Monday, 31 August 2009

Indy Mile update

Rossi was supposed to ride but decided the night belonged to Roberts. I reckon he'll have a bit of practice and come back to put a real show on.

I'm a huge fan of blogs. I've found some great stuff that magazines just aren't publishing and few of the magazine staff are checking them out for leads or inspiration. Blogs are going to take over the world. Anyway, I say this because I turned on my computer this morning and we had a mail from Uncle John of Team Tenacious sending a bunch of images and this message.

Team Tenacious does the Indy Mile
Colin Heggarty running the Team Tenacious / Inglis Cycle / Kawasaki ended up 10th, the highest finishing Kawasaki in the Pro Singles event. Some of the folks representing Canada included Steve Ball and Mike Labelle running the Pro Singles and Don Taylor # 53 GN Twins, current Canadian Champion.
It was a busy day for all as that Indiana dirt gets everywhere and its a chore keeping up between races.
As everyone knows Kenny Roberts rode the TZ750 and maybe not as well known, Ben Bostrom took a spin after most of the crowd went home.
Cheers, Uncle John.

What synergy... we've got a big feature on the Bostroms going in issue 4. I bet Eric is gutted he didn't get to ride there.
So, I had a surf and found this good report on Superbike Planet. Now, blogs are good because we can link to sites that commercial sites would think of as competitors.

Finally, Giannis of the excellent Speed Junkies blog sent us a list of amateur footage of the Roberts' flying lap on the TZ.
clip 1
clip 2
clip 3
clip 4
clip 5
Yep, blogs rule.

Nicky had a good Sunday. I wonder if he'll ever race dirt track professionally again.

Sunday, 30 August 2009


By Robert Mason
Just finished reading it. What an incredible book. You probably already know, but if you don't, it's about a young guy in love with flying. He joins the US Army, 1st Cavalry, so he can be paid to learn to fly helicopters. Then the Vietnam War breaks out and he's ordered to leave his wife and newborn and is shipped out on the first wave to Vietnam. Once in Vietnam he's one of many ordered to fight a war they don't understand or even agree with. The stories of landing and taking off under fire are pretty awe-inspiring, yet it is far from a one-sided, or even pro-American, story.
These are some of Mason's photos. The table and benches are made out of Huey rotor blades.
The story reminded me of former 1st Cav helicopter pilot and dirt track racer, Craig Randall. Read about him in Sideburn 3. Craig, are you coming to Peterborough to see the racing and give us some tips on Sept 19? GI

Coolbeth wins Indy Mile

Would a 9second lead be considered a ride-away? I reckon so.
These shots are from the previous Mile at Beulah Park.

At Beulah Mile Kopp (3) prepares for the race of his life.

Wild start to the Pro Singles race. I'm pretty sure this is the final. 24P is Jeffrey Carver. he came fourth. The winner was 10J, Stephen Vanderkuur.

Jacob Johnson.

Smith and Kopp. Smith came second at Beulah and Indy. He's got to be a favourite for the title.

Aaron King made the main on the Aprilia at Beulah and was the only non-XR to make the main at Indy. Good going.

Kopp taking the flags at Beulah. By a mile, remember. He lapped everyone up to 8th. That'll go down in history.

Kopp's victorious XR. Indy shots soon.

Please Take A Seat, Doctor Will Be With You Shortly...

Team Sideburn is burning the candle at both ends to get shit done. Bouncing kids and day jobs, then staying up late into the small hours putting SB#4 together. It's a bumper issue and we're really excited. In the meantime please be patient. Here is some quality waiting-room reading matter...
This hallowed magazine has been mentioned before on the Sideblog, but no one seemed to have even a dog-eared copy anymore. But John 'Dirty Whitewalls' Morales has a moto library and a half and he unearthed this. Road Rocket only made it to two issues before EMAP publishing suits pulled the plug on it. It's attitude remains dear to our hearts. For me personally, it re-aligned the stars. Thank You Mark Graham and Hugo Wilson. BP

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Goliath loves David

Bauer Consumer Publishing produce MCN, Bike, Performance Bikes, Classic Bike, What Bike? and Ride. They are a multinational publishing house. I do quite a bit of work for them as a freelance writer and have good friends there, but I didn't expect, when I visited it's Peterborough HQ on Friday, to find three of their staff all sporting Sideburn's iconic Dick Mann shirt. The fellas with style are Hugo (Classic Bike ed), Rupert (freelancer and former PB editor/legend) and Mark (Bike's production editor). GI
PS Contrary to the evidence here, wearing Sideburn shirts does NOT cause or hasten the onset of male pattern baldness.


