Archive for January, 2012

Tuesday January 31st 2012

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

The last day of the month, and it looks to be a great ending to January, with no overnight snow. - Yesterday we were over at my daughter’s home clearing the driveway of the white stuff that had accumulated while she was away in the Bahamas, hard on the old shoulder, which still bothers me.


The latest issue of Trial Mag: arrived yesterday, and is full of great stories and pictures - Tony Bou has a regular blog on the inside front page, and in it, he tells of how  he had planned the big leap backwards at Sheffield, as this is one of the things he practices at his Spanish head-quarters.

Another superb write-up is on a three day mountain adventure that goes on in the Alps of Northern Italy every year, one of the organizers being Eric Lejuene ( younger brother of Eddie). - The beautiful photographs, reminded me of our Joss Mountain rides - and just like Joss, this is not a trip for the inexperienced or faint of heart.

There is also the first test of the new Jordi bike, which appears to pass with flying colors - a few things that the test riders didn’t like, but this is normal, and a similar test of the 2012 Ossa is in this latest mag:

The Publisher ( John Hulme) also visited the Montesa Factory while in Spain, along with Jonathan Richardson and his Dad Gerald - lots of pictures with this story,- sounds like they were given the Red Carpet treatment, - One interesting item mentioned that Amos Bilbao is only hired for 12 weeks each year on a “Free-lance” basis. - The visit ended with young Richardson coming away with a contract to ride a factory bike, with a spare engine and parts for 2012. -  John Hulme tried to get information on any new bike coming from the Honda owned company, but all he got was a polite ” No comment”


Monday January 30th 2012

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Nice to look out of the window this morning and see a clear but wet driveway - yesterday it was white over, but  warmed up later to be quite a nice day - we could see a couple of bikes out on the ice at Swan Lake, and it’s also a popular place for ice fishing & snowmobiling.

I checked on the blog from this time last year, and it was -10, with a big snowstorm in the Valley and lots of other places - Jimmy had been shoveling for 4 hours to clear his driveway, but emailed to say that he only has about 8″ this year.

Of course we need the snow pack in the mountains, to ensure a good water supply for the summer, and this appears to be above normal for 2012, with over 300cm on top of the Coquihalla. ( 50% more than normal) - Naturally, our concern is always about how soon the snow melts in the Summerland area, - in 2011, Pete and myself were out on March 26th, but the snow was still deep at the parking lot, however we did get some riding in and I took a bunch of pictures for the record book. ( A lot of these older pics can be seen on the gallery)

The winter months are a great time to catch up on a bit of bike maintenance, things like linkage greasing etc that is a must on all machines that have this type of suspension. - Although my 2011 Beta Evo Factory 300 has very little time on it, I still found a few things that needed a “Tweek” - engine mounts are often neglected, and can cause vibration, or in extreme cases, broken rear engine cases - we have seen this a few times over the years on all the modern bikes. (all brands) - It only makes sense to spend time to check the various nuts & bolts on any bike, as any moving part will tend to slack off after the “Run in” period. - Wheel spokes are another important  item that need checking on a regular basis, not just once a year, the cause of most rear tire leaks on the tubeless rims is simply because when one spoke becomes loose, it allows flex at the area under the rubber rim band, allowing air to escape through the spokes. ( Not a problem with the “T” rims fitted on many of the new models - or the older Beta’s)


We have now received a shipment of the 2012 Beta brochures, and have scanned one to email anybody that’s interested, or we can send you one via snail-mail. - they always do a really nice job on the printing, and list all the trick accessory parts that are fitted stock on the Factory bikes. - A reminder that the old 290 Evo, is now a full blown 300, with a similar engine and updates just like the factory replica - a steal at $7995.


Sunday January 29th 2012

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

We start the day off, with Birthday Greetings to our old buddy Barry Van As, who turns 62 today - we were hoping to celebrate with a ride at Bear Creek, but with all the snow yesterday, and then again during the night, we will just have to postpone that.


In other news, James Stewart got his first win of the Super X series last night in Oakland, California, he finished ahead of an on form Chad Reed, and Ryan Villopoto.


It was business as usual for Toni Bou in Marseille, where he took the win once again, with Raga and Cabestany  making up the podium - here is the fullFIM X-Trial World Championship 2012

Bou makes it three wins in a row

An exquisite Toni Bou - Repsol Montesa proved once again why he is head and shoulders above his rivals as he completed his two-night dominance at round three of the 2012 FIM X-Trial World Championship in Marseille, France.


