'17 is nearly over and out, so it's time for our annual cultural and emotional stock take. Sideburn is a family business, now more than ever, with a handful of loyal freelance staff and collaborators, especially Mick Phillips, Kar Lee, Dave Arnold, Travis Newbold and Anthony Brown. Sometimes I think we punch well above our weight, other times I'm not sure and keep pushing on. In 2017 we have, at least:
Published four magazines, all with 116 pages, plus a 16-page MotoBeach Classic supplement, free with Sideburn 31. By far the most pages we've produced in a year.
Created a special issue of SB28 in conjunction with Harley-Davidson's HQ in Milwaukee, as a promotion for Mama Tried's Flat Out Friday and The One Moto Show.
Partnered with MotoAventures and Helmet Stories to run riding trips in Morocco and the Himalayas.
Supported illustrators, artists, photographers and writers all over the world with paid commissions.
Sponsored the DTRA Vintage Flat Track class (congratulations to the champ, Gary Birtwistle). We are asked to sponsor events, raffles, charities, fallen riders and other projects all the time, but it's simply not possible. We're not one of those brands that wants its logo on every poster of every event, whether we go to it or not. We choose a few that we can attend in person and we spend our limited budgets paying freelancers who work on the mag, to help them earn a living.
Co-organised SnowQuake II and DirtQuake VI.
Helped put Bottpower and Travis Newbold together for their incredible assault on Pikes Peak.
Passed the rights for the DirtQuake events to North One Television.
Ridden the Indian FTR750 (again...).
Created over 200 blog posts, over 500 instagram posts and expanded our website STORIES section.
Worked with Mark Wilson/71Speedster to make our 85% club pack and Sideburn number boards (back in stock soon).
Built and raced a Sportster hooligan bike and rebuilt our Honda Mablethorpe beach racer project.
Travelled to pro and amateur races in Florida, California, Oregon, Wisconsin, Italy, Netherlands and the UK.
Had booths at MotorBike Expo in Italy, Bike Shed in London and Cafe Racer Festival, Paris.
Held our first winter party and camp out, with Hebtroco.
Increased our magazine subscriber numbers, no mean feat in an increasingly tough market for printed products. I started Sideburn, with my own savings, in 2007, because I loved magazines and motorbikes and I still do. 31 issues later, plenty of grief, countless hours and headaches, but also innumerable good times and friendships, I can't imagine stopping. The feedback I've got from long-term readers to the current issue is that's it's the best yet. That is great to hear. I know it's far easier not to go through the rigmarole of buying the mag online, but I'm very happy that you do. And if you don't, go here.
Happy new year and thanks for choosing Sideburn.