Archive for January, 2020

Tuesday January 21st 2020

Tuesday, January 21st, 2020

The TRS factory had a Welcome day recently which was attended by 100 TRS owners - so they lined up the bikes.  Pretty impressive.
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This is a pic I took of Stan 5 years ago at Scotch Creek - He is widely acknowledged as being the best Canadian Trials rider of all time.
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An old pic of Bernie Schreiber doing a promo shot for Yamaha  - I remember seeing him on a 350 at Ioco.
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A great shot of Stevie Baker leading Kenny Roberts at the 1977 Daytona 200.

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I had a surprise phone call yesterday from Keith Simmons - who was the Parts manager at Yamaha Canada when I worked for them - We have not spoken for many years, so it was a long conversation recounting old memories - Keith is now retired and has just finished rebuilding an old Yamaha Big Bear. - He was asking if I was going to the Bike show this weekend in Vancouver.  (no)

Glad to say it didn’t snow overnight - we are expecting a TRS Xtrack electric start - to arrive today


Monday January 20th 2020

Monday, January 20th, 2020

Cross Country ace Trystan Hart picked up a nice Beta Evo 300 from Outlaw on Sunday, on route to Vancouver.

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Here is the CPTA Trials schedule for this year - Note:  Round #1 of the Outlaw Series takes place in April.

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Things are not exactly “Spring-like” at Ioco as yet - but rain is on the way.

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I wonder how many started their motorcycle hobby on a TY 80?
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Results from Budapest  Looks like a Tie??? Not sure how Toni got the verdict.
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Check out this video - I never did do any riding down East - looks like fun.

Dirt bikes Canada video


Not sure who this is on the Vertigo - but he is showing perfect style for the turn. Vertigo 1


A few people emailed the correct response to the latest quiz - it was called a Pillion seat.

Brett Clark also guessed the Scottish rider as Bill Wilkinson who won the event in 1969


Sunday January 19th 2020

Sunday, January 19th, 2020

So, imagine this:
After 10 days of competing in her very first Dakar Rally -
having completed a total of 6 666 kilometres -
of which she’s raced 4 263kms -
and with only 2 days and 1 173 kilometres to go to the finish - AND having just stepped into the Top 50 in the Motorcycle Category (there are still 100 bikers competing) -
AND lying third in the Ladies Bikes Category -
AND being in the Top 10 in the Rookies Category -
AND getting to the halfway mark of the Marathon Stage where she had to work on her own bike with only the tools and parts that she has carried (raced with) the whole day for 600 kilometres -
DISASTER as Taye Perry apparently fell at 206km (they had to complete a total of 744kms for the day) and could not get her bike going again…
This little lady (she is only 1.58m short) then spent hours in the desert (this section of the desert is called the Empty Quarter, a vast expanse almost as big as France, boasts long, unbroken successions of dunes) trying to fix her bike.
Just imagine - all the bikes, cars and trucks passing her… with only so much to eat and drink… a girl working on her bike in the desert…and it is getting dark…
Eventually a car team, vehicle #389 with Spaniard Pablo Martinez and the Argentine, Facundo Jaton, came to her rescue and towed her for hundreds of kilometres (it is not easy being towed by a car…).
They towed her for the rest of the distance through the desert and to where they are allowed to do so from where she then pushed her bike to the finish and to her team…
After 18 hours - that is a day and a half! - on her bike and trying to fix it or being towed on it - she was ‘home’ and she had only 2 hours to ‘rest’ in her little tent (and for the mechanics to fix her bike) before lining up for the last day of her Dakar Rally…
And she has made it today. Taye finished the 2020 Dakar Rally in 77th place in the Motorcycle Category (there were 93 finishers this year from 144 that started).
Taye, I’ve known you for many years and you’ve always shown grit and determination, but this will stand out for me for many, many years to come.
I know about your struggle to get to the Dakar Rally - and almost all the other races you so love to compete in - and I will even more do whatever I can to support and assist you as I am blown away by your never-giving-up attitude and will to finish.
You are a hero in my eyes and I hope you receive a hero’s welcome back.

(Unfortunately we could not find a pic of this young lady)   Roger found one for me  >>

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Check out this video from Dakar - Absolutely mind boggling the speeds these guys & gals do in the sand dunes.

