Wednesday, 23 April 2014

UK Dirt Track Training Day

The long-running Peter Boast Short Track UK school (that I took about nine years ago when I first thought about racing) has moved to Leicester Speedway track. Sideburn reader Graham Braid (middle in the group shot) attended with a bunch of his mates and sent this report.

Easter Sunday is normally a day with the family, bunnies and chocolate eggs, but not this year, because myself and four friends managed to get a pass out for good behaviour and do what we planned and failed to do last year.

A day at the Short Track UK run training school where you learn the basics of dirt track racing. After two of us competed in last year's Dirt Quake we were inspired to attend the training day, as it was run by the 2009 UK Champion and founding light of the UK Dirt Track racing series, Peter Boast. We attended Leicester Speedway track and found a very relaxed but informative approach was adopted by the instructors, which included the 2013 Pro class champion Aidan Collins. We donned our steel shoe and set out on a small oval on the track aboard converted small capacity CCM dirt track bikes. We learned to put weight on our left leg and let the bike drop and slide under us. It was not long before all of us had managed to put it into practice.

The next exercise was to brake hard into the turn causing the back of the bike to break away, and get used to slowing down and sliding the back of the bike out. As these bikes have no front brake this is your safety measure if you are going too hot into the corner. 

Once we had all got to grips with the fundamentals,we practised race starts, which was done in pairs as drag starts. Great fun and got the adrenalin pumping!

For the final part of the day we were all let loose on the full track to practise what we'd learned, Unfortunately, we'd had quite a bit of rain during the day, so it made the track pretty slippy and tricky, but we still couldn't wait to get out there and have a go. 

It was an extremely enjoyable day,and as we say in Liverpool,it was a boss day! 

Bearing in mind that two of the group had no off-road experience they picked it up very quickly and at £135 for the day, which included hire of the bikes and refreshments, was very reasonable. It is something I would encourage any motorcyclist to try. Not only does it improve your bike skills ,but you might even catch the dirt track bug. We have!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Made in England

Davida Helmets

Art&Moto, Lisbon

We went to this last year and had a great time. Sorry for the short notice, but it's this weekend.
More details here - ArteMoto, Lisbon. G

Monday, 21 April 2014

Dirt Quake USA Pre-Entries

Oh, it's going to be something special...

May 31- June 1
Castle Rock, WA.
In conjunction with See See Motorcycles.

Go to the Dirt Quake USA webpage for more details.

These are just a few of the bikes already entered for the the race.

Stephen Hill Acrylics

From Sideburn reader, Stephen Hill.

You often feature art so I wondered if you might be interested in the attached. I'm only just dipping a toe in the acrylics, as it were, having sold a few over the years on a commission basis it seemed like a good idea to try and take it a bit more seriously.

These range in size from 600 x 600mm to 900 x 1200mm (although I have done a set of 4 at 2440 x 600mm too...) so any size is possible, they are painted onto mdf edged with solid wood to give that unframed canvas look, and finished with 3 coats of varnish to make them tuff enough for garages, workshops and showrooms... Happy to discuss whatever subject or scene the buyer might want or be left alone to surprise them. Always supply a sketch before ploughing into the final art (unless they want the surprise...) 

Ideally I'm looking for commissions. Prices are from £350 based on the 600mm square size, going up from there depending on size mainly. I have produced a set of 4 at 8 foot long and 2 foot deep for £600 each (the top three images) which currently hang in a bike dealer's showroom and workshop.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Kawasaki UK Flat Track Team

Kawasaki UK have backed a new team set up by DTRA racer, and former top GP sidecar man, Derek Brindley. The two-man team comprises 2013 title contender Alan Birtwistle, #30, and the current junior champion, Ollie Brindley, #24, who is moving up to the adult class this season.

I saw the team at the first official practice and they have a very slick set-up, with two very down-to-earth, but hellish-fast riders who have both travelled to the US and won.

