Wednesday 30 November 2011

SWM and Fantic at EICMA

The SWM Silver Track prototype flat tracker. It had the Sideburn sticker on it before I arrived.
Footpegs. Beartrap for rubber sole. Rubber peg for steel shoe.
Teeny little engine. It's a 300cc Gas Gas two-stroke.
I'd never seen this before. A log of settings on the shock's piggyback.
Below: Riccardo, the Fantic and SWM designer.
Wonderful Caballero on the Fantic stand. I'd love a Euro bike of this era. Anyone got one going cheap.
These are three detail shots (above and below) of a modern Fantic factory-supported supermoto racer. Love the detail on that brake lever. The foam behind is to stop big stones falling in the gap between lever and pedal and fouling the lever.
I'd never seen this on a modern bike, an extra brace below the quite modest bottom yoke.
On the same bike. Check this out for a front end. Tubeless spoke rims, twin discs and calipers cast into the fork bottoms.

Little Barrie

Love this song. Little Barrie's bassist, Lewis, has written a story about his dad's grasstrack racing for Sideburn 10. It's great. G

Signed Rollerburn posters

A few people are asking if they can get Rollerburn posters. Well, the artist who created, Adi Gilbert of 99Seconds, is selling signed, hand-screened versions.
Baz in Glasgow bought one and had it framed (pictured). Lovely job. Deal with Adi directly.
Adi also drew our Aldana night and race artwork and has that for sale too. G

Wall of Death Indian For Sale

'Indian Scout built as a Wall of Death bike immaculate condition. Not registered. Converted to road use.'For Sale here

Tuesday 29 November 2011

Mermaid Street Racer

In Milan, earlier this month for the Riders Party and EICMA show, I spent a few hours hanging around at Officine Mermaid. They'd built this crazy street racer for nothing more than a bit of fun. It featured in the Riders Party. I think it's a Dominator. The pipe has cut-outs (some of them hidden) so it acts as intake and exhaust. The drop bars have a thumb throttle like a PWC (personal water craft, Wave Runner thing). Just when you thought you'd seen everything...

We've got something big (for us, anyway) in the pipeline with Officine Mermaid. We'll tell you as soon as we can. G

On the Run

I keep meeting former scooterboys in Sideburn world. Dyed in the wool 'bikers' sneer at the scooterist, screw them. Some of the most hardcore riders I've ever met went everywhere on 10in wheels. My time doing the scooter runs in the late-80s and early 90s were some of the most memorable trips I ever did, because they were the first ones.
Friday off work, meet Col at Ferrybridge at 6am and ride, at 58mph, up to 350 miles away. Put up the tent, go to the 'do', back in the tent, fettle the scooter on Saturday (in a sometimes vain attempt to ensure it would get me home), mooch around the site, pub, tent, home on Sunday morning. Some of my mates from then are still doing it now, 25 years later. As many as 5000 would turn up some weekends. Inter-club fights, the Calverton Hornets taking on the nazi skins, would add spice.
I was talking to my mate Dave the other night, another former scooter rider, and it reminded me of a weird period when some of the hardest young nutcases in Britain would turn up on rallies on scooters. It was a time when a lanky lunk in a grass skirt and flat top, riding a 125cc hairdryer on L plates was a genuinely scary geezer (to the outside world, anyway).
Some scooter clubs seemed to be made up almost solely of football hooligans (the Cardiff Cougars). It seems barely believable now, because the scooter is used in coffee adverts and all sorts of other 'media' and it's seen as either a design classic, commuter tool (something it always was) or urban prop.
Good times. Nothing like that will ever happen again. Below, a song for all the 1980s scooter boys. G

Monday 28 November 2011

Zaeta DTs at EICMA

I promised some more of my snaps from the EICMA show. Here are some. More to come. These show: details of the new Zaeta DT prototype street tracker with its machined-from-solid frame; another road-going DT street tracker with steel frame; the tank of Marco Belli's all-conquering Zaeta racer. He was awesome at the EICMA race on that thing. G

The Guy Martin/Kriega Award

Rollerburn's custom show was more of a showcase of the bikes we love (whether they'd 'fit' in the magazine or not). No one expected to win a prize, because we didn't have any, but a lot of great bikes turned up from all over the country. In the end, we decided to let Guy Martin choose one bike as his favourite and give the owner a R20 rucksack donated by our sponsors, Kriega. It was a tough decision and Guy worked out which he preferred while talking on stage. The winner was Paul from Yorkshire. If you want to read more about the 1970 Shovel that won (and a bunch of other great bikes), buy Greasy Kulture 22. G
Photo, below, Paul being congratulated by Guy, taken by Trawler
Feel free to post your own caption.

Sunday 27 November 2011


Another lovely book in the Sideburn shop. This time it's Andrew Shaylor's Rockin'. It's an exploration of the British (mostly) rockabilly scene and contemporary photos of the historical American source. Heavyweight hardback with really beautiful quality printing (we've become complete nerds about print quality). 191 pages. £30 in Sideburn's webshop. We don't send books outside Europe. Sorry. G

MZ and XS for sale

Our good friend Dave is selling this tidy MZ. It's in Lincoln.

