Sideburn magazine's custom Suzuki VanVan 125
Growing up in the 1970s, my Fab Four were never John, Paul, George and Ringo. They were Snorky, Fleegle, Droopy and Bingo—The Banana Splits. Conceived by Hanna-Barbera, the show featured four creatures who, like prototype sports team mascots, were blokes dressed in furry outfits and firefighter helmets.

They were a pop band, lived in a shared psychedelic house and got into Three Stooges-style slapstick scrapes. Hey, it was conceived in California in 1968, what do you expect? It was still being shown on UK TV years later, when it served as a sun-drenched 30 minutes of primary-colored eye candy, especially for a kid in a home-knit jumper, growing up in the washed-out, drizzle grey of northern England.

Sideburn magazine's custom Suzuki VanVan 125

But what stuck in my mind most is the six-wheel Amphicat all-terrain buggies the stars tore around in during the title sequence of the show. It was The Banana Splits and their buggies that inspired this 2003 Suzuki VanVan 125. At least in part. The other part was Sideburn, the magazine I edit.

Sideburn is heavily weighted towards dirt track, but has always found room for street trackers, art, photography, movies, road trips and adventure riding. Still, since becoming the official magazine of the American Flat Track professional race series in 2020, I had been thinking more about the pro sport, and how the mag looked to new readers who were picking it up at races in Texas or Ohio. This Suzuki was a reminder to myself, and potential readers, that Sideburn is about more than just racing.

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By: Gary Inman
Title: The Sand Flea: Sideburn’s Suzuki VanVan 125 beach bike
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Published Date: Fri, 08 Jul 2022 17:01:58 +0000