Archive for April, 2012

Monday April 30th 2012

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Good morning Trials fans !! - The weekend event at Shawnigan Lake turned out to be fantastic as usual, and a big thanks to Steve Fracy and his crew for all the hard work. - It was great to see our old friends and socialize. - The weather was just about perfect for a Trial, and everybody had a blast. - I took a bunch of pics, and these are now posted on the gallery. Results should be up on Trials Canada today.

The World Trial in France at the weekend, saw Adam Raga steal the spotlight on the fist day, but it was Toni Bou who again took the overall win. - Jeroni Fajardo (Beta) was the other man who finished on the podium..


We have a very busy schedule today - so not a lot of time to spend on the blog - but will try to catch up on the rest of the action with a full report tomorrow.


Friday April 27th 2012

Friday, April 27th, 2012

A dry start to the day, as I try to remember everything I need to pack in the van for the trip to the Island - Tomorrow kicks off the start of the Vintage Outlaw Series, and although we don’t get huge numbers, the two classes are always fun to watch and ride - hard to believe that my last official competition was five years ago on my Fantic 240.

The Pre 65 Scottish is now only a week down the road, and just to conjure up the excitement of the event, I thought I would post this report from the 2011 Trial, which was won by Steve Saunders on a 350cc Triumph twin.

PRE 65 SSDT 2012

“Well the 2012 Pre-65 SSDT is nearly with us, to get you in the mood here is last years report from Trial Magazine”


The lure of the Edinburgh Club’s Pre 65 Scottish Two Day Trial brings together a host of superb riders who enjoy the challenge of the classic Scottish sections on old machines, which means that, amongst the 180 strong entry, there were innumerable riders capable of claiming a win in this classic event. Previous winners included Dave Thorpe, Tony Calvert, Scott Dommett, Neil Gaunt, Roger Williams and the most recent ace Paul Heys, but come the end of the two days, held in fantastic Scottish sunshine, it was Steve Saunders who proved to be the best to join Mick Andrews as the only two riders to have won both the main six day event and the Pre 65 trial.

Words: Rappers

Picture: Andrew Weddle (Panther)

Picture Credit:  Yoomee

To many, Kinlochleven is the hub of all things Pre 65, for there is no doubt that the Pre 65 Scottish holds a magic that is unmatched anywhere else in the world of classic trials; and to secure an entry is success indeed. This year it was Mary Driver who was the club’s guest of honour; the former ACU Competition Secretary and quality rider of BSAs and Greeves machines in the sixties was on the start-ramp to flag away Scot John Nichol at 10am on Friday morning for 28 sections along a circuitous route around the village and along the banks of Loch Leven. There’s no doubt that Friday’s trial was difficult compared to some previous trials (even though the riders did not have to make their way out towards Blackwater Dam this year), so difficult in fact that only one rider managed to stay clean through all 28 sections: eventual winner Saunders, who guided his 350 Triumph with supreme skill. Winning this trial is not easy, as it is not just skill that is required but also the ability to withstand pressure. Saunders, with his vast experience, is the best man to cope with that as snapping at his heels at the end of the first day were Neil Gaunt and Les Winthrop on one mark lost, Jimmy Noble on four and then a host of riders in single figures, including Frenchman Jean-Luc Nictou who was destined to go on to win the best foreign rider award (and he could have won the best newcomer as it was his first time in this trial). Already out of the likely running were Roger Williams on ten and Tony Calvert on 18, who had fallen on his shoulder already injured from a trial seven weeks before, whilst Spanish favourite Carles Casas had been forced to retire his borrowed Cub with more oil on the outside of the engine than on the innards. Inevitably there are many rides of sections that inspire tumultuous rounds of applause, all of whom are worth noting but few that can make it into print. Pipeline is probably the most popular section for spectators and they were witness to a fantastic, forceful clean from Mick Grant, whilst Peter Salt let go of the twistgrip at one stage before finding it again to remain feet up to the exit of the ultra steep hazard.

