Thursday 31 March 2011


When I was a kid, about 14 or so, my sister's boyfriend (who used to turn up on the loudest BSA Starfire I've ever heard) got hold of one of these bikes for me, a Garelli Tiger Cross, for free. It wasn't running, but all there and in decent cosmetic nick. I got as far as shining a torch down the plug hole and seeing a piston with a lunar surface. Trouble was, I knew nothing about sorting bikes out and there was no one with the time or inclination to lend me a hand (oh, boo-hoo). So, it languished in the shed and when, about 18 months later, I was old enough to have a 50cc moped on the road, instead of this exotic acne-magnet, I got one of my dad's cast-offs, the humiliating NVT Eazy Rider. I only had myself to blame (and, pathetically, continue to do so). MP
Thanks to Vintage Bike for the pic, though I've seen it all over the place.


Photographer by trade, I can't model (even if I were handsome), I feel a right twat in front of the lens. This is my cheesey Cheshire cat 'just ridden raucous bike around the block' grin. Am very honoured to be 1 of only 3 people to have ever ridden this bike; John Pellew's caff racer Taimoshan. An Aprilia RSV motor in a Norton Featherbed stylee frame.
Click the Aprilia key-word link below, there have been a few RSV powered flat trackers racing pro series in the 'States. BP

Wednesday 30 March 2011


BM' Boxers just dont seem to lend themselves to flat track treatment, but this GS by Québec Superbike of Toulon does speak to the pervert in me. (old Baga Inc snap from French Cafe Racer magazine). BP

Tuesday 29 March 2011

Win A Food Mixer

- worth over £12. Or a pair of binoculars.
Under the lino of his kitchen that he is re-doing, a friend of mine found a yellowed 1975 newspaper. Alongside an advert for a great deal on MFI fitted kitchens was this spot-the-ball competition. Rather than the usual George Best bicycle kick - with erased ball, it's the Rollerball oval minus the deadly steelball - Read, if you havent already, the wonderfully high-brow deconstuction of the cult classic by Alex Cox in Sideburn #3. BP

Monday 28 March 2011

Aldana Stickers

Everyone who buys a ticket for the Aldana night will get a couple of these belting, new, vinyl stickers we've made for the occasion. Aldana night is in Oxford, May 5th. David is coming all the way from the USA for it, be sure to get on your bike and make the journey to welcome him.
Click the poster for details. And buy your tickets here.
Thanks to everyone who have already bought tickets, they'll be sent out with your stickers next week. G

Scunthorpe Report

First race of the UK season and first round of the new Clubman's Championship (just turn up and pay on the day). There was a massive entry. Over 20 Thunderbikes, over 20 Pro plate holders and over 20 R plates, plus three different classes of Juniors and the minibikes.
Above is Paul Sheldon's LC4 KTM that gets prettier every season.
Team Suzuki looked very professional. Boastie and Tim Neave in new Spada leathers.
Jacapo's old Husky, now with Adam Waller, looks great in its new colours, but a fuel tap problem meant it didn't run well.
On the other hand, Wayne Drake's CCM Rotax looks as rough as a bear turd, but flies with him on board. The fuel filler is an old drink bottle top grafted into an SR tank.
Scottie was my rider of the day. He won a Thunderbike heat, then won the B final and on a bike he built the frame for himself. He celebrated by standing on the seat and jumping up and down on the slowdown lap.
Wilky and Steve Red Max were wrestling their XR750s, but struggling for grip. Heroes.
Wilky XR.
Geoff Co-Built didn't have his new chassis finished, so he borrowed Wilky's Skooter Farm Rotax framer and won a heat by a mile. I've never seen a racer look behind so much.

Ronald from Holland turned up on his Co-Built, rode well and had a blast
It's great to look around the pits and see Sideburn T-shirts and stickers all over the place.
Zombie Power. I came second in the Thunderbike A final and third overall (because all the day's results were added up). Steve Coles won, Drakey was second. Sorry, I was too excited to see who won any of the other classes, but the results will be up on Short Track UK soon.

