Archive for August, 2014

Friday August 29th 2014

Friday, August 29th, 2014

An early start today, hope to get on the road by about 7.30am - Yesterday, traffic in the Okanagan Valley was ugly, as it always is for the last long weekend of Summer. - I was down in Kelowna dropping off parts for Kevin Elbury and Brandon - Hadn’t seen Kevin for some time, he told me about his neat ride at Powell River, with Mark Grey, , Andrew DeBoer, Heather Wall and  other people - Andrew posted a video of this on face book and it showed the awesome terrain they have in that area, lots of high alpine rock slabs etc. - Later I stopped by to see Paul Throssell, at CS Printers, and he showed me the very impressive new copier they have just installed - it’s a huge unit, taking up half the room, but it does a fantastic job - things have certainly changed since I was in the business.


And how about this old brochure? - believe it or not, these were the images that used to get me all excited when I was a lad - my first bike was a James Captain, but a more modern version, with the “All new” swing arm suspension, that came into vogue in 1954. - Check out the price!!!


Had an email from Foordy yesterday, he said he had heard that Cody Webb might be coming to the “Rocks & Logs” enduro at Blackfoot Park - That would sure be good advertising for Beta. - We will try to learn more on this story.


As we head into the Fall riding season, there is always a lot happening, but one of the most popular events, is the “Terra Nova” - a cross between a Cross Country race and a Trial, the Victoria club have been hosting this for decades -Harold  (Turk)  Perepulkin, has ridden it every year since 1969 ( sorry if I misspelled your name  mate) - It’s a favorite with riders like Mark Cahill, and Stan Bakgaard, who have traded wins a number of times. - Of course the most famous of all Time Trials goes soon in the UK, with the 100th anniversary of the “Scott Trial”


There are a number of events happening this long weekend - there is a Cross Country race near hope BC, which a few of the Revy lads will be going to, and also another one in the Crowsnest Pass.

Anyway, whatever your plans are, drive safe & have fun - I will be posting pics from the Ymir Trial on Monday night.

Have a good one.


Thursday August 28th 2014

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

I’m a bit late getting up today - the cooler night-time temperatures make it easier to “Sleep in” - although we got up to +33 in Vernon again yesterday, in fact there have been record temperatures all over BC this summer. - Today I’ll be heading down to Kelowna to drop off parts for a customer, and also some stuff for Brandon to take to the TDN with him. - Then it will be back home to finish up chores and load the van.

We heard from Jay Colley, who tells us that everything is under control for the  Ymir Trial - Vintage and kids run Saturday, then modern on Sunday.  Looking forward to seeing Pete and Cloe again- and the rest of the local gang - I know that Stan and Steve will be there from the coast, and Taff and some other Albertan’s will also be making the trip. - This is the last round of the WTC Outlaw Series.
As it’s the last long weekend of the summer, the roads are going to be very busy, so I urge everybody to take their time.


Meanwhile over in the UK, the British Championship moves to Neath, South Wales this weekend - Here is a preview of the event, courtesy Trial Mag:

British Solo Trials Championship Rnd 5

The fifth RT Keedwell  sponsored British solo Trials Championship takes place this weekend at Lletty Farm, Aberdulais, Neath. Postcode SA10 8HR.

Edinburgh_BTC_076  The St David’s organised by the Neath Club have run here many times in the past and the venue is popular with riders as it offers plenty of different challenges. Muddy climbs, loose gullies and rocky outcrops are all on offer, great for riders and spectators alike. As with all of the Championship events this year it will be run over 3 laps of 12 sections with the action getting underway at 9.30 on Sunday with the Expert Class followed by the Championship runners.

Looking at the Expert group first of all it is Guy Kendrew who has set the running with a perfect set of results. Four riders and four wins has seen Guy take a huge lead into this round and even if he stayed at home on Sunday he would still be in the lead after the event.

Realistically the battle is on for second and third in the standings and at the moment JamesStones holds second place from Joel Edwards with Tom Affleck fourth and Buster Regan fifth. Stones had a bad result at Addingham Moorside but he came back strongly at the Edinburgh round two weeks ago  at the spectacular Bob Macgregor Trials Academy ground. Joel Edwards will need to keep an eye on Tom Affleck who started the season slowly but is now looking much stronger.

Edinburgh-BTC-071The Championship Class has seen no less than 22 riders score points this year but it will surprise no one that the top two James Dabill and Michael Brown are the pairing making the overall running.  Dib’s holds a six point advantage over the current British number 1 Michael Brown and his mastery of the Scottish round was superb. Brownie posted almost as many clean rides as James but his overall consistency and ability not to lose 5′s put him clearly ahead last time out. Behind the top two there is a battle going on with Alexz Wigg, Jack Sheppard and Ross Danby fighting for third in the standings. Alexz has ridden with real determination this year, Jack has been very consistent and Ross cannot be discounted.

