Monday 30 May 2016

One of these riders...

...might be getting lapped. Can you guess which one?
1964 Hagerstown Scrambles.
Gary Nixon on a little Yamaha.
Photographer unknown. G

Sunday 29 May 2016

Hair to die for

These cheery fellas were understandably keen to join the Sideburn skull parade. Spotted in the basilica of Sant'Agostino in Rome (known mainly for its Caravaggio), they're from the 1740s and were skulpted (ahem, thank you) by Pietro Bracci from a design by Paolo Posi. Unusual to see such well-coiffed death's heads, and the wing feathers are pretty fine, too. MP

Saturday 28 May 2016

Friday 27 May 2016

Bike Shed!

We're at the Bike Shed London Show, with the DTRA from tonight (for the preview) till 6pm Sunday. Come say hello.
Loads of our friends have stands as well, too many to list.

Thursday 26 May 2016

Harley-Davidson XG750R

Harley have been campaigning the official factory, Vance and Hines-developed, water-cooled XG750R at selected GNC and non-GNC races this year, but have been keeping quiet about it. At last weekend's Sacramento Mile the XG750R made the main, but broke, with GNC1 rookie Davis Fisher on board. That seems like the signal to start promoting the project, because a blizzard of press releases landed in out inbox today.

We love what See See, Speed Merchant and Suicide Machine Co have done with the Street 750, and this 'factory' racer has the looks to replace the XR750.

The XR750 is still winning half-mile races, with Mees on board, and pushing for wins with other riders including Coolbeth, but the Baker's factory XR keeps breaking, perhaps because it's at the very limit of what is possible, as tuners chase more power by increasing rpm limits. The 4v per cylinder, liquid-cooled XG will be able to rev much higher, more safely than the air-cooled 2v XR750, a bike engine that debuted 42 years ago.

This is going to be a fascinating new chapter in the sport's history. G
XG and XR

Deep Space Deviants On Britain's Got Talent: TONIGHT

This frankly preposterous news, about Dirt Quake's clueless compere, has just reached us from Wigan...

It's a Swindle! 
Spanner-In-The-Works, Subvert-Semi-Finalists on BRITAIN'S GOT TALENT. 
Anybody that knows me and my close circle of friends will acknowledge what we stand for. Most importantly, pick up the phone and vote DEEP-SPACE DEVIANTS when the moment arrives... Thanks in advance for your support.

Wednesday 25 May 2016

Anstey and RC213V-S at the TT

I haven't written about road racing stuff on the blog for a while, but this news has got me excited.

Ten-time TT winner Bruce Anstey is to race the exclusive production bike version of Honda's MotoGP bike at this year's Isle of Man races. This is a reverse engineered way of racing a MotoGP bike on the roads.

Honda produced a limited run of the RCV, with lights and mirrors and a number of other differences (like alloy engine cases rather than the magnesium of Marquez's) and sold them for £137,000 (€188,000), even though it made only 160bhp in road trim. HRC sell a £10,000 race kit to boost power to a claimed 200-plus bhp (which is what bike like the BMW S1000RR are making in Superbike spec). So, as it's now a legitimate production bike, it can race in the Superbike and Senior TTs. Padgetts are the team that helped Ian Hutchinson win five TTs in a week, and Anstey won the Superbike TT last year. It'll be exciting.

Superbike practice starts Monday 30 May. The Superbike race is scheduled for Saturday 4 June. G

Tuesday 24 May 2016

Sideburn Special Editions

We have a couple of special edition issues with covers we made with some of our beloved advertisers.
IMPORTANT: Only the covers differ to the regular issues, so these are just for collectors and completists. We only have a handful of each.

One is Sideburn 22 Icon 1000 cover, with their Slow Burn BMW R90/6, the other is Sideburn 23 Roland Sands Designs cover featuring the Geico Indian Chief.
£6 plus post from 

Monday 23 May 2016

Hooligan Dirt Dash

From our good friends at Biltwell

We're helping out with this race next month in Texas. Was wondering if you could give it a shout? The @hooligandirtdash is coming to Texas on June 4th, 2016. Hooligans from all over will be banging bars on the track built at @grueneharleydavidson . There's a Run what ya Brung class, too. 

Sunday 22 May 2016

Dirt Quake V camping

Don't forget to book your Dirt Quake V camping pitch.
£10/ person per night. Tents, vans, motorhomes, teepees, caravans, houseboats, bivvy bags...
Details here.

Saturday 21 May 2016

Gauthier and Wood BMW at the Arizona Mile

The footage of the Law Tigers Arizona Mile race is up online at
I was looking forward to this because SPOILER ALERT Dalton Gauthier won the GNC2 race on Ron Wood BMW F800. We'd already reported on this, so I'm not worried about saying it. The fanchoice website also caption the result, which is a bit daft, but perhaps they think everyone has seen the result on social media.

BUT... there are still a lot of reasons to watch the race. Chris Carr's commentary, for one. From an amateur racer point of view it is interesting to watch passes on what is basically a one-line groove in the corners. Also, in the first half of the race the leader, McGrane isn't tucking nearly as much as Gauthier. The commentators say because he wears glasses and can't see if he tucks in and cranes his head up. McGrane is also very tall for a bike racer, so that must have something to do with it.
I also noticed that Gauthier has the typical racer's body english, right elbow up high through the turns, McGrane's is held lower. We have a great Get Schooled piece by Chris Carr in the next Sideburn on body english.
Also, see how the track decomposes through the race, especially on corner exit. So, even if you know the result, if you're any level of racer there's still a lot to pick up.

If you just want to watch the race, it's from around 7 mins to 17 mins. Watch Arizona Mile GNC2 Main.

