Archive for January, 2014

Friday January 31st 2014

Friday, January 31st, 2014

The last day of the month, so what better thing to do than go riding !!!  - Of course I could be doing book work, but that wouldn’t be nearly as much fun. - Matt is bringing along his chain saw and we plan on taking out the fallen tree that has blocked one of our good lines on the route to the top fence. - Weather is supposed to be sunny and -2, but we will have to wait and see how that pans out. - I’ll take a few pics to post later.


We received a couple of emails regarding the date of the WTC Western Canadian Championship, one from Thomas Coordner and the other from Steve Foord - they point out that this date clashes with the WEC  Cross Country event in Litton BC, which is unfortunate. - As I mentioned to them ( and other people) - it’s extremely hard to plan a schedule that doesn’t conflict with other sporting events, especially when it’s a two day, that requires a long weekend. - We had to change it from the August long weekend because of another huge event happening in Revvy, so our choice, was very limited - especially as the weather in this area is very fickle both early and later in the year.


Thursday January 30th 2014

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Here’s a neat pic on the front cover of the latest Classic Trials mag: - As I don’t have a subscription to this, I’ll have to rely on Harlow to send me one maybe. - Mick is on the 74 TY 250, which was the first bike I had when I joined Yamaha Canada in 1973. - At the time it was quite a bit better than the European models, and the brakes really worked. !! - I had quite a lot of success on this bike riding Trials in Alberta.  - I see there is also an article on the JCM, another brand that I was involved with back in 1990 - like so many of the small Trials factories, JCM were in and out of the market within a few years.


With so many rumors of new Trials bikes coming out, it’s hard to imagine any of them lasting long - The numbers really don’t justify the cost of production, and all the enthusiasm in the World doesn’t pay wages or overhead. - The latest story, is that some  Spanish guy, has bought the rights to the Merlin name from Gas Gas, and intends producing this bike again, although I doubt it will have the cheese slicer wheels like the old bike. - So we have Dougie & Vertigo,  plus Jordi and whatever name he comes up with for his new bike. - Do these people ever do a market survey? - It’s already common knowledge that Gas Gas and Ossa merged because of money troubles, - then you have the small Jotagas operation using Jordi’s name, but with only Steve Saunders really selling any amount of machines. - Sherco appear to be doing OK at the moment, but like Beta they are hoping for Enduro bike sales to keep the cash rolling in, although Beta make a lot of  their money selling a zillion scooters every year.- Montesa have Honda backing them, and don’t seem concerned about  sales numbers. -(Honda bought Montesa back around 1968 to save them from going under, so they could market Honda Scooters in Spain)  -   It will be interesting to see who survives, when the dust finally settles. ( Obviously I’m betting on “Beta” as they are the oldest Manufacturer in Europe)

The weather in the Valley was miserable yesterday, - snowed for most of the day, and the forecast is for the same today - not a big deal for me as I don’t have to go far. - Just need to ship off some Opti Snowmobile oil for Jimmy - he was thinking of paying us a visit, but this is never a good time of the year to travel the Mountain Passes.


We are pleased to announce that Darren Brice (2013 Expert British Trials Champion) will ride the Beta Evo 300cc 2T for 2014.

Darren Brice

Darren will be supported by Beta UK and D3 racing who are newly appointed Beta dealers.

John Lampkin. ”Darren is very respected as his results speak for themselves. We look forward to Darren competing on the new Evo this year”

Darren Brice.”After testing the Beta Evo I was so impressed with how the bike rode and how easy it was to ride. I have not ridden Beta for some years now but I cannot wait to ride the bike in competition”.


Morrow and Burson Podium!
(Un secondo, un terzo e un quarto posto per Beta alla prima dell’AMA National Hare and Hound)

The Purvines/Beta race team started out their 2014 season with impressive finishes at round one of the AMA National Hare and Hound series with Justin Morrow, Nick Burson, and Axel Pearson finishing 2nd, 3rd, and 4th respectively.

