Thursday July 2nd 2020

July 2nd, 2020

For the information of all our readers - The Computer Network recently decided to update my CP, and in doing so, lost all my email contacts. - So if you are somebody who is often in touch with us. Please shoot us an email, in order for us to get you back on line. ( That includes you Stan)
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Yesterday July 1st was the Yamaha Factorie’s  65th Anniversary building Motorcycles. Quite a milestone for the Company that has the Tuning fork emblem - because their main business was musical instruments. -

In 1976 on my first visit to Japan - We toured the factory where they make the Grand Piano - workers sitting on benches outside in the open - carving the wooden parts needed, by hand. ( Not being a piano player I can’t tell you the correct term for what they were carving)
- We then stepped through a door from this area that resembled a Wood yard  - onto a very large concert stage - where they had a grand piano ready to be played by a tall Japanese gentleman dressed  in full evening attire. - Yes we were very impressed. - If there is one thing I can tell you about all the years I worked for Yamaha - they sure know how to treat their dealers. -

It was nice - that when I was at the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame event  in 2018 - although I did not know the person  who gave me the medal -   I learned later that he worked for Yamaha Canada - I felt  that maybe. somehow ,- The Yamaha Family had a hand in this. - - Although. - in fact it was an old friend Harlow Rankin who decided to put my name forward, for consideration.
Without a doubt - working for Yamaha in the 70’s was certainly a good time, and maybe a time that will never be repeated, as the industry has changed a lot since then.

I could likely write a book on my experiences while working for Yamaha Canada - believe me the early days of 1973 were not easy. - As a company rep -  I covered a lot of Western Canada and was supposed to visit all the dealers once a month, - The main reason for this was because  the dealers had all their bikes/sleds on a finance plan and when they were sold  - a cheque was supposed to be sent to Yamaha. ( I would be driving approx 1500-2000 km per week)
As you  can imagine - lots of times I would visit a dealer and on checking ALL the inventory by serial number - against the monthly sheet that I got - if a unit was not on the floor - I had  to establish if it had been paid for. - If not I had to pick up a cheque. ( In some cases I  had to pick up bikes/sleds and close down dealers - this was rare but not a nice thing to do

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After this I would talk to the dealer about any service. warranty./parts/ problems  - THEN I would see if I could sell them something!!  The reason that I relate this story is because I have retained a lot of friends because of my Yamaha days. - I understood the Mom & Pop store aspect -and because of this we sold a lot of Yamaha bikes. - If there was any interest in Trials, I would put on a Trials school.
In later years - all the Japanese Factories wanted  big numbers, and that is when I decided it was time for me to say goodbye - although not completely - as I went on to sell Yamaha Trials bikes for my friend Walt Healy - then into a dealership in first Vernon then Kelowna -

This was a strange time in my life - Because while I was setting up Yamaha dealers in Western Canada - one of the first questions I would ask people who wanted to set up with a partner or partners !!     I would tell them that the only partner that you can maybe be in business with long term - is your wife.

For me to forget this ( not really) but to be in a difficult situation - the partnerships I went into after leaving Yamaha Canada were a disaster. -  Looking back, it’s hard to believe the things that happened - but the shining light was when I opened Outlaw Accessories  in 1987 - and believe me  there’s a lot more to that story. - But at least this time I had the right partner - my wife Babs.
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This is one of the lads from Ontario ( name of Josh) looking good on the Ex Jon English Beta - looks like it’s fitted with an S3 header pipe.
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This is an old video - but still very good to watch - Takumi Narita on the 1994  Beta Techno.

( I met Takumi and his Dad at the 2004 World Round in the USA - very nice people)

youtube.com TRIAL MAGIC trial bike and music

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Wednesday July 1st 2020 CANADA DAY.

July 1st, 2020

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The above pic was taken at Revelstoke after the WTC National we held there back a few years.  Sammy still had his long hair ( And I still had my front teeth)

The pic below is also at Revvy and shows a bunch of the local gals ( including Emily Roberts) out for a fun day riding the muddy trails. ( I hope Emily was showing them some Trial techniques)

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I must remember to buy a Lottery Ticket !!!
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So what is everybody doing on this rather gloomy wet day ?  Hopefully we won’t get the big heavy rain like yesterday - I was down town delivering Opti - dashed into the shop with the invoice - said  -”Your oil is in the back of the van mate -  get your rain jacket on and unload it” !!

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I see a bunch of the lads are camping out this weekend at OK Falls - Andrew James posted an invite to everybody to join for a laid back session - Not sure what I’m doing at this point but might try to make it Sunday to show off my estart TRS 300 Xtrack.