The unrelenting Catalan outclassed his challengers for the second night in a row, cruising to a comfortable victory five marks clear of runner-up Adam Raga - Gas Gas. Albert Cabestany - Sherco completed the all-Spanish podium at the Palais des Sports arena, seven marks adrift of his slightly younger arch-rival and compatriot.


Bou laid bare his intent twenty-four hours earlier as he emerged from seven difficult sections during qualification having amassed just four marks. Despite picking up a further two courtesy of a time penalty no others came close to his score, the tough course punishing the World’s best Trial riders for the smallest of mistakes. Bou was the sole rider not to five section three, and the only rider not to pick up maximum marks in at least one section. Raga, meanwhile, was riding well. He was the best of the rest on Friday night, but Cabestany was close behind, setting the scene for a tense showdown between the two Spaniards in Saturday’s final.


The gruelling hazards took their toll on some of the less experienced protagonists, with Michael Brown - Gas Gas fiving every section in qualification and Alfredo Gomez – Montesa fairing little better. Alexandre Ferrer - Sherco performed a touch better, but was punished heavily for time, while Pol Tarres - Jotagas showed glimpses of promises on his JTG debut. All four failed to progress to Saturday’s semi-final. Loris Gubian - Gas Gas roused his home crowd with an inspired performance on Friday.


However, the Frenchman’s luck ran out in the semifinal as he was relegated alongside Jeroni Fajardo - Beta. The latter was extremely disappointed with his below par performance.


Come the final Bou made a rare mistake, losing his balance in section five and picking up maximum points. It was his sole error in what was one of his most polished rides this season. Bou’s team mate, Takahisa Fujinami - Repsol Montesa was less graceful over the big steps. The Japanese rider’s flamboyant style and over-enthusiasm saw him crash out of a dual lane race spectacularly, his bike flying over the crowd barriers to gasps from the audience. It was the most dramatic of his exploits over the two-day event, and it resulted in a fourth place finish.


Cabestany was angry at himself for making a handful of uncharacteristic mistakes on Saturday night. His third place was by no means a disaster, but it does mean he leaves Marseille tied on points with Raga in the championship standings.


Raga was more upbeat and satisfied with his riding. The series now takes a five-week break before commencing again in Madrid in early March, where Bou will attempt to keep his one-hundred per cent record intact and make it four wins from four rounds. Right now, few would bet against him if his swagger in Marseille was anything to go by.


Final - 1: Tony Bou (Montesa-ESP) 7; 2: Adam Raga (Gas Gas-ESP) 12; 3: Albert Cabestany (Sherco-ESP) 19; 4: Takahisha Fujinami (Montesa-ESP) 29;

Semi Final - 5: Jeroni Fajardo (Beta-ESP) 18; 6: Loris Gubian (Gas Gas-FRA) 19.

Non Qualifiers – 7: Pol Tarres (Jotagas-ESP) 32; 8: Alfredo Gomez (Montesa-ESP) 33; 9:  Michael Brown (Gas Gas-GBR) 35; 10: Alexandre Farrer (Sherco-FRA) 41.


Championship Positions

1: Bou 60; 2: Raga 39; 3: Cabestany 39; 4: Fujinami 30; 5: Fajardo 17; 6: Gubian 16; 7: Brown 7; 8: Gomez 5; 9: Tarres 3; 10: Challoner 2; 11: Dagnicourt 1; 12: Farrer1.


Picture Credit: FIM/Good-Shoot

report thanks to Trial Mag: -

Saturday January 28th 2012

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

It was a busy day yesterday - delivering snowmobile oil up the valley, then shipping off parts etc - good to get this done before the snow arrives today. - strange weather pattern, with the temperature forecast to be +9 tomorrow.

Results from the qualifying rounds at the World Indoor at Marseille, which were held on Friday are as follows. -

Tony Bou   (Hon/Mont)   3    - Adam Raga (GG) 19 - Albert Cabestany (Sherco) 21 - Jeroni Fajardo (Beta) 22 - Takahisa Fujinami (Hon) 23 - Loris Gubian (GG) 24.

Non- qualifiers.

Pol Tarres (JTG) 32 - Alfredo Gomez (Hon/Mon) 33 - Michael Brown (GG) 35 - Alexandre Ferrer (Sherco) 40.


