Archive for March, 2011

Saturday March 12th 2011

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

We had a rather unusual customer call yesterday, - from Hawaii !! - Not often we get contacted from that part of the World, and naturally, because of the Tsunami situation, my first question was in regard to that. - However, my 63 year old customer, assured me that everything was sunny and normal. - I wondered if it was the same guy that I supplied some Outlaw riding gear to, back in 1994 - Barry and myself met him at the World Trial in Reno, but it was somebody different, who had just browsed my website.

Another funny call from Jimmy, to first chat about the local avalanche that blocked the highway between Elko and Fernie, and then about one of his customers, who had called regarding his boat that is parked at Jimmy’s waiting to get repaired Not sure if the guy was wanting to pick it up, but Jimmy informed him that he was riding his snowmobile over the top of it this past week, as it’s covered by a snow drift.!!!! - A bit early for towing to the lake I think.

With cabin fever at an all time high right now, I made a trip out to Yankee Flats to check out the snow situation - suffice to say that a look at the gallery will tell the story.

I see that Fujinami has posted a video message on Trials Central regarding the Japanese disaster - Fuji lives in Spain.

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We are not the only ones getting lots of snow, I see the Tomchrasky Trial has been canceled in Inverness Scotland due to heavy snow. - wonder how this will effect “Run Off” for the Six Days?

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Madrid World Indoor tonight - Watch here for results. - At the Nice France Indoor last night - Adam Raga won ahead of Fajardo and Challoner. ( Bou and Caby didn’t ride)

Don’t forget that Clocks go FORWARD tonight !!!!!!

NEWSFLASH ! - Steve Fracy just emailed to say that the Madrid Indoor is on Eurosport tonight (Today for us) and you can get the video (free) by clicking on google search for www.everythingon.tv/ - then click Eurosport 2 - I am watching a bicycle race on (live) right now on my other CP. - hopefully the Trial will be on later. check it out

Friday March 11th 2011

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Japanese people today, after hearing of the devastation caused by the earth-quake, and Tsunami - We visited this area on a couple of trips back in Yamaha days.

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In Other news, the rider numbers are out for the Scottish Six Days, and a call from an excited John Dearie last night confirmed that he will start as number 5, - John will be mounted on a Scorpa, borrowed from his good friend Ian Shedden ( who starts as #3) - the first three riders are all Scottish ( and buddies of Harry McKay) - wearing the prestigious #1 will be Neil Dawson on a Beta. - As usual I counted up the bike stats, and although there are eight riders who have not posted what machine they are riding, the rest of the breakdown is as follows.

Beta = 74 - Gas Gas = 74 - Montesa = 49 - Sherco = 37 - Ossa = 10 - Scorpa = 9 - Honda = 5 - Yamaha = 4 - Greeves = 3 - Fantic = 2.

——————————————->>> As the excitement builds towards the 100 running of this event, here is an article about one man’s passion for the Scottish ( I first met Malc at the Scottish in 1972)

Moto >> News
MALCOLM RATHMELL - READY TO CELEBRATE SSDT CENTENARY


Malcolm Rathmell (Beamish Suzuki) 1978

It is forty-eight years since Malcolm Rathmell travelled to the Highlands and witnessed the Scottish Six Days Trial (SSDT) for the very first time. Since that day the multiple British Trials Champion, and 1974 European Champion, has not missed a single SSDT. Hence to say that the event, which celebrates its centenary this year, is ingrained in his soul would perhaps be an understatement.

Malcolm has won the SSDT twice and is one of a handful of British riders that, over the years, has become synonymous with the Trial: “It is a special event,” confirmed Malcolm. “I went to my first Scottish Six Days as a spectator in 1963 and since then I have not missed one, except when it was cancelled because of Foot and Mouth. There are few motorsport events with such a rich history. I am just pleased and thankful that it is still going, and that someone in an office somewhere has not tried to stop it.”

