Archive for January, 2023

Tuesday January 31st 2023

Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

A few days ago, we received an email from Peter LeGove - with regard to one of our quiz pics - well it turns out that Peter is originally from the UK, but emigrated to New Zealand in 1981. He is a couple of years older than myself - and also rode Trials back in the 1950’s - Peter says that he visits the UK quite often, and rode the Talmag Vintage Trial a few years ago on a borrowed bike winning the Intermediate class.

He also sent me this link showing George Greenland riding that event at age 90 !!!  now that is impressive.


In weather news - we had sunshine yesterday in the Valley, but cold at -14, However being inspired by the above blurb - I dressed warm, and did my morning stint on the Stationary bike we have on the back deck - I’m hoping this will help  when I’m able to get out riding - especially my knees!!


Quiz today -  What is the name of this famous section in the UK? ( The lady walking it is Peter LeGrove’s wife Maureen-she is collecting blueberry’s)
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Answer to the Monday quiz - Mick Andrews on a 1967 Bultaco Sherpa T - Only Walter Cukavac got it all correct - but the usual group were all in there.


This showed up on FB with the caption “Anyone want to ride with me tomorrow?”  - I can’t remember what year it was - but as usual, I’m out on one of my favorite Beta Evo 200’s and this is the old Bear Creek area we used to ride plus we held quite a few Trials there back in the day. ( I have had more Evo 200 demos than any other bike)
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Check this out - the big celebration at BSA as they rolled off the 50,000 Bantam model - the bike that got me all fired up about Motorcycles in 1953. ( This also looks like the Trials version)
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Monday January 30th 2023

Monday, January 30th, 2023

This was just posted  as being the first pic of the 2023 Factory Beta Evo 4T & 2T  Note  These are special order so if you have not got one listed with us - You are unlikely to get one.( But you can try)  - No delivery dates yet announced for Canada. ( You can give us a call)
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OK before you ask - NO the new Beta Trials bikes are not Fuel Injected and neither are the New TRS models - and you know what - I think this is great. -

While I realize that  other bikes on the market have gone this route and some are likely getting them sorted -Many are not -  for us at Outlaw Trialsport - WE UNDERSTAND CARBS - And we don’t need to touch them on the latest bikes out of the box - the Keihin 28mm works fantastic !!  Our bikes have always worked perfect because did I already say this “WE UNDERSTAND THEM” - The only issue we ever had with a carb on a Trials bike was back in my Yamaha days - they came out with the TY 175 in 1975 and we could not get it to run at high altitude ( 6,000 ft)- Yes it took me a while to figure it out

- BUT once I had this knowledge  the rest was easy - and remember the new bikes work fine at all elevations ( We ran an Evo 200 up at 7,000 ft a few years ago and it was fine -

The pic below shows our bunch up on Joss Mountain in 2004 - Betas- GG- Sherco   all ran fine at up to 7,800ft
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The bottom line is - Fuel Injection needs to be looked after by an expert - sometimes a bit hard to find one of these with a lap top high on a mountain.  - People tell me this is the future - but for me - “I like Carbs’

Quiz for today - Who is this rider ?  and what  is the bike ??

Ralph Venables MBE – Remembered 1914-2003


Sunday January 29th 2023

Sunday, January 29th, 2023

Winter is always a good time to dig out old memories - and here is one from 1975 - the first ever World Trial in Canada, which we set up near Bragg Creek Alberta.

I have likely told this story before, but when Ron Mallett (rip) asked me if I thought we could do  a World Round - I really didn’t hesitate  and said ” Sure” - that was in 1974. ( What was I thinking??)  - and so the planning began.

As I came from the UK and was familiar with things in that part of the world - I set out what could be termed “An old English Trial”  - 69 miles long loop with 40 sections, with a wide variety ( not just the same thing over & over )  Although I was out many times by  myself plotting the route - I did get help from other riders, namely John Whitby - who put together an 8mm film of the event, and which we have on DVD. - I would have to say that of all the many Trials events that I have put on - This was the greatest challenge.
It is perhaps sad that I did not get to see any rider tackle any section that day, as I was out front checking that all the route markers were in place, and that the checkers were at their appointed section . -  ( plus changing a few when we heard that these World Class riders, were finding the sections really difficult with Martin Lampkin giving that famous quote -”What does Dave think we are ‘Bloody Supermen”?

