Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Davida x Distinguished Gents Ride

Press release from Davida. Great company doing nice things for good people.

Leaving Davida for Umberto De Pretto in Geneva, Simon Whittaker in Canberra, Michael Butler in Tunbridge Wells, Donald Leonhart in Los Angeles Vincent Nicolai in New York, these very special and exclusive DGR helmets. These can not be bought, only won and awarded by those who excelled at raising money for Prostate Cancer on the 2015 Distinguished Gentleman's ride. 

37,261 riders in 410 cities in 79 countries took part in the 2015 DGR raising $3 Million with each of our prize winners raising approx £5,000 each. 

Davida are proud to support the DGR once again this year by creating and supplying these exclusive special DGR helmets, free of charge to the top fundraisers.

Oliver Brindley v The World

Sideburn flew out to Las Vegas to be at the finale of the 2015 GNC season and the inaugural Superprestigio of the Americas, indoors at the Orleans Hotel.

When we booked the flights we didn't realise the DTRA's rising star, Oliver Brindley would be competing. Chris Carr, who helped organise the Superprestigio and chose who was invited, contacted the DTRA and said the 2015 UK champion would have a place. 2015 DTRA champ Aidan Collins (who is interviewed in Sideburn 23) chose not to take up the offer, preferring a young up and comer to have the chance to grab the opportunity. After an initial no from the Superprestigio, who - it seems - wanted the champion or nothing, DTRA chief, Anthony Brown negotiated an invite for 16-year-old Ollie Brindley to be the British representative.

The event was a double-header - the GNC finale on Friday night, the Superprestigio on Saturday night.

So, on his 17th birthday, after spending a week racing and preparing at tracks in California, Ollie lined up in his first ever AMA Pro GNC2* event. In an incredibly pressurised qualifying period made up of two short timed sessions of only FOUR x 10 second laps of the tiny, rough track, Ollie was number qualifier out of a class of 46 riders, many of whom have been riding the GNC2 class all season. So, that's a combined practice AND qualifying session of just 80 seconds of riding. You have to be on it for the get-go.

The heat race didn't go according to plan, and Ollie didn't make it through to the semis, and his GNC debut was over much earlier than he wanted, but he made his mark and knew the mistake he'd made. One of the great things about Ollie, and his dad Derek, are they don't get hung up on any failures. They shrug and move on, learning from it. Easier said than done, but the best way.

Relatively few of the GNC stars were invited to compete in Saturday's Superprestigio, only a total of 16 from both GNC1 and GNC2, including former champions; the current GNC2 champ, Davis Fisher; the winner of the Peoria GNC2 race, Jesse Janisch; the winners of Friday's two classes - Briar Bauman and Dan Bromley.

Like the Spanish Superprestigio, there are two classes. Here it was pro flat track and All Star, but there was a very meagre bunch of 'All-Star' non-flat trackers, nowhere near as memorable as the star-studded Barcelona line-ups. It didn't affect the quality of the racing (but the crowd was much thinner for Saturday than it was for Friday's GNC Finale).

Ollie was put in the All-Stars class, avoiding the pro flat trackers - like Mees, Johnson, Halbert, Coolbeth, Smith, Bauman... He would race Franc Serra, Roger Hayden, Larry Pegram, Toni Elias, Jake Gagne, Aaron Colton... The young Brit qualified fourth in his class. Veteran road racer and flat tracker, Pegram was quickest.

The evening started badly for Ollie, he seemed to stall out of his first race. Then he totally missed his second race, but won his third and then won his 8-rider semi to put him in the 8-rider final.

By now the tiny, tight track was a rutted mess. Ollie was in podium contention for much of the 12-lap final, but eventually came fourth behind Pegram, Roger Hayden and Joe Roberts. It was enough to send him to the grand final (like he had made at the 2014 Superprestigio in Spain), and an opportunity to gain invaluable experience racing the current heroes of the sport - Mees; Baker; Coolbeth and Smith - riders with ten (right?) GNC titles and dozens of National wins between them.

The 15-lap superfinal was brutal, but Ollie stayed out of danger while staying in touch with the leaders and finished sixth, ahead of fallers Hayden and Smith.

The lad done good. And he'll be at the Spanish Superprestigio in December looking to impress again.