“My first SSDT as a rider was in 1966, and I won it for the first time in 1973,” continued Malcolm. “That first victory was unexpected as I had just returned from riding motocross and I took Sammy Miller’s place at Bultaco. I won it again in 1979, just beating Mick Andrews. Mick and I were neck-and-neck on the final day and it came down to the last six sections. Mick made a mistake and I won.”

“The Trial has changed quite a bit over the years. Perhaps it was more prestigious back when I was riding? Nowadays the top World Championship riders do not come, and that is a shame. It is so different to what those riders are used to these days, though. Personally I would like to see some tougher sections to encourage those riders to come back. I recognise that it is hard for the World Championship riders, however especially as there is an FIM event the following weekend this year.”

These days Malcolm heads to Scotland each year to support his Sherco-mounted riders, which he claims is even more nerve-wracking than competing: “It is one hundred times worse than riding it yourself. At least when I rode I had hold of the handlebars and it was all down to me. If I made a mistake it was my fault. Now all I can do is prepare their bikes and make sure they have everything they need, the rest is down to them.”

“People often ask me ‘what is the best thing about the Six Days?’ and that is easy: winning it!” Continued Malcolm. “I used to hate losing. I lost to Vesty [Yrjo Vesterinen] in 1980. He was the first foreign rider to win it, and that was tough to take. After Vesty won the Spanish riders took over for a while. Talking about the SSDT like this reminds you how special the event is. I hope it can keep going for another one hundred years.”

Marking its centenary, the 2011 Scottish Six Days Trial will take place in and and around Fort William between Monday 2nd and Saturday 7th May - for more details please visit www.ssdt.org

Wednesday March 9th 2011

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

We had quite a busy day yesterday, first job was to put the newspaper box back up at the top of the driveway - readers may recall that this was flattened on Sunday morning by some idiot driving an out of control stolen car. - Not that this took long as the metal post was easily straightened, and the plastic box re-attached with the aid of some “Farmer” bolts.

It was also a good day to wash the vehicles, so this was duly done down at the local car wash - they have been doing a roaring trade this week, with everybody taking advantage of the warmer weather.

The WTC (World Trials Canada) - have decided to give out some special awards for the 2011 National Series in Summerland and Quebec, details are listed on the front page of Trials Canada. - This is a “First” for Canadian Trials, with cash prizes for low loop scores by the Champ riders.

I see that John Lampkin has posted his usual excellent list of things to do in preparation  for riding the Scottish Six Days Trial, on the Trials Magazine web-site. - Naturally this pertains to Beta riders, but many of the items are common to all brands, so are worth checking. - It’s worth mentioning, that many riders who come to our Outlaw event, often run into problems because they don’t bother to take a toolbelt, with the CORRECT wrenches to fix any possible damage done in a mishap. - With all the modern bikes very reliable, many riders have become complacent regarding pre-trial maintenance. -with the average event only having a very short loop, the longer “English Style” course that we hold in the Okanagan, catches out a few new riders each year, because they dash off from the start on a bike that is not prepared correctly.

( Some get to the first section, only to find they forgot their punch card !!!)

We are as near as the phone to give advice on any maintenance issues ( Any brand) and sometimes this can save the rider, both money and frustration.

Tuesday March 8th 2011

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Here we are into the second week of the month, and still no real sign of “Spring” - in spite of a couple of very nice sunny days in the OK Valley. - A surprise visit from a former neighbor dressed in shorts and tank top, yesterday afternoon, only  proved once again that “Newfies” are indeed a different breed. - Having said that, the back yard is starting to look like a muddy section from the “Colmore” Trial.

A reminder to everyone planning to attend the May long - weekend  National at Summerland, that Motel space is at a premium on this date, because of annual car shows and ball tournaments in the area. While most choose to camp out at the Trials site, the people who want the luxury of a regular bed, should note that although we have checked for possible “Deals” for our out of town riders, - Peter phoned yesterday to say that this ‘aint gonna happen, and that things are already getting booked up. - The number to phone if you want to reserve accommodation, is - SUMMERLAND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE (250)494-2686 or go to www.summerlandchamber.bc.ca.

