Friday 31 July 2009

Thursday 30 July 2009

Power Glide

SB#3 shout out in the French Hot Rod magazine Powerglide.
Merci Laurent.

Barbara Fritchie Classic

From Stephen Bacon in the USA.

'I was at the Barbara Fritchie Classic (oldest continually running half-mile in the US I think - this was the 87th running) earlier this month. Sorry the "action shot" is a tad blurry - man he seemed a lot closer when I hit the button - they were movin'. I had a couple others but either I timed it wrong, way out of focus, etc. Oh well.
The Triumph did pretty well and was probably the oldest bike out there. The SV650 was pretty interesting - custom frame and no airbox / reworked throttle bodies, etc. The owner said it actually made too much power and spun up too much so he was selling it.
Great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.' Stephen

Tuesday 28 July 2009

Return of the King

Great news for UK and Euro flat track, Chris Carr is coming back to race, teach and hang out. The seven-time AMA Grand National Champion will be kicking limey arse at Rye House on Sunday October 11th.
Chris will also be leading another flat track school, also at Rye House, on the Friday 9th (Rye House speedway are at home on Saturday unfortunately).
And, because we just can't get enough of him, Sideburn is promoting an intimate evening with Chris Carr. Details are sketchy (surprise), but it'll be on Thursday 8th, the day before the school, it'll be in the Peterborough area, Chris will give an after-dinner speech type thing (without the dinner), then Q&A. Stay tuned for more details.
Sound good? GI

18" Street Tracker Tyres

We're often asked "What about 18" tyres for street trackers?" One solution is using two front tyres from a Suzuki VanVan. It sports Dunlop K180 which is a traditional chunky tread pattern. 130/80-18 front and a comedy 180/80-18 rear. This fat kid doesn't look like it's had much sideways action, but it's not a bad bike. BP

Flexi Office contd.

5 after midnight, and I've just had long overdue dinner for two with the Mrs, in the Jamie Oliver restaurant in Bath (good but not brilliant). We're staying with my Mum out in the styx and she's baby sitting. Before heading back out of town - and no internet, I have to send some SB#4 Emails; a PDF to Mick Phillips in Italy for proof reading, a new layout proposal to GI, and give some constructive critisism to James Bettinson who's just done some layouts too. The long closed internet cafe luckily left its server switched on, so standing in the street with a Lassie hard-drive sticking out of my pocket, it's business as (un)usual.
My rubberized Ortleib courrier bag is my own all-weather Tardis man-bag. Apparently if I was to get washed overboard it could act as a small life-raft; it's so air-tight it could even act as an airbag if I crash with the bike. Can't say I'm in a hurry to put that theory to the test. BP

Monday 27 July 2009

Hagerstown by Uncle John

Kurt Marmor's Ducati. We don't know much about the rider or bike, but it's fascinating. Kevin Atherton was on a Ducati too.

Coolbeth's XR

Luke Gough's Suzuki

Mee's XR's (with Nickers popping over the tank, apparently)

Team Tenacious from Canada

The Pro Singles podium

Remember proud Uncle John? Well he sent these shots and a very personal report from the recent Hagerstown half-mile AMA GNC round. His nephews race in the support class. In the twins class, Jake Johnson, Sammy Halbert and Kenny Coolbeth were 1, 2, 3. Mees, 4th and Carr sixth. I mention those two because Mees is on the cover of SB3 and we love CC, but it does seem weird to not mention 5th, so that was Matt Weidman. Anyway, Uncle John wrote...

Attached are photos taken, in between rain, at the AMA event at Hagerstown Maryland, 7/25/09.
The Canadian contingent was well represented in the Pro Singles class with Mike Labelle of Labelle Racing out of Welland ON. taking third in the main.
Nigel Heggarty of Team Tenacious raced from the last row in the Pro Singles main after a high side in his heat race to take a 9th, earning him the "hard charger" award. The question everyone wanted answered in the pits was, where did these Canadians
learn to ride on clay?
Check out the photo of Jammin Jared Mees bikes and you might see Gary Nixon in the
Cheers, Uncle John.

