Saturday 31 October 2009

Men's File

Remember, the Re-enactment post about Nick Clements' photo exhibition? Well, it was to help promote a magazine Nick is heavily involved with, Men's File. It's pretty hard to track down, but Sideburn's good friend, The Magazine Man is stocking it.
Nick shot Jason Griffin for Sideburn 4. GI

Friday 30 October 2009

Get... Back... In...

I like this photo. Found it on Rocket Garage. Don't know where he found it.

Skooter Farm: The Early Days

Dave Skooter Farm has done a lot to help grow the UK flat track scene. I've said a few times, if I'd never met him it's unlikely I'd be racing now. Jeez, I can't even imagine that.
This is his first dirt track racer, that he built way before there was a race scene in the UK. Here's its story...

I built this bike in 1998 with the sole intention of riding round 'n' round at Capt Highside's backyard grasstrack.
The initial "track" was carved out using a clapped-out Ford Capri driven in circles until all the long grass was gone.
The plan was for 3 or 4 of us to buy cheap small capacity road bikes, cg's, cd's, sr's etc. strip em down and turn 'em into little dirt trackers!!
In's funny we made the track BEFORE having built anything to ride??!!
I was amped on the idea and immediately bought a Honda CM200 Benly......I liked the look of this bike, 'cos it was twin.
I then spent a couple of months transforming it into a xr750 lookalikey!!
Needless to say I was the only one to put my money where my mouth was......nobody else took it any further than the ideas stage!!
One of the attached pictures is of my inaugural motorcycle race on the cm200.....but that's another story!!

Thursday 29 October 2009

John Kocinski's Wood Rotax

Krumple said that John Kocinski turned up to race at Pomona on a nice Wood Rotax (he was hardly going to ride a nail, was he?). But, we didn't know just how nice until we saw these shots on Poppawheelie. This is beautiful. A monoshock with rare RWU Ohlins (UPDATE - I've looked at these photos more closely and the forks look like Yam R6, with nitrided stanchions. Sorry) and PM wheels. If, by any weird quirk, you are reading this Mr Kocinski, can we come take some photos of it please?
The 40-year-old Kocinski was flying, it seems, winning a semi in the Open Class and losing the final to the XR750-mounted Wiles, who won the National and was obviously on fire.
There's a cool interview on Cycle News.

This is one highlight

Do the [MotoGP] 800s interest you?
Nah... I enjoy the flat track racing and that's why I put this bike together. When I stopped dirt tracking at a very young age and went road racing, that's when the Rotax were just coming out. It was a bike I never got to ride and I always wanted one so I figured, ‘what the hell I'll start right here.' We've got a big task ahead of us to do well and we have to make sure we don't fall short of our expectations.

We told you John Kocinski was back into flat track exactly one year ago. We love the Wood Rotax patches on John's leathers. That's the respect Ron Wood deserves. Want to learn more about Wood's bikes? Buy Sideburn 3 for the eight-page feature. GI

Wednesday 28 October 2009

Sideburn in Paris this weekend

Yes, the visas came through. Ben, Steve Red Max and I are coming to Paris with a van full of mags, merch and flat track parts. We'll be at the Fat Night in Paree on Saturday night. Come and see us. If anyone can accommodate three house-trained Englishmen on Friday night, let us know.
Also, if there are any bike-related places we should definitely check out, please post a comment. Merci bien! G

Sideburn represented at Pomona 2

A few notes:
From Krumpledick...

Gene [Romero, organiser of the West Coast Flat Track series, that co-promoted Pomona] had a helluva few weeks leading up to that event. The Love Ride cancellation created a huge shitstorm. And as always, he prevails and pulls it off. The event ran nearly flawless, remarkable considering the unusual co-promotion with DMG.

The track was menacing. It tore up easily and although the equipment and prep crew was top notch, they only could manage a barely-raceable surface. But that slowed nobody down. Unlike the first two years, the stands were nearly at capacity - most remarkable considering the last minute Love Ride cancellation and all of the negativity that swirled around.

The sequence is from second practice at Pomona, Jimmy Sanchez, sponsored by Bud Riddle. Jimmy Sanchez's practice crash was grandiose. Fortunately, his stay in the hospital was quite short.
Bud wasn't very happy as Jimmy flew and Wayne Karcich brought along some tainted fuel and left it for Bud to deal with. Was a fantastic night. The highlight of the evening was Sammy Halbert. Sammy wasn't very fast in open practice, nor the heats. But once it came down to business, he found the setup... and just in time. Sidelined GP250 racer Stevie Bonsey went down, taking Halbert with him in turn 4. Bonsey retired, but Slamsonite remounted and started from the back row. At the drop of the flag he started what seemed to be the insurmountable peak. On lap 23 he battled up to third place. Given a couple of extra laps, my money was on him winning. Five laps, he likely would have won from last place.
And he did it all with a seriously mashed-up left leg. Heart, Big Heart.