Dakar 2020 Saudi Arabia

Here is a nice old bike - but I wonder how many of our younger readers know what they called the seat for the passenger?
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Video for today >>


Did you hear that Newfie joke? - This guy shoveled all the way only to find this wasn’t his car !!!
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Classic pic for today - Anybody know who it is?  - hint - He won the Scottish one year.
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And here is a rare pic of Mick pushing his Ossa
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No snow today !!!!

Saturday January 18th 2020

Saturday, January 18th, 2020

Warmer up to -11 on Friday - so one of the horses wanted to get out of the stable!!! or another caption could perhaps read - The Evo did not see it’s shadow!!!!

In weather news today, we appear to have had another dusting of snow overnight  - but I see that Global Warming has hit Newfoundland !!!!  - I was only in St Johns once - at that time it was March and we were fogged in for 4 days !!!! -That’s another story for around the campfire.

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A nice “Special Effects” pic of Alex Walton on the new 2020 TRRS at Ioco. ( courtesy Ron Walsh. )
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Now this is what I call a “Traditional Trials section”  of course it’s in the UK. and at a time when Hop & bop events are getting less riders - this one got 200 entries.Image may contain: 1 person, motorcycle, outdoor and nature

We are pleased to say that we are now an official dealer for the Splatshop out of the UK  - they are likely one of the best parts suppliers for all Trials bikes and very quick - call us if you need anything whatever brand you ride.


Here are a couple of links that our readers might enjoy >>
Classic 2 Strokes

Colorful Life


This Classic pic was taken at the Sand pit section of Hawkstone Park in Shropshire England, and shows Jeff Smith leading Johny Giles -29 -Jerry Scott -27- Vic Eastwood -24-and Chris Horsfield -25 -  not sure who the Foreign rider is behind Giles, but it must have been at a Moto X of the Nations event. - After this tough part, there was a long (rough) straight, before tackling the huge and famous Hillclimb.

(This track is still being used today)
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Another round of the Xtreme Indoor Trials happening this weekend.
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The old group pic we posted  yesterday asking if anybody could name the people having a brew after a day out at the Ponderosa - brought a few responses - Brett Clark got most of the names correct - except for Joe Adams, who is on the far right back.  - The only people who still have Trials bikes now, are Taff in the front, and Steve Richardson front left - plus of course the old guy in the chair.  Other people in the pic are > Paul Throssell, Bob Fredericksen, Luke Towers and Joe Adams.

Friday January 17th 2020

Friday, January 17th, 2020

We posted a pic  on the blog of the Dave Fair house in Victoria -  with a caption ” But who is shoveling the snow”  ?  It wasn’t supposed to be a quiz - but Brett Clark once again came up with the correct response as nobody is doing any shoveling in the pic - Thanks Brett for keeping me on my toes.!!

Well the weather appears to be unforgiving  at the moment - not that it’s a big issue for us, except that   we do live quite a ways out of town and sometimes I need to drive in to get groceries or attend Doctor appointments etc, which can be a pain.  - Mostly because there seems to be so many idiots behind the wheel of vehicles these days ( maybe it was always that way)  - I must say the modern front wheel drive cars do get good traction - but this also tends to make younger drivers over confident. - To be candid - I think the best drivers, are Trials riders - they are so used to throttle control and feeling for traction !!

Interesting that young Iwan Roberts, the Welsh Trials wiz kid who has done so well on the TRS, also takes part in Car Rallies in Wales ( which are brutal) he seems to be doing quite well at this in the “Off” season.


Looks like Honda are going to win the Dakar - but kudus to Laia Sanx who is still going strong.


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You have to admire the people who have the dedication to preserve these old bikes - would you believe I gave away a Sunbeam Dragonfly  - a BSA 250, and a Royal Enfield 123, ????? Yup that was one of my stupid moves in a life of Motorcycling - many people have asked me why I’ve not written a book of my lifetime experiences - to which I reply ” I haven’t got around to it yet” - But I do like to share stories with the many customers who visit my small shop in Vernon..


Ricky Brabec has won the Dakar - first American to do this and the first win for Honda after 31 years. Check out all the results on Enduro 21.

The good news today -is that it’s warmed up and no snow overnight !!  on checking the temps - I see it’s a balmy -11 here this morning, but going up to +2 on Monday !! - All good except they are also forecasting more snow..