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Jamie McGregor from Ontario took this pic as a young lad attending the 1975 Canadian World Championship Round which I set up - It shows Malcolm Rathmell on the Prototype Montesa in one of the water sections.

It’s funny, thinking back I remember how sometimes we would be riding these river sections and you would hear and feel the rocks moving beneath the wheels in the current !! -  We always made our sections challenging - it’s a different sport now - bikes are fantastic but all this hopping is just a big Yawn for me.

Roger Boothroyd sent me this video clip of a ride one of the Island guys did at Squamish - You will need to punch in the link as I could not copy it - but believe me it’s worth watching - the words Extreme and Nuts come to mind!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzLfdXBuPVg&t=9s

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And finally>

HAPPY CANADA DAY TO EVERYBODY>

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Tuesday June 30th 2020

June 30th, 2020

This is an interesting photo from 1909 when they were building the huge power Station at Kinlochleven  in the Scottish Highlands - Of course most Trials riders, will recognize this as the famous section called “Pipeline”
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The Ontario group put on a Trial at the weekend - carefully monitoring the social distancing aspect - here is a nice shot of a rider on one of the new Chinese bikes being sold by Ron Golden. ( thanks for letting us post this)

We heard they had 38 riders all pre-entered !!

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Remember when Merlin (Later bought by Gas Gas) came out with   these  wheels?  They were banned by the FIM because of the danger to a minder when trying to grab the front wheel.  ( I think they called them cheese cutters)
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Toni Bou  has been posting some amazing video clips on FB of how he has been keeping fit and sharp in the shut down.  I do like the fact that he is riding a lot of really natural terrain.

#abouttodaytraining @hebo.factory @alpinestars @spea_test @naturlandia_and @box_repsol @trialteamhrc 📸 @rubendiaz.81 @jordilestang05

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An unusual pic of Mick Scrambling a big heavy Matchless at the UK Ponderosa event in 2015 (Thanks to Tim Britton for the pic ) - Mick is looking a bit knackered there!!
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Today I have to go to Kelowna to pick up a shipment of Opti oil from the Truck depot so it’s going to be a busy day.

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Monday June 29th 2020

June 29th, 2020

This is a pic of Broc Glover - one of the top MX riders back in the day - what I noticed on this was that he is covering both the clutch and front brake levers, just like we do on a Trials bike  - unusual at that time - it looks like he has just passed a fallen rider -
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Below is a pic of Road race champion Geoff Duke - who also rode Trials during the winter months - I think this might be a 500cc Norton 5T.  -( I even rode in a Time Trial called the Picton - which he won riding a factory Ariel colt))

Geoff was a wonderful man who excelled in the TT races in the Isle of Man, a place he would make his home when he retired from racing. - When he died a few years ago the funeral procession toured the complete 37 + mile TT Circuit , as a tribute. - I would like to report that I once shook the hand of this  great man, when he was guest of honor at the Oswestry Club annual awards dinner.
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I saw this pic posted by Carl Pottenger of his father “Scrambling” back in the late 50’s - and asked if he was the son of Frank Pottenger ? - Frank was one of our regular riders from the Oswestry area with the “Nick name” of Skid!!  - He always rode Triumph twins and was quite the wild guy. -

Carl contacted me to confirm that yes indeed  this was the same Frank Pottenger and said his Father had passed away some years ago.  - Interesting that due to the magic of the Internet, we could piece together a bit of History.
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Carl posted this pic of his Dad with his really nice Cheney Triumph - he was still riding at 80.
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After a three month break, some of the lads are getting out on their bikes in the UK

Here is a shot of buddy Heath Brindley on his much detailed TRS.
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Back in the early 70’s  - tall “Cow horn” bars were quite popular - this is a pic of Don Smith on the Prototype Kawasaki - ( A few days ago we showed a similar set up on my 73 Bultaco and also yesterday the same thing on Mart Lampkin’s Sherpa T) - Like they say go with the flow. - If Toni Bou  had a sharks fin on his helmet ??  Well I don’t know about that  - but how about Toni Bou jockey shorts with a a built in cup ?? Now that should be a winner. ( Especially for those newbies trying the “double blips”)

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I like this pic of Mandy Lewis on the Vertigo - it shows great style. - Mandy and Adrian - run Lewisport USA Stateside, but before they emigrated, they did the same thing in Scotland - they are good friends with  Harry & Wendy McKay,  from Aviemore - 20 miles from Fort William - the heart of the Scottish Six Day Trial.
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Back in the day, “Specials” were often seen at Trials events, but this one had a connection to the world of Formula One -  with Mclaren involved with this Suzuki project.

