Big Sid Biberman: 1930-2013

June 26, 2013
Mark Gardiner
Mark Gardiner
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In 2001, Mark Gardiner gave up his career in advertising, and moved to the Isle of Man to live out his childhood dream of racing in the TT. After returning to the U.S., he wrote a memoir of that experience, Riding Man, which is now in development as a feature film. His column, Backmarker, looks at everything from the motorcycle industry as a whole to intensely personal 'inside stories.'

“Big Sid” Biberman, a legendary drag racer and Vincent tuner, passed away in Louisville, KY, on Saturday, June 22.

Sid first came to attention as the creator of “The Rattler,” one of the fastest drag bikes of its day, in the Mid-Atlantic region. Later, Sid owned a motorcycle repair shop in Virginia; it was the kind of place where, when you walked in, there was always something interesting in a state of disassembly. It’d be a Vincent, or a Brough, or a Laverda… Sid was a magnet for the rare and exotic.

Sid’s son Matthew is an English prof and writer, and he wrote a book about his relationship with his father, which was sort of resurrected as, together, they worked on a ‘Vincati’ — a tuned, ’50s-vintage Vincent motor set in a ’70s-era Ducati frame.

Sid, Matthew, and their creation are all featured in this video from Jay Leno’s web site.

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