Archive for January, 2019

Thursday January 31st 2019

Thursday, January 31st, 2019

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We are fortunate in the Okanagan Valley  - we can usually get out a few times during the winter months on our bikes - I took this shot a few years ago up on Bear Ridge -

We had an email from Taff yesterday to say that the winter conditions  in the Edmonton area made it exciting driving to work - the weather this year has been very unpredictable - unless you live in Winnipeg, where -50 in January is the norm!!   - But how about this shot of somebody riding West of Calgary with no sign of any snow !!

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Just saw this pic of Yvan DuHamel from back in the day - He was more famous for his road racing achievements - but I remember seeing him race a sled at the Calgary Stampede grounds in the 70’s  -  I wonder  how many of our readers recall those days when oval racing was so popular

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We are a bit late posting today - I had to take Babsy’s car in for a service - last day of the month so the next job is to do the month end for my book-keeper. -


More news as it happens >>>

Wednesday January 30th 2019

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

This is a Promo shot I took a couple of years ago, up on Bear Ridge - I got Shane to jump in the air with my bike in the foreground - turned out pretty good with my little Canon G12.
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I saw this poster and like the fact that it advertises “Natural Sections”
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And this pic has absolutely no connection to Trials - but what I would give to own these two beauties.

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On this day in 1965, Winston Churchill was given a State Funeral - the first ever Commoner to receive this honor. -
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In case you hadn’t noticed - Global Warming has arrived in Eastern Canada !!


More news as it happens >>>>>

Tuesday January 29th 2019

Tuesday, January 29th, 2019

Famous Motorcyclist Struck by Golf Cart in Death Valley

Famous motorcyclist, Malcolm Smith was struck by a vehicle on Friday and sustained major injuries. On January 25th, at approximately 1:30 in the afternoon, Bishop CHP responded to an accident taking place at the Furnace Creek Golf Course in Death Valley.

Malcolm Smith was with is his friend, Greg Lang of Redlands, CA playing golf, when the accident occurred. The famous motorcyclist walked behind the golf cart being operated by Lang, who thought the golf cart was in drive, but was actually in reverse. Lang accelerated the rearward moving cart and struck Smith, which subsequently knocked him to the ground.

Malcolm Smith was quickly transported via ambulance to Desert View Hospital in Pahrump, Nevada. As a result of being hit, Smith sustained major injuries.

Bishop CHP is currently investigating the collision.

Smith is considered by many to be a motorcycling legend. He has won the Baja 1000 six times, and the Baja 500 four times. The motorcyclist won the Baja 1000 three times driving a motorcycle and three times in a car.

The famed biker was inducted into the Off-road Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1978, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1996 and the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1998.


In 1976 it was reported that a group of Yamaha Sales reps held golf kart races at the Yamaha Japan Sportsland - they took the governors off the 292 snowmobile engines , to make them faster - then added a  monkey like in sidecar racing, as the karts were 3 wheelers. - Nobody was hurt in these exciting races, but it is said that the Japanese were not amused. !!!  ( Karts were immediately modified to stop the “tune-ups)


Did you know that the Outlaw Website is one of the most successful on the Internet ?  In  January alone, (and it isn’t over yet) we had 5,000 new visitors, and over 8,500.00 checking the pages.

( Unfortunately we don’t earn a dime for this, as we keep saying “For love of the Sport”)

Last night, we watched a re-run of the movie “Bullet” with Steve McQueen - made a change to find this on the Tube, instead of all the repeats week in week out . - The car chase was one of the first really good clips, where-as now all the movies seem to be filled with crazy staged scenes of crashes and no real story.

One I would really like to see is Peter Stars “Take it to the Limit” all about Motorcycle road racing.

Looking ahead to the weekend - The World Indoor Motorcycle Circus will be in Spain - ( I thought it was last weekend but was mistaken) - I hesitate to use the term “Trials” - because these indoor events bear little resemblance to what the original idea was all about - and to be honest I’m getting a bit tired of seeing all the video clips posted on the media of back wheel hopping - while very clever, I now find it quite boring. - Yes I realize that I’m an old man - but I’m sure I’m not alone in this observation.


