Sunday 31 January 2016

Bargain Hats and Last Chance to Win Signed Special SB

Well, the price of Sideburn hats is going through the roof on UK eBay again. Strange, because they're still £15 (plus post) directly from us, while stocks last.

If you buy one of these, or anything from, before the midnight GMT today, you will be entered into a free draw to win one limited edition copy of Sideburn 23 signed by Guy Martin. He features on the special cover and he wrote the Dirt Quake report inside. G
Cover photo of Guy at Dirt Quake IV by Becky Matthews

Cracking stuff

I remember when I first shook hands with the great Phil Read I was surprised at how it felt like clutching a fistful of jumbled chicken bones. One of the few other sports that can compare to motorcycle racing for knackering your fingers is cricket. Full story on David Morrison's messy digits is in the archives of Metro. MP

Saturday 30 January 2016

The One Motorcycle Show x Stevie Gee

The British invasion continues. Another Sideburn favourite collaborator (and Sideburn 15 cover star) Stevie Gee has created a poster for February's One Motorcycle Show in Portland. Whoop! G

Mama Tried Show Art

I went out to the first Mama Tried Show in February 2014 and was very impressed by the show, the people, the city of Milwaukee and the ice racing on Sunday morning. I had a great time. Put it on your must-visit list.

Now in it's third year, the organisers have relied on UK artists and Sideburn favourites, Adi Gilbert and Ryan Quickfall to create the promo poster for this year's event and the pre-party. And, to use the modern vernacular, they've killed it!

They're both guns for hire, waiting to design something for you. I'll even give you a link to go straight to their websites... G

Adi Gilbert / 99 Seconds
Ryan Quickfall

Friday 29 January 2016

VIBA Scrambler LARA800 Vs Snow Quake

VIBA Motor of France brought one of their limited edition LARA800 Scramblers to Snow Quake. It's based on a modern MV Agusta 800 liquid-cooled triple and they allowed Dirt Quake veteran Pierre-Alexandre Treust race it on their own handmade ice tyres (Treust was Toy Story's Woody on a full fat BMW airhead Boxer at DQIV. You can see him in this post).

The day didn't start well for the €32,300 (plus tax) exclus-crambler. The top of the lightweight battery cracked, perhaps due to the frigid temperatures, and shorted. But VIBA boss, Yann, had packed a spare (very professional). Once they got going, and Pierre got his eye in, the bike ran well and the pilot was brave, on a bike with not much steering lock. For those who don't know, you really want a lot of steering lock on a bike you're trying to powerslide. If a bike doesn't have much lock, the forks hit the lock stops before the back end has stopped over-steering and then it wants to highside and there's not much a rider can do about that. Especially on ice.

The way people rode heavy street bikes on the Ice Rosa Ring was an real eye-opener. Legends, the lot of them.

More Snow Quake reports from other racers coming over the next few days. G

Thursday 28 January 2016

Hey Benelux! Rusty Gold Swap Meet This Sunday

Just five minutes form what looks to be the Netherlands' finest moto clobber shop - the Rusty Gold Motor Shop.

Poster artwork by man of the moment Lennard Schuurmans, who is also one of the men behind this swap meet. G

Wednesday 27 January 2016

Flashback: Rollerburn

Back in 2011 Sideburn and some friends came up with an idea for a bike show that incorporated riding, all different kids of custom bikes, stalls, live music and roller derby.

It was the kickstart for a lot of the current UK 'shed built' scene, like the Bike Shed shows.

This advert was made by Drogo Michie, who later joined the DTRA as Thunderbike racer on his own, very smart Co-Built Rotax.

Guy Martin came, so did Charlie Chuck (Uncle Peter) and I joined them for a Rollerball race at the end. It was as sketchy as hell. G
Photo: Ben Part

2016 GNC Dates And Disquiet in the Paddock

Photo: Brian J Nelson/ AMA Pro Racing

There are a few GNC issues to talk about. Firstly, AMA Pro Racing have announced their 2016 dates, with some gaps still to confirm...

