Monday, 29 February 2016

Open Your Mind T-shirt

It's been a long while, by our standards, since we made a new T-shirt and we're back with a bang. Open Your Mind was designed by a UK artist making his Sideburn debut, Tom J Newell. The

Black T-shirt with SILVER screenprint front and rear.
Big print on the rear, small print on the chest.
Sideburn embroidered tag on sleeve.
Designed by British artist Tom J Newell
100% cotton.
Printed in the UK.

Size Small to XXL. Click photos to see size chart.

Every T-shirt comes with a free sticker. Get yours at the Sideburn shop.

We took the opportunity to ask Tom a few questions. Below is the self-portrait he supplied.

How old are you and where do you live? Tell us about the place and where you fit into it. 
I'm 36 years of age and I'm based in Sheffield. My drawing board and pens are in the attic at home and I produce artwork for a few local businesses, galleries and charities here in the city as well as sending stuff out to be used by bigger brands internationally. I get out of the studio from time to time to paint large scale murals and to play records at my weekly disc jockey set at the local pub.

What was the inspiration for the T-shirt's main artwork?
I suppose the character in the illustration has a sort of sight-beyond-sight with five eyes and a clear vision of where he/she wants to go, planning the journey from a doorway out of the mind and into the void beyond. - Regular clients that I continue to work for are Kraken Rum, Twisted Burger Company and TRiCKETT England. I've also recently drawn stuff for Classic Rock Magazine, Which? Magazine and Dr. Martens. I'm sponsored by Posca Pens and Pink Pig Sketchbooks who I promote by using their products... Products I used to buy before the sponsorship, so it works out well. 
Have motorbikes played much of a part in your life?
I don't own a motorbike, but I've always been inspired by biker culture. My old man had biker and Hell's Angels mates who I grew up around. They saw I was good at drawing from an early age and would have me painting on helmets and bits of their bikes for them. My mum had a Honda 90 that I used to go on that they would call the 'Honda Gold Beak'. I had various peddle 'n' pops and scooters as I grew up, but I cycle everywhere I need to go at the moment on my pushbike. 

What is your dream motorbike?
The one from Akira is probably faster, but it looks like a Sinclair C5 so maybe Ghost Rider's bike with the flaming wheels would be a nice dream ride. 

Do you have biking hero?
Captain America in Easy Rider.

We know you're a DJ, list your five current faves to play to a crowd.  
Sroeng Santi - 'Kuen Kuen Lueng Lueng' (A Thai cover of Sabbath's 'Iron Man') 
Gaslamp Killer - 'Nissim'
René Costy - 'Scrabble'
Mongrels - 'Figurative Language'
Heart - 'Barracuda'

Finish this sentence, A motorcycle is a freedom machine, but... 
it is also a commonly used vehicle for delivering pizza directly to people who want pizza.

See more of Tom's work at Tom J

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Saturday, 27 February 2016


Metal and enamel badges are back in stock! Find them in the badges and stickers section of the Sideburn webshop.

The Monks

In a way, I can't believe I haven't seen this before, but then, I'm a busy man, and there are over one billion videos on YouTube, with over 300 hours of video uploaded every minute, so it's hardly surprising.

I've picked this less than three-a-half minute clip to share because it is so heavy in significance that it blows my tiny mindholes. When filmed it was just over 21 years since Hitler shot himself in a Berlin bunker. American GIs and British Forces are stationed in Germany. Five of those US soldiers form a band called The Monks and make it big enough to appear on German TV, but don't make much of a blip elsewhere at the time. This clip is so clear and good quality that it looks like a modern recording trying to pass itself off as old, but it's totally legit. The host is like something out of a Coen Brothers film.

Look at the bright young things in the audience, late-teens most of them, born into a wrecked country, but not born into the hateful totalitarianism of the Third Reich. Would a band like The Monks have made it onto TV in mainland Europe if the Germans had won? Would they hell. Because it was filmed in Germany, watching this reminds me we only just got away with it.

The Monks, still serving soldiers at the time, made this avant-garde punk slop with strained vocals and strange time signatures leaving few clues where their influences came from. And they shaved the centre of their heads to look like, yes, monks. They'd go on to become cult heroes. The best description I've ever heard of them was by Denver Dan, one of the founders of Sideburn supporters, The Speed Merchant. He called them The Anti-Beatles.