Problem solved?

After hours of fiddling and fettling, and invaluable help from Co-Built's Antony B, I took my bike to Fiskerton practice track, dropped the 44mm Mikuni's main jet from 300 (that's always been in there) to 270 and did a few laps. Felt good. Checked the plug, nice colour. Did some more laps, couldn't get it to play up, but still didn't know if it's because I wasn't revving it hard enough. Still, I was going as fast as I could, so I could've raced and been ok. Boastie took it out, and except for hating my rear brake lever, he declared it 'Sweet'. Still, I won't be 100% confident until local dyno experts BSD have tested. It's booked in before the next race.
Thanks for all your advice fellas. GI

Sunday 26 July 2009

Douglas DT

The Dirt Track. Built in Bristol, England.

Saturday 25 July 2009


Stoke on Trent short track race tomorrow (Sunday 26th) canceled as very bad weather is predicted. Boastie is organizing a practice at the Lincoln track from 12 noon onwards as an alternative for those revved up and wishing to burn some adrenalin.

Co-Built annexe

This is Co-Built Anthony's lair. I called in here when we were trying to fix my bike the other day. You have to crawl through this hole (below), next to his downstairs toilet, to get in. The bike entrance is barricaded. It's a good anti-theft plan. GI

Spot the Sideburn stickers.

An old KTM Rotax stripped and ready to power another Co-Built framer.

Screens from Anthony's Morocco desert rallye race bikes.

Anthony, methodical.

Friday 24 July 2009

The Praying Mantis

I love this photo. It's the fourth of July, he's had a few drinks, someone has introduced him to the minibike and he's off practising the praying mantis. Genius from Dirty Donny's blog. Nice Volvo in the background too. GI

El Camino

If you're not turned on to's for sale page you're missing out. Russ spotted this. What a beauty. In England we had the Ford P100. It's not quite the same. Cheers Russ. Hope to see you back in England soon.

'Here it is, the ultimate bike hauler, let your mullet flap in the wind with this ride.
A 1967 El Camino, fresh paint, less than 3000mi on the 327 w/202 heads, an edelbrock intake and carb, headers, fresh 2 speed powerglide, runs and drives great. Needs interior finished, ie headliner new carpets. looking for $5500 or best offer
Call Aran @ 603-209-9193 PS bike not included'

Thursday 23 July 2009

The birth of Euro flat track

A while ago I was emailing back and forth with Jan-Willem of the Dutch Brothers. We were talking about Carlo Talamo, the super-influential Italian Harley, Triumph and Bentley importer. J-W pointed out that if anyone is the father of Euro flat track it could be the late Carlo T. It's a shame he's no longer with us. I know there were one-off races in the UK, but this was a series. GI

'Regarding the father of european flat track, once Jacapo [Monti] was explaining me that him and Marco used to race short track in Italy. From what I can remember they had 25 years of shorttrack in Italy!
it started in 1979. The italian Harley importer was crazy about flat track and he had a whole batch of Wood-Rotaxes made. There were probably more real Wood-rotaxes in Europe then in America!
At some point they even had an 883 class, all on the Italian speedway tracks.
In the glory days they even had up to 3000euro prize money for a race win!!
Marco [Belli] was champion there a couple of times and Jacopo too. The real fast guy was a guy named Elvi or something. I rode with him ones in Badia Calavena.'

Wednesday 22 July 2009

Torino details

I was in Turin for 24 hours for work earlier this week. There was lots going on.

This is Marco P's Sportster (Nightster?). Had new Ceriani forks, Brembo radial master cylinder but stock calipers. Maybe he ran out of money. He also rode in trainers with no socks. Now, I know a sock is going to do eff-all in an accident, but psychologically I couldn't ride without socks. Nice Harrington jacket though.

Tidy 50 Special.

Saw another Sporty with a knackered Supertrapp. Bet it's loud.

This food cost about 12 euro ($20) and was shared between four of us. The beer cost 12 euro! What? Are you kidding? Perhaps the most expensive bottle I've ever had. Just as well someone else was paying.


Cool National automobile club signs outside our hotel.