We hadn't organised a mag launch for some time, but had held some memorable ones over the years, in Wigan, Barcelona, Liverpool, and several in London. During lockdown 2021, Sideburn reader Josh Molloy got in touch to say he and his partner, Ellie, had opened Paradise Tap & Taco, a bar that sold Mexican food, in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. 'Could we do something together?' It took more than a year of lockdown, rule changes and uncertainty, but we finally made it happen in, for Sideburn 46.
These launches aren't big productions. Post a flyer on social media, and squeak about it for a couple of weeks, offer a couple of prizes, and put up a table to sell merch in the corner. The rest is down to the mix of people who turn up. We were originally set for a Sunday, but Greenfield Dirt Track organised their TT practice, and Sideburn didn't want to clash with a big UK dirt track practice, so we switched it to a Thursday night, which is the traditional mag SB launch night anyway.
If we do a launch in London we know we'll draw a crowd, because there's such a core of riders to pull from, but there's always a slight air of doubt when we go somewhere else. Josh and Eli grew up in the area, and have a group of riding mates, so with our combined pull and pool of contacts we thought we'd get enough people out to feel it was worthwhile. We were right.
Baz (maroon shirt) rode from Glasgow, a 420-mile round trip, on his 49-year-old Laverda twin, having a couple of small mechanical breakdowns on the way. That's him talking to Jules (flat cap), a Dirt Quake regular, and previous winner of furthest travelled to a Sideburn launch (on that occasion, Liverpool to London).
Joining the dots in the Sideburn cosmos, it was good to see Baz wearing a shirt from Mr Martini's Special bar, Verona. Mr Martini is one of the mag's oldest friends, and his joint is one of the best in the world.
Baz's gorgeous Laverda 750SF in front of Paradise window. The window features art by Phil Guy (aka @burritobreath)
Paradise Tap & Taco's owners, Ellie and...
...Josh turned up on their bikes, XS400 and Ironhead respectively. I think Josh's Harley could do with a bigger carb.
Ed from our friends at Hebtroco arrived on his Shovelhead chop, with prizes, the company's own British-made clobber, to be awarded for most stylish man and woman to arrive by bike.
Table set up in the corner was a magnet for browsers. Thanks to all who bought something, and/or came to say hello. It was good to get the Maxwell Paternoster backdrop boards out for an airing.
The making of the boards video. Maxwell has art for sale, if you want something of his in a more manageable size. Visit Datanoster
While we're talking about art, Sami Graystone (whose art we featured in SB32) designed T-shirt for the launch, that Paradise were selling. Modelled here by Paradise's Casey.
Yes, we concentrate on dirt track and street trackers, but we dig most bikes.
Twins: Across the frame V; Inline V; Parallel.
Guy from Greasy Kulture (middle of the photo, leather zipped up) turned up on his Panhead, and won oldest bike ridden to the event. Being slightly older than this...
...Other Pan that also turned up.
Big crew of Northern DTRA racers turned up.
Ryan Quickfall came from Newcastle. He drew the cover. Andy, Sideburn's art ed in the Mork body warmer and Sideburn Flat Track trucker cap), put it on the cover.
Matthew and Loki, ea
Buzzing crowd, eating or ready to order
Star of Dirt Quake half-time shows and best supporting actor (contender) in Force of the Moto Ninja, Ryan came over from the wrong side of the Pennines with suitably attired Tanya, in her SB x D*Face T.
There's always seems to be at least one Treadwell T-shirt at a Sideburn event.
And usually lots of Biltwell helmets.
Happy customers going home with Sideburn skate decks.
Good variety of bikes
Lining the pavements of leafy Harrogate.
The prize-giving. The Paradise staff chose their favourite bike...
And Texas Chris Jenner's Royal Enfield took it.
Good times, great people
Robb in the Hebtroco Pata Negra denim vest he won as Ed's choice of most stylish 'For looking nothing like a motorcycle rider'.
To quote Scottie Deubler, the Voice of AFT, 'You don't have to go straight home, but go home straight.
Thanks to Hebtroco for the extra prizes, that to everyone who came out, and a massive thanks to Paradise Tap & Taco for hosting.
Where should we do our next launch?