March 10: Daytona Flat Track I - Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Fla.
March 11: Daytona Flat Track II - Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Fla.
April 9: Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas
May 14: Arizona Mile - Turf Paradise, Phoenix, Ariz.
May 21: Sacramento Mile - Cal Expo Fair, Sacramento, Calif.
May 29: Springfield Mile I - Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, Ill.
June 18: Oklahoma City Mile - Remington Park, Oklahoma City, Okla.
June 25: Lima Half-Mile - Allen County Fairgrounds, Lima, Ohio
July 30: Charlotte Half-Mile - Charlotte Motor Speedway, Charlotte, N.C.
August 9: Sturgis Half-Mile - Black Hills Speedway, Rapid City, S.D.
August 14: Peoria TT - Peoria Motorcycle Club, Peoria, Ill.
August 20: TBA, New York State
September 4: Springfield Mile II - Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, Ill.
September 17: TBA, Southern California
Early October: TBA, Northern California

Differences: a return, after a few years, to Arizona, Oklahoma and proposed race in NY State. No Delaware, no Castle Rock, no DuQuoin.

No Indy Mile, either, but a race at COTA in Texas the same weekend as MotoGP and the Handmade Show. I hope whichever track they use is better than it was for the X Games that was in the COTA facility last year.

In other news, we've heard a rumour that now even the all-leathers rule has now been shelved for 2016. If it's true, the governing body are doing more U-turns than a London taxi.

The CEO of AMA Pro Racing, Michael Lock, sent out an email last week that included these requests...

AMA Pro Racing is committed to developing a healthy future for all the passionate and professional members of our community. I mentioned last November in Las Vegas that we have a large number of challenges and opportunities in play at the moment in our sport. As we tackle the issues surrounding building a bigger fan base, attracting new corporate sponsors and engaging the OEMs to actively partner with us, there are and will be a number of questions that require analysis and discussion. Sometimes the right path can only be determined by giving air to the spectrum of experienced views within our paddock. 

It is with this in mind that we are seeking to establish and grow a new Advisory Group, comprising Riders and Team Members from our professional flat track community. I hear a lot of informal and anecdotal intelligence from all corners of the paddock and I know that AMA Pro Racing can benefit from a formal channeling and thorough cross-examination of those views. 

AMA Pro will organize regular meetings and administer the agenda. The meetings will kick off in March, with the first scheduled to be held during Bike Week in Daytona. We will follow that with 3-5 further meetings, in conjunction with GNC races, during the rest of the season. 

Do you have views and solutions for how we retain the classic Peoria TT once the GNC1 Class becomes twin-cylinder exclusively? Can you help us ensure that the balance between new technology and cost control stays in the 'sweet spot'? Are there better ways to execute the paddock load-in and manage the race weekend? All these questions and more will be addressed as we prepare for modernization and development in 2017 and beyond.


I'll be interested to hear who puts themselves forward. They need people who can demand respect, but also younger guys who look at things differently.

AMA Pro Racing seem to be locked in a damned if they do and damned in they don't situation. If they suggest a change, half the paddock moans about changing things, but if they don't everyone complains that revenue and sponsorship is down. Meanwhile, most manufacturers (the OEMs Lock speaks of) - with a couple of exceptions, pay only lip service to the sport, making big budget concepts to splash on social media, but not actually backing any teams. It's a mess.

Indian are supposed to be coming soon. That will be good and it is likely to mean Harley-Davidson will put even more effort and dollars into the sport, of which they are already one of the biggest, if not the biggest, supporters. Hopefully they will both bring some third party sponsors like drinks or oil company money and the increased marketing companies like that shine on the sport.

The excitement a comparatively low budget effort like the Scrambler rebranding of the Lloyd Brothers team, and the inclusion of a way off the pace, Troy Bayliss made last year shows that motorcycle people are desperate for dirt track stories. Imagine if a team brought back Nicky Hayden, or if Yamaha rolled out a title contender in full Roberts-style speed blocks. Babe DeMay could make it work, he's doing it on a shoestring already.