This old pic just showed up on FB from a day out with the boys many years ago - I wonder if anybody can name the people in the photo? Hint it was taken at the Ponderosa. South of Vernon.
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Thursday January 16th 2020

Thursday, January 16th, 2020

For the past few weeks - our buddy Dave Fair has been ragging on everybody East of the Island with riding pics - green grass etc - WELL!  Take a load of this matey !!  This is Dave’s house on Wednesday !!  - Give Megs a call - she can bring Archie out for a sleigh ride!!! ( The only question is - Who is doing the shoveling?)
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Another Redskin bites the dust.
Not surprised to hear this . > The Motorcycle business is a very tough business to survive in.
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Brett Clark was the first to email the correct answer to my pic quiz yesterday - It shows Mick Andrews on the Ossa Stiletto - Mick was originally hired by Ossa as an MX rider, but soon found his “Niche” developing and winning on the Trials models.    -Harlow Rankin also posted the correct response.


Looks like we had more snow last night, but surely we must be on a warming trend? - it’s been too cold to do any work out in the shop, but hopefully that will change soon - of course getting bikes out to load for customers is not going to be that easy - but should not present too much of an issue for an old Trials rider - navigating the narrow path that I’ve shoveled between  the snowbanks.


Over in Alberta, it’s still super cold - and the Bike show goes this weekend!!  If you are planning on going, don’t forget to stop by the Vintage MX booth & say Hi to Walter ( send me a picture)  We have not heard how attendance was at the Calgary Show, but I still wonder why the Promoters  always pick the coldest month of the year to put these on.  ( Next weekend it’s the one at the Tradex in Abbotsford)

Don’t forget that this is a great time to not only do service work on your bike - but also a chance to check out your riding gear - boots can be cleaned up and re-oiled with either Dubbin or snow-seal - some folk also like to use Mink oil. It all helps to prevent cracking especially around the ankle - riding pants & shirt can be made to smell better with a dip in the washer, plus most modern Helmets have washable liners. Nothing like looking smart for that first event. We always keep a hair dryer in the shop - heating up your boots before applying the Dubbin really helps - We also use the the hair dryer on foam air filters -after washing in warm soapy water ( never use gas)  just don’t get it too close. -  If you are needing new stuff, we can likely help out so why not give us a call.


more news as it happens >>>

Wednesday January 15th 2020

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

This is the new 2020 Beta Evo Factory model which will be arriving in March - We will have pricing on this model next week. but already have one sold. - The Factory bikes ( for all brands) come with all the “Bells & Whistles” and are usually quite limited, so if you are in the market, be sure to give us a call.
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We received an email from a Gentleman form the US, who enjoys reading the blog, he informed us that indeed the Ute Cup we mentioned a couple of days ago is still being held, in fact this year will be the 50th Anniversary - now that would be an event to put on your Calendar. ( We will find out the date)


As usual, the weather is high on the list of today’s topics - more snow overnight and bitterly cold temperatures most places - especially Alberta. - 44 with windchill in Edmonton !!  I remember walking to work in Calgary back in 1966 all bundled up at -40 when my eyelashes were freezing together. But I still stayed and I’m glad I did.

Even in Vernon, we are at -19 this morning, but at least the forecast is for a warming trend by Friday. - Naturally the snow is causing chaos at the coast - they even have quite a dump in Victoria ( Welcome to Canada Megs)



Joan Barreda tops stage 10 results at Dakar Rally 2020 taking the win ahead of Ricky Brabec who grows his lead to 25 minutes as Toby Price loses third overall.

Joan Barreda took his first Dakar Rally stage win of 2020, heading an emphatic 1-2-3 results for Honda Rally Team on the stage 10 and moves to third overall relegating Toby Price to fourth.

Strong winds deep in the largest sandy desert on the earth forced Dakar Rally 2020 organizers to call an early halt to stage 10 on safety grounds. Many riders were injured today on a course reported to have many drops and hidden dips which are bad enough at high speed without poor visibility (plus helicopters need to fly for medical assistance etc.).

Riders were halted at a neutralized zone between Haradh and Shubaytah after 345km bringing a premature result and a few less racing kilometres (almost 200km) for the bikes on this first leg of the final marathon stage.