The conditions were dusty in the Johnson Valley hills as riders found the loops to be more demanding than expected. Justin Morrow explains: “I stayed behind Ivan for the first 15 miles and was riding all right through the rocks; the first loop was a lot gnarlier than I had anticipated. It was filled with tight and twisty up hills and down hills, I held onto 2nd and was dropping into the last little valley to the finish and teammate Nick Burson went flying by me and I just about pooped a purple twinky. I was thinking there is no way I am about to get passed right in front of the finish. My adrenaline kicked in and the race was on, we went back and forth both of us on the gas but I was able to pull it off and finish 2nd!”

Burson explains: “With about 10 miles left I started to get whiffs of dust and then I finally got eyes on Justin who was in 2nd. As we crested the last hill and made our way into the final valley I was right behind him. I made a pass on him at the top of the valley, which now I know was a mistake. I should have waited and passed him more towards the finish so he wouldn’t of been able to put an attack back on me. As we drag raced towards the finish pretty much side by side there was a road crossing and a large jump approaching. Both of us didn’t let off and came sliding into the finish. Justin just merely edged me out. It was a great race and a great show for everyone watching. I was bummed I didn’t make the pass stick but happy with the way I rode towards the end of the race. Starting the year off with a 3rd overall works for me and I am going to work harder to be at the top step of the podium this year.”

Rounding out the top four places was Axel Pearson aboard his Collin Woolsey prepped Beta 450 RR. Pearson’s performance shows that he has picked up where he left off from last year’s final event finishing fourth in the Pro class.

Wednesday January 29th 2014

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

We received confirmation yesterday, that the date for the WTC Western Canadian Championship at Revelstoke BC, is good. - This will be the July long weekend, which falls on June 28/29. - Everybody in Revvy is excited about hosting this first ever Trial in the area, and with all the other attractions available, we should get a good crowd. - We will have a poster with details when the date is nearer. - Before that we have Silver Creek, and the Outlaw at Scotch Creek. - No doubt about it, the Interior of BC will be the place to be this year if you are into Trials.


Yesterday was certainly a busy day - after an early morning Doctors appointment - it was back home where the phone was ringing steady with dealers wanting Opti -snowmobile oil. - Sorting this out & arranging shipping via Ace Trucking, took some time, then Marcus stopped by to pick up some new Wulf pants to match his 2010 Sherco, & we had a good chat about the local Trials scene. - I finished my day off, by delivering a drum and a bunch of cases up the Valley to the Polaris dealer. - With snow coming, I wanted to make sure that I got things done before the roads got bad.

As it turned out, we didn’t get the 10-15cm that they  forecast, and there is only a dusting on the ground today in Vernon. - Hopefully they will have more in the mountains as we will need the moisture when summer comes.

The Scottish Six Days Trial is without doubt the biggest event in the Trials World - Here is a look back at the 1970 Trial courtesy Trial Mag:

Scottish Six Days Trial 2014

Yes the greatest trial in the world is coming soon and you can bet many times winner Sammy Miller will be casting his eye over the event.

Sammy Miller

Sammy Miller is seen here in this superb Nick Nichols action shot taken from the Mortons Archive collection at the 1970 SSDT on the five speed Bultaco. He had previously won the event on the Ariel in 1962, 1964, 1965 before Alan Lampkin spoilt the fun in 1966 on the 250cc BSA. Miller then won the event for the first time on a Spanish machine the Bultaco in 1967 and 1968 as Bill Wilkinson became the last winner on a British machine in 1969. 1970 would be Millers last appearance in the SSDT where he finished in third position..

Results 1970 Scottish Six Days Trial

1: Mick Andrews (250cc Ossa) 26; 2: Rob Edwards (250cc Montesa) 31; 3: Sammy Miller (252cc Bultaco) 34; 4: Malcolm Rathmell (250cc Bultaco) 36; 5: Geoff Chandler (150cc Bultaco) 50; 6: John Hemingway (120cc Alta Suzuki) 51; 7: Dave Thorpe (250cc Ossa) 55; 8: Gordon Farley (250cc Montesa) 63; 9: Lawrence Telling (250cc Montesa) 65; 10: Ted Breffit (250cc Ossa) 81.

