Archive for December, 2022

Wednesday December 21st 2022

Wednesday, December 21st, 2022

This pic showed up on FB and I had to click on to remember who this customer was !! turns out it was taken just before Christmas  a number of years ago when  Squamish rider Alex Manchon picked up this nice Factory Beta.. -

But perhaps the Best Christmas sale I recall, is when Gerry Jamieson phoned and drove down from Prince George to buy a Beta over the holiday, when the snow in Kelowna ( that’s where we lived at the time) was deep, and I needed to shovel a lot just to get to my shed. - Because of the weather and time of the year, I couldn’t resist asking Gerry - why the rush to buy in the winter, when the snow in the North would be around for months. - “Oh I’m going to ride it in the house I rent” he explained - his practice sections included riding over the front room Sofa!!!
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As everyone  thinks of Santa with a long white beard - I thought this pic of Walt would be  a timely post today.

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No snow overnight - but bitterly cold - might need to venture out to do some last minute Christmas shopping!!

Ho Ho Ho


Tuesday December 20th 2022

Tuesday, December 20th, 2022

A pic taken above Peachland in 1949 - showing a frozen Okanagan Lake - We held a few Trials up above this area a few years ago - when Hugh had the B&B in Peachland.
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We had an email from John Kitchener who is still “Wintering” in the UK - John always clicks onto the blog to guess at the Quiz pics we post. - He messaged to say that winter is over for them after a bit of a cold snap and some snow - it was +14 yesterday - and obviously still a lot of Trials events going on  - this is nice pic of Brad Bullock at an event last weekend .


Last minute shoppers welcome at >>>>>>>>
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I was thinking of posting this pic as a quiz - but maybe I will just say that this is Harlow Rankin - The guy who started the Alberta Trials club - ATRA - many years ago . He was also a Beta dealer for Don Clark when he lived in Cochrane Alberta, he is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to Motorcycle Trials, and always willing to help new people starting out.

Harlow also used to put out a Trials Newsletter back in the day, something that we also did, before the computer era.  - Now retired, Harlow lives in Nanaimo but still takes an active interest in everything to do with the sport.

This pic shows him riding a big rock at Cochrane on his Beta.
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Answer to the Monday quiz - pic shows Kelvin Marshal - a great Trials rider from the past, who was also one of the founders of the CPTA in Vancouver.  - Brett and Harlow got this.

Yesterday we had a long overdue chat with Jimmy Corkle from Elko - he has been very involved in the drag racing scene for the past few years, acting as crew chief for his son - seems they won the Canadian Championship in  their class this year, a huge accomplishment - Jimmy has promised to send me a pic of the Trophy.


Monday December 19th 2022

Monday, December 19th, 2022

Quiz - Who is this rider? a pic taken by me at the 1971 Western Canadian Championship Trial in Calgary.
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We did not get any answers to the Team Quiz pic - so here are the names of the ones I remember,

Warren Thaxter - ( Ginger ?) -(Curly? )  Cam Whiffing  -  Pat Horan -  Gerry Nilson (rip) -  Bernie Graffunder - and Chris Castles. - and a hidden Blair Sharpless.

Here is a pic of Mick Andrews on the Factory AJS riding in a Snowy Trial - he won the last of the 2nd class awards!!  I bet he was glad to get off that big heavy pig.


Another snow pic this one of me at Kelowna in January 1999 with the first new Bultaco in Canada - I picked it up the day before from Don Clark at the Vancouver Bike show. - Yes we had a few things to sort out, but it was a good bike right out of the crate - in fact Graeme Jarvis won the Scottish Six Days Trial on one that same year. ( see below)
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Another old pic from riding East Kelowna ( we had some really great sections there) - I’m on the new 1984 Yamaha TY 250. mono. - Looks like I have fitted 6″ rise bars.
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We have often mentioned the importance of “Walking the section” - this pic shows Sammy Miller doing just that - over the years, I have watched quite a number of riders walking the sections, and  all many get is exercise, they don’t learn a thing. - This happened to me as a young lad, at a National Trial in the UK, I watched Sammy Miller ride a tricky downhill which had a deep muddy ditch  just before the end cards. - - Of course Sammy cleaned it on the big Ariel, - so when it came to be my turn to ride, I kept thinking about that big ditch at the bottom of the hill - However, there was a smaller ditch just after the start - and it had a large rock in the middle - Yes you guessed correctly, I hit the rock and fell off “5″ -  The moral of the story is always study the complete section - not just what appears to be the difficult spot!!
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Sunday December 18th 2022

Sunday, December 18th, 2022


We hope that all our Motorcycle family, have a wonderful Christmas - and as always we look back on a year of fun rides and the great events held in the Shuswap, we can’t thank  everybody  enough - that supports these Trials.