I noticed a couple of good video clips posted on facebook yesterday, by Big John Moffat of Scotland -they were from the movie “On Any Sunday” - without doubt the best motorcycle film ever produced. - a neat segment on Trials riders, who are called “The violin players” of the sport, and another of Steve McQueen, Mert Lawill and Malcolm Smith playing on their dirt bikes in the sand dunes near the beach. - both McQueen and Smith are on Husky’s, but Lawill is on a Greeves, disguised as a a Harley, because he was of course contracted to HD at the time. - Great stuff.


We heard from Yamaha Jeff, who said that the Vancouver show people tried to contact the Island Trials riders regarding the Tradex event, but they got no response, so sounds like a bit of bad communication.


Friday January 27th 2012

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Sad news reported on Cycle News today, saying that James Stewart’s mechanic, was killed when hit by a vehicle, while he was stopped to help a young lady, who had run out of gas. - charges are pending.


Yesterday, I had an appointment  for an eye check up - just a routine thing, and while I was pleased to learn that there has been no change in the last couple of years with my “Bionic”  eyes - what had changed was the fee charged, and while I never complain about anything to do with health and welfare - the 37.5 % increase, is I guess a sign of the times - last time the Seniors rate was $30 - this time $48.00.

The reason that I mention this, is because although it appears everything has gone up in price, especially food - motorcycles, and motorcycle accessories, have stayed pretty stagnant, over the past few years. - another good reason to ride a Trials bike.


We’ve heard that the boys from Nova Scotia, are holding their first Indoor Trials demo next month at a local show, although they only have about 8-10 active riders in the area, they are full of enthusiasm, and hope to have Jon English attend. - the event will be sanctioned by the WTC.

The ATRA also have another Indoor practice day near Falun, planned for February, but no other details are available at this time.


There was a link to an interesting video clip from a 1993 Indoor, on face-book yesterday - the obstacles were all made up of sponsor items, ie: Coke bottles, cigarette packages, and Castrol Oil bottles - all created in a difficult arena setting. - What impressed me ( although I saw this many years ago) - was the riding of Amos Bilbao, on the very chunky looking Montesa, and Marc Colomer, on the Prototype Beta Techno. - With all attention being given to Tony Bou and the rear wheel hopping, it’s easy to forget, how very good the stars of the 90’s really were at this sort of thing.

Back in the mid 80’s, the Stan Bakgaard Indoor shows, were way ahead of their time, in degree of difficulty, and professional quality. - most of the team - Steve Day, Steve Fracy, Pete Bustin, and Stan rode Yamaha TY 250’s - although Darren Bradbury (Swampy) was a regular crowd favorite on his twin-shock Armstrong. - Who could forget the very high scaffold section, with the bell hanging from the roof of BC place, for the riders to  ring if they were lucky enough to reach the top. - Stan took his “Traveling Circus” right across the Country, and was a hit at the Kelowna Home Show & Regatta on more than one occasion. - As a spectator event, these shows were, and are, fantastic to watch. However, I don’t think that I’ve ever spoken to anybody who went out and bought a Trials bike because they attended one of these shows. - they are all about entertainment, but on a small club scale, they do give local riders a chance to talk to people about the sport, in a friendly environment.


Thursday January 26th 2012

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

It was a beautiful day in the Valley on Wednesday - I took a drive to Kelowna on business, but as nice as it was, there were still some icy spots on the road - I saw one pick-up down in the ravine near Predator Ridge. - While in the City, I met up with Nick, who bought the mint TY we had a while back, he needed one of our great Wulf Trials helmets, and hopes to join us on our early season rides. - back at home, I was just in time to ship off some parts to Alberta customers, before the Post Office closed. - Also chatted to a couple of other new Trials enthusiasts about getting involved in our sport.

I was a bit late getting out of bed this morning, and a glance through the window revealed a dry landscape, however, as they say, “give it a minute”, and it’s now snowing like a bugger.


Good news about Honda MX rider Trey Canard, says that he might be released from hospital, after surgery to his back injured in last weekend’s big crash.


As reported earlier, the World Indoor series resumes in France this weekend - qualifying takes place on Friday, then the finals go on Saturday. - apart from watching the Tony Bou show,  many fans will be keen to see how Pol Tarres does in his debut with the JTG.  -  Bou (Honda/Mont) leads the championship, ahead of Albert Cabestany (Sherco) and Adam Raga (GG)

With the Scottish Six Days only about 13 weeks down the road, - local rider Gary MacDonald, has just taken delivery of his new factory 300 Sherco - Gary came very close to winning the event a few years back, while on the Sherco, before switching to a Gasser - maybe the return to one of the MRS bikes will see him back on the leader board.


