Archive for October, 2011

Wednesday October 26th 2011

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Nothing much on the box last night, so once again, I ended up watching Trials tapes - the one I picked was the Indoor Series from 1995 - it was the era of Marc Colomer (Mont) and some other riders who have all dropped from the scene - David Cobos, Juan Pons, Bruno Cammozzi, Takumi Narita, and a young Dougie Lampkin - plus Graham Jarvis on the Scorpa, and “Mr Showman” -Steve Colley.

This was the time when Indoor Trials was “HUGE” - the Stadiums were packed with spectators to see the bikes going up and over unbelievable obstacles, and unfortunately, also the time when a few riders had big crashes, which for some, like Japanese star Kuroyama, and Spaniard Cobos, plus Theirry Michaud, mean’t the end of their career at this level.

Over the years, I’ve collected quite a large library of Trials tapes, older VHS and more modern DVD’s - the winter months are always a good time to watch these, plus I have a few of our local events that I managed to video.


In more Sherco news, Albert Cabestany won the recent Spanish Championship event, with Jeroni Fajardo (Ossa) second and Tony Bou (Mont) 3rd. - They have used the “Free ride” approach on the sections for 2011, which has got mixed reaction from the riders. - Sherco also posted some pictures of their Road-racer, and of course they are very active in the Enduro class in Europe, plus the long distance Rallies.


The dreaded word “Snow” was mentioned in the weather forecast last night, but while they have already had a flurry up on the Ski hills, we have yet to see any on the ground in the Valley. - Last year we had a ton of the white stuff, which lasted until April in the Summerland area - Pete and myself were out on March 26th to check things out for the National, and I have the pics on file to prove it.


More news as it happens ===============>


Tuesday October 25th 2011

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Another visit to the Chiro today - should be the last one for a while, glad to say my back is feeling almost 100% - as long as I keep moving !! - Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Pete, who has pulled something in his shoulder helping his lad move house ( I did the same thing sometime ago). - Not sure how Barry is, as I haven’t spoken to him for over a week, although I know he hurt his thumb at the Ady Trial, when he did his over the bars trick in the first section. - So that’s it for the walking wounded report, now onto other things.

>>>>>>>>>> I see that Taddy won the Enducross at Boise Idaho last weekend - this makes 6 wins in a row for the Polish Super Star, - Mike  Brown finished 2nd and Geoff Aaron 3rd - Cody Webb got tangled up with another rider, dropping him down the list. - No  idea how the Alberta lads did or what they rode - maybe the Trials class?

>>>>>>>>> Over in the UK, Malcolm Rathmell must be feeling good after his Sherco rider won the Scott - the rest of the team didn’t do too bad either - as he stated in the Trials Mag: report, it was a great way to end up what has been a rather dismal year, (With Wiggy pulling the pin due to some personality problems,  even though he just about won the Scottish before his chain came off on the last section)

>>>>>> As posted in earlier blogs - we started running a Scott Trial in Alberta back in 1972, as Prez of the Calgary club, I thought it would be a great way to get all the riders together in one event  ie: the MX, Flat track, Cross Country and Trials guys - We held it out in the Forestry, North of Cochrane, and as I recall we had about 60 riders for the inaugural  50 mile dash, which was won by Bob Sadownick on a Sherpa T - We had ten observed sections, plus muskeg, hills and a river crossing, so it was pretty tough, can’t remember how many finished. - The Time Trial continued up until about 1980, and I was lucky enough to win it twice, once in 1974 on  a TY 250, and again in 1975 on a modified YZ 250.

>>>>>> There is a link to a very touching tribute to Marco Simoncelli on facebook, by Kevin Schwantz - the former World Moto GP Champion and very good ”All Round” rider” was a personal friend of the young Italian, and he shares some of his memories. - Marco lived in Cattolica, where my wife and I spent our honeymoon in 1962 - We returned the following year by motorcycle, and I remember seeing a lot of  lads on 50cc “mini roadracers” - We had one youngster offer to show us the way to a campsite, and I had a really hard time keeping up with him in the narrow streets - they start at a very early age in Italy, a place where motorcycles are a passion.

>> Next week on November 8th, the Milan Motorcycle Show, takes place - This is the biggest one in Europe, and where all the latest models are displayed to the public. - For Trials enthusiasts, the all new models from Jotagas, will be seen for the first time, so there is quite a lot of interest in this, they will also have their Enduro bike on the stand, with both Jordi Tarres and Miki Arpa on hand to answer questions.

