Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Monday June 1st 2020

Monday, June 1st, 2020

Last week, we reported on our day out with Steve Howland from Beta Canada, and of course I was out on a Beta 200, but while I have never had any issues starting these - I made the mistake of wearing one of my big Wulf knee braces on my left knee as well as my really bad right knee. - The reason it was a mistake, was because it restricted my movement when trying to get my boot high enough ( being a short guy) to kick it over when on flat ground. Just a little thing, but when your energy level is low, this can be a real pain. ( How I longed for the magic button on my TRS)  -see here >http://www.trial-club.com/webzine-trial/actualites/2020/presentation-trrs-raga-avec-demarreur-electrique/ The route I took Steve was around 25 km - the same one we used in the 25th running of the Outlaw.

Here is a shot of Steve riding the one we called Laggan Rocks. - He did well and managed a “Clean” after a couple of tries.
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This  should have been TT week in the Isle of Man, but of course this exciting event has been cancelled like everything else.
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I didn’t get much done yesterday, as I started watching “The Americans” on TV a series that was run continuous for the day - very captivating, all about spies.
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video link …… https://shop.iomtt.com/prd5546/On-Bike-TT-Experience-1-DVD

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A visitor in the back yard this morning - this is the 2nd time we have seen him - he’s a BIG one.

Sunday May 31st 2020

Sunday, May 31st, 2020

Looking at this pic from the 1930’s, you might think it’s a hill climb event, but no it’s  a “Scramble”
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This one is a shot of Kevin Smith from a few years back practicing at Blackfoot Park in Calgary on his Outlaw Beta.
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video >>>>> https://www.dukevideo.

and another one
youtube.com ‘SCRAMBLE’ A 1981 Motocross film by Syd Pearman A 1981 look at the sport of scrambling and motocross. Filmed on 16mm film When we decided back in 1980, that we would like to make a film about scrambling we…

And for all the people that like to hear the scream of a 2 stroke road racer - check this out

https://bit.ly/2xN3ccq

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Two Brothers - but who are they?
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Well we missed the worst of the big storm yesterday up in the North end of the Valley - but the weather is looking pretty gloomy out the office window this morning.  Looks like a good day to work in the shop and sort some orders for shipping, on this last day of the month.

The correct answer to the Quiz from yesterday - Johnny Brittain - he rode Royal Enfield for most of his career  - Royal Enfield weer also the first Factory to introduce “Swing Arm” rear suspension a a competition bike.  —-Brett Clark guessed correctly.
more news when it happens >>

Saturday May 29th 2020

Saturday, May 30th, 2020

Who recognizes this great rider who sadly passed away in 2019?
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Tony Allen ( seen leading here) posted to say how much he misses the Vernon races - Hopefully they will be happening sooner than later. Great terrain in this area.
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Looking ahead to both the future of Motorcycle sport and in particular  “Trials”  - I wonder where things will go in the next 5-10 years? -  Obviously, the Pandemic will have taken many buyers out of the market, because of economic reasons. - But how about the Land issues plus the Social aspect ?
We have seen a lot of changes in the World of Trials in the past few years - but this has not improved Sales of new machines, - Could this be that the general public are getting the wrong idea about what Motorcycle Trials are all about?

Every day, we see video posts on FB of Trials riders hopping from rock to rock !!!! - Does this inspire a viewer to dash out and buy a Trials bike ? - Obviously not.  - In Europe the biggest growth in Motorcycle Trials, has been in the Vintage events - in other words - old guys with the money, fixing up old bikes to ride stuff they used to ride.

