Archive for February, 2020

Saturday February 22nd 2020

Saturday, February 22nd, 2020

Friday was a pretty cold day and in fact they are calling for more snow on Sunday - but we did get a visit from an old Sherco customer, who is now living back in the Valley, after a few years in Quesnel

- He is in the market for another Trials bike, having sold the Sherco a few years ago.  - As we had a new TRS e start Xtract on the hoist - this was the first one he looked at,  and was amazed at the new technology.  But perhaps the most interesting thing that happened, was when I started it. - I looked at his face and it was as if - 20 years had been erased - it was that incredible, the smile said it all.

Not that this is the first time this has happened - and also with the Beta either 2 or 4 stroke. - but for me it might explain why our Motorcycle enthusiasts like bikes - “THE SOUND”

As an old guy, I have been fortunate to hear the sounds of many exotic  racing machines including the first 4 cylinder MV Augusta and Gilera plus the V8 Moto Guzzi - followed of course by the scream of the 2 strokes pinned - at the Isle of Man.  Not forgetting the Norton Manx and the small lightweight MV’s and NSU’s. - Yes it’s all in my memory which I’m lucky to still have!!.

But something else that just stirred up these thoughts, was a face book video of a Spitfire doing a low level pass over an air base in the UK - the sound of the Merlin engine  almost made me choke up.

Many years ago, I was lucky enough to actually sit in a Spitfire at a place called Cosford in Shropshire England - I was there with a group of ATC cadets to  unofficially, take photographs  for the Newspaper I worked for  - I still remember both the thrill and how cramped it was. - For me, that day is still  etched in my memory, because I also got to go up in a glider - an open air cockpit, with a 16 year old cadet flying it. - I was so impressed, that the article I wrote for the newspaper along with the photographs - got very good reviews by the Editorial Staff. ( Wish I still had a copy)
But one of the main points of why I started this topic is “Sound”   - With all the latest hoo-haw about Electric bikes - I say Forget it - For me and I’m sure many others, we are in the sport for that special thrill you get down your spine, when you hear a Race Engine - Yes That’s likely why I’m pretty deaf right now !!! “Braap”
=======================================>

My home country of Wales is being hit by big floods at the moment after a blast from the the East. - This is Llangollen - ( pronounced Thrlanngothllin)   - Its 12 miles from where Babs and myself grew up. - It was also at a Trial near here, that I won my first award as a lad. ( I still have it)
Image may contain: outdoor and water

=========================================>

Friday February 21st 2020

Friday, February 21st, 2020

What a beautiful day it was in the Valley on Thursday - The drive both to Kelowna, then back on the Westside road, is always spectacular when the sun is shining out of a clear blue sky - also, it’s a sign of Spring as you see patches of brown, where the snow has melted. - I did stop and take a few pics while going past Bear Creek - looks like a ride  could be possible, although our old entrance near the corner has been blocked off.

The farther North you go up the Westside road, the more snow you see, but with the warm Lake on the right, the area always melts sooner.  - I stopped off to see Roy at the Valley of the Sun, and we had a good visit over a cup of coffee - still too much snow at his place for a ride, but I’m looking forward to being out there on the Xtrack this year.
====================================>.

Richard Lawrence posted this pic from an early ride he had on his TRS up near Smithers BC - This was the very first TRS we sold, and I’m amazed that he has never needed to buy any parts !! the only thing I sent him was a spare pilot jet just after he bought it. ( Update:  Richard contacted me to say he doesn’t ride the TRS much as he’s very involved with promoting Cross Country racing up in that area at the moment - but still loves the bike)
Image may contain: tree, motorcycle, outdoor and nature

==========================================>

Since posting  the pics I took yesterday, a couple of people have asked if the Bear Ridge area is open enough for a ride this weekend - the answer is, yes I think so, but be careful where you park and make sure you have all your paperwork in order plus a spark arrestor !!

==========================================>

For people interested in learning more about the CCM project - check out this video on the Trials Guru site.
https://trialsguru.net/2015/12/27/ccm-built-in-britain/

=========================================>

So for the people anxious to get out there on a new bike !   We have the following models in stock.

Beta  Evo 80 Big wheel

Beta Evo 125

Beta Evo 200 ( 2020)

TRS 300 Xtrack

TRS 300 Xtrack  e start.

We have heard that bikes will be in short supply this year, so if you want one, now is the time to get your money down.