In weather news - the Eastern Provinces are getting hammered again this week - we continue to be very lucky out West. -  However, the mild conditions are raising big concerns about Avalanches, and with not may snowmobile enthusiasts chancing the Alpine slopes. - Sled sales and for us Opti Oil are very slow this season. ( Although early season bookings were on par)
For those people that used the Opti 2 - 5 gal mix bottle - before it was discontinued by Interlube - Good news, as this is back in the line for this year - now in cases of 24, instead of 36.

While on the subject of oil - I checked out one of the Trials forums this past weekend, and noticed a few people posting about problems with the diaphragm  clutches in Europe. - This seems to have been pinned down to a batch of Nils product, being mislabeled. ( not available in Canada)  - Glad to report that all our bikes go out with Opti oil and to date we have had no issues.   - If in doubt - give us a call - we sometimes get people from the USA phoning for information, usually regarding the Opti 2 mix  ( We have been in the oil business since1987)
Another question often asked, is about chains and chain lube - Trials bikes are not fitted with O ring chains, for a very simple reason - these are heavy with a lot of drag effect, and are not needed for bikes that are not used at high speed.

For chain lube - we recommend a very light, non-sticky type of lubricant ( Opti used to make a good product called Opti-Pro - which worked great, but was discontinued due to high manufacturing costs.

These days we just use WD 40 - but have tested a product made by Pro-Lab out of Quebec which is similar to the old Opti Pro, and is available at Canadian Tire . ( sells for $10)

Here is your video for today - shows the Vic Brittain Trial held not far from where I grew up - These are great sections - check it out >>


UPDATE :  We listed an Evo 200 for a friend on FB - which was incorrectly posted at $200, - Yes we got lots of responses !! - Glad to say it sold , but with a “6″ in front of the “200″

We do have new ones - in our opinion  the best Beta Trials bike for many riders.

Monday January 28th 2019

Monday, January 28th, 2019

This is Steve Crevier, Brian Rolls and John Palmer - back a few years - check out Crev’s hair style !!!
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And this is one of me back in 1971 in Alberta - a very wet/snowy day no gloves as they didn’t make any decent Trials gloves back then. - Check out the “Jake-Brake” ( Decompressor )  lever on the left handlebar - the Brakes on the Spanish bikes were really bad. - Not that anything helped me that day, as I went off a big drop off after riding the last section with the bike landing on me - broke my leg - but I won the Trial.
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McQueen - What more can you say - another guy gone too soon.
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And this is our buddy Heath Brindley from the UK - Heath supplies us with all sorts of Trials info: - He doesn’t ride too many events, but loves his “Bling”  as can be seen by his older TRS. - He writes that he didn’t think he rode that great at this event, but was surprised by winning the over 50 class - and it was a large group in that class. So well done Mate. ( Photo credit Linda Ashford)
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Sunday was another lazy day - except for about an hour spent in the shop working on the bikes - then it was couch time, watching the last round of the golf - I only watch the big events - I enjoy the Head games” that the top players use - very much like Trials.   UK Player Justin Rose took the win.


An old pic of Jordi on the first Beta Zero - I saw him riding the Prototype of this bike at at the Scottish in 1989 - the first year we saw any water cooled bikes - the Scottish mud plugged the rad & Jordi  seized the motor, so he was out after the first day. ( I’ve got some pics somewhere in my archives) That was also the year when JCM had a Team in the event - I talked to the sales rep & arranged to Import them to Canada, but after getting one unit the company decided to drop the Trials business.
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Graeme Jarvis made it three wins from three starts, when he blitzed the “Tough One” held at Nantmawr Quarry in North Wales at the weekend - check out the video  >>  post

