Archive for October, 2018

Wednesday October 31st 2018

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

I saw this pic posted and the caption sort of struck a cord - for many people that buy a motorcycle, it’s just something they do when they are young  -  a way to express themselves - some try competition, find it’s not for them, and go on to other things.

Then there is the Motorcycle addict - the person that starts at a young age, and eats, sleeps, bikes for a lifetime ( Yes I tend to fall into the latter category)

The bike in this pic is a Vincent Black Shadow - the first motorcycle to boast a Cantilever type rear suspension. - These models are worth a fortune these days.
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This morning I go to the dentist - something that nobody looks forward to - especially as it’s always a big financial “hit”


The weather in the OK Valley continues to be fantastic - typical Fall type days, with a bit of morning fog, clearing later with bright sunshine. - There are lots of days when I wish that I could be out riding but I find it a bit of an effort to get motivated these days, and really there aren’t any other old codgers in the Vernon area, that ride Trials. ( Most just seem to hang out at the A&W)

As we look ahead to the weekend - I see that the big Dirt Bike Show is on in the UK, plus I think the one in Milan also starts this weekend. - Jordi posted a pic of his nice looking display.


More news as it happens >>  And yes it’s Halloween, so if you are out driving tonight - watch out for those little elves & Goblins.

This pic is from 8 years ago - A Halloween ride with Barry & Pete - up on Bear Ridge - It was a wonderful day to be out sailing or riding.

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Tuesday October 30th 2018

Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

This old pic of myself and Barry out on the Fantics just showed up as a “Memory”   - I had these bikes back in the day, when we ran the Outlaw as a Classic first day then Modern on the second day - ( That was always my original intention) - Of course I also had Honda’s, Bultaco’s, Yamaha’s and Ossa’s, in my collection - I would ride one and loan the other out to try and promote interest.
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Mark ONeill sent me an email today, saying he has both a Fantic 240 and a 300 - they are both in pieces at present, but if anybody is looking at getting involved in our Classic Series next year - they might be a great winter project..


With winter not far away  ( already here in some places) I have been busy taking orders for Snowmobile oil - we supply this in 45 gal drums to a lot of the Tour Companies, but glad to say that we ship this direct now rather than deliver it - with each drum weighing in at 400Lbs - There is no way that I can man-handle them around like I used to.


Love this Promo Pic of the 2019 Beta, up in the Mountains of Europe someplace -  Our first Evo should arrive within the next couple of weeks - Hopefully in time for the Memorial Trial at Magna Bay.

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Monday October 29th 2018

Monday, October 29th, 2018

The Australian Moto GP was another thriller, with Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales eventually getting the win - the first for the Japanese Factory for a very long time. - check out this video of the start - video

The Moto GP Series sure goes a long way through the year, both around the globe, and with a ton of events to decide the Championship.

( Not like our Trials where the National Series is just a couple of events - Although we do have at least three Trials in the Outlaw Series) -

The advantage of having more events at various locations, is that not only is the terrain often  different, but the sections set up by the Clerk of the Course, are also diverse - although we do offer guide lines.

Perhaps one of the sad things about some  modern Trials, is that many of the Expert sections are all the same - splat this big rock wall, or jump from this rock to that rock. -

While I’m not against using man made obstacles at some events - maybe one at the parking lot - I do feel that we tend to limit what could be a great sport for the spectator, seeing it for the first time, as most , unless they get out to watch more events -decide that this is beyond their ability, and never try it.

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German Ladies Champion Theresa Baumi will be TRS mounted for 2019. - ( She was on Honda in 2018)
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Today is the birthday of 5 time Ladies World Trials Champion Emma Bristow.

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And this was the scene on the Coquihalla on Sunday morning - Coming to a neighborhood near you soon !!
A vehicle incident snarled traffic northbound on the Coquihalla highway Sunday morning.

The guys & gals from the Vernon Off Road club - were out at Noble Canyon this past weekend - working on trails and picking up garbage - Kudus to all who attended.
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Sunday October 28th 2018

Sunday, October 28th, 2018

Today we are remembering our buddy Pete  Brown, who we lost to cancer a couple of years ago. -

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I think I first met Pete back in 2003  - - when he came to one of our Outlaw Trials at Summerland - He had moved there with his wife Carol, and although he had been away from Trials for quite a few years, he had a rich History in the sport, from when he lived in Vancouver.

We became good friends,  he bought a Sherco from me, and  became my main team-mate in setting up the Outlaw.  - It was during these years, than I learned more about Pete, we would often sit on the side of a hillside while taking a break, and he would tell me stories from his times riding at Ioco - A time when he got to know the Clarks - who were young guys just starting out.

