Friday 31 December 2010

The Wisdom of Rupert Paul

A thought to end the year with. I've been doing quite a lot of work with Bike magazine in the last few months and I found this short piece while I was doing some research. It was written by one of my favourite bike journalists, Rupert Paul (above). As the former editor of Performance Bikes (in its late-80s, early-90 cultural heyday), Rupert was instrumental in reinventing British bike mags. He also helped me get a job once and wrote about Mablethorpe beach races for Sideburn 3.
Anyway, I like this a lot (I retyped it, so if there are any mistakes, they're mine not his). G

It was the Buddha in one of his far from idle moments, who said that a meditation on death is the greatest meditation of all. Only when you are aware of how fragile and transient your time here is, can you truly and fully engage with life.
Riders love a risk or we'd live in jars packed with cotton wool. But are we that aware? Control freaks, more like. I love riding fast — don’t know anything else, really— and the kick comes from endlessly balancing skill against risk. But whenever I’ve crashed, the two or three seconds before show me who I really am - a very fragile, very mortal bag of skin, muscle and bone feeing deeply, deeply regretful. Thus, as the trajectory towards the car/ditch becomes obvious:
Myself (to imaginary omnipotent being): Could we start again, please?
Omnipotent being (in the guise of reality): Crunch.
Equally revealing is that, as soon as we feel able, we forget how scared we were and put on the bravado again. I once crashed in a busy street while carrying a giant thermos of tea in my rucksack - with the result that, as I got up, gushes of brown fluid splashed onto the floor. A small girl was horrified: ‘Oh look, mummy – blood!’ In seconds I went from total panic to laughing out loud as I explained.
The truth is, we kid ourselves that it’ll never happen. If we didn’t, we’d never get on a bike. RP

Fine Art Dirt Collection

Our friend Alberto Narduzzi sent us this invite, but we can't make it. Pitti Uomo is, I think, a huge fashion show in Italy that has exhibitors showing their ranges (inc streetwear) to buyers. Alberto, Mr Martini and Roberto Totti (along with great Italian bike mag Riders) has some sort of bike and photo exhibition there with Italian shoemaker Alberto Fasciani.
'So?' you're thinking. Well, if you're in the business of promoting race series', getting bikes into the consciousness of people with marketing budgets has got to be a good thing. The Mefo guys had Dickies as a sponsor and the ORS got Red Bull on board. All of European flat track is run by enthusiasts, no one makes a bean, so if things like this gives the race and event organisers an 'in' then it's got to be good.

So, if you're interested in going email the contacts on the invite. G

Thursday 30 December 2010

Oliver's Mount by Adi

I'm still writing the monthly roads column for Bike in the UK and Adi at 99 Seconds is illustrating it. This is the one he did for this month's Oliver's Mount story. Cool eh? G

More on that Greek SR

More on that tasty Greek SR500

I had a nice SR500 I brought over from the UK in 2008 and after a summer using it for everyday I started the plans I had. I finished May 2009 but kept changing things until I had what you see now. It looks like the picture I had in my head I grew up on a diet of Evel Kneivel and 70s dirt bikes and this was for me what a real bike should look like! The engine is very
modified and pulls like a train!
I live on the Island of Lefkas one of the Ionian islands. I'm self employed cleaning pools all summer and then I have two very good local friends who have a bike service centre and we spend our winters building and using the 56 miles around the island as our own TT!

Wednesday 29 December 2010

Lloyd Brother's Ducati

Lloyd Brothers Motorsports 2010 Video from David Lloyd on Vimeo.

Second Ducati video of the day. Thanks to Roger Falesco for telling us about this.

Nice little 5:42 video on Ducati's race team. Now that Kopp's retired, Henry Wiles will be back with the Lloyd Brothers team in 2011. Recall that he rode the Aprilia for this team before they switched to Ducati, and would've won the Lima half mile a couple of years back had Eslick heeded the move over flag. If he had won, then Aprilia would've got all the kudos for beating H-D that Ducati did this year... Roger

We featured the first Lloyd Brothers' Ducati (in a different chassis to Kopp's), in Sideburn 4. G

156 Turns

I saw this on Hell for Leather when it first surfaced, but this email gave us chance to post it.

Hi Gary, Not quite sure where I heard about Sideburn but have the second issue. I race for Ducati at the Pikes Peak Hillclimb, winning it for them in 2008 on the Hyper Motard and this year on the Multistrada. I put together a short film called "156 turns". I really love what you guys do, thank you for producing such a cool mag.
Best wishes.
Greg Tracy
6 time pikes peak hillclimb champion.