I should mention that I never did keep one of the programs which I got printed up, so it was nice to receive this one from Jamie McGregor  - with lots of autographs. - Not all riders are listed as many entered after press time.  You may also find the adverts interesting - many of these shops are long gone.
On the Monday after the event - I took Mick Andrews and Jill , plus Malcolm Rathmell out for supper at the Husky Tower - ( paid for by Yamaha) and we had a good chat about this first Trial of a new era.  -

Mick did not do well finishing 11th - ( Jill said “You haven’t been practicing”)  - Malcolm thought I should not have eased up some of the sections, but overall everybody  seemed happy with the result - We did not get everything right and the weather ( typical for Alberta) was not kind to us. -

We saw a post by Yrjo Vesterinen last year, saying how much he enjoyed this event Tough - but he also won it on 41 points lost, a score that by many would term just “Perfect” for a trial  with 40 sections.
I should mention that back in those days, I worked very closely with the Forestry Officials, and they were a great help. ( Forest Ranger  Joe Burritt lived just a couple of blocks from me in Calgary & I gave him a Yamaha to ride- courtesy Walt)

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Note ! I see this back page was autographed by Mick in 2013 -  - maybe on one of his visits to Ontario.
Also noticed a mistake with the caption on the Mart Lampkin pic - He was World Champion in 1975 - that was first year when it was called this - before that it was the European Championship

Answer to the Saturday quiz - The one and only Sammy Miller - his Ariel 500 registration was GOV 132 - Brett Clark was first in with the correct answer. followed  by Harlow , Pete Varey and Roger Boothroyd - and John Kitchener plus a new reader who was riding Trials back in 1955 ( just like me)
Did you know that I once rode in a National UK Trial that Sammy Miller won?  My brother and myself struggled around the long tough loop and had some bike problems -  finishing quite late by which time - Sammy had already loaded up and gone home.  -

We brought in a lot of Accessories from Sammy in later years.  He won over 1100 Trials in his long career. - Still working at his Motorcycle Museum every day at age 88. This is one guy that deserves the word Legend.

Saturday January 28th 2023

Saturday, January 28th, 2023

Quiz for today - Who is this rider? and what was the registration number of his famous bike ?
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Another great sign by Gloria up on Chamber’s mountain
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Last Saturday of the Month and it would appear that January will be going out with a cold bang  !!


We had a visit yesterday from a former Prince George resident   - Fred now lives in Vernon, and has a Sherco Trials bike, but has a colorful background in all aspects of Motorcycle sport -He reminded me that he came to visit many years ago with Margie from Quesnel,, -  Fred was impressed with the new Wulf Trials helmet complete with flip down visor and has now ordered one in Black - ( we only had red in his size)  I will be sending an order to Wulf next week, so if you are in the market for anything , let me know.

The visor flips up into the helmet when not in use and can’t be seen - we will also be stocking the  tinted lens as well. - Shoot us an email if you would like more info on this or any other products.
New Wulf Helmets


Friday January 27th 2023

Friday, January 27th, 2023

I decided to post this again, because it’s being put on by Lewisport USA - who were formally Lewisport Scotland many years ago. The main reason for this, is because they are hosting a “Traditional ” type Trial, and hopefully will attract some new riders.  Coming from Scotland Adrian and Mandy, know all about “Traditional” Trials.- Adrian has ridden the Scottish at least once.

We are not sure how many of our readers watch any of the Indoor events on YOU Tube  - but as I have said before - THIS IS NOT TRIALS - it’s a circus act with the riders hopping from one obstacle to another.

So far this year we have seen two top riders have bad falls in these events, fortunately without serious injury,( Bou and Marcelli)  but really what is the point of all this?  - It certainly doesn’t sell any more Trials bikes and in my view some Factories may be thinking of cutting that model from their inventory especially in these tight economic times. ( Remember Aprillia? - they won the World Championship, then cut that model from their line up. ) -

- Back in my Yamaha days, I remember our top Japanese executive Mike Shibua - asking me for a forecast on TY sales for 1975 - In 1974 I had given the correct number of 300 TY 250’s for Canada wide Distribution - BUT the Americans, got the market totally wrong and still had warehouses full of unsold 1974TY 250’s. ( This led to Honda, Suzuki and Kawasaki dropping their Trials model) - Honda had bought the defunct Montesa Factory, in 1978  so would continue in very limited production. - The Japs were quite surprised when I told them that 60% of the TY 250’s would never be used in Trials Competition but as Trail bikes - remember back then Trials models had a small seat. - Later Yamaha also produced a longer accessory seat for this model.
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The bottom line and yes this really is THE BOTTOM LINE - Modern Hop & Bop Trials are extremely limited  when it comes to participation or of interest to the average consumer - therefore large factories  won’t even start up the production line  unless it’s for 300 plus  models - they are now looking for other products. - Some are looking at Electric bikes - but this again is an unknown market.