Picture Credit: Mortons Archive


Tuesday January 28th 2014

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Another early morning doctors appointment, so the blog will be brief today - at least until more news hits the press later>

I see that the new issue of Trial Mag is now out, so should be arriving shortly - I always look forward to reading this - the latest has a write up on Nigel Birkett, one of the really great long time supporters of Trials - he has ridden the Scottish Six Days more than anybody, and also helped test the original Yamaha TY 250 Mono back in 1982, before it became the bike to beat.


Later today Marcus will be stopping by to grab some new gear, he has bought a used Sherco, which Marris shipped down from Fort Mac Murray - Finding any good used Trials bike is like searching for gold.


I heard from Barry yesterday - seems he was out riding at Bear Ridge on Sunday - the first time this year - he told me he had fun, but nobody else was out.


Here’s a great pic of James Dabill at the Marseille World Indoor.

More news later>

Monday January 27th 2014

Monday, January 27th, 2014

An early morning appointment, means that I’m a bit late getting to the keyboard today. - The socked in cloud over the Valley is quite depressing, but at least we have reasonable temperatures at the moment, although the long term forecast is for a cold spell right across the West for the month of February.


Looking back at the weekend Vancouver Show, it was nice to see all the enthusiasm, but how this will all play out on the Sales floor remains to be seen - In my opinion they still need more “Pizzaz” - ( my own word) - to stimulate these events, and while I didn’t walk all around the buildings  to view everything, the only bike that I saw that couldn’t be seen on the local dealers showroom floor, was the stream-lined speed record Triumph. - With the money they pull in from all the exhibitors, and the general public,  I think they should be getting some big name stars from the Motorcycle racing World, introduced on stage - they do this in the UK, with much success. - Many of these Super- Stars from yesteryear, are very good at relating their racing experiences, and are well versed in public speaking. Anyway, that’s what I think.

On the Trials front, Jordan Szoke did a good job  outside to an appreciative crowd, on a nice sunny day, but this would have been a different story had it rained, and again one rider doesn’t really generate much excitement - I think the club organized displays, with four or five riders, are better, because they show the public all abilities.

Having said all that, Pete and myself enjoyed our day out, and as mentioned yesterday, it was nice chatting to old friends, although there didn’t seem to be as many of these this year, but maybe some chose to go on Sunday.

We did get good feed back on our WTC Calendar, so hopefully all these dates will pan out.

A good article on both the Beta Evo and Trials in the Province today.


Sunday January 26th 2014

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

The early morning dusting of snow, then dense fog on the Pass, made for some tricky but not too bad driving yesterday, as Pete and myself headed to the Vancouver Motorcycle Show. - Once we dropped down into Hope this gave way to bright sunshine, and by the time we reached the Tradex Center, it was really shirt sleeve weather. - The lack of any signage and changes in the road system, caused  a few wrong turns, before we finally tagged along behind some street bikes, which were going to the show.

I must say that I was quite surprised at the massive crowds, due mainly I suppose to the nice temperatures , and we were soon busy answering questions on the new Beta Trials and Enduro bikes on the Mountain Motorcycle booth.

We chatted to a lot of old friends, plus paid a visit to the combined Ossa/Gas Gas booth to see John McKinnon, who now works for the new Ossa Canada Importer - John bought some bikes from me years ago when he lived in Calgary.

I also had a good chat to Jordan Szoke, before he went off to do his Trials demo outside, he had his family with him, and we talked about the great little electric bikes now available for the kids,


Yesterday was also “Robbie Burn’s day” - so I thought I would post this pic of  Trials Canada Web master Bob Johns, who is wearing the Kilt of the Black Watch regiment. ( Bob is English)

While most people recognize me for my Welsh background, my Father’s mother was in fact Scottish, and a member of the Fraser clan.


