Monday, 31 January 2011

Drogo's VRX400

From Drogo in London.

Hey Gary,
So here is one hopefully for the 'small Jap street bike' corner of the blog. Grey import Honda VRX 400, a spongy gutless thing as stock but with a little help and some cool bits from the guys at SP-1 in Japan, she's a tight, torquey number for London traffic death matches!
Got the magazine and ust sneaked a half hour read when I'm meant to be designing the sets for a TV commercial... Will get stuck in later, ignoring my wife and kids will have less severe consequences!
Best thing since 'Harlem Heroes' in 2000AD, and that's the highest praise I can give...

Project Royal Enfield progress

Look at it! The Mighty Carl at CFM has done the business, again. Our Bullet Classic 500 has had its front end removed and fitted with this beautiful concoction of Paioli forks, Bimota yokes, Excel rim, Talon hub and Maxxis tyre. We know there's not a lot of clearance or fork travel, but we're going to deal with it. We have big plans for the rear end too. What do you think?

CFM are waiting to sort your stalled project out, build you a race bike, or create you a low-tech Wrenchmonkee style machine. We trust them completely. G

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Product Placement

Haven't been on a blog roam for a long time. It was taking over my life so had to kick the habit. But then Sunday evening, GI cc's me and MP about 45 CHOP, and we're all off on one, and before you know it you're scrolling back through every damn page - "How many pages?!"
I still have a sheet of the stickers Chris Watson did for us, but they're too precious to stick on anything so they live stashed away in an old photo paper box, which is dumb. This is perfect placement. I should just Ride It Don't Hide It. BP

Verona Expo snaps part 6

Evel Knievel's XR750, note the scaffold tube foot-rest.
On the other end of the scales, Jacapo Monti's new line in carbonfibre sprockets. The current prototype only lasts for 3 hours but a new diamond toothed version should last 5.
And 6' 3" aboard Alberto Narduzzi's flat tracker; just to show that even though there is big air above the engine ie. it's a little high for a race bike, it doesn't look daft (apart from the fact that I'm sitting on it). BP

Verona Expo snaps part 5

So I could go on posting these snaps until next month. Even after 3 days of daily trawling the vast halls I didn't manage to see everything. Mostly unbeknown to us there were a lot of Italian celebrities of TV/ porn/publishing/soap/GP in the crowd. We had a running joke about this guy from a nearby stand who looked like Bill Bailey, and we kept repeating "You'll never guess who I've just seen!..." Then I clocked Nigel Hawthorn from Yes Minister. But it was actually Paolo Bergamaschi, from the SB#4 Snow Patrol story. BP

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Takashi's Triumph

From Japanese Sideburn reader, Takashi. Arigato!

Hi Gary
I send my triumph photo and my blog.
Tapos Blog
If you would like to link?
Be peace.

Oil Change

A gift I brought home from Verona. Olive oil hand-pressed by Mr Otto Nero. Grazie! G

UK Race Dates!

The UK flat track race dates are out and it's going to be an exciting year. The Short Track UK team have really pushed the game on this year finding big new events and venues to both keep it interesting for the racers and spread the word among the public.
The biggest change is the fact there will be two championships. One is the UK Grand National Title. This is open to all National number and R plate riders, but no raw novices. There will be two out of the three possible support classes at each of the six rounds. The support classes are Juniors (11-15), Thunderbikes and minibikes. Not sure yet which support classes are at which rounds.

The rounds are:

Rd 1 Oxford Speedway Stadium,.........Friday Evening May 6th...Confirmed (short track)
Rd 2 Moto GP, Silverstone (newtrack)....Saturday June 11th.....Confirmed (short track)
Rd 3 Amman Valley, South Wales (2 Days - Club on Sat)...Sunday June 26th...Confirmed (1/2mile)
Rd 4 Leicester (New Stadium).........Sunday 17th July.....TBC (short track)
Rd 5 Norfolk Arena, Kings Lynn................... Saturday Evening July 30th..confirmed (TT)
Rd 6 Rye House Speedway,Hoddesdon,Herts........Saturday Evening September 17th... Confirmed (short track)

The BMF is out, but we're supporting the MotoGP round!