This is an area where I used to practice back in the 50’s - and is also just down the road from where Babsy grew up. ( Although I didn’t know that until many years later)


Sunday January 27th 2019

Sunday, January 27th, 2019

So now we have a “Old Guys who ride dirt bikes” forum on FB - I thought I would post this pic of Steve Richardson and Jimmy Corkle -  I was in contact with Steve last week, and spoke with Jimmy on the phone Yesterday. Ironically both have issues with their eyes after cataract surgery. ( I guess I was lucky when I had mine done)

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Cody Matechuk from Calgary has won the gold at the Snowbike X Games for the 2nd year in a row -

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Colten Haker won the Super Enduro in Spain -  Cody Webb broke a chain in the final but fitted a new one to try and finish for points.

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So the last Sunday of January 2019 and another dull day in the Valley - Alsp quite cool at +2 forecast - maybe I will got out into the shop and fit a spark arrestor to the Evo ? - You never know when we will get another heat wave !!

I watched the golf yesterday - first big one for the season - Justin Rose from the UK is leading - Tiger is around 45th spot - the final goes today so I might take a look at that.


No news as yet fro the World Indoor Circus in Spain - stay tuned >>>>.

Saturday January 26th 2019

Saturday, January 26th, 2019

I guess you caption this shot “Who is going first?”
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Another “Flash-back” to the Vancouver demo 4 years ago - this is Tanner Nordin - check out the rear tire! All the pics I took that day, were with my small Canon G12 - which I only normally use when I’m out riding as it is easier to fit inside my jacket.
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Time to get the shovel out !!! Roger Boothroyd sent me this old pic from long ago.
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While winter drags on for us - it’s nice to look ahead to Spring riding & I’m sure anybody with an entry to the Scottish is getting excited.
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The winter months are always a good time to get your bike serviced, ready for the year - stuff like greasing or replacing linkage bearings should be high on the list, also wheel bearings - it doesn’t take long on most bikes, - a time to  check the brake pads as well - take out the wire clip that holds the pads and put a dab of grease on it to stop the squealing. ( make sure you don’t get any on the disc)  - Don’t forget that most preseason   maintenance can save you money, and if you need parts, now is the time to order - we have most stuff in stock - including spark arrestors ( required in BC).

If in doubt about anything a phone call to us or other TRIALS dealers - can be the difference between getting things right or wrong.


The Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame have just updated their web pages with photos of all the Inductees from 2018 and previous years -  I took a moment to check it out and found a lot of interesting stuff from the past, with many old friends and people that I came to know over the years. - You can check it out by googling - Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame.  Here is the link >>>Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame
Dave Rhodes


Friday January 25th 2019

Friday, January 25th, 2019

This is Vada  - The nice lady who looks after much of the Administration work for the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame ( not sure who the guy is) - Like all Volunteer workers in the Motorcycle Industry, Vada does it all for love of the sport, so thanks Vada, for helping out myself and my family at the Vancouver Gala last November.
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Few of our readers, ( maybe nobody) will recognize this old ruin in Wales - but in my youth, we used to drive by it quite a lot outside Llangollen on route over the Horse-Shoe Pass to North Wales, usually to a Motorcycle Trial.  Amazing that a lot of these old buildings are still standing. - I think this one is called Tinc-a-tern Abbey ( or something like that) it’s quite a tourist attraction.
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Not Trials News - but we also keep an eye on other markets>


Ducati’s U.S. unit sales down 11 percent in 2018

Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding

Ducati Motor Holding closed 2018 with more than 53,000 motorcycles delivered to customers worldwide. That means the 50,000-bike threshold, first reached by Ducati in 2015, has now been achieved four years running.

Bike deliveries in the U.S. — historically Ducati’s No. 1 market — totalled 7,843, the drop in sales reflecting a 9 percent downturn across the U.S. sector of motorcycles over 500cc. In 2017, Ducati’s U.S. bike sales were 8,898.