So who are the winners in this present day and age - The Aftermarket business’s - who are supplying all the updates to make that old Vintage bike work much better - AND for people who have got fed up with the modern sections, which for the average club rider have become very “Unfriendly”  - REMEMBER - this is supposed to be all about having fun.

Not that it’s all doom and gloom - The Spanish are well known for having small factories producing Trials bikes for a sport that is for them still a  passionate  hobby - and for a lot of people in that Country and around the World.
There are a lot of clubs that cater to “Old Style” events - both in the UK and also here in Canada.   Also remember that the most popular Trial in the World, is still the Scottish Six Days - always over subscribed with a ballot needed to adjust the Total number of entrees to 385 ( the most that can be handled each day on the 100 MILE loops)   Plus in this trial, everybody rides the same line, just like the old days.  In comparison, if you check the results of most UK  one day Trials - you will only see approx 6-8 riders in the Expert class. -
For us older riders from a generation long gone - the new easy to ride modern bikes are obviously  like a dream come true - especially now we have the Estart TRS in the line up. BUT -they are expensive -  and times are tight. - However some Mountain bikes cost more and you have to pedal them !!

We now seat kits for many models - some look better than others, and perhaps the best bike overall in this category is the TRS Xtrack -  Jordi’s Team certainly got this right.

Anyway that is how we see things these days - our only interest is in supporting regular club trials - and of course getting out exploring the woods.

Answer to the Thursday quiz - Arthur Lampkin the elder statesman of the Lampkin family - nobody got this correct. - Sorry Pete Varey got it!!


Thursday January 26th 2023

Thursday, January 26th, 2023

Quiz - Who is this rider - very good at both Trials and Scrambles
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Answer to the Wednesday quiz   - Rider is former Trials Canada Editor and Chief - Bob Johns - he is riding an AJS 350 in the UK before moving to Canada. - Only Roger Boothroyd got this one.

With not much news happening during these winter months - I saw a pic of the TT500 Yam - that Bengt Aberg tricked up years ago, and it started me thinking of some om my projects, both good and bad. - The first one that comes to mind was  a Bultaco Sherpa T 250. that I tried to shave some weight from, by making a front brake arm out of Magnesium. Yes much lighter than stock, but it flexed on a steep downhill near Bragg Creek, jamming the front brake on, and sending me over the bars, banging my head on a rock when I landed, !!! ( no crash helmets back then)  Sooo - back to the drawing board.

- The next project that I recall, was trying to also save weight on a Walt Healy TT 500 -  We fitted YZ forks, new rear shocks  alloy swing arm, trick pipe and drilled a LOT of holes everywhere - Worked great , but I never did race it.

Perhaps one of the best bikes we modified for Cross Country, was fitting a IT 175 engine in a 1979 YZ 125 frame - now that one worked really well.  I rode that to a bronze medal in the Kamloops two day qualifier ( after getting lost) - Then I blew the engine at Moose Mountain going head to head with Wayne Green up a really steep Cut line.

But prior to that I got to ride the John Arcand inspired Walt Healy  1974 YZ 250 modified with a DT 360 Tranny and Flywheel along with other stuff, which got the attention of Yamaha Canada, who sent pics of the bike to the Factory and which they used to include in the design of the 1976 IT 400.- That bike was brilliant - but only got to race it once at the Red Water Cross Country North of Edmonton- this turned out to be a fiasco in organization - with junior riders riding the Expert loop in the opposite way - Bob Sadownick hit one guy - Bob ended up with his leg broken in seven places - next guy hit me & broke my collar bone.