If any companies out there wants to sponsor Ollie, email us dirt@sideburnmagazine.com and we'll put you directly in touch. The lad is going places. G

PS I won't say who won in case you watch to watch on fanschoice.tv when they post it.

PPS Read a nice write up on Ollie's Californian warm-up races on the Poppawheelie blog

* GNC2, like Moto2, is the class below the premier class. It was formerly known as Pro Singles and is for up and coming riders looking to progress to GNC1, the class formerly known as Expert. 

Monday, 23 November 2015

Sideburn 23: The Details

Here are more details of the new issue, Sideburn 23.

COVER STAR: Sharon C on Jason's Borile
BIKES: Borile B50 Scrambler; Norton P11; Trackmaster Triumph 650 Nixon replica street tracker; Roland Sands Designs Indian Chieftain; Japanese vintage sand racers; Suicide Machine Co Sportster; Crosley Howerton 'Skinny' Kawasaki GNC racer; Royal Enfield Bullet
HOW TO: How to Draft to Victory (with Bryan Smith)

PEOPLE: Aidan Collins; Guy Martin; Ike Part; David Aldana


ADVENTURE: Riding the Himalayas on Enfields
PLACES: Aldeburgh; Brackney; Chirihama; Los Alamitos

PAGES: 100

Get it for £6 plus post from sideburn.bigcartel.com
OR buy subscribe to Sideburn for 8 issues and get a FREE Sideburn T-shirt worth £20

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Sideburn 23 - Out Now

Come get it!
Issue details to follow, when I get a few minutes to blog, but it's a goodie.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Friday, 20 November 2015

Sideburn x Himalaya Kit

Sideburn's Himalayan trip was a blast but packing for it was difficult. We were told to wear full-face helmets and expect rain. I wanted to travel as light as possible (but I never travel as light as some people).

So I decided to ride in trousers I could fly out in and take lightweight ex-British army waterproofs to put on over the top when needed. I never needed them. This is what I chose to ride in for the six days we were on the Enfields.

Icon 1000 Beltway jacket
Four pocket coated canvas with leather reinforcement panels. Tough, tons of pockets, zip-out satin body liner, clever magnetic storm flap closing. Mine is a pre-production sample I got when I visited Icon HQ and it's showerproof rather than waterproof, but Icon 1000 don't make claims that it is waterproof. Tough coat.

Icon 1000 Cheeter gloves
Felt much more lightweight than I would normally wear, but I was expecting to wear heavyweight Dainese winter gloves for most of the trip. Instead I wore these every day for 8 to 10 hours in our kit and they were the comfiest ever. No callouses, despite the rough going. Not sure how much protection the fabric back and goat leather palm would offer, and only a crash will tell me, so I'm putting that off. There is additional D30 (Icon's own armour) knuckle protection.

I'm spoilt for choice when it comes to helmets and would normally have ridden in an open-face Davida on a tour like this, but Vir, the tour leader, made it clear full-face was the way to go and all but one of our tour group listened to him.
This AGV is the lightest race helmet I've ever worn or even felt. It weighs just 1.15kg (2.5lb). Comfortable all day, every day.

100% Barstow x Ornamental Conifer goggles
These road goggles have big frames (and lens) and look better with a full-face than open-face lid. Well made, lovely strap design from our mate Nico, with leather detailing. Comes with spare lenses to change for different conditions. Quality feel, but the top end of goggle price range.

Dainese TRQ-Tour Gore-Tex Boots
High-tech touring boot with the protection of a Dainese raceboot. Fits under slim trousers (with a bit of wrangling) and very waterproof. Again, all-day comfortable. These are hardcore touring boots. I did 20 days straight in them, from coast-to-coast-to-coast of the USA - 8000 miles and they were faultless.

Kriega R35
Possibly the best piece of motorcycle kit I've ever owned. I've only ever heard one complaint about Kriega packs and that was from someone who reckoned they were too big for the adjustment the straps offered, so if you're the size of a bear, perhaps try one before buying.

Edwin 55 Chino
Not riding trousers, but I rode in them. And love them. Got them in a bit of a state too.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Superhooligan and Superprestio of the US

This Saturday!

Watch it on fanschoice.tv. Check their site for the timings.

Keep an eye out for Ollie Brindley in the Superprestigio. In the Superhooligan you might spot lots of fmiliar names from the pages of Sideburn. Sideburn's poet, Travis Newbold is our representative, racing a Rolands Sands Designs 2015 Indian Scout.
Plus there is Speed Merchant's Chris Wiggins; SB20 cover star Drake McElroy; Thor Drake from See See; Aaron and Shaun from Suicide Machine Co; Co-Built Geoff and more...