I sent my brother (who races an Alfa and regularly wins trophies) the podium photo. He asked 'How come you are the only one who looks like a teddy bear and not an axe murderer?' I don't know how to take that. GI

Sunday 27 March 2011

Low-Tech No-Tech

The sweet old biddy that lived next door to me just passed away. Her son said we could come around and take a token, before the rest was cleared for charity. Her long-gone husband used to work as an engineer for Britsh Aerospace on Concord, and previous to that on the wonderful white elephant of the Bristol Brabazon. In his DIY tool kit I found these wonderful sheet-steel goggles. The cross eye-covers swing open. Anybody know what they are for? BPUPDATE:
Thanks to Jeremy Melling for sending in this photo - my goggles are exactly the same. Both he and Chris EXIF recognized what they were. It makes perfect sense too as Filton in the North of Bristol was the heart of Britain's aerospace industry and was consequently heavily bombed by the the Nazzers in WWII.

Saturday 26 March 2011

Loveless Sportster

And inspiring Sportster project going on over at Loveless (just scroll back through all the MZ photos). G

Vice-mounted post dollies

From Dan in Mountain View, California

Hi Sideburn,
Your blog has been my daily inspiration for this CB350 street tracker build.
I haven't really seen any other examples of CB350s done this way. I couldn't find a flat track seat that would look right so I made a simple one from steel sheet metal, forming the base by sandwiching it in a plywood form.
Some home-made, vice-mounted post dollies also helped. Never worked like this with sheet metal before but I got a crash course in it by surfing the web.

The project started as a non-running craigslist find. It had been turned into a chopper in the 1970s and had ape hangers, extended forks and a sissy bar. That stuff came off right away, but I kept the cocktail shaker mufflers, chopper headlight and cool chrome kickstand. Lots of new bits were added as well, including some CB750 shocks. Not sure if I should I paint it because I kind of like the way it looks as is and I've got other projects going on.

Thanks for the great magazine and blog. Its funny that a group of British folks, of all people, have made me appreciate the American sport of flat track racing. That and watching On Any Sunday over and over as a kid.

Friday 25 March 2011

New season, new look bikes

This is Paul and his ever-mutating KTM Duke (almost a real life Bikenstein). Looks proper now (though the seat unit's still a bit kicked up, perhaps he likes it like that. Paul is a hero. He seems to be racing a different bike every other weekend. Check out his blog, Speed Therapy. Tim Stevens' CCM has developed again with a new exhaust and alloy tank.
14-year-old Flynn was on a new Suzuki and flying.
Scunthorpe this Sunday. Racing from 11.30/12-ish. Free entry. Clocks go forward, remember. GI

New Stickers

This is our new vinyl sticker. It features Dwayne, Sideburn's dirt track dingbat as designed by Kar Lee, and a saying that probably doesn't translate when fed into Babelfish. So, for foreign followers, it means if you haven't crashed sufficiently to injure yourself in a way that makes walking difficult, then you probably haven't been trying hard enough to impress us.
Of course, the concept is flawed. The guys who beat us week in, week out don't crash much. but what do you want from a sticker that is free with every order, Sartre? G

Thursday 24 March 2011

Sideburn Enfield Progress

It didn't take long for Co-Built to mock-up what the Lowbrow Customs/David Bird hardtail loops will look like on our Enfield. Just need master welder Geoff to get on the case. G

Guy Martin

Our friends at Red Torpedo are hosting a night with Guy Martin at Hein Gericke store in Glasgow tonight (Red Torpedo undies are on sale too, as tested at 200mph by Guy, John McGuinness, Leon Haslam and others).
Guy was spotted by Paul Bryant at a recent test at Cartagena spain reading Sideburn 7 (above). 'It has to be the benchmark for cool,' the TT hero and baked bean abuser reckons. GI

Wednesday 23 March 2011

The Wisdom of Carr

Chris Carr emailed with some advice for me before this weekend's Scunthorpe race...