I was on the phone with Jimmy last night chatting about the pics I posted from Sunday, and the fact that they show bare terrain at our spot near Kelowna. - He informed me that he is still riding “OVER” the back fence and parked customers boat on his snowmobile !! - the drifts are that high. - It will be awhile before he gets to ride the Beta.

This weekend will see Tony Bou with the chance to clinch another World Indoor Title, when the “Box riders” assemble in Madrid. - Albert Cabestany currently holds the runner up position, but  Jack Challoner has been the revelation of the series to date, taking the scalps of many established stars, in his first year on the circuit..

Cooks Good


Becky Cook (MRS Sherco)

World Number Two Becky Cook was in action at the weekends British Championship as she prepares for the Ladies opening round at Cheadle this weekend. Finishing thirteenth in the Expert B class she has committed herself to another full year of International and National trials.

Picture: Becky Cook (MRS Sherco)

 

Credit: www.trialmag.net- John Hulm

Monday March 7th 2011

Monday, March 7th, 2011

After the rather exciting start to our Sunday - the rest of the day went off really well, - I met Barry at our riding spot near Kelowna, and we had a fantastic day - the sun was warm, and lots of bare ground, so we were able to get up to some of our favorite sections up on the ridge. - We also stopped to look at a couple that we used back in 1995, which still look challenging ( no we didn’t try them) - At the first gully section, we were surrounded by a bunch of deer, who merely watched what we were doing, before ambling off. - ( I’ve posted some scenic shots on the gallery)

We received some good news at the weekend regarding the Scottish - Guy Smeeth called to inform us that he has also got an entry, and will join John Dearie and Jonathan English at the 100 Anniversary Trial in May - there is also a chance that Jordan Szoke may have got a late entry, although this has yet to be confirmed.
Here is a report on the Weekend Round of the British Trials Championship by James Dabill’s media service.

James Dabill Media Service


ACU/TRC British Championship RD 1

James Dabill takes a confidence boosting win.

 

The opening round of this year’s highly anticipated British championship did not disappoint on a difficult course held over three laps of twelve sections at Westwood near Sheffield. Current champion James Dabill took the initiative on the opening lap finishing on 13 marks to Micheal Browns 21; these scores were repeated on the second lap leaving Dabill a clear winner after the third and final lap.

 

James Dabill “This is an excellent start to my 2011 outdoor season and I am very pleased. After my results in the opening rounds of the World Indoor Series I needed a good solid result to show the public how happy I am on my return to the Beta machine and this win puts that in prospective.

 

Today went really well and with the support from my minder John Lampkin the result was well deserved, yes I am very happy. Once again I would like to thank the people who have supported me today and also the organisers for putting on an event very worthy of British Championship status”.

 

Results: TRC Putoline Westwood Trial

Championship Class: 1: James Dabill (Beta) 40; 2: Michael Brown (JST Gas Gas) 55; 3: Alexz Wigg (MRS Sherco) 94; 4: Sam Haslam (JST Gas Gas) 112; 5: Ross Danby (JST Gas Gas) 127; 6: Jonathan Richardson (MRS Sherco) 130; 7: George Morton (Beta UK) 165; 8: Ben Morphett (MRS Sherco) 169; 9: Craig Robinson (JST Gas Gas) 174

Sunday March 6th 2011

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Well ! my morning got off to a ” bang” literally, as a stolen car took out the mail box at the end of our driveway, went off the road into the neighbor’s field, before getting stuck in a snowdrift alongside a telephone pole. - looking through my office window, I saw a young guy in a white hoodie, climb out of the passenger side and take off down the road, so I phoned 911. - this was around 6.45am. - As nobody else was around, ( I guess I’m the only early riser) - I walked down the road to check to see if there was anybody still in the car. - while waiting for the cops to show up - the windows including the windshield were all frosted up, so I had to scrape a spot to look inside, but it was empty - the front wheels were still spinning. - pretty soon a cop car showed up, then a paramedic truck, then two fire trucks, all with lights flashing and sirens wailing. - quite exciting on our country back road.