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Sam Christmas Photo Prints

We have five different limited edition prints of stunning Sam Christmas photos.

They are printed on professional archival silver based C-Type gloss prints, hand numbered and signed on the back by the photographer and posted in a mailing tube.

The prints come in three sizes;
M (40cm / 16" wide) - £60
L (60cm / 24" wide) - £90
XL (76cm / 30" wide) - £120

Postage charge: UK - £8. Everywhere else £10

NOTE: Photo prints will be sent directly from the photographer, even if you order with other items.

Get yours from sideburn.bigcartel.com

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Cheat Technology

Bitterly succumbing to peer pressure of my friends and business acquaintances in the 21st century, I finally bought a smart phone. I wasn't surprised that my old large SIM card was not compatible with the iPhone 6 and it's nano tray. So how can I transfer all my contacts? Oh the local phone shop will have some sort of card reader - not. Oh you can cut it down - except the nano cards metal circuit-board is smaller than that of the older type and is not going to take kindly to being guillotined. And I can't email them to the new phone as the crappy old LG A100 is a t-e-l-e-p-h-o-n-e only. No internet, No Camera, No nothing else. The speaker is such bad quality you can better hear what someone is saying with two cans and a bit of string. And the contract was terminated before I had the idea of texting them across (which would have probably meant one by one anyway). Shoit.
1) Crank up the LG transfer all the contacts from the original SIM card to limited phone memory.
2) Remove the SIM from behind the battery and mark carefully where the six tiny brass studs are that make electrical contact with the various sections of the etched gold circuit-board. I used a TipEx pen.
3) Insert the new nano SIM into the old phones card carrier - its going to be a loose fit, but the stud position, and your careful marking mean you can manoeuvre it into the precise position. I used a small piece of Sellotape to stop it sliding about - fearing a short-circuiting of the wrong studs touching the wrong parts of the circuit-board.
4) Replace the battery. Crank up the old phone and transfer contacts on to the new nano SIM.
5) Take out the nano SIM and insert it into your new phone....Bobs your uncle, Fanny's your aunt. BP
.....and now I'm an instagram addict.
As predicted, it's as moreish as crack cocaine.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Ducati Scrambler Pro Flat Track

The biggest and most important show in motorcycling, EICMA, is going on in Milan this week. Ducati have got in early, with an Apple-style product launch on stage in a theatre setting.
They launched a 400cc V-twin Scrambler, called the Sixty2, plus Diavel and Multistrada derivatives and this, the Scrambler Pro Flat Track. Following the mould of their own Monster and, notably, the Triumph Bonneville, the Italians have rolled out a slightly tarted-up Scrambler to bolster the range at the minimum cost. 

The 803cc Pro Flat Track is very similar to the Full Throttle, one of the three Scramblers the company launched in 2014 to great success. It has the same Termignoni end cans, short front mudguard, 10-spoke alloys. In fact, only the following details differ...

Sidepanels (that don't look very flat track)
Headlight fairing (ditto)
Paint colour
Seat cover
Grips (I know, I'm scraping the barrel here...)
Photos: Ducati
They had Ducati legend, and flat track racer, Troy Bayliss ride it on stage. I like the Scrambler a lot, especially the styling of the Urban Enduro, but as a purely styling exercise, this has missed the target. Lloyd Brothers and Ducati did a great job of making their race bike look related to a Ducati Scrambler, but when the parent company have tried to reflect dirt track cool back on the street bike, something's going missing. 

It's so difficult to make road bikes look as cool as flat track race bikes, because their beauty is in their brutal minimalism. Homologated road bikes can look brutal and act deranged (180bhp, 190mph road bikes for £14,000), but it's hard to make 2015 nakeds look minimal and tick all the EU's boxes. And really, the Pro Flat Track has a good name, but it looks bugger-all like a street tracker.

The wheels are the wrong size and the rear's too far. The seat's wrong. The number boards are neither one thing, not the other. 

Still, God loves a trier. 

If you want to read about the gorgeous race bike that inspired the road bike, buy Sideburn 22 and read my story from Bayliss's most recent AMA flat track race, the 2015 Sacramento Mile. G