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.

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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”

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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)
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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)
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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.

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

Tuesday January 10th 2012

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

What a turn-around in the weather - snow on Sunday, like a spring day yesterday, now really windy this morning. - looks like the cold stuff will be shifting over the mountains to Alberta this week, with more traditional temperatures, for places like Edmonton & Calgary. - Speaking of Calgary, my wife came across some old black & white pics I took back in 1967 when they were building the Tower - I used to walk to work at that time and took a series of pics, of the continuous pouring of the cement structure. ( Will post a couple on the “Odds” album.)

I see that the ATAQ club in Quebec, are prepared to host a couple of WTC rounds again this year - the Western Rounds will likely be run on Vancouver Island, later in the year, to allow more Eastern riders to attend. ( Also this would not clash with our 25th Outlaw Trial in May)

Still on the WTC topic - the #1 plates have all been sent out for 2011, and very nice they are too - Weisner Insurance sponsored these, and at least one rider has posted a pic on facebook.

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We heard from Yamaha Jeff, that the Calgary Show was pretty good as regards positive response to the new models by the Japanese company, but also mentioned that the show was considerably smaller than in previous years - no doubt a sign of the poor economy. - The Edmonton event goes this weekend.

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Just read an interesting article in the Snowmobile Mag: on the market trends, and some data on the direct injection systems now being used by Ski-doo. - this has proved to be very popular, with sales on the two-stroke models way up. - the Quebec BRP company really shelled out the big bucks last year in a sales extravaganza to 4000 dealers from all over the World.  - Although they are hedging their bets, with a line of Four Cycle models, there is no doubt that the new Two-Strokes are much lighter, and are now excceding all the epa figures.

Another article explains the problems that exist with Ethanol fuel - which can be devastating to the two-cycle engines - we have posted on this subject before, as the Opti Oil we distribute, has a built in fuel stabilizer. - The number one rule in this regard, is always use fresh gas.

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UPDATE : - Albert Cabestany is entered for the Scottish on the Factory Sherco.

Here is a list of the Pre 65 Entry.

http://www.ssdt.org/index.php/pre-65-trial/229-pre65-scottish-2012–entry-list

 

 

Monday January 9th 2012

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Sunday was certainly a lazy day - with snow on the ground and the driveway plugged for a while, we just sat around and watched a movie. -the melt is on now for a couple of days, with the temperature supposed to be +8 today.

One thing I noticed while reviewing the Sheffield Indoor, was the absence of Albert Cabestany, in fact no mention about this at all on the various web-sites. Maybe they couldn’t justify the cost as it wasn’t a World Round.

The entry list for the Scottish has now been posted - with 275 riders chosen by ballot from the 400 who sent in their forms. - As usual, I checked the bike stats: and although there are one or two missing (11) - the totals are - Beta 78       Gas Gas 67 - Montesa/Honda 40, - Sherco 38, - Ossa 12, Greeves 3, Yamaha 2.

Other interesting facts - there are 72 overseas riders entered, including 6 Japanese, 2 Americans and a couple of Aussies, but no Canadians. -  Eddie Lejeune and his brother Eric, are back, but I didn’t notice any other big names in the list, although they always keep a few spots for last minute factory riders.

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Sunday January 8th 2012

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

Well, it snowed lightly for most of yesterday, so no riding today - hopefully my neighbor will be out with the tractor later to clear the driveway.

With nothing much to do, I was on twitter with Heath for almost an instant report of what was happening in Sheffield, and it sounds as though Toni Bou was once again in a class of his own.

The video of Bou on the Pidcock section, where he jumps backwards for a second attempt, still with his feet on the pegs, reminded me of a young Jordi, doing the same thing many years ago when he was riding Beta.

Jeroni Fajardo certainly put on a good show by tying with Adam Raga for second, with very limited time to practice on the Beta - Dougie Lampkin crashed out of his final race with James Dabill, and finished his final Sheffield event in last place, but at least he made it to the second half of the program, beating out Michael Brown and Jack Challoner, who failed to qualify.

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Sheffield Indoor 2012


Undisputed World Trials number one from Spain Toni Bou had the roof tiles rattling as he took the Montesa to yet another superb win at Sheffield, the first major event of 2012.

In front of an enthusiastic 6,000 strong crowd he gave a world class display as he simply blew away the opposition with a display which will keep the trials fans talking for a long time.

 

He sailed through the qualifying which would see both Michael Brown and Jack Challoner eliminated before taking the event by storm.

 

In the final Bou raised the bar despite some gallant riding from the opposition, talking to Trial Magazine Toni Bou has this to say “I have really enjoyed once again the Sheffield experience, the event is always an excellent one and the crowd support is incredible and I would like to thank them for this. I have ridden well tonight but most importantly I have enjoyed the event” he concluded.

 

For the British supporters it was James Dabill who tried all he could to keep on the pace with some gallant riding as he came home fifth in front of Dougie Lampkin who has assured us all this is most definitely his last appearance at Sheffield Indoor as a competitor.

 

Lampkin has ridden at the event since it first appeared seventeen years ago giving the crowd some fantastic memories but he leaves this event having earned the crown “The King of Sheffield” with an amazing eight wins to his name and more importantly twelve times a World Champion in the Outdoor and Indoor competitions.

 

Results:

1: Toni Bou (Montesa-(ESP) 2

2: Adam Raga (Gas Gas-ESP) 15

3: Jeroni Fajardo (Beta-ESP) 15

4: Takahisa Fujinami (Montesa-JPN) 18

5: James Dabill (Beta-GBR) 25

6: Dougie Lampkin (Gas Gas-GBR) 27

 

Picture: Toni Bou (Montesa-ESP=============================================>
The Super Cross from Anaheim proved to be quite exciting, with Ryan Villopoto taking the win, ahead of Chad Reed and Ryan Dungey - James Stewart finished 6th after crashing, but was quite “Up-beat” when interviewed after the race.

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Saturday January 7th 2012

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

Finally - Web site up again after hackers took down about a 100 sites.

It’s been a busy morning watching for the latest Trials news from the UK - this has now been posted on face-book and Trials Magazine etc,  and it involves Jon Richardson who won the Scott Trial last Fall as a Team Sherco rider - In a hush, hush affair, it seems he has signed with the UK Montesa Distributor and will get a factory bike for 2012. -Good deal for Jon, but not so good for Malcolm Rathmell, who has now lost his top rider.

At Sheffield, the second half has just started, with only Toni Bou still clean - Brown and Challoner failed to make the final, so it’s Lampkin, Dabill, Fajardo, Raga, Fuji and Bou.

I’m checking the results posted on my other computer,as I type this, - by Heath of r2w fame - he had some news of his own earlier, when it was announced that he will be working for Trials Magazine on a part time basis.

Weather has turned ugly in Vernon, with light snow falling -

SHEFFIELD UPDATE Final.   Bou, Raga, Fajardo, Fuji, Dabill, Lampkin. ( Bou lost only 2 points, Raga and Fajardo tied on 15 with Raga getting the nod.