Sunday, 31 May 2009

Pay day

Ok, it's the end of the month. You've been paid, now send us some money for our new Sideburn Merchandise before you go wasting it on food or rent or shoes for the kids or any of those trivialities.


Laid off for many a month with kids, kids, kids, kids, kids, kids, kids, kids, kids - well not 9, just 2 little buggers. And I noticed while I had the wheel off with it loaded in the back of the pick-up, that the rear hub bearing bush was shagged. Could get ugly if it's not attended to, but it's unobtainable. Hmm. After a bit of interwebbing the hands-on Teo Lamers, who used to race BOTT, came to the rescue. He had a batch made up from scratch in stock.
If the Dutch want more land, they just build a polder and reclaim a bit more sea. If a factory is no longer making a part, they just make it them selves. Problem solved.
So apart from a trip to Toulouse in a gale, and a couple of evening jaunts just to keep my hand in, the Guzzi hasn't had much action this year. But over the years it has been used and abused. It looks shabby, but it keeps on rollin' it's my Tonka toy. BP

Mega Mindy

Mega Mindy was introduced to me by my 5 year old niece. I think she's Belgian, her accent is a bit sing-songy. Not sure what she rides, but the stuffed chicken shaped baddies have got cool Deus scoots a bit like Orlando's. BP

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Mac Motorcycles

I've been out working, riding and relaxing up north for two days, but just before I left an email press release arrived. I called the number, no one answered but Mark and Ellis of Mac Motorcycles called back later. I had a good chat with Mark of Xenophya Design. His company is half of Mac Motorcycles, a new Brit firm who is hoping, well. here's what they say... Read it then check the website. It's a nice place to hang out.

Worcestershire, Great Britain, 28/05/09 -A collaboration between one of the UK’s leading motorcycle design studios, Xenophya Design and Ellis Pitt has led to the launch of a new British motorcycle company called ‘Mac Motorcycles’.
Ellis has collaborated with the team at Xenophya for the past 9 months to design a small range of lightweight, air-cooled singles using the 500cc Buell ‘Blast’ motor in a tubular backbone frame.

Ellis explains “Between us we’d designed, modified, built and ridden all sorts of motorcycles over the last 30 years and thought it was time to produce a motorcycle that reflected our philosophy. Our influences have been diverse and we’ve made unusual connections between genres of motorcycles such as choppers, Italian singles from the 1950s, flat-trackers and competition specials. What underpins Mac Motorcycles’ philosophy though is the belief that the riding experience and the stories that go with motorcycle journeys seem to have been hijacked by technology and plastic.”

There are 4 different models ; ‘Spud’, for dossing about on, ‘Ruby’, the motorcycle equivalent of ‘the girl-next-door’, ‘Peashooter’, for squirting to your favourite pub and gassing with your mates and the ‘Roarer’, a modern-day dinosaur-chaser! The company initially plans to produce a few hundred bikes in small batches increasing production as appropriate.

Based in the small English town of Upton-Upon-Severn in Worcestershire, Mac Motorcycles plan to market this unique new range of motorcycles throughout the world. Bikes will be made in small batches for markets in the UK, North America and Japan, with customers in France and Australia in-mind too. Depending on your preferred specification and tuning options, you could expect to buy any one of these bikes for between £ 8k - £ 10k.

Ellis explains “We would welcome comments and enquiries from your readers and we’ll be happy to keep you posted as we start building a little more of Great Britain’s motorcycle history.”

Additional information is contained in the company's new web site at

Friday, 29 May 2009

Bussei at Mallory Supermoto

Today I rode over to Mallory to meet up with Giovanni Bussei who is racing in the UK round of the World Supermoto championship. I turned up just as he was rolling out for second practice. He looked off the pace.

When I went to his pit he was sat in obvious pain. Turns out he had a massive crash on the dirt section in the morning and could hardly breathe. I asked if he'd broken his ribs. 'I don't want to find out. If I don't know then I can just ride on. If I know I've broken them I've got to do something about it. It's better not knowing.'

I left him for half and hour then gave him the latest Sideburn. He perked up.

I checked out his bike. I don't know much about supermotos. I didn't know they had one-piece fork bottoms and brake calipers. Look, no caliper bolts. How wild is that?

Apparently, the organisers make riders running alloy wheels put plastic covers over their spokes. Someone said it was to do with them wanting Marchesini to sponsor the series. If they cough up, the rule 'may' be changed to allow the plastic's removal and everyone can see their wheels. Don't know if that's true. Probably libelous. So sue us!