Also, the Sacramento Mile will be shown live on later today. G

Friday 20 May 2016

DTRA Hooligans, Peterborough

The DTRA launched its Hooligan class at last weekend's MCN Festival, Peterborough and it was a blast. The series is sponsored by Harley-Davidson, Roland Sands Designs, Co-Built and Sideburn. The grid was healthy for race one, and a large festival crowd loved the action. Here are the runners and riders.
The rules are 750cc or bigger, multi cylinder, stock frame, no front brake.  That meant Brink's gorgeous 1940s Harley WL45 was in the mix.
All the bikes were road bikes, the scene hasn't developed to US standards were most hooligan bikes only ever see the track, so most riders removed front brake levers or calipers, leaving discs or drums fitted.
The DTRA has two fellas called Ross and each is a boss. This is Ross Sharp from the Bike Shed in London and his mean Cagiva Navigator. We have to feature this soon.
James from Hard Luck Tattoo and his Sportster.
Jaz (?) and another Sportster. Alloys taped up to stop arms going through them.
It wasn't all V-twins. DTRA regular Paul Harrison rode his 750 Bonnie.
This is the Sideburn Sportster, decked out with RSD, Speed Merchant, Motone and Biltwell parts. I'd only ridden it in a car park before the first race. The weight of the thing made me nervous, but I was happy with how it lookedand how it went. Read about it in the next Sideburn.
Co-Built Geoff, Pierre-Alexandre Treust and me ready for the first heat race. Don't know how I ended up with number 1!
The big MCN Festival crowd lapped up the action. Geoff won this heat race on a borrowed £12,000 Scrambler FT Pro, then, to be a crowd-pleaser, did a big powerslide on the slowdown lap, highsided and broke his wrist. He raced on though, and marshalled all the next day. Legend.
Paul Harrison leading, me in second, Geoff high and wide!
 Jon on his wife's Scrambler.
 Milo on a Sportster and Pierre on an enormous BMW GS. 
 The Harley Hooligans.
 These heavyweights have so much traction off the start.
Ross was close to unbeatable. He cleared off at the front in the final leaving me, Geoff and Paul to battle for the podium places. 
Brink and his 45. 
 Colour-coordinated Co-Built Geoff. 
 I nicked third place on the last corner, when Paul and Geoff were caught up with a lapped rider. I'd done the same in a heat race, so I knew to go around the outside this time. I nearly got second on the line and had a great time, so much more fun than I thought it would be. UK hotshot, Ollie Brindley handed out the awards.

The next Hooligan race is at the Hell's Race, Belgium, then on the Friday night of Dirt Quake. G

Photos: GI and Ian Roxburgh/Ian Osborne/DTRA

Thursday 19 May 2016

Sideburn x 250London

The Sideburn x 250London shirts are flying out. They were designed to be teamed up with 250London's existing race trousers.

250London say: Inspired by the late '70s to early '90s, these Race Pants represent pure retro dirt bike style. Super cool, slimfit and made from tough and hardwearing nylon. Fully lined with a mesh lining and cowhide knee patch. Waist is secured by a strong cam buckle.

They're £95 directly, with plain blue and plain red on sale at just £50! Get them directly from

They also have black and yellow trousers to suit the previous Sideburn x 250London shirt. G

Deus ex Machina: Free Foreign Shipping

Deus Ex Machina make some great stuff, but it's still hard to get hold of in lots of places, without paying a lot of foreign shipping. For a few days only, until this Sunday, they are offering free shipping on all orders over $50 (US or Australian).

Visit the Deus Ex Machina online store for a snoop, but bear in mind prices are in Australian, not US dollars.

You have to type the code FREEMAY in at check out. Perhaps get the Deus book that is normally killed by shipping... G

Wednesday 18 May 2016

Kick Out The Jams Motherfunsters!

Holy mother of God, if this footage of MC5 playing a university campus (in daylight, always a tough gig, I reckon) doesn't fire you up for a tough Wednesday then I truly don't know what will. It was filmed in a field in their home town of Detroit on 19 July, 1970

See Brother Wayne Kramer wring the neck of his guitar and sing Ramblin Rose is a strangulated soprano, shimmying like James Brown sneaking up on a golden egg-laying goose, then shaking his arse at the crowd, before rocking, in time with Fred 'Sonic' Smith like oil-pumps in the Texas fields.

That's all before lead singer Rob Tyner explodes, looking like a 50-year-old Noddy Holder with an afro, and slays the audience with the legendary Kick Out The Jams. The crowd are stunned by the visual and aural onslaught. And it stays just the right side of heavy rock for my tastes.

And look at the crowd! Wild freaks, White Panthers, Black Panthers, someone who looks like Rick Moranis air guitaring next to the Marshal stack, before eating an apple and drinking a jug of milk. It makes my hair stand on end, but not as much as Tyner's (who died at the age of 46 in 1991).

I'm going out on a limb now, but this could be the greatest recording of a live rock performance I've ever seen (though Iggy Pop at the 1970 Cincinnatti Pop Festival - MidWest, same year, a coincidence? - is totally wild too). Sit down with something strong, and if you don't love this, I'll give you your money back. G

Church of Choppers/ FTWCo Hauler

Church of Choppers/ FTWCo have a new bike hauler and Jeff Wright, the founder of CoC, co-founder of FTWCo and builder of stunning motorcycles, hadpainted a Bultaco desert racer on the hood (bonnet).

Read Ryan Quickfall's interview of Jeff Wright in Sideburn 19.

FTWCo also have a new T-shirt, also with artwork by Jeff, of his own toolbox. Nice to see a Sideburn sticker on there. G

Tuesday 17 May 2016

Shaw Mert Lawwill Replica

Tasty custom from British Harley custom specialists Shaw Speed & Custom. Looks like it's based on the new entry level Sportster 48 and uses a lot of stock parts but still looks great. G