Here is a rare pic from the past - Jeff Smith at age 17 riding a Factory Norton “Scrambler” - the report says the frames always broke after a few races due to all the abuse.
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Another Scramble pic from the past - can anybody name the rider and the machine?
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There is an on line survey available to get feed back on trail use by off road users - click on to govTogetherbc to find out more.- This is available via the Vernon Off Road Club website.


Tuesday January 14th 2020

Tuesday, January 14th, 2020

When things got really cold in Alberta - my old buddy Walt used to say “Colder than a well-digger’s ankle” -  not sure where he got that saying from as there were others not quite as “Polite” - John Arcand had a good one.!!!

So as we prepare for another day in the “Deep Freeze” here are a couple of pics from yesteryear - the top one is of the great Brian Stonebridge on the Greeves, which he helped develop.

Below left -is  Joel Robert multi time World  MX Champion - and right Vic Eastwood one of the best riders from the UK - sadly none of these fine riders are with us anymore.
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Yes if you want a tough Enduro - go to Wales.
video Valleys Xtreme 2020 - The BEST Hard Enduro Race B Dog • 53K views New


And here is another example of how tough events are run in the UK.
Billy Bolt put in a masterful performance to win the first round of the 2020 ACU British Extreme Enduro Championships at wet Tong, West Yorkshire.


Looking back at How the Sport was promoted to the public, back in the 80’s - Stan Bakgaard put on shows all across the Country, this was at the Kelowna Home Show in 1986 - huge crowd of around 500 people watching.
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This is a pic of Bernie Schreiber in 1980 on the Italjet - the bike that was quickly put into production when Bultaco went the way of the Do Do bird - ( It was a good copy - but also quickly disappeared )  Bernie reports that there were 20,000 people watching at this event!!!!!!!!  (Think about that for a moment - especially when you consider that the riders were paid peanuts ! - but somebody must have made some money - maybe the FIM?)

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And here is what Bernie had to say about those “Good old Days”

Bernard Schreiber
Bernard Schreiber Mervyn Smith
Just a perception of progress. We all had 100kg bikes, hard core tires, 3 inch twin shock rear suspension, chopper forks, no brakes, dragging clutches, no protection, 20 kms laps of 18 long sections, no minders or course support, non-stop rules, no big trucks or money, but we put on our own show, promoted the sport, sold Trials bikes, received TV & print media nearly each of the 12 world rounds and spectators still enjoyed and related to the difficulties. All the event organizers were awesome and YES, it was easy like Apollo going to the moon in 1969🤷🏼‍♂️😉🇺🇸


No question that Dougie Lampkin is a fine Ambassador  for Trials - but last week, he was in South Africa, not only promoting the sport, but teaching local Volunteers how Trials skills can help them get to remote villages on Enduro bikes to deliver medical supplies.  Well done Dougie.
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So how long is this cold weather going to last?  Well they are saying it should warm up next week - then maybe we can plan on phoning a few people to pick up their bikes!!


And Finally - Birthday Greetings to our old buddy Roger Boothroyd who clocks another loop around the sun today !!


Monday January 13th 2020

Monday, January 13th, 2020

So lets start the week off by talking about what the sport of Trials really is  - and how it has changed over the years.

It all began back at the turn of the Century, when British Motorcycle Manufacturers wanted to prove their product in Off road competition - essentially, this was a test of reliability over a long (often 100 miles per day) - which covered old rough roads and tracks.  At various spots on the route, they would have long uphills, taped out, which competitors were given bonus points - if they succeeded in getting up without stopping.

Later ( After World War Two)  this idea progressed, into the type  of event we still see today in many areas, the most famous of these being the Scottish Six Days Trial.  - Of course machines changed, as did the rules, and “footing” or stopping on a Hill, became the way the overall scores of the day were tallied, and the lowest score won. ( The Scottish covers 6 days of 100 miles per day -limited to 285 riders and is oversubscribed every year)

At this event all riders, ride the same sections - no separate classes for ability - in other words, an average club rider, might be walking/riding a section alongside World Champions like multi time Scottish winner Dougie Lampkin . -

Long distance Trials, are all about enjoying the Countryside - meeting people who just want to get out for a bit of fun. - But of course some riders, just like cream, rise to the top. - Champions I think are born, not trained, although being brought along with the right tutor and environment certainly helps.
Over the past few years , the shortage of land and other aspects, produced what might best be called “Parking Lot Trials” with man made obstacles scattered around for riders to show off their skills, the end result of which, became the Arena style - spectator type events, that have produced an entirely different style of riding.