So where do we go from here?   - I know  some of the young Experts will say - Oh the old guy has got it all wrong - he just isn’t up to the modern times.  - But consider this - most of the recent Trials in Canada, have only had maybe 3-4 Expert  riders - most of them sponsored. - so the event organizer, has to spend a lot of time catering to the smallest rider entry. Trying to “Get it right” for all abilities, is a real challenge, and one that demands a tremendous amount of experience.
How many Trials bikes do you think get sold by Trials dealers at full retail to Expert Trials riders? easy answer to that one. - zero.
Having been in the Motorcycle Industry for some 40 years -and have been riding now for 65 years - I do have a bit of a grasp on what is going on - and try to help when I can, but you only learn by your mistakes, and believe me we ALL make mistakes, when setting up Trials events.
However, I see the World of Trials at a bit of a Cross Roads today. - a lot of the young guys want to hop and bop around a parking lot  ( watched by spectators) while the people who phone me asking about Trial’s - all want to simply get out in the woods riding a bike that is very mellow.  - ( remember Trials bike sales were huge when they came with a seat!!)
- We tend to spend a lot of time simply chatting about what the sport is all about   and that in my opinion is the future. - Just  to get people  to try a “Trials bike” and enjoy a day out in the woods - there are models to suit every age and ability, and some are now available with electric start - it’s all about having fun, and it’s a great family sport.
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Video for today >>  TT3D: Closer to the Edge

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Friday May 29th 2020

Friday, May 29th, 2020

Sometimes the best part of any ride, is reaching that high peak, where you can sit down, relax and simply enjoy the moment. - This pic taken in Europe before the Pandemic.

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Here’s a thought - how many young guys - under 20, do you know who have saved up their money to buy a new or used Dirt bike? - I know that I can’t remember ever selling a Trials bike to anybody in this age group that wasn’t paid for by parents.
Back in my day, we scraped up and saved until we could afford a down-payment, ( called Hire-Purchase in the UK)  -

This being the case, is it any wonder that the biggest rider group is in the 40 plus range?

Even if we consider that parents buy their kids new mini-bikes  to encourage them - few kids ever graduate to the adult ranks with bikes they have bought themselves.

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Here is a pic of Ross - Our #1 Trials Master for the Outlaw Trials at Scotch Creek - this pic taken a few years ago when we delivered another new Beta to him ( There have been several since then)

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Thursday I met up with Steve Howland the Beta Canada boss at Summerland to go for a ride around the Outlaw loop - Sammy was unable to come because of prior commitments - But Steve and I had a really good time out in the back country. - Although I don’t ride sections anymore, I was able to show Steve a lot of the ones we have used in the past and he did really well - sitting on the back deck with a cool one later in the afternoon Babsy asked me how he did  ! ( Steve was on the other side in the lounger) I said perhaps 300% better than 4 years ago !! - but to be fair even back then Steve rode the Evo 300 4T very well.

To have the Boss of any Trials Importer, take the time to spend time with a dealer and listen to how things are in the market, is  huge - but also smart.  - Only by listening to what is happening at the grass roots level, can any factory succeed. -

When we sat on the deck - I got into some stories about my Yamaha days, but one story I didn’t tell, was when I was summoned to a dinner with the Japanese staff while in Japan in 1976. - they were all very polite and wanted to know about my idea on a rear chain tensioner for the IT Enduro bikes. - Back in Canada, my Walt Healy Yamaha YZ 250 had become the basis for the new upcoming IT series, so I guess they must have figured I was some kind of smart dude (wrong)

- Anyway as I said they were all very polite - dressed in suits - so I drew out my idea on a  table napkin. - guess what - this was exactly what was on the later IT and YZ models. - And all I got out of it was a couple of drinks !! but that was OK with me.

This is a pic of Beta Steve on a rock step - He practiced this a few times and learned a lot. - The bike is a 2020 Evo 200.  Check with me if you are in the market for one, they really are amazing.
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Thursday May 28th 2020

Thursday, May 28th, 2020

A blast from the past - me “Scrambling” back in 1956. - the bike is a 197cc James Cotswold, which I rode to the meeting and used as everyday transportation.
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The latest issue of  “On the Pegs”  is now available in digital form, and has some interesting stuff in it - A good article on Kirk Mayfield from the States and his life in Trials, over quite a span, including riding a Factory Yamaha at the Scottish. - Also an interview with Dougie, all good reading. ( google it)

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video for those that like road racing  and scrambling, & Trials
Road Racing

https://bit.ly/3eEmDp4

VETO ( Vintage English Trials Organization)

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We got a call from Guy Smeeth of the CPTA yesterday, telling me that they are considering holding the Team Squid/Outlaw Trial in July, and asking my thoughts. - Obviously the only sensible thing to do at the moment, is take things as they come, and hopefully another month will tell us if this might be possible. -