The key players in the sport are certainly not pulling in same direction and until they do, nothing much is likely to improve or even change. G

Tuesday 26 January 2016

DTX Honda CRF450 for Sale in UK

This is from Paul Jenkins...

I am selling my CRF 450 that I raced in a few rounds of the DTRA Rookie class in 2015 on. It is ready to go and be used in the 2016 series (hopefully by someone with more skill than I). 

2007 CRF 450 
Lowered original Honda forks and rear shock 
19in wheels with Maxxis tyres
Polished frame 
£1750 ono 
Located in West Sussex (near Gatwick Airport) 
Tel No. 07595 568841

NOTE: This sale is nothing to do with Sideburn, we don't know the history or condition of this bike, we are just passing on the details. G

Monday 25 January 2016

Snow Quake Success!

El Solitario heavyweights!

Just a quick post to say a massive thanks to all the racers who drove and flew from far and wide to race at Snow Quake. I put my hands together for Dave Skooter Farm and Anthony Co-Built for race-flagging and organisational support on the day.

Thanks to the hardcore fans who came from as far away as Athens, Greece and Vigo, Spain.

Mille grazie to Pirelli Moto, Deus Ex Machina and Marco Belli of Di Traverso for helping make it happen.

More reports to follow. G
 Marco Belli was incredible on the Deus Yamaha XJR1300 on Pirelli spikes.
Pierre-Alexandre Truest raced the Lara MV 800
My ice tyres were crap. Anthony's electrics were playing up. I took the electrics off mine and we shared Anthony's bike. Team work!
Nick Ashley makes the party and Paolo Sormani is always a pleasure.
Dirt Quake hero Serge Nuques raced a Honda chopper. Park it like you stole it. G

Win: Guy Martin Special edition SB23

Any order from the Sideburn webshop, placed in the month of January 2016, is entered into a free draw to win one special Sideburn 23 signed by Guy Martin.

We made this special edition of the current issue for the Guy Martin Proper official website. The cover image is of Guy racing the Krazy Horse Harley Sportster at Dirt Quake IV, last summer. The photo was taken by Becky Matthews and you can even see the smile on his face as he slides the trusty Harley to victory. And Guy wrote the Dirt Quake report for Sideburn 23.

All you have to do to be in with a chance to win it, is order something or sign up for a subscription at

We'll announce the winner on February 1. G

Sunday 24 January 2016

Scunthorpe Road Bike Dirt Track Racing

(Dirt Quake photo: Paul Bryant)

Dirt Quake racer Jon Lawson has helped organise a class for road bikes to race at Scunthorpe speedway at their dirt track/amateur speedway meetings this year. First one is February 28.
Here are the details Jon sent us... 

Road Bike Class 
Road bike based, we would like as near to what they looked like as they left factory but not strictly necessary. 
NO GLASS  or mirrors but can be taped up very well if ridden to the track. 
Plastic lights taped up  
Centre stand removed 
Ignition cut out (any type) fitted and working 
Wheels with large gaps between spokes should be filled in , with speedway style "Moon discs" 
NO sharp edges or points
Tyre choice is free
Shark fin protector on rear sprocket 
Number board on both sides of the bike and front. You chose your own riding number. We need to know before what that will be.
Look at your bike and think "is it dangerous " if you're happy then it should be ok to run. 

Riding gear
MX gear is fine. Leathers, boots, gloves, and an ACU stamped helmet with visor or goggles 

Entry payable on the day £30 Pre book with bike details, make and class, rider name and riding number. Sign on will be 9am approx. Racing (6 runs) for your class should finish mid-afternoon depending on entry levels, this will be run as a multi bike meet in conjunction with speedway, flat trackers and mini bikes. Food van will be on site. Park in the car park on left as you arrive and wheel ( not ride ) your bike into the pit /garage area ( no riding in pit area ) 

Rules /regs basically keep the bike in a safe condition and the rider protected in the event of a fall its hard when you go down ! 
Keep an eye on face book for info and entry listing 
More info regarding rules regs contact Jon 07876547486 or e mail or 
For booking and track details 
Venue : Eddie Wright Raceway, Scunthorpe DN15 8QZ ,

Dirt Quake V is now 15-16 July, at the world famous and world class Adrian Flux Arena, King's Lynn.

