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Best Spreads of 2023

It’s that time of year when I release my design ego and show you my favourite spreads from Sideburn this year. It’s never an easy task as, if you’ve been keeping up with the mag, will realise that each feature is pretty much given its own style and ‘feel’, whilst trying to all marry up together in one cohesive bundle of pages. So there’s a lot to choose from. Here are the top ten that I think sum up the beautiful chaos that is Sideburn.

Andy Garside

Sideburn Art Editor

I've added some comments too. Gary Inman

They're from the four issues we made this year: SB52-55. We have sold out of SB52, but our friends at Adventure Spec have stocks of all this year's issues in their UK, EU and US warehouses.

If you haven't seen the posts already, take a look at the Best Photos of 2023 and Best Art/Illustration of 2023.

Want more? Here are the previous years' selections.


1. Briar Bauman's Rick Ware Racing KTM 890

Pablo Picasso once said 'All art is theft'. Gary sent me a pic of an old black and white, Wayne Kramer (MC5) flyer as some visual inspiration for this feature. I ‘borrowed’ the font and the stars, along with the purposefully rough cut-out of the photo… I added the orange and bingo! One of my fave spreads of the year. AG


The story describes the early development of the Zanotti-development KTM parallel twin in Briar's own words. We have done a bunch of features like this in the mag's 15 year history, and they gave real insight, especially before the proliferation of podcasts, that give good inside info now. GI

2. SMCO Harley PanAmerica Hooligan

In complete contrast here’s my favourite minimalist opener from ’23. I maxed out the kerning [the spacing between letters] on the heading to fit with the pan shot of the photo. I could blabber on all day about minimalism, but it seems a tad ironic to do that. AG

The Guardado bros of Suicide Machine Co are an inspiration. We first featured them in SB21 (the first feature any magazine in the world did on hooligan racing), then their Sportster hooligan in SB23, their wild XG750s in SB28, and a big feature on some of their greatest hits in SB48. Great fabricators and self-promoters with great attitudes. GI

3. Don't Stop

Who doesn’t love a chaotic montage to tell a story. Anna Serena’s ace ‘Don’t Stop’ logo was too good to not use large across the page as a boundary for the photos. And neon yellow was the only choice of colour for this one. AG


Anna was signed up to race in Royal enfield's innovative, women-only Build. Train. Race programme, and she had the great idea of promoting her own race season to help pay for fuel and entries to extra races. GI

4. Cheetah Meteor

Cheetah makes the most exquisite bikes. The welding work on this photo is gorgeous, and it looks like an image the late, great designer Vaughan Oliver may have used for a late 80s 4AD record sleeve design. The same-era-style-mag typography seemed like the obvious choice. This could almost be a page in a high end jewellery brochure.

Cheetah taught himself bronze welding/brazing to make Meteor's frame. He carried our days of destruction-testing experiments to ensure it was strong enough for a frame. He's a true takumi. GI

5. Tristan Afre Portfolio

Strong cropped photography, typography running off the trim of the page and big bold block colour… it’s my bread and butter. AG


I loved the cinematic-style shot Tristan was shooting of the Moto anatomy x Royal Enfield AFT team. We mixed in his radical BMX shots into this memorable portfolio feature. GI

6. Tokyo Connection

Bike components, more importantly, well made and beautiful bike components. The repeated, ghosted versions of the pieces made such lush patterns, I could’ve quite easily given a spread to each one. AG

When I started working in magazines, I'd need a pro photographer to take these show, and a photo lab to develop the film. Now I take them on a smartphone and email, and Andy comes up with a spread like this an hour or so later. Sorry photographers. GI

7. ICON Motosports Boonie Bike Race

Minibikes, riding in pants, and a finish-flag-wielding inflatable dinosaur. Something this fun required fun colours and a fun font. Party time at SB HQ! AG

US operative Todd Marella, no stranger to crashing two-wheelers, throws caution to wind by racing the Sideburn x Icon Motosports Stout Boonie al fresco, as it were, at the One Moto Show in Portland. The bike was painted by Chastin Brand. I'm trying to work out how to cost effectively ship it to the UK. any ideas? GI  Buy Sideburn 53

8. Travis Newbold's Trackmaster Kawasaki KX500

Look at the colours on that sunset. Look at the crazy two -troke framer. Look at the lovely hound. Just don’t, I repeat don’t, look at the Travis taking a piss. I told you not to look!! I love the colours of the heading here, created by overlaying two different colours with two different effects on them allowing the texture of the sky to show through. Hashtag chef’s kiss. AG

I looked. Sorry. GI

21 Helmets

The art special we did for SB52 was full of amazing images. The design of a lot of those pages was kept to a minimum as to not interfere with the illustrations. But the helmets feature gave me space to get creative with the typography. Colours for each caption were grabbed from the relevant helmet and given a different treatment in design each time.


21 Helmets was the See See Motorcycles idea, that is now an integral part of The One Motorcycle Show. This particular show was curated by Lincoln Design Co and featured all Icon helmets. GI

10. Godspeed (The Movie)

Another photo-led spread here using a still from the über-talented Dutch film director Arne Toonen’s proof-of-concept short film. Photography like this is an absolute joy to work with. The crop, the lighting in the tunnel, the out of focus bike/rider… all effortlessly leading you into the feature. AG

A feature proclaiming a film that has yet to be made the greatest motorcycle film of all-time? Yep, that was Sideburn... GI


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