A significant contribution to the worldwide results came from the success of the Panigale family, which accounted for the sale of 9,700 bikes (a 70 percent increase from 2017), making Ducati, for the first time, the leader of the superbike segment with a market share of over 26 percent. In 2018, one superbike out of every four sold worldwide was a Ducati Panigale.


Round #2 of the World Indoor Trials Series goes this weekend in Barcelona - here is the Official info:           ( translated from Spanish)

This will start the fight at the trial indoor solomoto in Barcelona! The International Motorcycle Federation and the Promoter 2 play have already announced the order of departure of the first lap of the competition at Palau Sant Jordi. The criterion followed obeys the status of pilots in the world x-Trial (permanent or invited) and their results in 2018, but does not take into account the race of Budapest 2019.
In the first lap each pilot will travel in 5 areas. The guest pilots will break the fire, and for this order: Luca Petrella, Jorge Casales, takahisa fujinami and jeroni fajardo. The permanent pilots will follow, with miquel gelabert, benoît bincaz, Jaime Bust, Adam Raga and Toni Bou.
The Pilots with the six best results will access the second round, in which they will be framed in two groups of three pilots from which the finalists of the 42th trial indoor only moto of Barcelona will be released. February 3 is coming… and the excitement is on the rise! Don’t miss the best indoor trial in the world! More info and tickets at


Check out this video of a guy riding a Fantic twin shock - You will be impressed !!



Here is a nice photo by Malcolm Carling, of Jim Sandiford  on a Bultaco - Jim became the Official Montesa Importer for the UK, but sadly passed away at too young an age of Cancer.

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The new TRS XTrack is getting a lot of attention - here is a shot of Adam Raga having fun on one.

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The 2019 Scottish Six Day Trial had 541 riders send in Entries this year - the Ballot only allows for 280 - so that means only half of these will be getting a ride. - Tell me again why old fashioned English style Trials are not popular anymore?


This is Harlow Rankin, back in the day riding his CZ in a Calgary MX - Harlow has been around the Western Canadian Motorcycle scene for a very long time, as a rider, Photo-Journalist  and was one of the Founding members of the ATRA in Alberta. - He now lives in Nanaimo, where he still attends some local events.  - Harlow was also the guy who nominated me for the Hall of Fame. - Thanks buddy for all you have done and continue to do for the sport.
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Here is another pic of Harlow - this time getting some instructions from the great Bernie Schreiber

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Flash-back - Vancouver show 4 years ago - Tanner, Alex & Brandon.

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Thursday January 24th 2019

Thursday, January 24th, 2019

Yesterday was “Wheelie Wednesday” - so thought I would post this old shot from the 70’s, when even I did a bit of this.

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Wow! Did Kelowna ever get a big dump of snow Tuesday night !! - We only got a couple of cm. in Vernon, which is unusual as we normally get more than they do down South.  ( But that’s OK we ain’t complaining)


I spent some time Wednesday putting captions to some of the Photos that I had posted on FB in the last little while, not realizing  that when I clicked these on - they were posted again !! - Ah well ! some folk got to see some of them twice.

This is one that goes back to the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame and my five minute speech up on the Podium ! - the pic was one of a series taken by Roger Boothroyd of Victoria.  - The reason I’m showing it today, is that in my speech, I mentioned the 1983 ISDE in Wales, at which the Canadian Team did so well.

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After the event, a lot of the Teams exchange gifts, jackets, caps, you name it - it’s a tradition. - Well !- at the Motel where we stayed, they threw us a big party - decorated the bar especially to celebrate the great achievement  by the lads, and the local Yamaha dealer wanted my Canadian Yamaha tie as a souvenir - in return he gave me his Welsh one - and that is what I’m wearing in this Photo. - And now you know the rest of the Story.


Here’s a flashback to out WTC National at Revelstoke last year - it shows young Bodi Watts of Wainwright AB on one of the tricky quarry sections - Bodi was riding the Outlaw Evo 200, and did quite well.
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The Time is coming up to 1am - More News as it happens >>

Here is a good shot of Mick in New Zealand back in the early 70’s - He certainly did a great job promoting Trials around the World. - And is still riding.