Saturday 23 January 2016

AMA National Number

This is a great one for the nerds (like me) out there. If you ever wonder who held number 5 in 1966, you go to, type in the number and then view the results (Larry Palmgren by the way).
It also works for years and names, so you type in a season and it tells you all the national numbers from that year, or you type in a rider's surname and it gives you the number they ran. Genuis! G

Friday 22 January 2016

The Citizen Kane of Flat Track Movies

I'd never heard of Ride With The Wind until I saw this trailer over at Church of Choppers.
It brought a tear to my eye and reminded me a little of my favourite ever film, Mask (with Cher not Jim Carrey, silly).

In this clip there is what looks very much like actual footage of an actual GNC crash spliced into the drama. I sent an email to a group of older fans and industry people in the US asking 'Does anyone remember the crash or who was involved? It's not very clear, but could it be Chris Carr (20) and Parker (1). Early-90s, I think, it predates my following of the sport.'

The ever helpful Roger F (a regular correspondent and a great character, click his label below this post) came back very quickly...

'That's a late season crash involving the chase for the #1 plate between Chris Carr #20 and Scott Parker, and the resulting leg  injuries (knee?) ended up costing Parker the championship in 1992. I can't remember the exact race, but it was a west coast half-mile late in the season. Carr was running either up front or close to it, and Parker was back a few spots. Late in the race, Chris Carr slid out coming out of turn 2, but managed to keep his XR running. In his haste get going again, he lit up the rear wheel and the bike kicked sideways....right into Scott Parker's line, catapulting him off. An unfortunate racing accident pure and simple, but it all but awarded #1 to Chris Carr, his first of many... Roger"

Thursday 21 January 2016

My kind of dry cleaners - update

This never happens when I pop in to have the stains taken out of my velveteen loin cloths. Apologies for my continuing obsession with Monica Vitti, here paired with Claudia Cardinale in Qui Comincia l'Avventura (1975), released as Lucky Girls elsewhere. MP

Harley, you're right, and here's why:

Wednesday 20 January 2016

Dirt Quake V - DATE CHANGE

Due to reasons beyond our control we have to change the date of Dirt Quake. The original date was 8-9 July. It is now

15-16 July

It's still at the Adrian Flux Arena, King's Lynn. Very sorry if this causes any grief for people, but there was nothing we could do to make the original date work because of change in circumstances at the track. Fortunately they found us another date in their packed summer schedule.

The superb poster for this year's event was created by the Dutch master, long-time friend of Sideburn and a Dirt Quake racer himself, Mr Lennard Schuurmans.

Tickets will go on sale in February. Race entries open in late-April. Keep an eye on the blog for details.

We're delighted to say Bikesure, motorcycle insurance specialists, have come back on board as the title sponsor and we have a new sponsor, Motone - a supplier of machine bolt-on parts for custom, street tracker or cafe racer.
Harley-Davidson Europe have come on board as a sponsor
W&W Cycles are returning again
Bike Shed MC are our media sponsor

If you'd like to sponsor Dirt Quake, please email me at for details.  G

Tuesday 19 January 2016

Raulowsky + Herge x El Solitario

Last week's post on the Tintin magazine (that contained no Tintin) reminded me of this fantastic homage to the Belgian boy detective that Spanish artist, Raulowsky created for El Solitario last year.

The first time I saw it I kicked myself for not thinking of it. I'm a big fan of Herge's books and this is a clever take on The Black Island cover. Raulowsky includes Biarritz' lighthouse, David El Solitario in his trademark hat on his Panhead, Valeria with Gonzo BMW and their sidekick, ET. Not sure who is on the front of the raft.
Spanish artist Raulowsky and his work features on this short video, and you get a couple of glimpses of the great Into The Wild design he created for Sideburn back in 2012. G

Monday 18 January 2016

Snow Quake Bell Moto by Death Spray

UK racer Adam Brinkworth is travelling out to this week's Snow Quake in the Italian Alps and has had this melting sheet ice Bell Moto 3 painted by Death Spray Custom. G

