Do, start and keep trying

 . This is the story of a chance meeting.

The Southsiders share many passions, from bikes to surfing, therefore it was only natural that my neighbour Julien who shares the same interests has recently become integrated to the Southsiders’ crew. The Norton that we are showing you today has been a long challenge for me. As a matter of fact it got me thinking as to why do we only see rigids based on Triumphs or BSAs and never on  Commandos? It’s an unanswerable question for me but we are very proud of the finished build

Vincent Prat

words by Julien Azé

 A couple of years ago I went to see my neighbour who was reputed to be an authority on old motorcycles to show him a beach cruiser I had recently bought. We talked,then visited his garage where I saw an old Mercedes,a bettle,Ducati,Moto Guzzi,Norton and a Triton.

For me everything started from meeting Vincent. Then I began to follow the Southsiders blog and attend some events they organised at the shop "Eastside" in Toulouse and at the "The third year party".I then became involved in the first and second W&W.
 During the weekends of the (cold) winter of 2011-2012, I was spontaneously invited to Vincent’s garage. Florent arrived at the same time, with the project of reviving his father’s old Norton : I got involved with the project with Vincent, the thinker, and Florent, a novice like myself: both of us in the role of those carrying out the orders. Slowly, I became familiar with this type of mechanics and despite some periods of inactivity, I made progress. Certainly if Vincent hadn’t put his ideas, his knowledge and his garage at my disposal, I would never have thought to have thrown myself in to the project of acquiring the Norton.

I had bought my 1974 Norton HiRider 850cc a year and a half earlier from  a French importer of English motorcycles destined for the American market. For him this bike, an order that never came off, was incongruous in his stable of flamboyantly new bikes: it was my holy grail.
I came back from a trip in the USA and despite its numerous stylistic faults, this English bike reeked of California!
This Norton came from Baxter Motorcycles in Iowa. Its historical importance was slight, but the style is irreprochable… the previous owner had the ideas, but not the means. I nicknamed him ‘the butcher of Iowa ‘Mechanically the bike was not functional, the front tyre was from a car, the sissy bar was looked like it had been forged by teeth. Mechanically everything had to be redone: Having been thrown in at the deep end I had to develop from a novice into a quasi-expert in Norton Commmandos

Like so many others I would go off driving, break down, repair the problem, find another…. During one and a half years our relationship was up and down: full of joys and despair, numerous frustrations, desire to abandon the project, then start it again. During this time I would visit the Southsiders garage, where I witnessed several other exciting projects: the beautiful realisation of Florent’s Café Racer, the preparation of Vincent’s Triton for Bonneville 2012, the finishing touches for the electrics and last details on the Bobber Triumph of Christophe Canitrot …I realise today that it was that period, so rich in apprenticeships: (mechanics,design, forging, electrics, painting, etc), which pushed me to make my Norton project so much better, and to have such an ambitious goal. Compare a stock version of the HiRider to that which I have accomplished, and you'll see how far I have gone.
Nothing has been  delegated to a subcontractor: everything that has been done on this motorbike, has been done in the garage, and I think I can say that everyone who has set foot in there has particiapated to some extent in the project. Corey Wyatt, who speeded up the process, thanks to his skill and speed at welding and Chaudonnerie;  Frédéric Antoine,, for his talents as a blacksmith; Marcel Galinié, the goldsmith/ mechanic,whose milling and lathework, made a big difference onthe bike, Thierry De Miras for his unerring ear which can detect potentially expensive suspicious noises ,Henry Martinez, for his generous inventory of readily available parts; Benoit Guerry for the quality of his photos, and for sharing each disappointment. Vincent Prat, for time spent in the garage discussing things together, thinking about all possible angles by which to advance the project. And for the final touch, Jerome Gone, who brilliantly adjusted the cable throttle!

Today, it's just pleasure. The bike reacts perfectly to me. The engine runs like clockwork, and its handling on the road lives up to all its promises, with the added bonus of watts à gogo as it accelerates. Several days ago  the guys at Southsiders all took to the road on it in turn and as I saw their collective unanimous smile I said to myself that the project is validated.... !

Photos by Benoit Guerry (studio) and Vincent Prat (action)

Not one but two oil tanks built from stolen urban furniture

Handforged bars

That Cibié Headlamp comes from the 30's thanks to JCBarrois

 Shall we remove that front brake Julien?

Back to the forge, where the bike was born.


Wheels and Waves 2013

Southsiders present: Wheels & Waves - second edition from Douglas Guillot on Vimeo.

Why did we bring together motorcycles and surfing for a second event ?
A question that we are often being asked.
The answer lies in the notion of freedom that is drawn from these two disciplines - and the resulting danger and adrenaline that are two significant and common reactions.
"Riding" is addictive, we are in need of this vital energy.
Wheels and Waves is a unique opportunity for us to gather and share our passions in a stunning region and environment.
We've loved making and living this event, the story is far from over as we imagine new surprises for the next edition.

See you soon!

pourquoi avoir tenté d'associer pour la deuxième fois les motos et le surf ?
c'est une question qui nous est régulièrement posée. La réponse réside dans la notion de liberté
qui se dégage de ces deux disciplines, la mise en danger et l'adrénaline qui en découle sont deux aspects
communs non négligables. Rider est addictif. nous avons besoin de cette énergie vitale.
Wheels and Waves est une occasion unique de nous retrouver et de partager nos passions dans un cadre et une région facinante.
Nous avons aimé construire et vivre cet événement, l'aventure est loin d'être terminée, nous nous devons d'imaginer une suite
toujours plus surprenante, A bientôt!

vincent Prat



After long weeks of waiting, our Wheels and Waves 2013 website is finally online.

You'll find all the necessary participant's information for the event which takes place mid June, but also discover this year's section called "registration" allowing you to sign-up for the two rides (Friday 14 and Saturday 15 June), and to pre-register for meals.

The numbers are limited, so your cooperation will allow us to plan & privilege all registered participants.

A big thank you to all of our partners, without whom this event could not exist.

I would also like to thank the W & W team for their considerable efforts:
Thierry de Miras, Jérome et Valérie Allé, Benoit Guerry, Olivier Prat, Kenny Jacob,Vincent Lassere,
Anik Labreigne, Neil Williams, Phil Lalemant.

Special thanks to Steven Burke for his remarkable graphic design work, and to Marc Steinmetz who developed the website.

Come see it at: Wheels-and-waves.com

Après de longues semaines d'attente, nôtre site Wheels and Waves 2013 est enfin en ligne.
Vous y trouverez toutes les informations utiles pour rejoindre l'événement du mois de Juin, mais aussi cette année une rubrique "enregistrement" vous permettant de vous inscrire non seulementpour les deux rides (Vendredi 14 et Samedi 15 juin), mais aussi de vous inscrire pour les repas.
Leur nombre étant limité, cela nous permet d'évaluer à l'avance le nombre de participants.

Un grand merçi à tous nos partenaires sans lesquels cet événement gratuit ne pourrait exister.
Je tiens aussi à remercier toute l'équipe de travail pour leurs efforts considérables
Thierry de Miras, Jérome et Valérie Allé, Benoit Guerry, Kenny, Olivier Prat Jacob,Vincent Lassere, Anik Labreigne, Neil Williams, Phil Lalemant
Merçi à Steven Burke pour son remarquable Design graphique, et à Marc Steinmetz pour le développement du site.

Rendez vous sur Wheels-and-waves.com



Four Artists at Wheels & Waves

Galerie 13 Avril - 22 Avenue Montjoly - Biarritz Thursday June 13th 7pm

Le photographe New-Yorkais Bill Phelps s’est forgé une carrière de renommée internationale en apportant sa vision artistique au monde de la publicité, et en collaborant avec des magazines de mode telles que Vogue Italie, The New York Times et Interview. Les portraits et paysages shootés par Phelps font de lui un réel poète de la photographie. Egalement féru de motos et propriétaire du Café Moto à Brooklyn, Phelps présentera une série intitulée “Ocean” ou l’on retrouve les éléments phare du Wheels and Waves; l’eau et la moto.