Friday afternoon, I watched (again)  some of the World Trial video of the Belgium World round. - And I have to say that this was one of the better ones, which used mostly natural terrain. The expertise of these top riders, is incredible, and while everybody knows what I think of the push towards the hop & bop events in a parking lot - there is no getting away from the fact that these top riders, really are in a class of their own.

It’s absolutely brilliant to see the way they appear to “Float” through the sections, but make no mistake, NONE of those Factory Team bikes are anywhere near stock - nor were they when Dougie Lampkin was winning for Beta.  - In fact I would have to say the term “Factory Replica”  is stretching things a bit, for all the brands.
While many people will be watching the Football today - For me I would much sooner watch this program - over and over and over.
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Pete Varey and Brett Clark were both in quickly with the answer to the Saturday quiz - a young Diego Bosis - a brilliant rider who died of a heart attack at age 40.

We did not get any answers sent in on the Friday quiz - so here it is again - who are these Canadian riders   marching into the stadium at the 1983 ISDE in Wales ??

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Saturday December 17th 2022

Saturday, December 17th, 2022

Quiz for today - Who is this rider?  Sadly no longer with us.
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And this was how they took points from the top lads back in the day - a good old fashioned mud section looks like this is Rob Edwards or Rob Shepard on the Sammy Miller designed Honda with the long stroke engine. - Did you know that when Honda hired Sammy he went to Japan to test the new Proto-type and after a short ride, came back to tell the Japanese Engineers that it needed to have the fork angle “Tucked in” - Ah so!! they said - come back in 6 months !! - Sammy totally p/o ‘ed took the bike into the workshop - cut the frame - re-welded it and was out testing again the same day!!  - That fact that Sammy did so well with his Team bikes and riders, is a testament to this great man, unfortunately sacked by Honda as they pursued a short stroke engine later used in the World beating bikes ridden by Eddie Lejuene and Steve Saunders. - Looking back at this turn of events, could it have been that the Japanese already guessed that the sport of Trials was changing, and the lugging power of the big four-stroke engine was not the way to go ???  Mud Sections in Spain? already the new Hotbed of Trials.

Because all the world trials these days seem to be set up the same - It’s likely that this makes things easy for the factories - springy suspensions and an engine that explodes like a rocket. -  BUT this is not the type of event put on and enjoyed by the mass ( small mass)  of Trials riders World wide.

The bottom line and REALLY the bottom line is that Factories that build Trials bikes are for the most part very involved with the sport, and are not in the  huge numbers game. - Yes back in the early 70’s Yamaha fell for the bait, and being fed false information by the Yanks, built way too many TY 250’s - Oh! egg on face!!   - I think it’s a credit to Yamaha, that they did not drop the Trials bike and did in fact go on to build perhaps the World’s best seller in the TY 250/350 Mono.

Suzuki and Kawasaki were in and out of the market very quickly and Honda only build these for advertising purposes - YUP ! Thanks Toni !! - ( There is no doubt that the Honda Factory bikes they build are “Works of Art”)

I don’t know who this is - but obviously an older gent, but love the TY Majesty he is riding  - check out the design of that non-stock kickstart.
Potrebbe essere un'immagine raffigurante 1 persona, motocicletta e attività all'aperto

Not Trials but two great road racers shown flat tracking  - Wayne Rainy on a Yamaha and Eddie Lawson on a Bultaco

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No not Canada - this is a shot of the Brecon Bekins in Wales  on a snowy day - this was the area used in the 1983 ISDE.
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And a waterfall in South Wales - frozen for the first time in history

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We recently heard from our old friend Rob Stobart - who now lives in White Rock BC - but who  resided in Red Deer for many years and rode his vintage 1972 Montesa Cota in a lot of our local Trials. ( And did very well)

Rob sent me this article from when Rob Edwards visited North America at a time when factories were sending their top riders over to promote the sport - Sammy and Mick were likely the first of these. - Hope you can read it - quite interesting plus of course there is a pic of John Ranger. ( Who although obviously a very good rider, never did compete at any Western Canadian events - including the 1975 World Round in Alberta)
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Friday December 16th 2022

Friday, December 16th, 2022

So here is a different type of quiz for today - the pic was taken at the 1983 ISDE in Wales - but how many of these Canadian riders can you name?  ( I can tell you that the guy in the green jacket hidden on the far left is myself )
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Beta will be back in the MXGP World Cup next season. However, it will no longer do it in the hand of the SDM Team Corse, the squad with which it debuted in this manner and which in 2022 had the Dutch Jeremy Van Horebeek and the Italian Alessandro Lupino their drivers in the top class.
Beta will join forces in 2023 with MRT Racing Team to form the Beta MRT Racing Team. Lupino, who will repeat experience, and British Ben Watson will be in charge of driving the Beta RX 450.

