Archive for June, 2019

Thursday June 20th 2019

Thursday, June 20th, 2019

Yesterday we posted a pic of Sammy after being presented with a Life Time achievement award for the preservation of old Motorcycles at his wonderful museum. - This shot shows him a couple of years ago test riding his 1938 AJS Supercharged road racer.  ( Anybody who thought exotic engineering started in Japan - think again - all they did was copy stuff)
I was lucky enough to see Sammy road racing in the Isle of Man in 1957  - he was leading the 250 race when the bike broke down about 1/2 mile from the finish line - he pushed in to get 4th.  He says in his book ( which I have) that the main reason he gave up road-racing, was because the Privateer, didn’t stand much of a chance against the Factory teams. -

He proved that in Trials anybody with a will to win and some engineering savvy, can be very successful.                ( Remember, he was the guy who designed the first really good lightweight Bultaco - which changed Trials forever) - That was when he got invited to visit this guy - Francisco Bulto in Spain, back in 1964 - And the rest is History.
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In another video Sammy just posted, it shows him testing one of the Gilera 4 cylinder racers from the late 50’s - I feel very fortunate to have seen and heard - a lot of these wonderful old bikes racing back in the day - when it was mainly a battle between the Manx Nortons and the Italian Factories.  ( Before the Japanese invasion)- -        MV Augustas - V8 Moto Guzzis - Mondials,- Patons - NSU -the list is endless. - and a host of other small European brands. - I was there in the Island when Bob Mac did the first 100mph lap and at Oulton Park when John Hartle     ( Who used to ride in our local Trials) and Geoff Duke gave the Gileras an outing.

My ambition was always to road race - I had a buddy who had a Ducati 125 that he let me ride and as these were doing really well at that time plus we had an excellent dealer only 30 miles down the road,  however this never worked out.
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I think the very good Trials rider, has a better “Feel” for the terrain under the tires, and this also works in road racing -  Although the way they slide the bikes these days is unbelievable, and the tires are huge compared to the early days.
Throttle control and “Feeling” for grip are essential  in both sports -
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Here is the first pic of the 2020 TRS - Looks nice. - more details to follow
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Wednesday June 19th 2019

Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

A happy birthday to our son Steven today who has reached the age of 52 - Steve was a very good Cross Country rider as a junior, but got blinded in one eye when a rock got thrown up by a senior rider he was trying to pass at a Kelowna race - he had pulled his goggles down when they got filled in with mud.  This was a really tough time for both him and our family. ( he was 15 at the time)

Steve Rhodes's Profile Photo, Image may contain: 1 person

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I saw that they had a big Hare Scramble at Blackfoot Park last weekend in Calgary - - lots of riders and - “23 CLASSES”  !! And I thought the NATC Trial was pushing it with 20 classes.  Trystan Hart was the big winner, but Foordy did pretty good as well on the Beta.

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I decided to make an early start on Tuesday, before it got too hot - so was out in the shop before 6 am - I had a bunch of service work to do and it was nice to work in the coooool.

Had more running around after lunch - but at least I could do this in the air conditioned van.

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Here is a neat video of Mick back in the day - I remember when he came to Calgary in 1974 & I set up some sections for him to demo - hauled a bunch of rocks from down by the old railroad tracks & hand built some tricky stuff for him to climb. in the top gully.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKqdmTr7XqQ&feature=share&fbclid=IwAR3Yd3K4jrMXW5KbKkwoUIzf2GNI_DBzV_1gyPBbfOIKvp04XYJgkqKNDnc

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Here is a great shot by Kaylana Photography of Jon English ( Beta) at the WTC Trial in Ontario last Sunday.