Pete also traveled with me to other events all over BC and Alberta, at which time we would swap stories from his Vancouver days, - I’m pretty sure that he would have been at some of our Yamaha Canada “After Show” parties with his buddy Jack Franks - who although he was a Honda dealer in Port Moody - his shop was next door to Gordy Aulenback’s Yamaha dealership, and they were good buddies.

Pete never did get back into competition after the 70’s - He bought a Fish Camp on the West Coast of Vancouver Island - and was very successful.

Because he once had a 125cc TL Honda, bored out to 150 by the Honda Importers- at that time Clark Simkins - Pete always liked the 4 stroke, and decided to buy a Sherco 320 from me ( Against my advice by the way)

This proved to be a disaster, as Pete ( like most other people) had difficulty started the big brute - plus he never did get onto the new riding style of using the clutch. - Our days doing set up for Trials, now became a chore, as Pete would fall over, and then the bike was much harder to start when it was hot. In fact I think it’s fair to say that we both got totally worn out  most of our days on the Mountain.- It was a very Frustrating time.
Luckily, We managed to sell the Sherco, to Randy who owns the Gravel Pit at Summerland - and we got Pete into a 2010  Beta Evo 300 - this model was lower compression than the later bikes, and although Pete still struggled a bit - things improved.

One day we were on our way back to the trucks after a day doing set up - and our route brought us back down the gully towards the top campground at Summerland. - Now at the end of this we had a couple of good sections, and being in front - I elected to ride up the Intermediate line on one of these which was a climb up a hill with a root and rocks at the top. - Now I should mention that we always had about 20-30 lbs of tape & gear etc stuffed in our backpacks.  ( Plus we were tired)
At the top of the section, I walked back to where I was going to yell at Pete to just go straight down the trail into camp, - but I was too late - Pete was already coming up the climb. At first I thought he was going to make it. - but not getting it right at the big root - he put his foot on a large rock to keep his balance - but then he slipped - the front wheel came up - Pete went out the back door, and the Beta looped back over his head with the throttle wide open.

As most people involved in the sport know - things happen very quickly and Pete went tumbling arse over tea kettle back down through the bushes at the side of the section - the Beta now  upside down screaming  flat out. - Then it stopped !!

Running back down the slope I got to Pete who said  -  Holy - shit - I’ve cut my arm - and indeed he had  and it was bad. - I was in a panic, but Pete said get some of that ass wipe out of my back pack ( which had come off when he fell)  and together we proceeded to tie this onto the wound with flagging tape.

Having stopped the bleeding - We then managed to get the Beta right side up - which was not easy, as it was wedged into some trees. - But of course it had seized ( no tether switches back then)

Racing back to the parking spot by the gravel pit gate - I jumped in my van and drove back to the camp area, and we got the bikes loaded, before heading back to  Pete’s truck . - By this time, he said he thought he could drive, but phoned Carol to meet us. - Pete went off to Hospital, where he had 33 stitches and 27 staples put in his arm.

I drove back to Vernon - still in my riding gear, ( something I never do) - but not far from home, I decided to stop by the local beer & wine store to pick up a six pack. ( It was a very hot day)

When I was standing at the counter - the young lady kept staring at me, which was odd - until I realized that I was covered in blood.  - Don’t worry I said - “It’s not mine”.

Peter Brown, was a tough guy - and was out the next week at the Trial, although his bike wasn’t fixed for a couple of weeks. - To say that I miss Pete would be an understatement - RIP buddy.


Saturday October 27th 2018

Saturday, October 27th, 2018

It’s only a couple of week’s down the road - The Brown Memorial Trial - November 11th weekend - A time to remember Pete and Ady

- plus all who sacrificed everything in World Wars and other conflicts around the Globe. -

We hope that all of our Trials friends will join us at the Ross Rathbone Ranch on this weekend - maybe one last chance to get together around the Camp fire this year.

For those people that didn’t know either Pete or Ady - I would like to mention this - Adrian Brown arrived in the Okanagan in 1987 and showed up at our very first Outlaw Trial, which was held at East Kelowna - I recall this very well, as we all wondered how this new guy from the UK, mounted on a TY 250, would perform.