I love The Monks. If you think you do too, buy the LP Black Monk Time. G

Friday, 26 February 2016

DTRA Pre-Season Practice dates

Anthony Brown at the Dirt Track Riders Association has forwarded these pre-season practice dates. Only one, at Eastbourne, is run by the DTRA themselves, the others are for flat trackers, though. Read the details.

Buxton Practice
Sunday 20 March
Hosted by UK #1 Aidan Collins and his Rideandskidit team.
Riders to pre-register for this one. It will only run if we have enough interest. Register now if you want to ride.
High Edge Raceway, Dale Head Road, Buxton, SK17 0RR
£40 per rider. 11am until 4pm
To pre-register or ask any questions email

Rye House Practice
Saturday 26 March
Hosted by Rye House Speedway
Rye House Stadium, Rye Rd, Hoddesdon, EN11 0EH
Price and timings to follow. Turn up and ride

Eastbourne Practice
Saturday 2 April
Hosted by DTRA
Eastbourne Speedway, Arlington Rd, Hailsham, BN27 3RE
£40 per rider. Gates open - 9.00am. Riding 10.30 - 3.30
Open to signed up DTRA members only. Day Licences available on the day if required.
Turn up and ride

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Sunday Slide 'Furry Road'

The best advert for an amateur dirt track race ever? Possibly. Our Australian brothers The Jerkyls worked with Stories of Bike to create a video for their upcoming Sunday Slide event.
Find out more about this race, an hour out of Sydney on April 24th, by visting The Jerkyls.

The Furry Road video is creating such a storm it's already be knocked off by some other chancers, see below. It's not a patch on the Jerkyls original though. G

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Blueprints Back In Stock + New 1930 Norton DT print

Since issue 13 we have printed technical drawings and accompanying history pieces about some of our favourite dirt track race bikes. The blueprints are drawn exclusively for us by Mick Ofield.

We started to offer high quality Giclee prints, created with an Epson Pro 11880 on Somerset Enhanced Velvet 330gsm paper with archival quality Ultra Chrome K3 pigment inks. The prints we sell come complete with 'folds' and the appearance of timeworn degradation, added by Ben Part.

They are 40x30cm, a size chosen to look great in a cheap frame. They are £22 (plus postage) and are sent in a heavy duty mailing tube with free stickers, flyers and posters we have hanging around.

We have just added the 1930 Norton DT, shown above. In stock we also have: Wood Norton, Yamaha TZ750, Harley-Davdison XR750, Trackmaster BSA A70; 2014 Bonneville Performance; Wood Rotax. Bultaco Astro is back in stock in a few days.

Click to buy Sideburn blueprints

If you want to read about the bikes (and others that we haven't made into blueprints), here are the issues they featured in.

Sideburn 13 Wood Norton (sold out)
Sideburn 14 Bultaco Astro
Sideburn 15 Yamaha TZ700/TZ750 (sold out)
Sideburn 16 Harley XR750
Sideburn 17 Trackmaster BSA A70 (sold out)
Sideburn 18 Bonneville Performance 2014 (sold out)
Sideburn 20 1930 Norton DT
Sideburn 22 Wood Rotax

We also have limited numbers of the XR750 blueprint T-shirt for £18 plus post. G

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Pirelli Moto at Snow Quake

The godfather of European Flat Track, Marco Belli, raced the Deus XJRX Yamaha XJR1300 at Snow Quake. And he flew on it. I got the holeshot in one heat race and he came past me like a 100bhp blizzard making me think, almost simultaneously, 'How is he riding that so quickly?' 'Why aren't I riding this more quickly?' and 'Jesus, those tyres look dangerous. Second place is fine this time.'

The special Pirelli tyres helped. A lot. The clip-ons didn't help. One bit. Marco Belli blew people's minds.

Marco also runs the Di Traverso flat track school in Italy. Fly in, ride the Yamaha SR400s on a beautifully prepared track, hang out at Deus Milan and neighbouring bike shop Officine Mermaid, then fly home. Perfect.

Thanks to Pirelli for helping make Snow Quake happen. A big report on the event is coming up in the next issue, due out in March. G

Monday, 22 February 2016

The Track Was Leaking A Little

Jari from Finland sent us these evocative photos from what he described as the 'national ice road racing race. He says...