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Wednesday January 23rd 2019

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

World Enduro Canada is pleased to announce the complete CXCC schedule for the 2019 season. Months have been spent working alongside our regional race organizers and this season will feature some fantastic well known CXCC events as well as some new venues to the National Program.


April 21 - The Big Kahuna, Kamloops BC
May 19 - The Squealin’ Pig, Vernon BC
June 30 - The Monkey Wrench, Lytton BC
Sept 22 - The Rev Limiter, Silverstar Resort, Vernon BC


June 16 - Kennelly Mountain XC, Renfrew ON
June 22 - Gopher Dunes XC, Courtland, ON
August 25 - Parry Sound XC, ON
September 8 - Gully Mor XC, Alvinston On

Please watch for more details on these events in the upcoming weeks. Make sure to sign up for direct email updates as to not miss any exciting developments for the 2019 race season!


The month of January is always pretty quiet for us - a lot of people are getting over Christmas - others paying off credit card debt etc - Plus of course the winter weather tends to put a damper on any riding, unless you are into the sleds or snow-bikes. - I haven’t been on a sled since I got out of the Yamaha retail business, in 1986, and have no desire to try the new sport of Snow-biking - mainly of course because of age.

Here are a few pics from testing sleds back in the mid 70’s  - In  the top one the Japanese are conducting some experiment involving gas and temperature at altitude - I kept clear of that.

Middle pic shows me sitting on the Prototype SRX  with my helmet on - another Yamaha rep Dale Spinks, is on the other one - bottom pic shows me sitting on the ET 340 , with Winnipeg Rep George Carlson standing         ( George died of a heart attack a few years ago)
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Which brings me back to Trials - last weekend, we had two guys contact us about getting back into the sport - both are 72 years old !!!!!!   - Both mentioned that the news of me still riding at 81 gave them the idea to take another look at getting a Trials bike. ( The Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame  thing may have helped) -  While I’m obviously restricted to riding pretty easy stuff now - I guess this does tend to show that you can enjoy Trials riding at any age, and the more we get the word out the better.
We have also had more interest from lady riders, wanting to try a Trials bike - the reason is quite obvious to most of us old codgers, but I think the fact that we stress our local Trials events are catered to all abilities, and that simply getting out for a trail ride on a TRIALS bike - can be a wonderful experience.

The bottom line is that Trials riding can be fun for everybody - and is a sure way to breed Super Enduro Stars like Graeme Jarvis.


Winter is always a good time to sort out stuff - and Tuesday was one of those days - I came across this old Photo from the very early 70’s, which shows Terry Porter on the left - with yours truly on the right. - Now the question is - “Does anybody know what ever happened to Terry ?”  - He went East to work for Air Canada - but I lost track of him after that.

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Just came across a link to a website called Speed Track Tales - which has a ton of old stuff on it - including lots of videos. This is one of the 1983 ISDE in Wales - at which of course the Canadian Team finished 2nd in the Silver Vase ( Now called the Junior Trophy) - Plus won the Coveted Watling Trophy for the most Improved Country in the World at the ISDE -  I looked after the Canadian Yamaha Team for this event    -   ( with no help from Yamaha Motor Canada) - Everybody paid their own way. - I just organized the Transport in the UK through Mitsui - who were the Yamaha Importers at that time. - They treated our Team extremely well.

Check out the footage and see just how tough it was in the Welsh mud.  >>>   ISDE 1983 MID-WALES UK


Here is a great shot of new Beta Factory rider Benoit Bincaz trying hard at the Budapest Indoor., cheered on by his minder.

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Tuesday January 22nd 2019

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

We have dedicated the blog today, to the great Brian Stonebridge - courtesy the Vintage Press by Vince Gilligan.

