Archive for January, 2015

Saturday January 31st 2015

Saturday, January 31st, 2015

It was a pretty nice afternoon on Friday, here in the OK Valley, so having had enough of doing month end paperwork, I elected to go for a drive down the Westside road to Kelowna. - Of course I did have an ulterior motive, and that was to check out the snow conditions, at our favorite winter riding spot. - Take a look at what I found !!

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On route home I stopped off at Kelowna Yamaha to chat with Terry & Randy to let them know we would soon be out on the Trials bikes, but unfortunately, Terry is nursing a broken leg from a snobike mishap, so is out of action for a while.

Here is a pic I took on the way home to Vernon - never took my eyes off the road, just held up the Canon and clicked - turned out pretty well. - This is overlooking Oyama, on the new hiway.

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I’m not a football fan, so all the hoop-la surrounding this weekends big game, leaves me cold, however, the Beer commercial showing the small Lab pup and the Clydesdale horses, has to be a winner. - Brings back memories of our golden lab, and the funny things she did as a pup.

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I was reading some posts on facebook regarding Debbie Evans - she mentioned how it’s neat that even after all these years, she and hubby Lane Leavitt, can be driving the car past piles of rocks, and they will both be picking lines, just like the old days. - I’ve often mentioned that while the average tourist drives through the mountains and only sees the scenery, a Trials rider only sees sections. - All those tumbling waterfalls & rocky creeks are pure magic to see - but of course are out of bounds for the most part.

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This weekend the Enduro hot-shoes, are in Finland for the next round - will Taddy stomp his authority again? - or will Jonny Walker or David Knight finish on top of the box. - We will keep you posted.

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Almost forgot - It’s the big World Indoor at Marseille  tonight - Here are the Team Beta lads. ( Gotta get one of them fancy jackets)

Friday January 30th 2015

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Searched the web this morning, but the funniest thing I found was this pic - sort of hits the mark for us folks in the Okanagan, still dealing with piles of snow.

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Chatting to an old buddy yesterday, about how simple things were in the 70’s, when I got involved with Canadian Motorcycling, it seemed that few people had any money, and bikes were toted around on the back of the family car or station wagon using a couple bumper hoops. - Those were also days, when “You run what you brung” - to coin an American slang term. - Of course it was also the beginning of a new chapter, as the Japanese got into the Trials market. - Honda introduced their TL 125 in 1973, followed by the successful TY 250 from Yamaha - Kawasaki and Suzuki also had a Trials model. - The Spanish Factories were in financial trouble, brought on by trade union issues, similar to how things went in the British Motorcycle Industry, although in the UK situation, there were many other factors.

For the average Trials rider, the mid-70’s looked to be full of optimism, the general feeling was that the Trials market was on the “Up & Up” - However, this proved to short lived, as most of the factories realized that this was not going to be a huge American Sport, and gradually shut down production lines. - Yamaha were the hardest hit in the “Numbers game”  - struggling with huge stocks of unsold units in the USA, but kudus for them, for sticking it out, so that we still see a lot of the popular old twin shocks around.

The 1980’s saw a resurgence  in the European Factories -  smaller production runs, were better controlled, at least in the beginning, the Italian Fantic emerged as a World leader, but sadly even this brand ended up on the chopping block, perhaps pushed out by the 1984 Yamaha TY Mono-shock. - The Trials market, would continue to be supported, mainly by the club riders, although the FIM had introduced a World Championship Series. - Obviously, a lot of water has gone under the bridge since those “heady days” of the late 60’s and early 70’s - UK Dealers that used to sell thousands of Trials models, can now count sales figures on their fingers by comparison. - However, the sport still thrives in many areas, and the new bikes get better every year,- family fun, is the name of the game, with models for all ages and abilities, so rather than being a time of doom and gloom, the future for the Trials fraternity, in some ways, has never looked brighter.

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Gotta just love them Ferrari F 1 cars - Even if they aren’t winning at the moment - maybe this will be a better year.

(From left) Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel pose with the new Ferrari SF-15T.

Thursday January 29th 2015

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

I came across this old pic of Geoff Aaron while searching the web - it’s from the 1994 World Round Program at Donner. - Barry and myself were at that event, and spent time with Martin & Dougie Lampkin, while they worked on getting the Beta tuned up for the high elevation sections. - In fact Barry bought the first one of these 94 Technos from Outlaw, but never got to ride it a lot, as he broke his leg in a work related accident. - He does however, have fond memories of this model.

Nice to look back at some of the old stuff - of course Cosmopolitan Motors, were the USA Importer back then for Beta.