========================================>
More News as it happens>>

Thursday February 20th 2020

Thursday, February 20th, 2020

A couple of years ago, in February, when Shane first got his TRS - we went flailing through the snow up on Bear Ridge - I took a great video of him shooting a huge “Rooster” tail
Image may contain: 1 person

Here is a wonderful shot of Blackie Holden ( 197 James)  at the Scottish, taken I think up on Grey Mare’s Ridge. - pic courtesy Ian Lawrie.  - Wonderful view - I’ve hiked up there.
Image may contain: 1 person, mountain, sky, outdoor and nature

=========================================>

Another blast from the past myself( on the right) with my buddy Malcolm ( who died many years ago) with our first bikes - he had a Francis Barnett and I had a 197 cc James Captain  - However, I soon got interested in Trials and exchanged the Street bike for a James Cotswold - and that was the beginning of my Competition days.
Image may contain: 1 person

=========================================>

This is a great Jimmy Young pic of one of the very rare CCM Trials bikes ( only 113 were built) the  defunct BSA parts & engines were bought by enthusiast Alan Clews, who  produced some very good bikes for both Scrambles  and Trials. Pic courtesy Trials Guru. ( I think the rider is Eddie Wise)
Image may contain: 1 person, outdoor

=======================================>

Weather today looks to be quite nice, so I will make a trip to Kelowna - stopping off to see Roy on my way home via the Westside road - I will check out snow conditions at Bear Creek as I drive past, & maybe take a couple of pics.

=======================================>

While we have had snow - the UK has been hit by big floods from the recent storms - Wales and Coastal areas in particular have been swamped, our thoughts go out to our many friends over there. - This is the River Wye in full flood.

Image may contain: sky, tree, bridge, outdoor, nature and water

Wednesday February 19th 2020

Wednesday, February 19th, 2020

Here is a very nice Ossa Cantilever - built by Eric Cheney back in the day - lots of people experimenting  with various things at that time - before Yamaha came out with the first production TY 250. This pic courtesy the Trials Guru site.
Image may contain: motorcycle, bicycle and outdoor

Your video for today >>>
Another trial that Craig and his family have made the journey to in preparation for the 2019 SSDT! Thanks to all the organisers and observers for their effor…

=======================================>

Although we see a lot of this type of thing in modern Hard Enduros - this was the norm back in the 70’s when I rode Moose Mountain in Alberta - A good Trials rider could pass a lot of guys in those spots.
Image may contain: 1 person, outdoor

=====================================>

Anybody interested in the new 2020 TRS Clothing??  Special order only .
Image may contain: 1 person, standing

Still on the TRS subject - We did the set up on a new 2020 Xtract 300 E start Tuesday  and could not resist giving it a go around the yard  - really neat bike !!!  Check out the video >
post

==============================================>

When I first arrived in Canada, back in 1965 - I was told that the only Competition in the area for Motorcycles was Hill Climbing - and the bikes used chains on the back tyres for traction !!  So !! not seeing myself getting involved in this - I took up fishing for a few years. !!
Image may contain: bicycle, motorcycle and outdoor

=======================================>

We had a visit with Jay Colley late yesterday as he stopped by to return one of my Trials books - We had a good chat about the sport and the general Trials events upcoming this year.

=======================================.>

UPDATE:  Adam Raga has been in for knee surgery - seems he has been riding the last couple of X Trials with a  Torn ligament -Amazing he did so well.

======================================>

Tuesday February 18th 2020

Tuesday, February 18th, 2020

I came across one of my old business card files, while looking for something else - As you can see a lot of the Japanese Yamaha guys I met back in the 70’s - These were good times to be working for Yamaha, as I was able to get involved in many other projects, as well as covering Alberta, Northern BC, and Northern Saskatchewan - looking after & setting up the dealer network.

One such program, was traveling across the Country, with some design guys, to visit dealers and come up with ideas for the planned big touring bike. - Interestingly, Toshi Shimizu  worked for a design studio in Tokyo, and he told me he was also involved in designing the first Mazda RX7 sports car, which was expected to retail in the USA for $5,000.00 !!!!! -

One of the best Japanese staff I ever met - was Ben Watanabe ( now dead) - President for a few years, before being shipped off back to Japan, another was Mike Shibuya - who was happy to hear my ideas on the development of the IT Series  ( He sent photographs of my YZ 250 Walt Healy Special to Japan) - He also gave me a bottle of Johny Walker Red Label for one of his buddies when I first visited the Factory in 1976.  - Mick Kato decided to leave Yamaha, when they told him he had to return to Japan, his family loved Canada, and he stayed in Toronto. ( Another really good guy)
A lot of the Japanese, were given a 30day course on the English Language, then shipped off to Vancouver - I would get a call to pick up one of them. and take them on a tour of the dealerships.