With some of the younger riders also having made their presence felt this season there should be plenty of interest throughout the day.

Words and images – Colin Bullock


I’ve seen some really good video this week from the European Round in Belgium - these young riders  are amazing on their 125 machines - Sam King from Australia, told me some good stories of riding with these future stars, while he was in Spain. - Although we haven’t heard much from Sam since he went back home, ( he doesn’t have easy access to the internet from where he lives) - However, he did say, that he is really looking forward to coming back to Canada in 2015. - We might have a chance to bring one of the Young Beta UK  star  riders over next year, to do schools. - More on this in due course.


Check out this rig - These are the BMW bikes being unloaded for the upcoming World Rally, that our buddy Paddy Horan has been working hard on - Not sure of the exact route the competitors will take, but it’s going to be grueling - covering high mountain forestry roads and trails to eventually end up in Calgary AB.  - This is a huge event.


And finally, here is the poster for the Ormstown Vintage event that went last weekend - great poster showing Mick Andrews, still going strong. - Congrats to those guys for keeping that event going over the years. - Too bad somebody doesn’t plan something similar out West.

Wednesday August 27th 2014

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

This is Franz Kadlec, dressed up in Royal attire, after winning the European Championship last weekend - The Beta rider has had a fantastic season to date. - I think the last time I saw this outfit was when Jordi had it on.


And here is another neat pic from the Ormstown Bonanza event in Ontario - Two old guys having a laugh - Mick Andrews and Helmut Clasen, - this annual “Bonanza” features both vintage Trials and Scrambles, and is always a huge hit, with Mick being the guest of honor.


As we look forward to the long weekend, and the last round of the Outlaw Trial’s Series at Ymir, I wonder how many vintage bikes we will see on Saturday? - this class has certainly not grown as I thought it might, when we first started it back in 1987. - I keep an eye on how these events are run, and supported in other parts of the globe, and although it varies from place to place, it seems to depend on the location - some events have sections more suited to the older bikes, and it’s usually because the organizer rides and promotes these machines.


We received our copy of the TE mag via email  yesterday, and it has a whole bunch of interesting stuff in it - a good article on the Ute Cup, which is a very popular event held in the States. - It features a long mountain top loop, with 80 sections all at an elevation of around 11,000 feet. - this year Ryan Young and his brother rode it and did well - the scores appear to be very low, in this unique old fashioned style of event. but obviously people like it.  - There is also another interesting write up, by somebody who has “Observed” at both Stop and No stop events. - Christie has posted a link on facebook - check it out - or I can forward it to you.


It seems that the “Ice bucket” craze, has gone viral, with even Trials Canada guru Bob Johns getting into the act, the latest ones I saw, had Steve Saunders and Valentino Rossi, doing their thing to raise money for the ALS cause.


Does anyone ever watch that show “Dragon’s Den” ? - this is where people people with new products, try to convince a panel of wealthy investors to give them money for a share of their business. - The show is quite entertaining, and yesterday it featured a black guy from Sherwood Park Alberta, trying to raise funds for his “Instant Pancake” mix. - No the Dragon’s didn’t bite on this one, but it did seem like a pretty good idea, and would work well for campers.


Tuesday August 26th 2014

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

What a great shot this is of Cody Webb on the Beta at the recent Enduro X -  not sure who took the pic but it was posted on facebook.


The weather has certainly “Cooled off” a tad this past couple of days, although they are forecasting temperatures of around 30 for today - As we head into September, we look forward to some great riding in the woods, with a number of great events, in both Alberta and BC.


Yesterday we had a visit from Jay Williamson from Bentley AB  - he had been in Kelowna with his family, for the weekend - it had been quite a few years since we last hooked up, so we had lots to talk about, his boys are now growing up, and ready to get into Trials.


Here is a poster for the upcoming Family weekend at Revy - we attended this last year, and had a blast ( although it was a tad wet) - Any Trials riders who go, will now have the chance to ride the quarry sections we put in for the WTC Championship event earlier this year.  - The trail system the club have in place, is second to none, and the facilities at the Glacier House Resort are first class.


And how about this pic of a beautiful old BSA Goldstar - sent to me by Roger Boothroyd of the Victoria Club - I never owned one of these machines, always had Nortons, but they were certainly popular back in the day, and were used in all types of sport, including Trials, Scrambles and Road Racing.


Neat T shirt

Monday August 25th 2014

Monday, August 25th, 2014

I know we have posted this before, but with the event now just a few days away, I thought it good to put up a reminder - This is a WTC Sanctioned event so costs are really cheap, plus it’s a great place to camp for the weekend. - We now have a new Plaque made up for the Outlaw Series, and the first names will go on this after the Ymir Trial, which is the final event.  - The weather forecast looks brilliant for the long weekend, so the swimming hole will likely get a lot of use.

Anybody wanting special order parts for their bikes, please let me know quickly, so that I can ensure they go on the van.