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The first VMC Trial of the year goes on February 8th, for anybody planning on visiting Vancouver Island. Check out the poster.
Click here for the full-sized poster

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Honda have released a video of Japanese Trials rider Fujinami, which can be seen by clicking on to the Trial Mag: UK website - it shows him from when he was a young lad, riding a Beta, to the present day as a member of the Honda/Repsol team. - Check it out. >>

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Here’s a blast from the past - courtesy of Barry Robinson - the pic shows Randy Munoz, Martin Lampkin and Malcolm Rathmell. - Check out those handlebars - common on the bikes back in those days, - I still have the Sherpa T for sale if anybody is interested.

Wednesday January 28th 2015

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

The winter months are all about Motorcycle Shows and Trials demos, to get everybody “Hyped” for the upcoming season - the past couple of weeks we have featured our own riders in the Calgary,Edmonton and Vancouver shows - here is a shot, courtesy Beta Moto, - of young German rider Christian Kregeloh - doing what these guys make look so easy >>

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The World Trials Indoor Circus moves to Marseille, France, this coming Saturday - the main interest will be I think on who can finish second to the amazing Toni Bou. - his new Honda Team mate - Eddie Karlsson, will be trying his best to get on the podium, but the junior rider faces tough competition, from the current stars, like Raga, Cabestany, and Fajardo.

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In Industry news, the hot story this past week has been the financial woes of the Gas Gas Factory - lots of speculation, followed by a company statement, regarding the future. - We will keep a close eye on developments

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Word today from the Enduro scene, is that Ivan Cervantes has crashed while practicing, and has had surgery for a shoulder injury, which may delay his 2015 season a bit. - However, it’s truly awesome how some of these athletes seem to bounce back.

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And here is a great pic of our buddy, Heath Brindley playing on a borrowed RTL Honda - Heath reports on Trials for Trial Mag: UK, and also has his own website - www.r2wracing.co.uk

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Looking for a new Beta anyone? - This is a nicely done up model seen on Facebook - Outlaw have all the “bling” in stock to make your new bike look like this.

Tuesday January 27th 2015

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

I guess the big story of today, and also this past weekend, has been the weather - unseasonably warm on the Prairies and the West Coast, while the Eastern Townships, are all bracing for a huge winter storm. - Here is another pic from the Tradex Show - showing the Beta Team riders, Tanner, Alex & Brandon, basking in “Summer-like” conditions.

With regards to any photographs taken by myself, they do of course have my copyright - but I let anybody use them without charge, as long as it promotes Motorcycling, - this is not always the case with pics posted on other media such as face book, but most photographers don’t mind their stuff being  re-posted, as long as they get a Photo-credit . - Simply put, If a customer asks somebody to take a Photograph of them or their product, then the copyright belongs to the customer - However, if the Photographer is out and about and takes news worthy pictures, for their own business or enjoyment, - then the copyright, belongs to the Photographer, and they cannot be used without permission.
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We got a call from Ricky Styles yesterday to chat about Trials stuff - He is expecting to become a Dad any day now, & has promised to let us know, when the  new baby arrives.

Jason also called, and he also has a new addition to the family, so we can expect to see a few baby strollers in the parking area this year.

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The warm temperatures in Alberta, have put a stop to any ice racing, but the ATRA have an Indoor fun event happening near Wetaskiwin this coming Saturday, this will be followed by their AGM. - more info: is available by vising their ATRA web-site.

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As most of the Trials community know, we have had the Outlaw Website going now for a number of years, and get about a million visitors each year, from all over the World. - The site was made up and is controlled for me, by Bob Johns of Trials Canada fame - not only is Bob a huge Trials fan, he is also a talented musician, playing with a local group on Vancouver Island.

The Trials Canada site has now been in operation for some twelve years, and I noticed that Bob has posted some pretty amazing Stats on the front page today. - It should also be noted, that Bob looks after the WTC web page, which he keeps updated with results and information, on a regular basis. ( All at no charge)

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UPDATE.
I see that Jonathan Richardson is the latest Trials guy gone Enduro, and grabbed 3rd place on the Podium at the Fast Eddy event last weekend - Not sure if this was a one off ride - or if he has switched to the knobby sport.

Emma Bristow was also out at this event, and brought her Sherco into a well judged 14th place in the Expert class.