Beta have also signed Aniol Gelabert to ride the World Trials events.
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A memory of when #1  Jordi had hair, and the introduction of the first water cooled Zero - we saw Jordi on this at the 1989 Scottish, but the Prototype only lasted one day when the rad got so plugged with mud   on the moors that it seized up. ( I should have taken a pic of them washing the bike after he was rescued )

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An interesting report regarding Bernie turning down the Honda ride - but then again he was used to two stroke power and a shifter on the right side ( English style)
May be an image of 4 people and text that says 'losth oy's7 Schreiber 'no' to Miller's Honda BERNIE SCHREIBER, importer Virginia, John offer Miller' Honda blond letting Bernie weeks said Bulto. acquiring international then balance France, and secono hottest trials new Bird on song in Eastern Experts like the said interested.


Thursday December 14th 2022

Thursday, December 15th, 2022

A very good pic of World Trials Champion Bernie Schreiber - a rather unusual shot as he has the clutch lever pulled !! with his bare hands, the common style for top riders of the day. ( Bernie thinks modern day riders use the clutch too much)
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This is an old Sammy Miller catalogue from our collection - we bought a lot of stuff from Sammy in the old days. - I think he was the first to print a Trials catalogue.
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Yes they also had a big snowstorm in the UK in 1982 - check this out!!
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I saw this pic of a barn find posted on FB & it reminded me of the time I took the President of Yamaha Canada to Walt Healy’s shop - We climbed up to the 3rd floor where Walt stored all the used bikes, and when I switched on the lights, the Japanese  were flabbergasted!!   - at that time I had previously counted 600 used bikes on that floor - likely more CZ and Jawa than they had at the Factory - Yes Walt would take any bike on trade just to sell a Yamaha. ( I later came up with a sales plan for Walt to get rid of most of these, which tied up a lot of money)
The Ultimate Barn Find: 180 British Motorcycles Rediscovered


I’m sure we all get these scam phone calls these days, and for me it’s not really a problem, as the phone number which comes up is always an indicator - However yesterday I got a really new one -  from the British Virgin Islands !!! I wonder what they were trying to sell me?


This pic shows me out taking pics at the last Trial we held at Revelstoke - It would be nice to see another event there for 2023.

( Also in the pic - Leigh Stocks-Emily Roberts & Ross Rathbone & Russ)
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Steve Saunders has just received a load of 47 - 2023  TRS bikes which will go out to his dealer network before Christmas - this pic shows Steve picking up a bunch of the small e bikes from the Factory  which are also popular.  - Jordi must be very happy with TRS sales in the UK.  - These small ebikes are only available to  us via special order in Canada.
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Wednesday December 14th 2022

Wednesday, December 14th, 2022

As we all know - Winter came early this year so the Snowmobile fans will be excited - just a reminder that Opti make one of the very best Injector oils and it’s available from the following local dealers.

Dunbar Auto in Vernon - Black Mountain Sports in Kelowna - Backus Racing in Mara and Action Rentals in Sicamous. - If you have any questions on this or any other Opti Products, by all means give us a call at (250) 545-6139 - ( We have Distributed Opti since 1987 and it goes in all our bikes)
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I posted this because it shows the old fashioned “Knees into the Tank ” style usually called “Body English”  by our friends South of the border. - It was Mick Andrews who started the Bow legged approach.
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I came across this pic from about 4 years ago, when the Vancouver lads came to ride Summerland - Paul seen here in the Gas Gas shirt that he bought from us, along with his new bike that he still has. - Bob Mexter and his lads also joined us that day.
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Looks like we had more snow last night, as I heard the plow go by a short time ago  - we had an interesting post from Rob Stobart - who now lives in White rock  BC - but we remember him from when he lived in Red Deer and rode a Montesa twin shock in Trials  he did well, competing against more modern bikes. - I seem to recall that he told me he  once rode the Scott Time Trial, before he emigrated to Canada.  Rob  has sent me an interesting article on Rob Edwards, who was from the same place that he lived in the UK.


