Thursday 30 April 2009

Aldana Grasstrack

One for the collectors - Aldana grasstracking! Don't forget, there's a great shot of Aldana in SB3 for those who haven't ordered yet...

Wondered if you would be interested in this photo of Dave Aldana riding Grass Track. I took the photo way back in 1979. After reading your Blog and seeing photos of his latest helmet it brought back happy memories of a truly great racer.
My first memories of him were at oulton Park in the 1974 Transatlantic Races . He rode a John Player Norton and waved at what I thought was me and my Dad every time he came past us.
I did not realise until after the race that he was waving at his Team mate Yvon Duhamel who was stood by us after being injured in an earlier race.
My fascination with this guy and the others who could race on road and also pitch it sideways on dirt at over 100mph was born.
Perhaps this photo is a rare as I don't think he raced Grass Track again.
Great Mag. I will subscribe.
Tim Beaumont

Bionic wrist

Remember we told you Col Birden crashed at the King's Lynn practice? This shot was taken about five mins before he bit the dust. Well, he's just got in touch to say...

Hi Gary&Ben,
I am sat here catchin up on the Sideburn Blog. It's lookin real good guys! I am now home after my little off at the King's Lynn practice.
I was lookin good and feelin good on my new bike I had built ready for this season, to chase after my national number. I had been out going well but unfortunately I broke my golden rule and went 'Too Fast Too Soon'. I went into turn 1 harder & faster than I ever have done and BANG I hit the lock stops got chucked over the side and landed on my head and left wrist badly.
I took a big hit on the head which may have knocked some sense into me, but I doubt it!!!
My wrist is now Bionic, rebuilt with Titanium to make me go faster. God I am going to miss this season, it's going to be the biggest and best ever.
I will be back as I have really got this Flattrackin bug. The bikes,The Racing, The people,The scene, I love it all!
Please can I order Sideburn 3,Yet another Sideburn sticker sheet 1 and if possible 4 of the Red Sideburn logo stickers for my box trailer and bike? If you sort out how much I owe you I will bring the cash to the season opener and place it in Gary's
sweaty mitts.
Thanks to everyone who helped out at the track following my accident and gave my other half Candy loads of help. You know who you all are!
Take care & enjoy the season opener @ King's Lynn. I will to see you all there!
'Crashtest Col' #57

Wednesday 29 April 2009

Cuddebackville NY

Hey, I'm back! Just parceled up a bunch of SB orders with Mrs I. Thanks for your patience. Lots of blogs backed up. This is from Mike K in NY. GI

Hey Gary,
Attached are photos of us on 4/11 at Oakland Valley Speedway in Cuddebackville, NY.
#703 is Hugh Mackie (in the red motocross pants) with his champion framed 500 tiger. Hugh owns and operates Sixth St. Specials. A classic British bike shop here in NYC.
#278 is me on my Yam SR500
The racing shots were taken by Ralph Corwin.
Cheers, Mike

Tuesday 28 April 2009

felt-tip pen, scissors, Christmas wrapping paper, and 1972 speedway annual

James Chappell did the Dick Mann illustration in SB#3
See more from the Earl of Shepherd's Bush here:


cute C&J 450 Honda for sale on
Only one day left so eggs and curry.

Monday 27 April 2009


Many Thanks to all of you who have already placed orders for SB#3.
The first batch to faithful subscribers has already gone out, but GI is now motoring at high velocity somewhere in Germany heading towards the Italian Alps in a flash new £100,000 Audi. No he didn't nick it, it falls under his 'day job' title. But this does mean the next mail-out wont be until Thursday. I'm holed up in Holland and haven't even seen a copy either. Sorry for the delay. Please sit tight.
The new T-shirt designs are at the printers too.
(I doubt very much if GI will be listening to Kraftwerk on the quad surround-sound. He's more likely to have the windows open and King Kahn cranked up)

The season's nearly started

Support UK dirt track.

For Sale

on UK eBay (last couple of days, so hurry) XS650 street tracker. Standard frame, looks tidy. Buxom mechanic in green wellies not included. Thanks to Ben Wilson for the tip-off.

Wednesday 22 April 2009

The Wait is OVER!

Sideburn 3 has landed!
Here is photographer and Sideburn contributor Fly enjoying a cheeky Grolsch and a hot off the press SB3 outside Sideburn HQ. We've been feeding you tasters, but for a fuller (but not complete) list of what's going in and to order, click here.
It couldn't be simpler. If you have a Paypal account, just send money to
Or send a cheque.
Subscribers issues, and pre-orders, are parceled up will go out tomorrow. So don't panic.

If you want to get one of the last 40 issues of Sideburn 1 we have left, plus 2 and 3 and a laser cut sticker, you can subscribe and have your THREE ISSUE subscription start with issue 1. It's a no brainer. Think what a great day you'll have when those beauties land on the doormat. Subscription details

Lovers' Land

Lovers' Land is beautiful, hippified feelgood blog about three surfers who borrowed W650s from Deus, strapped surfboards to the side and went off on an Aussie road trip. Who could ever get bored of bikes when they open so many doors?

Freshly Made Donuts

Cold, wet, and salty, but a whole lorra fun. Beach racing in the north of England, laps limited by the encroaching tide.
Story Rupert Paul, photos Redeye. SB#3 out this Friday.

Tuesday 21 April 2009

Aldana's new lid

From Don at Metro Racing. Thanks, Don. By the way, there's a great, unseen shot of Aldana, that even Dave himself hadn't seen and couldn't place, in Sideburn 3.