As you can imagine, this was quite a challenge  - firstly, most of them smoked, and as a non-smoker I had a sign up on the passenger side which clearly stated this. - Unfortunately, the language difficulty proved to be a real problem for some, and I literally  had to take cigarettes out of their hands and chastise them like school kids.

The next thing that I had to explain, was that Canada was a very big Country, and we would sometimes drive for 4 hours between dealer calls. - All very hard for them to understand. - Of course we had a lot of laughs along the way and some of them became good friends.
No photo description available.

========================================>

Another great pic from the Telford show in the UK - this one is of the fantastic 1957 Moto Guzzi 500cc V8 road racer, ( I saw two of these racing in the Isle of Man in 1957)   Sammy Miller has this one in his Museum and had it on display. ( without the fairing)
Image may contain: 1 person, motorcycle

========================================>

We spent a nice Family day up at Silver Star - with our Daughter & Son in Law - lots of people up their enjoying the Sunshine - We checked out the Ice Sculptures before heading in for nice lunch. We noticed an absence of both Japanese or Chinese Tourists, but quite a few from OZ.

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people sitting and indoor

==========================================>.

Today I go in to get the stitches removed from the places I had the bit of surgery a short time ago - not sure what the rest of the day will bring, but the snow is slowly melting!!.

==========================================>

Brett Clark was the only person to correctly identify the famous Trials riders in the pic we posted from the Telford Show - they were John Lampkin, Yrjo Vesterinen, Nigel Birkett, Bernie Schreiber, and Sammy Miller.

==========================================>

More news as it happens.  >>

Monday February 16th 2020

Monday, February 17th, 2020

Another pic from Telford - ( Not sure who took it)  Can anybody name these stars of yesterday?

Image may contain: 12 people, including Bernard Schreiber, people smiling, people standing

Another puzzle ! Can anybody guess what they used to sell at this store?

Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor

========================================>

Yesterday was another “Golf Watching” day - in fact I didn’t go out the door - Nice of Roger to send a pic from Victoria of all the trees in blossom and mention he cut his lawn !!

========================================>

Happy Family day to everybody - Rumor is that we will be heading up to Silver Star to look at the Ice Sculptures  !!!! Weather looks quite nice out the window.

========================================.>

Sunday February 16th 2020

Sunday, February 16th, 2020

Steve Saunders, Heath Brindley & Bernie Schreiber at the Telford bike Show
Image may contain: 3 people, including Steve Saunders and Bernard Schreiber, people smiling

A blast from this day 6 years ago - a shot of Matt at Bear Ridge - I’m sure this spot is still very much snowed in this year.  I recall we had a great day out there, with me having a lot more energy back then, riding my favorite Evo 200.  I remember I was pulling 4th gear most of the time in the snow.    ( I think I have a video of that someplace)
No photo description available.

=====================================>

I took time to catch up on some of the stories in the latest issue of Trials Mag; UK yesterday  - I thought the comments by Tony Bou regarding the Sheffield Indoor and in particular Martin Lampkin, were very well said - As the absolute Champion in  the Trials World at the moment, I think Bou shows a lot of class.

———————————————————>.

Also in this Issue - a report by Albert Cabestany posted his thoughts on the current “State of the Sport” - And Bernie Schreiber now has a regular column, which also gives his thoughts on the subject,

——————————————————->

Toby Martyn gets a full 4 pages with great pics on his rise through the ranks - he has had support from Beta, Montesa and Vertigo, before signing for the TRS Factory.

——————————————————->

There is also coverage of KTM’s involvement in Trials  which took place in the  the 1970’s - Of course KTM wanted to buy the Beta Factory many years ago - but the Italian family said “No Thanks” - Another article on the rise and Fall of Gas Gas is interesting, especially as it pertains to the John Shirt story..

=====================================>

It’s a long weekend for us - with “Family Day” tomorrow - but the weather doesn’t look too promising.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.

Saturday February 15th 2020

Saturday, February 15th, 2020

BETA FACTORY TRIAL TEAM 2020
Beta is proud to announce its Factory Team that will race with the colors of the Tuscan brand in 2020 national and international competitions.
For this season, the team will count 4 riders: a new member, Matteo Grattarola, joins the team along with the reconfirmed James Dabill, Benoit Bincaz, and Luca Petrella.
James Dabill and Benoit Bincaz will not only take part to
the TrialGp Outdoor World Championship, but also to their respective national championships. The British pilot will compete in the Top category of the English league, while Bincaz will fight to defend his first place in the French Elite category. Moreover, the French rider will also race in the Indoor World Championship, while Dabill will compete in the Scottish Six Days and the Scott Trial.
Luca Petrella and Matteo Grattarola will line up in the Trail2 category at the Outdoor World Championship, in addition to taking part in both the Outdoor and Indoor Italian Championships.
The Beta Factory Team will debut during the first round of the Outdoor World Championship taking place in the Czech Republic on May 23rd and 24th

======================================>

Meanwhile in Canada, Sam King is being sponsored by Beta Canada this year to do demos and promote both Trials and Enduro bikes. - As most people know, Outlaw sponsored Sam for the first few years after he came over from Oz - He’s a great lad with lots of Talent so be sure to try and hook up with him if he is in your area.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, outdoor

======================================.>

Not sure who took this excellent pic in the Classic Scottish, but what a wonderful setting. ( Think it came up on the Trials Guru site- so a big thanks to the photographer)  Check out that rear tyre !! The best improvement you can make to any old Trials bike, is fit modern 2 ply Tyres. ( BTW Tyres are spelled Tyres not Tires !!) to Tire is to get weary !!
Image may contain: 1 person, mountain, motorcycle, outdoor and nature

==========================================>

As the 2020 Cabin Fever rolls along.t was nice to get this Mag in the mail today - It has fantastic content, as well as quality photographs and stories - I urge all Trials enthusiasts to subscribe to this UK Publication.
Image may contain: 1 person, bicycle

==========================================>

Just a year ago, and we were out for the first time on the neat TRRS 125 - I feel that these small bikes are often overlooked when people are shopping, especially for teenagers - they have a lot of endearing features ( this one in particular which is sold) and as we have quite a lot of experience in both riding and setting up the “Tiddlers” - the TRRS provided us with lots of fun ( we later improved the performance with Boysen reeds and jetting changes !!) We still have a Beta Evo 125, which again is brilliant and the price is right while the snow is on the ground!! or How about a Beta Evo 80 -? we have one in stock blowing out at $3,999.00 !!!  Better be quick if you want a deal because when the snow melts, so do the great prices.
Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, motorcycle and outdoor

=========================================>

And now for something really crazy !!  Steve Day  ( say no more)

'Moto photo challenge 10/10 nominated  by Matt Fracy. This is at the  top of the  Goat in Bretania the day before the Squamish  trial last summer. Great day with 7 or 8 of  us out for a trail ride. This gap,splat was on Ricky  Style's buckett list so we went  for it! I remember saying a little prayer  for my master link on my chain before take off.'

=========================================>

Friday February 14th 2020

Friday, February 14th, 2020

Happy Valentines Day to everybody - especially to my Babsy - We’ve traveled a long road together since I met this Welsh beauty back in 1959.

========================================>
Anybody who has been involved with the Motorcycle Industry, knows just how it is - “A way of Life” is how I’ve often described it. - However, it’s also a very hard way to make a living - especially for the enthusiast dealer.  ( The buddy system doesn’t always pay the bills)

It’s always sad to see a great shop close the doors, especially if you know the people involved - I thought our readers would like to see this article from our friends South of the Border.

16 hrs ·

Dear Skagit Powersports Friends and Customers,

As you’ve probably heard the dealership is closing in the near future. We’ve moved into the warehouse with everything in the showroom and are operating out of there. We will be open every day just as we were in our other building.