Naturally the cop who took my statement was French Canadian, so I had to spell my name out twice, and who knows if they will catch the offender, who was very lucky to escape uninjured - I suspect the car was stolen from not far up the road ( as the windows were still frozen). - Anyway never a dull moment in rural Vernon.

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The Daytona Super X lived up to the hype, with James Stewart getting the hole-shot in the Final, and jetting off into the distance - however in  typical Crash & Burn action, he bailed over  one of the whoops, and after being helped by officials started off again in last place. - by this time Ryan Villopoto was long gone, with Chad Reed and Ryan Dungey in tow. Stewart eventually worked his way up to 9th at the checkered flag, and got a huge roar from the crowd, but the rider of the night really had to be Dungey, who was leading his heat, when the motor blew on the Suzuki, so had to go through the LCQ, before starting the final from a bad place on the line. - he showed lots of class and skill, picking his way through the pack to end up on the podium. - At least this time , unlike last week, JS has nobody but himself to blame.

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The first round of the British Trials Championship goes today - we will post results later, but now I have to go load my bike so I can meet Barry for a ride near Kelowna.

Be sure to check back later for more news.

Dabill takes First Blood


The opening round of this year’s ACU/TRC British championship series, the TRC Putoline Westwood Trial was won by an on form James Dabill from Michael Brown and Alexz Wigg. The Expert A was won by Ricky Wiggins, Expert B Guy Kendrew and Tom Dexter took the Youth award.

Picture: James Dabill (Beta)

 

Credit: www.trialmag.net – John Hulme at the Event

Saturday March 5th 2011

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

No Snow this morning !!! At least not yet. - Of course being in the snowmobile oil business, I’m quite happy to see the white stuff on the mountains, but as a Trials rider, it really is a pain. - I made a detour driving back from Kelowna on Thursday, traveling via the Westside road, and there was very little snow in some areas.

Today is the big Super X at Daytona, so I will probably be watching the box this afternoon, to see the Stewart versus Reed battle. - I was impressed by the James Stewart interview on Wind Tunnel, he answered all Dave Disbain’s questions like a real “Pro” - never once bad mouthing Reed for taking him down. - Check out the race on Speed later today.

It’s been quite a few years since I was last at Daytona, (1979) - that was back in Yamaha days, and we had Ron Peirce  riding the Yamaha Canada bike - I was with Bob Work ( who now lives in Vernon) - for those people not familiar with the name, Bob was the Race Team Director for Yamaha, and was instrumental in getting many top riders on the Japanese bikes, including Yvon Duhamel, and Steve Baker. - Baker would go on to become the World Champion riding a Bob Work tuned machine.

I see that Chris Leighfield has died of Cancer in Australia - although I never saw him ride in the UK ( before he emigrated) I did read some of his articles in the Australian Trials press which were very interesting. Chris rode one of the early Triumph cubs, which are now the mainstay of British Vintage Trials. - I remember one of our local Oswestry Club riders getting one of the little four-strokes, - his name was Ken Culley, and we were all shocked when he began to do really well on what amounted to a modified street bike. ( He even used to “Sit down” in some sections.) - In those days, the big ends used to go out of them on a regular basis, but on the “National” scene, riders like Roy Peplow won quite a few events. ( Tony Down of blackcat vintage trials fame in the states - has a beautiful version of this bike)


Chris Leighfield - Triumph - Bemrose Trial 1964

It is with sadness that we report the death of Chris Leighfield. “I had first seen Chris as a kid riding in the Bemrose when he was friends with my late father in law Norman Eyre. When I started the Yoomee books Chris contacted me for a copy which I duly sent, I hope the picture of him from the 1964 Bemrose trials brings back some fond memories to the older readers of the website” – John Hulme

