Monday 30 April 2012

Lunar Valley by Essy Mays

New art show, featuring Essy Mays, in London starting on May 5. G

Early GoPro

thanks to APART

Sunday 29 April 2012

Alley Sweeper 2012

From Danker in Portland, Oregon.

Well, you missed it and it was a good'un! Two solid weeks of rain and then the sun shone down on glorious muddy tracks. I've finally found the right right machine for the Urban Enduro. After riding smaller and smaller machines I've settled on a 1967 Honda Trail90. It has just the right amount of power and dirt cred for riding through unsuspecting people's back yards and riverside hobo encampments. Here's a vid  

It sounds like Dirt Quake is shaping up to be super sweet. We wish you guys the best of luck! Cheers, Danker, Sang-Froid Riding Club 

Nut Allergy

"Hey Ben, New race wets fitted! Now it's just the lack of steeling lock and the other nutters I have to worry about..."
Jamie #29 Fireblade IRB

Watching a Fireblade do battle with a Vespa and a BMW Boxer and a Royal Enfield - among others, in the Dirt Quake Inappropriate Road Bike Class is going to be more entertaining that squirrels dancing on a greased log. BP

Saturday 28 April 2012

Hot Dock Panhead Road Racer

This bike made me say a quiet 'Wow' when I came across it. So, it seems to me, though I'm no old Harley expert, that this is a Panhead in a rigid frame (no shit), with springer forks that are the same age as the engine, but more modern road race drum brakes. It's a CJ-style XR tank and an XR seat, painted in WWII Luftwaffe colours. Borrani-style rims wear modern-ish rubber and look great. And that is a monstrous flatslide carb. I think this bike was built by Hot Dock, who we first came across back in 2008 (Hot Dock 8V racer). It threw its primary belt off at the Tsubuku track. I can't imagine what it's like to hustle around a twisty circuit with those straight bars, low seat and high mid controls, but it looks killer. G
Found at Shinsuke Takizawa Blog

Merinero Pinball

Spanish artist, Antonio Merinero made one of his wonderful pinball artworks for Rollerburn, then put it up for sale. Martin made the last payment so he could collect it from Sideburn HQ. He was very happy. G

Friday 27 April 2012

Redliners Racing

From Tyler at Lowbrow Customs (that's him on the green Triumph)...

Redliners Racing International: A group of six dashingly handsome, smart, and fast individuals who waste way too much time and money on the irrational pursuit of making old, slow machines go fast. An eclectic mix of men and their machines make up the group, of which you can learn more of on the Redliners Racing website. Follow along to see new motorcycles being built, race preparation being performed, and speed efforts in full effect as we approach August and Bonneville Speed Week 2012. Follow the Redliners exploits at


I found this brilliant advert on Josh's Bugged Shutter blog. It says 'The more you bribe, the more powerful they get.'
I'd consider joining the Filth if I could dress like that for a living (and I'd only want four arms). The British police uniforms are getting ridiculous now. They'll be wearing hoodies next. G

Thursday 26 April 2012

Simon Wigg, Melbourne, 1984

Great footage found by Lewis Wharton...

 I know you're a busy man, so apologies for another distraction, but I had to share this with you and Ben. It must be hectic with Dirt Quake coming up... 
Simon Wigg was a hero of mine as a kid but have only just recently found this clip, the whole clip is a nice story with a nail biting final but I especially recommend the second heat,1:34 in, while he is being a bit of a show off you've got to admire someone who can pop wheelies for fun in an actual competition heat. 
Hopefully see you on the 19th. 

Motorious, Copenhagen

We're pleased to announce another new stockist, and another cool shop opening somewhere in the world.
Motorious is in Denmark's capital, and sells clothing, old bikes parts, guns and Sideburn T-shirts and magazines. Good luck, fellas. G

Bent bars

From our friend Jason...

I’ve been using bent bars for far too long now, well, since I run over that bloke at Rye House in May (Actually that sounds too dramatic as I only ran over his legs) and it’s about time for some new ones. But so many to choose from. Good job I have knowledgable friends to call on and that’s why I asked Ben for advice on which bars would suit me best. He suggested that I should Google, ‘Gay bars’.

