Saturday 26 April 2008

Stickers! Taking orders now

Here is a low-res version of the artwork Chris has done for us.
Sideburn sticker sheet 1.
Each sticker will be kiss-cut. The whole sheet is A5, the same size as Sideburn itself.
The stickers are laser printed them laminated with a clear UV film so they won't fade in a hurry (if ever).
Perfect for helmet, toolbox, truck, car window, guitar, theremin or hot sickle.

UK - £2 + £0.50 postage
USA - £4 + $1.50 postage
Europe - €2.75 + €1 postage
Rest of World - £2 + £1.50 postage

Pay via Paypal, by sending money to
Send any questions to that email address too.

If you order stickers and either the mag or T-shirt at the same time the sticker postage is free!

Friday 25 April 2008

Sideburn stickers coming soon

Chris Watson (above), the super talented artist who worked on the Unknown Soldiers feature in Sideburn issue one, is currently creating a Sideburn sized sticker sheet for us. Unfortunately, his personal grooming has suffered. "Light trim please barber, nothing off the top."

Wednesday 23 April 2008

King Kirk

A message from one of our MySpace friends. Go see him race if you're in the vicinity. And then send us photos, please.

Greeting from Kansas
...where they have been flat tracking motorcycles for over 100 years now.
..allow me to interduce myself.. the one and only "king kirk" (racing moniker). shameless self promoter. I have been riding motorcycles since the days when you could still buy a "good running" H-D for well under $2000. My first machine was a almost new 74 XLCH ironhead. Lady luck soon put me onto a nice 72 FX bigtwin.. sweet.. then on to a 80" flathead i got a deal on in california. that was when i started goin to the races.. Ascot park was down the street and i was watchin the likes of gary nixon , springer in his prime and the up n coming scotty parker..Carr was not born yet i believe, after years of watchin i made the desicion to try and see if i could do it myself... so. i ripped the runnin boards and kickstand off the flathead 80, after the heat. and drove into turn i in the am open twin class in a nftradotcom race in kansas a few years ago. the old hog was not to fast, butt. the girls loved me.. next machine up was an x#1 pro bike a 650 yamaha ina staracer frame.. fast on the cam but dang harleys and 750 triumphs were eating me up on the 1/2 mile...soooo
...the reason i am here.
..2 fellows in the kansas city area built a machine
..i of em used to race back in ba early 70's, and he searched out his old bike he had sold years back... a 750 norton ina red line frame. him n his ole bud, an engine builder, got togather ..and decided they had enough parts to build a racer.. took a cammando frame, set it beside the red line and modified it to red line specs. built up a fresh P11 lower end with a rebuile lucas mag, hooked it up to a stock cammando top end and installed his original old lectron carbs and ... .i found it on flea-bay... will have to say. the fab work and detail on this machine amazes me, and my tuner .. cockeye willis of the infamouse "go away garage" fame , who is an accomphished fab guy in his own right... rode it to cassiody, ks last sunday without a hitch, untill the fuzz snagged me anyway.. (another phuckin story)) put arond 100 miles on it with no problem... anyway sure i will be needing help as the last motor i went thru was a 1938 H-D ULH...
wish me luck as i am ready to hit the track the 25th of this month at wichita kansas's 81 speedway 3/8 mile dirt track. the next night is a short track at wichita's jeeps motorcycle club..
. free beer in the pits after the race.. .everybody's welcome .. you guys say
"go fast turn left"

Harley XR50

Built and sent to us by Sideburn reader Stuka Brown (in Ireland, we think).

Tuesday 22 April 2008

Sideburn's UK HQ

Signed poster of Gary Nixon and too much clutter. The Wood Rotax lives in here for now too.

Back down to earth

Literally just unloaded from the King’s Lynn round.
Positives: Bike started brilliantly (after Marco Belli showed me how to do it properly); Ran sweet; Got the Maxxis tyres working better (been running them too soft); new leathers looked good; got some great starts and a third in one heat; there were a few new faces racing.
Negatives: Crashed on first lap of first heat (remounted, finished mid-pack, but hurt leg); realized I’m not as fit as I thought I was; new faces beat me. Balls.