Brooklyn-based photographer Bill Phelps has built an international career working in advertising, and lending his talents to fashion magazines such as Italian Vogue, The New York Times and Interview. He is considered as one of image-making world’s true visual poets for the portraits and landscapes he has shot. Also captivated by motorbikes and owner of the Café Moto in Brooklyn, Phelps will present a series of photographs called “Ocean” in which two of the main elements of the event Wheels and Waves are highlighted; water and motorbikes.

Photographe, réalisateur de long-métrage, de clip et de pub, Alain Duplantier découvre sa passion pour l’image à 13 ans. Il fait ses armes dans des labos et des studios photo, assiste de grands photographes tels que Jean Baptiste Mondino, et enchaine les opportunités de boulot qui se bousculent. Dès 1989, Libération le remarque pour son style très affirmé et lui ouvre ses pages afin d’y réaliser des série de portraits de personnalités de tout bord. Il turbine aux décibels punk rock, il traine dans tous les concerts possibles et inimaginables et photographie des grands noms de la scène rock , parmi lesquelles Lou Reed, Bjork, Brian Jones, Etienne Daho et Bertrand Cantat, qui seront exposées à la Galerie 13 Avril dans le cadre du WHEELS and WAVES.

Photographer, cinematographer and director, Alain Duplantier discovered a passion for image-making at the age of 13. Building his career after assisting many professionals within developing photo studios, he was also the assistant of some big photographers such as Jean Baptiste Mondino. Many opportunities raised to him, before French newspaper Libération got him to shoot a series of portraits of some of the biggest personalities of all kind. As he gets to hang out in the indie punk rock scene, he found himself shooting some of the biggest figures like Bjork, Lou Reed, Brian Jones, Etienne Daho, and Bertrand Cantat. Some to can be witnessed at Galerie 13 Avril at the launch of WHEELS and WAVES.

Influencé par le design, la mode et l’architecture du début du siècle jusqu’aux années 60, l’artiste et surfeur Brian Bent est un homme aux talents multiples. Sa vie et son univers artistique évoluent autour de la sculpture, de la peinture illustrative, du design d’intérieur, de la musique, du surf mais aussi de la contruction automobile et plus particulièrement des vieilles voitures de course. Cette année, Bent nous fait l’honneur de venir exposer des toiles peintes spécialement pour le WHEELS and WAVES, une première exposition en France pour l’artiste Californien.

Self taught and influenced by the mid-century modern period of design, fashion, and architecture, musician, artist and surfer Brian Bent exhibits for the first time in Europe at Wheels & Waves.
It would be so simple to place Brian Bent in a box and say, “Hey look, there’s Brian the painter” or “I just saw Brian Bent the hot rod builder flying down the road in a fresh built jalopy”. It might be easier for the artist to settle on building 1930s style kook-box surfboards or doing his own unique style of screen printing. Focusing on any one might make life a little less complicated for him but that’s not who Brian Bent is. This man does not actually do work with the aim to sell or publish (although he achieves both very well) he just creates as and when the mood and direction takes him. One day a car, the next a collection of prints or some clothes to wear and the next... who knows? Brian Bent’s life is his art and for Wheels and Waves 2013 he brings with him a new set of paintings especially for the show in Biarritz.


Le photographe Espagnol Alberto Garcia Alix débute son travail artistique à la fin des années 70 après la mort du General Franco. Témoin du quotidien, de ses nuits et de ses contours, il dépeint le mouvement culturel de la Movida dans sa pure vérité. La marginalité, la drogue, et le rock and roll en font partie. Malgré la dureté de certains de ses portraits, il n’en capte pas moins une grande poésie. Publié dans de nombreux magazines de mode et reconnu dans le milieu de l’art contemporain, Garcia-Alix est l’un des photographes les plus représentatifs d’une époque, d’un mouvement, d’un pays.

Spanish photographer Alberto Garcia Alix debuted as an artist at the end of the seventies, after Franco passed away. He was witnessing the everydaylife and the underground nights lived by his friends at the time, and despite the true.. and sad life they had, Garcia-Alix managed to share the emotional dimension of it all. Garcia-Alix stands as a true representative of The Movida; that - word - echoeing with sex, drug and rock n roll.