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Sunday June 28th 2020

June 28th, 2020

I really like this shot of Hakan Anderson on the 74 Factory YZ - I think he won the World Championship that year? -

Of course I was working for Yamaha Canada at that time and although I was riding Trials most of the time - the following year, I rode the Walt Healy Cross Country version of this bike - a DT flywheel and wide ratio box plus other trick things made it brilliant - It was first ridden by John Arcand, who sadly died young from cancer - but we had some really fun times together.  - It’s interesting to note that the Japanese took pics of this bike and all the details, because they were in the process of developing the IT 400, which we got in 1976.

I’m not sure who took this pic so can’t give a photo credit - but I found it interesting they used the Champion Spark plug logo - All our bikes used NGK plugs - and in a funny memory - I recall chatting to Terry Porter back in 1969 in Calgary, about the new breed of bikes on the market and what spark plugs they used, because Spanish electrics were notorious for producing a weak spark - - The KLG brand was mentioned, at which time Terry said “Oh we use those for fishing weights”!!

In another spark plug story - back in 1979 our Yamaha Parts manager ( who knew I was racing Cross Country ) gave me a box of NGK racing plugs to use in our IT Team bikes.  Unfortunately, these didn’t work out too well the first time we tried them when Murray Nutt and myself went to a race at Drayton Valley.  He was on an IT 250 and I was on a borrowed IT 175 ( which turned out very badly for me) - .
Anyway - When the shot gun went off - I kicked and kicked - then became aware that somebody else was also kicking and saying WTF - Yes it was Murray - - turned out the race plugs were too cold - meant for road racers. - Eventually we got the bikes going - and after some wild riding caught up to the experts !! - then it got really confusing. - This was the first event these guys had put on, and chose flagging tape the same color as the forestry guys used “Orange” - so one minute you would be leading then a few minutes later you would be tail end charlie - riders were lost everywhere. -

As mentioned this was a bad day for me as I had a fall going through a cut block . and the bike landed on me with my hand going into the rear sprocket. ( the borrowed bike had a rear shock that was screwed - it was like a pogo-stick)  - Eight hours later I was in the Edmonton University Hospital after walking 14 miles out of the bush. ( thanks to the friends who drove me I never did find out their names to thank them)

Luckily for me and for my future riding bikes - this hospital had the very best team for doing the new micro-surgery - and while other operations they did that weekend failed - after seven hours - they had my thumb stitched back on. -  Yes - apparently I am in their Books as one of their early success stories.
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Take a look at this work of art on the new “Gold” TRS - If you want one of these you had better call quick because they are very limited - only 150 being made.  ( In fact you might already be too late!!)

And here is a pic of Mr TRS himself - the great Jordi Tarres back in the day when he was world champ on the Beta . Thanks to Retro Trials for the pic.
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A nice pic of Martin Lampkin (by MJ) - Note the high bars on his Bultaco 325 - I guess that was why I fitted the same Renthals to my bike back in the day.
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Wow that was quite the Storm we had in the Valley on Saturday - Again I had some water in my shop, so I’m going to check what I can do to stop this as they are forecasting  more of the same for today.

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Here’s a neat video of Kenny Roberts on the wild four cylinder Yamaha Flat tracker.
https://fal.cn/38R5D

Saturday June 27th 2020

June 27th, 2020

Here is a great shot of the late Vic Eastwood on the Factory AJS Stormer - check out that look of concentration - you might also notice that he is wearing the type of glasses that I prefer but can’t find these days.
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The latest issue of Trial Mag UK arrived yesterday and its absolutely brilliant - Hats Off to John Hulme and his Team for managing to put this together in such difficult times.

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We’ve noticed that quite a few of the top UK riders have jumped ship from John Shirts Gas Gas Team, since KTM took over the latest being Dec Bullock - he is going Beta.

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Below are a couple of “Stills” taken from the video we shot on Thursday - big Hill climb - Myself on the TRS 300 Xtrack estart -  - then Roy below. on his Beta Evo 250.