Wow, how many suppliers are there in my area? Lots more than I’d imagined. But which one should I’s quite a list. I decided upon one called, The Handle Bar. I immediately got through to Julian, who is the Head Barman. Unbeliveable, a Head Bar man, a man in charge of just bars! There must be a whole department just for flat track handlebars at this place. All this going on, on my doorstep without me knowing. How silly do I feel? And there’s me thinking I’m the only one in my area of this persuasion.

After talking to Julian for quite a while, he agreed, 7/8 width would give him hand cramp too. Perhaps one inch would be better?, Julian thought that this was still not enough, he said he’d show me. I’ve got a pretty tenacious grip, especially when I’m on pole with eight blokes raring to go up my chuff.

Anyway, this place is open late as they’re having a 70’s Tranny extraganza this evening. I said “I’m not really into 30+ year old knackers which have been chopped about, I prefer mine to be standard with no previous owners”.

I’ll let you know how I get on.

Wednesday 25 April 2012


Oh yes. It had to be done. Keihin CR39 Flatslides. G

Full Up

Dirt Quake's IRB, street tracker/scrambler and vintage speedway classes are now full even before the deadline. Thanks to everyone who entered. We have a reserve list if anyone wants to join that.
Nick is racing his Cheney Triumph (photo by The Vintagent).

Still a few places for the chopper class! You have time to resurrect one.

A thousand thanks to all who have ordered tickets. They will be sent soon-ish. Thanks for your patience. G

Campaign Trail

Last Friday GI and I went on the Dirt Quake campaign trail in Coventry city with posters and flyers. Swooping on chippies, barbers, guitar shops, newsagents, corner shops etc etc. Ah the art of PR. BP

Tuesday 24 April 2012

More Dirt Quake IRB Heroics

Tony: Hi I don't suppose you'll get anything more inappropriate than a 19 stone 62 year old on a CG125. Any places left? 
Regards Tony
GI: Tony, step right this way! I've attached the form and regs. Any questions, let me know. Good to have you on board.
Tony: Damn; just found the regs you posted on Feb 16th. Thought of claiming I never wear long trousers but that raises so many other issues and I don't want to get into that sort of trouble again. Looks like I'm in then. Cheque and form on the way. At least the bog standard CG chaincase should stop any fingers being lost. Love the mag. Love the craic. Don't suppose you're getting rich but you should be.
GI: Tony You'll be fine. And, as Dave said, it's better to be at the back on the track than at the front of the stands, even if it's just once. Forever more, you'll be able to say you raced a motorcycle.
Tony: OK, I have to admit I did a bit of road racing for a couple of seasons many years ago, proddy RD350 (pre LC) and GS1000. Rubbish at it but there's no feeling in the world like coming back off the track after the most intense experience you'll ever have, flopping into a chair and having every cell in your body relaaaax. See you at Coventry. 
P.S. I think this all started when I went to Belle Vue Speedway as a kid. I always rooted for Peter Craven (and Aubrey Leighton when it was stock cars).
BP: Dear Tony
Please can you send us a self-portrait of you with your CG (one of my all time favorite bikes) in your shorts / leathers / leather shorts whatever. You are a hero and; we would like to put the photo on the Sideblog. We have (amongst more obvious steeds) both a Vespa and a Fireblade, so it's going to be a very interesting race. Sort of Rabbit and the Hare but with more wheel spin.
Tony: Blimey. I've never been a hero before. The only thing I know about it is that you have to wear your underpants outside your trousers. Anyway, pictures enclosed, autographed copies available 50p.


The very wonderful Riders magazine from Italy are coming to race their concept bike Spillo, at Dirt Quake. The fella in this film - who seems to be happier pushing it than riding the bike - isn't racing it, but the editor Roberto Ungaro is, and he's a dirt demon.
Spillo means pin. A spillo heel on a shoe is what the English call a stiletto.
Officine Mermaid build this bike out of an old Honda single and our old mate Alberto Narduzzi made the film. G

Neo Gothic

Ancillaries that were once rocking horse shit oddities, are now mass-produced catalogue parts. At the click of a mouse you too can buy a previously unobtanium mudguard / tank / seat / light. Faux vintage spray-on rust - what next? The previous genuine antique NSU Max rear light my XS used to sport got shaken to death, so I need a replacement (not obligatory for Dirt Quake chopper racing, but I plan to put this bike back on the road after the event). Current contenders are a Brat Style pussycat light ( eBay is over-run with repros) or this B&Q semi-detached Munsters special. BP

Monday 23 April 2012

How Low Can You Go?

