Monday, 6 July 2015

Eastbourne DTRA by Sam Christmas

Sam Christmas is semi-regularly updating his blog with his own killer images and mini-reports from the UK Dirt Track Riders Association races.
These photos were all taken by him at round 3, Eastbourne. Round 4 is on the Friday night of Dirt Quake, 17 July.
See more at
Click to find out more about the DTRA

(above) Stu preparing (or recovering. Or both)

Top UK woman racer Leah Tokelove. Hopefully more women will race next season.
Bram from Belgium in the Rookie class on his self-built Suzuki 600 (check his Baron73 blog)

Tim Neave (#1), Alan Birtwistle (obscured), Adam Allott (#29), Glyn Pockington (#71), Pete Boast (#54)

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Travis Newbold + Ronin x Pikes Peak

Last Sunday Sideburn's poet, Travis Newbold was preparing to race the 1190cc Ronin race special up Pikes Peak. Below are his thoughts, but first a bit of background (some of which has been covered before in the 5000-plus posts on this blog, so sorry if you know it already).

I first met Travis at the Las Vegas indoor short track races in January, 2010. He stood out, because he has the roughest bike, biggest smile and a dog named Baja. I didn't realise this was Travis's first ever dirt track race. He did well, I took some photos, made a short interview and he went in the magazine. Then, through the wonder of blogs, he became friends with Anthony Co-Built, kept in touch with Sideburn and planned to visit Europe to race and tour about. He's done that twice now, plus I stayed with Travis and his wife, Rachel, when I visited Denver in October 2014 (Travis even said my off-the-cuff advice gave him the confidence to ask his now wife to start dating!). Travis started posting some poems on his blog (747 Rider). We liked them and Sideburn started running them in the magazine from issue 13, always with a shot of Travis in action or hanging out at a race.

When I visited Denver it was to ride the Ronin. The feature went into Sideburn 19, and while I was there I suggested they should race the bike at Pikes Peak. It's one of the few races specials can compete in. My thinking was Colorado race, Colorado bike (nominally), Colorado rider. I suggested they contact Travis, a Pikes Peak regular, class winner and local bike shop owner. A couple of people at Ronin already knew of him. The two parties got in touch and the result was a well-supported effort, two trips to the mountain to practice prior to the race itself and a very excited Travis.

Travis kindly plastered Sideburn's logo on the team shirt's, backdrop and one of the bike's cast alloy, front girder fork legs.
Very sadly, one of Travis's best friends, and an absolutely lovely fella, Carl Sorenson (217), died during the official practice, in the days before the race. Carl's family encouraged Travis to keep racing, and, somehow, he got in the frame of mind to do it.
Travis and Ronin came second overall to a Honda America-supported, HRC CBR1000RR. An incredible result for a bike with radical front suspension in its first ever race.
This is what he wrote when he got back home... G
(Pike Peak photos: Warren)
It was a crazy week. Despite loosing Carl I felt solid. But as soon as the green flag waved and I went to launch the angry warthog into warp speed I knew it was going to be tough to make it to the top. In an effort to not over heat the bike we started with a cold engine. It would not take throttle for the first mile or so and once it did take throttle it nearly spit me off as the rear tyre was struggling despite having our own tyre guy. It bucked me over the highside so hard, I have no clue how I held on and saved it. It did it nearly every time I gave it any throttle coming out of a corner. In one corner I had to stand it up and ride into the drainage ditch. I kept it pinned. 

Then just below Devils Playground it over-heated and went into limp mode until cooling down coming into Bottomless Pit. I hammered on. Near the top I approached Carl's corner and fought so hard to keep the throttle twisted. I crossed the line and went to slide a broadie on the last dirt corner. Bar lock. No steering. I high sided the high dollar machine but at least I was in the background of HRC rider Tigert [and racewinner] giving his TV interview. I stole the camera's attention. 