Sammy's ride in the main was nothing short of remarkable. Bonsey took him out on lap two and on the re-start he just mowed through the pack, a solid third at the checkers. Five more laps and he could have won the thing.

The world's worst track food can be found at Pomona. $7.50 for a chili dog that was so gross, I still get a weak stomach as I think of it. All of the food was unfettered garbage.
The girls were better than average and that's saying something
Mikey Martin was the first WCFTS rider in history to win two championships. (Open class and TopGun 450 class).
John Kocinski had the trickest dirt track pits ever seen and he rode quite well on a pristine Rotax.

'Hey, you're on my shirt' Wayne K (whose Yamaha TT500 framer is in Sideburn 4) and Gene Romero).

Wayne K. An athlete. Look at the sweat rings on that Sideburn shirt. That's what you get racing at the front in Californian flat track races. Hey, it's pay day. Get your own Sideburn Gene shirt.

British postal workers on strike

It's holding up a bunch of deliveries. Nothing we can do about it. Sorry. G

Death Spray Custom's latest work

From Death Spray Custom

'Here's a new DSC piece, hopefully it's the first chair ever posted on Sideburn's blog. (It's a vintage Eames Plastic Side Chair for all the chair nerds out there)
Also attached is an exciting action shot, where a mug of tea, a delicious mille feuilie and SB 4 is being enjoyed.'

See the Death Spray Custom Boner Brigade XS650 in Sideburn 4

Tuesday 27 October 2009

Your new number 1

Been away for a few days, so this is belated news but the new Grand National Champion is Sideburn 3 cover star, Jammin Jared Mees. Henry Wiles won the Pomona Main (and is the GNC Singles number 1). Looks like the had a big crowd. Hopefully, this means pro flat track has a foothold back in California. Coolbeth has to give up his 1 plate, finishing a close second. The sensational Sammy Halbert was third. Sideburn's favourite, Chris Carr was sixth overall. Brad Baker won the Pro Singles.
Were you there? Tell us what it was like. GI
Photos: AMA Pro Racing

Sideburn represented at Pomona 1

From David P in California.

Thought I'd let you guys know that Sideburn was represented at the recent Pomona Flat Track races. The Gene shirt (and mags) you sent made it in time. Wish I and the pic were more handsome but here I am showing off my all access backstage pass and Sideburn shirt in the Lloyd Brothers "pit" (aka easy-up).

The races were incredible and I gotta say thanks to you Brits for hipping me to something thats been growing in my backyard all these years. Lord knows how much of this I missed when I was living back in Kentucky. Flat trackin' is some low-down, neighborly stuff; the champs got an easy-up and camping chairs like everyone else and merchandising is so non-existent that we couldn't even find a program listing the riders and numbers.

More pics are here

Additionally, there was yet another Sideburn moment a few days before the races as the Italian moto shop whose web-site I look after (the same shop that received the Deus Mono) had a birthday cocktail party. Just before the party arrangements were made for the Lloyd Brothers to stop by and present their Aprilia and Ducati Flat Trackers for the assembled.
Best of luck, David

Chris Carr takes the Red Max Speedshop XR750 for a spin at Rye House

Monday 26 October 2009

Century Book Ultra

- Well not quite. I picked up these early 70s (?) drinks coasters at an Amsterdam fleamarket. The '2' is not the same, but otherwise it's a pretty close match. BP

Saturday 24 October 2009

It's Not What You Ride But How You Ride It (no.12)

Fantic Motors

I knew next to nothing about Fantic before I went on the Ouroboros trip the other week. My new best amici, Alberto Narduzzi took me to Fantic's HQ. The current owner of Fantic, Federico Fregnan (the cool dude who look like Hunter S T in the montage) took me on a tour of the factory and his amazing collection of two-stroke trail and enduro bikes. Then I met Riccardo Chiosi, Fantic's designer (below with surfboard). On his office shelves were the first three copies of Sideburn. He had the Complete Book of Flat Track next to the computer he was designing Fantic's future bikes on.
I came away loving everything to do with Fantic. Sideburn might be even doing a special project with them. GI

