Saturday, 27 February 2010


Here is a full set (so far) of SIDEBURN magazine, numbers 1 to 4. This really is the best 'Go Fast, Turn left' magazine in the world! The mag is masterminded by Gary Inman (pictured above) and Ben Part.
When you consider the subject matter in the magazine, i.e. dirt track motorcycle racing, predominantly an american pastime, it's kind of unusual that the printed word for this activity... is based in the UK!
What's even more unusual, is the mags acceptance by the U.S. dirt track community, both old and new, as the mouthpiece for all things dirt track.
I am not just making an assumption here...I witnessed it first hand.
Last September, I went to the Indy and Springfield Mile races. I took some copies of issue #3 to give to Chris Carr to sell at his race tent, which he did in about 2 hours. I don't like to name-drop but some other guys who are amped on SIDEBURN are Jared Mees, Rich King and Dave Aldana, just that I know of.
It's not just the racers who dig it either. We got talking to a coupla older guys in the stands, when Sideburn came up in the conversation. They had heard all about it but not actually seen it in the flesh, so to speak. I gave 'em a copy and some stickers and they really liked it.
I feel that part of the magazines charm, is the skewed angle it comes from. I don't think you will ever see race results in its pages, nor classified ads. It's fair to assume SIDEBURN won't run ads for products that have little or no relation to dirt track/flat track. It is not purely focused on the winners has just as much interest in the supporting cast... the folks that limp, that live and breath oval racing, no front brakes,steel shoes, big, wide bars and square number plates.
The writing and photography have a timeless quality to them....Issue #1 will have just as much relevance as issue #20 in 10 years time.
Now I don't want to put words into Mr. Inman and Mr. Parts mouths, but in my opinion, for what it's worth, I believe the magazine takes the stance that dirt track is an 'artform'.....Put the competion element to one side for a moment.... the very act of riding a certain kind of motorcycle, in a certain kind of way, at a certain point in time.... when it's popularity has been in steady decline for many a noble thing to do.
Please don't think I am insinuating that the mag is yet another 'retro-rag'....nothing could be further from the truth. You may well see features within the pages that take a look back at dirt track's rich ,100 year history but they will be right next to articles on todays young racers.... like Sammy Halbert and Brandon Robinson.
Sideburn is a 'specialist' magazine that somehow manages to appeal to people who don't neccessarily ride motorcycles,own dirt trackers or even go to the races. It is able to convey all the excitment and ritual, without getting too bogged down in the mundane details.......People seem to just get the 'grassroots artiness' of it all! It's a labour of love....

Issue #5 is due to drop late March and will be available in some discerning stores worldwide, or online at

For a daily SIDEBURN fix have a gander at the SIDEBLOG:

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