The new Kawasaki team joins the Honda UK-backed multiple champion Adi Collins and the Suzuki UK-supported Peter Boast making three importer-backed teams in the DTRA Pro class. Come see them all battle at Leicester, next Sunday. All the Thunderbike framers will be there too. Racing from 12. Free entry for spectators. G

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Bambukaat MC, Punjab

This came in from Pritpal in India...

People tend to talk about things that interest them and we are no different. We are 4 guys, all of us motorcycle enthusiasts. Whenever we would gather up for a “GEDI” (Definition: A leisure stroll or around town on a vehicle (mostly motorbikes) with friends. Usually young boys go for these “gedies” to hoot at girls, but the word is in common usage with both girls and boys) or at someplace, most of our talk was on motorcycling. One day we were discussing the custom motorcycle scene in India and we all stumbled upon the same thought. We should start customizing motorcycles. 

We were all a bit skeptical about it at first until one of us bought a second hand Royal Enfield, then we knew there’s no turning back. We rented a good small workshop out from the city area. While we were hustling in and about the workshop we still couldn’t come up with a name. Many different names popped up, but one stood out BAMBUKAAT, an unofficial name from the old days in Punjab that was given to motorcycles because of the simplicity of the machine itself. We wanted to bring that simplicity back in trend. We started working on the design; we all contributed ideas and at last we had it finalized, it was absolutely perfect for the start. 

 We named our first bike PORUS. King Porus was the ruler of the Paurava region in ancient India, which now happens to be Punjab. This was the perfect name for our first bike we all thought. (To give you little flashback the ancient Indian ruler King Porus fought against Alexander the Great). 

In this Royal Enfield custom we’ve removed the stock wheels of 350cc standard. The complete headlight assembly has been changed. We have also extended the swing-arm. The wider custom handlebar features custom handle grips with no electricals on the handle except the horn. All the electrical components have been placed in a custom electrical box. The engine was cleaned and has been fitted with a megaphone exhaust. Other fabrication work includes a custom made fuel tank with 22L fuel capacity, custom rear fender and the brass accessories for a touch of class.

The build of this Royal Enfield custom took us one month, working almost every day and night. In the end it was all worth it. The bike has been showcased at many places and everywhere it has been getting a great response. The appreciation we have received makes us even more confident about the future of the custom motorcycle culture in India. Bambukaat MC" our facebook page .

Friday, 18 April 2014

The Bike Shed Show III

Rock Family Trees

You read the sleeve notes on albums, and take the booklets that come with decent CDs into the bog while you meditate. You have heated discussions with mates - with yourself - about who played marimba on the 1972 Afro-Silesian classic A BSA Killed My Marmoset. You need to read Rock Family Trees.

They're nothing new, so apologies to those who know them already, but I never fail to be awestruck by the work involved in their creation. Pete Frame drew and wrote them by hand and they start life as huge great things covering a large table before being shot and reduced down for print. They're obsessively detailed and you can lose yourself in them for hours.
The breadth of bands and artists covered is immense, though they're almost all on the pop/rock/folk spectrum with dips into jazz and other stuff here and there. He even does trees of genres, such as American Pop 1950-'64. You have to see these things to believe them. All three volumes are still available and are well worth tracking down. MP

Thursday, 17 April 2014

DTRA Round 1: Reminder and DTRA needs you...

The first round takes place at Leicester on Sunday 27 April. Spectators get in for free. Racing from midday.

The DTRA need a couple of volunteers for this round, and beyond. Get in touch if you can help, even for just one round.
Contact Dirt Track Riders Association>

1. Flag marshall for Leicester. Be there from 11. Training given, no experience necessary.
2. Scoring box helper. Be there from 11. Training given, no experience necessary.

3. Flag man or woman. No experience necessary, but needs to be a show off. The DTRA needs someone who can count and can wave a flag in an entertaining way. See below.
You'll flag to announce the last lap and the winner. Simple, but make it look good. There is budget for spectacular uniform if required.
4. The DTRA are still looking for a press officer, if there's someone out there who wants to do some PR, get a foot in the door, gain some experience...