I regret that I don’t have the results at hand - but I do know, we had a great Vintage Trial on the Saturday, with guys from Alberta - and Vancouver. - ( I think Bob Clark won on an Ossa) -

The Sunday Trial was also very well attended, and Ady did just fine, but not as good as he expected. - We chatted about this later, as we became good friends, and practiced lots with our group in the Kelowna area.-

Ady had a tremendous sense of humor  - a big thirst for beer, and a red complexion. - But more than that, he had a lot of Talent, and soon became one of our top Experts. -

I remember one time, when he was building my new workshop in Vernon, and the weather wasn’t great, and it was late in the afternoon, I suggested we leave it and have a beer, but Ady said “Can’t waste a day Dave”

How often I have repeated those words to myself and others. “Don’t waste a day”

Ady would show up at my place in Vernon late in the afternoon in late Fall or late winter - and talk me into going “Up on the Hill” - because he didn’t want to waste a day. - We would flail around in the snow on all our old  loops - which were not easy even in the summer time.

I remember one time in the summer, we were trying to find a “Connector” trail from the old Girl Guides Camp   in Vernon over to our regular riding area  - up above Hartnell road - - We found this very old overgrown cut-line and it looked promising, so we forged ahead with me in front - then at one point - the trail was blocked by willows, and pushing through, with my head down - I noticed some fresh Bear sign ( it was steaming) -  At this point I could not see a thing - branches all around me, trying to look ahead - then I hear Ady ‘ What’s the bloody Hold up Dive (his Cockney accent) - - So I said - I think it’s time you took the lead !!

In 1996 I sold Ady a Gas Gas and we had the National Trial at Summerland that year - After getting all the riders away - I was riding down the trail towards the first Expert sections, when I hear Ady screaming “DIVE” - Turned out the first part of the section had turned into a big water hole ( never before and never since) but Ady had drowned out the Gasser. - - Now under normal circumstances, this might not have been a big deal - but that year Gas Gas required that you take out 26 small screws to remove the air filter.!!

Yes - Ady was soon on a Beta.

Ady moved to Vancouver for a while, and had a couple marriages that didn’t work out - then on a Vacation to his native London UK - he found out he had cancer. - I can still remember his phone call ! - After an operation, they said he would be OK, but he elected to stay in the UK and joined the Bognor Club ( on the South Coast) where he continued to ride Trials.

Ady did come back to Canada one last time - he had his son with him -  I remember him telling me how  good the Beta Techno 200 was ( Only made for John Lampkin in the UK at that time) - He said - (and Ady was a big lad) - that it would pull him through anything.

I must confess that I found this hard to believe, but at that time it didn’t matter anyway. - Ady went back to England and communications dried up for a while - then I heard from his buddy, who said Ady was now in a wheelchair with an auto injected morphine to his spine.  But he got out fishing on the local Canal.

Ady was just 51 when he died - his buddies from the local club rode their trials bikes behind the hearse to the graveside.

Later his Mum & Dad sent out the Plaque that we have to remember Ady -  They hold a similar Trial in the UK - Yes he was a great guy - lost too soon. - I hope that everyone that remembers Ady - will show up at this event.
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Tomorrow Sunday - we will talk about Pete.

Friday October 26th 2018

Friday, October 26th, 2018

This is Marris trying the big hill climb last weekend - no problem on the Beta Evo 300 2T ( But not as easy as it looks on film)

Check out this neat video from the Beta Factory


Below is a pic of Andrew and myself up at the top of Silver Star Mountain - We were out there scouting for a possible National Round, but in the end we had to postpone the idea for now.
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This is young Danny Chambers on his Dad’s TRS 250 - Dan Senior sadly passed away earlier this year.
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Bit of excitement on Thursday when a neighbor’s house caught fire - but the local Fire Dept were on it really quickly.

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Here is an old video from the UK - showing some of what Trials were like back then in Southern England, where most events were held in local quarries.


This just popped up on FB  - from eight years ago - The Beta Evo 200 hasn’t changed much since that time, neither has this spot up on Bear Ridge.

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Thursday October 25th 2018

Thursday, October 25th, 2018

Chris Hrabb posted this neat pic a few days ago, from Stateside, where he was on a big bike ride with some friends. - Quite a lot of Off Road riders, like to visit Moab and places like that during the winter months.

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Looking ahead to the weekend, the Moto GP Teams are in OZ - Marquez has already wrapped up the 2018 Championship - but the runner up spot is still up for grabs. - Jorge Lorenzo is done for the year, having just had surgery on his ankle. - Another rider recuperating  after surgery on his elbow, is Adam Raga - he hopes to be fully fit, before the start of the Indoor Trials series.


Yesterday, I managed to get some parts shipped off to Alberta, hopefully before the Postal workers went on Strike. - I was a bit surprised on Monday, when shipping off some Opti via Greyhound, to find that this service has now been discontinued, leaving us with just Purolator or Ace Courier.  - The cost of shipping these days has increased dramatically, but we do our best to keep prices as low as possible


The new 2019 Beta Evo shipment, was delayed a few days, because of the big storms on the East Coast, but we should have the first models available pretty quick, always an interesting time to check out what small changes have been made.

