Wheels & Waves - Classic Videos Look Back At The Motorcycle Rally

The motorcycle event may not be of size of the rallies which enjoy the titles of Sturgis or Daytona, but in Europe and certainly among a particular style of riders, Wheels and Waves is considered the biker event to attend.

If we’ve peaked your interest, the bad news is it just happened a few weeks ago, leaving a year until it takes place again. There is good news however, as it is becoming a cult event in the motorcycle world many well-known names attended and produced some very nice videos.

Most recently, the Wheels & Waves Festival took place June 8 to 12, 2016 in Biarritz on the French Atlantic coast. The event started in 2012 by the local Southsiders Motorcycle Club and became one the hottest hangouts of the new custom scene within a very short period of time.

Clutch and Chrome first stumbled across this event through one of our video picks. By clicking here and then there and then viola, we found ourselves at a French Café Racer motorcycle rally.

The organizers not only love motorcycles but also surfing, hence the choice of venue.

As we mentioned, the event is held in Biarritz, a luxurious seaside town in southwestern France. It’s become the epitome of a unique type of motorcycle culture in only five years. Festival-goers celebrate a special feeling of freedom which goes beyond the conventions of everyday life.

The setting is laid back and the atmosphere characterized by creativity, individuality and mutual respect. Last year alone, around 10,000 visitors flocked to the Cite l’Ocean on the beach of Biarritz which is also the centerpiece of the festival. Wheels & Waves offers an exciting program including surf competition, art exhibitions, sprint races and ride-aways across the Spanish border.

You can’t have such a high-profile event featuring café-racers and think Triumph Motorcycles would miss out. Why would they? It’s just a trip through the chunnel and incredible ride through French countryside!

Not to rub salt into our reader’s biker wounds, but 2016 saw everyone turning up for the Wheels & Waves Festival. Seriously, we have it on good authority they were talking about you!

Just to prove our point about well-known motorcycle names joining in the fun, Yamaha brought in what appears to be every model in their Sport Heritage motorcycle line-up for their third visit to Wheels & Waves.

While the event was being held in a renowned part of France, legendary American motorcycle manufacturer was there in all its celebratory swagger. Harley-Davidson considered it the place to be in June when the 2016 Custom King winner was revealed to the on-looking crowds.

As well as the artsy images and pounding rock track, viewers of this video can see a winning custom bike as well as Thor Drake from See See Motorcycles racing a Mert Lawwill tribute bike at the El Rollo flat track event.

But it wasn’t just motorcycle manufacturers in attendance. Sunglasses manufacturer, Electric enjoyed the Wheels & Waves Festival producing one the better of the featured videos to highlight the surfing aspect of the vent. Not surprising really, the company designs and markets an extensive line of award winning sunglasses made in Italy, designed and tested in California’s rich natural resourced landscapes.

We could point our readers to one video after another as a quick search on youtube produced three pages of produced videos from this year’s event alone. While we won’t list them all in this article, they can be found here.

Our last video pick takes us back to a motorcycle manufacturer. Regardless of why riders attended, the event is about the celebration of motorcycles. BMW Motorrad took this their biker hearts and produced a concept motorcycle for the event which was inspired by the Wheels & Waves Festival.

Inspired by the past Paris-Dakar Rally heroes and their victorious BMW machines, BMW Motorrad is showing a completely new interpretation of the BMW R nineT perfectly in line the with spirit of the Wheels & Waves Festival. Its name: the BMW Motorrad Concept Lac Rose.

“Since it was first introduced on the market, the BMW R nineT has become a popular bike for customizers and finishers as can be seen at Wheels & Waves. This makes us very proud and spurred us on to create something special for this festival, something no one has seen from us yet”, says Edgard Heinrich, Head of Design at BMW Motorrad explaining the background of the concept bike. “The BMW Motorrad Concept Lac Rose is our laid-back and very individual interpretation of the bike that won the Paris-Dakar Rally in 1985 - fully in line with the spirit of Wheels & Waves and its visitors. It puts the BMW R nineT into an exciting new context and shows what passion for our brand heritage, imagination and a few modifications can achieve.”

Lac Rose is the French name of the rose-colored Retba salt lake, located 35 km North East of Dakar and less than one kilometer from the Atlantic coast. The legendary Paris-Dakar rally ended here following the many strenuous stages through the desert. The podium is located right at the lakeside and the winners receive their awards amid the crowd of enthusiastic fans. The BMW factory machines, modified by the company HPN, rode to victory three times in a row in the middle of the 80s. Gaston Rahier took the third win in 1985 with start number 101.

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Clutch and Chrome covers every aspect of the motorcycle lifestyle. Daily news, in-depth articles, reviews and anything that would interest a rider.


We not only produce our own motorcycle related videos but scour the internet to bring our readers the latest, greatest two-wheeled hits online.

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