Saturday, 30 June 2012

Steve Plater at King's Lynn

Steve Plater (#22, above, next to his mate Boastie) has won the 2009 Senior TT, the Macau GP, NW200, a World Endurance round and a bunch of other stuff. Today he was racing in the Short Track UK championship for fun. G

It's not what you ride, it's how you ride it (17)

Jawa. Thanks to Jan-Willem for the photo.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Lorenzo Buratti: Our kind of man

Lorenzo from Italy has been in touch for us for a little while. He built a great looking YZ250 two-stroke flat tracker, then he got in touch to say...

If you have a minute check my new website, in one photo there's a table with some Sideburn mag on it, let me know if it's ok for you, if for some reason is not i can change immediately.. I hope you like it 
My bests 

So, I had a dig around. I was flattered, out of all the magazines in the world he could've chosen to put on his newly made coffee table, Lorenzo chose Sideburn. Then I looked through his bike photos and was blown away by what he'd done on two wheels. Above are a few of my favourites.
Lorenzo is making one-off furniture in Italy. Go to his website if you want to commission something. G

Thursday, 28 June 2012

1939 Ohio Flat Track

From Roger F (who regularly finds the good stuff). Even assuming the early section of this film is cranking slightly faster than it should, they are flying. Check out riders with the turned-down bars. You can see one best when the riders line up at 2:38. G

These guys are really hauling and the quality is pretty good, although I don't know any of the riders. There's two locations this may have been. My guess is the present harness racing track in Northfield, but wasn't there another "Northfield" half-mile further south on old Rt8 just before Cuyahoga Falls on the right? Closer to Akron? Anyway, this was in our backyard when all we know was country....r

GI needs help

I regularly work for Performance Bikes and they're always looking for cool garages to photograph. One I featured recently was Geoff Co-Built's. I visit with a photographer, and he shoots it in this funky way. We're very careful not to give the location of your lair away.
If you're in the UK and have a garage or workshop you think might be worth featuring please get in touch. It can be large or tiny, but as long as it's got some interesting things going on we could be interested. It doesn't have to be as awesome as Co-Built HQ.
Thanks for your help. G

Can you spell that please, sir?

I refer to this book a lot for my day job. It has the results of every 125, 250, 500 and MotoGP race from 1949 to 2008 all printed on paper like that of a Gideon Bible. Plus there are a ton of other details to cross reference as well, like the results of every particular rider and manufacturer and all sorts. I get lost in it.
I was looking for details of the mighty KR211V, Kenny Roberts' Honda-V5 powered MotoGP bike for the 2006 season (bottom) when I spotted this Swiss rider, who came sixth in the 1951 Swiss GP. Made me smile, anyway. G

PS There is no Swiss GP any more due to the country banning virtually every form of motorsport after the Le Mans tragedy of 1955. Every day's a school day at the Sideburn blog.

KR Jr leads KR Sr, both riding KR211Vs. This is the bike with the British made chassis and HRC V5 that scored podiums (and should've won the Portuguese GP) in 2006. The last non-factory or non-satellite premier class GP bike to have any kind of success.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

My first flat track race for 32 years

From Mark in Arizona.

Hello my name is Mark and I would like to share a true (in my mind, anyway) story. 
Last year I did it! My first flattrack race in 32 years [Mark in his heyday, in 1976, above].The day did not start out well. 
6:00 am Sunday - Loading up the bike, I already had butterflies. The next thing I knew, I had to take a crap REALLY BAD! Started for the can and didn't make it! Really, no s%#t. Threw my underwear away and took another shower. 
I drive about an hour to the track, fighting another crap brought on by my butterflies. I really destroyed the port-a-can when I got there. I think they will have to throw it away. I'm 54 years old now, can't wait until I get really old. 
The fun begins Before practice on a run to the port-a can, AGAIN, I notice that the MX boots that I don't normally use while riding this pig, is making shifting very hard. 
Back at the pits, I move the shift lever up one position on the spline. I see that the time for practice has arrived and nobody is on the track. WTF? 
I ride up to the official and ask if I can go out and get a thumbs up. Out I go on my big ugly daily commuter trail bike and I can't shift into second gear! The shift lever is hitting the sprocket cover. Damn! I make two laps with everybody looking at me, going from first gear to neutral, over and over again. My face was red going into the pits. Back at the truck, I removed the counter-shaft sprocket cover. Problem solved. 
My race had 10 bikes in it. They call it the Amateur class... There were only four classes. Mini, Amateur, Vintage, and Pro. 
The track was great. Nice cushion. Every bike there was set up for flat track, 19" wheels with race tires, Champion frames, Rotax, Yam TTs, Knight framed Yam 360, CRF450 Hon, YZF450 Yam. They all had steel shoes too. Bastards! 