Friday 18 April 2008

BMW street tracker

Monster BMW retro-futurist street tracker. Part HP2, part valve radio. What more can we say? Bloody marvelous, world a better place with it, etc.

Craig at Ascot Park

We hoped Sideburn would be a magnet for global flat trackers. And it has been. Craig from Georgia sent us this today.

"The photo is taken at Ascot Park in Gardena, CA and wastaken by Dan Mahony. It is from 79-80 I am 182g and Richard Arnaiz is right behind me (probably not for long as me and Ascot didn't get on).
Richard had some success in AMA superbike in the mid to late 80's, I know he got a couple of podiums. I had some success road racing, won a couple of AMA/CCS SW superbike regional championships, but blew up my motors and went completely broke."

Thursday 17 April 2008

Project X7

Space age name. Project X7. Sounds like something Chuck Yeager would have piloted. It's actually Suzuki's 100mph 1970s 250cc bike. The British loved this bike because you could ride it on L plates at 17. Sideburn reader Sam Brown's got plans for his.


The UK Short Track championship gets under way (after the rained off Middlesbrough round) at King's Lynn this weekend. Three Italians are traveling the 2000 or so miles to compete in a totally amateur race. One is this fella Jacopo Monti - the coolest racer we've ever seen.
He rides a pink Wood Rotax (Harley 500R). And he rides it hard.

Friday 11 April 2008

Skooter Farm Racing

Without this man, Skooter Farm's Dave Arnold, there'd be no Sideburn. He's our inspiration.
Come and see Dave and me race at King's Lynn, Norfolk, England on Saturday 19th.
He's number 31, I'm 13.

Spot the Difference

The top picture is Marco Belli on his Wood Rotax. He's the UK champion and consistently one of the top 3 flat trackers in Europe.
The bottom picture is me, Sideburn's Gary, on my Wood Rotax. I'm not in the top three of anything very often.
Both shots are taken on the same turn (turn 1 at Middlesbrough). Marco has about 20bhp more, but he could probably still win on my bike.
His bars are bigger (I've swapped mine). He's sat further back. I'm going to try that. Wonder if it'll make any difference.

Thursday 10 April 2008

1977 XR750 ready to race in the UK

From our mate Steve Hillary, who lives in the sarf of England and runs a fancy Ducati dealership.

‘I was a bit narked that I couldn’t get to race short track last year and still only have a half built bike , so… I went out and bought a real live XR750 Hardly movin'son , been refreshed but stored
for 12 years! 1977 vintage.
‘Got it home, stripped it out to have a look, emptied out the gloop of R40 inside put some cheap oil in and warmed the cases for a couple of hours while I stripped the carbs and clutch, primed the oil pump turned her over on the crank nut about 100 revs till I had oil pressure to the rockers, fitted the new battery n plugs, checked spark, ran down the hill and bumped the bitch into life!
‘Boy was it loud. Two open mega without the lunch box on. Sweet music tho.
Did two laps of the village with no lid on, just the wind in my quiff , came in and changed the oil and had a cup of tea .
That’s what I call a perfect day!’


Monday 7 April 2008

Mule Funny Bike

This is the Mule Funny Bike rolling chassis, built by Richard of Mule Motorcycles, California. It was never fully completed, but we dig it. Here is Mule’s story. His views on C&J chassis are his, not Sideburn’s. We’ve never tried them.

“The ‘Funny Bike’ was the culmination of several ideas. It was supposed to be a chassis for a Buell motor to be ridden by Michelle DiSalvo who was a fast National caliber racer. It would be run in the ‘Supertracker’ class which allowed 1250cc 2 valve, pushrod motors (Harleys).