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This is THE big event in the Valley this Saturday - Check it out - not sure if we can be there due to business obligations !! ( that’s a big word)  but we will try and at least we have supported it with give-ways- etc.
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Late Tuesday - our local lady, Dominique stopped by to drop off her Beta and pick up a Wulf Trials helmet   ( somebody else who has found that the Wulf Trials helmets are not only a great price, but they keep your head coooooool. ( BTW the Beta needs a water pump seal - no big deal it will be ready tomorrow) ( Naturally we had the parts in stock) - She has a lot of hours on this Evo 250 and can put a lot of guys to shame, on some of the knarly mountain trails - she told me she got to ride with Sam  at Golden a couple of weeks ago. - They had quite a group out with Max ,Debbie, Lee Usher and his lad, plus others.
With regard to my comment above  re: parts -  Last week I had a guy pick up a rear Beta Fender for his buddy in Calgary - I had already shipped him a bunch of Beta parts that he needed. - The comment the pick up guy made was - Yeah!  he was really surprised that you had everything.

This past two days, I have had two phone calls from guys in Quebec - needing info on parts supply and general stuff on Trials. - We have been shipping parts & accessories all over  Canada for decades.
As I have stated many times - Trials is not for everyone -  but all I can say, is if I can help anybody enjoy the sport- then I don’t mind spending hours on the phone. - as  I told the guy from Quebec today  - ( he wants to go trail riding on a Trials bike)-  I said buy a Beta - they are the best!!! for what you want to do !!
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Check this out >  Sammy is still going strong well into his 80’s and is at his museum every day, working on bikes or showing people around.

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Tuesday June 18th 2019

Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

This is a pic of Chris Hrabb from Revelstoke, riding the Outlaw Beta Evo 200 at an ATRA Trial at Falun Alberta, a few years ago - The MTG Trials group, have an event planned at this location for Sunday, but best check with Jacek before heading out as the weather forecast is not good for the area.
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When I saw this pic, I thought - Just like in Trials bikes - bigger  is not always better for everyone!!
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The temperature got up to +33 in Vernon yesterday - too hot to do much of anything, -  but an early Doc appointment , ( more meds)  was followed by dropping my van off to get some new tires, before kicking back with the air conditioner up full blast..  The forecast is for it to cool down a tad before the weekend, with a shower or two.

The local Vernon Club have their annual Poker Run happening on Saturday up above Noble Canyon - always a great event for the whole family. Check out the VORMC site.  ( Unfortunately I am busy at the shop that day)
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Check  out this video of the latest Enduro stuff - Brad Freeman (Beta) and Steve Holcombe (Beta) continue to lead the troops, but Irish  lad Danny McCanney is also going well on the TM
https://www.facebook.com/enduroliveofficial/videos/1085686918284875/

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Monday June 17th 2019

Monday, June 17th, 2019

So I noticed the results posted from the AMA/NATC Western National in Colorado at the weekend - Not surprisingly, Pat Smage took the Pro win. - But what did surprise me, was the number of classes they have. - A TOTAL OF 20  !!

Some had no entrees, some just a couple, some only one etc - the biggest class was the Clubman’s with 12 riders. ( they also had a Junior Clubman and Senior Clubman’s class - In fact they seem to have a class for everybody. must be a nightmare for the organizers.

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Father’s Day for me was spent for the most part watching the last round of the US open Golf from Pebble Beach - really good competition with Gary Woodland finally getting the win, his first Major. - In other golf news, Canadian Brooke Henderson won again making the 21 year old a  real Super star.

Later we were out for a Family dinner, so all in all a great way to spend Father’s Day.
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In Trials News, Jack Price (GG) won the British Championship Round in Devon, with Toby Martyn (Beta) runner up - Welsh lad Iwan Roberts (TRS) had to retire with a return of the strange illness that has sidelined him so much for the past two years.

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The lads from Nova Scotia also had a Trial yesterday - no results yet, but sounds like it went well.

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More news as it happens >>

Sunday June 16th 2019

Sunday, June 16th, 2019

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A happy Father’s Day to all out there - we hope you all get time to spend  with your families. - Not sure what our plans are for today, but  I will take in some more of the US Open Golf. - Yesterday they had some great action from Pebble Beach, with some unbelievable shots from the leaders.