> More news as it happens.->

Monday October 24th 2011

Monday, October 24th, 2011

With not much news to report - Here is another post on the Scott Trial, to go along with the one from Yesterday

James Dabill Media Service

Scott Time & Observation Trial – North Yorkshire - 22/10/2011

Dabill 2nd at the Scott


Chasing the “Grand Slam” of the three major UK trials titles James Dabill had already won two of them, the Scottish Six Days Trial and British Championship. He was intending to add the Scott trial win but missed out as Jonathan Richardson took the Scott title in a tough day out on the Yorkshire moors above the market town of Richmond.


James Dabill “I am aware that it’s an elite class of rider who takes the “Grand Slam” title but with any Scott trial event it’s not just the observation score that counts. Jonathans pace over the moors gave him the edge on the time element which ultimately gave him the win and I congratulate him on that. My Italian Beta has run like a dream today and I would like to thank my team, friends and fans for their support”


“In an event as tough as the Scott you need all the encouragement you can get and it’s so good to hear the fans cheering you on in what is still the toughest one day trials event in the world, once again the organisers did an excellent job so well done to them”


“Despite my disappointment at my second place life was soon put in prospective when I heard the very sad news that Italian Moto GP rider Marco Simoncelli had lost his life, my thoughts at this moment are with his family” - Marco Simoncelli RIP.



1: Jonathan Richardson (MRS Sherco) 41; 2: James Dabill (Beta) 47; 3: Ian Austermuhle (Beta UK) 47; 4: Michael Brown (JST Gas Gas) 55; 5: Dan Thorpe (JST Gas Gas) 85; 6: Wayne Braybrook (MRS Sherco) 86; 7: James Fry (MRS Sherco) 87; 8: Ross Danby (JST Gas Gas) 88 9: Sam Haslam (JST Gas Gas) 92; 10: Sam Connor (Beta UK) 93.

Sunday October 23rd 2011

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

Shocking news in the World of Moto GP today, that Italian rider Marco Simoncelli was killed on the second lap of the Malaysian GP. - Reports say that he lost the front end of his Honda, and fell in front of Colin Edwards, who was unable to avoid him. - Valentino Rossi was also involved in the crash, but managed to stay on the bike. - Simoncelli who was from the small Adriatic resort town of Cattolica, was 24. - The race was cancelled after the accident.


There are still no full results or reports from the UK Scott Trial, except (As posted last night) that young Jonathan Richardson took the win riding the new 2012 Sherco. - Second place went to James Dabill (Beta) with Ian Austermuhle (Beta) in third spot. We will hopefully have the full list of results later today.

UPDATE.  Best Overall Jonathan Richardson (Sherco) 2 on time 39 Observation

               Best on Time John Sunter (Mont) 0 time 108 Obs

              Best on Observation Ian Austermuhle (Beta) 12 on time 35 obs

              Best Manufacturers Team Beta - Dabill, Austermuhle,Challoner.

              Best Newcomer Jake Evans-Luter (Beta) 76 time 84 obs.

             Best Lady Emma Bristow (Ossa) 75 time - 144 obs

Jonathan Richardson Wins the 2011 Scott

Riding the MRS Sherco young Jonathan Richardson has won the Scott trial from James Dabill and Ian Austermuhle.

Picture: Jonathan Richardson (MRS Sherco)

Credit: – John Hulme===============================================

Saturday October 22nd 2011

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

It’s early in the morning, and no news yet from the UK about the Scott Trial - However, by now some of the riders must be close to finishing the punishing one lap around the Yorkshire Dales. - For those not familiar with this type of event, the riders usually start at one minute intervals - they literally race around one long loop which has ( in the case of the Scott) natural type sections - the rider can ride straight into the section, even if another rider is already in it, the idea being to combine the best score between Time and Observation.

At the end of the day, the rider with the best Total Score wins - the awards are - Best Overall, Best on Time, Best on Observation, and then at the Scott a finisher gets a nice Silver Teaspoon ( English Tradition) - Most people this side of the Pond, have no clue as to how tough this event really is, and just to finish is an achievement. - The top lads use lots of experience to pace themselves, while still going unbelievably quick across the moors, and they don’t call this the Toughest Trial in the World without reason. - You could say that this was the original Xtreme event, started by Sir Alfred Scott to test the reliability of his famous Scott motorcycles. ( They were two-stroke twins)

UPDATE - Jonathan Richardson (SHERCO) Wins Scott - James Dabill (Beta) 2nd


In other news, I see that Ben Spies has had to withdraw from the Moto GP race in Malaysia, because of the injuries he suffered in his 165mph crash in Australia. - With Jorge Lorenzo also out - this leaves only Colin Edwards to wave the Yamaha flag, and he is doing a fine job of this by qualifying 4th behind Team Honda.