“Up to this point I’d built about 20-25 Street trackers using C&J frames, but wasn’t happy with many of the design features. So I decided to solve as many problems as I could with the first prototype. Some of the issues were: an exhaust system that hit your right leg; couldn't pull the motor easily; couldn't pull the top-end in the frame; overall side-to-side balance of the motor in the frame; oil capacity; inability to accurately check oil
Level; breather (cases) capacity; wheelbase with the 5-speed Sportster/Buell cases; fuel tank availability.

“Although the bike was never completed, many things were tried, designed, discarded, re-done and so on. I had a blast building it and plan to build another.

“The frame is a perimeter type. The right spar has several NPT threaded fittings for breather tubes to attach to the various breathers coming out of the motor. At the bottom the tube had a drain to return the collected oil back in the cam gearcase. The left spar has an additional tube that ran about 5" below it and was completely sheeted in to serve as an oil tank. Capacity was almost 4 qts(liters?). There was a fitting machined up and welded into the outer skin which accepted a oil window from an Yamaha XJ750 primary cover. This allowed a visual check for a minimum oil level.

“The rest was pretty straight forward, but stuff you normally don't see in the ‘Follow the leader’ world of flat track. A gullwing swingarm allowed one exhaust pipe to wrap under the chassis and sweep up under the upward arc of the left swingarm blade. In the event of a laydown/lowside, the pipe was only marginally vulnerable. The other pipe tucked inside the frame and wouldn't burn the rider's leg.

“The rear subframe unbolted for easy replacement and although I used a traditional XR750 type seat, it was made of carbon-fiber. The feedline from the left-side frame oil tank to the oil pump was huge. What was intended to be a simple swingarm pivot structure, ended up being a complex build, but provided a wider, stiffer, swingarm pivot dimension. Wheels and front suspension were conventional and the shock was tucked in, well out of harms way.

“The tank was never built but was going to be a very low, flat, pancake affair to allow the rider to tuck in very low for excellent aerodynamics on the Mile tracks.

“Two of the original design goals worked out very well. The top end could be pulled straight out the top of the frame and all top end hardware and components were readily accessible. Eight, easy to reach bolts would have the engine fall out onto the ground. No wrestling or shoehorning to re-install the engine. Just jack it up and it popped right into place!

“There were a few fit up details I didn't like, so
I cut the thing all to pieces to re-do several portions of it. It's all resting in a couple large boxes with only about 25% re-work completed. I guess I just moved on to several other, more pressing projects.”


Sunday 6 April 2008

Wrench Monkees, Copenhagen

Sideburn's Gary and Ben flew out to Copenhagen, Denmark at the beginning of April to meet a trio of excellent, up and coming bike builders - the Wrench Monkees. We love all their bikes and shot the bar hopping street tracker SR500 they built for their mate, Lasse.
Full story in Sideburn 2 - out this summer.

Sideburn Triumph modified

Jason’s Triumph (in Sideburn issue 1) has received love around the globe, so there might be a few people upset to find out he’s already reworked it. The original pipe has been replaced with a modified Italian Zard ‘I had to do 2 days welding just to get it on. Done now though,’ Jason tells us.
He’s also put a mouth organ badge on the tank and had it repainted.

Thursday 3 April 2008

Sideburn in Italy

Sideburn mags and T-shirts are now stocked in the supercool Good Guys Racer Store in Rome.

The address is:
Good Guys Racer Store
Via Ottavio Ragni 6
00194 Roma

It’s not what you ride…

It’s how you ride it.
Ben can’t remember how he came across these photos, but they make us smile. Some American kid getting his flat track and TT kicks on a Vespa in the back yard and the snow.
See other related shots at

Wednesday 2 April 2008

Orange Blossom Special

This is the first of roughly one million snaps sent in by Rich of Mule Motorcycles. The bike belongs to American author and journalist Allan Girdler. It's a Wood Honda CRF450. Allan used to ride Harley XRs, and wrote a book about racing Harleys you can still pick up (Harley-Davidson Racing 1934-86), then decided he wanted something lighter and more reliable to race. So he flogged the 750 and built this. It’s neat. Wood make a lovely frame and the personalised 70s tinged paint and signwriting is dead right.
Check out Mule's own cool stuff at