Archive for January, 2013

Thursday January 31st 2013

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Well, that’s the month just about over - time to plan on getting out for a ride !! but we need it to rain & warm up a bit first - to get rid of all the snow. - Reading a post on TMX by John Dickinson about all the cancelled Trials in the UK, I couldn’t help but wonder if the newer generation are getting “Soft” - I’ve copied his article below - but certainly in my day, we rode in bad snow conditions, and lots of times we traveled to the event on our bike. - Of course we can tell lots of stories about Alberta Trials run in wintery conditions, and our November 11th Ady Brown Trial was “White over” - So I guess the moral is - “There is no Bad day to be out riding your bike - just some are a bit more slippery than others”

- read on >>

The weather is snow joke

I Can hardly believe that a little fall of snow has had such a dramatic effect on us in Blighty. Have we really become a nation of softies?

Planes grounded, trains at a standstill, schools closed, cars abandoned everywhere – and virtually an entire weekend’s off-road sport called-off!
Several ACU seminars were even cancelled. Whatever next?
When the Lakes Two Day National Trial was held in January the event went ahead whatever the weather, in deep snow, several degrees of ice or, several times, both!
Bikes were stored overnight in the Broughton in Furness auction mart yard and more than one rider was caught out when he kicked his bike into life on a frosty Sunday morning only to have it go off on full noise with the throttle frozen wide open.
While we are freezing in the North Country, some lucky people are basking on the beaches at Baja - Stan has been spending his winters down South for many years, and we just got an email from Steve Richardson, saying he managed to make it that far, in his old Ford camper van - and it only used 3 gallons of oil to get there.!!!! - He must have had quite the smoke screen following him.
Yesterday, was spent doing a bit of sorting in the shop - finally got to put up the nice banner that the ATRA gave me at the 2012 Outlaw 25th Trial - also found another box of old trophies so one wall is now covered with plaques. - I still have the very first award I won in a Trial back in 1955 - it’s quite a unique little trophy, and brought back some memories when I came across it in the pile. - I think that is why it’s nice to keep some of these old trophies, because although time clouds many aspects of a lifetime spent motorcycling, just looking at an individual plaque or award, brings back visions of that event, like it was yesterday.
===============================================> Update: - Marseille Indoor >

Pilot Raga Bou Fajardo Gubian Fujinami Ferrer
Points 7 11 19 21 22 -
Pilot Bou Raga Fajardo Fujinami Gubian -
Points 4 5 7 11 13 -
Pilot Bou Raga Fajardo Fujinami - -
Points 5 10 12 21 - -

Wednesday January 30th 2013

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

So here we are nearly at the end of the month - and believe it or not, we have rain in the forecast for both today and tomorrow, with a high of +7 !! Sounds great, and will  help melt some of the snow, maybe it will even expose some brown spots at our winter playground near Bear Creek.. - Meanwhile over in Alberta, the deep freeze continues with -28 temperatures in many places. Brrrrr ! - mind you, I remember one February we had -30 in the Valley, so anything is possible, with our strange “Global Warming”

NEWSFLASH !! We just heard from a reliable source that KTM have bought Husqvarna

We just received the following rumor from a usually reliable source: BMW separates itself from Husqvarna and sold the Northern Italy brand to their arch rivals KTM. This ar­tists so far kept secret will take in the motorcycle scene like a bomb. After all, BMW invested several million euros in the factory in Varese, but now apparently lost hope, ever to bring the small off-road manufacturer to an appropriate altitude.
How the new ownership structure of Husqvarna will look, was yet to learn. Play a major role is the cross Industries AG according to the rumors, a comprehensive corporate network, whose Vorstandsvorsitzender KTM boss is Stefan Pierer.
The first thing I do when switching on the CP in the morning, is delete all the “Spam” - I would really like to put all these people in a room, for a very long time, with no chance to even hear the birds “Twitter”.

I see even the Trials Canada site is constantly being raided by idiots - all very frustrating.