More News as it happens.>>>>>>>>>>>

Wednesday January 25th 2012

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Not too sure what’s happening outside yet, but it sounds like the wind is blowing big time - we also had more snow, so no doubt it will be interesting to check out conditions when it gets light.

Last night I watched President Obama give his long speech on the “State of the Union” - while I don’t take a great deal of interest in Politics, I do appreciate listening to good speakers, it always amazes me, how they remember their lines and stay focused. - Perhaps the greatest Orator, was Winston Churchill, who captivated his radio listeners, during the Second World War. - but long before that, some guy in Italy was saying ” Friends Roman’s Countrymen - lend me your ears”  -


A good announcer, can also make the difference at race events, although the fans seem to be split on who they like and don’t like - Cycle News have posted an article on the aftermath of the big Super-Cross crash last weekend, that left Trey Canard seriously injured, bringing out a red flag. - some people were not happy at how the guy on the P/A handled the situation.

We hear the same thing regarding Indoor Trials events - some announcers, have the right voice and know-how, to make the show interesting, without lots of yelling and screaming. - one of the best in this regard, in my view is Englishman Jack Burnicle - while few would argue that both Graham and Murray Walker kept listeners enthralled, with their commentaries on the TT races from the Isle of Man. - In the 1960’s, the BBC Televised  “Scrambles” - had Yorkshire-man Dennis Parkinson explaining what was happening - one of his famous expressions, was - “Here they come over the undulating grassland”


Yesterday I posted that the Shawnigan Outlaw/Joe Brown trial, would be held on April 14/15 - Please Note: This will now be held on April 28./29  - as there is a CPTA Trial at Ioco on the 15th.


And last but not least - it was quite an exciting Hockey game last night between Edmonton and Vancouver - the Cannucks prevailed in the shoot-out, but both goalies made some huge saves.

Tuesday January 24th 2012

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

We heard that the Vancouver bike show, was pretty slow on Thursday/Friday - but good crowds on Saturday/Sunday - hopefully this will translate to strong sales and fun for all as the season gets under way.

The first round of the Outlaw Series, will be held on April 14/15 at Shawnigan Lake, on Vancouver Island - the WTC sanctioned event will have the Vintage on Saturday, and the Modern on Sunday. ( Note! - This is the week before the Ryan Young School in Summerland)

In other Outlaw news, I have now posted a bunch more pics from the 20th Anniversary event, which was held at Green Mountain near Kamloops - these are of the Sunday modern trial, and show the great creek sections in the area, that are caused by the spring run off down the gulley ( dry in Summer) - We haven’t been back to this spot for many years, which  is also popular with the enduro riders. - It was Sparky Bill who took the win on the Sunday, while Steve Fracy was the winner of the Vintage on Saturday.

Next weekend will see the World riders in Marseille France, for the 3rd Round of the Indoor Series - Pol Tarres has been selected as one of the “Wild card”  entrees, - he will be out to impress on the new Jotagas, designed by his uncle Jordi.  - While nobody expects anybody to beat Toni Bou, his team mate, Fujinami, will try to forget his big crash last year, and Adam Raga will be pushing to get back on the podium, after finishing 4th last week in Geneva.

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

Monday January 23rd 2012

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Well, our Vernon Ringette Team came away with the Silver Medal. at the big Calgary Tournament - our Grand-daughter  posted on facebook, that they gave it their all in the Gold Medal game, but had to settle for 2nd spot - still an amazing achievement, considering they were the only team from BC. - Well done girls.


In other news, a report by Honda USA, says that Trey Canard suffered a broken back in the horrendous crash at Saturdays Super X - it seems his front wheel got caught up in a tuff block, and he was unable to double a jump on the first lap, which caused another rider to land on top of him. -  he is said to have several fractures, but still has feeling in his legs.


With nothing much on the box last night, I elected to watch the 2011 Scottish tapes by CJB - these give excellent coverage, without the head-banging music ?? that spoils one of my other tapes of the same event. ( I watch this with the sound off) - the unusual sunny weather at the 100 year anniversary - must have made spectating, fantastic. - one of the things that make this Trial unique, is that you get to see the stars riding the exact same sections  as the average club riders - and as they are all rocks, you see how smooth the top lads are - seeming to float over the boulders.


We haven’t heard any crowd numbers from any of the recent bike shows - although some have commented that they all appeared smaller, with less stands than in previous years. - We heard that the Beta Enduro bikes got lots of interest on the Mountain Motorcycle booth, in Vancouver, but there has been no media coverage of any of the shows that I’ve seen.