We are also expecting to have the new TRS X track available sometime in November - maybe we will get lucky and be able to show off the new bikes from both brands at the  Brown Memorial Trial on November 10/11.  - Supplies will be limited on all these early shipments, so if you are interested, better give us a call.

I wonder how many of the young riders of today, have seen the movie “On Any Sunday”  - this epic film by Bruce Brown, awakened a whole new generation, to the joys of Motorcycling. - I’m pretty sure that I have this in my video collection some place. - There are so many great sequences in this movie, but I especially liked the segment on Trials - “The Violin Section of Motorcycle Sport”

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I wonder how many of our readers have visited the Sammy Miller museum in the UK ?  -

Sammy is still very active on a daily basis, even though he must now be about 86 years old - his collection of racing motorcycles is perhaps the best in the World, plus of course, he has a rich history in Trials, having been British Trials Champion many times ( I have his Book someplace)  He was the man responsible for the Bultaco Sherpa T in 1965, which changed the sport completely, then later developed the Honda Trials bike.


Here is your video for today Enjoy.


Wednesday October 24th 2018

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

Another nice Bultaco pic - this time of a couple of their Road racers - Did you know that the great Barry Sheene began his career on one of these?

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Nice pic of Ross Danby on the TRS at the Welsh Round of the British Championship a few weeks ago - ( That’s a pretty big “Up”) Ross won the Masters Class for 2018.
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In Industry News - I see that Polaris sales were up this year, but Harley Davidson were down - No idea how other Manufacturers made out.


We received an email from Japan on Tuesday, from a guy who read the story on the blog, of my ride with the Fort Mac lads - turns out he used to ride Trials bicycles with Marris, when they were young guys living in Calgary. ( Like they say it’s a small World)


The Vernon Off Road Club are having a work party & BBQ - this Sunday up  in the Noble Canyon area  - You can see the poster on this by clicking onto the club website.


With the Ady & Pete Brown Memorial Trial just a few weeks down the road - I found this old pic, while looking through some files - it shows Steve Howland the Canadian Beta Importer, looking up at the section Pete and myself built many years ago. - The big tree has since blocked it off, and we have not used this area for any events, since the 25th anniversary of the Outlaw Trial. -  A couple of years ago, we put up a small plaque on this section to honor Pete, who died from Cancer, we called the section “Heartbreak Hill” after the famous section used in the Scottish Six Days for a long time.
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Tuesday October 23rd 2018

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018

Check out this beauty - a blend of one of the best Trials bike from the 70’s, with updated modern suspension, brakes etc.

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Congrats to Beta UK riders Richard Sadler and James Dabill on winning the Expert and Championship Classes for 2018

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Not sure who this is - but nice to see an older gent get a hug  - Looks like a great Derbi in the background.

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Trystan Hart from Invermere BC has had a great season.


The fantastic Fall weather continues in the Valley, although we know it has to end sometime. We hope the snow stays away for the upcoming Ady Brown/Peter Brown Memorial Trial on November 10/11 at Ross Rathbone’s place in the Shuswap - This will be a first ever event at that location - stay tuned to the blog for more info.


The podium at Denver - Ty Tremaine (Beta)  3rd - Coltan Hakar (Husky) 1st & Cody Webb (KTM) 2nd

Monday October 22nd 2018

Monday, October 22nd, 2018

Sharing a toast with Colum after a great day riding in the Valley.  - Marris did the BBQ supper ( Babsy was out visiting) check out those steaks !! what a feast we had. - But before we could get into “Happy hour” - we had to put a plug in the Beta rear tire - not sure what caused it but it had a small hole in between the knobs. - greased the bearings while we had the wheel off with some of our great Opti Grease.  It was a great night, which went on quite late, so the lads decided to head back Sunday morning, rather that go riding again.

Update:  The lads got home to Fort Mac at 1.30 am - after about a 12 hour drive.

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A nice pic of Marris up above Lake Okanagan, with a sailboat in the background
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Here is one of Colum “Splatting ” a rock step - check out his rear fender - also the Alberta license plate zip tied to his backpack.

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Here is an old pic that just popped up on FB - it shows me on my Beta Alp a few years ago ( quite a few)  - The old van was parked about 5 years ago with over a million km on it, and I foolishly let a guy talk me out of the immaculate Beta Alp, something I will always regret.

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I watched some of the Formula One race yesterday from Texas, nice to see Kimi take the win, and some close racing for a change.