I really liked the way the current champ (dunno his name. French fella I think), reminds the others he's the world champion - cycling style colour bands on his biceps.

I know a few Sideblog fans like old bicycles. Well, this isn't a fixie, but it is historic. Giovanni's 19-year-old Yeti.

Saw this teenage lad with a Ricky Carmicheal tattoo. Crazy kid.

I think this stall over-estimated the quality of the crowd. Seemed to be a lot of people drinking 500ml cans of Fosters and getting FIERCE sunburn to me.

The two supermoto races are on Saturday evening, 6 and 7.30pm I think. Giovanni says the track is dangerous. It could be carnage.

Less Is More

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away....
Antoine de St. Exupery, Wind, Sand and Stars, 1939
Might be old news, but I'd not heard it before. Nice, eh? It could sum up the philosophy of so much that's cool about biking - be it dirt trackers, speedway bikes, bobbers, chops... Mick Phillips

photo via Grail at Knuckle Busters Inc

Thursday, 28 May 2009

James Bettinson In Da House!

The love-child of many influences, Sideburn magazine welcomes another soldier to it's ranks. Way back when we were still heavily pregnant with SB#1, Gary showed me a copy of DIRT mountain bike magazine. We really liked it's progressive graphics and bold layouts. Fast forward a year and a half (bloody hell doesn't time fly), and some guy called James Bettinson contacts us out of the blue...
"Hows it going? Its James here, who use to design MOTO [moto X magazine] and DIRT....I've just been looking through the latest issue of SB, Its a project I would love to get involved with creatively..."
Step this way James. Milk and 2 sugars? BP

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Vote Carlito

Okay Sideburn brothers. Please take a few minutes to do a good deed. Italian photographer Carlito Shiliro sent us some great shots of Auto Race - the crazy Japanese speedway that featured in SB2 - that are going to go in a future Sideburn. He's a good fella, and wants Sideburn to succeed. So when he told us he's in a Vice/Adidas photography/art/design competition, and it's a big deal to him, I felt I wanted to help. I signed up, it's in Italian, but it's easy, and cast a vote. He's currently in fourth place (out of 15, so he's no mug). The power of Sideburn should push him over the top. Come on! As Carlito said 'It takes a minute to register, I know your time is precious but I really hope you'll take the time to vote. No need to tell you how important it is for me. Your help can truly make the difference!'

It'll make Carlito's year. Obviously it won't help the others, but they're not sending photos into Sideburn. We've got to stick together. Vote Carlito!

Every Wednesday night

I guess if you have any chance of getting there you know what 'Off Azusa on Temple' means.
City of Industry Speedway


The next round of UK Dirt Track racing is in South Wales, the half-mile. It's great to race and great to watch.

Boastie's just asked me to add
'Could you just say that any one wishing to enter the only 1/2 mile meeting of the year, that they have only 3 days before the entries close, so please contact the shorttrack office asap if you wish to ride.'

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Italian Style

Michele Lupi, the editor of GQ Italy, that's him with Joe Strummer in 82, sent me this cool shot of Giovanni Bussei trying too hard back in his Superbike days. Giovanni is racing in the World Supermoto championship at Mallory Park this Friday and Saturday. It should be a good show. GI

Killer Diller

Sideburn's official DJ is Mr Johnny Alpha. He's been in touch with exciting news.

Hey Gary
Long time no speak man, hope your well mate.
Should have sent you this last week really, I've got my own radio show now going out every Tuesday on Wireless FM 10.30 till the midnight hour GMT (that's an hour earlier than British Summertime and what the hell for the States or Aus).
I will have a website set up with archived shows on in the next couple of months, but for the meantime your just gonna have to tune in :) Johnny

The show is described as this 'Surf, 60s Punk, Rock n' Roll, Soul & Exot-a-billy, these are some of the thrilling ingredients in DJ Johnny Alph'as Killer Diller voodoo music gumbo, made weekly in his secret hideout out of old & rare 45s.'

Springfield Mile photo gallery

Freight Train

Steve Bonsey running the famous 80Y. Wayne Karcich wrote to say 'Bonsey had a contract to ride an Aprilia in the 250 class. He showed up for testing in Jerez I believe it was and found out his sponsors were defunct. KR is his manager and they are currently still looking for a ride. It's a joy watching him ride flat track. He is the most talented young rider I had seen at his age when he left for Europe in 06. If you ever get a chance to see him race I highly recommend it. We are lucky out here, he's from Salinas and we get to watch him quite a bit. He was amazing at Gene's race in Vegas.'

You want close racing?