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Your video for today.
youtube.com Dougie Lampkin Documentary (1998) Dougie Lampkin Documentary produced in 1998 Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/trialsportvideo

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Friday June 26th 2020

June 26th, 2020

Yesterday I headed over the Westside again to explore some more of the old logging/mining roads with Roy  - once again we made the Two Chairs of Sorrow our lunch stop up on the ridge overlooking Okanagan Lake - a beautiful spot, so quiet with a view that is hard to beat. - we watched the bald eagles soaring above us, while we noticed a couple of boats out on the lake - we likely stayed at this spot for about half an hour, chatting about life in general, until the warm temperatures told us it was time to move on.
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It’s worth noting that this location is  kept in pristine condition - no litter or empty beer cans etc.  - a tribute to the people who visit the area.   Of course the soft Trials tires leave very little sign of our being there.
You will also notice that my boots are nice and clean in the pic - However, neither them or the bikes stayed that way for long as we soon found a lot of mud and water as we headed into unknown territory.  ( We have a good stock of these great Wulf Trials boots in stock at only $295.00)

Although Roy tells me that there are a lot of Bears in the area ( one even tried to break into his house) - We didn’t see any, or deer - surprising really as it’s pretty wild country.
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I see that Sammy has given his “Ride the Vibe” bus a new paint job - and also had some work done on the brakes etc - all good considering the big mileage trips he has planned  - last week he was in Squamish  putting on a school - the first one I think this year because of the Pandemic.  - Not sure what his schedule is for the next couple of months, but he did mention he wanted to make a trip up to the Yukon.

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Hard to believe that this is the last weekend of June - and no events happening, including all the Cross Country series, which Andrew Christiansen  called to say that as far as he knows,everything is cancelled for this year.

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Here is a pic from back a few years - I’m riding the tricky little section near the Iron Gate at Summerland - bike is a Beta Evo 200 and it appears I’m still wearing one of the old NZI Carbon Helmets we used to sell, plus  XC riding gear and Gaerne boots, which we also dropped.  The one thing that I  really liked was the Six Day type glasses that I have on, but have been unable to find for a long time - Maybe the Mountain bike stores have something similar.
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Thursday June 25th 2020

June 25th, 2020

youtube.com The Scott Trial 2019 Clips from the Scott Trial 2019. Find us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/trialsportvideo

Below is an unknown rider in this famous Time Trial
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Here is a rare pic of Sammy Miller, riding a Royal Enfield factory bike in the 1956 ISDT ( called a Trial back then) it seems all these bikes broke the frames below the steering head, but they somehow managed to finish - pic was posted on FB - nor sure who took it.

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Not a lot happening today and with the weather looking to be going up to +29 - I think I might zip over for a ride with Roy on the Westside - there are a ton of old gold trails & ghost towns  to explore - I just need to figure out which bike to take !! ( but it will likely be the Xtrack)
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Wednesday June 24th 2020

June 24th, 2020

Turning the clock back to the type of sections often used  in English style Trials - Image may contain: one or more people, motorcycle and outdoor

This is an oldie of me from 1971, when I rode a Blackfoot Motorcycle  ” Montesa “for  a short time - The original pic was damaged, and our friend Scott Barrie from Ontario was kind enough to fix the crease in the one posted earlier. - As I mentioned to Scott I likely have the 35mm neg of this in my files someplace. maybe I will buy one of the new gadgets that convert them to digital!!

We had a team for the Canadian National , Murray Nutt, Wayne Adderson and myself - ( My bike broke down & I had to push in to finish)  but I never really got on with the bike and went back to a Bultaco. - ( I also broke my leg early that year so getting on a new bike three months later after getting the cast off likely wasn’t the best thing)

But riding for Bruce Cameron the Owner of Blackfoot Motorcycles at that time was a real honor - another great man who died too young.
I still have the beer tankard someplace - but the Monty shirt has long gone,, as have a few of my front teeth!! But I still do have my hair. ( although I keep it a lot shorter these days) - I think Babsy likely took this pic as she did a lot back then.

Below is one of the sections we had in Revvy for the WTC National a few years ago  - The plan is to have another event there in 2021, but with a longer loop to take in some of the great trails and spectacular scenery in the area -The “Old fashioned” but more popular type of events that the older and newbie riders seem to really enjoy.  The three quarries  will still  be there to test the “Hot Shots” -  Flo and Chris are stoked to do this.
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With things very much in limbo all over the World, it’s hard to say when life as we know it,  will return to normal - we may see a few events happening later in the year, and I urge everyone to click on here or Trials Canada for the latest info:  ( We also post on Facebook)
Getting out for a ride with a few friends is still an option, and we try to do this, while still keeping our social distancing. - although a lot of people seem to be ignoring the advice given  by the top medical people - and I for one really understand the frustrations of trying to do business at a time like this.

But to put friends and family at risk when  we are dealing with the unknown, especially  the older folk ( Yup we are in that class) is I think fool hardy.   If this Pandemic improves general hygiene World wide for the future - then I think it might be a lesson learned.

The rest of the BS we are seeing with protests, looting and Statues being toppled, needs to be dealt with a firm (but not brutal) hand - Bring out the water canon. - Chicken shit Politicians will do nothing for the future of either this Country or the World.