Thanks to Trial Mag: UK for this pic.

http://www.classictrialmag.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/EB_1.jpg?70e8e5

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Monday January 26th 2015

Monday, January 26th, 2015

What a great day we had Sunday - a long one, as I was up at 4am - doing a bit on the blog, before heading out the door to drive to Kelowna for a rendezvous with Pete. - Then it was out into the darkness for the trip to Vancouver and the Tradex Motorcycle Show. - Just to get out of the snow-belt, was a huge relief, and once we arrived at the Show, it wasn’t long, before we were rubbing shoulders with a host of old friends from the past - many had dealer name tags on, which was good, because although I could recognize the faces, some, as in the case of Lionel from Nanaimo,  were from my Yamaha days, and in this case, I originally met him at Hunters in North Battleford, Sask.  - Although the new bikes are all very nice, I must admit that the shows don’t hold the same attraction for me as in the past - same old etc. - However, it wasn’t long before we bumped into Bob & Brett and other members of the Trials gang from the Coast, and then enjoyed the demo outside. - While the obstacles were not huge, the boys did a really good job, showing off their Trials talent, urged on by Christie on the mike. - I took a bunch of pics, which were posted on Face-book, last night, but here is one of Tanner Nordin, on the Mountain Motorcycle Beta.

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I spent some time in the BCORMA booth, chatting tto Peter Sprague about the new Off Road regulations, and the result of this, is that  PLEASE. - DO NOT DASH DOWN TO REGISTER YOUR OFF ROAD MACHINE YET. - INSTEAD WRITE OR PHONE YOUR MLA TO VOICE YOUR CONCERNS ABOUT THE METAL LICENSE PLATE THAT THEY ARE DUE TO REQUIRE AS OF JUNE 1ST.

As every Trials rider knows, these plates are not suitable for any Trials bike, and could in fact be dangerous in the event of a crash. - the BCORMA people, are pushing to have a decal instead, which will make way more sense. - But there are many other unanswered questions involved in this new Legislation.  I URGE EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU TO CALL YOUR MLA ON THIS ISSUE.

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We met up with Florian from Revy, and talked about the WTC National - along with a discussion on the above legal problems, we were happy to hear that once again, the whole club, is full of anticipation about the upcoming event, in fact, this year, it should be much easier to get checkers, as most of them now know what is required, and are keen to help out again. - We touched base on the International appeal of this area, with a distinct possibility of it becoming a destination vacation spot for European riders. - Without a doubt, things in the Interior Trials World appear to be getting better and better - more people involved, and more places to ride. - My Summer looks to be packed with lots of activity. - Of course, our year gets under way at Easter, with the big camp-out fun ride at Summerland, then it will be time for the famous Outlaw Trial at Scotch Creek on the May long weekend. - It won’t be long now, before the snow will be all gone, and we can get out on the bikes. - Can’t wait !!!
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I see Jonny Walker (KTM) won the Ales (France) Xtreme Enduro at the weekend - He beat out Graham Jarvis and seems to on peak form at the moment, heading into next moth’s Erzberg event

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Here.’s a nice pic of the Steve Saunders JotaGas Team  by Colin Bullock - Ross Danby won and Becky Cook - finished 11th.

Sunday January 25th 2015

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

It looks like it was pretty wet out at the Tradex  Trials demo yesterday - this pic by Cecile Gambin shows one young lady  sitting down on the job, much to the amusement of Don Doerksen in the background. - Hopefully it will be a bit drier today.

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Trey Canard took the win at the Oakland Super Cross last night - finishing ahead of Ryan Dungey and Chad Reed - Series leader Ken Rocsen crashed hard, but remounted to finish 15th

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And yes we still have lots of snow in Vernon, but not quite as much as this shot from a couple of week’s ago.

Saturday January 24th 2015

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

Les Birchall of Ontario posted this old pic on face-book, with the question - Anybody know who this is? ( Les is an active member of the Ontario Vintage Trials group)

Of course everybody will recognize Stan from  back in the Mid- 1980’s - not sure exactly where the pic was taken, but I’m guessing at the Toronto Motorcycle Show in 1985.  - It was back in late 1983, that I was able to put the wheels in motion to get Stan on a Yamaha, with the new TY 250 Monoshock, that proved to be a real game-changer in the Trials World. - Stan went on to finish 13th at the 1984 Scottish Six Day Trial, an amazing debut for the Walt Healy supported Team.

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By this time tomorrow, Pete and myself, will be somewhere up on the Connector - heading for the Vancouver Motorcycle Show - the weather forecast looks good, so we will hopefully have a trouble free day out.

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We have heard from Sam King in Australia, who tells us that his broken hand is healing well, and he hopes to be riding again in about 3-4 weeks. - Sam is part of the Tim Coleman Beta display Team, and keeps busy doing shows at weekends, including the now quite common-place but very spectacular - “Back-flips”  - Still no word on whether he will make it over for our Revy event.