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Today - I will be heading to Summerland to meet up with Team Beta - I took Beta Boss Steve Howland there in 2016 and he really loved it so he wants to go again - Sammy will also join us., and may remember some of the sections I showed him when he first came to Canada. ( Some big stuff)
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I noticed a video of Jordi ( in Spanish) of him showing off some of the gear he wore in his prime - including the Alpine Star “No Stop” boots - that reminded me of our experience with the product. -

While we sold a lot of these in the early 90’s - they proved to be a real problem, with 12 pair falling apart and customers not happy - we contacted the Company ( Through the Canadian Importer and our friend out of Calgary)  but they said there was nothing they could do. - ( We took all the boots back and replaced with Gaerne)
This was of course like showing a red flag to a bull, and I wasted no time in drafting up a letter ( no CP’s back then) Explaining that if we did not receive satisfaction, a copy of this letter which was very specific and included pics - would be sent to every Motorcycle Publication in Europe and North America.  -

Of course they then said they would replace them - However I was not interested in getting any more of the same crap, so  I agreed to take the MX Tech Boots in exchange, which I then wholesaled to my dealer network, to get my money back.

Suffice to say  that I have never sold any Alpine Star products since ( I don’t care how good they are these days) - Bullshit is Bullshit and Customer satisfaction rules.

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This is a pic of Shane Cook - Dad of Jake Cook, who we sponsored back a few years - never saw Shane ride but Jake did well although he seems to have dropped out of the sport these days - He might still be living/working in Ft Mac.   - Seems the pic was taken in Spain many years ago, looks like a pretty steep climb.
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Wednesday May 27th 2020

Wednesday, May 27th, 2020

Here is an unusual pic for me to post on a Motorcycle  blog - but there is a reason - the Photo is by Pete Arnell from Cochrane Alberta, and at one time a very good Trials rider.  - I haven’t seen Pete for decades and did not know that he was such a great ( and I mean great) Photographer.  The pics he has recently posted on FB of Wildlife are spectacular.
No photo description available.

Still on Canadian News >
youtube.com Trial World Championship 1989 (Round 5 Canada) On Sunday June 4th, 1989 the small town of Tweed, Ontario, Canada hosted the Trial World Championship 1989. The event was co-run by the Amateur Trials Associ…

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While I was out today - working on a practice section we plan on calling “Hully Gully”  over on the Westside - Stan called, with the correct answer to my latest quiz - The guy in the pic is Ralf Venables- a very well known contributor to the motorcycle press back in the day.
Although he wasn’t the first ( one correct answer came from the UK) - I’m sorry I missed his call - Obviously we are all sad missing getting together for our Trials events and Camp outs - but it’s nice that many people remember to phone and Babsy really enjoys talking to the gang, as has been pretty much house-bound for over two months.
While many riders have stayed home - others have been out clearing trails - staying “Distant”  - This is what I’ve been doing - just getting out the odd time, for some exercise and fresh air - as the years go by, I find I tend to by-pass a lot of big “Ups” - where a malfunction could be a disaster at my age - especially during this time. -

However - there is one climb over at “Roy’s place - that I like to zip up, and today on the Evo 200 in 3rd -  was just what I needed to give me a bit of spark !! - in fact I just had to go around and do it again.
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We have Beta Boss Steve Howland coming into town today and he wants me to take him out on the Trials bike - I will let you know  if and how this turns out.
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Quiz for today - Anybody recognize anybody ??

Tuesday May 26th 2020

Tuesday, May 26th, 2020

Here is a great pic of our buddy Pat (Paddy) Horan up high in the Mountains on the big BMW - As you will see, he is holding up one of our tool belts which he has had for many years.

