Saturday January 11th 2020

January 11th, 2020

Adam Raga wins in France  !!!  Pat Smage 6th - TRS take 1st 4th & 5th.
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Here’s a nice little section, in Wales.
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A Classic Jordi shot on the first Beta Liquid Cooled bike - Notice the Castrol logos everywhere - back in the day they sponsored Trials big time with Sammy Miller and others. - Did you know that Burmah Castrol UK bought the Optimol Factory in East Germany many years ago ? - they wanted the Technology.

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Your video for today >>> trial bike and music


This weekend sees the first round of the UK Enduro Series - Acklam’s Beta are always out in force to support this Fast Eddy event.
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A Classic Scrambles shot from the UK - think it was a World Team Challenge. - lots of mud.
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In the  weather picture we have light snow again today  - !!

Friday January 10th 2020

January 10th, 2020

Here is a pic of our buddy Turk from Victoria, with the first TRS Xtrack 250 e start - we have the other 250 from the first shipment (sold) but held off with the shipping because of the snow storms. - Turk’s last bike was an Evo 200, which he bought from me ( I think he hung onto to that) - He also has a shed full of IT 175’s for when he decides to enter the Old timers ISDE events Stateside.

These E start Xtracks are going to sell out quickly so if you want one better get your order in quick. - We do have a new 2019 Xtrack 300 in stock for anybody not needing the e start.
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Weather appears to be the main subject for us at the moment - with more snow - then -20 temperatures for next week !!  just what we don’t need when customers are anxious to pick up new bikes. - But - nothing we can do about it, so a case of just of just kicking back and watching all the bad news from around the World on TV.

Of course for those folk lucky enough to spend their winters on the beach down South  ( heard from Stan today - he reads the daily blog) - ) life must get really boring !! - but at least we don’t have to travel anywhere much these days.

The Calgary bike show goes this weekend and with the super cold temperatures, good luck to anybody attending that one - plus next week in Edmonton. ( I do recall the many years we did the shows all across Canada - from Vancouver to Toronto - what fun that was)

For those already planning their holidays >>>>

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If you are into Hare Scrambles - Here is the Calendar - Note Silver Star still happening again this year.
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Anybody following the Dakar?  here is a link >  January 10, 2020 Comments 0 Sharon Cox Dakar Rally Stage 5 completed- Women hit sand dunes and stoney off track terrain MXLink/Razorback Co. Dakar Rally 2020 Women Competitors Media coverage brought to you by: Dakar Rally Stage 5 is completed with Women facing tough conditions racing in chill factor…

Thursday January 9th 2020

January 9th, 2020

As most people know- I have long been a Mountain riding enthusiast on a Trials bike, so was impressed to see this pic of a 1973Bultaco up in the area of Mount Everest - Not sure of any other details. except that it was a Spanish group who made the trip.  ( Loved my Sherpa T’s - think I had a total of 5 before joining Yamaha Canada)
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Video for today >>
Trials a Andorra 1968-83


The heavy snow has made it tough for BC travelers this week - as folk can see by the pics I’ve posted we have had 20cm in the past couple of days and other areas even more.

Check out this pic just sent in by Julie of the huge dump they have had - Martin has been busy for the past week working with the Bobcat and excavator to clear a path around the house - hard to believe we had a Trial there only a couple of months ago, - Julie says they had no power for a week, but managed OK with a wood stove and a generator.

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In spite of all that - we can at least look forward to a great season of Trials riding I listed the Calendar events today, as follows.