Marchesini wheel waits to go in.

Joel designs the oil-in-frame chro-mo spine frame, forks, bodywork, clutch (the best on a V-twin ever, perhaps), electronically controlled bugcatcher air intake... And the drawings are all on the wall.

I like a tidy tool wall. Goodwood Festival of Speed entry sticker.

Joel made the models at the concept stage back in the early 1990s. He wanted to build a two-wheeled Shelby Cobra - big US engine, lightweight Euro chassis. The similarity of the model and real bike is astonishing.

The day job has been keeping me pretty busy, but I've got to meet some great people, old friends and ride some amazing bikes. I spent an afternoon and evening in the South of France, working with Chippy Wood, riding the Wakan with its creator, Joel Domergue. The Wakan Hundred is 1630cc of S&S Sportster, with top-notch Euro chassis parts. It's not a one-off. Wakan are set up to make 500 a year. But the global economy had something to say about a €26,000, two-wheeled hot rod. Shame, because Joel, and his ex-pat English consultant, Rory Simpson (the former French Pope of Ducati) are two of coolest people.
And the Wakan stomps, picking it's wheel up in fifth over crests. 120bhp and of torque. Yahoo (full story in this month's Bike).
Joel and Rory took us out and fed us foie gras and lobster. So if anyone is wondering why Sideburn 4 is running a bit late...
Oh, Wakan are looking for distributors and dealers if anyone out there is interested. The bike is amazing with the build quality of a Honda Fireblade. That means it's brilliant.

Self-portrait. We've got these laser-cut stickers (on the chinbar) in yellow, white and black now. Red has run out.

Chippy borrows my lid and jacket for a spin.

The Wakan Racer. I'd love to see this compete at Daytona.

Eco Speedway 1948

From the fantastic Defunct Speedway website...
John Hunter would get up early for a day at the seaside, with a difference. He would put his speedway bike on the local coast train at his home station, Wallsend and get it off again at Tynemouth [on the North East coast of Britain]. He would then push the bike down to the Long Sands. He got in some practise, but only if the tide was out. These photos were taken at 7am. He would wake everyone up and attract the attention of the local police. The plod would stop John, warn him about the frivolous waste of petrol [the second world war rationing was still in force] and tell him motorbikes were banned from the sands. John would patiently explain that speedway bikes ran on wood alcohol, not petrol and produce a copy of the beach by-laws showing that there was no ban on bikes using the beach at that time of year. He would then continue his session on the beach.

John, his sister and two friends pose for this photo during one of the early morning sessions on the beach at Tynemouth. The modern day Tynemouth residents would have a fit if they were woken by speedway bikes at the crack of dawn. BP

Friday, 28 August 2009

KR back on the killer

A few very good friends of Sideburn are going to be at Indy this weekend. Boastie and Chris Carr are competing (come on fellas!); Tim White and Adam Wright are shooting for us and other people; Dave, Louise, Joe and Diane of Skooter Farm are all spectating.
They'll see KR ride the TZ Miler. Hopefully videos will be all over YouTube by Monday.

I hope Yamaha will let Valentino ride the TZ. That would be incredible. You know he'd like to. Also, Valentino is contributing words for Sideburn 4. No shit!

Of course, you can read all about KR's time on the TZ (IN HIS OWN WORDS) written by Ben Miller and Mat Oxley in Sideburn 2. What are you waiting for?

Shiny Boots of Leather

Finally made it back to the Lewis Leathers shop in Paddington, London. Established in 1892, it has seen both historical achievement and historic demise. Their jackets were made famous on the backs of the Grand Prix greats, and became synonymous with the 60s caff racing Rockers, and later the likes of The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, The Clash, and all the rest. In 1993 the original shop on Great Portland St closed down for good.
Then, Derek Harris who had been quietly beavering in the wings of L.L. as an export agent, scraped up the ashes and valiantly went forth. The leathers are still all British made, and 99% obsessively faithful reproductions of the original garments - It is expensive kit, but it's relative. You can't find bargain originals at autojumbles or on eBay anymore, and the leather and stitching is mostly shot by now anyway. "It's quality son, but not as we know it". I splashed out on some kinky boots - the traffic warden that was about to give me a ticket for leaving my bike on the pavement outside, just bent down and kissed them instead.
Lewis Leathers, 26 Chilworth Street, London W2 6DT, England
tel: 0044(0)2074020200
For our Japanese friends Hiroyuki the charming pattern cutter also has his own Rockers website for all that impossible to find regalia.
Our Italian friends Good Guys in Rome are also stocking Lewis Leathers. BP

my all-time fave World Champion, Barry Sheene's Suzuki leathers from 1977

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Mag Wheel Perv

Way back, I was getting all hot down south about unobtainium Kimtab mag wheels for a fantasy bike I am building (in my head). Then when my brother turned up last week on his rather shagged RS100 BMW, those tingling feelings mysteriously returned. It dawned on me that the front wheel is 19" and remarkably similar to the Love them or Hate them, snow flake Kimtabs. Hmm. BP