On the positive side, my latest copy of Trials Magazine should be arriving soon - always a good read, but pretty expensive, the next issue will have a test on a full size Electric Trials bike, which while interesting, I can’t see a switch to this type of power happening anytime soon. - just like the 4 wheel variety, they are both too expensive and have too many glitches. ( However, I fully endorse these bikes for the kids)


More news as it happens >>>>> UPDATE ! - Here’s my report from this day last year.!!!

Monday January 30th 2012

Monday, January 30th, 2012Nice 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)

Tuesday January 29th 2013

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

A very Happy Birthday to our buddy Barry Van As - who is another year older today - I think that makes him either 62 or 63..


Having watched the video from Marseille via a link posted by Heath - like most everyone else, I was amazed once again to see the unbelievable skill of the World Class riders. - Some of the obstacles looked impossible, and yet somehow they were conquered by the top guys. - Alex Ferrer, the young junior World Outdoor Champ was one of many crashing, breaking his nose., while Fujinami seemed to struggle and maybe is getting too old for these events. One thing I noticed was that Loris Gubian’s bike revved wide open after he crashed into the barriers, so are the World guys not using pull off tether switches? - I thought this was mandatory for all World events?.

Note : - Albert Cabestany appeared to be missing from this event for some reason.

Monday, was quite a busy day, shipping oil and general running around town - Jeff stopped by in the afternoon, to check out my Beta 200, plus the really nice used 2012 Sherco that we have for sale ( now advertised on my For Sale page) - Like everybody he is suffering with a bit of “Cabin Fever” - and Chris Hrabb called from Revelstoke with a similar story.

Although we still have light snow in the forecast, at least it’s supposed to warm up over the next few days - our friends the other side of the Rockies have been plunged back into an arctic blast with Edmonton temperatures of -28. - Only the win by the Oilers last night will cheer them up. - Not such good news for the Cannucks - who dropped another one  in the shootout, after leading the LA Kings most of the game.


Champions come together to Celebrate the ACU Awards

On Saturday 26th January the ACU held the annual Awards Presentation at the Park Inn Hotel in Northampton. Hosted by Peter York from Coventry Speedway, during the course of the day nearly 700 people attended to celebrate the achievements of both Youth and Adult riders from all disciplines of the ACU. The Youth Awards took place over the lunchtime and highlighted the hard work of the future stars from the sports of Trials, Motocross, Quads and Grass Track.

One of the most prestigious awards of the Evening went to Tom Woolley, the youngster collected the Pinhard Trophy having finished second in the FIM World Flat Track Championship.Tom was on hand to collect the Award from Tony Lloyd of the Sunbeam MCC.

Other stand out winners were Steve Holcombe, the 18 year old from Devon was present to collect his four Awards along with Becky Cook from Trials after collecting the honours for winning the UEM Women’s Trials Cup, the British Arena Trials, Women’s Solo Championship and for being a member of the Women’s Trials Des Nations team with Emma Bristow and Donna Fox who finished second behind Spain. (Becky and Donna pictured above)

General Secretary Gary Thompson said, “The ACU Awards is always a special occasion, it is the one time we can all get together to celebrate the achievements of our Champions and Award winners in all our sporting disciplines under one roof. It is always good to see so many of our Youth competitors, our Champions of the future look so proud as they walk to the stage to collect their well-deserved awards”.

Monday January 28th 2013

Monday, January 28th, 2013

So here we are again hitting the keys bright & early - all the spam deleted & ready for the morning report - I’ve been “Batching” all week, as Momma Bear has been over at my daughter’s house, keeping an eye on our two teenage grand-daughters, while Helen is away in the Bahamas on a business/vacation.  - It’s been an interesting week, trying to cook meals that fit into my diabetic situation. - Some have turned out pretty good, but a few left a lot to be desired. ( I get spoiled when Babsy is home)