Picture Credit: Janice Eyre

Moto >> News
Chris Leighfield – RIP


Chris Leighfield - Triumph - Bemrose Trial 1964

It is with sadness that we report the death of Chris Leighfield. “I had first seen Chris as a kid riding in the Bemrose when he was friends with my late father in law Norman Eyre. When I started the Yoomee books Chris contacted me for a copy which I duly sent, I hope the picture of him from the 1964 Bemrose trials brings back some fond memories to the older readers of the website” – John Hulme

Picture Credit: Janice Eyre

Friday March 4th 2011

Friday, March 4th, 2011

I got a call from John Dearie last night, - he was remarking on my article yesterday about the date in 1965, when we arrived in Canada, and all the aspects of emigrating to another Country. - Back then, we used to say we were only          8 hours away, or as near as a phone call, but of course in reality, the uprooting of your family to move to a far-a-way land, has tremendous consequences.

John will be making the long trip back to his native Scotland in May, to ride the Scottish Six Days Trial, his first attempt at this event, and definitely  a huge undertaking in these harsh economic times. - We chatted about the various costs ( 400 pounds just to enter) and all the paperwork required before getting on the plane. - To “Go it alone” is a massive undertaking, even when you have old friends on the other side of the pond willing to help.  - Many Canadians have done this, including Steve Fracy and Stan Bakgaard, - Both the Clark brothers and numerous others made the trip through the 70’s and 80’s, and while my visits to this magical place, have been as a mere spectator, - the very mention of “The Scottish” conjures up memories of famous sections, and an atmosphere that is unlike any other.

The words “For love of the Sport” have been used many times in the World of Motorcycling, (Mike Hailwood had this printed on the fairing of his road racers) -  and for most, this is exactly why they are involved, of course there are the exceptions, but few people make money from Trials, especially at the present time.

One of the very best private Trials Teams in the UK, has just announced it’s withdrawal from the sport after many years of helping young riders graduate through the ranks. - The ACE Trials team, have finally had to call it quits, not because of a lack of enthusiasm, but because of the lack of funds available to continue. - ( Read the full report on Trials Central today)

Without a doubt, the high costs facing everybody these days, will have an effect on participation and traveling to events, although the true enthusiasts will always find a way - I remember hearing a story about Stan, Steve’s (Fracy & Day), Pete Bustin and Chris Tronnes, driving across North America to many events, including the World Championship at Watkin’s Glen - Fracy did not get the nickname “Starvin'’ - because he ate well. - His money went for gas rather than food.

So today, we take our hat off to the riders who “Follow their dream” - to try and fail, -  is better than not trying at all.

Thursday March 3rd 2011

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Clicking on this morning, I suddenly remembered the significance of this date - it was on March 3rd 1965, that my wife and I arrived in Calgary from the UK, to start a new life with our baby daughter Helen. - The trip had been a long one - no direct flights in those days. - We flew from Birmingham via BOAC, to Montreal, where we transferred to an Air Canada DC8 ,which took us to Winnipeg, then another change to a smaller Turbo prop plane which eventually touched down in Calgary at midnight, after a stop over at Saskatoon - talk about a “Milk run” - The other thing that is still very clear in my mind, is that as we had a baby,we were last off the aircraft and as I stood by the open door ready to disembark, the cold -20 temperature hit my face, out of a sea of white snow, and I said to myself - “What have I done”

Anyway, obviously we stayed, but not before many doubts, and trips “Home” which in those days was called the “$1,000 cure”

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The Beta factory have announced a “Factory replica” - it has more of everything - not sure if we will get any, but it certainly looks nice.