In other news, the CPTA held a Trial at Cultis Lake yesterday - George Imada posted a few pics on facebook, but no results are available yet.



Manx 2 day results are in

Josh Brain successfully defended his Manx Two Day title with a narrow victory over MRS Sherco mounted Ricky Wiggins. 

Wiggins had an impressive second day ride, losing only 1 mark to keep the pressure on Brain right to the end.  

But Gas Gas mounted Brain held his nerve and completed his third victory by a narrow 2 mark advantage over Wiggins, with another local rider, Barry Kinley slotting into third.

The solo clubman class saw Irish rider Phillip Hanlon at the top of the pile. Sharing the overnight lead with son Jake, Hanlon had 4 marks in hand over Michael Clarke who finished on 14, with Gavin Cooper third on 21. 

The sidecar class saw a historic local win as Jamie Teare/Jane Birchall  completed the first Manx sidecar victory since 1971. 

Things were extremely close and the winner was decided on the final section of the trial. Teare/Birchall were level with Nigel Crellin/ Chris Molyneux throughout the event but managed to stay calm and take a narrow 1 mark victory. 

Darryl Dale/Hannah Etherington took third place after despite managing to clean the second day, with Rupert/Chris Kimber fourth and Robin/Sam Luscombe fifth.

Full results available at


And here are the results from the European Championship held in Belgium at the weekend.


Belgium European Championship Rounds, Sunday Results

Full results for all classes for Sunday’s European rounds … all .pdf files

2014 BEL 05 101 EUROPE FINAL


2014 BEL 05 201 JUNIOR FINAL

2014 BEL 05 301 OVER FINAL

2014 BEL 05 401 YOUTH FINAL-2


Just saw this on facebook - David was on Sherco earlier this year and numerous other bikes before that - maybe it’s time for Beta?

Unfortunatly due to lack of funds and not being a part of any team, I’ll not be able to compete in any up and coming races in the near future. Over the years I’ve always put in 110% effort and never been afraid to spend my own money to stand the best possibly chance of doing the best job I can, but I can no longer afford to race, never mind to do it properly. I’m absolutely gutted and pretty upset at the situation which seems to be getting more and more common, especially after finishing a strong 2nd in the indoor world championship and many other wins and podium’s against the best in the world this year without any proper support and on machines nowhere near the spec of some of the opposition. Thanks


Sunday August 24th 2014

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

Well the Aussi flags were waving today in Belgium, as Daniel Riccardo took the Formula One win at the famous Spa circuit. - While he got all the cheers on the podium - 2nd placed and championship leader Nico Rosberg was booed by the crowds, who may have thought he put his Team-Mate Lewis Hamilton out of the race. - the new Finnish sensation Valtteri Bottas in the Williams grabbed 3rd - his 4th of the season, - no doubt this guy is the real deal.
I was up early as usual, and watched the race, which was quite exciting, with lots of action during the latter stages, between the cars behind the leaders. - Hamilton took the lead at the start, but was then bumped by Rossberg, which left both of the Mercedes damaged. - However at the end it was a great win for Red Bull and the 3rd of the year for the Australian driver. ( Sam will be happy)


In other news, I see that Lexi Pechout of Calgary got 2nd at the Atlanta Enduro X - no results as yet on the other classes. - will post updates as they become available. -

Taddy Blazusiak (center), Cody Webb (right) and Colton Haaker (left) celebrate on the Atlanta podium. Photography by Drew Ruiz

After an exciting back-and-forth battle for the win, KTM’s Taddy Blazusiak came out on top to win the very first GEICO AMA EnduroCross race held in Atlanta, Geogia, August 23. It wasn’t until the 12th of 15 laps that Blazusiak took control and held on to take the victory over Beta USA/GEICO’s Cody Webb at the Gwinnett Center Arena.


And in Moto Cross - This was the story from yesterday courtesy Cycle News. >>

Ken Roczen

Tooele, Utah (August 23, 2014) – Trey Canard went 1-1 to claim his first outdoor title in the 450 class at the final round of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship at Miller Motorsport Park in Tooele, Utah. However, it was Ken Roczen who came away with the 2014 championship title after posting a 3-4 moto tally for fourth overall on the day.


Some of the lads were out riding at OK Falls yesterday - it’s a great area and we have talked to the South Okanagan Dirt bike club about putting on an event there. - here’s a great shot of Ricky.

Saturday August 23rd 2014

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Flashback – SSDT 2009

Yes it’s back to the 2009 SSDT where Trial Magazine test rider Nick Shield would ride a different brand of machine on each of the six days of the event. On day two it would be the two-stroke Beta 250cc.


Machine: Beta 250cc Evo

Helmet: Jitsie – Clothing: Jitsie – Boots: Diadora – Waterproofs: Jitsie & Alpinestars – Goggles: Scott.

