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El Rollo - MEGAPOST


The desire to rush to get reports onto the blog has left me, but the want to share photos and a few details is still there, so for instant gratification, there is the @sideburnmag instagram feed (which also runs along the bottom of this very website's homepage for those without the app or a smartphone, there are some out there).

Wait a little longer and posts arrive on the blog, from me and our contributors all over the world, and for the real quality, there is the magazine, four times per year. Sideburn 34 is one day old!

So, without any more delay, here is a photo report from the Wheels & Waves El Rollo race, from back in June.

Above is the Fuel Motorcycles Ossa rider proving love is a hot flat tracker.

I don't expect I need to describe what Wheels and Waves is, so I won't, but the El Rollo aspect of this now massive event is the flat track race, held on a pop-up track on the infield of San Sebastien's horse track in Northern Spain.

I was helped with the organising of the first El Rollo in 2016, but the subsequent sale of DirtQuake meant I couldn't be involved in the later events. It didn't stop me taking up Indian's invite to race one of the Krazy Horse Scout 60s this year though...

The day started out wet, the track was a total mess and the track maintenance team weren't listening to experienced hands from Italy and the UK. At that point I doubted we'd race. Dark clouds covered the Cantabrian Mountains and rain soaked everyone, but racers were still going through sign up and thinking positively. This is a little Cagiva from 5Special of Galicia, Spain.

This is Lucia from 5Special with her bike for the rock and roll themed La Copita little bike class.

1980s (I think ) Beta two-stroke 'crosser with 19s and flat track front end looked great.

Our mate and ace photographer Merry Michau was channeling the late Angus Young for her La Copita class entry.

It was great to see a few Spanish bikes. Who doesn't love a Bultaco tracker? I don't know them inside out, but this looks like a Frontera converted to flat track spec.

Our mate Daniel from La Urbana in Vigo came on his recalcitrant Suzuki GN400 tracker and Sideburn Dirt Devil T-shirt

Now then what do we have here? A dapper chap on Honda XR of some description with a very tasty BSA liveried tank, R6 front end and classic Brit tailpipe.

Then the sun came out, and we waited, and waited, and then things got going. This British chap, living in France, is a former 125 GP racer (and his name escapes me). He was also a friend of Kenny Roberts, that's how he ended up with parts of the old Roberts Ranch flat trackers. This one had a Honda engine in it, but others had Rotax engines. He rode it well. Goodwood entry stickers on his helmet show he has class, white rose shows Yorkshire was home before the move to France.

Sideburn 21 cover star Olivier Le Quellec on his wonderful BSA Trackmaster, built by Atelier Chatokhine. Chatokhine has built four or five more replicas of this bike.

That unusual helmet is from Qwart, and is adaptable, the chin piece can be removed, or used like Olivier has, or with a full-chin piece over the top.

DTRA Vintage regular Bon Zorro styling it as usual, with his Lewis Leathers-supported, Tracy-bodied Triumph, white pipes and all!

Ace face and UK ex-pat Huggy Leaver getting a hug from Nick Ashley. Yes, he raced his H-D 45 in shorts. It was his first ever flat track race.

The other side of Huggy's lovely flathead bobber. He is one of the original crew, riding bikes like this, that inspired Dice magazine, which, in turn, inspired and helped create the whole vintage chopper scene that is so very it.

I don't know what the secret ingredient, the X Factor, is, but whatever it is, Nick Ashley has it in spades.

Wheels and Waves attracts riders from all over the world, like Aleksei from The Capital Wheels in Moscow, who drove by van with his Kawasaki W650 tracker. That's a 4600-mile round trip, by the way.

Another neat Triumph twin.

Toshiyuki 'Cheetah' Osawa is pretty new to me, but his bikes are just amazing. He's not afraid to race them either.

Loved Cheetah's style too. Check out the glimpse of engraving on the fork top. He's a great engraver, but has lots of fun with his style. He certainly doesn't take himself too seriously. Visit his website to see what a legend he is. cheetah.cheetah-4ds.under.jp

Special-frame Scout built by Anvil in Italy. It was its first time out and had a lot of teething troubles, but it is a great looking machine. It was allowed to race in the hooligan class even though it has a one-off frame (against Hooligan rules).

The bike is named in honour of the tragic 1920's racer Albert 'Shrimp' Burns click his name to read our post on him.

This is Peter, another Russian, this time from St Petersburg and this time with a much modified Soviet Izh. It was SO LOUD!

Loved this Triumph Triple special, but I'd rather ride it on the road that the track.

There was a big crowd for the racing. It takes place on Friday (promoted from Wednesday previously) and many people make the journey from the event's base in Biarritz, over the border into Spain.

There were a couple of guest riders, including this guy, skateboard legend Steve Caballero, riding one of Krazy Horse's Indian Twins hooligans. The whole surfboard and skate crossover is big at Wheels and Waves.

He's an MX rider and has raced hooligans before...

Indian's Steve Cain took these shots of Cab's practice start. You can see how dry the track had become.

Cab's whisky throttle and his both feet off the pegs start style...

...saw the tail start...

...to wag the dog. He should read Johnny Lewis's guide to getting the holeshot in Sideburn 21.

I was racing a Krazy Horse Hooligan too, but I didn't search out any photos. I made the main, but had a midfield finish in a race won by Leah Tokelove... Thanks to Indian and Krazy Horse for the opportunity.

Caylee Hankins was one of a few DTRA regulars who made it down to El Rollo to race, along with Leah, Dimitri Coste, Brad Hardman, James Smith, James Kingdom of Kicks, Jonathan Falkman and Hubert Bastie.

Caylee was asked to ride Hedon helmet's two-stroke. It broke down (just like it had at SnowQuake), but she managed to get a ride on this Montesa and put it on the podium!

This was the result of a crash in the Hooligan heat, right in front of me, that took out Jonathan Falkman. This Scout was ridden by Nick from Young Guns in Switzerland. Look at the end of the handlebar! He was very upset to have taken out Jonathan, who had driven all the way from Sweden to race. Nick turned up with beers to apologise and Jonathan took it very well. It was clumsy but not mean.

There was a minibike race. Gary from Mona Build came all the way from Texas with two of these neat Monkey combos, one for himself, one for the El Solitario crew to race.

I also got a chance to ride the Indian FTR750 again on track on my own. I was more nervous that had been for a long time. $50,000 bike + big crowd + sketchy track + peer pressure. But this bike is the best flat tracker every built and within a couple of laps I was riding in what cushion there was, trying to make the bike move about...

Yep, I got pretty comfortable with it. I love this bike.

Thanks again to Indian for all they're doing for amateur and pro flat track in the US, UK and Europe. Thanks To Steve Cain for these shots.

Dave Bevan travelled down to Wheels and Waves with me in Anthony Brown's wonderful camper van. Dave slept rough, outside the van on the floor with a Mexican blanket, dropped acid (unbeknown to me or Anthony) at El Rollo and wrote about the experience for us. Steve Larder did the illustrations. It's quite a tale and you can read it all in Sideburn 34.

#WheelsandWaves #Ossa #Spain #KrazyHorse #Indian #IndianFTR750 #Megapost #MerryMichau #Beta #Twostroke #Bultaco #Chatokhine #BonZorro #VintageDTRA #Triumph #Vintageflattrack #LewisLeathers #Anvil #SteveCaballero #CayleeHankins #Montesa #Sidecar #Sideburn34