Dry and Loose

The ultra dry conditions created very loose sections over both days, with rocks rolling rather than bedding down as happens when there is much moisture around. Saturday again enjoyed sunshine that threatened to crack the stones and it was not long before Saunders spoiled his clean sheet with the loss of two marks on his first section of the day. He dabbed twice at the top of Pipeline when he got himself tangled in the loose rocks at the top. However, those proved to be his only errors of the day’s 29 sections. Over on the other loop (odd and even numbers headed off in different directions from the start) one of the most appreciated rides was that of Peter Gaunt, who guided his Bantam to a pair of fantastic cleans on the two difficult lower subs at Mamore as he gradually brings to a close his riding career at the age of 74. He again sold his bike at the end of the trial – or so the rumours went – but who could doubt that the doughty Yorkshireman will be back again. Best oldest finisher was the evergreen George Greenland at 78 but looking not a day over 70 – or perhaps even less. His enthusiasm remains infectious and the return to a smaller machine has obviously paid dividends. Previous winner Paul Heys came close to retiring as his Stealth Cub failed just before the start when a rocker pin broke. Undaunted, Paul stripped the head and repaired it, but then had to do it a second time having made a mistake the first time. He started the trial three hours after pushing it off the ramp and somehow managed to ride the event in 2 hours 24 minutes when most had used their full allowance of five-and-a-half hours. And he only lost four marks on day two! Gaunt and Winthrop were two riders most likely to upset the Saunders applecart, but Neil lost three whilst Les had to accept a five when the chain came off at Garbh Bheinn. Best performance on the day was by Nictou and Russ Rooksby each on one, but it was the opening day’s clean sheet by Steve Saunders that secured him victory at his second attempt.

Results: 1: Steve Saunders (Triumph) 2; 2: Neil Gaunt (Ariel) 4; 3: Jean-Luc Nictou (Ariel-FRA) 6; : 4 Leslie Winthrop (Triumph) 6; 5: James Noble (Ariel)7; 6: Russell Rooksby (Ariel) 8; 7: Scott Dommett (Dot) 10; 8: Davy Morewood (Triumph) 10; 9: James Harland (AJS) 12; 10: Mark Harris (Ariel) 13; 11: Roger Williams (James) 17; 12: Paul Heys (Triumph) 18; 13: Murray Whittaker (Triumph) 18; 14: Mark Quinn (Triumph) 18; 15: Christopher Myers (Triumph) 18; 16: Chris Milner (Triumph) 18; 17: Joan Rovira (BSA-ESP) 18; 18: David Thorpe (Triumph) 18; 19: David Watson (Royal Enfield) 18; 20: Eric McMeekin (BSA) 19.

Thursday April 26th 2012

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Rain, Rain, GO AWAY - come again another day - we used to sing that a lot as kids back in the UK, where the weather always seemed to be more rain than sunshine. - The forecast for the weekend does look great, so the 1st round of the Outlaw Series ( The Joe Brown ) at Shawnigan should be a goodie !! - We will be heading out tomorrow, with the van loaded as usual.


I read a report by Big John Moffat that the heavy rain & flooding have caused a change of venue for one of the Scottish championship events,-  hopefully the Six Days, will not be like it was in 1992, when we were over there with Steve Fracy - you have never felt the cold damp conditions get into your bones, until you have experienced  a wet day in the Highlands.


Some of the Alberta riders who attended the Ryan Young school, have been posting on the ATRA web-site, with reports on how they enjoyed the event - as Kenny says - he figured he had got his money’s worth, by about noon on the first day. - We’ve heard from Ryan since he arrived back home in Kentucky, and he said that both him and his wife really enjoyed the weekend in the Okanagan. - A big reason was the fantastic weather, but also the job done by Jacek, who looked after all the travel arrangements. - Anybody wanting a large  pic for their Computer screen or to frame, just shoot me an email with the number, and I will see if I can oblige.

The first round of the World Outdoor Championship starts this weekend in France, and unless Toni Bou has an “Off” day - it seems that once again everybody else will be playing for second spot. - However, just as in the Super X series, - riders do crash and get hurt, the difference being that in World Trials, there are only a few riders in the Champ class anyway, so if one or more get hurt early in the season, the whole thing would lose it’s spectator appeal. ( And a loss for the organizers)


Wednesday April 25th 2012

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Well, I’ve now downloaded all the pics from the Ryan Young school, and also the video - However, I do have a problem transferring the video from VHS to DVD, so it will be a while before I can mail any of these ( Need some help on this) - Must say the video, taken with my mini-camcorder, turned out great, and will be a good asset for the riders to study their technique.


The clock is ticking before the start of the Scottish Six Days - there will be lots of excitement in Fort William, as Trials riders from all over the World converge for the Annual “Sporting Holiday in the Highlands” - nobody from Canada this year.


I see that Ross Danby gave the new JTG it’s first UK win last week - he took the number one spot in the National Victory Trial - no doubt  Importer Steve Saunders, will be happy with this - it will be interesting to see how the bike goes  in Scotland.


The next couple of days are going to be busy as I try to catch up on parts / accessory shipments, plus do some service work on the bikes before heading to the Island on Friday.