Sections: 30  Distance: 99 miles

Words: John Hulme and Nick Shield

Pictures: John Shirt Snr – Andrew Stewart – John Hulme


Once again during the night heavy rain had lashed on the machines in Parc Ferme. I had handed the Scorpa back from the previous day to the owners and put the Beta in on the previous night; the only change was the fitting of the official front number board, something we would do every night. In the fifteen minutes allocated to each rider to work on their machine in the morning I would just change the handlebar position and make any personal touches Etc to suit me; this and checking the tyre pressures were the only jobs I would need to carry out.

As I was riding as part of the Trial, even though we were carrying out the test, I would move forward by approx 40 riding numbers each day, the same as the other riders. This procedure is carried out so that all the entry takes a turn having an early day in the sections. When my turn came to start, for a few minutes the weather took a turn for the better and stopped raining! I still put my full riding kit on though as the ride to the first group of sections at Laggan Lochs is a long way, approx 40 minutes.


I have owned Betas in the past but had not ridden the new model “Evo” so it was something I was quite looking forward to. The Beta support crew had fitted an auxiliary fuel tank behind the front number board to give me the extra fuel they thought I may need due to the length of some of the moor crossings. With the choke lever on the Beta fired into life straight away and I set off for the long road run to the first group. The weather though quite cold was pretty good, with only the odd shower spoiling the stunning scenery. The three sections at Laggan Lochs have been in the Trial for many years and have not really changed much. The loose rolling rocks have been taking marks for years and this year would be no different.

The sections are quite physical, as they are of the longer nature and you have to keep the machine on the go. Straight away the sections made me aware what a small light machine the Beta is to ride. The engine is the same, giving really smooth usable power at all times. My only complaint here was the overall riding position. The way the handlebar and clamps are positioned put me very much over the front of the machine, something which did not suit my riding style but could be easily rectified with a change of handlebars and clamps, or possibly footrests/hangers. On the moors, which were once again quite difficult due to the now driving rain and deep bogs, the machine was in its element. The new rear suspension arrangement on the “Evo” is definitely a major improvement over the previous model as the feel is now much more positive.


On the sections at the major spectator group of the day at Creag Lundie the machine once again came into its own. The sections climb up the boulder-strewn river and with me having to push up a few of the sections the light weight two-stroke is a definite bonus. The lunch break after these sections was a very welcome bonus! On the road ride to the sections at Forest Gate the weather slowly got worse with the rain once again falling quite heavily. The sections were quite straight forward as normal and the Beta pulled me up these no problem, the smooth motor defiantly doing its job. After these sections the Trial route returns to the moors which were in a really bad state and very muddy. With rain now coming down very heavily the river levels also began to rise dramatically.

In one of the river sections on the moors I fell into a hole and water gushed over the top of the machine. I stopped the machine quickly and dragged it out of the river. I then drained the carburettor as a precaution. A quick prod on the kick starter and the machine fired straight back into life. The day just got worse after this as the river crossings became impossible. At one point I and fellow competitor Glen Scholey helped one another to carry our machines across the rivers!! Waist deep in freezing water in the middle of nowhere is not much fun. My ride for a single mark up the last section of the day at Witches Burn cheered me up though, as the big step was in an evil mood; yes I liked the Beta. When I handed the machine back to the Beta support crew I was definitely ready for a hot bath.


Friday August 22nd 2014

Friday, August 22nd, 2014


Dirt Biking BC - BCORMA

Call for action to all OHV: tell your MLA “NO!” to 5 x 7 metal registration plates! BCORMA has fought hard for decals or small plastic since day 1.

Let everyone know and make noise about this. Get the MLA’s attention.


Yesterday I compiled the results to date for the Outlaw Series, ready for the final event that takes place next weekend in Ymir, BC. - ( Located South of Nelson) - Here are the points leaders in each class.

Vintage “A” - Don Doerksen - 20 points - Bob Clark -18 - Dean Seaman - 16 - Brett Clark - 15

Vintage “B” - Mark ONeill - 40 points - Steve Richardson -18 - Taff Parfitt -16 - Harold Pospisil 15- Jay Colley 14 - Chris Castles -13

Junior - Kji Klemmensen - 64 points -Rob Stobart -40 - Matt Reading -36 - Rod Klemmensen -32 - Steve Richardson 30 - Rob Trottier 28 - Leigh Stocks - 26 - Martin Lucas - 22 - Cam Roberge - 20 - Chris Briggs -18 - Jason Munns - 16 - Colton Morrison -14 - Ty Morrison 12

Intermediate - Marcus Buhrig - 40 - Aaron Dobler - 38 - Wyatt Pospisil -36 - Dean Seaman - 32 - Dale Lewis - 30 - Mitch Langell - 28 - Lee Usher - 26 - Byrnie Schroderous - 20 - Roger Giesbrecht - 18 - Ian Buttar - 16 - Graylin Geiesbrecht 15.