Tonight there is a EnduroX in Boise Idaho, and I saw on Facebook, that Lee Fryberger and Steve Ford are down there to cheer on Kamloops rider Cory Graffunder, who will be making a return to the series after an injury.


Back on the Trials front - a note regarding the #1 plates for the WTC Series - These have been ordered, and the winners names/address etc sent down East.


Yesterday I spent another lazy day ( After a second trip to the Chiropractor) - I received my DVD from “Bigfoot” - of the 2011 Scottish, so I watched this a couple of times - there is a clip of John-boy looking good until he ran into a tree !! and a  glimpse of Jon English walking back down a section. - This is a much more condensed version of the Scottish, but it shows different stuff than on the regular CJB tape. - Eddie Lejuene takes a couple of dives, and you get a close up of Dougie also taking a header on “WD’s”


So the news for tomorrow, is that if anybody fancies going out to Yankee Flats, I might and I mean might, be fit enough to come out and do a bit of coaching plus shoot some video - email me if you are going. >>>>>>>>>>>>

Friday October 21st 2011

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Yesterday was a slow day for me - rested my back in the afternoon by laying on the couch & watched my DVD’s from the 2011 Scottish. - Interesting to see how smooth guys like Dabill and Brown negotiate the rocky sections - some of the slow motion shots are great, really show the suspension working, and the little rear wheel flicks they do to line up the bikes.

It’s only by watching tapes like this and making a note of the difference in both technique and body position etc, then going out and practicing, that riders can hope to improve.  - I see that there have been over a hundred hits on the pics I took at our last Trial, and while most riders will say ” Thats a great shot of them” - I wonder how many will notice their stance on the bike, and compare it to other riders at the same spot - there are a ton of pics showing riders, mostly juniors, without a finger anywhere near the clutch, and lots with an outside elbow dropped intead of being high - similar thing with the legs - knees into the tank is old style, and doesn’t cut it anymore - the modern bikes  will do amazing things, but only practice of the correct techniques will make for a better rider. - In this day and age, anybody can have access to a small video camera - many cell phones even have this feature, so my advice to new riders in particular, is get out & practice sections, but have somebody video you riding, then study your style. - And when you watch the superstars on tape, don’t just watch it as a movie, absorb it all as a learning experience.


Harlow Rankin sent me a pic of the SWM that he restored a few years ago, which I have now posted on the Classic Album - he always did a great job on his bikes, and this one is a nice example of the old Austrian Trials bike. - This was the one that proved popular after the demise of Bultaco and Ossa, and had riders like Bernie Shreiber and Martin Lampkin on the factory team. - I owned one briefly in the 1980’s, but never really liked it - they had a habit of shedding the magnets on the flywheel, of the Rotax engine.


I had a chat to Pete yesterday, & glad to say he is feeling much better, we talked about the last event, and in particular the new loop and sections that we found, and also about some more new ideas that I have for the 2012 Outlaw - this will be the 25th year for the event, so we intend making it special. ( Maybe a Yamaha Class - as I still have a soft spot for the old TY’s)


Thursday October 20th 2011

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Top stories today in Trials, are that the UK will have a World Round in 2012, and it will be put on by John Kerwin and Graham Jarvis - It will take place near Penrith in the Northern part of the British Isles.


In other European news, Alfredo Gomez the 2011 Junior World Champion from Spain - is the latest to try his hand at Enduros, aboard a Husaberg. - In a photograph of him competing in one of the events, it was interesting to note how many of the bikes were two-strokes.


Meanwhile, back here in the OK Valley, I did manage to get in to see the bone-cracker yesterday, but will need more treatment before I’m able to go riding.


Of course this is the time of the year when I’m busy taking orders for snowmobile oil, and while I get most of the 45 gal drums shipped  direct to the dealers,  there is still quite a lot of lifting of case goods to do when sorting out deliveries from Vernon. - With the economy being what it is, I was surprised to hear that one of my Polaris dealers, sold 22 new sleds at his open house last weekend.


And finally, although I hate to say it, it’s almost time to think about Christmas, and make sure we have enough stock of Trials gear to supply Santa !!




Wednesday October 19th 2011

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Well I never did make it to the Chiro: yesterday, so I’m still hobbling around with my bad back - maybe I can get in today. - The weather forecast is for another gorgeous sunny day, with a high of 18 in the Valley.

