Tuesday 31 January 2012


I saw this front end on a few Harley XR1200s at the Verona show. I was struck by the 1980s barnstorming lunacy of it. This is brand new, but seems like it's from the time of inboard discs and six-cylinder engines and mechanical anti-dive. I mean, really, what the hell is the idea? If you can't make telescopic forks that work without an external coil-over shock unit and massive horse shoe brace (and all the related unsprung weight), then you're in the wrong game, just buy someone else's that do work. Or are the sliders empty and it's trying to be a BMW?
If you're impressed by this kind of gadgetry, you're probably 12. G

DT400 Bitsa

From Tim at Spirit of the Seventies, another new build for the 2012 UK season...

I've attached a few pics I took yesterday of one of the two bikes Stuart Lovell (2011 novice champion) is running this year. This is a DT400 bitsa special and we've had the paint done for him by Graham at Revolution.

Monday 30 January 2012

Low Key

We don't organise this, but we go along. The scene in the UK is too small to ignore this, but standing around a car park in North London in February isn't particularly appealing. I don't know how we got stuck with February. The Raleigh Chopper and Manta GTE club must have got all the good dates.
Why am I being down on it? Because it is what it is. But when we make a fuss about something you can be sure it's special. G


Drogo gave me some stick for my £2.99 100% polyester ladies scarf, bought in emergency from Tie Rack, Stanstead airport, just before boarding to Verona as Skooter Farm Dave was freaking out that Gary and I hadn't brought any neck fashion with us. (I'd forgotten my beloved Ruby-Eley-Kishimoto 100% pure silk one). Under pressure, Gary opted for a safer gentleman's cravat shot through with russet, also on sale.
However, here is a case of the pansy calling the rose pink. It seems Drogo has used the Tie Rack online shop as a parts catalogue for decorating Co-Built 6. I actually like the butterscotch fudge sundae flavor seat. My Guzzi has a brown suede seat and been ridden in all weathers for the past 20 years, and I've never wished I'd stuck to vinyl. Seriously man your svelte new bike "painted in Aston Matrin metalic grey, and period Jaguar racing red" tis good enough to eat. I look forward to spraying it with shale in the new season.
PS Please dont wear that spotty button kaftan - not even in the pits. It's really not you. BP

Sunday 29 January 2012

Dro-Built Progress

Drogo's Co-Built is going to be ready for the new UK Short Track season. Exhaust next.
Not sure how the suede seat's going to hold up to a slushy Scunthorpe. G

Saturday 28 January 2012

Radical Ducati Dirt RAD

Radical Ducati's first non-Ducati, coming to Sideburn magazine soon. G

Friday 27 January 2012

Mees on Ice

Perhaps too much music and tweed for some people's liking. I understand that. So here's a photo of the mighty Jared Mees (cover star of Sideburn 3) winning an indoor ice race last week. Styling. I think the last round is in Michigan, his home state. G

The Death Ramps

Two people sent us a link to this in about 30 mins of each other (thanks Dan and Leigh), so I thought I'd share it. The Death Ramps seem to be the name the Arctic Monkeys use when they do a B-side or something. Richard Hawley's on this too. Looks like they're having fun.
If the Death Ramps ever want to release something on Sideburn Records we can put out people in touch with their people.

I can't work out what the bikes are for sure, but I reckon modern Bonnevilles. I wonder if this'll turn a million Monkey fans onto the joys of riding around Sheffield in a bubble visor. There are worse things to do. G

Poole Pirates

We're having classic speedway heats at our May 19, Coventry race meeting. The event has a name: DIRT QUAKE. G

Chris Watson Street Tracker T

Chris Watson originally made this illustration for the Reilly Rocket SB#8 launch party poster, and we immediately thought it would make a great kids T. But turns out the Gildan Youth cut is not dissimilar to the adult ones it's just shorter. So if you are proud of your navel / your tight Bruce Lee stomach, just choose a size up from your regular adult size Gildan and strike a pose like the lovely Giaele here. We sold it to both guys and gals at Verona. BP

Thursday 26 January 2012

The REAL Stags

A mate in London got in touch, very excited because he'd seen an advert promising The Stags were playing in London this Friday night. Well, they're NOT. It's another bunch, calling themselves the same name. A SWAT team from Wigan was despatched and the London imposters are changing their name. To make it clear, Sideburn's favourite band The Stags ARE NOT PLAYING THE BARFLY on Friday.
The good news is, they are playing:
Liverpool on Feb 10 (not 4th as we said) (at a drag themed Valentine's do. That's drag as in cross-dressing, not quarter miles).
London, Stag's Head, Hoxton, March 10.