Senior Inter: -Taff Parfitt - 76 - Mark ONeill - 68 - Harold Pospisil -62 -Brett Clark - 40 - Aaron Brassard - 30 -Glen Kemp 28 -Doug Harrish 26

Advanced - Chris Tronnes - 40 - Jay Colley 36 - Wyatt Pospisil 36 - Gerald Mooij -35 - Mitch Langell 32 - Doug Doel 20

Snr Adv: - Ross Rathbone - 40 - Don Doerksen 36 - Bob Clark - 34 - Andrew James - 30

Expert - Stan Bakgaard - 68 - Ben Pospisil -60 - Brandon Wince 40 - Tino Marin -40 - Sam King - 36 - Steve Day -36 - Ricky Styles 28

So there you have it - Obviously some riders are well up on points because they attended both previous rounds  - but some classes are quite close. - If you see any errors or omissions - please shoot me an email. - As stated previously, we now have a large plaque made up for the series, so the winners names in each class will go on this for the year 2014.

Please note: While Rounds #1 & #2 were Two days for the Modern Classes - The Ymir Event is only one day - Therefore we have decided to award “Double points” at this trial to keep things fair. EG: First place = 40 points.

Today might be busy, as I’m supposed to have a shipment of oil coming in - hopefully it won’t be raining when it arrives - then after sorting, I will likely head up to Sicamous on a delivery. -


Saturday night the Endurocross from Atlanta, is supposed to be on the box - Cody Webb and Taddy etc will be banging bars over the logs & jumps. - A few Cannucks will be down there - Cory Graffunder, Bobby Prochnau and lady riders Chantelle Bykirk and Lexi Pechout, will be flying the flag.


Here are the results from last week’s action .>

The 2014 KENDA Tennessee Knockout, fueled by Monster Energy and presented by Moose Racing and SRT Off Road lived up to the Extreme Enduro title. The extremely tough course was hit by an afternoon Thunder Shower that made the rocks and hills extremely challenging even for the best riders. Beta’s Cody Webb won for the second year in a row and FMF KTM’s Taylor Robert finished second. Grant Baylor rounded out the podium on his KTM.Check out the Cycle News feature coverage from the 2014 TKO here: KENDA Tennessee Knockout Results

1.            Cody Webb                        Beta
2.            Taylor Robert                     KTM
3.            Grant Baylor                       KTM
4.            Bobby Prochnau               KTM
5.            Max Gerston                     Beta
6.            Wally Palmer                      Christini
7.            Paul Whibley                      Yamaha
8.            Ricky Russell                       Yamaha
9.            Zach Love                            KTM
10.          Kyle Redmond                  KTM
11.          Ty Tremaine                       KTM
12.          Mark Fortner                     Beta
13.          Nick Davis                            KTM
14.          Kailub Russell                     KTM
15.          Troy DeSimone                 KTM

For more information about the 2014 Kenda Tennessee Knockout, fueled by Monster Energy, please visit:


Thursday August 21st 2014

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Look out Toni - Mark is going to show you how to ride No Stop - dragging your elbows !!


Not a lot to report today - so thought you all would like to read up on this article that I snitched from the Beta USA site >>

Dual-Sport Adventure: A Taste of Dakar

Apr. 01, 2014 By Scott Rosseau, Photos by Alfonse Palaima and Scott Rousseau
    A Taste of DakarAnd speaking of lightning, heavy rain had fallen in the desert all-day and well into the night on the Friday before the ride, placing the whole weekend in jeopardy and prompting Jimmy Lewis and crew to make a few midnight inspection runs on parts of the course to make sure they would still be passable. At the Saturday morning rider’s meeting, Lewis preached caution, especially on the portion that included the dry lake bed, which had turned into a quagmire.

    Hanging out on the dry lake bed late in the day. The section caused a lot of crashes when those with the low-fendered Adventure bikes found that the mud would pack between their front fender and tire, causing the front wheel to stop rolling. Oops!Hanging out on the dry lake bed late in the day. The section caused a lot of crashes when those with the low-fendered Adventure bikes found that the mud would pack between their front fender and tire, causing the front wheel to stop rolling. Oops!

    Either way, with the sun shining and temperatures in the mid-60s, our crew headed out onto the trail, albeit an hour late thanks to the camera guys, and enjoyed some of the most stellar desert conditions I’ve ever experienced. The traction was perfect, the dust was almost nonexistent, and the desert vegetation was brilliant.

    Unfortunately, our camera crew guys were apparently much better at shooting video than they were at riding motorcycles. LeBreton, Palaima and I were forced to constantly stop and wait for them to catch up, seriously hampering our flow. By the time the first riders were expected at the lunch stop in the old mining town of Goodsprings, we were nearly three hours behind schedule.