Yoomee book

Moto >> News
Sheppard ready for opening Trial GP

Eighteen year old Jitsie factory Beta rider Jack Sheppard will head to La Bresse in France later this week in a confident mood ready for the opening round of the 2012 FIM Trial World Championship after having now completed his final preparations. Sheppard who captured the FIM Youth Trial World Championship last year, has spent the last six months or so fighting his way back to fitness after undergoing complex surgery to correct a rare condition in his right wrist.

Having not ridden a trial of any status since clinching his first ever World title in Japan, back in August of last year Jack returned to the competition stage last weekend to ride in a round of the Belgium national championship. The primary objective for his participation in this event, was to have the chance to put himself, the bike and the team through a final shakedown ahead of this weekend’s French GP.

After a nervous start, which revealed just how much Sheppard has missed being in the competition arena over the last seven months, Jack recovered well to post the best lap score of the trial and to come home in a morale boosting second place. The trial at Chaumont-Gistoux gave the reigning Youth champion his first chance to work properly with his new minder James Lampkin, as the pairing looks to add yet another World title to their respective tallies starting in France this coming weekend.

The event also gave Jack the opportunity to make some small refinements to his factory Beta 300 which will hopefully power him to the 2012 FIM Junior Trial World Championship over the coming season. Speaking after his first competitive outing since his operation, Sheppard explained the following.

“The good news is that we are now ready for the first World trial. It seems like it has been a long road to get to this point, but now I am happy that it is finally here. My recovery has been slow, though consistent and always in the right direction, which shows that it has been correct not to rush my comeback.”

“Being able to ride an event ahead of this weekend’s championship opener was great, as it gave me the chance to get rid of any nerves and to feel comfortable about riding in competitions once again.”

“Although I have been training with James (Lampkin) in more recent weeks, it was still good to be able to work together in a trial and to test the bike and the other new equipment we have.”

Jack ended. “After a really bad start, I was pleased with how I recovered and how I was riding at the end of the trial. James was brilliant, and is definitely going to be a big help this year. There are some good guys in the Junior class, but hopefully starting in France, I can be in there and amongst them although I am not expecting too much too soon

Image kindly supplied by Roland Hermann

Tuesday April 24th 2012

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

After an extremely busy day yesterday - sorting stuff out from the weekend - it looks like this will continue for the rest of the week - of course editing pics etc takes many hours, but I was very happy with the results we got from the Nikon and Canon - plus the video we shot with the mini camcorder turned out really well. - All Students will get a copy of these.

With the Trials season now well and truly in full swing, many of the riders who attended the RYP School, will be able to put their new found expertise to the test at the first round of the Outlaw Series which happens this weekend on Vancouver Island - Steve & Matt Fracy have spent many hours & weeks fine tuning the sections & loop for this event - for further info: you can see the poster on the front page of Trials Canada, but also if you need directions, shoot me an email.

Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of the School in Summerland, was the almost complete lack of crashes by any of the students - As always, I stuffed as many parts into the Outlaw van in case - but nobody needed fenders or levers, which was nice to see - nothing worse than having a big “Off” to spoil your day.

In other news, I see that Jack Challoner (Beta) won last weekend’s Italian Championship - I saw a pic of him jumping off a huge cliff beside a bridge where most riders would need a parachute - amazing, but maybe a little crazy as well. -

The F1 season is shaping up to be very competitive - Vettell took his first win last Sunday, but it was Kimi Raikkonen who grabbed 2nd with his Lotus (Renault) team mate  Grosjean, 3rd - not sure what happened to the McLaren’s etc - will try to watch the re-run of the race.


More News as it happens - keep checking the gallery  ->>>>>>>>>>>

Monday April 23rd 2012

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Well, The Ryan Young Training school at Summerland, is now in the history books, and what a fantastic weekend it was. - without a doubt, the students who signed up for instruction by the seven time US champion, got the very best training possible.

It all started on Saturday morning at 9am and went until Sunday afternoon at 4.30, with all aspects of how to ride a trials motorcycle covered, from basics to advanced techniques. - The weather was perfect and smiling faces were the order of the day, we had riders from Hinton, Edmonton, Red Deer, Calgary, Turner Valley, Lethbridge, Nelson, Vancouver and Vancouver Island. - The whole thing was the brain-child of Jacek Jablonski, who organized, all the details, from picking Ryan and his wife, in Spokane, then driving them up to the Okanagan, then back again last night. - Congrats to everybody who attended the school, we saw big improvements over the weekend, and if they practice what they were taught, the results should follow. - I took over 350 pics plus video, and some of these have now been posted on faceboook, Trials Canada and on the Outlaw gallery. - we will keep adding more as we get time. Finally a huge thanks to Ryan and his charming wife for making the trip, he is without question, the best Trials training teacher in the World bar none. - The next school will be in Alberta next August, but that is already fully booked.