Hey Guys
Here's some top secret spy photos of David Aldana's new Arai Corsair 5. I just finished painting it. He will debut it this weekend at the Neeses, SC and Aonia Pass AHRMA races this weekend.
Ride fast, take chances, Don

I hope he didn't mean 'secret' as in don't show anyone. Too late.

Tangerine Dream

Sideburn 3 aint just sand blasted golden oldies, we got shiny new stuff too. This Italian Drags And Racing chrome will get you home.

Monday 20 April 2009

The Main Mann

Dick Mann illustration James Chapell, interview Gary Inman.
The Who, What, Why, When, How? in SB#3, out this coming Friday.

King's Lynn practice

There was a big amateur speedway race on before us and no track prep after they left. I've never seen so much rubber down. The track was like concrete. And fast.

Long shadows. 6.30pm on a beautiful sunny Sunday. We rolled into the middle of the track for the open practice. Go out when you like, come in when you like.

Track. It was like a ploughed car park.

Andy Moore's new bike. Apparently it's a Spanish copy of a Wood Rotax that may or may not have been commissioned by Roberts for his ranch (when he was based in Spain running GP teams). Andy is one of the most stylish riders in European flat track, a pro speedway rider who has been racing grasstrack since he could walk. The bike had a few teething problems, but Andy still rode it so hard he killed a rear Maxxis in ten laps. It takes most people a season. He took my bike out as a benchmark and said it felt great.

Scotty and the Rotax we've been following the build of. He built the frame himself. It is a beautiful job. And he went well, wearing vintage MX-style leather trousers and Barbarians rugby shirt. Nervous before hand, once he got on track he never stopped smiling. Wasn't slow either.

My Wood ready to go. I love this bike.

Tim Stevens' CCM is developing really nicely, showing what can be done on a budget. It had a new £25 megaphone end can.
Look in the background and you can see poor Col B being treated on the track. This is about 15 mins in. He highsided and badly broke his wrist and maybe ankle. Get well soon.

Steven Coles' Honda Hawk with its new Stealth Bomber bodywork. I had a quick spin and it's weird but the thing turns well. It still amazes me he can go so well on it. Steven crashed early, but rode on. At the end of the day he told me he thought he broke a knuckle. This man is scary. Last year he rode with a hole in his arm that a dirty clutch lever poked through. He's like that Marine, Camouflage.

Simon on his ER-6 looking smart. Started very gingerly, but got up to a decent speed before the session ended.

Paul Harrison's Rotax (from an Aprilia). Don't know the chassis, looks like a Wood, too. This guy is deceptively fast.

Boastie's framer. I think he's still getting used to it, preferring to ride his DTX Suzuki. Gorgeous bike though. I hope he starts racing it full-time and abandons the DTX. GI

Sunday 19 April 2009

B Movie

I always judge a book by its cover and a film by its opening sequence.
Wild Guitar 1962 directed by schlock-meister Ray Dennis Steckler is no exception.


The Dutchman flies again with us for SB#3. This time shooting a ridden not hidden WR.
We're taking pre-orders for SIdeburn 3 now. It lands at Sideburn HQ on Friday 24th. Order now so we can start writing jiffy bags, please. Same price as issue 1 and 2. Paypal to

Classic Bol d'Or

A fella I met through Performance Bikes, Bob Sparkes, who I think had an old Harris, sent these shots in from his trip to the Classic Bol d'Or, at Magny Cours. He spannered for the ARSE team who scored a good finish. They're nothing to do with the oval racing we focus on, but they're just too good not to share. There are no rules here. Or not many. We post what we like. We know 99% of you will like them too.
Go here to see more.
Thanks Bob! GI

Saturday 18 April 2009


Canadian Scott Pommier is a ninja. Before he makes his hit, he turns himself invisible, and can glide through undergrowth silently. One is not aware of his camera - I guess he turns that invisible too. There is not the notion that his subjects are posing. It's like you the viewer, have the privilege of seeing what he sees first hand.
He shadowed the Scorpions mc and their sand roosters larking about in a Richmond BC sand pit. Read their story in SB#3 out next week.

The Mummies in Paris this Summer

The Mummies are back again. And Dave Skooter Farm's band, The Stags, are supporting.
Sounds like The Mummies are also playing NY.

I was wrong about Jason Crump

When the Speedway World Championship used to be shown on Channel 4, and God I miss it, this Aussie used to win all the time. He was bad-tempered. And he did a daft clenched-fist win celebration, like he was trying to punch a cow's udders. I didn't like him. I liked Mark Loram. And Hans Anderson. And Leigh Adams. And Ryan Sullivan. In fact, I liked anyone but Jason Crump. Even Tomasz Gollob.
But a couple of weeks ago I went up to Sheffield to do a feature on old Speedway bikes that were being racing at a benefit meeting for badly injured speedway riders. And Crumpy was there, racing for free, in a week he will have already raced at four meetings in three different countries, with another four or even five meetings the following week. And he was majestic.
I got him all wrong. Sorry Crumpy.
Photo: Rory Game Cheers Rory.

Friday 17 April 2009

Psychedelic Pedestal

Paul Herman has been in the Sideburn inspiration folder since before we knew his name - and before we had even decided on our name. Yet another downloaded snap of unknown origin. I patronizingly assumed he was just game for a laugh, but he's a winner. Full story in SB#3 out next week, with photos by Troy Critchlow.