    Located about 33 miles southwest of Las Vegas, Goodsprings is a small mining town that is worth visiting. The Pioneer Saloon is a great lunch stop.Located about 33 miles southwest of Las Vegas, Goodsprings is a small mining town that is worth visiting. The Pioneer Saloon is a great lunch stop.

    Finally, LeBreton told the group that we would have to get on the gas if we had any hope of catching up, and he took off with me in tow as we headed into a snow-dusted mountain range. LeBreton must have already calculated the difference in pace between our fractured group as he pulled over to wait for them. The drill had pretty much gone like this: Ride, wait for 5 minutes, ride more, wait for 5 minutes, and so on. Only, when we stopped this time, more than 10 minutes would pass before the next guy rounded the bend in the road, and it wasn’t the guy we had expected.

    The rider went on to explain that Palaima had gone down, and while he was not injured, his bike was totaled and would need to be trucked away. The downtime cost us another 30 minutes and forced us to a monotonous bail out route on the highway to get to Goodsprings. At least being with the boss has its privileges: LeBreton phoned ahead and told his crew to keep the grill burning so that we would still be able to eat.

    Despite choosing a great motorcycle in the Beta 520 RS, the author suffered through the bad trail luck of his riding partners for the second time in three years and was unable to finish the entire route. Darn!Despite choosing a great motorcycle in the Beta 520 RS, the author suffered through the bad trail luck of his riding partners for the second time in three years and was unable to finish the entire route. Darn!

    But I was still in panic mode, as the added mileage had quickly sapped my fuel tank and my auxiliary fuel jug, and we still had about 25 miles to go, through the Spring Mountains, when I turned the carbureted Beta’s fuel petcock on reserve for the last time. Thankfully, the highway featured plenty of long downhill runs that allowed me to coast with the engine off. I limped into Goodsprings on fumes.

    If you’ve never been to Goodsprings, I highly recommend stopping in for a visit. Located 33 miles southwest of Las Vegas and about seven miles from Jean, it’s a quaint little town of approximately 250 residents, and its Pioneer Saloon and Good Springs General Store are a great place to grab bite or pick up a souvenir. If you ever find yourself bombing down the highway into Vegas, it’s well worth your while to make a side trip.

    But the highlight of this year’s Taste of Dakar, for me, was the dune section that we hit right after lunch. All of the previous day’s rain had compacted the sand to the point that it resembled European-style motocross conditions. LeBreton and I had a blast ripping around in the dunes, and his mastery of his bulky BMW R1200GS was all the more impressive. Unfortunately, our remaining riding partners struggled mightily in the sand, and LeBreton had to ride their bikes out of some of the tougher sections, only driving the point home further that the satisfaction on this ride absolutely depends upon finding riding partners of similar skills.

    The sun was already beginning to set when we hit the dry lake bed with more than 50 miles to go, and it was here that the film crew had hoped to capture some more footage of LeBreton. The filming was going smoothly until LeBreton got a little too far off the beaten path on the dry lake bed and mud packed into his BMW’s fender and front tire to the point that it simply stopped turning. The result was a nice high-speed low-side wipeout that looked impressive but fortunately did no real damage to LeBreton or his pretty blue BMW.

    With that, we decided to blaze a trail back to Pahrump, but we weren’t very far away from the dry lake bed when we came across another crash scene. This one was more serious, as the rider needed to be transported to the hospital. He was conscious and alert, but his group didn’t want to take any chances—a smart move. In either case, we were delayed again, and we were forced to bail out once more and take a shortcut back to Pahrump, which we made under nightfall. It was nice to learn that a vast majority of the riders had made I back without issues, and most of them were sharing war stories in the meeting room for dinner that evening. I’m sure that pleased route organizer Jimmy Lewis.

    “We were blessed by Mother Nature,” Lewis said. “It looked kind of ugly at the beginning, and I was stressed because you never what the weather conditions will be provide, but in the end it turned out to be perfect. “I feel like I am getting better at designing the routes based on the skill levels, but still I don’t know how people determine their own skill levels, so that is still difficult.”

    Mr. and Mrs. Chris Blaise. Chris is a former Dakar competitor who finished third in the motorcycle class in 2006. He was the featured speaker during Saturday evening’s dinner, and he had a great story to tell.Mr. and Mrs. Chris Blaise. Chris is a former Dakar competitor who finished third in the motorcycle class in 2006. He was the featured speaker during Saturday evening’s dinner, and he had a great story to tell.

    I was bummed about how my day on the trail had gone, but my disappointment was more than overcome by that evening’s guest speaker, Chris Blaise, an amazingly talented off-road racer who secured his place among America’s off-road racing elite with a third-place overall finish in the motorcycle class at the 2006 Dakar Rally. He might have won a future edition of the event if his career had not been cut short by a permanent injury.

