Monday 28 February 2011

Ace Cafe Flat Track Day

Thanks to everyone who turned up, especially Steve who did a 412-mile round trip 'To see some flat track bikes in the flesh for the first time,' and Nick who rode from Somerset with a Rollerball shirt over his leathers. Good to put faces to email addresses and see some SB friends and great bikes. At least it didn't rain all day...

Could there be a more appropriate T-shirt for this garage?

Asks Harley from the Isle of Man...

I know it's on back to front but it worked better for the shot!
All the best, Harley

The Black Arrow

Made some progress, with the help of Carl at CFM, on my PB project bike, the Black Arrow. Still a long way to go. G

Sunday 27 February 2011

Sammy Halbert pre-season video

This came in from Sammy...

'Ask anyone on the AMA Flat Track Grand National circuit to name the series bad boy, and you'll hear one name more often than not: Sammy Halbert. "I race to win. Always have. Always will," said Halbert, whose on-track bold riding is a sharp contrast to his off-track mild-mannered demeanor.
'Halbert's riding aggressiveness and skills have brought much success to the Pacific Northwest rider, who rocked the racing world in 2009 when he was crowned the AMA Flat Track Grand National Champion at age twenty-two, making him the 5th youngest rider to ever win the championship. Halbert won the championship, beating out big names like Factory Harley rider Kenny Coolbeth and seven time champ Chris Carr, while riding for a family-run team, with dad and grandpa tuning bikes.
'Halbert is often described as an old school racer's racer, with a "win the race or die trying" attitude. After finishing 4th in the series in 2010, Halbert is ready to kick ass in 2011.'

Saturday 26 February 2011

Don't forget: Ace Cafe tomorrow

Olympic Sport?

From Diplo...

Just perusing SB#6 - as you do - and feeling sad that we don't appear to have anywhere in this country to run a Rollerball tournament!

Extended Repertoire

The Stevie Gee gig was rammed, I knew more people there that at my own brother's wedding. Good to meet you Stevie. A great evening topped off with an excellent Thai from Cây Tre on Old Street, then a dash for the last tube west to Shepherds Bush with Sideburn regulars James Chappell, and Maxwell Paternoster. James has illustrated SB#7's Who? What? When?... of Eddie Lawson (and our Sandy and Nora stickers), and has also added wooden spoon carving and pop-up cards to his creative repertoire. BP

Friday 25 February 2011

BS1 in the Flesh

Finally got to Gaunlet to see BS1. The comments people come out with - even while I was just standing there in the street are classic; especially from the know-it-alls.What ever it is, hung on 23" wheels, it has perfect proportions - based on the H-D Peashooter, and I'd love to take it out for a good trashing. The attention to detail is gob-smacking.
Good job Corlioni. Good job Caleb. BP

Calling UK flat trackers

This in from Boastie.

Now you Flattrackers, When grass track Clubs to run on speedway tracks, I pester them to run a Flattrack Class thinking that every one wants more action and more riding and that be the way the sport will grow. Wreklin Grass track Club are doing just that and they are holding meeting at Stoke Speedway on March 13th, I put it on Short track UK website about three weeks ago and e mailed entry forms to the riders. The Club Secretary rang me to say that he has only 4 entries! when I told him that he would get at least 12 plus or more like 24 and now he was thinking of not running the class if he doesn't get any more entry's. I'm I wasting my time trying to push for more Flat Track?It's good Track and it's been long winter, do you guy's want to ride??? Please contact the Secretary Dave Crutching on 07836770548 and tell him you want to ride and your entry in the post.

Thursday 24 February 2011

Brands Hatch + XR1200 VS Roland Sands

While our American friends continue nibbling their doormats in anticipation, here's another teaser from SB#7. Enfant terrible Roland Sands was invited to race the very chunky XR1200 Harley at Brands. Gary interviewed him, Tim Keeton shot him. BP

The Value of Paper

Due to its scarcity, someone just suggested we re-release SB#1 as a down-loadable PDF. NASA may send pigs to Mars, but that will NEVER happen. It's the antithesis of what we stand for.
A $5.95 mag selling for $122.50 now that's added value. I shot some stories for DiCE back in the early days when Matt and Dean were still in London, funny to think how they went intergalactic, and now DiCE has kult status. I wonder if copies of SB#1 will be reaching the same silly eBay prices in 2014? BPmy K-A-R-S shoot for DiCE.

Sideburn 1 spotted in Sweden?