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And for those that like crash pics & videos - check this out >>
https://www.facebook.com/Tiendabiker/videos/285820569103703/ 😲

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‘Sammy has been on a West Coast Road trip with Beta Canada Boss Steve Howland- having an absolute blast riding -Snow bikes - Enduro and Trials bikes - all Beta of course!!
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Experts only riding this stuff at Squamish -  Canadian Champ Alex Walton (TRS) shows how. ( Only the young and Brave do this)

And we also have some great views in the Okanagan - here is a nice shot by Emily Roberts of Motorcycle Mojo Magazine
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More news as it happens >>

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Monday May 25th 2020

Monday, May 25th, 2020

A couple of weeks ago - Dave Johnston phoned me, but I was out - As this  report says, he was the observer on the section where the great Gordon Jackson lost his only point back in 1961 at the Scottish. - I knew David when I lived in Calgary and he did visit us once, back a few years at a time when he was working for Reynold Chains. - Although he was never involved too much in the Canadian Trials scene as a rider, ( As I recall)  he did have a Montesa Dealership for a while in Calgary, and of course being Scottish he has a real understanding about Trials and the SSDT - maybe he will call me back one day. - This is a  pic of the article than was in the 100 year SSDT program, which John Dearie kindly brought back for me. -
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John Shirt posted this Eric Kitchen photo of him taking a dive at the Scottish - He said it was late in the week and he was dead tired, I’m sure we have all had “Oh Shit” moments like this.

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So how was ‘Your” weekend - did you get out riding ? -  Once again we stayed home, but there are quite a lot of pics being posted on FB of people out in the mountains ( some not doing much  Social Distancing)

We have seen pics from the UK showing garbage everywhere, outside fast food places, I guess it’s the same all over these days - a total lack of respect for anybody and everything. -  very sad state of affairs.
========================================>And now for some video >>>

https://silodrome.com/documentary-stanley-woods/

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So here is a rather unusual pic of  a Great guy - But can anybody name the other famous onlooker with his mouth wide open ??  -Hint he wrote a regular column for the Motorcycle Press in the UK.
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Sunday May 24th 2020

Saturday, May 23rd, 2020

This is an old pic fro the 1960’s and shows riders all waiting to tackle a section in the Victory Trial, which was always held quite close to where I lived in the UK. - It was obviously a very muddy and difficult Trial causing all the riders to “Bunch up” ( Back then you usually started one per minute as I recall)  there are quite a few of famous names in that group - let me know if you recognize anyone!! ( The “Works riders always pushed their way to the front of the queue.) You will notice only one rider wearing a helmet,  but who is it?

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In 1975 Yamaha developed the first Mono Trials bike - called the “Cantalever”  - While it was very successful, with Mick winning the Scottish - the Factory went back to the twin shock set up seen here, which is the bike Mick brought to our Canadian World round. - While there have been many wise comments posted about the fact that this was done to keep the design and it’s success, “Secret” from other Japanese Factories. - The truth is that the shock used from the YZ model - was very long and did not work well at slow speed, plus the weight was high under the tank, not ideal for Trials competition. - Yes the bike was ahead of it’s time, with a “Pumper” carb from a snowmobile and other trick parts, but for a production model, - the Factory planned 4 years ahead., and the projected market and sales numbers, were a big factor. -

How do I know this? Well as most people are aware, I worked for Yamaha Canada from 1973-1984, and because of my involvement with the Competition dept, and the Promotion of Trials, I was able to chat to Mick about some of these “Secrets”.
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We hope that you are all enjoying this “Sunday Preview”

Saturday May 23rd 2020

Saturday, May 23rd, 2020

Coming soon !!

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Somebody emailed today asking when the next big  event would be happening - Well !  This will be be June 1st for a lot of guys in Vernon, when the main Barber Shop re-opens !!!

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Another dreary morning out there, but supposed to clear up tomorrow !!  - Although a few business places are starting to open up - some will not recover from this Pandemic - and I venture to say I doubt things will ever get back to “Normal”

Over in the UK it’s a Bank Holiday weekend. but everything is still in a “Lock-down” - I even got an email from a Beta owner who was looking for info from me, as John Lampkin is shut, until August. ( He says)

We did get a phone call from Martin ( Lucas) and that was nice, a very long chat to discuss the current situation, and like us, both he and Julie,  have stayed close to home in Celista for the past couple of months.
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And just to cheer everybody up - here is a funny pic that showed up on FB - not sure if it’s photo-shopped but still neat.
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