The race was held in Mäntsälä, 30 miles north of Helsinki. The track was leaking a little but that's normal. 
Jari Heikkilä 

All photos copyright: Jari Heikkilä 
Unusually, the massive percentage of riders wear full-face helmets. Except this fella, below.
Dirt track style.
The leaking track. I can only imagine how miserable the rider behind number 94 felt two seconds after this photos was taken.
I don't know the layout of the track, but it must have had a decent length straight to encourage a tuck like that.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Magalleria, Bath

Magalleria in Bath, UK now stocks Sideburn.

If your shop, cafe, diner, YMCA canteen or other establishment would like to stock Sideburn, drops us a line to dirt @

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Martin's B31 Cider Hauler

This came in from Martin.

So it's a BSA B31 1960, larger T140 piston, loads of mods, suicide shift, both brakes on the foot pedals, no battery, no lights. No primary chain cover, the push rod cover removed so you can see the push rod moving the valves! Great thing to ride, was built by a chap called Odgie Danann, who is a proper bloke. He built it using old scrap metal and with normal tools that we all have. 
I bought a few months back, it's the only thing not for sale in my life! I did my Christmas shopping on it and try to ride it as much as I can. I put the crate on because they only sell the cider I like by the gallon! Notice the sideburn sticker on tank and the cider transportation crate.
Martin L

Get a Sideburn rub-on sticker from the Sideburn shop. G

Friday, 19 February 2016

Dave Despain

This is the famous announcer, commentator, TV host and AMA Hall of Famer, Dave Despain interviewing Ricky Graham, and below with Harley-Davidson tuner and team boss (and later Kawasaki ER6/ Ninja 650 pioneer), Bill Werner.

Dave has contributed a story for the next Sideburn.

The next issue is running a bit later than expected, but is looking good. It'll be out in March. Thanks for your patience. G

The Sherp

The Sherp ATV is made in St Petersburg, Russia and runs on its own design of patented tyres.

The $65,000 entry level model comes with...

Tent (soft top)
Automatic interior heating system
Analog dashboard devices and indicators
Halogen headlights
Hubcaps on wheels
Special exterior paint with durable polymeric coverage
58 liter fuel tank
Motor heat and noise reduction isolation technology
Driver and passenger seats equipped with seatbelts
Interior arc of safety
Automatic greasing system of SKF chains
Kingston valves to drain the water from the body
Two batteries
Hand brake

Order yours at Sherp.Ru (and let me have a go if you do, please)

Spotted on Le Container. G

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Krazy Horse Events 2016

Krazy Horse might be the nicest motorcycle 'destination' shop in the UK (The Bike Shed is up there too) and their monthly events draw huge crowds to sleepy Bury St Edmonds. The first three dates of the year are on the poster above. They have loose themes, but everyone's welcome. They feature bands and good food and attract an eclectic variety of vehicles to fill the huge car park. Get along to one.

In other Krazy Horse news, the Suffolk store is now an official MV Agusta dealer. The Italian brand joins Indian, Norton, Victory, Zaeta, Morgan, Avinton and Paton in an high-end roster of marques the company offers as brand new bikes. I can't think of anyone else in the UK (or anywhere else for that matter) that has a similar line-up. They build their own customs too, and have a great diner and clothes department.

Krazy Horse now have a London store too, in Welling Kent. Find out more at Krazy Horse London.

Poster art: Ryan Quickfall

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

The Vicious Cycles and One-Off Wednesday

The Vicious Cycles have a new video out. These guys knocked our socks off at the first Dirt Quake USA. Billy is riding Motorcycho Norm's Honda CB550 that he's had since brand new. Both Ben and Norm raced it at DQ USA II in 2015.

We've sold a few of the Vicious Cycles vinyl LPS and we have ONE left on the shelf. It comes with a free digital download code.
This song is on the record.
Grab it fast at the Sideburn webstore.

Rare Sporting Harleys on US eBay

I wouldn't have much use for it, but I still would love this alcohol-fuelled 1927 Harley JD hillclimber. It's up on US ebay with a starting price of just $9999. It's in Washington state.
This is the same model engine that Homer Knapp used in his race bike.
The same seller is also offering this rare 1953 Harley KR750 flat tracker.

Thanks to Martin H in Germany for the link. GI

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Thrive: Encounter

A video from Thrive Motorcycles in Indonesia. The bike in the video is the Thrive 005 that we featured the blog. This is what they say about the film...