Another email from Heath tells me that Steve Saunders hopes to get his first JTG in about three weeks, and the word is all the Distributors have been told to hammer the new bike & find any faults before they go into production - The engine has been designed by the original GG engineer, and has the three plate clutch with a five speed tranny. ( neither of which impress me) Heath says that although the design is very similar, it is different and much improved (Time will tell).

The famous Scott Trial will be held this Saturday, and with Dougie Lampkin a non-starter, the favorite has to be Graham Jarvis - although James Dabill and Michael Brown are sure to be in the hunt - there are other riders who seem to excell at this event, such as Ian Austermuhle, and the young guns like Challoner and Richardson will be trying to get their name on the Scott Trophy. - The entry list has been posted on Trials Central.

I chatted to Dave George yesterday  - Dave rode the Ady Trial - his first ever Trial, so I asked him how he enjoyed it - suffice to say he had a great time, as did Jay Colley (no relation to Steve) and Dick Dunn - who both emailed to say what a fantastic weekend it was. - I mentioned that we will try to put on a “Fun” day before the snow flies, but not sure of the date or location at the moment.


Tuesday October 18th 2011

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

The big Trials news from Europe today, is that Steve Saunders has been appointed as the UK Distributer for the new range of Jotagas bikes. - We heard about this last week but were sworn to secrecy until the official press release, which can be seen on Heath’s website  - Although there are no pics yet of the Jordi Tarres machine, Heath tells us that Steve has some on his lap top and is super impressed after a weekend trip to the factory in Spain.

Of course how the new bikes will sell, is anyone’s guess - Jordi certainly has the name, and as long as the finances are in place, they should at least have a reasonable chance. - Steve Saunders already has a well run parts supply business ( We buy quite a lot of stuff from him) and has a good reputation in the industry. - How this will affect his relationship with Beta Importer John Lampkin remains to be seen. - The new bikes (Trial and Enduro) will make their debut at the Milan show on November 8th.


We have received some pictures from Ian Dargis, taken at the TDN in Italy, and will post them on the gallery - He mentions in his email, that Devon was out last Sunday on the new Sherco 2011 at Ioco, along with Beta mounted Wilson Craig for some practice, and thinks the new bike is “Awesome”. - The 2012 bikes are unlikely to arrive until December.


Today we need to pay a visit to the Chiropractor, as I put my back out somehow yesterday - strange because I wasn’t lifting anything - my back problems date from the 1970’s when I lifted the rear end of a snowmobile trailer in my Calgary driveway. -

 Later we expect a vist from Fred the Flying Red Baron from Salmon Arm - Fred used to be the Honda dealer before retiring, he now spends most of his leisure time flying his trick ulta-lite aircraft up and down the valley - he has always run his Rotax engines on Opti 2.


more news as it happens - be sure to check out the gallery.




Monday October 17th 2011

Monday, October 17th, 2011

The tragedy at the Las Vegas Indy car race yesterday, brought home the realization that even with all the safety features in the race cars of this decade, when things go wrong at 200 mph, there is little chance for the driver. - I had switched on the TV to watch this race, but the crash had already happened. - Dan Wheldon was obviously not only a very talented driver, winning the prestigious Indy 500 earler this year, plus many other races, but the 33 year old Englishman was a firm favorite with the fans and very popular with his fellow drivers. RIP Dan.


In Motorcycle sport from the weekend - It was a Yamaha 1-2 in the second world Superbike race, (Also on TV) - It is perhaps ironic that in Motorcycle road racing, we often see riders tumbling into the gravel at speeds in excess of 100mph - Ben Spies went off at 167km in Australia - but of course as somebody once said, it’s only a problem if you have a sudden stop by hitting something.

  I see that Dougie Lampkin won an Extreme Enduro in Portugal ( But Jarvis or the other top guys weren’t there) - In a Press release, Lampkin has withdrawn from the Scott Trial this coming Saturday, saying his bad ankle would not be up to the punishment in this super tough event.


On the home front, I spoke with Jimmy yesterday - he said he was planning a ride in the afternoon, with a couple of buddies - hopefully his injured shoulder is improving.

Jacek also called, and we talked about the Ryan Young schools for 2012 - final details will be posted on these towards the end of the year, when everything is scheduled.

Last night Margie from Outback Sports in Quesnel dropped by to pick up a used Evo from me, she had been riding enduro bikes at Bear Creek, but is super fired up about the trials scene, and is getting quite a few riders interested up North.


In other news from the UK - young Jack Sheppard has had his injured right wrist operated on, and will be re-cuperating during the winter - the 125cc factory Beta rider and World Youth Champion will be a spectator at the Scott Trial.