As expected, Toni Bou took the win at the Marseille World Indoor Trial on Saturday night - this time it was Adam Raga who finished as runner up, with Albert Cabestany third. - James Dabill missed getting on the podium by just one point. - more on this story later.


Bou makes it two from two in Marseille

Toni Bou – Repsol Montesa made it two wins from two starts in the 2014 FIM X-Trial World Championship when he won in Marseille, France after a night-long battle with arch rival Adam Raga – Gas Gas. Raga kept the reigning champion honest and looked a real threat as he finished within two marks of the series leader following an intense encounter in the French city. Albert Cabestany – Sherco rounded out an all Spanish podium for a second round in a row as he narrowly defeated James Dabill – Beta by a single mark for the last remaining place on the podium. Bou has now stretched his advantage over Cabestany in the general standings to a healthy thirteen points even at this early stage of the campaign=============================================>

UPDATE: - I see David Knight (Sherco) won the World Endurocross in Mexico ahead of Taddy Blazusiak (KTM) and Jonny Walker (KTM) - In the Junior class it was new Beta sensation Giacomo Redondi, who took the top spot.


Saturday January 25th 2014

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

Today I’m off to the Vancouver Motorcycle Show with Pete - up very early to meet him at 6am in Kelowna for the drive over the Pass, which will no doubt be foggy, but at least there is no snow in the forecast. -

Although I will spending most of my time on the Mountain Motorcycle Beta Booth, I will try to take a few pics of other interesting stuff, including Jordan doing his Trials demo.

My Photo-Journalistic career, goes back to the 1950’s, when I took time off from my regular job as a Photo - Engraver, at the local Newspaper plant, to cover Motorcycle Trials, and Scrambles around North Wales.

In those early years, I used an Ilford 35mm camera, which was about one step up from a box brownie, but full of enthusiasm, I was soon developing and printing my own black and white photographs, many of which were published in the sports sections of the eleven Newspapers which were printed at Woodall’s Newspapers in Oswestry.

This was a whole new field for me, compared to operating a huge studio camera  which was mounted on rails, and which was used to copy all the regular photographs that were used in the press. - At this time we even used glass plates, which were hand coated with film before processing, an art that few people will remember.

These negative screened images, were then printed onto photo sensitive zinc plates, before being etched in a bath of nitric acid, and finally sent out to the letter-press type-setting section to be slotted into the complete pages which eventually made it to the large printing press. - Obviously there was an awful lot more to this process, than I’ve described in this brief posting, but my memories of this period of my life as an apprentice are still quite vivid.

The small Ilford camera, was soon replaced by a new Pentax, and the quality of my weekend work improved tremendously, - I traveled all over North Wales, selling my black & white photographs at Motorcycle events, and even covered a few for the National Motorcycle Press - shipping film overnight to Fleet Street on the Train.


This WTC Schedule of Trials events, is not complete, and as always some of the dates may need to be shuffled, However I thought it important to post the Calendar, so that people can plan holidays etc.

Unfortunately it is virtually impossible not to clash with some other Motorcycle discipline, such as Enduros etc.


Friday January 24th 2014

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Another loss for the Cannucks last night - not that I watched it all, I switched over after the 3 missed scoring chances in the power-play. - it gets painful seeing them struggle like this.


Busy day yesterday, with more Opti drums arriving for the snowmobile enthusiasts - then later in the day, we had a visit from Brandon Wince, who was on his way back from Revelstoke. - We had a great chat with me bringing him up to date on all the latest news in the Trials World, and also recalling early days of him and other young riders at the Postill Lake National , when I had Barry acting as mother hen, taking the future stars on a modified loop, - there were seven of them including Will Duggan, Ryan Bell, Brandon and his brother, plus some I can’t remember - they were all riding bikes that were far too big for them, and there were a few tears that day. - That was also the day that Sparky Bill cut the end off his little finger in a crash. - Mark Cahill turned out to be the big winner, in a large entry which had riders from Eastern Canada as well as the States.