The Ronin crew were all so supportive and never once put any kind of pressure on me. Everybody was impressed with each other and so many people came together. It was amazing. Leaving the start with Rachel and Lacey [Carl's widow] standing together was something I will not forget. It has me thinking that 8 years and 6 trophies on the hill is enough. Time to go do something else. Life is short and adventures should be many. Friends and family are so dear. I have so much respect for life. It is hard to put into words. It is a matter of keeping the balance. I know Johnny and Dusty [at Ronin] really want to build me another race bike of some sort for me and Mike Mayberry [Ronin co-founder] was very impressed by me, even after crashing in victory celebration, so hopefully I can continue my foray into tarmac racing. But in the meantime I am heading to the dirt ovals and that is something I know I will always be fond of. Thanks again for igniting the whole amazing adventure.
Travis 747

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Luggage Porn

Kriega URBAN from Kriega on Vimeo.
I've used Kriega rucksacks and other products for over ten years now, adding up to tens of thousands of miles, in Europe, Africa and the USA.
And they have supported Sideburn since day one.
The British-based company recently commissioned a special cover of Sideburn 21, that will be given away from to buyers of their new £125 Urban and £95 Sling shoulder bags (while stocks last). These products have a ten-year, no-nonsense guarantee.
We have a feature  on this innovative and much admired company in Sideburn 21, plus details on the Honda Dominator street enduro featured in these short videos.

Go to Kriega to find out more about their products. G
Kriega SLING from Kriega on Vimeo.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Not For Aircraft Use & Velocitas Patch

Our new T-shirt does not suck.
£15 plus post. We ship around the world.
Sizes: Small to Triple XL
Printed in England on a Gildan Ultra, so this is an American style roomy T-shirt.
We finally found someone who could recreate the Death Spray Custom designed Velocitas Sinistro logo, that he did for us back in MMXII.
It features Dwayne the Dirt Track Dingbat (as created by Kar Lee) and the Latin translation of go fast, turn left.  £5 plus post.

Buy from

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Zaeta by Moritz Bree

Paolo at Zaeta sent us snaps of their latest custom (with 60hp at the rear wheel!), designed by little Moritz Bree (pictured below at this year's Motor Bike Expo, Verona after buying an armful of Sideburn merch). This is what Moritz says...
Zaeta - sounds like the name of a monster. Thinking of it, I saw a green monster with three eyes. When I received the tank, I was holding it up and had a close look. And then I thought "Wow, looks like a head". So wouldn’t it be funny to have a three-eyed monster staring up at you while riding? The mudguards are the monster’s tongues and on the sides of the tank there are the names of the monsters written in red. Like the monster would shout out their names as a warning. At the moment I am drawing a 32 Zaeta-monster Happy family. T-shirts and tattoos would also be really awesome. Or a comic. We’ll see. I mean, somehow I still have to go to school sometime.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Norton Bultaco Firewater

Steve RedMax built 'The Reverend' for short track racing in the UK. There are are far easier ways to go about preparing a vehicle for such a task, but Steve would never walk that line. He likes his firewater.
"I’d bought a Knight Bultaco [to sell on] that someone had bought in the States to race grasstrack in the UK. It was a lovely bit of kit, but no one was interested in buying it. That’s when the tape measure came out. I worked out I could get the Commando engine out of my café racer into it with half an inch to spare.’

Oh yeah, the engine would fit in, but the gearbox wouldn’t. That didn’t stop Steve though. ‘I thought I could use a speedway bike’s cross-shaft,’ he explains. Speedway bikes have one gear, permanently engaged. Steve ended up linking the NEB cross-shaft to the output sprocket with a super-short primary chain. ‘The clutch is old-fashioned with new tech. It has five or six weird looking 3mm thick clutch plates in an alloy clutch basket.’ Next, he rebuilt and tuned the parallel twin. ‘I changed the bearings; bored it out to 920cc; fitted a 4S cam, the genuine Norton Norvil racing cam; new valves and springs… It revved like a two-stroke even when it had the standard cam. I also fitted a Norvil two-into-one intake manifold because two carbs wouldn’t fit. A Mikuni flatslide is mounted on it."

