Royal Enfield X Wavelength
Louie Le Prevost feeds the five gears of the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650. Holding on to gears meant the custom-fitted 2-1 exhaust beefed a 1960s baritone through ancient, blurred pine trees of the Medoc Regional Natural Parc. With the BAAK tiny speedo needling towards the magic ton, the barber, surfer, motorcycle enthusiast, and former military machine fitter, eased off the throttle and pointed his bike, and his thoughts to the Biarritz Wheels and Waves Festival. But before we talk about the destination, we need to talk about the journey. We need to talk about the Beach Hopper project.
In 2021, Wavelength and Royal Enfield pillioned up at the Drive-in Cinema for the Beach Hopper ride out. 100 bikes turned up to cruise along the stunning Cornish coastline. This year the Beach Hopper project set out to demonstrate how anyone, no matter their mechanical skill level, can easily modify their bikes. A vast array of bolt-on custom options from various companies are available straight out of the box.
We were given a box-fresh Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and a stack of partners provided everything from exhausts to board racks, to transform the modern classic into a tarmac munching, head-turning, ear-splitting surf mobile. We’d do the build at the Spring Classic Festival and ride to the annual Wheels and Waves festival. Cornish based Louie Le Prevost, who was barbering in the Moto paddock at the Spring Classic with Uppercut Deluxe, was the obvious test pilot.
The Interceptor 650 rode into Woolacombe a retro roadster, to be transformed into a certified Beach Hopper by the time it left the Spring Classic.
After undoing the fixing bolts and carefully removing the exhaust, a 2 into 1 S&S Exhaust was lined up and fitted with a bit of patience, some sweat, and a slight tap with a rubber hammer. The throatier and meatier sound wasn’t just for the pine trees, on his journey from Cornwall to Biarritz and back, Le Prevost received more compliments about the exhaust than his beard and hair. No small achievement.
BAAK, the Lyon-based creative motorcycle and parts workshop, supplied a prototype Surfboard Rack. Coming to the market soon, the build was insanely simple. After removing the front engine bolt, it was replaced with the front board rack and bolt. The rear left passenger foot peg was then swapped with the rear surf rack. After a quick tighten, the custom-shaped BOS Surfboards Beach Hopper Twin Fin Fish slipped in like an old biker’s hand into his favourite leather glove.
Penzance shaper and friend of Wavelength, Hugh Brockman expertly hand-crafted the twinny, perfectly riffing off of the Interceptor’s retro curves and giving it an all-black spray to boot. A sign of things to come for the Enfield…
BAAK also helped streamline the cockpit with a tiny Daytona speedo. It’s a plug-and-play solution where we reconnected the BAAK wiring harness where the original was unplugged. It added a slick, simple, and retro feel to the dash.
The bike already looked shit hot, but we wanted this Beach Hopper to be a proper showstopper. Enter Image Design Custom, the UK’s leading and legendary custom paint and design house. The prep for those geniuses was a piece of piss. The battery covers were easily removed to reveal a little tool pouch that Enfield supplies with everything you need to work on the bike. Within minutes the petrol tank was removed, easily packed, and ready to paint. IDC did the rest.
All that was left was to strap the ingenious Wingman of the Road Goose tent to the back. This has a fully waterproof 420g rip stop canvas tent, with wing/awning, a high-density foam mattress, and in-built sleeping bag. With this bad boy, our fearless pilot would always have an instant comfy, waterproof, swag to call his home. All there was to do was hit the road.
After a wet Wednesday ride to Plymouth to get the ferry to Brittany, Louie dried off on the boat and quickly met two other riders heading to the WAW. We’ll never know whether it was the tattoos, the leather jackets, or the handlebar moustaches that brought the trio together. On French soil, they set off for Quimper for a continental breakfast, then kept the sea to the right and headed south. Louis detoured at La Roche Sur Yon for dinner and a night with friends who live out in the rural hinterland between La Rochelle and Poitier.
The next morning, he opened up the Beach Hopper on the black tarmac ribbons that ran through the Renoirish fields of green and yellow and reconnected with his new mates on the ferry at Royan. A crossing of the Gironde estuary led to the ride through the Medoc Regional Natural Parc, and eventually a surf check at the surf hub of Lacanau. There were waves, but the pull of the last leg to Biarritz and the Waves and Wheels was too strong.
The warm welcome of Royal Enfield, not to mention the cote de boeuf, cold demi pressions, and the throng of like-minded surf and moto heads meant it was a good call. For over a decade, the festival has mixed motorcycle, surf, skate, music, art, and culture. The goal is to lean on the past and use ‘savoir faire’ to live the present and talk about the future.
On Friday Louie took part in a ride up into the Pyrenees, and the incredible roads and mountain views saw Louis call it the best riding of his life. That it was bookend ended by an epic lunch and a sunset surf on the southern beach breaks of Biarritz made it pure bucket list.
After another surf on Saturday morning, the call was made to ride an hour’s north to Magescq to watch the El Rollo Dirt Track racing. Here everyone from pros to old legendary pensioners raced 80-year-old Harleys at speed on a gnarled track. Not for the faint of heart or soft of bottom. The last night was a celebration of the Beach Hopper project at the WAW village before Louis roared and retraced his steps back through the French countryside to Roscoff and home.
The End Of The Road?
No, way, Jose. Due to a mix of customs red tape and supply chains issues (don’t you just love taking back control) the final stages of the custom build couldn’t be finished before the ride. However, our friends at Bad Winners, the Parisian motorcycle custom workshop known for its bolt-on aftermarket kits, will be working on the front headlight, custom handlebars, rear tail tidy, and new seat so the Beach Hopper is ready for Cornwall this summer.
The Beach Hopper will ride on! This is just the start of something special. Readers, let us know where we should point it next…?