More news later >>>>>  Birthday Greeting to Taff - who turns 38 today

Friday April 20th 2012

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Ah ! Yes ! - The start of a fun filled weekend - We will be heading for the Ryan Young training school down the Valley - Jacek emailed to say that he picked up Ryan and his wife in Spokane last night, so everything is on course for a brilliant, and first time event, for the lucky participants.


In other news, I see that Beta had a 1-2-3 sweep at the Ioco Trial last weekend - Wilson Craig, finished ahead of Sparky Bill and Todd Nordin - the other classes were also packed with both Betas and Shercos which of course is good to see when you sell the product.


The 2nd round of the Italian Championships take place this weekend - Jack Challoner and Becky Cook will be trying to keep the Union Jack at the top of the podium - they both ride for the local TTT Beta team.


Meanwhile the countdown is on until the start of the 2012 Scottish Six Day Trial - but before that we have Round one of the Outlaw Series on Vancouver Island - This is always a great event and well worth the ferry trip. - Steve Fracy and Matt have been working steady on getting things right, with a ton of new sections to test the riders.


And finally, if you thought it was the Japanese that invented the 4 cylinder motorcycle - think again, and take a look at the 1939 era AJS porcupine posted on face-book - it was also liquid cooled. - Many “New” inventions are really ideas from the old days.

=============> No more blog until Monday - watch for a full report & pics on the Ryan Young School. >>>>

Thursday April 19th 2012

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Today Jacek will be on his way to Spokane to pick up Ryan Young and his wife, for their first trip to the Okanagan - fortunately the weather looks good for his long drive, and also for the weekend.

We were in Summerland yesterday riding the loop and doing some scouting for new sections for the Outlaw, next month, and it was a chance for young Chris Sorokovsky to see, and ride some of the great stuff we have in the area - although he still needs to practice a lot of the finer details such as turning and reading a section, when it comes to the big throttle sections and hill climbs, he is exceptional, we all had a good day, but failed to find a suitable way down into the rocky gully on the far side of the mountain - we may try again, but it will need some work. - Glad to say that the snow has all gone from the trails where we were riding on top of 2 foot drifts last week.

In World news, I see that Dougie Lampkin has announced his official retirement from World Trials, at age 36, the Yorkshireman has set many records with an incredible 99 wins in World Trials. - Most of these came in the 1990’s while he was riding Beta, before joining the Honda/ Montesa Team - He will continue working for Gas Gas in a management role, and says he still enjoys riding, with the Scottish Six Days high on his agenda.

Jonathan Richardson was unable to compete in the British Championship Trial last weekend, as his recent knee injury that required surgery, was giving him too much pain - the new Pidcock Montesa rider, will also miss the next World round in France, plus the Scottish Six Days.

So last night proved to be interesting - if you’re a Hockey fan,  - first the Ottawa Senators beat the New York Rangers, then the Cannucks finally played like they should do, and beat the LA Kings, staving off elimination.


Today will be spent loading the van and sorting parts etc, plus I will try to get in to see my Chiropractor as my back has decided to give me grief this week - maybe from doing some lifting last weekend - old age certainly brings it’s share of problems, although I was able to ignore my back pain while doing the 4th gear hill climbs yesterday - What a hoot.


Father and Son bid for Victorious debut

Gareth and Patrick prepare to do battle.

 Newcomers of all ages are looking forward to making their debut in the Scottish Six Days Trial (SSDT) that will take place in and around Fort William from 7th to 12th May. Amongst them will be father and son, Patrick (46) and Gareth (18) Palmer from Aberfeldy (Perthshire in Scotland), which is a mere 90-minute drive away from the event’s base in the Scottish Highlands. 

As well as sharing a passion for motorcycle trials, Gareth and Patrick work together in the family’s holiday lodge business, and with only a few short weeks to go have been spending most of their spare time training together for the 2012 SSDT. For Gareth, taking part in this year’s SSDT is part of his coming of age celebrations. The teenager passed his bike test in January and his entry to ‘The Scottish’ was an 18th birthday present from his family. 

“I first got into trials in five years ago when I was 13, but it wasn’t until two years after that I started to take it seriously and compete in local events. I watched the Scottish Six Days Trial for the first time back in 2008. From then I’ve been to watch every year and I’ve always fancied having a go at it myself,” says Gareth. 

