The Ulster Fry guide to the North West 200


Norn Iron’s greatest sporting social gathering, the North West 200, is up and running again.

In many ways the sporting equivalent of the Balmoral Show, a place where people with mad accents can gather to stand in the rain and  drink beer in a field.

The mixture of petrolhead and culchie cultures must be difficult for outsiders to understand, so here’s another etiquette guide to get you through it.

What to wear

Leather. Leather everything – even socks. If for some reason you can’t manage leather, make sure you’re wearing a jacket or T-Shirt advertising some oil company, spark plugs or that Monster energy drink. Wearing a non-motoring related item will result in expulsion from the event. Women should reveal as much diddy as possible, especially when presenting prizes. Sideburns, for both sexes.


Where to stay

Camp sites are best as you can literally step outside your tent for a slash. Ideally you should sleep in a leather sleeping bag inside a leather tent, lit only by a leather torch. Alternatively bring a 1973 camper van and fill it with beer, then sleep outside in a leather tent.

What to say

  • “Jays thon boy is goin’ at a quare rate.”
  • “Yeoooooo” (when prizes are awarded, or when some boy goes fast roun’ a bend”)
  • “Suckin’ deisel”
  • “Keep er lit”

What not say

  • “This is a disgrace, I have to get to my work”.
  • Anything about the environment.
  • Anything about danger, noise or banning it.

What to drive

A motorcycle, obviously, although a truck is a good secondary option. Vans with things like “Keep er Lit” in the windows and your name on the side.

What to eat

Burgers, basically. A seasoned racegoer soon learns that you can waste a lot of valuable drinking time queueing at burger vans, so barbeques are an excellent alternative which allow easy access to your beer stash. However it doesn’t really matter, for whatever you eat will give you the shits. Drink lots of beer to avoid hydration.



Just like Balmoral, politicians love the North West, particularly the DUP. You’re unlikely to bump into any if you stay in your field drinking beer but you should remain vigilant at all times. Here Ian Paisley Jr and Arlene Foster demonstrate how to touch a motorbike.