Sunday 17 January 2016

Tour de France x Synchornised Swimming

More evidence has emerged, this time on the official YouTube feed of cycling sports' governing body, the UCI, that most branches of cyclo sport are best enjoyed, or at least conceived, while on drugs. G

Saturday 16 January 2016

The One Show AND The One Pro 2016

Thor and the See See crew are gearing up for another One Motorcycle Show next month. If you can possibly get to it, do. It's a great show. Every year they try to raise the game (and they always do). This year they're combining flat track, an hour away in Salem, with the show. Go race or spectate. Here's what they say...

THE ONE PRO FLAT TRACK MOTORCYCLE RACING! New to this years show, we will host a pro flat track event Sunday Feb. 14th from 12-5pm. Shuttle buses will be leaving the One Motorcycle Show and heading down to Salem Indoor Speedway around 11 am. To sign up and race or buy a $10 spectator ticket go HERE

Friday 15 January 2016

The Saints

Australia's finest export alongside you know, er... that and... that other thing and hang on... Oh, yeah, thought of some: Blundstone boots, Mad Max and Kylie.

Such a great pre-punk punk moment. This song is 40 years old this year. Crikey. G

Tintin Journal (Tintin not included)

Dug this out when going through a load of stuff recently. It was sent to me more than ten years ago by an old mate who lives in France, who'd spotted it on a market stall (he has a keen eye for sweating boy scouts grappling with unruly thumpers). Strangely enough, there's no Tintin strip in the mag, from July 1964. I think it ran for years, having spotted this site. Lovely artwork by Mittéï. MP

Thursday 14 January 2016

2016 DTRA Dates - UPDATE

The dates for the 2016 season have been released. There is one new round. Leicester has been dropped, replaced by the Greenfield TT. Short Track UK - the organisation that established dirt track in the UK before the DTRA took over, used to regularly run TT style races (dirt track with rights and lefts and a jump), but this is a first for the DTRA. The track is being built by one of the racers, George Pickering, on his family's farm. TTs are a part of the GNC, with the famous Peoria TT, of course.
It means the British series has short track, half-mile and now TT again.

2016 DATES
Round 1... 10 April...  Rye House, EN11 0EH
Round 2... 14-15 May... MCN Festival, Peterborough, PE2 6XE
Round 3... 11 June... Greenfield TT, Lincolnshire, LN13 0EB
Round 4... To Be Confirmed... King's Lynn (the night before Dirt Quake V), PE34 3AG
Round 5... 13 August... Amman Valley half-mile, SA18 1UT
Round 6... 14 August... Amman Valley half-mile, SA18 1UT
Round 7... 10 September... Rye House, EN11 0EH

Rider registrations are now open. Get in and guarantee your favourite number.

Talking to the DTRA's head, Anthony Brown, it sounds like the series continues to grow with more racers signing up every year. The club are always looking for volunteers who would like to be a part of the organisational side of the racing. Get in touch through the new DTRA website, where there is information on bike technical specs, galleries, links to the free online magazine....

Read Sideburn's exclusive interview with 2015 DTRA champ, Aidan Collins, in Sideburn 23.

And don't forget to order your copy of the DTRA Yearbook One and support this grassroots, not-for-profit club. G

Photos: Ian Roxburgh, Ian Osborne, DTRA

Wednesday 13 January 2016

Guido and Sue - the end?

This time, the hapless perma-nerd Guido might have blown it for good. Anyone familiar with the shenanigans of this pair over the years will know that Sue has tried everything but imprisonment and assault to get into Guido's... affections, but the bloke just can't see the wood for the trees. It's a lesson to us all.

With apologies to original authors and journalists Guido Bettiol and Vic Willoughby, and artist George Domenech. MP

Tuesday 12 January 2016

The Americana

These are photos of Riccardo Chiosi's Gilera 300, The Americana. We published other photos of it back in Sideburn 15. I knew some of his bikes had been lost in a fire, but I wasn't sure if this had, but Riccardo confirmed it had... G

Yes, totally destroyed, nothing was saved. The Bultaco, and two other prototypes, various tools, materials... a lot of time and money. 