For Sale......£700 for a beautiful piece of former Eastern Bloc history !!! Please
Enquire, for further info !!"
Elsewhere, this bike, that claims to be a former Roberts Shell Thuet XS, is up on UK eBay. Bidding starts at £7550. Thanks to Richard for the tip. G

Saturday 26 November 2011

Project RE Paint & Discs

The last couple of months have been a mad scramble. We finished Sideburn 9, organised and promoted Rollerburn and (nearly) finished our Royal Enfield project. We couldn't have done all that without a bunch of skilled mates who are a big part of the Sideburn family.
We didn't make much of a fuss of the Enfield, because it was going on Royal Enfield's stand at the NEC show (on till tomorrow), and we didn't want to steal their thunder. And it's going in the next magazine. But we love the end result. Carl at CFM did a great job bringing it all together and Nicolai at Ornamental Conifer laid on the fantastic graphics and lettering.
Pull Your Finger Out is a phrase O.C. uses all the time, and it could be a motto of Sideburn. He paints jackets, helmets, bikes, signs, walls, cricket bats, but he doesn't do pinstriping.
Thanks to O.C. and thanks to Death Spray Custom for introducing us in the first place.
Another element of Project RE that friends helped us sort out was the brake discs. When you change forks and wheels, getting the discs to fit without adapters between fork and caliper (I hate those adapters) is a big headache. British company EBC made discs for our Project FT, but couldn't do these in time due to moving factories (and us not giving them enough time). Th other two British brake companies I called and emailed didn't even reply. So I spoke to Pepo at Radical Ducati in Madrid. I'd visited him earlier in the year for my day job and he sang the praises of Discaciatti in Northern Italy. I sketched out the centres, emailed, paid up and the discs arrived eight days later. Discaciatti might sound like Italian for brake disc, but it's the family name and I dealt with Ms. Discaciatti, the founder's daughter. Great service and they fit perfectly. G

Friday 25 November 2011

New Wall of Death Film

High quality, new film about the legendary Ken Fox Wall of Death. It makes me want to find the Wall, pay my £2 and climb the stairs.
It amazes me that people make such beautiful films and put them on Vimeo for free. I hope Benedict Campbell gets some work from this showcase.
We featured this Wall of Death in Sideburn 6. GI

Last Zombies in captivity

It was two, now only ONE in size large, then they're all gone. Forever.
Zombie Steve McQueen drawn by the most excellent Maxwell at Corpses from Hell. They have Sideburn in rotting flesh font on the back.
Get yours here. These are the sizes. They cannot be exchanged. G

Chest width of the sweat, not the wearer (1in below armhole)

Sleeve length (armpit to end inc cuff)

Front Body length (from round neck to bottom of waistband)

Military Heritage

From our friends at Royal Enfield.

New for 2012, Desert Storm is an addition to the popular range of Royal Enfield Classic 500 motorcycles that pays homage to the company's military heritage, which stretches back to the late 19th century. With its bodywork and frame painted in matt sand colour and plain white badges, Desert Storm contrasts with the high gloss finish of the majority of traditionally styled models in the Royal Enfield range.
The Royal Enfield brand name dates back to the 1890's, when the Worcestershire-based business won a contract with the Royal Small Arms factory to supply precision parts for the making of Enfield rifles. When they made their first new two-wheeler they marketed it through a new company – The Royal Enfield Manufacturing Company Ltd - adding the legendary trademark "Built Like A Gun", which is still in use today.
First introduced in 1931, the Royal Enfield Bullet has a long tradition of military service too; thousands were supplied to the British Army and RAF for use by despatch riders during the Second World War. When updated for 1949 the Bullet was chosen for patrol duties by the Indian Army, a fact that has ensured its survival to this day.
Powered by the latest fuel-injected unit engine, with 5-speed gearbox and multi-plate clutch, Desert Storm combines classic looks and sound (complete with kick-start), with modern levels of performance and reliability thanks to front disc brake, gas-filled rear suspension, Avon Road Rider tyres, hydraulic pushrods and 12-volt halogen headlight.
Priced at £5195 the Desert Storm is available through Royal Enfield dealers. For more information call 01386 700907 or visit

21 Helmets

From Thor Drake (one of the Smoking Seagulls), another fun thing going on in Portland...

Hey fellas...
here is a little thing I'm putting together at my new shop. i ordered 21 white Bell Custom 500's and gave them to a wide array of weirdo artists that i know. It worked out almost perfectly because im moving my shop into a bigger building in a much better location so we had the space. PBR is always pretty hyped to help us out so i got a bunch of free beer. The new shop is going to be equel parts coffee shop/ motorcycle shop. During the show we will be serving up latte's and espresso's from Stumptown's finest. Im pretty excited to see what comes out of it
let's chat soon,
cheers, Thor

Thursday 24 November 2011


An email arrived yesterday. The subject was 'It's Wednesday'. All it said - 'Time to make the break'.
I replied, with 'Is this Spam'. Then this came in to explain it all.
'No, it's a pic of my wristband that I had to take off. I felt like a teenager that had been to Glastonbury who wanders around all summer and into next winter with their wristband on so it came off last night.' Grant

Another Grant got in touch, the photographer Grant Robinson with these shots, below, of the night. He wrote, simply, 'What a night. Thanks for organising it.' G