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It’s hard to believe that it’s now only 14 weeks, until the start of the 2015 Scottish Six Days Trial, - I haven’t seen the results of the ballot, but as usual the popular event was heavily over-subscribed. - An added interest this year will see James Dabill mounted on the all new Vertigo bike - the Six Days is regarded by many as the ultimate test of man and machine.

UPDATE; - I have just read the post on the new Web-site concerning the Pre-65 Entry list, and the eligibility for the old bikes. - this is always a sticky issue, as many of the riders try to “Bend the rules”  - I noticed that former World Champ Yrjo Vesterinen is entered, no prize for guessing what he will be riding. - A Sherpa T naturally.
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Just a quick note for anybody that clicks onto our gallery - I’ve noticed that for some strange reason the thumb-nail pic doesn’t show up on some of them - to see these pics - simply click on the pic number to view.

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Friday January 23rd 2015

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

This old Photograph is from 1957, and taken at the top of Hawkstone Hill - The track was just 30 miles from my hometown, and I was at this event. - This track, remains pretty much unchanged, and the hill complete with rocky ledges at the top, is still challenging today. - the pic shows I believe Les Archer of Great Brittain, leading a bunch of Foreign riders, including the great Joel Robert.

I last visited this location in 1995 for the World Trials Round, which was plotted by Steve Saunders, and won by Jordi Tarres.

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The FIM Have updated their Xtrial Calendar, after it was discovered that ithe March date clashed with the opening rounds of the British Championship.

The final X-Trial calendar is:

January 3 Sheffield, England

January 31, Marseille, France

February 6, Pau, France

March 8, Barcelona, Spain

March 14, Wr. Neustadt, Austria

March 20, Oviedo, Spain

X-Trial Trial des Nations

April 3, Nice, France

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While watching some of the latest MX & Dakar footage etc - it occurred to me that we are still seeing a lot of Helmet Mounted Go-Pro cameras out there, in spite of a ban introduced by the FIM late last year. - Not sure if this has been lifted, or if it’s a bit like the 4 Stroke only, scenario for Trials that went the way of the Do Do bird.

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So it’s Australia Day this weekend - and we thought we would brighten up our cold climate with this pic of one of Sam’s friends from “Down -Under” !!

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Retrotrials

retrotrials

Retrotrials.com

This independent site aims to remember the trials motorcycles and top riders of the 1980’s to the mid 90’s, as well as celebrating the Catalan motorcycles of the day. Many of these manufacturers have since disappeared.

Most of what is featured in the site is linked to the Spanish machines, which are the favourites of Retrotrials. The Spanish  have been very influential in the history of motorcycle trials since the 1960’s. This rise in fortune followed the British motorcycle industry’s decline.

Thousands of miles have been travelled in collecting this information. Sit back and read what you have not seen before.

Explore the web site and you will find …

  • Exclusive Motorcycle model history
  • Exclusive Bike videos
  • Exclusive interviews with the top riders
  • Exclusive Factory photos
  • Exclusive Factory map Locations
  • Exclusive Factory video tours
  • Exclusive interviews with the manufacturers
  • Exclusive Memorabilia
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We have seen a report that new Beta Factory rider Jorge Casales, will be competing in both the British Championship series, and the Spanish Championship - as well as the World Championship - looks like he has a busy schedule planned.

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    Thursday January 22nd 2015

    Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

    Another good “Dusting of Snow” - overnight - as cabin fever continues to set in. - Of course it’s great for the Snowmobilers, skiiers etc. - Here is a great shot of buddy Bruce Baker from Revelstoke having fun on a borrowed sled.

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    I see that Gas Gas have issued an Official Statement, regarding all the speculation that hit the front pages everywhere yesterday - to read this please click on Trial Mag UK  - there is also a link on facebook. - In a nutshell, it merely confirms their tenuous financial position, and states they are shut down while they restructure.

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    How about this for a shot - talk about being at the right place at the right time with the camera - not sure who the rider is, but he obviously needs to go to the “Trials Training” school.  ( Another case where mag: tether switches come in handy)

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    In Beta News - Jorge Casales has jumped ship from Gas Gas and is seen here signing with Beta Executive, and former World Trials rider, Donato Miglio .

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    With more young ladies getting involved in Motorcycle sport - Check out www.trialsguru.com - for the complete story of one of the greatest - Rennee Bennett from London England - she was a Super Star.

    https://trialsguru.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/cover-photo-renee-bennett.jpg