Heat race I am on the start line with my TALL bike, looking down at my competitors from my Honda XR650L, 21" front wheel, luggage rack, desert tank with 4 gallons of fuel (filled it up a week ago - wasn't expecting to race the big red pig), cheap dual-sport tires, turn signals, license plate, tape over the headlight, MX boots, etc... I know that they thought that I was a goon. 
Some guys were not very friendly in the pits. 
The flag drops and I get into turn one in about fifth place. This sucks, so I go wide and ride around them on the outside into first down the back straight going into turn three. This bike was a handful on the track but the racing hours of my youth came back like it was yesterday. I was able to hold the lead for three laps. Then this "hotshoe" passes me on the inside. Old guy like me, he was really fast (He won the Vintage class main too). He starts to leave me, and there nothing that I could do about him. 
I finished second place. Honked my horn when I crossed the line. I forgot to turn on my left turn signal during the race. I would have given my left nut for a steel shoe and a 19" front tire at this time in my life. 

Main Got a okay start, fourth into turn one, second place out of turn four. The "hotshoe" got the hole-shot and was pulling away. Oh well. Battle with a few guys then it calms down for a while and I am running a steady second place in a 15 lap main. Then the ghost of my youth takes a vacation... start to get tired... really tired. I held second place until three laps to go. A guy shoves his Yamaha 450 under me, hard! Yelling his head off. (later learning that he thought he was going down and taking me with him)! Hell, he can have it if he wants it that bad. I really can't afford to get busted up. Damn 20 year olds! I kept on him, hoping for a mistake. No luck with that plan. I finished third and got a trophy! 
Yeah! After all these years I really thought I was done being excited about getting a trophy. Nope! It felt good. The guys warmed up to me after the race though. Gained a bit of respect me thinks... maybe not. 
If I ever do this again, I will remove the brake light so they won't when I am slowing... or should I leave it on and just ride the brakes a little early into the corners? 
Cheers, Mark

Biker Flicks and Burlesque on Offer

The Big Book of Biker Flicks is great independently published (and out of print) book is back in stock. Like all the books we sell, we're offering a free Sideburn Tote bag (normally £6)with every book purchase. This applies to Burlesque: The Art of Tease (just back in stock) and the other great books we love enough to stock. G

Tin Pot

Andy Bridge Tinpot Despot. Household Emulsion on riveted aluminium. One of many eclectic artists repped by APART gallery. BP
UPDATE: apologies for the ancient APART website the Facebook page is more current

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Brit Riders rule FIM Flat Track

 1 Collins
54 Boast. Sixth in the final.
93 Woolley. Style.

The first ever FIM International flat track race went off in Czech Republic last week, with Europe's best  racers in attendance. Six riders travelled from GB, all six made the final, with Aidan Collins and Tom Woolley coming first and second.
I'd love to see how Collins would go in the deep end of American short track, given a good bike and a few races to acclimatise. He's the quickest in England and has proven he has the beating of the rest of Europe.
Well done to all involved.
The next round is in Italy, then there are two in the US and one in Hungary. Go to the FIM for more details.
Remember, Collins and the cream of UK short track will be in action at King's Lynn this Saturday. Racing from 1 till 5. £10 on the gate. G
Photos: Tim Coles

Suzuki Scrambler

From Filandro in Italy

Attached I send you some photos of an old Suzuki DR650 turned into a vintage Scrambler, by my friend Luigi from Bike Garage. 
Luigi is younger than me but is totally "old school" minded! On his Harley 883 he grabbed off the fuel injection and fitted a carburettor and an old Fantic Caballero's fuel tank! 
Hope you appreciate. 
Regards Filandro

Monday, 25 June 2012

This is Dirt Quake!

This is Dirt Quake! from SIDEBURN on Vimeo.

The much-requested film of the event.
This was made by Hayley Saull and Dan Walsh of Patteran Films, who also made the great Dirt Quake preview video and last year's Rollerburn doc. Dan wrote and performed (Spoke? Intoned? Delivered?) the voice over.
Thanks Patteran!
UPDATE: Thanks again to The Vicious Cycles for supplying the music.
If you like the look of this, there is UK Short Track going on this Saturday, 11-5 at King's Lynn Norfolk. G

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Magnetix at Wheels and Waves

Wheels and Waves had all the ingredients I want from a bike show, including a good mix of music. The Saturday night party was at an open-air bar/restaurant. The drinks were an arm and a leg, but the setting was worth it. I was upstairs eating foie gras and drinking wine when I heard the band come on. I made my excuses and left for the stage. 
Magnetix are a French duo, originally from the Biarritz area, I think. They put on a great show at the back of the open-air cliff-top area. Behind them was the ocean, you could just see the white waves rolling in. Look to the right and the lights of Biarritz could be seen. The most memorable gig I've been to in years and that it was part of a classic and custom bike show made it even more amazing. G
 Magnetix, not to be confused with a three-piece of the same name. Lady drummer, geezer vocals/guitar. That's it. The singer had a very strange, but endearing delivery. When singing, he'd contort his face till he looked like the Bug from Men in Black (below). He didn't look like that normally.

 View from the lav. You could take a leak and still watch the band. It's uncivilised and civilised at the same time. Now wash your hands.
 The venue: Blue Cargo, Biarritz.
Cool jacket, tattooed face.
Paul Vintagent was on a table wigging out in his cardigan.

Jimmy Tarbuck scoring Drouge Electriqe vinyl in the carpark - wearing a Sideburn Get Thee Behind Me, Chris Watson designed top.Vinyl junkie on a high. I blame the salt air. BP


Sideburn 10 has been translated into Japanese and printed as an accompanying supplement.