We also watched some of the Women’s World Soccer, - Canada against New Zealand - the skill level at many of these sports is fantastic to watch - even though I do of course, prefer Motor-Sports action.

I saw that  Steve Doel ( Beta) had a good ride at the Trial  South of the border - his first event for 4 years, I didn’t count the entry list, but it appeared to be well attended - Not sure if any other Cannucks were there.   Steve used to come to quite a few of our Trials in the Valley years ago, and his brothers were quite involved at one time. ( They also have a Summer home out at Mable Lake)

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A round of the British Trials Championships goes today in Devon. - Not sure if James Dabill is riding, as he has elected to compete at more Spanish events this year. - Unlike our hot dry conditions - they have had heavy rain in the UK this past week .

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There are a lot of old pics and magazine articles being posted on FB these days - many on “Scrambling” as it was called in my day - here is a report from the Motorcycling Magazine ( no longer in business)   - I used to have some of my Photographs printed in that.
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Saturday June 15th 2019

Saturday, June 15th, 2019

Hot!  Hot!  Hot! - that’s pretty much the story in the valley this weekend - a few people have been stopping by for parts etc - but basically a time to kick back and maybe watch the Golf from the US Open.

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In comparison the weather over in Somerset UK, was pretty wet for the Trials school put on by Heath with Bernie Schreiber  - Bernie even got a chance to take Heath’s TRS 280 for a run through the mud - he looked very relaxed on that and the SWM ( very smooth)  - He even got Heath to crack a rare smile !!!
Image may contain: 2 people, including Bernard Schreiber, people smiling, outdoor and nature

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We heard that there is a Trial on in Butte Montana this weekend, which Steve Doel is going to - his first event in 4 years, and the first on his new Outlaw Beta Evo Factory 300.  We wish him and any other Alberta  riders luck.

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As I’ve been posting some Classic bike stuff lately, Roger Boothroyd sent me this pic of a beautifully restored Greeves with owner Martin Spriggs. These were quite popular back in the late 1950’s when I was competing in the UK, but I could never get used to the strange action of the front forks.
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Friday June 14th 2019

Friday, June 14th, 2019

This pic that I took of Sean Bird at the Super Stars a couple of years ago just popped up on FB -
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With the Hot summer weather now with us - thought I would post this pic from a few Years ago of the lads relaxing by the creek, before tackling the big Mountain Climb the following day - Jimmy, Paul, Bobby, and Taff.  - That was a great weekend, I have a video of it that I took on my old camera & downloaded on VHS.
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Sunday is Father’s Day - not sure if anybody is planning a ride  - would need to get out early before it gets too hot.

AND for Father’s Day, we are offering big discounts on anything in the shop - including Beta Trials bikes. Why not give us a call?.
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I see that in Gas Gas news - Albert Cabestany will be riding the Electric bike - but Marc Colomer has left for pastures new!! -  Rumors continue to  swirl about the financial affairs of the Spanish Company, with a big worker lay-off recently.
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Here is a great pic by Heath Brindley of Bernie Schreiber who put on a small Trials school for some of the lads on a very wet day near where Heath lives in the UK - He also posted some video of Bernie riding this very muddy section on the SWM - Super smooth.
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Thursday June 13th 2019

Thursday, June 13th, 2019

Yesterday I was sorting out some stuff in my office when I came across an old VHS video from a few years ago, when we were riding at the “Ponderosa”  - it was early in the year with still quite a lot of snow on the ground, but it brought back great memories from when Barry, Luke, Joe and myself had so much fun practicing.  - On that day, Barry was on his 87 Beta Techno, Luke was on a Rev 3, Joe on an old Gasser, and I was on a Sherco.

The tape also had video of me out on the little 150 Gasser, which I promoted back in 1995 and the Beta Techno 1986 which was the start of my love affair with the Beta Brand.  quality is not great on the old tape, but so nice to see after a lot of years, unfortunately, none of those guys ride anymore.