Read the full story, in Sideburn #8

Monday, 29 June 2015

Dirt Quake IV: Schedule & FAQ

Dirt Quake IV is nearly here. Below is a bunch of info for spectators and racers.
If you have any other questions, leave a comment or email us at dirt @

Dirt Quake FAQ..

Where does Dirt Quake IV take place?
Adrian Flux Arena (formerly Norfolk Arena), King’s Lynn, PE34 3AG

When is Dirt Quake?
Fun things are happening from 6pm on Friday 17 July, till midnight on Saturday 18 July, but the Dirt Quake Main Event is Saturday 3-7pm with more entertainment after. See the full schedule below.

How much is entry?
£15 in advance for two days. Friday night only £10. Saturday only £15. Under-12s free.
Buy a ticket here and avoid any queues (plus get a free Guy Martin sticker).

I bought a ticket in advance, where is it?
Advance tickets were sent out on 29 June. Any subsequent orders will be sent the next working day. Get tickets here.
Put your own wristband on to avoid queuing at the turnstiles.

Is there camping?
Yes, but it is run by a different organization. The campsite is a 100m walk from the track.
No fires.
No motorcycle riding on site.
Email all camping questions to

Are children and animals welcome into the track?
Yes, kids are more than welcome with a responsible adult. Animals must be kept on a lead.

Will there be food?
All onsite catering is taken care of by the track owners. We cannot arrange for any outside caterers. If you don’t like ‘track food’ consider bringing your own.

Can we bring beer into the track?
Beer is allowed on the campsite, no outside beer inside track area. There is a full bar at the track.

How much does it cost to go into the Ken Fox Wall of Death?
It’s free, thanks to Guy Martin’s Proper brand who have arranged for it to attend. There will be sessions on Friday night, Saturday day and Saturday night for people to watch this world famous show.

Can I go in the pits?
Only racers and one mechanic, with a wristband, per racer are allowed in the pits. We have so many racers in a small area that this rule has been made to keep the event running smoothly and as safely as possible.

Is there going to be kid’s bicycle race?
Yes, and it’s free to enter. Bring your own bike and helmet, gloves too if you’ve got them. 12s and under. One lap, for fun only. About 4.15 on Saturday.

What other entertainment is there?
After the DTRA racing on Friday night there is chance to go see the Ken Fox Wall of Death and listen to a great band, The Vitamins. We’ll have some daft games and DJs too.
On Saturday we have lots of non-racing fun on track, more Wall of Death, Vintage speedway, plus live music from The Dream Themes during the day and Davros and the Deep Space Deviants at night.
There will also be a mini-custom show and dealer booths from some Sideburn and related companies.

Will you be selling Dirt Quake merchandise?
Yes, T-shirts and other Sideburn merch.

Is there a cashpoint at the arena?

Can I get a photography pass?
Only with a commissioning letter from the editor of a magazine or newspaper. Photographers must show proof of public liability insurance if they want to enter non-public areas. There are plenty of opportunities to take memorable photos from the public areas, though.

What happens if it rains?
The racers get muddy, but the event still goes ahead. There are covered grandstands at both sides of the track.

Rider/ Racer FAQ

Can I enter to race?
You could, but all the entries are now full EXCEPT for the W&W Harley class. The only rule is, it has to be a Harley. Email us if you want to enter the Harley race - Dirt @

Can I enter on the day of the race?

Do I need a race licence?
Yes, but you can buy an MCF day licence for £10 on the morning of the race.

Q Can I enter the DTRA races?
Yes, if you have a suitable bike. There are classes for Rookies on Saturday morning and Vintage bikes on Friday evening. Email

When do I check in?
Saturday morning at the sign-up station from 10.15-11.30am. Sign-on closes at 11.30.