Friday 23 October 2009

New Sideburn Stickers

We have three artists vying to design our next stickers. They all produce great stuff, so it will be a hard to decide which order we produce them in. We always wanted a series of artist produced stickers and it's taken a while to get it going, but it looks like we have the next three in development.
James Chappell, who illustrated our legends series in SB#3, SB#4, and will do for #5. A Dane, Cay Broendum, who is mates with the Wrench Monkees and does their signwriting. And fresh blood Nicola Rowlands who discovered SB via her boyfriend Richard's subscription. Lots of revved up talent. Speaking of which, I picked up these hussies at the Vehikel autojumble in Utrecht Holland, it's frequented by moto junkies from all over Europe and is well worth a visit. BP

Co-Built to last

This is Anthony of Co-Built, good friends of Sideburn. He was flying at Rye House, qualified on the front row for the Thunderbike final, got a flier when the tapes went up. Then he lost the back and found Wayne Drake and his XS650. Obviously the race was red flagged. I saw Anthony had gone down, but didn't see all this. I rode around the lap after and Anthony was already up, pushing his bike to the middle. He looked alright. The bike looked alright. I didn't know why he sat out the race. I do now.
Co-Built frames - built to last. There will be at least three Co-Builts racing next year. Go on, get yourself one.
Photos: Ian Bush


Over at my Mum's house the other day, in my old bedroom, everything has been left as it was. Not in a spooky shrine-like way, it's just that she never throws anything away. All the household appliances are at least twenty years old. Anyway having a rummage through my stuff I found some Caran d'Ache aquarelle crayons. No computer can replicate that feel. BP

Thursday 22 October 2009

Shinya Kimura x Troy Critchlow x GI x GQ Italy

Troy Critchlow got in touch a few weeks ago to say he had some great shots of his friend Shinya Kimura racing at Bonneville on a Harley he built for a customer. He asked if I knew anyone who'd run a story. It turns out Michele at GQ Italy loves the photos as much as I did and the story is in this month's magazine. Everyone's a winner. I don't think it's on sale much longer though so buy it today. GI

Billy Hamill's Joker Machine Land Speeder

This is a follow-up on the Jawa Land Speeder we told you about back in August.

My name is Geoff Arnold; I am with Joker Machine in the United States.
We manufacture over 600 parts for motorcycles; some of them are for dirt track and speedway racing. I am impressed with the quality of your magazine and have been checking it out with great interest, good job. I just wanted to send you a couple of photos of a bike we built using a long track speedway bike. We took it to Bonneville with our buddy Billy Hamill who is: 2006 Speedway World Champion and former Cradley Heath Speedway great. Billy also rode for Coventry and The Wolverhampton Wolves over his 17 years in England. At Bonneville we were able to go 144.2 mph, which was pretty good but not good enough as the record is 145.2 mph. Talk about being gutted.
Anyway.please contact me if you would like anymore information.
Thank You,
Geoff Arnold

Joker Machine's sponsored speedway rider, Ricky Wells

Pulling Power

IF we can get the Gilera tank to fit the FT it will definitely give us more pulling power. BP

Wednesday 21 October 2009

Short Track back in Italy

Make a date (and pray for sun) - Saturday November 7. Here's a press release from the Dutch Bros.

The season finale of the International Mefo Sport Flattrack Cup 2009!
Terenzano will host the championship deciding flat track finale on their beautiful short track. It is situated in the north-east of Italy, and they have recently hosted the penultimate Speedway GP (see photos of the speedway GP at Rafa's beautiful Streettacker blogspot.
Pete Boast from England is leading by 8 points. Then comes the still injured Steve Hall with 50 points, followed by Halbe Scheper with 49 points, Jan-Willem Jansen with 48 points and Henderik Mulder with 41 points. We also welcome back from injury the defending champion Marco Belli who has a realistic chance of a good podium finish. So the heat will be on!

They should get Graziano out on that Ouroboros. GI

SB Project FT Up-Date

Carl fended off two other eBay bidders to win this lovely Gilera tank for our FT project he is building. Adding some Italian finesse to our Japanese mongrel. Fingers crossed it fits without too much jiggery pokery. BP

It would have graced the likes of this mini mud plugger.

Next Season...

I'll be mostly wearing 12 year olds' cricket jumpers - and leather jodhpurs. Isn't that fishtail superb? Thanks to Capt. Mills for forwarding the photo. BP