RELATED NEWS, we now have a download code for The Stags 7in single on Sideburn Records, so for all you Luddites who are persevering with those old hat MP3 players, you can buy the 7in vinyl and we'll send the download code so you still listen to the raucous double-A side while you save up for your new record player. Can't say fairer than that.

God only knows what is going on in this photo, but I got it from The Stags MyspaceCentre (you remember Myspace, right?). I fear that might be Dave Skooter Farm. I think this image will flicker in my head next time we have to share a budget hotel room. G

Sinistro Velox

Dave's nan embroidered these Sideburn LEFT QUICKLY coat of arms for our Verona tweeds. BP
UPDATE: After months of being dormant, Dave Skooter Farm's blog is back up and running. Check in at Full Frokkul Fiasco

Wednesday 25 January 2012

If looks could kill

Team Sideburn shot by Spanish photographer Kristina Fender. Click her name to see more of her recently posted shots from last year's Rollerburn. G

The Pace that Thrills 1952

That Dusty is a doity wat. Thanks to Lenny Bubble Visor for the tip. BP

Tuesday 24 January 2012

Verona 2012

Another nutty one, great meeting of the clans, old faces, and new, but now we're all feeling as green as the K'wack below. More photos to follow when we get discharged from sickbay. Dave - a non-drinker cadged some water-soluble Codeine which he necked with a cup of Vodka we had stashed in an old mineral water bottle. Party on Dave.
We were sharing a hotel with Jesse James, Arlen Ness, and Exile Cycles' Russell Mitchell - did Dave get any bemused looks at the breakfast buffet? just a few, especially when each day he topped up his record boxes with extra yogurt and custard croissants as a show picnic. BPOur biggest Thank You goes to Mr Martini for hosting such a great party on Friday night.

Monday 23 January 2012

I like the Isle of Man

I'm writing something for the mighty Cycle World today, but I have a post-Verona man-flu hangover and I keep getting distracted. It doesn't help when the Isle of Man press office sends out a photo like this. It's young Englishman James Hillier, at Ballaugh. Looking at the shadows, I'd say it was evening practice.

Photo: Stephen Davison. G
[If anyone from Cycle World is reading this, don't worry, I'll get it finished]
That's three posts on the trot where I've used the word Like. I'm a liker, not a fighter. I also have a head full of mashed potato. Apologies. If you want great writing, buy the mag.

Deus Ex Monkey

I like the Arctic Monkeys. Alex is a genius lyricist (You're not New York City, You're from Rotherham.. etc.). One or two of them came to check out Rollerburn and now they've called in for a ride out with the Deus crew. Needless to say they got the star treatment. See the photos at Deus Ex Machina. G

Do you like my little bike?

Asks Laurent from France. Yes, says Sideburn from England. It started life as a Honda XLS125, like the one below, I think. G

Sunday 22 January 2012

Sammy Halbert Get Off

Love the rewind selecta edit on this. BP

Saturday 21 January 2012

Royal Enfield Dirt Track racer

Based on the same Classic 500 as our project, this beauty shows more potential of the latest, electric start Indian-built singles. We saw this bike a while ago, but caught up with it again via Motorcycle Photo of the Day. I've nicked this whole explanation from MPOTD, so go check them out. Some great bikes over there.
This was built by Doug Douglas Motorcycles of San Bernadino, Ca. G

The bike you’re talking about is our prototype for a streettracker that we are making parts for. This is something that’s been in the works for about a year off and on and we just got it all together the other day so we could bring it to the IMS show. It has yet to turn a wheel at the track so I don’t have much to say about riding it…yet.

We plan to be up and running building street legal bikes with the parts we are developing within a few months. We still have a lot to do in developing this as a racer but that will progress throughout the year as we develop performance items and test chassis issues not to mention the new parts we are creating.