    Blaise would probably be the first to tell you that he is not a great public speaker, but he’s also proof that you don’t have to be slick to be charismatic. He captivated the audience with details and anecdotes of his career, which blossomed from that of an unknown kid working in the back of Team Honda’s race shop. Despite injuries that have left him in a wheelchair, he still walks the walk like few others when it comes to dedication to the sport.

    Chris Blaise’ third-place Trophy from the 2006 Dakar Rally.Chris Blaise’ third-place Trophy from the 2006 Dakar Rally.

    Rather than being bitter, he continues to stay close to racing through his own shop, which fields a troop of up-and-coming off-road racers. Listen to Blaise and you’ll realize that his message fits right in with LeBreton’s philosophy of just getting out to ride.

    “I just wanted to race,” Blaise said. “A lot of riders, all they want to do is go to races where they’d get paid. I’d go out to local races. I’d get beat by guys, but it didn’t really matter to me. A bunch of guys would get kicks out of beating the factory rider, but I didn’t really care. I just wanted to race my dirtbike. Personally, I have no regrets. Even if I knew that I was going to end up like this, I would have done the same thing. Especially with my three Dakars, the life experiences, you never forget. I got to visit a lot of crazy countries and meet a lot of strange people [laughs].”

    What was especially touching to me was that Blaise also took the time to pay tribute to one our recently fallen heroes, the man that many Dakar Rally fans had hoped would bring home an overall motorcycle victory to America in 2014, the late Kurt Caselli.

    “Kurt was going to win the Dakar Rally for the Americans,” Blaise said emphatically. “He had so much talent and the ability to control himself and the bike. Everything he did, that dude was the man. He was into his body and his mind, and he could literally win a Hare & Hound without even having to try. He looked invincible. He almost never made a mistake. But things happen that are out of our control. It doesn’t matter how good you are. Kurt was going to be the next guy, but his time was cut short by something that happens all the time. As a racer, you make the choice of how fast you are going to go and how much it is worth to you to win. It is part of the game that we play as racers. That’s what breeds excellence, and that’s the way he was.”

    Few, if any, Taste of Dakar entrants probably rode further than Ohio’s Michael Gorman, who made a 4000-mile roundtrip. Gorman’s rear tire was so worn out when he arrived in Pahrump that he had to buy another one and replace on Saturday morning before the ride. He had a blast at the event.Few, if any, Taste of Dakar entrants probably rode further than Ohio’s Michael Gorman, who made a 4000-mile roundtrip. Gorman’s rear tire was so worn out when he arrived in Pahrump that he had to buy another one and replace on Saturday morning before the ride. He had a blast at the event.

    Blaise was just the icing on the cake, though. The Taste of Dakar ride was already a hit for most of the attendees. Most of them, like first time attendeee Casey Hilliard, who trucked his 2006 BMW HP2 to ToD from’s Seattle hometown, were just looking for something different than their usual riding experiences.

    “I haven’t done any other Altrider rides,” the 31-year-old Hilliard said. “This one was just an excuse for me to take the Jimmy Lewis class and to ride with Jimmy. It was also to get away from the wet Pacific Northwest, which didn’t quite work out so well.”

    “But it was phenomenal,” Hilliard continued. “I took the advanced loop, and I was with a really good group. We started out with five riders, but we ended up losing one of the bikes to mechanical failure just before lunch. At that point, two more guys decided to bail off on a slightly easier route, so it just ended up being me and one other guy, which ended up being perfect because we could go faster and cover so much more ground. We were really able to let loose and have a lot of fun in the afternoon.”

    Michael Gorman, a 50-year-old retired cartographer rode his KTM 950 Adventure to Taste of Dakar all the way from Massillon, Ohio. His rear tire was worn out by the time he arrived, so Jimmy Lewis sold him a tire to ride the event and get home.

    “I had already planned to ride out here, and then I found out about the event, so I changed my plans a little bit so that I could attend” Gorman said. “I had a blast. I did the advanced loop, and it was worth the trip. The snow and the mud reminded me of home [laughs]. We had one guy get a flat, but we got him patched up and made it to the lunch stop with plenty of time. We got out on the second half of the ride, and it was really nice. I’ve never ridden in the desert before, and I’ve never gotten to ride in the sand dunes. I had a really good time. I would definitely come back if I could fit into my schedule.”

    And then there were people like Phil Challinor, 46, a fire captain from Folsom, California, who has made every Taste of Dakar weekend thus far. Challinor rode a Yamaha Super Tenere this year.

    “I’ve done all three Taste of Dakar events, and I’d say that this one was the most fun for me,” Challinor said. “The terrain had the most challenge, but it was also the most fun because we were a like-minded crew. We had a blast together. We laughed at each other. We helped each other out or helped out other groups when they needed it. So it just became a community on the road. It was the best, bar none. Plus we had the rains, which made the conditions absolutely perfect. My bike got narcolepsy a couple times [laughs], but it happens. That’s why we protect them the way we do. But we had no major incidents. We were all safe, and we just took care of each other. I will absolutely be back next year. I do not miss this event.”