This a neat pic that I saw on facebook ( photo credit Barry Robinson) - It shows Martin Lampkin after winning the 1981 Scott Time Trial, with his two young sons, Dougie on the right and Harry on the left.


Harlow Rankin was kind enough to send me a copy of the Classic Trials magazine, with some fantastic photographs of Trials events from the past, in the UK, plus a very good article by Harlow himself, recounting his life as a young Trials rider and Photographer, promoting the sport in Alberta. - Lots of nostalgia in this issue.


Thursday January 23rd 2014

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

A dusting of snow on a ground today, but a stable weather forecast for the weekend, so Pete and myself plan on going to the Vancouver bike show on Saturday - I will spend most of my day on the Mountain Motorcycle “Beta” booth.



New investment aids Jotagas expansion

Jotagas has signed an agreement with the law firm Morison Asesores Legales to become part of the Jotagas Board of Directors. Morison Asesores Legales is a company specialized in business consultancy which will assist Jotagas in its expansion project.

“Jotagas is pleased to announce their new partners, Morison Asesores Legales.
This company has invested into Jotagas to assist the next stage of production. With sales being high the demand for a larger production line has arrived and this obviously needs cash. This investment will assure this will happen.
We are now able to put in place these plans. In the coming months we will see production increase.As a company we are putting our energy and time into the production of Our high quality Jotagas trials models. We currently have the 250cc, 280cc and the 300cc machines and the long awaited 125cc is imminent. The first of these will be heading to UK importer Steve Saunders very soon.”


So it looks like the rumour was true. - Not sure how this will work out. >


Meanwhile in France there was an Indoor on Tuesday night - with Adam Raga taking the win - Local hero Alex Ferrer just beat out James Dabill for the runner up spot - ( Dibs wasn’t happy)


Wednesday January 22nd 2014

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Another day of “Valley Fog” appears to be in order, but at least there is no snow on the ground this morning - not such good news for other parts of the Country where it is back to frigid weather.


We have learned that another well known Trials rider, will be making his Enduro debut in Alberta later this year, and while his name is still a top secret, we can tell you that he will be mounted on one of the extremely popular Beta RR 250’s.

The Italian bikes are certainly making an impact on the Enduro stage, with lots of wins,  which has led to more sales  around the World, and here in Canada. - We are getting more and more phone calls on the fantastic red rockets, with yet another one yesterday from a rider who has recently moved to Vernon from the Prince George area.


Sad news from the Formula One camp, that John Button, Father of Jenson, has died of an apparent heart attack at age 70. - He was a permanent fixture at all the F 1 races, and will be sorely missed.

In other health news , there appears to be no change in the condition of Michael Schumacher, who suffered a massive head injury while on a Skiing holiday in December.



Bou takes title fight to Marseille

Series leader and defending champion Toni Bou – Repsol Montesa will take his title fight to Marseille, France this coming Saturday 25th January as he looks to make it two wins from two starts at the second round of the 2014 FIM X- Trial World Championship.

Although few would bet against Bou extending his early season advantage at the top of the general standings with another victory in the French city, his plight will not be an easy one as the initial battle in Sheffield, Great Britain earlier this month confirmed.
Bou was pushed hard at round one by Albert Cabestany – Sherco, with just two marks separating the dominant Spanish pairing after a hard and fraught night of tense competition. Both of these leading protagonists will be aware of the significance of the pending duel, with Marseille back in 2010 being the last time Bou was defeated on the World indoor tour. The winner on that night by a single mark was a certain Albert Cabestany.


Amazing, there are some days that Doug Lampkin announced officially now working on the Vertigo project, a project to create a new trial bike.
Today we learn that the seven-time world champion another, Jordi Tarres, is also working on a new trial bike.
We know that Jordi Tarres left in July Jotagas the mark which was originally to disagreements over the management of the company, Jordi would therefore quick to want to revive a brand. According to our colleagues todotrial, this bike would be unveiled at Milan 2014 and could end up in concession in February 2015.
The two World Champions will therefore deliver a new challenge by proxy in an economic context for less gloomy.