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Can't stop the Cretins from rocking...

To promote their new full-face helmet, US bike clothing company Icon have made an ad that shows the lid, the excellently named Speed Cretin, in action on a wall of death. I don't think the full video is out yet, but Hell for Leather have a taster. That's where we got these photos.
Icon commissioned this mutant Yam TT500 to co-star in the ad. It's part-flat tracker, part-supermoto, part-Bososoku bike. The whole concept certainly beats some 'model' with two-day stubble giving it the blue steel that most bike clothing companies use.
This paint reminds me a lot like Bellodonna's SR, that features in their advert in SB3. GI

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Dave Skooter Farm on Killer Diller

Dave (appearing as his musical alter-ego, Mr Murdo) appeared on Sir Johnny Alpha's Killer Diller radio show last week. Download it now (if you like '77 punk, surf, exotica, garage punk and the like), because this week's show will be up soon and I think Sir Johnny only has capability to upload one at a time. GI

Kon Tiki

One of my oldest friends lives in San Diego. Nearby his house is Kon Tiki motorcycle shop. it's been there since the 60s. Check out the gallery section of their website. T.
Thanks to Troy Critchlow for the tip. Anybody guess who's who?

GI, here just back from a week's holiday working through orders and mails. The dude in the hat and suit certainly is Agajanian. See a little more about him and his events here

Monday, 24 August 2009

London Calling

Nick Walker is a sound engineer. A man who appreciates high-level open megas. His bike has been through several make-overs. I took the riding shots in '92(?), Alan Strutt made the others, no idea who the doll is. Do we want a feature on this machine in Sideburn? Hell Yeah. BP

The photos were made for a magazine published by the Zeitgeist, fetish shop on the Holloway Road. The shoot location was on Battlebridge Rd behind St Pancras station, I think it's all gone now under the new terminal.
I bought the bike in spring 1985, from a bloke in New Cross who'd had it abandoned in his garden for 3 years. I knocked on his door and offered him £200 for it. Got it on the road in '86. I found the Dunstall megas in a small ad in MCN, must have been 88-89? I rang the bloke, his dad answered and said to ring back at 4 when he got in from work so I jumped on the bike and rode down, arrived at his house in Devon just as he was getting out of his car. They were unobtainium even then... The round trip was about 380 miles, it's the most I've ever done in a day. Anyway I could bore on about that bike for hours, I better go do lunch for the kids...

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Great Britain

Shite summer weather back in England, but there's still plenty to be happy about on the island. Especially when The Hook 'em Boys are playing at my local music venue Fiddlers; a stone jailhouse built in 1740. The star studded line-up includes Sean Cook (Spiritualized, Lupine Howl), Alex Lee (Goldfrapp, Placebo), Damon Reece (Echo and the Bunnymen, Massive Attack), Jake Brockman (Echo and the Bunnymen), John Baggot (Portishead, Massive Attack, Robert Plant). They play squeeeal piggy Country 'n' Western - Nope, not what you'd expect from such a pop fraternity, but well worth rolling up your sleeves for. BP

One of a zillion classic photos caught trawling the interweb with no recollection of Who, What, Where, or When. But what a champion?! BP

Saturday, 22 August 2009


Hanging baskets that are a popular adornment to English pubs, spell ye olde kitsch to me, but they do make excellent tripod ballast for silly Gitzo carbon-fibre tripods.
SB#4 has a couple more family archive stories, it's always such a treat when people step forward with dusty photo albums and share biking stories from yesteryear. BP


This is Rob Rouser and his bike, shot by Gary Good Luck Photo. Add Dan Walsh into the mix and you have a feature for Sideburn 4. GI

Friday, 21 August 2009

Chris Carr Race School

Is nearly sold out. Sideburn's Ben Part will be making his way back onto the dirt oval for a baptism of fire. If you want to join him contact the CCM Flat Track Experience pronto. GI