When I moved to BC in 1981 - I bought an XT 200 4 stroke  for my lad Steve to ride, because he was too short for an IT 175 -  Art Gavel fitted a race cam and we tricked up the suspension with an Ohlins rear shock & YZ forks.  -

The one project Art and myself never got to complete, was to build a YZ 80 12 speed - This was after I came back from the Six Days in Wales and saw the European buzz  bombs. - Art figured he could do this, but I quit Yamaha Canada soon after so that never happened.
.Of course while the new bikes come out of the crate pretty much ready to ride - new buyers will always do some slight mods to personalize their new toy. ( Yes including me)
I just wish I could find some pics of those old projects.

Quote of the day  -  Woke up today with a plan to do something - had a cup of Tea and could not remember what it was !!


A shot from 1974 and a line up at a section for an International Trial at Saddle back Park  USA - sharp eyed readers will spot Ex World MX Champ Jeff Smith on the far right with a Can Am - perhaps a prototype Trials model. - The event  was a mudfest.
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Wednesday January 25th 2023

Wednesday, January 25th, 2023

Quiz Today - Who is this well known Vancouver Island resident riding in a UK Trial many years ago????

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Answer to the Tuesday quiz -  Mart Lampkin, Malcolm Rathmell  and Mick Andrews - only Roger Boothroyd and Harlow got all three.

Lets hear it for the ladies !!
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So as we head into the last week of January 2023 - not a lot happening - unless you are into Snow activities - but heading into the back Country right now can be really dangerous - In my Yamaha days, I did quite a lot of Snowmobiling - including a few weekends out testing with Bob Work. - but always very aware of the Avalanche risk.


This should be good !!


Tuesday January 24th 2023

Tuesday, January 24th, 2023

This is a photo of Mick Andrews in 1974 at Blackfoot Park Calgary, where we had set up a demo day to promote the new Yamaha TY 250. - Mick rode this section both ways - no problem.
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Sidecar Trials are still quite popular in the UK - here is UK TRS Importer Steve Saunders with his daughter Izzy in the chair.
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quiz - Who are these three World Class riders  checking out an Alberta section?

Answer to the Monday quiz - Kevin Couves - only Brett Clark and Harlow got it right
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Below is the link to the very good video interview with Team Hemingway.
Trial Tube - Honest Interview with The Hemingway's - DL12 Indoor Trial Reaction!

Another win for Tony Bou last weekend and more crashes at this indoor - ( see the big band-aid  on Marcelli’s chin)

Came across this old pic from 1985 which has a bit of a story to it - I was involved with Kelowna Yamaha at that time, and had taken a nice YZ 125 in Trade on the Friday - then after a bit of “Fettling”   rode it in the Danny Amor Memorial race at Bear Creek on the Sunday - This was the last Cross Country race that I rode in - and as you can see I won the very large Trophy presented by Danny’s Dad - Vern Amor. - Sadly I was not able to keep the Trophy and this was the only time that particular race was held.. - I sometimes wonder what ever happened to it after Vern passed on. I figured out that I would have been 49 years old at that time.  ( Danny was a a good friend and top Expert who died young of cancer - maybe that is why I was “On a mission” that day)
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Monday January 23rd 2023

Monday, January 23rd, 2023

Quiz - Who is this rider ???
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Same rider different location - Doug Nimmo is watching
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Nobody guessed the Sunday quiz - the Irish  50cc Road Racer that had a lot of success - Ralf Bryans.

This was on one of the Joss rides - likely around 2008, as we are on Beta Revs. - Bob Clark was with us  that time - I think Taff supplied the beer!!.
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Yes we have ridden in the snow LOTS - and I wasn’t very young at this time - on route to the Joss Summit -( Can’t do this anymore as it takes too much energy- plus that Mountain is now closed to bikes - my last time was on my 75th birthday with Stan a tough ride for me - but worth the effort))
I remember one year when Stan was with us, and we ran into some snow - he asked me what gear I  was pulling on my Rev 3 Beta - I told him 4th and really I didn’t have any issues. Stan was on a Sherco which I always  found to be a real pig in the snow ( yes we sold them)

- We have always found the Beta to be the best in the snow - I remember one time we were up on Vernon Mountain - Barry was on a borrowed Gasser - I was on a 150cc Gasser and Adrian was on a Beta Techno - He was riding rings around us, while we were spinning everywhere. ( We swapped bikes and found out his secret right away)

This was quite a long time ago up on Vernon Mountain with Barry - Mike Crumly is riding in the ditch - not sure who took the pic.
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Blast from the past - this is the late Ron Harvey riding his Bultaco Matador at Chestermere lake -About 1969 - I think Ron had fitted some kind of chains  to the bike ( this was before we started used sheet metal screws) Thinking back - this was actually the first bike I rode when I joined the Calgary Motorcycle club, and Ron offered it to me to ride a spring Trial at Blackfoot Park - Not being used to icy conditions, or the bike, I don’t think I did very well.
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Some hardy younger lads still getting out and finding a few spots clear of snow>

This is Mike Philips from Vernon on his Beta Factory 300

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And here is his buddy - new to Trials - but having fun on his Beta.

