Our Bali version of the Swank Rally.

We ran the tropical version of the Deus Swank Rally today and it was nothing short of a blistering success. More than 50 riders from around the globe have descended onto Bali for this our seventh iteration of the Deus Slidetoberfest. The Swank is something our Italian cousins dreamed up. It’s a time trial rally-esque thing where you click a stop watch on which is tied to a helmet mounted on a drum and drop the clutch and head off. When you get back around you click it off and like any rally, and there’s your time. The riders are let off in one minute intervals. ish… Well of course we had to put our own spin on the event teaming up with Honda Indonesia, who gave us four CRF 250’s to rip apart and build back up again. So, we did. In record time, no less. With just over a month to do it, we turned the ugly ducklings into two wheeled beauties. Big thanks go to Arwin, Koko and the rest of the Bengkel Boys. Outstanding job. The bikes that came out are jaw droppers, though there are now a lot of repairs needed after today’s bashing. Two of the bikes have a vintage spin, one is in a scrambler style and the last with a military green colour scheme and an enduro feel. Next box needing ticking was the track. Whatever we came up with had to be doable but also needed to be a challenge and a whole lot of fun. We placed our start where we will do the motor cross tomorrow. We used the first few turns of the Tibah MX track, a slice through the top bank on the third turn sent riders over the top and down into a trough, spewing them back on the other side of the MX track where we commandeered a jump before pushing them out onto a cow path, between some trees and onto the beach. People love to ride the beach. We love to ride the beach. Just along the tide line the sand is a pleasure. You experience an easy rider moment. You can almost hear your own theme music playing. This wasn’t exactly like that. The further you move back up the beach towards the trees, the sand is dry, loose and you can bury a front wheel before you can say Pina colada. If you’re the third guy to race it is a joy to plough through. If you’re the thirtieth it’s knee deep in chewed up, rutted, fluffy sand. That’s just hard work on both man and machine. There was some water we put in the rider’s way, perfect for them to fly through, or submerge and some inclines both up and down. We had something for the whole family out there. There was even a Bali cow tethered to a tree chewing its cud and watching us foolish humans fly past. We wound through half the horde of riders before letting the ladies take some the vintage DT’s and GL Pro’s out for a spin. They gave as good as it gets. Better than a lot of the blokes, looking elegant and determined and enrapturing the crowd to cheer and call them on. Some of the BK boys had brought their VMX bikes down from Java and they too got out there amongst it. It was fabulous to witness these guys pushing their machines harder and faster. They started all together, preferring the friendly rivalry rather than the one minute separation. From a spectator point of view, it was a hell of a lot more fun, especially watching them trying to navigate the deep beach sand below the tents. And then it was over, the day left us like the moisture we were imbibing to counteract the hot day sun. But what a beach load full of amusement we had. It’s new on the card this year but this is one event that is not going anywhere soon. Time to start planning our next.   Words by Ano Images by Keli, Adi, Harry, Giang, Bearoll