Beezer Birds

Hideous things have been created in the name of street art, but I do like these birds created by Bristol sculptor Jason Lane in St Pauls; perched on Grosvenor Road where the 1980 riots kicked off. They each have a BSA petrol tank body; a Bantam, an M21, and a C15 (?) BP

Tuesday 28 December 2010


Jason Crump
Baker, Kennett, Collins
From Short Track UK...

Aidan Collins took a fantastic win in the Grand Final of the Braintree Bonanza in what can only be called some of the toughest handle bar to handle bar racing you will ever see!
The 32 riders went through 3 heat races each with the top 16 points scores progressing the the Semi's.

Semi one saw Team Suzuki rider Peter Boast on Pole, next to 3 times World Speedway Champion Jason Crump and Derek Brindley rounding out the front row. The semi was run three times, the first stoppage was for Steve Plater who took a big highside coming out on the start and finish, the second stoppage was when Darren Trapmore and Glyn Pocklington came together and when the final flag droped in the 3rd rerun, it was a win to Crumpie from Boast with Pocklington taking the last transfer spot.
Semi 2 was a real cracker as Ben Baker took the hole shot but he was hounded by Ade Collins and last years winner Eddy Kennett. Lap after lap Kennett and Collins were trying everything to get past Baker, sometimes going three abreast down the back straight but the young 18 year old Ben held on to the win from Kennett and Collins.

The 12 lap Grand Final lined up with 10 riders - Crump, Baker, Boast and Kennett on the Front row, second row Collins and Pocklington, third row Jacopo Monti, Daz Trapmore, Ben Wells and Road race star Sam Lowes.
When lights went green it was Crump who hole shotted but by the time they came out of the bend Baker and Kennett had got inside of Crump and by the end of the first lap it was Baker, Kennett, Crump, Collins, Boast and Pocklington rounded the top six. On lap 3 Collins and Boast got by Crumpie on turns 1 and 2. On lap 4 Collins made a move past Kennett. As the laps wound down Collins was hounding Baker for first place, Kennett dropped back two bike lenghts and was coming under pressure from Boastie. On lap 10 Aidan Collins seized his chance and just squeezed past Baker. Ben gave it his best shot to re pass Collins but just didn't quite make it and Collins took the chequerd flag for Grand Final of the Braintree Bonanza. He was presented with the trophy by his Team Boss Neil Tuxworth of HMPlant Honda, with a great second for Ben Baker and Eddy Kennett taking last spot on the podium.

Monday 27 December 2010

Killer Greek SR500

More photos and details soon.

Sunday 26 December 2010

Motor Bike Expo: stiamo venendo!

Dopo il così divertente Show Down a Milano, Sideburn tornerà in Italia per Motor Bike Expo a Verona. Il migliore bike show in Europa è aperto dal 21 al 23 gennaio. Venderemo le riviste, t-shirts, sciarpe, i libri più fichi, stickers... Forse, anche balleremo di nuovo.
Photo by Gio. Grazie!

Metro Calendar 2011

Metro Racing - purveyors of fine motorcycle branded Ts and other apparel, have a gurl heavy 2011 calendar out. Buy it here
Say Don what does the lovely April use that cage for? BP

Saturday 25 December 2010

Mark's 1934 Harley-Davidson CAC Speedway Racer


Here is a photo of a 1934 Harley-Davidson CAC Speedway Racer. Joe Petrali designed and built 12 of these in the H-D factory on weekends when regular production was stopped and with his own crew.
There will be one up for auction at the Las Vegas auction Jan. 6, 7, & 8th, 2011. I have heard there are no more than 9 left, maybe fewer.
16.5 : 1 compression, 500cc. The JAP motor's where too strong and this bike was discontinued after one year.
Can't wait for my order, see ya!
Mark Shubin

Happy Christmas everyone

Thanks to Tim Beaumont Designs for the artwork.

Friday 24 December 2010

Sideburn 9 Lives T-shirt

New Sideburn T-shirt has just arrived. To quote our mate Fly 'It's a tiger on a motorbike, what's not to like?'

Designed by cult British illustrator Stevie Gee exclusively for Sideburn. It has the 9 Lives tiger four-colour screenprint on the front with the Stevie Gee logo. The back print reads Sideburn in hand-drawn font by the artist too. And it's printed in England on a quality Gildan 100% pre-shrunk Ultra Cotton shirt.
Size small to XL.
Colours Sport Grey and Air Force Blue.
Like all Sideburn shirts, we limit to one run. When they're gone that's it.

The inspiration? Stevie says
"I finished your 4 colour tee design today. Hope y'all like it.
After our ongoing conversations about danger, risk and death, I decided to draw a big cat on a bike as they are super lucky, having 9 lives and all."
Best Stevie Gee

Buy it in the Sideburn Webshop. We'll be posting orders between Christmas and New Year.

UPDATE: Oh yeah, every 9 Lives order gets 2 Sideburn Soul vinyl screen-printed stickers

Today's Dose of Lunacy

Thursday 23 December 2010

GNC 2011 Schedule

Getting excited already.

2011 Confirmed Events
March 10 DAYTONA® Flat Track (Daytona Beach, Florida) Short Track
March 11 DAYTONA® Flat Track (Daytona Beach, Florida) Short Track
April 9 Southern Illinois Center (Du Quoin, Illinois) Short Track
April 23 Salinas Sports Complex (Salinas, California) TT
May 1 Yavapai Downs (Prescott Valley, Arizona) Mile
May 28 Illinois State Fairgrounds (Springfield, Illinois) TT
May 29 Illinois State Fairgrounds (Springfield, Illinois) Mile
June 11 Hartford Motor Speedway (Hartford, Michigan) Half-mile
June 25 Allen County Fairgrounds (Lima, Ohio) Half-mile
July 9 Hagerstown Speedway (Hagerstown, Maryland) Half-mile
July 16 I-96 Speedway (Lake Odessa, Michigan) Half-mile
July 23 Metra Park Raceway (Billings, Montana) Half-mile
July 30 Cal Expo Fair (Sacramento, California) Mile
August 6 Castle Rock Race Park (Castle Rock, Washington) TT
August 21 Peoria Race Park (Peoria, Illinois) TT
August 27 Indiana State Fairgrounds (Indianapolis, Indiana) Mile
September 3 Illinois State Fairgrounds (Springfield, Illinois) Short Track
September 4 Illinois State Fairgrounds (Springfield, Illinois) Mile
September 10 Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, Iowa) Half-mile
September 24 Canterbury Park (Minneapolis, Minnesota) Mile
October 1 Calistoga Speedway (Calistoga, California) Half-mile
October 9 Yavapai Downs (Prescott Valley, Arizona) Mile
*Additional Dates TBD/TBA


We warned you when Sideburn 1 nearly sold out. We warned you when Sideburn 2 nearly sold out. We predict Sideburn 4 is going to sell out next. Click the Sideburn 4 Teaser label below to find out why. G
PS Troy Chico Moto shot the cover for SB4 and has shot a killer feature for SB7.

Mumbai Dirt Track

From Josh in India

'It's a crying shame that we don't have any flat tracks here in India, but I was out at an old yard in Mumbai to shoot this XR for a feature in a mag and thought I'd send you this shot.'

Moulton TSR

Almost a year ago, after a hearty curry in Brick Lane, I cycled my Moulton APB west to Kilburn but promptly fell off the back. Tipsy but not that pissed, I remounted and immediately embarrassed myself again. Assuming it was just a loose saddle I dug out my Allen keys but it then became apparent the normally vertical seat-post section of the frame was crushed like a toilet roll where it meets the rubber ball suspension mount - and takes the force of the sub-frame. Surprising that it should buckle as it's made from world renowned Reynolds 531 steel. Maybe not surprising as I'm 6' 2" and 15 stone - but even so.The Pashley made APB frame has now been superseded by the TSR (named after the 60s supersonic jet) and upgraded with Reynolds 525 tubing. Crucially the sub-frame now meets the seat-post in-line with the top-rails. My original bike was built as a one-off special with a sneaky Sachs 2-speed kick-back gear. The new bike uses a Sturmey Archer copy of this system. BPThis is a new frame with my old running gear.Mrs P on her 8-speed + creature comforts APB Moulton

Wednesday 22 December 2010

Captain Simo's Harris Ducati

Captain Simo has cropped up on the Sideburn blog enough to get his own label. He is a self-proclaimed Henry the Eighth lookalike who has built some of the most killer street bikes ever to prowl the NorthWest of England (and beyond). His adventures are Sideburn feature-worthy and some will be in the mag one-day. I've only been on one with him, but it was a beauty (dinghy to the TT). For now, here's a Harris Ducati he built in 1987. G

Dear Santa...

Can Gun: Never seen this genius invention before I spotted it in CFM HQ the other day.

Tuesday 21 December 2010

Heiwa Honda

Yokohama blah, blah, sorry. I know, the whole world went and we didn't. We've laid off photos, we weren't there (though ForkCo were on our behalf) and those who were did a sterling job of blogging everything worthy quick sharp - but this Heiwa Honda CB77 is just beautiful. Now, is that a KTM swingarm or just one inspired by it? I'm too busy to do the research, but I know one of you will know instantly. G

Monday 20 December 2010

Project RE's wheels

Project Royal Enfield has wheels and tyres. And they're beauties: 19in black rims, Talon black hubs, stainless spokes and nicely scrubbed in Maxxis DT-1s, bought secondhand from my mate, Ben. For now, they're hung from a ceiling using an ingenious, space-saving method learned while doing a feature for Performance Bikes. The double-threaded special screw is well, screwed into the wooden joist, then the long hex nut screws on and a length of threaded bar screws into it. Next, push the hub over the threaded bar, put a big washer and a nut on and your wheels are hung perpendicular to the ceiling well out of the way. I left this threaded bar a bit long, but it's not big deal. Thanks for the tip Sam. M8 Machine Thread to Wood Thread Dowels are available from ScrewFix or any decent ironmonger. G


From Lowbrow Customs - part mag, part catalogue. Found it very hard to put down.
No bullshit period correctness (with a twist). Greasy Kulture
Lovely British mag about various old shit, art, music and Lancaster Bomber pilots. Dirty Mag
My mate Nige's A5-sized VW mag. Type

Bah Humbug

Can't be doing with all that Merry Christmas bollox, but as one of our illustrators Nicola Rowlands pointed out, Gary and I bear more than a passing resemblance to Morecambe and Wise, and if we were going to make a Christmas card, then I think this photo would have to be it - silly captions welcome. So wishing blog fans, loyal subscribers, anyone who has ever bought anything from us, and our über talented contributors, All The Best over the festive period, thanks for riding with us in 2010, and Keep It Skiddy in 2011. BP

UPDATE: It's only Ben who is miserable about Christmas. I can barely contain myself. GI

Sunday 19 December 2010

Going out music

Have you downloaded the latest Killer Diller radio show yet? It's a bloody belter. No special guests, just the most laconic DJ ever, Sir Johnny Alpha, playing insanely danceable rarities you've never heard (after an ultra bizarre intro). Download it and play it before going on a night out. Or play it and just stay in.
Download it here or visit Sir Johnny Alpha's MySpace. G

Draft Excluder

The Co-Built boys were out in the snow yesterday.
Sideburn scarves (like the one doing its job in this photo) are selling fast. Once there gone, that's it. Unfortunately, we can't make it to Braintree, so if you were waiting to buy stuff there we're sorry to disappoint. Order through the Sideburn webshop instead. G

Saturday 18 December 2010

Cobra RS750 homage

This was sent to us by former Cycle World editor, David Edwards. It's got some rake on it, but I still like it. Thanks David.

Whoa, what's this, an RS750 Honda that someone has put on the street?! Great idea. Honda's works V-Twin flat-trackers were Harley-beaters back in the 1980s. Running the same bore x stroke dimensions as Milwaukee's venerable XR-750 but with overhead cams and four valves per pot, the Honda had an edge in outright horsepower. They also hired top guns Bubba Shobert and Ricky Graham to apply that power to the track, helped by a new single-shock chassis. Starting 1984, the RS750 reeled off four straight AMA championships.

Yeah, well, looks aside, that's not this RS750. Instead, this bike started off as a stock 2010-model Honda Shadow V-Twin – also known as the RS750. The model was new to Honda's lineup this year; more standard than cruiser, and with chain final drive instead of a shaft as used by the rest of the Shadows.

In the past 15 years, fabrication ace Berg has built some 30 bikes for Cobra as rolling calling cards for the company's line of exhaust pipes, chrome and billet accessories, and fuel-injection modules. Following the fashions of the day these have tended to be low riders, choppers or bob-jobs, but with choppers in particular as stale as last week's bagels, a different direction was called for. Between its model name and its ties back to the company's 1980s glory days, an RS750 street-tracker just seemed like a natural. Besides, who doesn't like a street-tracker?

Finished in a dead-nuts replication of the factory's red-white-and-blue paint scheme, the "Bubba Bike" is a convincing imitation. Of course, Berg is an old hand at these kind of clones. In 1996 he built an Indian-inspired "Super Chief" showbike for Cobra, based on a Kawasaki Vulcan. Reaction was so strong that Kawasaki shipped the bike off to Japan, where it was transformed in the production Drifter. Here's hoping history repeats itself, huh?