The other Club championship is more low-key and will have a bunch more classes including one for novices, riders with less than six short track meeting's experience. Junior classes are split into Junior, Inter and Youth for 7-10, 11-15 and 15-17-year-olds respectively.
Novices will be racing Sideburn's Ben Part!
Dates are:

Rd 1 Sunday March 27th,Scunthorpe, Lincs
Rd 2 Sunday April 17th,Rye House Stadium, Herts
Rd 3 Sunday May 29th,tbc
Rd 4 Saturday June 25th,Amman Valley, South Wales
Rd 5 Sunday Sept 4th, Buxton, Derbyshire
Rd 6 Sunday Oct 9th, Scunthorpe, Lincs

Come on! For more info or any questions go to Shorth Track UK.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Affordable UK Race bikes

Sadly the FT Experience school has stopped operating. It was a good school too, and a great feeder for the UK scene. If there is any kind of silver lining to that news it's the fact the school bikes are up for sale, plus some Junior/training bikes.
This is taken straight from Short Track UK's for sale page, where there are some other cool bikes and projects on offer.

The FT35’s [400cc (above photo)] asking price is £1295 and the C-XR’s [230cc (photo below)] £595. All have 19” wheels and tyres.
CCM Motorcycles,Unit 5,Jubilee works,Vale Street,Bolton,BL2 6QF
T; 0044 (0)1204 544930

Verona Expo snaps part 4

We've been a fan of the leftfield cross-genre / cross-gender bikes of Roberto Totti forever, so it was an honor to finally meet him, and his lovely wife Cinzia - and share 1.5 meters of Pizza with them. His looney tango'd 2-stroker won the Best Street Bike prize. BP

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Axminster Hot-Shoe

Invisible from the air with its grass covered roof, Hanger 88 on the edge of the old RAF Hullavington runway is hard to find in the pitch black of a winter's night. Easier to switch off your engine and listen out for the whine of under-powered Chinese mini-bikes and the screeching from the cheap - but very effective Cheng Shin tyres.
Last weekend my brother sold his BTS I was intending to ride, for £250. Ronald picked one up last night for £280 (the same one maybe?!) which was flying until we decided to venture out from the tiny central ring we set up, onto the much faster perimeter karting circuit and he slammed it into the barrier. Co Built kindy brought along some extra bikes so all 8 of us has plenty of track time. I managed to create an small oil slick after a less spectacular tumble. But what with the make-shift carpet-shoes it soon got mopped up after a few laps. Thanks for organizing it all Anthony.
Next time it would be great to have a few more riders and spend some time setting up a slightly bigger oval. Maybe even make a day of it and add it as a Short Track UK event. BP

Flat Track Italia

From Marco Belli...

La stagione ricomincia!
Buongiorno a tutti ragazzi, dopo questo lungo stop invernale, non siete assetati di traversi ?!?!?!
Bene, ecco la prima occasione per sgranchirsi le membra e togliere un po' di polvere dalle motine. Anzi, ne mettiamo di più fresca!
Un week-end dedicato all'ovale, quello del 12&13 Marzo a Lonigo, nel vicentino.
Sabato 12 Marzo allenamenti Speedway e Flat Track dalle 14:00 alle 17:00, mentre Domenica 13 Marzo la pista sarà dedicata al solo Flat Track dalle 13:30 alle 18:00.
Il costo è di € 35 a pilota con un minimo di 10 piloti.

track location: Via Santa Marina, 36045 Lonigo, VC, Italy
track location:
45° 22' 33" N
11° 23' 37" E

Top photo: Streettracker


F1 grade coathanger made by Co-Built Geoff for his race leathers. BP

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Verona Expo snaps part 3

Mr Martini is a star, as if having a Routemaster as his VIP lounge wasn't enough of a sign that he is an Anglophile, he had cardboard cut-outs of the Beatles crossing Abbey Road. We cant speak Italian, he cant speak English so we communicated via enthusiastic gesticulation. On Saturday night he invited us to his Triumph dealership, followed by his boutique showroom, followed by workshop (including top secret projects), and on to the local pizzeria where it's ordered by the meter. BP

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Riding September

Thanks to Krook Street Racing for the tip. BP


Verona Expo snaps part 2

Thanks to all the old and new faces that came by to say Ciao. There was a healthy cross-section of bikes.We cannot live on burgers and beer alone (if at all), chocolate and fine pudding is essential. We managed to shoot 3 new Sideburn feature bikes. BP

Ride Journal #5

Sideburn collaborator Chris Watson, has an illustration and story in the new issue of Ride Journal. There's a launch party up in London this Thursday 27th if anyone fancies. BP

"True story of a 50 mile bike ride I did on a borrowed supermarket clunker with plastic brakes, carrying my two year old son, holding roadies on carbon bikes at bay, over a mountain dirt road in the south of France, on the hottest day in June, just to get some training in before my next road race back home . . .”
Cheers, Chris