So, to give you a rundown on what we have so far: New swingarm that is stronger and slightly longer than stock. It uses a disk brake as opposed to the stock drum brake and that’s a major upgrade to begin with. The forks are 43mm R6 modified for flattrack and they are in adjustable triple clamps that have been annodized black and this particular set is engraved “Royal Enfield”. We built the seat loop to use a Champion 250 style seat base and Saddlemen made us the seat. We have relocated the electrics including the battery for looks as well as to protect those pieces. The stainless steel exhaust is a race only unit that’s really loud.

For all of these parts we have some development that will continue before we are willing to offer them to the public but it will come soon enough. The idea is two fold…we do want to race this bike and hopefully it gets a following in amateur racing (ed this seems like a natural!) since there’s not many modern bikes besides dirtbikes that are used for flattrack any longer. So this is that alternative for the guy who wants a proper looking bike and yet wants electric start and reliability. The second part is as a street tracker that allows someone to have a bad-ass conversation piece with a warrantew and can be financed and depending on ow he options it up the price would be $10k to 15k. That’s about half what other builders are getting for their street trackers that are based on old bikes that can’t even be financed let alone have modern comforts such as the e start button and fuel injection.

We think we have a winner on and off the track. For now, we’re just enjoying the build. 90% of the project at this point is personal satisfaction.
Take care

Friday 20 January 2012

The Big Book of Biker Flicks

160 pages of lowbrow, B-movie, biker exploitation film lovingly examined by John Wooley and Michael H Price. Great film artwork on nearly every page, details from the pressbooks and in-depth reviews.
A coffee table must-have. On sale in the Sideburn webshop now. G

Films covered: The Wild One; Motorcycle Gang; Motor Psycho; The Wild Angels; Devil's Angels; Hells Angels on Wheels; Born Losers; The Glory Stompers; She-Devils on Wheels; Hell's Belles; The Savage Seven; The Hellcats; Naked Under Leather; Angels From Hell; The Mini-Skirt Mob; Run, Angel, Run; Easy Rider; Naked Angels; Wild Wheels; Hell's Angels '69; The Sidehackers; Satan's Sadists; The Cycle Savages; Rebel Rousers; C.C. And Company; Hell's Bloody Devils; The Losers; Angels Die Hard; Angel Unchained; Black Angels; The Hard Ride; Bury Me An Angel; The Pink Angels; Chrome And Hot Leather; Werewolves on Wheels; Angels Hard As They Come; Angels' Wild Women; The Dirt Gang; The Loners; Road of Death

US Indoor Ice Racing

Brandon Robinson came to race with us in the UK a few years ago. We interviewed him for Sideburn 1. He sent a group email out to say...

To help stay sharp this winter I decided to compete full time in the ICE World Championship. I’ve never rode on the ice before so I new going into this that I would have my hands full. So far we are at the halfway mark in the Championship as we just concluded round three in Loveland, CO...
I’ve had a fair showing at the ICE events so far and with three more races left I’m looking to improve my finishes and performance. I’m learning a lot about the tires and set up and once I’m able to figure it out I know we will be up front! Until then all I can do is continue to push forward. Just got to send a big thanks to all my sponsors for all their support for 2012!

The heroic, one-armed rider Jason Griffin (from Sideburn 4) is in this clip too.

Here are the remaining dates.
Sat-Jan 21st 7:30PM - US Cellular Coliseum - Bloomington, IL
Sat-Jan 28th 7:30PM - Glens Falls Civic Center - Glens Falls, NY
Sat-Feb 4th 7:30PM - Cambria War Memorial Arena - Johnstown, PA

Thursday 19 January 2012

Jocks & Nerds

Marcus Ross who shot our Dai Jobu story in Sideburn #4 now publishes his own Jocks & Nerds. Initially on-line only this is just the second printed issue but it's punched its way into the mens magazine heavyweight class. It's a free quarterly which you can pick up in selected London stores listed here.
BAD Don Letts on the cover.My old Mean Fuckers photos have had yet another airing (but this is the first time printed in Britain, and a different edit than previously). Strange as when shot 20 years ago I had no plans for publication, it was just college fieldwork.There's a nice story on contemporary Mods too shot by Lee Vincent Grub. BP