Also an early morning long email from John Kitchener, who is still in the UK - he says the blast of winter they just experienced has caused lots of problems, but fortunately for people over there, the snow doesn’t last long.


A  reminder that some of our stock is getting low as the Christmas orders come in, so  better be quick if you need something.


Here is a rare bike - the Swedish Monark - the story goes that they built this, when BSA supplies became hard to get after the Suez Crisis in the 1950’s - so decided to build their own bike ( which I think was quite successful)
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Tuesday December 13th 2022

Tuesday, December 13th, 2022

No this isn’t taken in the Okanagan Valley this week - it’s Wales.

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And this is a very famous place situated just 12 miles from where I grew up - and where I won my first ever 2nd class award in a Trial as a lad. - ( It’s pronounced THLANGOTHLEN in Welsh)

They have held  a World Class Musical Festival at this location for many decades.
Warning to visitors about Wales' 'weird' place names branded 'disrespectful'


Below is an old pic of Grand Forks BC - Did you know that we held a couple of Trials there in the  1980’s ? I remember for one we had 13 riders go down from the Kelowna area. - Al McLeod (rip) put these on and was the local Yamaha dealer for a long time.
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While we have had snow in the Valley for many weeks now - putting an end to riding for us old guys - over on the Island Dave Fair and  his group are still enjoying their Sunday rides !! - AND Dave likes to keep us all aware of this by posting pics on FB - GRRRRRRRRRR, ( we all cheer when the Island boys get snow!!)


I could put this pic below as a quiz - but I doubt anybody would get it - the rider is Dave Tye - BSA Factory rider who used to win all our  local Scrambles  back in the day. - Did you know that some people thought that a rigid rear wheel worked better for Trials, than the new (at that time) plunger and swing-arm design, which was later universal on all the bikes of the late 1950’s, -  but a good Quiz question today - Which Motorcycle Factory were the first to produce a bike with Swinging arm rear suspension???
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This is a pic taken in 1947 in England - the worst snow storm ever recorded and one which I vaguely remember as a young lad. ( I would have been 10 years old) ( no that is NOT me)
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Below you see a pic of US rider Terry Cunningham, who won 4 AMA National Enduro Titles one of which was on the short lived  ( but impressive automatic Husky) - Terry was with the US Team at the 1983 ISDE in Wales that I attended - Unfortunately he broke his leg when the big bore Husky 4T kicked back, so he never got to ride ( I was close by when he was trying to start it)  - As reported earlier I rode an Automatic Husky back in 1985 as a demo - a fun bike  but which required some getting used to)
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Monday December 12th 2022

Monday, December 12th, 2022

Although we had more snow in the OK Valley on Sunday - this pic is actually from Wales, where they also had a dump of the white stuff over the weekend - John Kitchener also mailed to say they had 3-4 inches where he is in the South of England which caused a bit of havoc.
The best snow pictures from around Wales
A nice Calendar - with memories of when Dougie Lampkin rode a Beta.

Below is a pic of the late/great Rob Edwards - a top rider back in the day, who did so well on the long stroke  Honda developed by Sammy Miller. - A time when Sammy clashed with the Japanese  on Trials engine design, that eventually got him sacked. ( What the hell did Sammy know?)
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Quiz - Who is this rider in a Wintery English Trial?


As I’ve mentioned before - Motorcycle sport in the UK back in the day, used to be Trials in Winter and Scrambles in Summer - All of which seemed to make sense back then - Of course things changed, when the Spanish got involved with Trials, and the USA changed ( with the help of some Euro riders) from Scrambles - to Moto Cross. - While I remember riding more that one snowy Trial back in Wales - Some people might recall that we held a few Boxing Day Trials when we lived in Kelowna. - These were always lighthearted events, with riders scoring themselves if they wished, and nobody taking things seriously. - That was a time when Barry (VanAs) was my constant helper - and who did so much working with me  setting up Trials.  - They say enthusiasm breeds enthusiasm - and we love to see the new crop of riders enjoying themselves.  - - We only hope that at least some will continue “Long term”


Quote of the day  -  “Better  to put all your efforts into winning at one thing - than spreading yourself thin and succeeding at none”

The perfect Trials section (imho)


We have been in touch with Ross, and he says riders are welcome to use his Indoor Trials facility at Scotch Creek during the winter months - as long as they understand they use at own risk (no insurance) just phone ahead for confirmation. ( You can also contact me if you wish)
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