Saturday, 6 February 2016

Asterisk Honda FTR223

This tidy tiddler from Asterisk in Japan, is proudly sporting some Sideburn stickers.
We featured their KX500 in Sideburn 13 and their Harley XG750 coming up in the next issue. G

Friday, 5 February 2016

Uncle Bunt

John Reed, formerly of Uncle Bunt's Chop Shop, remains British custom-building royalty, despite having left the country decades ago to become a Custom Chrome in-house designer in California. This shot is probably from 1982, when he completed the TR1-based Gold Yamaha. Still looks good, 34 years later, and Mr Reed is apparently still as lean, steely and irascible as he was back then - or indeed when I interviewed him 20 years ago. MP

Thursday, 4 February 2016

In Bruges: Hermanus

I'd like to welcome Hermanus as our latest Sideburn stockist. A new shop in Bruges, Belgium, it opens this weekend. I interviewed one of the owners about living the dream and opening his own shop. GI

Who is behind Hermanus?
I'm Andy Geeroms, 34, born and raised in a little town called Meerbeke, 30km from Brussels. Two years ago I met Evy, also a petrolhead and I fell instantly in love. You only live once, so I decided to leave it all behind, followed my heart and moved to Bruges, where she lived. We both have the same to dream to do 'something' with bikes, especially cafe racers, so after 16 years working as a truck driver I decided to take the shot and just follow my dream. I'm also organizing 'Fly Low', a yearly cafe racer event in Bruges.

Why did you choose the name Hermanus? 
Some years ago, Chris Hunter from Bike Exif asked if I was interested to be in 'The Ride' with my bike. Off course I was! The guys from Gestalten asked what the name of the bike was. We weren't used to do that here in Belgium, it was rather new to name a bike, so I didn't have a clue. Five years ago I was co-founder of a cafe racer club in Ninove, where I used to live before moving to Bruges, called 'the Flying Hermans', so we thought it was cool to name the bike 'Hermanus'. From that moment, people related me with that bike and it became kind of my nickname. Three years later, a lot of people think that my name is Herman or Manus, or sometimes they just say Her.. I don't care, it's funny.. So we decided to name the shop 'Hermanus'
Why go to all the hard work of opening a brick and mortar shop? 
Like I said above, I was fed up with my day job, I worked many years and many hours as a truck driver. My father died 17 years ago, on the age of 48. He worked 30 years day and night for his boss, and when he died, I said to myself: 'Not me'. I've also said, when it's possible and realistic, I will follow my dream. I don't want to die one day saying '..If I..' or 'What if I should...' I don't mind the hard work or financial risk, as long as I can do what interests me. And that are bikes and everything around it.
What at the main brands you will stock? 
Riding gear: Bell, Biltwell, DMD, RSD, Icon1000, Segura, Rev'It, Sunday Speedshop, Holy Freedom
Casual: Iron and Resin, Vans, Dickies, RSD, Bell
Magazines: Sideburn, Motorcycle Cities, Caferacer Cult 6.
What will be your opening times? 
We are opening in the weekend of 6 and 7 February, both days from 10am 'till 6pm. After that, we are open Wednesday and Thursday from 10-13 and 14-18.30; Friday from 10-13 and 14-20; Saturday from 10-18, Sunday from 14-18.

Thanks for the support!
Andy and Evy
Hermanus, Langestraat 53 8000 Brugge +32(0)50 73.83.73
Photos courtesy of Monkeefist Photography

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Extra-terrestrial Surf Punk Party

The Blind Shake, from Minneapolis, in London tonight, Leeds tomorrow, Nottingham UK this Friday, the Glasgow and Newcastle.
The only band where all three members look like Sideburn's deputy editor, Mick Phillips.
Thanks to Dave B for the tip-off. G

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Snow Quake - Deus Report, Video and Photos

Snow Quake
Words: Gary Inman
Photos: Marco Renieri / Deus Ex Machina

It’s a mild May Sunday, in the middle of Milan. The Deus Portal of Possibilities is packed with the owners, builders and fans for the 2015 Deus Bike Build-Off. As the editor of Sideburn magazine, I’ve been asked to be one of the 2015 judges.

In a brief lull in the proceedings, Deus’s Alessandro Rossi, leans over to me, and asks ‘Could we make a Dirt Quake in Italy?’ I pull a face. Then reply, Why don’t we organise something different? Why not… I think for a minute, Snow Quake?

Over the next few months Alessandro shakes trees. The godfather of European flat track and founder of the Di Traverso flat track school, Marco Belli works with Luca and Giulio of Deus Milano and the Deus Café to find a suitable track and Pirelli come on board as a sponsor.