One of our stockists, HepCat in Sweden is listing both issue 1 and 2 in stock. Don't know if it's right. G

US post delays

We have some post issues with orders going to the US, but it's been totally inconsistent. Some things are there in a few days, some took a few weeks. We thought it was the snow in the UK plus Christmas, but we looked into further and saw this, that was posted back in December. I think it caused a backlog they're still working through, but magazines we sent last week got there quickly. It seems the bigger the parcel the longer it takes. Sorry.

Wednesday 23 February 2011

Valentino on the Zaeta UPDATE!

Our good friend Paolo from Zaeta got in touch to say there's a video of Valentino Rossi riding the Zaeta on VR's own website. You've heard of Valentino, right? Yeah, you read the thing he wrote and Sideburn printed in issue 4. Yep, that's him skinny Italian fella. Likes yellow.
We can't embed the video so you'll have to go to, click history, then news. If anyone can work out how to embed it, please let us know. Thanks.

UPDATE: The Mighty Garrett B (special place in our hearts, etc, etc) told us it's on YouTube. I guess I could've looked there, but I thought Paolo told me it wasn't.

Also, Paolo has been designated one of the five Knights (back row, right) in the court of the queen for the poster of the 2011 Eicma Show in Milan. For Zaeta to be recognised by the most important motorcycle show in the world is amazing. Congratulations Paolo! G


A new issue of Sideburn always puts the wind in my sails, a spring in my step and a smile on my face. I was filled with such optimism I put 12 months' tax on the Sideburn LDV. G


Sorry, but the green T-shirt combo has been held up. We were expecting them yesterday. They're promised for the next day or so. The packages are already labeled to be sent out. Those of you who did pre-order the shirts did the right thing. We've sold out of some sizes. Thanks for all your support. Spread the word - Sideburn 7 is out. G


SB#7 cover story. The first time in the history of flat track racing that a Kawasaki has won a national Mile race. And Bryan Smith didn't stop his record racing there...BP

Tuesday 22 February 2011

Ace Cafe This Sunday

We're going to be there...
Selling the current issue and back issues; books; T-shirts; patches; stickers. We'll also have Project FT. The great and good of the UK scene are going to be there too and a load of Sideburn contributors, including Dimitri Coste from Paris. So, whose coming?

Cold Enough to Freeze the Nuts Off a Danish Monkee

The internet is the studio shoot of reality. Hygienic and warm. Sideburn magazine insists motorcycles are to be got dirty in their natural habital. The Wrench Monkees risked frostbite to their nether regions to photograph their latest, a Kawasaki Z970, out into the snow especially for SB#7. BP

Monday 21 February 2011

JvB Kedo SR500

Just got this in directly from Jens van Brauck Germany. We had a feature lined up on JvB for the next issue. I think we need to save more pages for some new shots of this bike. This is from the press release. Thanks Jens. This bike will be all over the web soon, so thanks to Jens for clueing up Sideburn first. G

Jens vom Brauck and KEDO, the German tuning and parts specialists, have taken an everyday Yamaha SR 500 and gone back to the roots.
The bike looks lean, mean and low - it looks fast. It could be a mutant cross between a 60's desert racer and Kenny Robert's 70's flat track bike. The black rims, the machined alloy swinger, the Wilbers shocks, the high-up exhaust and big carb with an open filter – it has a raw competition look, but it isn't intimidating - it looks like a bike you could get on and pull a wheelie straight away.
It looks like you could have fun on it going to the shops.

Kedo, the Hamburg based SR and XT tuning and parts specialists, provided insider knowledge, the hot SR motor
(up to50bhp!) with a Mikuni round-slide carb, the Harley style sportster tank, the serious looking swing-arm and Jens vom Brauck did the rest.
"We've forgotten what biking is about," says Jens "it's all about feeling - the sounds and the rhythm of the motor, the contact with the machine. It should be unfiltered, direct. We’ve got too sophisticated. The D-track goes back to the roots, it has a lot of soul and in the real world, away from racetracks and autobahns, it is fast, and it is performance that is easy to use. "

The SR500 is already a pretty minimal motor bike - at 170kg there isn't much obvious fat, but Jens' diet has junked 25 kilos of assorted old iron and plastic bits and replaced them with just a few kilos of beautiful stainless steel, alloy and sculpted composite materials that the designer makes himself.