Sunday January 22nd 2012

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Saturday afternoon proved to be an exciting time watching the Cannucks play the Sharks, with the Vancouver team getting the last minute win. - Also on the Ice - The Vernon “Rush” Ringette team won a thriller in Calgary, with my Grand-daughter Hannah, breaking the tie game just 1.35 from the buzzer, with a fantastic goal for the BC Team. - The finals go today in the Tournament.


On the Motorcycle scene - Chad Reed won the Super X, ahead of Ryan Dungey and James Stewart - sounds like it was a real bar-banger, and will air on Speed later today.


As reported yesterday - Toni Bou once again took the win in Geneva, at the second round of the Indoor Series - check out this article from TrialFIM X-Trial World Championship 2012

Bou makes Geneva a one rider show

The home city of the FIM welcomed round two of the 2012 FIM X-Trial World Championship, with Toni Bou - Repsol Montesa taking his second successive victory in Geneva, Switzerland.


Once again Bou was unstoppable and ran out an easy winner, as his rivals scrapped it out for the remaining podium places. Albert Cabestany - Sherco eventually took the runners-up spot after defeating Takahisa Fujinami - Repsol Montesa in a last section showdown. Adam Raga - Gas Gas was a disappointing fourth on this occasion after having headed Bou in qualification.


During the pre-event press conference Raga explained how important it was to put Bou under pressure and that is exactly what the Gas Gas teamster did as he went clean during qualification to beat the series leader by a single mark. Toni had looked in devastating form once again until a rare mistake in the water and rock section spoilt his otherwise faultless tour. Jeroni Fajardo - Beta was the next best on a total of five marks as he failed the slabs, where only Raga, Bou and Fujinami went clean.


Cabestany beat his Japanese rival in the tie-break to qualify in fourth spot, as both of the more experienced riders kept the younger Loris Gubian - Gas Gas at bay, with the French protagonist finishing in sixth to claim the last place in the semi-final. Michael Brown - Gas Gas made his evening slightly better as he defeated Jack Challoner - Beta in their tie break decider to take the points for seventh place. Alfredo Gomez - Montesa and Benoit Dagnicourt - Beta rounded out the qualifying results in ninth and tenth position respectively.


For the second week in a row French section maestro Bernard Estripeau was again responsible for creating a course to test this elite gathering of Trial riders and that proved the case in the very first hazard of the semi-final. Toni once again exercised his superiority as he passed through the almost impossible concrete slabs for a dab, whilst the rest of the field were stopped in their tracks. After a relatively easy passage through the log section, all the protagonists then failed as they attempted the pallet steps in the reverse direction. Fajardo and Gubian were cruelly eliminated at this point as only two marks separated all but Bou.


The Toni Bou show immediately resumed in the final, as he became the only rider to conquer the man-made mountain and in doing so stretched his advantage by another five marks. His winning margin was to grow to thirteen marks come the finish. Raga slipped off the Tag Heuer section late on to rule himself out of a rostrum place and to drop to third in the general standings.


Cabestany and Fujinami, the two oldest riders on the tour, battled mark for mark

with the Spanish veteran eventually snatching second spot by virtue of his better qualification placing. Cabestany now moves into second position in the series.


Takahisa was still pleased to join his Repsol team-mate Bou on the podium after a long absence for the thirty-two-year-old.


The top three riders will have no time to really enjoy their champagne as the 2012 FIM X-Trial World Championship moves swiftly on to Marseille, France for round three that will be held over next Friday and Saturday.


Final - 1: Tony Bou (Montesa-ESP) 6; 2: Albert Cabestany (Sherco-ESP) 19; 3: Takahisha Fujinami (Montesa-ESP) 19; 4: Adam Raga (Gas Gas-ESP) 23;

Semi Final - 5: Loris Gubian (Gas Gas-FRA) 11; 6: Jeroni Fajardo (Beta-ESP) 12.


Non Qualifiers – 7:  Michael Brown (Gas Gas-GBR) 16; 8: Jack Challoner (Beta-GBR) 16; 9: Alfredo Gomez (Montesa-ESP) 21; 10: Benoit Dagnicourt (Beta-FRA) 23.


Championship Positions

1: Bou 40; 2: Cabestany 27; 3: Raga 24; 4: Fujinami 21; 5: Fajardo 11; 6: Gubian 11; 7: Brown 6; 8: Gomez 3; 9: Challoner 2; 10: Dagnicourt 1.


Picture Credit: FIM/Good-Shoots Mag: