Archive for February, 2020

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.
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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.
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Anybody interested in the new 2020 TRS Clothing??  Special order only .
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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 >


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. !!
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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.
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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)
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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.

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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?

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

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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
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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)
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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 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.

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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 !!
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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)
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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)
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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.


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.


Wednesday February 12th 2020

Wednesday, February 12th, 2020

Another cold day in the Valley - but at least our TRS Xtrack arrived - this is another one of the brilliant E-Start models - a hot seller this year.


This is a nice pic of a Beta Factory - Not in Canada but could very well be  considering the snow.
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3ème vidéo d’une série ‘’Si on parlait trial 2020 ‘’ Les modéles 2020 sont arrivées chez Dherbey Moto , on y était pour retrouver la protégée …


I didn’t know “James” made bikes back in 1928 !! I only got to know the brand in the 1950’s
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Video for today >>  Color graded and slightly recut with better quality music from the soundtrack (music is Dominic Frontiere - I Believe)


A great shot of Sammy Miller on the first Bultaco Sherpa T he designed and took to so many Victories back in 1965.
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Another gloomy cold day  in the Valley - Yuk !


Tuesday February 11th 2020

Tuesday, February 11th, 2020

The BSA Bantam, was the bike that started my long love for motorcycles - an old school buddy stopped by our house in 1954 with the Trials version - and I was hooked.  Although I never owned a Bantam - BSA sold a ton of them, and they were also used by the British Post Office for delivering mail.

While the original purchase price was about 100 pounds stirling - this restored beauty, recently sold for 2,200 pounds in the UK  !!! And to think I gave away some of my “Classics”

Another Bantam - this one being very much tricked up, and ridden in the Scottish Pre 65, by Former World Champion Yrjo Vesterinen.
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And here is another BSA beauty.
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We now have the results from the CPTA Beta Trial from last Sunday  ( first three) ( Thanks to Don Doerksen)

1 Alex Walton TRRS  22 points

2 Kirk McDowal  TRS  36

3 Jesse McDowal  TRS 47


1 Carl Muller  Beta  14

2 Melissa Andrist   GG  18

3 Ian Carlson  Beta  19


1 Don Doerksen  Scorpa  15

2 Cam Collie  Mont  26

3 Gary Lawyer  GG  29


1 Brian Dye   ?  13

2 Jason Watson  ?  33

3 Brian Pegg  ?  34


1 Mike Hays  Vert  5

2 Bob Clark  TRS 10

3 Skip Parker  Beta  17


1 Brett Clark  TRS  30

2 Bill Thomson  GG  43


1 Emily Jarmin  ?  55

A total of 37 riders showed up for a good day at Ioco. ( Thanks Roger for catching the typo)

Your video for today >   Yamaha Mick Andrews Trials Champion


Monday February 10th 2020

Monday, February 10th, 2020

Some interesting scores from the weekend Spanish  event - no Toni Bou and Busto retired after losing 25 first loop.?
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BC Boy makes good - Well done Trystan.

Inaugural AMA Extreme Off Road Series win for Cody Webb at King of Motos ahead of Trystan Hart with Mani Lettenbichler third after an hour time penalty.Cody Webb came back with a bang to take the opening AMA Extreme Off Road West Series round of 2020 at the King of Motos.Competing his first race since major ACL injury and his first outing in the Sherco USA colours, Webb made the best possible start to the newly formed AMA series. Trystan Hart came home in second place while WESS champion, Manuel Lettenbichler had to settle for third after receiving an hour time penalty.The inaugural AMA Extreme Off-Road West Series saw Lettenbichler take the holeshot at the start of the three lap race, reaching the top of the event’s first rock-strewn climb ahead of previous King of Motos winner Cody Webb, Trystan Hart and Colton Haaker.

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With the leading quartet completing much of the opening lap together, Lettenbichler edged ahead on lap two with Webb in tow in his first competitive outing for the Sherco USA.

The GPS-based event increases in difficulty with each lap with Lettenbichler and Webb successfully completing lap two out ahead of the rest before taking a pit stop heading in to the third and hardest lap of the event.


The event took a dramatic twist close to the finish when Lettenbichler took the wrong line through a canyon while leading. The line had been used earlier in the day but the fresh GPS route for lap three meant an error for Mani and heavy one-hour time penalty which, remarkably still only dropped him to third. Colton Haaker was fourth.

Full results will appear here when they are published…

The 2020 AMA Extreme Off-Road West Series returns on March 28/29 at the RevLimiter Extreme Enduro, in Decatur, Texas.

Photo Credit: Mary Rinnell + KTM


Here is a pic of Christie out for the first time on a Sherco at Ioco yesterday - We will post the results when we hear.  UPDATE:  Just heard Alex Walton TRRS took the win - But Ted McDowall’s lads finished 2nd & 3rd - ( So maybe a TRS Sweep)
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Your video link for today >>  Early video footage from the Scottish Six Days Trial 1984 from the Bennett archive. Introduced by Alex Bennett


As for me - Yesterday I just watched the golf from Pebble Beach CA.  wonderful area with great video from the “Goodyear Blimp”   Canadian Nick Tayler took the win - only his second BIG win,  but it was nice to see.