The Art of Carby Tuckwell

Like crazed Jacko fans, we at Sideburn start ‘queuing’ at 4am when a new Tuckwell artwork is going to be released, but one day, not long ago, realised we knew sod-all about the man. So we did something about it and asked him to open up about himself, his work and the company of which he’s a founding father; Deus Ex Machina. Full feature in Sideburn #7. It's HERE, start screaming now! GI

Job Lot

Picked up this lot at a back-street autojumble in Bristol on Sunday for a measly 4 quid.Alf Hagon smoking his record breaking JAP sprinter - 1/24 scale MADE IN HONG KONG plastic.Same bike, same rider, but 1/35 scale Britains die-cast metal. (The seller also had a pristine one in a box with a white plastic nose-cone fairing, but I'm no obsessed collector).Bastard love child of the same bike?! this time a 1/72 Whizz Wheels. This one was also later badge engineered as a Spiderman bike (I had it as a key-fob for my XS650 chop).Funky 2-stroke Bultaco - don't know what model it's based on, 1/35 French Majorette I think (they used to sell these in petrol stations in France and Spain)1/35 die-cast Britains Speedway riders x2. The detailing is brilliant.1/72 Christmas cracker quality Oriental plastic JAP - a rip-off of the bigger Britains bikes above. Love vintage bikes with 70's mag wheels. Matt black on chrome even better. A real life-size one of these would pretty much be my ultimate bike.1/72 Matchbox die-cast metal. I had this set as a kid but it got nicked in the playground, so I was over-joyed to find this. I cant remember what the hauler was - or if it even came with one? Mystery 1/30 Suzuki? MX stroker. The modeling is all out of proportion but it handles well in kitchen table enduros. I'd love to see how it does in carrot cake. BP

UP DATE:And just when I though buying some dinky toys was going to be the highlight of a grey Sunday, Conrad turns up from London followed by various very important beards from opposite ends of the country, some old friends, others of whom I've met in blogland but never in the flesh. Closed Mondays Gavin, Tommy 9/16ths the Mook, Huggy, Tosh, and Greasy Kulture Guy. (and not shown), Eat The Rich Pete Stansfield, and Steve Stokers (his own blog) (+ speed shop blog), who builds very tidy Triumphs and was at the Verona show in January. 23 Bricks' Jimmy and Renshaw. Good to meet you all.
Luckily I just happened to be wearing my Carhart overalls so I was allowed to tag along with the vintage canvas posse for the day, eat curry and drink cider. BP

Sunday 20 February 2011

That Bike

Most people know the story about the infamous Castro Triumph with the intergalactic Fiberglas Works bodywork that got banned by the AMA, but SB#7 has the inside story from Metro Racing's Don Miller who restored the Redline framed bike to it's former glory. And I've bet you've never seen up it's megga end pipe. BP

Saturday 19 February 2011

Julie Wood

Just as we had a comic book story from the English Tiger Boys Annual 1975 in SB#5, SB#7 has a 1976 Julie Wood story from the French comic book artiste Jean Graton who was better know for his car racing character Michel Vaillant.Funky Kimtabs on this Redline Norton.Check out the size of the original pen-and-ink artwork. BP


After Gary's lovely post on Sideburn 7 at the printer's, I thought I'd cough up this artefact from the building of the mag. As our regulars know, Sideburn is distilled out of the ether that covers a triangle with its points in Spalding (GI), Bristol (BP) and Rome (MP). Given that Sideburn work fits in around our day jobs, and that its words and pics bounce thousands of miles between us time and again, it's easy for things to get messy and we all have our ways of wrestling the greased Sideburn pig into its pen.

This is my incarnation of the flatplan and it marks a glorious moment just before #7 was finished, with only the merchandise page to be ticked off. About an hour later I was lying on the floor next to my desk at home in a pool of my own urine, surrounded by empty wine bottles and squashed pasta. Nothing to do with Sideburn, it's just a bad habit I've got into.

Anyway, here you go, a bit of Sideburn belly button fluff. MP

Friday 18 February 2011

At The Printers

The East German sheet-fed printer is the business.
Plain paper in this end. That's a huge stack of it on that pallet. Each station is a different colour, plus a fixer and machine in the middle to turn the paper to print the other side.
Sideburn! You're up.
This fella loves printing and motorbikes. He gives Sideburn special attention. His desk scans the colours and shows the parameters on the computer screen. Then it's tweaked till it's as lush as possible without being over-saturated.
The colours are super-rich and you can see individual MetalFlake flakes on the Krook Street Racer's tank and every weld on the Metro Racing Outlaw. That's down to the paper and the print quality. This is a 32-page section before folding, binding and trimming. There are three 32-page sections and a cover in every 100-page issue.

I called in at the printers yesterday. I've worked in publishing for 15 or 16 years and I've never seen a magazine I've been involved with being printed. It's a good feeling.
We could easily get Sideburn printed for at least 20% cheaper than we do, but the printers we use now are brilliant, miles better than our original printers (in our experience). And we have to pay for that. But after spending six months on and off, working on the magazine and a lifetime to regret cutting corners we're willing to do that. With this in mind, the photo below made me laugh. G