In Trials News.
The dates for the WTC/Outlaw Calendar are now set as follows.
April 26th  Outlaw/Team Squid Trial at Ioco  BC- Round #1 Outlaw Series
May 16th  Outlaw Trial at Scotch Creek       BC   - Round #2 Outlaw Series
May 17th  WTC National Trial (West)   Scotch Creek BC
May 18th  Outlaw Classic Trial  Scotch Creek   - Round #2 Outlaw Series
August  2nd  Cow Patty Trial –Rocky Mountain House  AB  # 3 Outlaw Series
September 6th  - Revvy Trial -  Revelstoke  BC             Round #4 Outlaw Series.
All events except #1 at Ioco will be Sanctioned by the WTC. ( They have their own insurance)
Any changes to the Calendar, will be posted if and when they occur.
In addition – The Vernon Club are proposing a fun Trial on June 28th in Conjunction with their Kids Poker run – which will go the day before. – We will supply more details on this as we learn more.
Yesterday I spent most of the time counting Inventory  - a yearly job that I never relish, even though we run a very small business. - It’s always quite funny when I find items in stock that I’ve either re-ordered or wonder why I have them in the first place !!  I often think back to Walt’s shop and have no idea how any of his records were accurate.

Wednesday January 8th 2020

January 8th, 2020

This is from yesterday - I had cleared the snow from off the van the day before after the previous storm !!!

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This old pic just showed up on FB - it shows the start line of the 1973 Moose Mountain Cross Country race  - over 170 riders started only 8 finished I was 6th & 3rd open bike on my 325cc Bultaco Sherpa T - Those were the crazy days of what could be called the fore-runners of Extreme Enduro. - Lots of river crossings, steep uphills and muskeg - still not sure how I ever got talked into doing that.

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In contrast to the weather we have in the OK Valley at the moment - here is a beautiful shot of the Scottish Highlands. -
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Meanwhile in Vernon BC - kind of hard to get excited about going anywhere.

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No snow overnight - but more in the forecast >>>>>

Tuesday January 7th 2020

January 7th, 2020

Some interesting news from Fantic >>>


Although Italian boutique brand Fantic has built racing motorcycles for years, they haven’t been a player in the world of motocross for a long time. That is about to change and Fantic has signed a deal with Motori Minarelli that will give them access to not only Yamaha engines, since Yamaha owns Minarelli, but also Yamaha’s frames and other parts. Don’t think of the Fantic 125XX and 250XX as warmed-over Yamaha’s as they have plans to use as many aftermarket parts as possible on the all-new 2021 Fantics, which won’t surface on the showroom floors until later in 2020. Expect a very special set of motocross bikes—with the possibility of Athena cylinders and other trickery. The motors on the YZ125, YZ125X (for the Fantic 125XE) and YZ250 will be “livened up” from their based configurations and internal designs originating from Yamaha and mated with Athena hardware parts and modifications, Fantic says


The 2020 Dakar Rally continues this week  with a tough couple of days Monday /Tuesday with only a 10 minute time for any repairs at the end of Monday.  Laia Sanz had a fall and was helped by  Gas Gas Team mate Johny Aubert - not sure if she broke anything.  Here she is flying through the desert.

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Here is an interesting read by Lawrence Hacking who rode the Dakar - He also worked at Yamaha Canada for a while when I was there, plus  was a founding member of the WEC.…/talking-dakar-with-lawrence-…/

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One of the greatest Motorcycle legends in the World - Sammy Miller - A winner in road racing ( here seen on his NSU) - and a Multi time British/European  Trials Champion. - He now owns and operates one of the largest Motorcycle Museums in the World  ( Still riding at age 86)  The full fairings on the racing bikes of the 50’s were called “Dustbins” by the Brits, but were later banned as being dangerous in windy conditions, like they have at the Isle of Man TT races.  ( I saw Sammy race this bike at the 1957 TT)
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As we are in the winter season - we thought this great Ice Racing pic would be good to post

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And a quick glance through the window early today, shows more snow - although people who like winter sports can’t wait for these conditions ( and we do need the snow-pack in the Mountains) -For us old folk, it usually just means we stay home more, and look back on memories from the Summer months, and if you are like me, maybe recall how we used to get out in the snow when we were younger, both in Alberta and BC.  - Obviously it can be a lot of fun, whether you like to Ski or Snowmobile etc - plus it’s good exercise.
We had a call from a relative in Wales last week, ( Babs cousin) and he mentioned how much he liked living on his farm, he is 80 years old and never been out of the Country, but considers that he lives in the best part of the World - green fields and lots of rain, but no forest fires to worry about.  - I explained to him that in some ways, the Okanagan Valley is similar to Wales, and maybe that is why we decided to settle here. -

He was pleased to hear that Babs will be going back to the UK later this year for a visit. ( I will stay home as I prefer not to do any traveling anymore)


We have heard from our TRS Importer, that some 2019 models are still available at a discount - plus of course we still have an Xtrack 300 in stock, so this could be the best time of the year to get that “Super deal” - Give us a call if you are interested & want to stop by, but please phone ahead, as the snow will likely need clearing to get to the shop.


