kenny Noyes - 2014 CEV SBK champ

Brad Baker (2013 GNC Champ)
Jared Mees (2x GNC champ)
Shayna Texter
Joonas Kylmakorpi (4x long track WC, who is racing a Zaeta painted by Maxwell Paternoster!)
Thomas Chareyre (3x Supermoto WC - surely a dark horse)
Fabrizio Vesprini (2x FIM Euro flat track champ)
Francesco Cecchini (2014 FIM Euro flat track champ)
Ivan Cervantes (4x Enduro WC)
Taddy Blazusiak - (5x Superenduro WC)
Guy Martin
And from the DTRA in the Open Class
Tim Neave (2014 champ), Tom Neave, Aidan Collins (4x UK champ), Ollie Brindley, Alan Birtwistle

(WC = World Champion)

The winners of each class race each other in a grand final.

Below is a photos from the @marcmarquez93 instagram feed of him practicing yesterday at the Canudas track. Many of the top riders were there.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

What Have You Done?

Our friend Dael sent us a link for the newest cut of a trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road (a different trailer was released a while ago). I'm sorry to say, as a Mad Max fan I'm bitterly disappointed.

The fourth film in the 'franchise' looks like the Burning Man Festival crossed with Grand Theft Auto. Which you might like the sound of, but it's taken all the tribalism and cosplay tendencies of Mad Max II and III and turned it up to eleventy-stupid*. It looks more like a dumb-ass Transformers movie than anything approaching engaging.

I don't know why I'm surprised, the original had B-movie appeal; was made less than the catering budget of Fury Road; had a great bike gang of truly unsettling misfits and stunts so gruesome-looking that fanboys started rumours the riders were killed in the process (they weren't, obviously). Then each instalment became more outlandish, until now we're at the point one of the aggressors seems to be driving a perfectly restored, bare metal Willys Coupe (I think) with huge tractor wheels. They must have a lot of spare time from surviving and that to keep those cars so pristine.

The Toecutter couldn't kill Mad Max, but CGI just did. I know it's not supposed to be a documentary, but  it's turned into a superhero film. Mad Max's strength was its realism. You could imagine the world going off-kilter in the way it did in MM I. The stunts and crashes and vehicles and costumes were believable. The gang's mildly modified Kawasaki and Honda super bikes from MM I were so believable in comparison. They seemed just what a bunch of bad asses would ride in a molten society - the fastest bikes available. With a bed roll on the front. Perhaps TV shows like The Walking Dead are now so good and have inhabited that area it has left the filmmakers nowhere to go but CGI Town.

If you want to read two killer articles about the original Mad Max, buy Sideburn 17.

Our own Mick Phillips interviewed George Miller, the director (referred to as a mastermind in a cringeworthy caption in the trailer above); Hugh Keays-Byrne (the Toecutter); Tim Burns (Johnny the Boy); extras/stuntmen Dale Bensch and Bertrand Cadart; cameraman David Eggby - on the back of a stuntman playing the part of the Goose below, and one of the reasons the original is still so vital.

There is also an exclusive essay on the movie by Alex Cox (director of cult films Repo Man, Sid and Nancy, Straight to Hell) PLUS a wonderful original artwork by Raid 71.

Get Sideburn 17 for just £5 plus post. That's less than going to the local multiple to watch Fury Road.

*kudos for anyone who gets that reference.