I was lucky enough to see Stonebridge race the very special BSA 150cc Bantam at Hawkstone Park, when he was passing the big 500cc British four strokes  on the huge hillclimb. an unbelievable time, in the development of the small capacity 2 stroke machines.
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Brian Stonebridge biographical tribute, written by Colin Sparrow, Chairman of the Greeves Riders Association & Editor of “Leading Link.” I believe written in 2009, 50 years after the accident which took Brian’s life. It is 725 words, about same as a daily newspaper column.Brian Gerald Stonebridge was born into a Cambridgeshire farming family on June 6 th 1928. In eleven short years, from his first scrambles victory in 1948 to his second place in the 1959 250cc European Championship, he established himself as one of Britain ’s foremost moto-cross riders. Sadly killed in a road accident while a car passenger in October 1959, he was universally recognized also as a brilliant tuner and developer of competition bikes, and as one of the great “characters” of motorcycle sport.After leaving school and completing his National Service in the Royal Armoured Corps, Stonebridge trained as an instrument maker. He started scrambling on a BSA 350 Gold Star in 1948, his natural talent and skill securing him a place in the winning British team in the 1949 Moto-Cross des Nations.

Encouraged by top rider Basil Hall, Stonebridge was a works rider for Matchless from 1950 through1954, earning many scrambling successes throughout that period and a Gold Medal for them in the 1950 ISDT. He was selected for the British Moto-Cross des Nations team on no less than seven occasions, and in 1952 he won the event outright. During his AMC days, he also had a bash at road racing on a 350cc AJS.

In 1955, Stonebridge moved to BSA, with continuing success riding Gold Stars and undertaking development work in the competition shop, and in that year he was awarded the ACU Scrambles Drivers’ Star. It was while working at BSA that he met Herman Meier, the well-known tuner of two-stroke engines. Ever on the lookout for new ideas, he recognized that lightweight two-strokes could be an effective way forward in off-road motorcycle competition, and with Meier’s help he spent time developing a 150cc Bantam into a rapid and ultimately successful scrambler.

At the end of 1956, BSA decided to cut back on their competition shop staffing, and in early 1957 Greeves were the beneficiaries when Brian came to them as works rider, competitions manager, and development engineer. It was with Greeves that he found the situation that suited him best, for with this small and youthful manufacturer of competition machines there was plenty of scope for a talented engineer with an individualistic approach.

At Greeves he took the competition models in hand, developing their trials bike into the 20TA, the first of the “Scottish” line and the trials riders’ machine of choice at the beginning of the sixties. In 1958 he took his second ISDT Gold Medal on a modified version of this machine. At the same time he scientifically developed the 197cc Villiers 9E engine which Greeves fitted to their scramblers, doubling its power output and turning it into a machine which in the right hands could take on the best scramblers of the day. “The right hands” was often of course Stonebridge himself, on many occasions humbling top class 350 and 500cc opposition on the little Greeves – made to seem even smaller by its lanky 6′4” rider!

In 1958, Stonebridge saw the opportunity that the new European Championship for machines of up to 250cc presented for Greeves, and after contesting a couple of rounds in 1958, they went for it in 1959. But for injury, Stonebridge might easily have won. As it was, he finished second. Dave Bickers, riding for Greeves, went on to take the title in 1960 and 1961.

Brian Stonebridge – known as “Strawberry” by those who raced against him because his long limbs reminded them of the runners on a strawberry plant – was a brilliant rider and development engineer with an independent but endearing personality. Contemporary tributes speak of a steely determination to succeed, and a temperament which demanded that he do things his own way. This was, they say, tempered by his quiet manner and playful sense of humour which combined with a natural humility to allow him to deal calmly with success and failure alike.

That he was universally respected by the public and fellow competitors alike was supremely illustrated by the record 84,000 spectator attendance at the Brian Stonebridge Memorial Scramble at Hawkstone Park in March 1960, and by the presence there of every significant British rider of the era.