What do I need to race?
Helmet (see regs below), eye protection (visor or goggles), gloves, trousers, long-sleeve top, over the ankle boots.
We highly recommend the best safety gear you can get your hands on: leathers, armour, back protector, full-face helmet… Motorcycle racing can be dangerous.

Helmet regs
We run Dirt Quake with the help of the MCF, a race organization to ensure everything is as safe as possible. They tell us helmets must comply with one of the following:

British Standards Institution BS 6658-A

British Standards Institution BS 6658-B

UN ECE Regulation 22 ECE 22-05

Snell Memorial Foundation Snell M2005 or M2010 (individual approval only) M2005

Can I fit a crown of pike nuts to my helmet for the race?
The MCF are adamant that any modification to a helmet structure immediately invalidates approval. Any helmet
 modified by the cutting, drilling or puncturing of the shell in any way subsequent to its leaving the
 manufacturer, will be rejected at inspection.
I have a waist length ponytail, is that a problem?
Competitors with long hair must have it contained within the helmet or clothing.

I’ve never raced before, is that a problem?
Absolutely not. Dirt Quake was invented for novices.

Is there a bike safety inspection?
Yes. We need to make sure you are not going to injure someone else with your bike. We are checking that:
·      Mag wheels with big gaps in them are covered up. This is to stop limbs going through them. Cut plastic or fibre board and zip tie in place.
·      Levers must have a ball end or be taped
·      Footrests must fold or be taped
·      Chain must be covered at the point it joins the front sprocket
·      Glass lights must be taped.
·      Bikes should be in a general safe condition (pay attention to wheel bearings, loose parts, sharp things)

When is practice?
See schedule below.

How do I practice?
Every rider gets one session of practice, four laps in length. The car park and campsite are not for practicing. Save it for the track.

What is the race format?
One practice session, two heat races and a final. Everyone gets a final (if their bike is still in one piece). All sessions are four laps in length.

Environmental issues
·      No smoking in the pits
·      Please be respectful of the staduim and pick up your litter.
·      Practice takes place on the track and not in the car park.

PLEASE NOTE: The schedule and listed attractions are liable to change without any prior warning.

Midday: Campsite opens
18:00 Turnstiles open
18.30 DTRA racing starts. Classes for the evening are: Pro, Restricted and vintage.
21.45 DTRA racing ends
22.00-00.00 The Vitamins, Wall of Death and DJs

10.15-11.30 Dirt Quake riders sign-on
12:15 Riders meeting
12.30 Dirt Quake practice
14:00 Turnstiles open
15:00 Dirt Quake Main Event Opening Ceremony
+ Vintage speedway
+ Wall of Death Shows
+ Motorcycle tug of love
+ The Dream Themes
+ more!
18:00 Dirt Quake Finals
19:00 Awards presentation
19.30 Wall of Death, Band, DJs
00.00 Bar closes


15:00 Campsite closes

Perris Practice by Biltwell

A crew from Biltwell came along and made a little film about the Perris practice in the post below. G

Perris Friendly

Thanks to Julian of Deus LA for organising a private soiree at Perris, for the usual suspects plus some new faces, as a warm-up to DQ USA II. BP
GI on Julian's Triumph
Rusty Butcher's Sportster
Troy Critchlow and his lady
Deus Andie, Jason, Chopper Dave
All colours and creeds welcome
Stacie Bultaco tune up
her Bultaco 250 Sherpa as featured in SB#15
Minibike muscle - read more about them in them in our current issue #21
Andrew Honda XL350 street tracker - behaving very well on German Heidenau K34 tyres (same as Dimitri Coste's BSA C15)
Smiling Jen
Even more smiling Jen

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Malle Mile

The Malle Mile looks like it could be quite a spectacle. After the most hectic few weeks in Sideburn history we can't make it, double-booked, but get along and support this new event if you can. G