Gareth, his father Patrick and his sister Bronwyn (16) are regulars on the Scottish trials circuit, having competed in a number of national and club trials. The famous Scottish Six Days Trial will be by far the largest event of Gareth and Patrick’s riding careers to date and Bronwyn also hopes to compete in the female class of the competition in the future. 

“It’s such a big thing for us,” Gareth continues. “It’s a great event for everyone involved, but I think if you are from Scotland it feels that bit more special. I’m really looking forward it and it will be fantastic to be able to say afterwards that I have ridden in the same event as my favourite riders such as Dougie Lampkin.”

Father and son train together, but will ultimately compete against each other at the SSDT. It will not be the first time this father and son duo have been rivals as Gareth and Patrick have competed in a number of the same events since Gareth moved up from youth class two years ago. The pair are potential contenders for two of the special awards in this year’s SSDT. Firstly, the Davie Hogg Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the best performing Scottish rider who has never previously ridden in the SSDT. Secondly, the Ian Pollock Memorial Trophy, which is similarly awarded to the best newcomer and is open to riders of all nationalities. So, there is a chance that the Palmers could even bag a trophy a-piece this year. 

Commenting on his hopes for his debut performance, Gareth concludes: “As this is my first time, it’s hard to say how I’ll do. My main focus will be on having fun and as long as I finish, I will be happy. Anything else that happens will be a bonus. It would be fantastic to win the best Scottish newcomer award.”

Wednesday April 18th 2012

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

The big news in the Motorcycle World today, is that Italian giant Ducati, is be sold to Audi ( owned by VW) - Although the red bikes have had outstanding sales over the past couple of years, especially in the US market, the directors feel that in order to continue the trend, they require more capital investment. - With sales estimated in the billions, the Audi group certainly have the cash to expand the line, and can now compete head to head with their arch rival BMW.


Since I joined the facebook website, I seem to have a lot of “Friends” who post in other languages - one of these made a comment about the new “No Stop” rules now being tried in England, and other changes to the World Trials format - his name Joesph Manzano, yet another rider, who was in and out of World Trials in a short space of time. ( I was able to punch in the translation) - Like many people Manzano is fed up of all the rule changes, but the fact of the matter is that at the World level, the organizing body (FIM) have to do something, as the series cannot continue with just a handful of riders.


Back in our small pond - we will continue to host Traditional Trials, and in our case, the long loop approach, that seems to be in favor with most riders. - Today we are going down to Summerland to explore another fantastic addition to the loop we put in for the 2011 Ady Trial.

====================>  More news later.

Tuesday April 17th 2012

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

At this time of the year, my phone is going pretty steady with people looking for used Trials bikes, and I always answer the same way - “Anything that I get that’s good - seldom lasts a week” - A lot of the calls are from “Racers” who want a cheap bike to learn Trials skills. - The reason for this is because most of the top Xtreme races, are now being won by ex-trials riders - Graham Jarvis is a good example of how ” Cross Training” can bring big rewards for the rider who wants to do well in Cross Country events, but it was Manxman David Knight, who first turned heads, when he changed from Trials to Enduros, and he was closely followed by Polish rider Taddy Blazusiuk.

Because we have been selling Trials bikes for a long time - it’s always a surprise when a Trials bike is listed in our area, that we haven’t heard about - it is a very small Trials World. - And sometimes the deals that are advertised really are too good to be true, so that old saying ” Let the buyer beware” - certainly springs to mind, when I see pics of bikes advertised that are not the correct year or model, and at a lower than market price. - We are always happy to give free advice to anyone wanting to try the sport, and are as close as the phone.

The clock is now ticking until the start of the Scottish Six Days Trial in May, and I see that rising fuel prices in the UK, have forced the organizers to add another $40 to the rider levy. - a sign of the times, and very frustrating for people the World over, as they are held to ransom by the oil  companies.

The weather in the Valley is fairly typical for this time of the year,  a mixture of sunshine and showers - we plan on going to Summerland tomorrow to do some more exploring, might hang some ribbon on the back side of the mountain.

Looking back at my 2011 blog for this date, I notice that we did get a surprise snow storm, so coping with the white stuff while driving over the Mountains, is fairly normal, but is a reminder that good tires and good sense are needed if you are traveling over the “Coquihalla” this weekend.

The posters are now up on Trials Canada, for both the Shawnigan Trial on April 28/29th and also the 25th Anniversary Outlaw Trial in Summerland on the May long weekend, Check them out - both are WTC sanctioned and this year have some added classes.

Also in the news last year, was the Stanly Cup effort being put in by the Cannucks, as they battled Chicago - this year, they might be on the golf course early.

More news as it happens-Message for Kenny in Turner Valley - your email box is full !!!!! empty it.