Yesterday the weather was quite reasonable, so I was out in the shop, checking over the 2012 Sherco that Kenny traded in - must say this bike is mint  and only required an oil change (Opti 5w30) and a couple of new levers as Ken had cut down the original ones. - then it was time to fire it up and test ride through my little section out into the front driveway - the bike sounds like new, no piston rattle etc, and everything as it should be - definitely  a sweet bike for somebody.       ( I’ve posted an advt on my “For Sale page)


Next on the agenda, was loading a skid of Opti into my van, for shipping to Alberta - 24 cases at about 30lbs a case, soon got me warmed up, but the exercise never hurts. - after this it was time for lunch, and a check on what was on the box - the 24 hours of Daytona was winding down, so I  watched that, nice to see Juan Pablo Montoya take the win, I used to like his aggressive style when he raced Formula One.

Flipping through the channels, I saw some of the golf, with Tiger looking to be back on form - leading by 5 when I switched over. - but all too soon it was time to figure out what to cook for supper ? maybe fish?


I see that Shane Sugden has posted a pic of his new Sherco on facebook - he is shown lifting the bike waist high !! I know they are light, but he is obviously a very fit (and happy) young man.


I had to laugh yesterday afternoon, while in my office, I heard my next door neighbor, blasting up the field on his sled - a glance out the window told me that he is not using Opti, as the smoke screen blanked out the whole area - I guess I’ll have to talk to him. - not too many mosquitoes about that’s for sure.

This reminded me of my first visit to Toby Creek up at Panorama BC -  I was up at the snowmobile rental spot chatting to the owner after delivering some 45 gallon drums of Opti 2 Injection oil, He told me that switching to the almost smoke-free Opti, had made a huge difference to his business. - It seems that he caters to a lot of foreign tourists, taking large groups out on trail tours high in the mountains, and he had lots of complaints about the smoke from all the sleds while they were sitting in the assembly area, waiting to get going. ( particularly the Japanese) -The problem was solved when he switched to Opti 2 -  Anyway it was nice to be able to help out, and a neat place for winter enthusiasts. - This was also the location used by Harlow Rankin when he brought Bernie Schreiber up to do a Trials school many years ago.

Be sure to check out our “What’s New” page for updates - plus of course the gallery  >>>>>>>

Sunday January 27th 2013

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

Well, Kenny arrived from Alberta just after lunch yesterday, and it wasn’t long before we had him back on his way, with his new 2013 Sherco 305 and Shane Sugden’s 2012 Sherco 290 packed away in his neat all aluminum trailer. - Hopefully he will now be back home, without any hold-ups for avalanche control etc. ( I’ve posted some new pics on the gallery.)


With NHL Hockey pretty much taking up all the TV time - there was no coverage of the Super Cross last night, However, I see that Ryan Villopoto took another win, getting the holeshot and putting things on cruise to the checkers, - a first turn pileup took out Reed and Stewart, plus Barcia, so it was Davi Milsap who grabbed 2nd spot, with Ryan Dungey coming through the pack to finish 3rd. - Ken Roczen won the Lites race, when points leader Eli Tomac crashed out early.


A snow flurry overnight, just to remind us that winter is a long way from being over - I guess today will be spent checking over the 2012 Sherco that I took in trade from Kenny Knight - not that this will take long as the bike is immaculate, and a great buy for somebody - phone me if you’re interested as this won’t stick around long.


The Second Gear club, have posted a cancellation of the ice race planned for Gull Lake today - it seems that the ice is too thin at the moment. - Sounds like a smart move.


There was an Indoor in France last night, reported on one of the European web-sites - Heath Brindley has provided a link to a video of the even on facebook.

More news as it happens >>>>>>

Saturday January 26th 2012

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

Weather today is overcast, but no snow forecast in the Valley - at least not until tomorrow, when they are calling for “Flurries” - It was beautiful yesterday for “Robbie Burns Day”  - This is the day when all people with Scottish ancestry, celebrate the life of the great Poet. - As mentioned in my short autobiography ( last Sept 5th) I have a mixture of Welsh and Scottish blood in my veins, - so I did have a “Wee dram” of Glenlivet, before supper last night.

