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

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Sideburn in the Himalayas 2016 Edition! UPDATE

UPDATE: Sorry, there was slight confusion over the dates. Now corrected. Please check carefully before booking flights.

Sideburn's inaugural 2015 Himalayan adventure with Helmet Stories was so fantastic we've decided to do it again in SEPTEMBER 2016

Ride the unforgettable road of the Pangi Valley and the Himalayas in the far north of India with Sideburn's rep, 'Co-Built' Anthony Brown and respected local tour leaders, Helmet Stories

Seven days of riding, camping and feasting with India’s most fun motorcycle tour company and your favourite motorcycle magazine. Read all about it in Sideburn 23

PRICE: 110,000 rupees (approx. £1100, US$1600, €1400, AU$ 2300 at current exchange rates).

INCLUDES: Royal Enfield 500 Bullet bike rental; meals and drinks on the road; all accommodation (twin sharing in hotels, individual tents when camping); sleeping bag; guides; back-up truck; full support of mechanics and catering staff.

WHEN: 11-19 September 2016 (see notes below)

WHERE: Chandigarh and Pangi Valley in Himachal.

You must be in New Delhi on Saturday 10 September 2016 , to be able to catch a train at 7.40am on Sunday 11th*. Fly home  on 19 September 2016**. Helmet Stories can suggest hotels if you want to arrive before or leave later to have more time to acclimatise and relax.

* It is possible to get cheap internal flights, to avoid the train journey from Delhi to Chandigarh (though the train is a good experience) and the very long taxi journey back to Delhi (which is not such a good experience).
** Your flight home is dependent on choosing the road transfer (included in price) or booking your own internal flight back to Delhi. Vir at Helmet Stories can help advise internal flights.

12 places only.


The trip is run by the highly experienced Helmet Stories company.
All payments to Helmet Stories.

50% deposit on booking.
25% two weeks before trip
25% on arrival in Delhi

NOT INCLUDED: Flights to and from New Delhi; any accommodation before the 11th or after the night of 18th; transfer to Delhi railway station on day 1; Internal flights if you choose those over the organised transfer; Specialist personal insurance (highly recommended); Riding kit (bring your own); Tourist visa; Damage to the motorcycles.

Sunday 11 September, Day 1: Transfer from Delhi to Chandigarh by train, 250km. Train leaves at 7.40am so you will need to be in Delhi the day before. 
Nice hotel in Chandigarh and time to explore by taxi.
Alternatively, book a cheap internal flight (at your own cost. About £50). Helmet Stories will supply details.

Day 2: Chandigarh – Manali transfer by 4x4 - 185 miles 
Early start to reach Manali by late-afternoon. Last hot running water for four days in a luxury hotel. Meet the bikes. 
Day 3: Manali ­– Urgos - 110 miles.
Very easy if the sun is out, very tough if the rain gods come out to play. There's perfect tarmac with hairpin after hairpin, mud to play in, wooded tracks running along feisty rivers and a campsite shaded by willows at the end of the day. A perfect start to come to terms with your motorcycle, a 500cc Royal Enfield.
Camp overnight.
Day 4: Urgos – Phindri - 55 miles.
Challenging riding on this ball-breaking road. Couple of chai stops along the way. Stunning camp on a lush mountain side. Time to hike to the gushing river of snow melt for a refreshing wash.

Day 5: Phindri – Sural Bhatori via Killar 
70 miles of the same terrain as Day 4. Cliffside dirt roads. Rewarding riding.
Camp overnight with an unforgettable view (see below).
Day 6: Sural-Sach Pass– Satrundi - 75 miles.
Even more ball-breaking roads and crossing a 14,500ft (4500m) mountain pass. This is not a gentle blast down the Pacific Coast Highway.
Camp overnight in a forest clearing.
Day 7: Satrundi – Khajjiar - 75 miles
Tarmac begins (sort of...) We ride through the mini-Switzerland of India. Overnight in a hotel (with a huge monkey god statue in the grounds). Back to hot running water!

Day 8: Khajjiar – McLeodganj - 80 miles
The last day of riding is marked with scenic back roads, mainly tarmac and ending in the official home of the exiled Dalai Lama. Overnight in a hotel. Say goodbye to the bikes and the loyal mechanics.
Monday 19 September
Day 9: McLeodganj – New Delhi airport by van/bus (or optional internal flight) - 600km/370 miles. It is possible to fly home the same night if you arrange a late flight out of Delhi.

* Organisers reserve the right to change the itinerary without prior warning.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Burn out, don't fade away

Sideburn reader Adam Woods sent a link to this gif. I didn't recognise the rider, but, using my Columbo-like detective skills, worked out who was the last Pro singles rider to ride the class running the champion's number 1 plate. I knew it was Pro singles, because it's a red number on a white background. It was Stephen Vanderkuur in 2013. He was the last to run a red number 1 because most champions move up a class to Expert/GNC2 as soon as they can.
A quick google of those two clues threw up the video below, clearly the source of the gif. The engine's gone, locking the back wheel. Scary.
You're welcome. G

Monday, 8 February 2016


I really like this photo of UK DTRA racer, Brad Hardman, preparing to race his Rotax framer. I think it's one of Ian Roxburgh's. The new season is coming up fast and there are 23 (twenty-three!) new members for the DTRA already, and that's on top of last year being the biggest ever.
Go to to get involved as a racer, marshal, lap scorer or other Volunteer. G

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Illustration by Mani

My name is Filippo Fiumani, I am a designer from Italy living and working as a freelance in Portugal. I am a follower and reader of your magazine, I dig so much the visual approach and the contents of your mag. I did this illustration of the Michelin puppet that I put in attachment, feel free to share it if you like it, I would be happy with that. thanks for your time
 Bowie memorial tribute for Vice magazine
 Lemmy tribute for Vice magazine
Custom design for DMD Helmets. 

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