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The Victoria Club Calendar is now posted on their website  or you can email me for a copy - the First Trial of the year is at the end of February.  Sammy King also has a Trials school happening in March.

Sunday January 22nd 2023

Sunday, January 22nd, 2023

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Many of the older crowd will recognize the name Lane Leavitt - He was one of the first American riders to promote Trials, and was supported by Bultaco Spain.  - Lane was very good and rode the Scottish Six Days, plus the early World Rounds, including the first one we put on at Bragg Creek Alberta in 1975. - Later he married Debbie Evans, who also rode the Scottish on a TY 175. - Both work in the Film Industry doing Stunt work.

Read on>>>
Lane Leavitt

Thank you for carrying on this tradition of the British American Cup, Derek “The British” part of the name, and I ” The American” established this classic Trial in 1970, to show the Yanks, what a real English Trial was actually like. The very first British American Cup was run at Carnegie Cycle Park in Livermore and it poured rain all day, and it was a real English-style mud fest.
If you are “in the know” Trials are so different in the USA compared to England and Scotland. That section looks “Classic” just like I envisioned the British American Cup to be, all English no American except the riders. Again thank you for carrying on this British tradition, and keeping it a Proper English/Scottish style Trial. A tip of the hat to you, and I hope you are serving Tea at the end for all the finishers?
My other trial creation when I was with the PITS club was the Geritol Trial, which I began in around 1973 or 74 at the Redwood Road riding area in Castro Valley. The Geritol Trial was inspired by the British Grey Beards Trial, and it’s awesome to see that event still on the PITS calendar.
This year, I’m organizing a new event, this time at Glen Helen Raceway, in conjunction with The Moto-Cross Revival race in May. This race is Organized by one of the founders of the English newspaper, Trials, and Motocross news David Dewhurst.
Last year we did a Trials demo there for David, which was really fun. Then I had the rider I’m training Kalie Duncan, race her trials bike in the Moto-Cross race, where she kicked butt, which opened some eyes, that a Trials bike can go fast. Something we already know!
Tom Van Beveren my partner in crime organizing trials now, and I have decided to move our Classic Trial from Day in The Dirt, to the new venue at the Moto-Cross revival event. It’s at a better date, and It just makes more sense to go to the MX revival event, This trial will be Held at the Moto-Cross Hall of Fame at Glen Helen Raceway in May, and if we have fun, we will do it every year.
Why I like this venue and event better, is because they allow the Trial right in the middle of everything. While at Day in the Dirt, we got lost and got in the way of their busy schedule, so they never really welcomed the idea of a trial at their MX race. While at the MX revival, they actually are happy there is a Trial being included at the event, which is refreshing.
Last year our trial set-up was right across from the Yamaha Factory truck layout and being that Yamaha sponsored this race, it was fun for Debbie because that is her Factory team, and Yamaha has always been really kind to her. So she felt right at home.

On this day in 1940, the lowest ever temperature was recorded in Wales at -23C
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AND - in case you didn’t notice it !! We had more snow in the Valley yesterday !! - but as I always check the weather forecast, I did my running around into town early THEN  in the afternoon, I watched Trials videos on YOU-TUBE - and  while I really enjoy these - perhaps some of the best to watch are the “Trial Tube”  videos - Danny Butler does a good job of explaining  the features of the bikes he tests AND he is quite funny .  So what could be better?


The Shuswap boys got out for a ride on Saturday - managed to find a few clear spots.


I wonder how many people remember when 50cc road racers were buzzing around the circuits?   - Kreidler  were famous for their small buzz bombs - I recall “Hearing”  then seeing them in the 1950 ISDT in Wales  - they had 12 speeds and  the riders must have been shifting non-stop over the Moors.
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Quiz - Does anybody remember the name of the Irish rider who did so well on one of these ?