If we had a marketing department we'd have posted this in late-December, but we don't so it just occurred to me on a cold, wet run today. These ten photos are from the four issues we published in 2020, the majority of which we commissioned, one we got from event organisers who had commissioned it. There are hundreds of other great photos in the magazine I could have chosen, and I purposely avoided vintage shots from Flat Trak Fotos, Geoff Nickless and others. And when I say best, I really mean my favourites. GI


1. Kim Lohstroh Young, Blatant Moto Death Rattle by John McInnis

Industrial designer John McInnis was part of the Alta Motors electric motorcycle start-up. When the company was bought, then dropped, by Harley-Davidson McInnis became part of Blatant Moto who built a couple of Alta power unit-powered custom bikes including this electric flat tracker, Death Rattle. John also shot the wonderful cover photo for Sideburn 40, in very late-night San Francisco, at short notice, roping in Kim Lohstroh Young to model. No one ever noticed, or at least didn't tell us if they did, the guy on the back cover puking up in a doorway.

Buy Sideburn 40


2. One Pro Races by Cameron Strand

We used this photo large at the time, in a piece about the Electric National Flat Track races in Sideburn 40, but it means even more to me now. There were a few inklings and mentions of the thing called 'coronavirus', among attendees of the One Moto Show, but no one in Portland's Veteran Memorial Colosseum had a clue how much things would change. This shot was taken on Saturday 8 February, and is of Thor Drake giving the rider's briefing. The One Motorcycle Show is one of our favourites, another is Mama Tried in Milwaukee, and the Wisconsin show was set to happen on March 13-15, but things had escalated so much they were forced to cancel the show just 24 hours before. Now it's 9.5 months later, we're still dealing with it and, from my perspective, I can only just see light at the end of the tunnel. Many people haven't survived to see the end of the tunnel.


3. George Pickering by Caylee Hankins

You can read the back story of this Sideburn 40 photoshoot by clicking The 100-year-old Photo, but again this photo means so much more now that the photographer, Caylee Hankins, is no longer with us. She died due to complications related to cancer. She was in her early-30s, and we, and many others, still miss her.


4. Korry Fitzpatrick, Champion Yamaha MX250 by Scott Rounds

Scott Rounds is a very quick amateur flat track racer and pro photographer and used both these skills to deliver a bunch of fantastic shots for the cover story of Sideburn 41. The rider is Korry Fitzpatrick on the beautiful vintage Champion Yamaha MX250 he built over a few years. Korry's first ever motorcycle race was one of the Dirt Quake USA's. He's one of us.

Buy Sideburn 41


5. Gary Inman, Honda 650 by Braking Point Images

Ok, I'm allowed one of me, aren't I? This might be the most 'on it' photo of me ever taken. Early in the racing day at Mablethorpe, back-end of winter 2020. Me on the brakeless, Newbold-tuned Honda 650, corner entry of Turn 3, Braking Point Images making me look like I know what I'm doing. I'd been riding all day before at Greenfield and was in the groove.

Buy Sideburn 41


6. George Pickering, Survivor KTM 300 by Sam Christmas

This was another relatively 'big production' shoot, and another involving 'Greenfield' George Pickering. This time we booked Sam Christmas who I'd been lucky enough to accompany on his first ever motorcycle shoot , when we were sent to the Isle of Man TT by TCOL, a London agency, who were making a magazine for Dainese.

You can read the back story of the SB42 cover.

Buy Sideburn 42


7. Jonas Hendrix, Harley-Davidson SX250 by Manuel Hidalgo

Our Dutch, Argentinian, Spanish friend Jonas had the idea of recreating 1970s H-D magazine adverts for the shoot of his gorgeous Harley two-stroke short tracker for Sideburn 42 and had Manuel Hidalgo make it happen. We used this shot small, and this is the untreated version with tape holding the backdrop together, but I like it because I like Jonas's face.

Buy Sideburn 42


8. James Smith, Co-Built Rotax by Sam Christmas

You wait years for a new Sam Christmas photo set in Sideburn and two come along at once. This was a tricky lockdown shoot. No tracks were open, James lives in London and I was desperate to have the newly finished Sudo Cycles Co-Built Rotax framer in Sideburn 42. Sam Christmas served up great shots from Southbank London. The pushing the bike photo has become a cliche on social media, but this different perspective, and the angular font painted on the road, made it special for me.

Buy Sideburn 42


9. Kayl Kolkman, Knight Honda RS600 by Scott Toepfer

Another shot we used big. This was taken in May 2019 at Perris, California, but we sat on it, then I forgot about it, and it came in handy at the end of a locked-down summer when we needed fresh, original content for Sideburn 43. Scott Toepfer is another amateur racer and pro photographer and I just love everything he does. He's right on our wavelength.

Buy Sideburn 43


10. Johnny Lewis, Royal Enfield 650 Twin by Brandon LaJoie

We have followed the development of Royal Enfield's 650 Twin racebike since we published spy shots taken by a reader at Leicester Speedway. To see Johnny win an AFT Production Twins race on it just a couple of months after it debuted was something else. We featured the bike before its debut, in Sideburn 41, and followed up with its first race and first win in Sideburn 43. The coverage also coincided with Sideburn being the official magazine of American Flat Track. Brandon LaJoie supplied images with a beautiful rose light from the team's debut at Williams Grove.

Buy Sideburn 43


All Sideburn back issues are currently 20% off until the end of January 2021. It's a good time to catch up. No Code needed, we've temporarily reduced the price in the shop.


We got this request from the niece of former national 96, Bill Schaeffer.


Dear Sideburn magazine

I need your help please. My name is Tammy Tyler and I am the niece of Bill Schaeffer. Bill is in the hospital with Covid and pneumonia.

Bill raced in the early-70s. His national number was 96. We grew up riding motorcycles and being around the sport. Motorcycle racing was his life back then. It was the whole family's life.

Bill is now a husband, father and grandfather of five. His oldest grandson got a motorcycle before getting a bicycle. Of course his coaching skills are a lot different now . His words are always Slow down , don't go so fast, dammit , and other expletives. Nobody ever listens though.

I am reaching out to you for some extra prayers and positivity today. Although the family is unable to visit they are able to FaceTime him. He is in an induced coma and unable to respond but we believe he hears us. Any cards or messages of positivity would mean a lot to the family as they can read them to him. Please , please reach out to any racers to send the family thoughts and prayers . Correspondence can be emailed to: deborahschaeffer@icloud.com


I thank you for reading this email

Please keep him in your prayers


Very sincerely

Tammy Tyler



Read about one of Bill's big wins at CycleNews.com

Photo: Gary van Voorhis


A new blog called Motorcycles Are Drugs, written by former Cycle World journalist Gary Boulanger, sent me a bunch of questions and posted the interview earlier this week.


The interview covers the launch of the mag and Sideburn as a business, my favourite characters in flat track, Roland Sands' Superhooligan series, street trackers...


Read the interview at Motorcycles Are Drugs.