A nice surprise for me on Friday, was finding out that Ken Knight will be driving out to Vernon today, to pick up his new 2013 Sherco 305, he will also take back Shane Sugden’s 2012 Sherco to Calgary, so that will save me making a trip to Alberta next week ( Thanks Kenny) - Not that I mind delivering new bikes door to door, but winter driving is something I don’t relish anymore. ( Been there done that etc) - Hopefully the Pass will be OK today with no closures.


I see that the Cannuck’s got their revenge against the “Ducks” last night, beating them 5-0 - Cory obviously had his game face back on. - Still no word on where Luongo will end up.


The winter blast is still causing many of the Trials events in the UK to be cancelled - heavy snow will more than likely be followed by more floods, a frustrating time for organizers. - However enthusiasts can at least visit the Vintage bike show in Shropshire this weekend put on by Alec Wright - lots of neat stuff to see at this annual event.

Not much happening in this Country regarding dirt bikes - unless you are into ice-racing - I think there is one going on at Sylvan Lake on Sunday, in Alberta. - With our local Swan Lake now frozen over, I guess it won’t be long before I see a few hardy folk out there either ice fishing or going round on bikes & ATV’s. ( viewed from my office window)

There is a saying that “Stupidity Kills a lot of people” - and it does seem that many lose their lives at this time of the year, by not thinking before venturing out onto rivers and Lakes. - We have seen a rash of incidents this past week, with people falling into frigid water trying to rescue pets.


Friday January 25th 2013

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Yesterday turned out to be a busy day, as I was off to Kelowna, once the plow had cleared my driveway - the Hiway was in good shape, although it’s easy to see why some people get out of control as they push the limit in the outside lane ( This happened the day before when a small car bounced off a City bus that my son happened to be on)

While in Kelowna, I stopped off at the Polaris Dealer to drop off a snowmobile tool-pack, and couldn’t help noticing that they appeared to have a lot of staff but only one customer !! - Then it was over to Kelowna Chainsaws, where I learned that business had been very slow, even in snow blower sales. - also paid a visit to Paul at C&S Printers, and chatted about that Industry, before stopping by the Truck depot to pick up a Sherco.  - The bottom line is that I’m not hearing that any retail outfits are breaking the bank with Sales, in the Valley or anywhere else, so I wasn’t surprised to read today, that the Larry Brooks/Jeremy MCGrath Super Cross Team, had shut down.

Back at the ranch - it was time to unload the 2013 Sherco 300, - the first one we have had, and what a beauty this is. - after doing the PDI, I fired it up, to make sure everything was OK - then took it for a short test ride around my driveway  ( The snow was cleared by this time) -  Suffice to say that this bike is powerful, and very impressive - I noticed the shifting was perfect, with neutral very easy to find when required,- the new longer lever likely helps in this regard. - the bike just bristles with quality, and there is no doubt that anybody wanting a bike with “Zippy” power, will love this model.

Now I just have to watch the weather channel to figure out when will be the best time to make a trip to Alberta to deliver this and another Sherco, plus Opti Oil. ( I will take some pics today and post on the gallery)


Thursday January 24th 2013

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

The sky is clear this morning, with sunshine over the ridge across the lake, however, as it snowed all day yesterday, I won’t be going anywhere until the driveway gets plowed. - Then I will be heading to Kelowna to pick up a 2013 Sherco from the truck depot.


I got a call from young Chris Sorokovsky a couple of days ago - he is the lad who turned a few heads at the Extreme Xtinction race in Alberta a couple of years ago, when he rode a CR 500 (Two-stroke) engined Honda XR. - Since that time he has been out riding with us a few times on a 2006 Sherco, and entered his first Trial last November, riding the Expert Class of the very snowy Ady Brown Memorial event. - His debut, proved to be difficult in the slippery conditions, but Chris was “Hooked” and called to say that he had located a used 2011 Beta that fitted into his budget, and asked me for advice. - As it turned out, this bike was owned by Todd Nordin, so I told Chris to buy it. - ( He had tried a similar bike I had and loved it) - Buying a used bike, of any brand, should not be taken lightly, and I’m always glad to offer free advice to anybody looking to get into the sport, sometimes spending hours on the phone.