300 factory beta evo

New displacement and new technical features for the “top of the range” Trial bike.
The R&D team of the Tuscany House is always hard working and is giving its best in the last months. After the new Enduro with RR350 and RR4T Factory, it is now Trial time with the all-new EVO 300 2T FACTORY.
New displacement - growing from 290 to 300 cc - and great technical features, all coming from the experience of the Factory team and drawn from the richer aftermarket parts catalog. A bike of great interest mainly dedicated to the advanced users looking for high performances and at the same time it will satisfy even the most discerning and demanding enthusiasts.

ENGINE:
• New capacity, from 290 to 300cc. Made by bore increase from 78 to 79 mm in combination with a new domed piston and new cylinder head, it offers more torque and smooth power band . This all means a significant improvement in the throttle feeling. The increased displacement means not only increase performances, the benefit enjoyed most by experienced users, but also the enlargement of the range of usability, value always achieved by Beta that makes the “playability” its distinctive character.

• New “factory” clutch disks with increased guide surface: they reduce vibrations and ensure a more accurate and stable working.
• Magnesium crankcase. About 1.5 kg of weight saving. This improves the agility of the bike and consequently ride feeling .
• Red silicone cooling system pipes: as well as improving the look, they provide a better heat dissipation thanks to the technical characteristics of silicone.
• Titanium exhaust manifold. The “precious metal” manifold as well as provides a weight saving of 500 gr, it offers increased performance at high speed.

FRAME:
• New triple clamp, CNC machined from billet aluminum, red anodized. In addition to weight reduction and improved look, you can choose between 6 different positions of the handlebar in order to adapt the bike to your riding style
• New Factory wave brake discs: heat dissipation is improved with obvious advantages in terms of stability of braking performance.
• X-Light tires. The result of many years of cooperation with our technical partner Michelin. These new tires ensure a saving of about 500 gr. Another key point that reduces the weight and helps to improve the overall handling of the bike.
• Many parts are red anodized aluminium and they enhance and provide a great impact look: water pump and clutch pumps covers, oil cap, brake/clutch lever regulators and chain tensioners.
• List of specification is enriched by carbon fiber headlight, side frame covers and front disc cover, in addition to the clutch cover in carbon-look. These parts are designed to match EVO style, they are lightweight, great look and they protect the bike in sensitive areas.
• Anodized CNC ergal footrest. Light, strong and with high grip.
• A new graphics kit made by stickers for plastic body and frame, rims decal, as well as the official team bikes racing in the World Championship.
Overall the bike will weigh 2 - 3 kilos lighter than the standard bike..

Wednesday March 2nd 2011

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

What the !!! More snow? - even our resident family of quail are squawking outside this morning - having to scratch down into the fresh powder for their food. - Not that we should complain, Jimmy mailed a pic of his back yard, showing huge drifts covering his “Boneyard” and customer’s boats. - We heard that Steve Richardson was leaving Lethbridge this morning, trying to get back to warmer climes on Gambier - the highways are likely to be more than a challenge.

Birthday greetings go out today to ATRA Prez Harold Pospisil - not sure how old the big guy is, but have a great day Harry.

Apart from the World strife in the middle East, the next biggest story in the news, seems to be Charlie Sheen - shame how a talented actor, has let bad habits destroy his life - he seems to have lost all rational regarding the huge salary he was being paid for his weekly TV show. ( 2 million dollars a shot)

Back in the real World, the economy and HST in BC have forced a couple of well known Vancouver restaurants to close the doors - the first of many according to the people in the industry. - With the high price of food, it’s little wonder that customers are staying home. - then there’s the gas prices - what really gets my goat, is how the Oil Companies jack up the price at the pump overnight, at the slightest indication of trouble in the Middle East. - of course the government won’t do a damn thing because the more we pay the more tax money they get.

And how about the latest news from Health care ? - patients in Vancouver moved into the Tim Horton’s coffee shop, because of no room in the hall-ways. !!!!

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Hopefully the weather in Florida is better than up North, as the Daytona week kicks off on Saturday with the Super X - this one should be “Sizzler” as James Stewart and Chad Reed renew their battle..

Watch this space for more news -