I've made some progress on Sideburn's entry for the Chopper Speedway class. Co-Built Lee has been busy with some mods to my XS. The Tarozzi rear-sets are now mounted on the front down-tubes. The Honda CB250RS forks I had intended to fit (to match my yokes), turned out to be early type, so only 33mm diameter not 35mm as assumed. Fortunatly Lee had some Honda CB900 (Bol d'Or?) legs, and with some deft machining now mate with the XS axle and wheels.
With a Brembo 4-pot caliper from a '90s Ducati 900SS (and others), the same as CFM Carl fitted to the SB project Enfield, up front, and a small Cagivo Mito-type Brembo on the rear, and skimming of the original thick chromey (apparently stainless steel but it's magnetic) frying pan discs, it will stop faster than it goes.
It's daisy skimming low ride so I've now ground off the sidestand and flange all together. BP

Dirt Quake Heroes

I've just been totting up the entries so far for the Sideburn classes at Dirt Quake and it's looking very healthy. So far the marques being represented are BSA, BMW, Cagiva, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Royal Enfield, Suzuki, Triumph, Vespa and Yamaha.

We're running four classes:

Street Tracker/Street Scrambler
Inappropriate Road Bike (IRB)
Vintage Speedway (class is already full)

Driver Chris (above) is racing his Enfield in the IRB class. If you want to get involved, email us or leave a comment and we'll get back to you.
If you want to watch the action, all taking place at Coventry Speedway, tickets are £8 in advance (from here), £10 on the day. There is racing from 11am, Main event from 4. Racing continues till 9pm with band, DJs and bars after. G

Gianni Rizzotti

We met up with renowned Italian photographer Gianni Rizzotti at Verona earlier this year, and he kindly gave me a copy of his hefty About Us photo book. 2.7kg of biker world figureheads, shot with Rizotti's hallmark dramatic theatrical lighting and moody deep black shadows. Bike builders, customizers, and patrons. BP

Sunday 22 April 2012

Wigan Casino 1977

I was searching for a song I heard on Radio 2 last night, when I found this is strange, somewhat confused but still wonderful documentary about the Northern Soul scene of the mid-to-late-70s. It's also about working class British youth of the time, and, wider than that, about being part of a scene, any scene. 1977 was closer to the end of WWII than we are to 1977, and looking at the bombed-out, or at least demolished, wasteground in some of these shots, it reminds me of a lot of growing up in west Leeds around that time, not exactly where I lived, but neighbouring Armley and Holbeck. The talking head pieces from the record dealer/lathe operator with the beard are so soaked in melancholy and love for the scene they're bloody heartbreaking, when you realise the casino did close down in 1981. I wish there weren't the folky interludes in this, they take the shine off it for me, but I still recommend watching it. G
 PS The record I was looking for is the Northern Soul killer 'Oh baby don't you weep' by Luther Ingram.



Is back in stock and we have the new issue, number 26, and limited quantities of back issues. Motorcycho is the original lame-ass bikerzine. It's made in Canada and just picking it up makes me want to go on a road trip. It's a proper fanzine, 36 pages, stapled. The latest issue is all colour on gloss paper. Order yours online at the Sideburn shop. G

El Solitario has a new home

Their blog is a derelict empty shell. They've moved to El Solitario MC.

Saturday 21 April 2012

Vintage Speedway at Dirt Quake

The Blast From The Past Vintage speedway team (pictured) are racing at Dirt Quake and will have a great pit area for spectators to check out. All the bikes are methanol-burning, JAP-engined speedway tackle from the 50s and 60s.

Buy Dirt Quake tickets here

In related news, Sideburn reader Matthew H told us Barry Briggs was on Radio 4's Midweek show this week. Listen to it here.

Dirt Quake Stickers

Dirt Quake stickers are in. We'll send out tickets next week. Thanks for the orders. Get yours at the Sideburn webshop. G

Friday 20 April 2012

The Bible: Back In Stock

We've been waiting for about six months for this cult book to come back in stock.
160 pages, redesigned book from the 1970s (originally titled Ride It). Beautiful embossed linen-style cover.
£20 plus post.
Please note, we don't send books outside Europe. Sorry.
Get yours here.

Dirt Quake C90s

Ross and Liam (pictured) of Rusty Nail Racing have signed up to race at Dirt Quake. They'll be up against a Fireblade and a BMW, among others.
Whose having some? Let's be having you! G