Gary, Pete and I started in 1992 in Mount Vernon on the West Side in a tiny rented building. In 1996 we started looking for a bigger store. I met a local businessman named Gary Steen, owner of Holiday Market, and he showed me an acre lot for sale in the new Burlington Business Park right on I-5. We built and moved into our new store in 1996, made it bigger in 1998, and ending up expanding three more times. Later we bought another lot across the street and built the warehouse where we are now. Our plan was to run a business that would provide us with a living income and that would eventually provide retirement for the three of us.Through the nearly 30 years we’ve been in business we’ve had championship teams in road racing, motocross, off road, trials, and flat track. We’ve started some fun programs such as dealer track days, warehouse racing and the Monkey Butt 300 ride to Winthrop. As a business, Skagit Powersports has been honored with dozens of national awards, including U.S. Dealership Of The Year in 2010.Along the way we’ve had offers to buy our property but none were generous enough to convince us to close the store. Not until we met Jeri Drager, owner of Drager’s Club House in Lynnwood. Jeri intends on creating a hotrod / custom / exotic car museum in our redesigned
showroom. That sounds like a fun idea! I’m glad our showroom get’s to be another cool place!Over time, the development of the internet has presented a new challenge that faces nearly all retail businesses, online ordering. Parts and accessories sales have been declining for each of the last ten years, a real problem when that department is an important piece of the whole puzzle. The motorcycle industry isn’t innocent in this either, everyone is racing to get as much of their products onto the web as they can. The local motorcycle dealer is the one who takes the hit. Please keep that in mind every time you need help and only a real shop can give it.It’s been a great 30 years, I’ve had too many adventures to count and a lot of good friends to go riding with now that I’m free. Thank you all so much for letting me play for 30 years.- Bill Cameron
=======================================>
Anybody remember the Ariel Arrow?  - quite a revolutionary bike back in the day - one of the Photographers from the Newspaper Plant I worked at had one, and said I could take it for a ride !! Now being young and super mad about road racing at that time - I jumped at the chance, and took it for a quite long zip around the Country roads in the Oswestry area. - However, this could have turned ugly, as when going flat out in top gear, a pigeon flew across- hitting me in the face - fortunately I managed to survive, although the pigeon wasn’t so lucky. ( And I managed to return the bike intact)  - A guy by the name of Peter Inchly tuned one for the 250 TT in the Isle of Man  which went well as I recall.
Image may contain: motorcycle and outdoor========================================>
When I first saw this pic, I thought it was Swampy at one of the Stan Bakgaard Stunt shows, but this was taken in the UK, and Stan’s Scaffolding was about three times this high - amazing how Swampman never got hurt especially at the BC Place event.
Image may contain: one or more people, bicycle and outdoor=======================================>

Hard to believe that this pic was taken in January or February last year !! - What a different story this year with all the snow. Shane & Chris plus Dale Wellborn and his son were out with us that day.
Image may contain: 1 person, motorcycle, outdoor and nature

========================================>

A sad memory today as it was 8 years ago that the Trials World lost the great Italian rider Diego Bosis at just 44 years old, from a heart attack.
Image may contain: outdoor

=======================================>

Today is also the birthday of John Dearie  who lives on the West Coast, but was in Kelowna for many years.  John holds the dubious record of taking the longest time to fix a flat on a Beta rear wheel - I think it’s about ten years !!

======================================>

I think it’s also Sam’s birthday today - I took this pic of him the first year he came over from OZ - only took him a few sections to modify the Outlaw Beta rear fender ( But if I showed you the section - you would understand why!!)   Anyway Happy birthday buddy.
No photo description available.

Thursday February 13th 2020

Thursday, February 13th, 2020

Here is an interesting entry list at the SSDT in 1974 - It shows the Team entrees - What I noticed, was the fact that Mick Andrews was only listed in the Yamaha “B” Team - Strange.
No photo description available.

=========================================>

I wonder how many visitors to the Scottish have seen this monument   in the Valley of Glencoe ? - So much history there. Both the Cambells and the Fraser Clans were part of this - ( My Grandmother on my Father’s side was a Fraser)
Image may contain: flower, plant and outdoor

=========================================>
A couple more videos to click on >>
Passione artigliata

=======================================>
une belle réussite à découvrir … Tristan et Jean nous présentent cette belle TRRS !! Restez connecté , les autres trials arrivent aussi ;-)

=======================================>

John Moffat has just started a link on his Website for showing pics from when Trials were all Non-Stop !! In other words, if you stopped, it was a “5″  - Also back then, the scoring system was 1-3-5 the “2″ was added much later to the way things are now scored.  However, the scoring these days, causes just as much controversy as it did in the old days. - For example in the Indoor Events - riders are penalized for “Sumping out” on an obstacle.  - And it seems a lot of Expert riders in  our events, seem to think it’s OK to stop with a foot on the ground for a couple of minutes, and still score a “Dab”  ( If in doubt, check with the Clerk of the Course at any event you are riding)
The pic below is from the UK, but shows how organizers sometimes threw in a big bog section to add to the fun.  ( People who were at the FIM World Trial in Calgary might remember that I put one of these in that event)
Image may contain: one or more people, motorcycle and outdoor

Although the pic below is a beautiful rebuild Special - it’s a far cry from what the original BSA Bantam looked like, but does show just how serious some of the Classic group are in Europe.
http://www.bsaotter.com/media/images/user-images/14844/9adb57abadcc156f8d23b5d8bcadb38e-1-edit.jpg?fbclid=IwAR1FOMFj3cmm0P897kTH1qyg8Jd93LJLcM3M8q8aOYiGdJo4cgc5yoqCqoo

====================================>

I watched the Hockey game last night - a nice tribute to the Sedin’s - As for the way the Cannucks played  Hmm ! - They won, but only because of the Goalie.

====================================>