I did the 2022 edition of the Race the Waves beach race for the first time on my ’78 Bultaco Sherpa, and you can read about that event in the link at the bottom of this post. Such was the fun, I also signed up for the 2023 event as soon as entry applications were opened up. This post is more ‘images than words’ and with a bit of ‘bike prep’ advice thrown in at the end for good measure. So, following on from the ‘22 event, Paul Garbutt of Backfire Promotions and his organising team did a great job ensuring the 2023 event worked amazingly for both participants and spectators, so thanks to them for making it happen🙏

One guarantee of being able to look back on the event is through images that are taken of the action. Whilst the racers are actually doing ‘the participating’, there are (fortunately) some really great photographers attending who share the same beach race passion, and crucially, manage to capture it in some atmospheric images to preserve and share the fun.

Anyway, here’s a pictorial walk through from my own camera lens perspective AND why you might want to be there in 2024😉

The weather was waaaaaaay better than predicted. Fortunately 👍
Anything goes at a beach race😉. The ridiculously fast Vespa in 2022 wasn’t there this year, although that number 38 speedway bike was uncatchable.
The cars are generally what attracts the spectators to the event as they provide interest to a broader group of people.
Start line organisation and pre-run excitement/anticipation
If you can’t decide what colour to paint your beach racer, you can always cover it in tartan fabric👍
If I look pleased, it’s cos’ I am, and I’m having fun!

And finally, tell anyone who looks at your bike and gives it a compliment due to it’s great condition, rarity, cost etc etc, that you’re going to spend two days thrashing it up a beach by the North Sea, and they’ll likely say “But why would you do that? You will ruin it!”. I guess that if your bike gets covered in sand, salt, water, hit with stones kicked up from another bike etc, every day, without special maintenance and cleaning, it will be ruined. Forever. Fact! However, it is possible to do an event like a beach race if some basic and proven ‘before and after’ work is carried out, so here’s what I do:

Before 1: Grease thoroughly any places that need to keep salt, sand and water out. This are locations like the headset bearings, swinging arm and wheel bearings etc.

Before 2: Make sure nothing other than fuel and air can get into the engine through the airbox.

Before 3: Spray anything that is either chrome plated, bare aluminium or unpainted metal with WD40 or something like it.

Before 4: Oil the drive chain really well and with ‘wet lube’, not ‘dry lube’.

Before 5: Ensure that the fuel spout on your jerry can is kept in a bag so that no sand or stuff can get in it and then be transferred into the fuel tank and engine when refuelling the bike.

After 1: Using a hose pipe or very gentle power washer, clean all of the bike with cold water only. No detergent. No warm water, as this makes the salt congeal in places you don’t want it.

After 2: Wipe the bike down carefully to dry it and then brush off any sand that will still be on the bike in those ‘hard-to-get-at-places’.

After 3: Take the grease off carefully so that you also remove the sand that is stuck to the grease.

After 4: Clean the air filter and drive chain really well like you would do as part of regular maintenance.

After 5: Clean and polish anything that is either chrome plated, bare aluminium or unpainted metal with WD40 and/or polish.

I’ve done the beach race for two years running now with my Bultaco and I’ve not had any beach-related issues with it following all of the above, so I can’t wait to sign up for the 2024 event.

This photo sums up the whole experience for me

Here’s the link to my first post https://diaryofamotorcyclingnobody.com/bultaco-on-the-beach-🏖/

Check out Backfire Promotions here https://www.backfirepromotions.com