    Unfortunately, although there were more activities planned for Sunday, I had to bail out and head back to Los Angeles. As I trucked the Beta back across Highway 127 through Death Valley to Baker, the stars were out like fireflies in the sky. It was a beautiful scene that gave me time to reflect on the Taste of Dakar experience. I was torn between the disappointment of once again failing to complete the designated route once again and the realization that even as frustrating at that was, Taste of Dakar is still one of my favorite events in my 22 years as a motojournalist, and I plan to come back and tackle it again.

    I don’t want to miss another one.

    Wednesday August 20th 2014

    Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

    Had a surprise visit from Chris Hrabb late Tuesday - he was in town to pick up a new truck, plus took time for a ride up Noble Canyon. >>

    Gotta say that this is some nice “Beta-Hauler”


    Wow ! that was quite the storm we had last night - woke me up around 3am with rain chucking it down - all good as far as I’m concerned - will help dampen the forest areas & help with the wild fires.


    As I’m batching for the next couple of weeks, I took time last night to copy some of my Trials videos, for the new riders - both the training ones and also I made some copies of the 1995 Outlaw Trial which we held at Bear Creek - this one I videoed with my old VHS camera, but it turned out surprisingly well.

    I’ve noticed that when talking to newcomers to the sport,  many seem to think that Trials is all about hopping around on the back wheel  - World Trials style, and while the top experts do a certain amount of these tricky moves, there is far more to having fun on a Trials bike, and the videos of the Outlaw Trial help illustrate what basic Trials riding is all about.


    I had a call from Don Galloway last night - he is a partner in the Cycle Works operation in Alberta, and he called to invite me to the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame dinner, which takes place in Edmonton on September  27th. - Some of my old friends will be recognized at this event,  for their contribution to Canadian Motorcycle Sport, so I must try and make it.

    Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame



    September 27th, 2014  Chateau Lacombe  Hotel,

    10111 Bellamy, Hill, Edmonton, Alberta T5J 1N7.


    The Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame induction ceremony and Motorcycle Memories Weekend celebration will preserve motorcycle history and showcase the sport of motorcycling in Edmonton. We would like to invite all club members and motorcycle enthusiasts to join the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame for an evening of celebration. Reach out as responsible riders and members of the community and strive to inspire all riders. Activities will include :


    ·         Motorcycle demo rides – Harley-Davidson, Indian and Victory  Sat. AM

    ·         Poker Rally – Hosted by the HOG Group of Edmonton – Saturday AM

    ·         Show and Shine

    ·         Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony – Saturday PM

    ·         Santa’s Anonymous Toy Run – Alberta Safety Council - Sunday AM


    Great reasons to attend:

    Zoli Berenyi Sr. - Honor and celebrate this great Canadian Motocross Champion.


    Steen and Marion Hansen –  Support and reminisce with the Hansen family who for 45 years have helped to build Canadian Motorcycling.


    Steve Baker and Bob Work – Meet the legendary Canadian Champion road race team that beat the world. Autographs and picture opportunities.


    The Turple Brothers – The Red Deer dealership that for over 50 years has contributed to the motorcycle industry with sponsorship, great products, service and The Riders Den.


    Peter Kellond – The record setting West Coast road racer.


    Murray Dochstader – ISDE rider, Baja 1000 team organizer and Kamloops area riding icon.


    Steve Drane- Vancouver Island motorcycle racer, trainer and dealer extraordinaire.


    Manitoba Motorcycle Club- Over 100 years of Canadian Motorcycling


    Greg Williams- Calgary author and Motorcycle Historian


    Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Saturday, September 27th 2014.

    Location: Chateau Lacombe Alberta Room for tickets


    Ladies British Trials Championship – Round 7 – Richmond MC – Reeth

    It was a day of celebration for Emma Bristow as she confidently guided the Malcolm Rathmell Sport Sherco to her second Ladies British Trials Championship.


    The final round was held high on the wind swept Fremington Edge in North Yorkshire above the Market town of Reeth in fine weather and contested over 3 laps of 12 predominantly rocky hazards.


    Tom Sykes signs with Kawasaki for two more years. Photography By Gold   Goose

    Photography By Gold & Goose

    Reigning World Champion Tom Sykes has signed on with the World Superbike Factory Kawasaki team for two more years, bringing his tenure with the team through 2016. Sykes has been with the team since 2010 and all 22 of his career World Superbike wins and 23 Superpoles have been on the Kawasaki. He also ended the manufacturer’s 20-year championship drought last season and was the first guy to win the World Superbike title on a Kawasaki since Scott Russell. The Yorkshireman has also set himself up for a good bid to defend that title, going into the summer break with a 44-point lead in championship.


    UPDATE: - I have now downloaded more pics on the WTC Album on the gallery from Revy. - Still more to come. Sorry for the wait.