WHEELS & WAVES 2016: EL ROLLO - El Solitario


EL ROLLO® Flat Track Race ignited the start of this years Wheels & Waves. On the Wednesday all racers were ready at the Oria Lasarte Hippodrome on the outskirts of the posh city of San Sebastian. The space was so beautiful and luxurious that we felt reminiscences of the races in Ascott, something very different to the usual aspect of a flat track race. On that  morning, the 1/4 Mile short track (which is more or less  400m) was perfect and race ready. Days before the Southsiders in collaboration with Sideburn, Fly Group and the Kenny Noyes Flat Track School, had done an incredible job to make it safe, smooth and tight.

el solitario wheels waves rolloWheels & Waves Chief, Vincent Prat, kicking our exhausted Indian before the last and fatal heat

EL-SOLITARIO-WHEELS-WAVES-EL-ROLLO-Priceless times! Yours truly, Ola Stenegard & Roland Sands. Modern hillbilly attitude in San Sebastian

The paddock, formed by graciously scattered hay bales, and its cheeky inhabitants, was formed of the substances moto-dreams are made of. The succession of motorized gremlins, metisse and cross breeds was equally bizarre as rad. In the track, a well balanced amalgam of PRO Riders and enthusiasts, all elbows up and throttles open wide, gave their best to achieve awesome super natural vibes and an almighty dusty path.


EL-SOLITARIO-WHEELS-WAVES-EL-ROLLO-Frank Chathokine’s Triumph followed closely by Roland Sands on the humongous Indian and loosing the interior to the awesome Bultaco Astro of Ferran Mas

Roland Sands in the 500 lb. Super Hooligan Indian hammering while it looked as he was coasting, probably because of his Solitario Rascal Leather Pants  >>>>> AWOOOOOOOO


EL-SOLITARIO-WHEELS-WAVES-EL-ROLLO-Thor Drake & the Shaw Speed Sportster were pining it on the track getting a 2nd place in the final

El Solitario along the boys at Classic Co. were launching two of the coolest bikes we’ve come out with so far. Two Flat Track Racers, as antagonist as black & white, descended our van for the crowd’s delight. A 1937 Indian Sport Scout with many battle scars and a disruptive creature, like out from the darkest future times, we named E.S. Pluto.

EL-SOLITARIO-WHEELS-WAVES-EL-ROLLO-80 years of grandeur and motorized rebellion separate these 2

el solitario dyneema coverallAt El Rollo we were also testing two new prototypes of El Solitario’s Bonneville Coverall made with Dyneema® fabrics. Dyneema® simply put, is the world’s most durable fabric and is set to transform both the denim and motorcycling industries. Fifteen times stronger than steel and lighter than water, Dyneema® fiber has long been used to moor oilrigs, sail ships, stop bullets and repair humans.  Besides offering unparalleled protection, Dyneema® is also soft, light and thermally conductive – keeping your skin cool in the sweatiest of conditions. And in a hot race day like this it proved to be just fucking awesome! If you want to know more about this exciting technology click HERE!


Only a handful of custom houses in this world would unveil their most precious exercise in a flat track race, and why not, kick the shit out of her alloy bones. At El Solitario we enjoy playing to loose (As only then, we might have a chance to win!) and that’s exactly what we did with our latest sibling. Under the nomenclature E. S. Pluto, with horn, lights and blinkers only in disguise behind a lexan number plate, our custom Street Legal Zaeta did its first miles on a race track and we are very proud of this.




EL-SOLITARIO-WHEELS-WAVES-EL-ROLLO-Classic Co Mauro imposing a tough instruction, for a bike that had never seen the light before

Our Zaeta, as E.S.  folklore dictates >> was finished last minute the night before at El Solitario Ranch, in Arcangues (FR), and then photographed in the garden till almost dawn, in prevision (Old wolf knows), of what could happen at the track the next day… Her motor had barely ever been started before the flag dropped, not to mention, that no one had ever tested before, the phenomenal front end that Zaeta &, rocket scientist, Guilio Bernadelle had designed and machined for us, just a few weeks before. How would it handle? This was the million dollar question, but no one had a clue…

Killer eyes. Our dearest partner Mauro Abbadini likes to win and always goes that extra mile to make it happenKiller eyes. Our dearest partner Mauro Abbadini likes to win and always goes that extra mile to make it happen, in the shop or on the track