Something else that I did yesterday, was check the “Stats” on my website, which proved to be an eye-opener ! - So far for the month of January, we have had 34,818.00 hits on our site, but it was the totals from last year that blew me away - close to a million hits for the 12 month period, with enthusiasts from all over the World clicking on. - Naturally, Canada was the leader in this category, followed by the USA and Great Britain, but we also had visitors from France, Russia, Israel, Norway, Sweden ,Poland, Germany, Ukraine, China, Thailand, Romania, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Netherlands, Spain, Estonia,Italy, Luxembourg, Australia, Yeman, and  Brazil.


At this time of the year, we watch a lot of videos, and it’s nice to see that the ATRA, are now posting both pics and video clips on their website. - Jacek emailed me a link of one taken of him last year from various practice sessions, including some amazing footage taken by his 7 year old son Ollie. - you can check all this out by clicking on the ATRA site.

Speaking of posting pics, - I have now added some pics of my “Blinged” 2013 Beta Evo 200  to the Beta album on the gallery. - We have a ton of accessories for riders to “personalize”  their bikes. - check out the for sale page - click on accessories and scroll down - if you don’t find what you’re looking for give us a call, we have stuff for all brands of machines.

Well, I can hear the snowplow working outside, so I had better get mobile - more news as it happens>>>>>>

Wednesday January 23rd 2013

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Having checked the weather forecast last night, I half expected to see fresh snow on the ground this morning, but although they are still calling for a big dump later today, so far we are good here in Vernon. - Of course these continued wintery conditions, get to be a bit of a drag, especially when I’m planning a road trip to Alberta, but like they used to say on the Sopranos  ” What ya gonna do”

With Momma bear away on “Teenager” sitting duties, while my daughter spends this week in the Bahamas, I spent last night flicking through the various  TV channels, not spending too much time on the Hockey with the Oiler’s getting hammered, and the Cannuck’s having a night off.


In UK Trials news, I see that Jonathan Richardson, has got a ride with Nigel Birkett’s Ossa team for 2013  - the talented 21 year old who won the 2011 Scott Trial on a Sherco, had been under contract to the Pidcock Honda/Montesa Team - but had to sit out most of 2012 with a bad knee injury.



Luscombe Leeds ACU Sidecar Championship

Luscombe Suzuki Leeds A.C.U. British Sidecar Trials Championship. Isle of Man February 2/3.

Hard to believe in amongst the rain, snow, frost and other weather related problems that the Peveril Motor Cycle Club will be staging the opening two rounds of the Luscombe Suzuki Leeds A.C.U. British Sidecar Trials Championship on the Isle of Man in less than two weeks. Series sponsor Robin Luscombe and his son Sam are gearing up for the very traditional Manx hospitality and will also compete in the Andy Smith Trophy Trial on Saturday and the David Craine Trophy Trial on Sunday. The format, weather permitting, will six groups of sections on Saturday starting at Dhoon Quarry then a seven section Sunday ride starting at St Johns.

Event Secretary, for both trials, is Denise Kissack who reminds any intending entries that the closing date is this coming weekend.

Denise already has eighteen sidecar crews and ten solo contenders so get cracking straight away with those entries. For the newcomers to Manxland, the social scene is legendary, even in the depths of winter.

Tuesday January 22nd 2013

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

As we approach the start of the 2013 World Outdoor season - it appears that Adam Raga has given his opinion on the new No Stop rules in an interview taken at a recent Indoor event, and which is now posted on facebook, via U Tube.