And the younger generation need to respect the fact that their ancestors have fought and died in World War 1 -World War 2 - plus other conflicts, just so they could grow up in a free  world.  - Now these young people are lobbying to tear down statues of great men -Do they not learn anything in schools and Universities these days ?

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Back to Motorcycling - which always seems to endure throughout World Conflicts and uncertain economic times - We  still have a few TRS and Beta bikes available and urge anybody maybe holding off buying because of the current situation to  think of this as a perfect time to buy - good deals are here today and Trials bikes are a great investment because they do not lose value like other Dirt bikes.

Like everybody, we are always excited to see the new models come out every year, although changes are sometimes just in “Bold New Graphics”  -  We recently had our Beta Canada guy out for a visit and he took a close look at the Electric Start TRS that we have - I would not be surprised to see more Trials bikes come out with this option in the future. ( Remember when people said Hydraulic Clutches wouldn’t work”  or disc brakes?  Water cooling ??)  Yup - I might be an old guy but I can tell you the estart is coming.

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Tuesday June 23rd 2020

June 23rd, 2020

We have had a few emails from people regarding  Jeff Smith  after we posted the article on his BSA days - Harlow wrote saying that when he moved to Canada to join Bombardier - he brought with him a frame from an AJS Stormer for the French Engineers to check out - another story from Turk related to the 1975 ISDE in the Isle of Man when Turk stayed at the same Hotel as Jeff - he told Turk that he booked a room on the bottom floor as the Hot water was not available on the 3rd floor where Turk was staying - but this did have a nice view of the harbor!!  -

Finding a place to stay for events like the Scottish that has a lot of hot water is difficult - I remember back in 1993 the room that Walt and myself were sharing had nice  radiators - that we thought would work great to dry off our wet clothing each night after being out watching the Trial - guess what - the owners turned them off at night to save electricity!!

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We also received another email from John Kitchener who is still marooned   in the UK - although he hopes to get a flight back to Canada next month.  John mentioned that he rode a Can Am in the Welsh Three Day Enduro many years ago and won a gold medal - However, although the bikes were very fast ( fitted with the Rotax rotary valve engines)  they did not handle well with sub-par suspension.

I remember having a ride on Bob Sadownick’s TNT model back in my Yamaha days , and found them scary with a habit of suddenly flicking side-ways at speed.   ( Bob later joined our Yamaha Canada Team)

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This is a rare Duke video of the 1952 TT in the Isle of Man - one of the most dramatic as winner Reg Armstrong had the primary chain break on his Manx Norton just as he crossed the finish line - It also shows 2nd place rider Les Graham on the MV Augusta - - this was fitted with Earles front forks, which some thought led to his fatal crash the following year at the bottom of Bray Hill.
https://www.dukevideo.com/prd1657/Isle-of-Speed-1952-Senior-TT-DVD

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Jake Wideman - taken a couple of years back when he picked up his new Beta Evo.  We have missed seeing the Shuswap gang this year.
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I saw this pic posted of a guy riding Stateside in a Vintage Trial - and it reminded me of the changes in riding gear that we have seen over the years.

Now the first thing I see here, is a guy way over dressed in bulky Enduro style clothing - which likely meant he was “Cooking”  - Although we don’t sell the very tight spandex style clothing that is common with the World Factory riders, we do promote our Wulfsport line as it is both light, good quality and allows the rider to move around on the bike. It’s available in all different colors and sizes and very reasonably priced.

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Many “Old Timers” will recognize this book on Trials training by Bernie Schreiber - we have had a copy of this for many years, along with most of the other books available, all with very good hints and tips from the Experts, plus filled with fantastic photographs. - The biggest problem with any collection, is loaning books out and then not getting them back, so keeping track of these valuable items, is extremely important.

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A blast from the past  in the UK - at a Scramble in 1957 near Oswestry at a place called Queenshead  Sandpit.

left to right - Outlaw Dave - Wally Sagar (sitting down)  Glynis Morris ( dead) Bernie Blomer ( my brother in law now dead this year) Don Morris (dead) Margaret Morris and John Thomas.

Back then the normal gear was old army surplus jackets and Fire men’s leather boots. Check out me with an open neck shirt and a bandana!! - Different times, but the enthusiasm was fantastic - and with little money after the war - everybody helped - a really good memory for me.
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Another blast from the past Gary Baily and his son David in a classic shot on Bultaco Pursangs.

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Gary was of course a big star in early US MX - and went on to promote the sport setting up Super X tracks which really did put the sport on the map Stateside - David became a Super star, before tragically breaking his back in a crash, which saw the end of “Table top” jumps.

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