Better to have loved and lost... G

Photos: Riccardo Chiosi.

Monday 11 January 2016

Race Hauler for Sale

I wouldn't normally put this on the blog, but I know there will be a lot of UK racers looking for a good van and this Transit belongs to Sideburn's good mate, Carl CFM (who did the lion's share of building both Sideburn's project bikes - the FT500 and Royal Enfield).

Carl is selling his Transit because he has a new van.

115K miles
Heavy-duty spec with rear-wheel drive
2.4 Turbo Diesel
1 previous owner

Carl owns a garage and MoT station, so this van has been properly looked after.

Call Carl at CFM in Sleaford, Lincolnshire on 01529 304793 in work hours if you want it. G

Sunday 10 January 2016


Sometimes I get a bit fed-up when I think too hard about living in small-town Lincolnshire, having moved here for a job I haven't had for over 15 years. There are no contemporary art galleries, no gigs within a 2 to 2.5 hour round trip, very little culture that I'm interested in, but it's not all bad. Cheap housing - by British standards; hardly any traffic; cheap vehicle insurance; decent roads; London's 100 miles one way; childhood home and family is in Leeds 110 miles the other way.

And I'm spoilt for motorcycle racing opportunities. If I was still interested in trackdays, I have Cadwell, Snetterton, Donington, Mallory Park all within an hour or so.

In summer it's DTRA or other dirt track at Peterborough (25 miles) King's Lynn (25 miles), Scunthorpe (60 miles), Leicester (60 miles), Greenfield Groove (50 miles) and in winter it's Mablethorpe Beach Racing (50 miles). I have a £500 heap of Honda on the right tyres. I neglect it all summer, then get it recommissioned in time to do a few races during the winter. Like today. Leave home at 7.30, £35 for five races, back home for 2pm.

Lincolnshire's not all bad. G

Saturday 9 January 2016

Woffinden wide-line

There's always an excuse for a bit of Woffy and here he is showing the form that's made him the reigning British and World Champion. He lines up against Troy Batchelor, Niels-Kristian Iversen and Nicki Pedersen in the second semi final at the Mitas Slovenian GP last September. MP

Friday 8 January 2016

Viba Lara at Snow Quake

Just heard that the French company Viba are bringing their MV Brutale 800-base special - Lara 800, to race at Snow Quake in Italy on 21 January. This is going to look wild on the ice.

Snow Quake is our first experiment at an ice race and would only be possible with our partners at Deus Milano and Pirelli. G

Thursday 7 January 2016

Maxwell Paternoster: A self-portrait

Kind of.
Maxwell has produced a load of artwork for Sideburn over the years - hand-drawn titles, stickers, T-shirts... And his latest work includes an incredible gilded Shoei helmet. Check him on his @datanoster instagram feed or Maxwell Paternoster tumblr.

 His beloved BSA, Lazer Death, featured in Sideburn 9, photographed for us by Sam Christmas.

That issue is available individually or as a four Sideburn back issue bundle for £10 (plus post). 400 pages for £10! G

Wednesday 6 January 2016

W and W Cycles Ice Drag Racing

I'm getting pretty excited about Snow Quake and searching around the internet for other ice racing shenanigans. I remembered this adventure that Dirt Quake sponsors, W and W Cycles of Germany went on a few years ago.

The race is in Sweden in February, on a frozen lake. Thomas Wiegl, who is the only person, other than Ben, to race at Dirt Quake UK and USA in the same year.

Thomas raced the Big Boar, a modified Sportster.

From a distance, a frozen lake looks like the ideal track – no bumps, no holes. But, the reality is different. When we watched others go down the track we were kinda puzzled by the engines periodically over-revving. Out there, we quickly find out what’s happening. The surface is undulating to the point that vehicles just lose traction as they partially lift off. Plus, the spikes are following every crack, track or step in the ice. Trust your bike in moments like this, keep open that throttle, keep your eye on the part of the track where you want to be and hope for the best.

Read more at G