There is no doubt that the young riders of today, are doing incredible things on Trials bikes - Hopping- jumping - flipping - you name it.  -

.And obviously, for the small segment who are able to do these stunts, it’s a lot of fun.  ( I take my hat off to them) - However, ( in my opinion,)  sections that require using these techniques to even succeed in reaching the end cards - should be saved for Championship type Trials.
For many average type riders, the most they ever want to do, is to get out on their Trials bike, and go for a TRAIL ride - the light easy to ride Trials machines, make tough terrain manageable , for even novice riders.  - In fact 60% of Trials bike owners, never enter a competition.

However, the original idea, that started way back then - might still be the best way to encourage more people to try a simple long distance type of event, which is what we promote with our Outlaw Series. - The poster below, shows the UTE CUP in the States, an event that I always wanted to ride, but never did - I’m not sure if this is still held, but it illustrates everything  the sport of Trials riding is really all about.

Note : - We always have a FUN get together at Easter down in Summerland and plan on doing this again in 2020 - quite a few folk come out if the weather is nice - in 2019 we had visitors from Williams Lake and other spots - it’s a great way to start of the season, no pressure, with loops for all abilities and a chance to socialize around the campfire.
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The pic above, is from a Classic Trial in the UK last weekend - all about having fun with a lot of muddy sections to take some points -  While I like to see and promote the Vintage bikes ( this is the fastest growing part of Trials competition in Europe) - I must confess, that as an old guy, I prefer to ride the modern lightweight machines.

The bottom line is - no matter what type of riding your into - Hopping & Bopping - leaping small buildings - or just riding in the woods & smelling the roses. - Trials bikes are neat - and like the great Sammy Miller once said  ” If you can ride a Trials bike well - you can ride anything” - and he should know - he was a World class road racer - multi time Gold medal winner in the ISDT and 11 times British Trials Champion.  - Sammy also designed a lot of great bikes including his lightweight? Ariel GOV 132 - then of course the Bultaco Sherpa T that changed the sport forever, followed by a Factory contract with Honda to develop their TL 250 -     ( He ran a successful factory Honda Team with Rob Sheppard - Nick Jefferies and others - but Honda and Sam really never got along and they fired him - AFTER all his success) - We have all the books with the story.
Your video for today ( No Snowball was not my Grandad!!)
Scottish 6 days trial filmed in 8mm by my grandfather George Snowball.


In weather news -19 here this morning after a raging blizzard yesterday !!!  - It was a good day to watch an old VHS tape I have of the 1997 World Outdoor Championship Series. - This was when riders were using a lot of rear wheel flicks, but otherwise all fairly straight forward riding.  It was interesting to also see Jordi’s minder wearing one of my Outlaw toolbelts ( I made a bunch for Andreu Codina with the Gas Gas logo) plus James Lampkin with one of my Outlaw Backpacks - we also supplied Dougie at that time.

Sunday January 12th 2020

Sunday, January 12th, 2020

Sad news from the Dakar, where Paulo Goncalves has died after a crash - he was in 4th position and a top contender finishing as runner up one year.

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I had to admit that this post brought a smile to my face - maybe Dave Fair can sell them Trials bikes for when they set up residence near Victoria BC.
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Your video for today >>  Shot in 8mm by my grandfather George Snowball.


Got to love this shot of Wales - Funny we never really appreciated the beautiful Countryside, when we lived there. - Maybe because it always seemed to be cloudy or raining !!. However, I loved riding long distance Trials in Wales. - The Land of my Fathers.
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Bernie Schreiber will be the guest of honor at the 2020 Scottish Six Days in May - Although  I don’t think he will be riding - he will be on hand at the Parc Ferme  and will be the Official starter on day one. - This is a nice shot of Bernie on the SWM - he is the only Non-European rider to ever win both the Scottish and the World Trials Championship.  He makes his home in Switzerland. - ( Did you know he made one of the first downhill  Mountain Bikes, using a much modifed TYZ frame?)
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Only a light dusting of snow overnight but lots to come, so they say - looks like they might even get some in Victoria !!! That should make the boys happy. ( Maybe Meghan will be out with the snow shovel)