Monday January 6th 2020

January 6th, 2020

While I can’t really call myself a big Hockey Fan - I do enjoy watching some of the World Junior  games - and Sunday’s Gold Medal event was HUGE - very exciting comeback by the Canadian lads to take the win


The Classic Trials club  also had a booth at the Motorcycle show  in Ontario

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After World War Two - Motorcycle production in the UK was far from being hi-tech - as this pic of the Vincent Factory shows.

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Check this out >>


A touching reminder of the terrible Fires burning in Australia.

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More snow forecast for today and the next couple of days - getting to be a bit of a pain so hopefully things will improve soon, so we can deliver some bikes.

Here is a pic from 5 years ago !!

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Sunday January 5th 2020

January 5th, 2020

Sorry - We will not be at either the Calgary or Edmonton shows , but if you go - be sure to visit Walter Cukavac on the Vintage MX booth -ask him how he likes his Outlaw Beta 4T , and Fantic 240 - Better yet get a pic with him. -  Walter was a top rider on the Yamaha Canada Cross Country Team back in the 70’s.
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Chatting to somebody about the sport and the current trend to rock hoppers - when asked what I thought of this, I said  “I think if these lads want to be acrobats - they should join the circus !!!”


Well the weather yesterday was just gorgeous, and we should really have been out and about - but instead, got watching the World Junior Hockey - exciting stuff, with Canada on a roll - lets hope it continues today in the shoot out for the gold medal, against Russia.


Later I watched “The Great Escape”  for the zillion time -  Lets not forget the Steve McQueen could ride a bike a bit - this pic from the ISDT.
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I saw a bit of a blurb this morning on FB saying that Taddy Blazuek  won the World Endurocross event at the weekend, - no other details as yet.

The Dakar Rally  started yesterday - Former World Lady Trials Champ Laia Sanz   is in again - she is  in 21st spot after the first day.
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This was Jan 3rd 2010 - bit different this year.

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Saturday January 4th 2020

January 4th, 2020

Here’s a great winter “Scrambling” shot by Malcolm Carling - showing Jeff Smith and John Burton.
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And a beauty of an old bike. - This one in New Zealand.
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Like I’ve said many times - Some bikes really do “Look the business” ( Old English expression)

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Meanwhile in Revelstoke !!!
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We now have the CPTA Calendar for 2020  - We will be sponsoring the April event that will be Round #1 of the Outlaw Series.


Friday January 3rd 2020

January 3rd, 2020

Well it looks like it might be another “Big Snow” year in the Valley - white over again today!!

Yesterday I took the opportunity   of a clear morning to head up to Sicamous to deliver Opti - glad to say the road was good most of the way - but after Swansea point it was a bit of a mess - plus that whole area had a big dump over New Year and power was out everywhere - one dealer said they had been down for three days.

The pic below is of the yard outside the Napa store in Sicamous run by our old friends the Terry & Kevin Fleming - the yard was jammed.
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Approximately 5 to 10 centimetres of snow is expected in the Okanagan by midday Friday.


The Toronto Bike Show is on this weekend - not sure how their weather is - but the ATA have a nice booth set up, as do Helmut Clasen and Steve Troupe - takes a lot of work & dedication to do these shows.

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While we are dealing with some heavy dumps of snow ,  we watch what is happening in Australia and it’s heart breaking.  - Lots of outrage against the Government, listening to environmentalists and not allowing ” safety burns” of the undergrowth during the off season. - It appears the aboriginal people did this for centuries. - The same thing has happened in Canada - who remembers the big fire we had in 1993 which burned over 200 homes in Kelowna - all because of a small fire that started on Crown land, in dead-fall and small growth ( protected by the Greens. ) - No wonder people get mad.  - You only have to drive anywhere in BC to see the brown forests killed by the Pine beetle - all just waiting for another spark.