Just as an example of the ultra tight schedule we were suffering on this build, is worth mentioning that 4 days before race day (!@#) we’d received the front shock from OHLINS, and there was a mistake. The supplied spring could be ideal on a kids pedal car but not on a big boy’s motorcycle. At Classic Co, at the verge of a nervous breakdown, we spent more than 2 hours preloading it, with its diabolique tool, and still was way too soft to handle its minimal weight but couldn’t do anything more…

EL-SOLITARIO-WHEELS-WAVES-EL-ROLLO-Go Takamine, on Fred Blitz SR500 and Nick Heer on the Ex- Bud Ekins Trackmaster Triumph

EL-SOLITARIO-WHEELS-WAVES-EL-ROLLO-Mauro Abbadini on E.S. Pluto and Jamie Robinson on his Ducati Scrambler put a glorious fight till the last lap

EL-SOLITARIO-WHEELS-WAVES-EL-ROLLO-A killer 3rd place on the final onboard our concept Zaeta certainly tasted like Victory!


Regarding our little Indian Racer… Fuck, fuck, fuck! It was a disaster waiting to happen and so it did. Since the very early origins of El Solitario I’ve confirmed my almost pathological impossibility to fix anything and my tragic thrift towards  applying excessive pressure on machines till they explode. Thanks we count with Mauro to defend the Armada and materialize our wildest imaginations, but every now and then, the frantic speeds to which I run things at El Solitario, have fatal consequences. Our dear Redskin Racer was cured and raced by the Dodge Bros in So-Cal in the late nineties. Then in 2008 it was sold to an Indian trader from the UK who later passed it on to our friend Steve, in the Scottish Highlands. Steve gave it shelter for the last 5 years and never really rode it, until we decided to buy it.

E. S. Plata India - 1937 Indian Red Skin RacerE. S. Plata India – 1937 Indian Red Skin Racer

Long story short, the bike arrived to our shop the first week of May. Had no brakes, no compression, an over leaking linkert, a seriously damaged magneto and major problems to keep the oil in its cases. With less than 3 weeks to get it race ready, and not all the knowledge in the world regarding old engines, we did the best we could. Covered it in Silver and new leather hides, got her new Dunlop tires, rebored the cylinders and ordered new Wiseco pistons from the USA. The later arrived 6 days before W&W so this gave us no time to break in the engine. Literally, we pushed it straight from the bench into the van.

Go Takamine on E. S. Plata India, always sharp, rolling with his Solitario Rascal Leather Pants

EL-SOLITARIO-WHEELS-WAVES-EL-ROLLO-Me, myself and my consequences on the lil’ Indian. Sometimes I feel like I should put my balls in ice, on certain occasions, but thats just how it is…

Analyzing events now in cool mode, I can see how lethal the mix was:

Me at the helm + New pistons + 1 liter of oil leak per day + RACE = BOOM!

Do the math and you will easily see that it was inevitable. Anyways, back to the track! After 3 or 4 horrible heats with the bike not working at all, dear Go Takamine worked some magic smoothing the carb, (“Ummm… Linkert is like baby”, he delicately said, while lovingly stroking the beautiful bronze carb). We somehow got it to “kind” of work. It was just then, when I managed to perform two of the best and most glorious laps of my life! Probably too lean I’d say… and BOOM! A small seizure followed by a total loss of compression anticipated the worst… But thats another story… ~!@#$


The last wolf in the pack was our dear E.S. Pico, racing for the first time in his life and having fun, onboard his mother’s original 1975 Montesa Cota 123 which had just came back from the dead. (The bike, not his mother who is in an amazing shape for her age!@#:)


EL-SOLITARIO-WHEELS-WAVES-EL-ROLLO-Seeing our baby make it to the final was already a big feat for us

EL-SOLITARIO-WHEELS-WAVES-EL-ROLLO-Mauro & our Zaeta E.S. Pluto took a phenomenal 3rd after European Champion Marco Belli & Thor Drake from See See Motorcycles

EL-SOLITARIO-WHEELS-WAVES-EL-ROLLO-Winning on a robot made Yamaha must be rad but a well fought 3rd on a hand made Italian UFO tastes better

Thank you to the Southsiders for taking care of us, Zaeta for such an amazing bike to work with, Astromal for the awesome wheel covers, SHOEI, MOTUL, Dyneema, Motogadget, Dainese, Dunlop, PIAA and all the wolf friends that fuel this crazy adventure

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Photography Gonzalo Arroyo©

Next Chronicle: > The ART RIDE® > Stay tuned!

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