Mile winner Bryan Smith on the celebration assault course

Pegram's 1000cc Ducati. It ain't pretty but it worked first time out. That is incredible.

Here is a very leftfield report of the race from Randy Krumpledick.
Photos courtesy of AMA Pro Racing

Monday, 25 May 2009

K&S Ridged Goldstar frame

For sale on eBay, from the lovely fellas at K&S.

Orando Bloom Loots Deus

Having sailed the seven seas with Johnny Depp as Pirates of the Caribbean, actor Orlando Bloom stopped off in Oz to commandeer a new bike from the Deus Muskateers. Plenty of swashbuckling gold involved in the The Mono, namely Ohlins front and back. Michelangelo Tuckwell you gone done it again. BP

Springfield Mile results.

Just scanning the AMA Pro Racing results of the Springfield Mile made interesting reading. Bryan Smith #42 won from Coolbeth and Carr. SB3 cover star Jared Mees was fourth. Further down, Sideburn discovery Brandon Robinson made the main and finished 12th.
The Wood BMW, being ridden by national number 51, Steve Murray didn't make the main. Only one non- XR750 did and that was the Ducati of Larry Pegram. Wow, what a comeback. And this is just a week after getting two top fives in the AMA Superbike championship at Infineon (Sears Point). I don't know loads about Pegram, but it seems like he's got the skills of an old style GNC all-rounder.
One other name stood out among the results. Coming in last in the main (still a monumental achievement for those not fully up to speed with how flat track heats work), was Steve Bonsey. Bonsey is a Roberts protege. He raced in 125 GPs, but for whatever reason (and I don't know them), never really cut it. So he's back in dirt track. And he's running Kenny's amateur number (or at least pre-National number) of 80Y.

In the pro singles, one rung down from GNC, 25A Shanya Texter came in third in the 12-lap final.GI
Smith photo: Tim White
Texter photos: JG Photo Werx via Shayna Texter. An before anyone writes in, these photos aren't from this weekend.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Wiles wins Springfield TT

Sideburn favourite Chris Carr comes in a good 4th. Results.
First Springfield Mile of the year (there are two) is today. GI
Photos courtesy of AMA Pro Racing

Meeting Craig Randall

I had to do some work in London last week so I arranged to meet Craig Randall for breakfast at the Ace Cafe. He's the amazing guy whose story and scrapbook is in Sideburn 3.
I asked for tips for my next dirt track race. He told me I should brake deeper, keep the front tyre on the blue groove, but have the rear wheel in loose dirt making it hard for anyone to pass. He even had some shots of him on his old Suzuki doing exactly that. I had to explain that I understood what he was saying, but there was no way on earth I have the skill to do it. It was great meeting him again though.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Good day, Bad day

Got up early this morning to ride my Guzzi to Cadwell for the Classic Bike Burn Up trackday. The ride there was so good I was whooping in my helmet like a rodeo rider. The sun was shining, Lincolnshire was beautiful, the bike felt good, but the clutch is still dodgy. And second to third is clunky. But it all felt good. I did a few slow sighting laps, then got into the first session proper. It all felt good, till I misjudged a gear change. I thought I was in third, and changed down to second. But I was in second. The back tyre locked a little. Then going up the Mountain the engine lost power. I think I've kissed a valve. But I did some work for Hugo, met some good people, the bike needed building anyway and I met Carl Smith, ace sand racer and bike mender. He's just gone freelance and he's local, so he's going to rebuild it for me. I'm happy. And Sideburn 3 contributor Rupert Paul was there, with a two-bike trailer, so I even got a lift home.
Shit happens. C'est la vie.
Here are some of my favourite bikes from the day. GI

120mph Scott Flying Squirrel. Check out the expansion chamber. Amazing bike.

This cool dude had a great Ducati Darmah. I thought I took a picture of it. I didn't.

Classic endurance racing MotoMartin GSX. Boastie was instructing. His Trannie is in the background.

Rupert on the newly finished Simoto, former PB project bike. I loved it then, it's still fantastic. And it was flying, 20 years after it was built.

Heron-coloured GS1000 in a special frame was HAULING! Made me want one.

More classic endurance race class.

Gorgeous Guzzi track bike on 17s. Made much nicer noises than mine did.

Moriwaki Kawasaki Gardner rep was a work of art. Built to race. I want one of them too.

Ducati race bike reminds me of the Cybermen

The owner of this Vincent Comet single racer came all the way from Holland and dropped the bike on the sighting lap (?!) and broke his collarbone. Made a mess of this beaut too.