Thursday January 2nd 2020

January 2nd, 2020

Not sure what the weather will be like today as I head up to Sicamous - forecast is for some snow again - hopefully not too much as I really do have to deliver Opti snowmobile oil to my dealers.  -

Of course in the old days,  -  I’m talking about the ten years I was with Yamaha Canada, 1973-1984 and then from 1987 running my own Accessory Business, I had to go, no matter what the conditions, and believe me I had some white knuckle drives.
It wasn’t bad when working for Yamaha, as I could always have the best vehicle ( except the first year an old Rambler)  and ran snow tires all round even on my Ford Torino Station wagon       ( With racing stripes down the sides - loved that)

However, after that working for myself & running on a shoe string - life became pretty tough - sleeping in my van, sometimes at -10 or worse,  traveling all over Western Canada  - We can tell a lot of stories about those experiences.  ( some best left for around the campfire)

Outlaw once warehoused the Opti product in  Kelowna- Edmonton, Calgary, Kamloops, Vancouver and Victoria.  - We have had great success with this in both Motorcycle Racing and Snowmobile Racing -(Winning the World Snowmobile Hill climb Championship at Jackson Hole in the USA twice)  - We have also sponsored many top riders in MX, Enduro  ( Including the Canadian Team that went to the Australia 4 day Enduro) - Plus  of course Trials, over the years, and continue to do so now .

Looking back at things now - at age 82 -  I have no regrets, I was never in the ditch even in the worst conditions, and I became quite good at quick fixes on my vans  the next larger GMC unit - running on Propane had it’s advantages regarding cost - but this does not work well on long haul driving & eventually I had a couple of blown engines.  I once blew the motor on the old Dodge  just South of Prince George near a Farm - so walking to the House, I was treated with much hospitality but was asked if I minded helping them that evening to pick up a bunch of hay bales - naturally I said no problem but what a work out that was - the bales were green and heavy !! anybody that ever did this will know what I’m talking about.

The van had to be towed back to PG for an engine job, while I took the Greyhound home - think it took about 8 hours.

Later in 1993, I was able to afford a brand new GMC long box - which is still parked at my place with over a million KM on it - At one time coming back from PG - I hit a deer while doing around 100km in the dark - with a semi up my ass - I was lucky to survive that one - the semi did not stop - what a bastard.  That was another all night job.
After selling Yamaha Trials bikes as a sideline to my Accessory business through old buddy Walt - I eventually got a call from Don Clark in 1993 asking if I wanted to be his dealer for Beta & Gas Gas -

Well the rest is History and we continue to sell and Promote Trials bikes  as a  Hobby - We have always loved the sport. and those involved - we have been lucky to meet and shake hands with World Champions and spent time with kids just starting out - motorcycle people are the best.
Would I change anything ?  Well for sure especially regarding the breakdowns on the side of the road - But it really is  a wonderful Motorcycle World. - I’m sure glad that I’ve been privileged  to be a part of it.  Roll on 2020.

Here is one neat bike, a 500 Yam all tricked up - We did one similar and really regret not taking pics of it - It was in conjunction with Walt Healy -As were many of our projects -  We shortened the seat on ours like Bengt Aberg. - YZ forks, alloy swing arm - plus trick rear shocks & exhaust system ! - wonder where that bike is now?
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Back in 2012, we were out riding up above Kelowna on New Years Day - I was out on the Evo 300 Factory  and Barry was on the trusty Sherco. ( Originally sold to Pete)  No such luck this year with both old age and snow cramping our style. - But I’m not complaining, I’ve had a pretty good run.
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I wonder how many of today’s riders  know that a lot of the motorcycle factories were into other types of manufacturing  ??   BSA - guns - Husqvarna - sewing machines - Yamaha - musical instruments etc. - I’m sure some of our regular readers will be emailing me with others.
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More News as it happens >>>