Eight months later, I’m struggling to pull an old lady’s fake fur coat over my armoured leather jacket, my hands still cut and nicked from replacing dirt track tyres with sharply studded rubber. It is -8 Celsius in the makeshift paddock of the Ice Rosa Ring race track, situated in a deep Italian valley, surrounded by jagged peaks, including the famous Monte Rosa, the second highest mountain in the Alps.

Thirty racers from all over Europe are trying to convince their motorcycles to start. A few of the infernal internal combustion engines comply, most find a reason they’d rather not, at least not right now. Two hours later a rare Borile, brought from England, is still being kicked. There is a 65-year-old Harley WL raced by fashion designer Nick Ashley, a fuel-injected MV Agusta 800 and just about every two-wheeler on the spectrum from Piaggio Ciao to Honda chopper. All that links the machinery is the studs and screws in their tyres and the adventurous stripe running through their owners.

It’s clear that few people know what they’re doing, including the race organisers – me in their number. Motorcycle ice racing experience is thin on the ground in Europe. Snow Quake is an experiment with invited riders, we’ll make it up as we go along.

There were loose plans for classes, which bikes and specifications should be grouped together, then even those were junked – just race who you want. No one really cares who wins or loses. We only demand that no one dies. Please.

Like every race, each rider is having their own private battle, some with their choice of tyres and the curving Ice Rosa Track, others with a competitor in front, or just behind.

Incredibly, two riders Mauro from Classic Co in Madrid, Spain and Marco Belli chose to race Yamaha XJR1300s. Mauro is on El Solitario’s BBW that he tuned, Marco is riding a Deus four-cylinder with clip-ons on vicious Pirelli spikes. Julian from Deus Venice flew in from California, via Berlin, desperate not to miss the event. He rode a rare Kenny Roberts Rotax, prepared, and delivered, for the ice track by Geoff of Co-Built in England. With other racers coming from France, Switzerland, Corsica, the UK and Germany it was an international event.

Practice stretches for longer than normal to allow people to acclimatise, before three rounds of heats and a final. The slapdash attitude towards the organisation stretches to lap scoring. It is decided that the first three riders in each heat will score points and they can mark their position on a white board. It’s the honesty principle. No one’s going to say they won if they didn’t. It works, here at least, with this group.

After six hours on the ice, it’s time for the 12-rider final. Young English flat tracker George Pickering is on pole, with Marco Belli, Filolocio on Triumph Bonneville and former WSB, World Supermoto and current World Endurance rider, Giovanni Bussei also on the front row. El Solitario’s David Borras also makes the final on his Triumph ‘Sal del Diablo’.

The four-lapper ends with Pickering ahead of Bussei and a heroic Belli. The podium is carved out of snow, the trophies look like ice. Then the real race starts – to pack up vans and head the two hours back to Milan for the party at the aptly named Deus Portal of Possibilities, where we daydream about following this unforgettable day.
DTRA racer Tom Clemens on the self-built Yamaha that featured in Sideburn. He made his own ice tyres.
Giovanni Bussei brought some WSB/World Supermoto/World Endurance bling to proceedings. 
Deus's Filippo Bassoli has the best guards.
Julian from Deus in Venice, CA came all the way from the US via Germany, and borrowed Wilky's Rotax to race.
Marco Belli was something else on this beast, Deus Milan's own XJR1300 custom. He had the most aggressive tyres, made by event sponsor Pirelli, but he also had clip-ons! He wasn't even the only XJR1300 there. El Solitario brought their awesome BBW.
Tom Clemens leading Geoff Co-Built.
 Jason on the Sideburn 23 Borile cover bike. 
 Tom C again. 
 Roman from Belmondo Garage, Switzerland
 Top Italian journalist and Sideburn contributor, Paolo Sormani and Italian flat track hero Jacopo Monti. His Ciao was something else.
 Nick Ashley on the Private White VC Harley WL. 70-plus years old and still going strong. The bike's good too.
Dirt Quake legend Serge Nuques arrived on this Honda (?). And, as usual, rode it like he stole it. Perhaps he did. Watch the video below for parking tips. 
David Death Spray pulled Adam Brink for a few laps of stylish skijoring
Watering the track, Snow Quake-style.
The podium: 1. George 'Greenfield' Pickering. 2. Giovanni Bussei. 3. Marco Belli
British winner on a borrowed bike, with borrowed tyres. Does that constitute team work?

Thanks to all the racers, Deus Ex Machina, Marco Belli's Di Traverso School and Pirelli Moto Tyres.

See more photos at the Deus Ex Machina blog

Monday, 1 February 2016

Lead suited and booted

'Put on the suit and get on the bike.'
'But pa..'
'Get. On. The. BIKE!'
From Mechanix Illustrated, March 1952 and culled from the entertaining Modern Mechanix blog. Don't miss the Transparent Face Mask. MP

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