We believe there’s no ship built to be safe, and we're pretty sure we weren’t looking for any adventures, but risks. The film is about the noises that we've always kept in our heads, and about chasing the striking lights to burn our sinful eyes. It’s about bringing in the anxiety that shakes our hands everyday, and finding meaning between purpose and absurdity. 

It’s been three years since we put our helmets on and steered in the direction that we chose and built new meaning for our lives by creating and loving. Jakarta, the megalopolis city, has been the place that has always sparked our imagination with it’s chaos and dynamic behavior of millions of faces, spirits, and cultures. It seductiveness encourages us to silently grow our own mortality to overcome our fears and pain. 

Our motorcycle creature is a puzzle from dozens of personal curiosity, childhood bad dreams, and beautiful mistakes; crafted with respect to the connection between human and their beast. Since we realized the state of feeling safe is only temporary and the present moment is all we ever have, we'll just let ourselves drown into something we love and chase something that matters enough to our experience. 
Encounter (c) 2016 Thrive Motorcycles 
A Join(T) Effort Project with Agung Pambudi 
Directed and Filmed by Agung Pambudi 
Music by The Gaslamp Killer - Keep It Simple Stupid

Monday, 15 February 2016

Travis Triumphant

Travis Newbold, Sideburn's very own moto poet, roadtripped the 1250 miles from Denver, Colorado to Portland, Oregon to check out The One Motorcycle Show and take part in the Salem indoor dirt track races the organisers had put on this year.
The laidback motorcycle shop owner won the vintage class and came second in the Hooligan class racing one of Roland Sands Indian Scout hooligan racers.
He's a class act.

Travis updates his blog from time to time and I like it a lot -

Photo: Nevin Pontius (another class act)

Les and his wooden balls

Maxxis, take note. Whatever happened to Les and his balls-out Douglas DT? MP

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Auto Elastic Explorations

Thanks to Brink for alerting me to UK artist Chris Labrooy. Go lose yourself in his website. G

Saturday, 13 February 2016

The Best Thursday Ever

Young Felix from our friends at huge Harley specialists, W and W Cycles, was told about Snow Quake a week before the event. He slung some ice tyres on a Sportster and he and a coupe of mates (and ten crates of beer) drove from Germany to compete in Felix's first ever race. And he decided to do it in a wool sweater.

Read his report and see a load of photos at the W and W Cycles website. G

Friday, 12 February 2016

Ben Hur - went fast, turned left

I'm lucky enough to ride past the Circus Maximus in Rome most days*. While it's little more now than a giant earthwork, the layout of what was Rome's biggest and oldest chariot racing track is still clear. There was seating for 150,000 spectators around the three-quarter-mile track, with its long, fast straights and notoriously tight bends.

Chariots raced anti-clockwise with horses harnessed four abreast and the laps were counted down by huge, gilded tilting dolphins - of course. This clip from Ben Hur strikes me as being, in many ways, pretty authentic, for a Hollywood product. Ah, what it would have been to be in the stands with a bag of wolf's nipple chips and a skin of rough plonk. MP

*Perhaps I should explain. While Sideburn is based in England, our deputy editor, Mick, lives in the Italian capital. GI

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Gabrielle by XTR Pepo

I'm out in Spain at the moment working, so this is a quick post direct from the press release blurb that Pepo sent out. G

Donor bike : Harley Davidson Dyna Superglide del 2000 * XTR Rear subframe * LIPO battery * XTR battery box * XTR number plates * SuperMario exhaust system and silencer with removable DB killer by XTR * XTR hand made power air filter * XTR rear light and licence plate support * Classic moto cross handlebar * Motogadget left and right switches * Gonelli quick open throttle * Gonelli natural rubber grips * Suzuki GSXR 750 front brake pump * Suzuki Hayabusa 6 piston brake calipers * Frentubo Brake lines * Suzuki GSXR 750 Yokes and front suspension * Special made for XTR NG 320 mm diameter front brake rotors * Modified original front hub * 18 inches , 40 spokes rim for front wheel * Pirelli Route tyres * MASH 500 modified seat * Yamaha SR 500 modified fuel tank * XTR front light * Odometer and pressure clock kit * Artenruta painting 

Pictures: Jose Cepas