Having watched the video, I feel sorry for Adam, in as much as he seemed to be sort of ambushed on the subject, and likely got a talking to by his bosses at Gas Gas. when this all went viral. - Not that he isn’t entitled to his opinion, just like everybody else, but mentioning names of FIM people, might not have been the smartest thing to do.

Naturally, there are lots of people who agree with Adam, and of course, a similar number on the opposite side of the issue, but at the end of the day ( or year) I guess we will all have a better idea on whether the change of rules, has been beneficial or not.

From a personal standpoint, I don’t like the No Stop, or old rules, even though that’s the way things were  for most of my riding career. - Although, I see the logic behind the FIM decision, I still think that for most outdoor events, at the World level, this year will see a lot of controversy, as although these are Professional Trials, they are scored by Amateur observers (Checkers). - The logical answer, would be to have a team of Observers, paid by the FIM, to travel to all the world rounds, so that the scoring is consistent, but that is unlikely to happen.

I see that the SSDT committee, are asking for volunteers this year, for people to act as observers, not an easy task, as standing out on the moors all day, in cold and rainy conditions, can be miserable. - although, many of these hardy souls, have been doing this every year for a lifetime. ( remember what I said about consistency)

As an organizer, I know only too well, the difficulty of hosting events, and the stress put on people that are pressed into service at the last minute to act as observers, and thinking back to 1975 and the first ever Canadian World Round, I wonder how we managed to get approx 80 people to act as checkers, at this ground breaking, Alberta event.

With snow on the ground, for most  of Canada, ( unless you live on the West Coast) - Trials riders have lots of time to consider the upcoming season, and plan accordingly. - In May we have the WTC National in the Okanagan, and as soon as the snow melts, Pete and myself, will be making a trip down to OK Falls, to check out a new area used by the South Okanagan Dirt Bike Club. - This has about a 20 km loop, with a campground, and might just prove to be an interesting alternative to our usual Summerland location.

==========================================>UPDATE - For anybody taking a vacation in the UK this year…….

Apico sponsor British round!

British World Trials Round organisers Dirt Bike Action are pleased to announce Apico as the new title sponsor for the 2013 event.

The trial will once again be staged at Nord Vue, Penrith, Cumbria and this year it will represent the penultimate round of the 2013 FIM World Trials Championship.
This year’s Apico British Trial GP will be held on the weekend of July 26/27/28.
The sponsorship deal was struck last week with Apico, the company headed by former three time World Trials Champion Yrjo Vesterinen, and the UK’s leading supplier of off-road parts and accessories.
The event will be known as the Apico British Trial GP.
Event Director John Kerwin said “This is a great deal for the trial, and it’s especially good to have Vesty on board, he has already provided some great ideas in moving the trial forwards.
Multi British Trials Champion, Scottish Six Days,  Scott Trial  winner and former World Championship rider Graham Jarvis, Official Course Designer, has some fantastic sections planned, which take into account the change of rules this year.”
Building on the success of last year’s Youth Trials in the Electric and C&D classes, there will be a dedicated arena in a prime position, near the factory trucks.
This is to recognise the development and growth of youth trials within thesport and spectators really got involved and supported the event in 2012.
Adding to this, new for 2013, Dirt Bike Action has invited our friends from the Classic Trials scene to provide a display of classic trials bikes along with demonstrations on specially constructed sections.
The 2012 British Trial GP at the venue was one of the best rounds of the series last year.
And of course it will be recorded in history as the last event to be run under the stop allowed observation rules.
2013 will see World Championship trials run under a new version of No Stop rules although the FIM has yet to release full details.
The change of rules is not expected to have any great effect on the final results of any round or the series.
Toni Bou dominated both the 2012 Championship and the British round  at which he bagged a double win and was responsible for drawing a huge crowd which followed him round the sections in a rolling scrum.
The round also gave Brit James Dabill his first ever adult World Championship podium and also saw young Brit Bradley Cox win his first World Youth rounds as he bagged a double in front of an appreciative home crowd.
So, all is now under way for the 2013 Apico British Trial GP.

Discount ticket offers and camping for this special event are available at