Verona Bike Expo Snaps part 1

Verona was a ball (as in a lot of fun, not an ache). GI, Skooter Farm Dave, and I flew in on Thursday evening, setting up our booth in a corner of one of the vast halls in what we presumed was the London underground equivalent of Ealing Broadway - ie a long way from the action, and the end of the line. Added to which we were tucked in behind a Routemaster double-decker. It seemed like everybody else had already set up shop. The floors were still covered in protective cellophane and I nearly got run over by an Oompa Loompa from the local Hog Chapter, on a Segway.Mr Martini kindly sorted a big Trace Elliot amp for Dave, and Paolo had arranged the new Zaeta street-tracker. Once everything else was in place we necked a few fluorescent Prosecco Aperols and went for some scrummy dinner.
Friday morning we pulled on the balaclavas and got down to business. Dave acquired a fluff covered mitten.It transpired we were next to the Lowride photostudio and there was a constant steam of tarty totty and shiny motorcycles wafting past. The bus turned out to be the number 11 I actually took as a kid growing up in Chelsea, and the centre of Mr Martini's stand. What with all the gawking punters it felt like we were in Covent Garden and not the sticks after all. BP

Monday, 24 January 2011

'Fuzzybutt Reprasentin'

This is Norman McFuzzybutt on Theramin, in action with the Vicious Cycles. It has an amazing history that involves radio electronics, KGB-CIA saga, and psychedelic music. As a kid, Robert Moog built a Theramin kit following instructions in an amateur electronics enthusiasts magazine and went on to famously invent the synthesizer. No physical contact is made with the 'instrument'. Different tones are achieved according to how close your hands sweep past the ariel (on the left in the picture) - Norm please fill in the gaps. (The pink lines were added for artist effect). Oh and he's wearing our sold-out Sideburn Rollerball T. BP


Davin got in touch. His wasn't the original shot, but he was at the race. I love it when someone fills in the gaps for us.

It was at the Wauseon, OH races. They were all lined up to start the race and he burst into flames! I was in the grandstands. Here's a few more shots of the fiery Indian. Cheers! Davin

Check his blog out, it's great. Blood Falcons

Flame on, Johnny

No idea where this photo came from, but if anyone out there was at this race meeting please fill us in with some details. G

Steam power

Where A is water, B is where you stick your ground coffee and C is where the thick, dark stuff of life dribbles into. An irregular heartbeat in three simple stages. Thanks to Asbestos for the diagram. MP

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Curtiss V8

Right then. A self-built longitudinal shaft-drive V8, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1907. Lace up your thigh-high boots and crack it open to 136 point summat miles per hour. Glenn Hammond Curtiss. A proper bloke. MP

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Dirty boys

OK, so how come Mrs Evans down at the paper shop never had these in? You try knocking one out to Motorcycle Mechanics. Find out more about this depravity (not Motorcycle Mechanics, if only) at the excellent Bad Mags. I'm just wondering what that girl in the top pic has stuck to her back that's so interesting. An Old English Spangle is my guess. MP

Friday, 21 January 2011

Garage bands on The Tube

Back in late 1983, the appearance of a FOURTH channel on British TV, the obliquely-named Channel 4, was quite an event. It soon became clear that they liked putting on music programmes and some time during 1984 they launched The Tube, which turned out to be a great showcase for loads of upcoming and already-famous bands.

Apart from the live sets, they'd have items on various stuff and this report from 1984 on UK garage bands is what got me into The Prisoners, among others (hence a link with that old mix tape I dug out the other day). Filmed at the Pindar of Wakefield in London's
King's Cross, it also features Thee Milkshakes, Tall Boys and The Sting-Rays, and Gary's got the 7in Four on Four EP that was released off the back of the programme. Great footage of Billy Childish with Thee Milkshakes, and keep an eye out for a young Tracey Emin. MP

PS: Coming to see us on the stand at Verona? Check the updated post for our whereabouts.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Verona - UPDATE!

Sideburn's stand is NOT near the Lowride photo exhibition, but behind the bus in hall 1. Still come and say 'Ciao!'. You can download a pdf plan of the show here.
We have this killer new Zaeta on the stand. Thanks Paolo! GI

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

ZX-10 Looney Tunes

From our friends at Icon

Corpses from Hell CB400

Artist in demand, Maxwell P of Corpses from Hell is selling his Honda daily ride to put the money into his BSA project. He lives in London. Get in touch through his blog. Here's the warts and all sell...

The thing's reliable but its a bit of a rat. theres mot and tax so thats a plus.
it's got new battery
sporty alpha 70's exhaust
new brake shoes at the front
new front tyre
the front forks are slightly bent but I just ride it like that.

I suppose if anyone wanted it they'd probaby want to re paint it. I was hoping for £600. It should be good for that as the restoration wrecks go for 300 with no docs.
Maxwell also does a nice line in necklaces. BP