'Good luck this weekend. Don't worry about finding your limit, your limit will find you. Sorry, couldn't resist. Be safe, go fast, turn left, but most importantly, HAVE FUN! It's too dangerous not to enjoy.'

Photos: From Daytona 2011 courtesy of AMA Pro Racing

Red-Breasted Merganser

Easily pleased, that's me. So imagine my delight to spot a bird I'd never seen before on the river through town. On checking my Collins Book of British Birds, it turns out it was a female red-breasted merganser (the brown one in this photo). I wish I'd know it was a female (though I should've guessed), I'd have hung around to see her other-half. Anyway, I wouldn't normally share this on the blog, but I sent the news to a couple of friends, one, the Diplo who has featured irregularly on the Sideburn blog, replied with this that I did have to share.

'Yes - a harbinger of spring, along with the mini skirt, the bared midriff, the opaque but dangerously flimsy skirt, a nicely turned ankle and the promise of a picnic in dappled shade and long grass - marvelous ... carry on.'

Spring has sprung. G
PS Don't worry, normal Sideburn blog service will resume very soon.

UK Short Track XR750s

These two should be racing at Scunthorpe this Sunday. Wilky is 99, Steve Red Max is 59. Both proud Skooter Farmers. It's free entry for spectators at this round, remember. G
Action shots by Tom Whiting (see more at his flickr. There are also two short videos of Tom Woolley and Peter Boast - two of the UK's best short trackers. Look for the thumbnails with the arrow in the corner).

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Zombie Creeping Flesh

Click the Sideburn Zombie

Skooter Farm BMX

Sideburn's paramilitary wing is Skooter Farm Racing. If, in turn, Skooter Farm had a cycling division the de facto leader would be Skooter Farm Dave's nephew Jacob Roberts. Except Jake is sponsored by Redline and wins races, so he wouldn't really fit in. Jake was flown out to Denmark to ride a Supercross track where the 15-year-old was expected to jump a 40ft gap. It went wrong. Skooter Farm Dave, a former sponsored BMX racer from the 1980s himself, said he wouldn't even ride down the start ramp.
This is just a quick get well soon message and to tell Jake if he carries on like this he'll definitely fit into the Skooter Farm team. G
PS Skooter Farm has other BMX Connections.

Monday 21 March 2011

Rye House Newcomers

Jamie (in SB shirt) brought along the Bastard in the back of his Mercedes. Its disconnected front brake locked up before he got on track, then it holed a piston within one lap. 'I spent money on the paint job, not the engine,' he admitted. Incredibly people loaned him their DTX race bikes to get some laps in (and he looked good). The UK short track crowd are a good bunch.
The DT was crucified before being slung back in the car.
Jamie on borrowed bike (62).
Another newcomer on one of the old CCM school bikes. Sorry, didn't get your name.. They're a great buy.
Drogo, all black in front of Stuart, another newcomer, who bought Tom Woolley's CCM and looked on it.Drogo came as Dick Mann circa 1975 (but about 18in taller). He borrowed Steve Red Max's Vertemati, Skooter Farm Dave's boot and hot shoe and Steve's helmet (having turned up with a novelty pisspot and sunglasses). He had a blast!
The novice class (at the six national short track rounds), is likely to be fun. Get involved. G

Dumped XS650

This photo of an outlaw clown is tattooed on my brain. Why is the ridiculous so attractive? Back at my Mum's again this weekend I ritually wheeled out my rusty XS to poke it with a stick and scrape off the pigeon shit. I dropped the yokes to check the angle of dangle if it were to be fitted with standard length fork tubes. BP

Boastie's XS650

Well, it's actually Alastair McQ's. It featured in SB1. Alastair's loaned it to Peter Boast to race in the Thunderbike championship at certain rounds this year. Pete's put new wheels and bodywork on it and it looks superb. It is unforgettably loud too. A few teething problems at Rye House yesterday, but he'll sort them out.
See this bike take on the Thunderbikes at this Sunday's Scunthorpe race. I'm pretty sure spectators get in for free at this round. G