There is also a clip from the National at Rocky back I think in 1994 ?  - it shows the one section that featured a steep drop down a muddy bank into a creek, with a log across, which caught me out on the 240 Gasser, and also Hugh Simpson who  followed my line !!!
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Seems that I’m not the only one checking out old classic video tapes - have a look at this one.
http://betatruebaonline.com.  SORRY THIS LINK DOES  NOT WORK

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The Classic Trial put on by John Moffat in Scotland was a huge success, and featured special guest Bernie Schreiber, who also put on a Trials school.

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Wednesday June 12th 2019

Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

Today is our Grand daughter’s birthday, - So Happy 19th  Birthday Carly.  ( We have three Grand daughters Hannah 21, Carly, and Emma who goes to University in Halifax.)  Yes we are proud of them all.  ( Hannah wants me to teach her how to ride a Trials bike) - Our daughter Helen ( her Mum) rode a TY 175 very well back in the day.
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Tuesday was another sort of Kick-back day !! seems to happen a lot as I get older. - We did have a visit from an old friend who used to own the  Honda shop in Salmon Arm - Freddy and myself always had a lot of laughs - he is Austrian, and flies an Ultra-lite - so I call him the “Red Baron” - Interestingly, he swears by Opti Oil - All his equipment went out with this when he had the Honda shop, and that is what he uses in his Ultra-Lite - Yes 100-1 mix - he has had zero issues with running this in the Rotax engine, for decades.
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The other thing I did today, was service my Evo 200, which has been neglected lately, as I’ve been having so much fun on the 125 Beta and  125 TRS - The Beta Evo 200 has been my favorite bike since 2009, and while I have ridden lots of others - including the Beta Factory 300 - the Beta 300 4T - most of the TRS models, plus of course we sold Gas Gas and Sherco for many years.
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Weather in the Valley is going to be HOT for the next couple of days.

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No question Jordi’s Team TRS had a brilliant result in Japan  - here he is with some of the Team.
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As most people know -  we don’t stock Beta Enduro bikes - but that doesn’t mean that we can’t get you one if required - We did quite a lot of Cross Country racing,  in the 1970’s - and without a doubt, Beta is really on it these days, Beta Canada doing demos all across the Country.

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Tuesday June 11th 2019

Tuesday, June 11th, 2019

You don’t see many of these old Greeves around anymore - at least in Canada - this was taken at the Ontario Vintage Club’s Trial last week. Not sure who took the pic. - The Ontario clubs do well at promoting the Classic Trials.
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And the one below is of young Leon Bustin ( Pete’s lad)  riding at the Super Stars Trial last weekend at Ioco BC.   ( I think he might have borrowed Stan’s bike to practice this section?)  - pic by Dale Coull.
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And another Classic shot - this time of   Gary MacDonald winning the Alvie Two Day with zero points on the very special ( and extremely expensive) Triumph Tiger Cub. ( I’m guessing that this one is worth about 20,00 pounds - yes you heard it right) - And some nice guy loaned it to Gary to ride.
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So I’ve seen the results from the 2019 Super Stars Trial at Ioco - It appears that the entry level was down this year, with a few people posting what they think is the reason. - I picked up on a couple of points made by Carl Muller, who said that , maybe cross checking is putting people off because it makes for a very long day. -

This is a comment that I’ve heard from more than one of the riders from our area, and yet again points out the difficulty the organizer has these days.

We all know that the ultimate, is to have checkers at every section - when I first came to Canada, I hated the idea of riding in a group etc, and did in fact show that it was possible to get checkers out by doing just this for the FIM World Trial that I organized in 1975 - ( I had about a 100 volunteers) BUT that was then, this is now - these days we are lucky to have anybody want to put on events, or volunteer to do anything. ( Believe me I’ve heard all the excuses) -  I take my hat off to Christie and her Team for trying so hard to make the Super Stars “Special”

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