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• MOTORCYCLE • CYCLE • SIDE-CAR • CLASSIC • COMPETITION • FEATURES • www.trialmaguk.com

Issue

28

CLASSIC COMPETITION

1969 SSDT

DEVELOPMENT

OSSA MAR WHO IS?

SPRING 2019 Issue 28 • UK: £6.25

TOON VAN DE VLIET DEVELOPMENT

INTERVIEW

JAIME SUBIRA TREASURE INTERVIEW

WHO IS?


WITH


CELEBRATING

YEARS

Image Credits: Colin Bullock Mario Candellone Peter Beardmore John Hulme


Picture: 1978 SSDT, Martin Lampkin (Bultaco-GBR) and Jaime Subira (Montesa-ESP) Credit: The Nick Nicholls Collection at Mortons Archive

Cover Photo: Bill Wilkinson (250 Greeves) 1969 SSDT Winner Picture Credit: Brian Holder © 2019 CJ Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication, even partially, may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the publishers. All copyright of images/content remains that of its photographer/author. Every effort has been made to gain permission to publish copyright material however, where efforts have been exhausted, we have published on the basis of ‘Fair Use’ to comment factual based material where by its use is not central or plays a significant part to the entire publication but to act as an aid for historical and educational purposes only. This publication is offered as a limited print run. Great care is taken to ensure accuracy in the preparation of this publication, but neither CJ Publishing Ltd or the editor can be held responsible for its contents. The views expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the Publishers. Documents submitted for publication will not be returned. The editor reserves the right to modify documents accepted for publication.


contents REGULARS News�������������������������������� 6 Editorial��������������������������� 8 Paddock������������������������� 10 Shopping������������������������ 12 Back Issue’s�������������������� 52 Parts Locator������������������� 88 Subscribe����������������������� 94 Shop������������������������������ 96

FEATURES Classic Competition��������� 14 1969 Scottish Six Days Trial

Interview������������������������ 32 Jaime Subira

Lost Treasure������������������ 46 The Trials Detective

Development������������������� 54 MAR Ossa

Meeting�������������������������� 66 Dennis ‘Jonah’ Jones

Who is?�������������������������� 74 Toon Van De Vliet

Product Focus����������������� 82 Rockshocks

Celebration��������������������� 86 Trials Legends CLASSIC TRIAL MAGAZINE IS PUBLISHED BY CJ PUBLISHING LIMITED 48 Albion Road, New Mills, High Peak, Derbyshire, SK22 3EX. UK Telephone: 01663 749163 Email: england@trialmag.com CJ Publishing Limited is a Company Registered in England Number: 5947718

Co-Managing Directors: John Hulme and Charles Benhamou

ISSN: 2049-307X

Mail order: www.trialmaguk.com, www.trialmag.com

Executive Director: Philippe Benhamou Editor: John Hulme, england@trialmag.com Editorial Staff: Jean Caillou, Matthew Heppleston, Heath Brindley, Justyn Norek Snr, Justyn Norek Jnr, Nick Shield.

Photographers: Barry Robinson, Malcolm Carling, John Shirt Snr, Colin Bullock, Cyrille Barthe, Eric Kitchen, Alan Vines, Toon van de Vliet, Mauri/Fontsere Collection and the Giulio Mauri Copyright, The Nick Nicholls Collection at Mortons Archive, Don Morley, Motorcycle News, Brian Holder. Advertising Manager: Lisa Reeves, lisa@trialmag.com Proof reading: Jane Hulme, Davina Brooke Design and Production: Dean Cook, The Magazine Production Company Printing: Buxtons Press Webmaster: Heath Brindley, www.trialmaguk.com


NEWS

TRAIN WITH BERNIE SCHREIBER 1979 World Trials Champion and the 1982 winner of the Scottish Six Days Trial Bernie Schreiber will return to the trials school arena with the launch of the ‘Schreiber Experience’ at the Alvie Estate in the Scottish Highlands. He is the only American to win the SSDT in its 108year history and the only American-born winner of the world trials crown. Bernie will run his ZER(O)BS coaching and training experience in conjunction with the Inverness & District MCC Ltd who promote the annual Highland Classic Two-Day Trial on the Alvie shooting estate at Kincraig, a few miles south of the holiday town of Aviemore. The date set is Monday 10th June 2019. The training will be run over a full day, which includes a classroom session and some time on the machines, and will be run under a SACU training permit. The guest coach Allister Stewart, Chairman of the Scottish ACU Trials Committee will be on hand, and in a supporting role is the ACU coach Richard Allen. Schreiber told Trials Guru: “When I was invited to attend as ‘Guest of Honour’ and take part in the Highland Classic, I thought it would be a good place to launch my ‘Experience’ and dovetail it with my stay in the Scottish Highlands over the weekend of 8th & 9th June. For the trial, Martin Matthews of MotoSWM is supplying me with a SWM to compete on and I will use it again as my demo machine for the experience day. “My coaching techniques will be different from my old trials schools as a lot of years have come and gone since then and while the basic techniques have not changed so much as the sport, today there are new formulas of coaching

and training that make an impact in building all the fundamental riding skills. The consistent routine of these skills is the blueprint to not only improving and enjoying the ride but finding your real potential. “My big deal is that you always have to have a plan. Most people have a tip – everybody’s got a tip – but few have a plan. I always say ‘a goal without a plan is nothing but a dream’ so most people dream of riding better trials but they don’t have a plan to ride better trials. I wanted to help people to build a plan to take them from where they are to where they want to be. That’s what I do with my new Experience”. Interested parties for the ‘Schreiber Experience’ in Scotland are asked to contact the IDMCC Secretary by email to obtain the necessary application form on highlandclassic@outlook.com

KIA TWINSHOCK CHAMPIONSHIP 2019

February 24: Aqueduct Classics; March 17: Lancs County Mcc; April 7: Congleton & District Mcc; May 19: Sheffield & Hallamshire Mcc; Devonport & District Mcc; June 23: Torridge & District Mc; July 14: Wye Valley Auto; September 15: Richmond Motor Club; October 13: Central Wales Auto; November 3: Castleside Trials Club. 7 from 10 rounds to count.

RICHARD THORPE Barry Robinson: “The trials rider and lubricants expert and supplier Richard Thorpe passed away with his wife Christine at his bedside in Pinderfields Hospital, in late December. “Richard was 72 years of age and had battled cancer for over a year. He was the PJ1 oils and lubricants specialist, based in the Batley area of Yorkshire. He rode a Montesa 4RT machine up to and during his Illness and had for many years ridden his James in numerous Pre-65 and classic events. His business was as a specialist lubricants retailer and he was very well respected in the trade. He sponsored national trials star John Reynolds for many years as well as many other riders and teams across all motorcycle disciplines. Motorcycle sport has lost a respected competitor, sponsor and a gentleman.”

6

CONGRATULATIONS DAVE RHODES

It’s a huge round of applause to Dave Rhodes as in late November 2018 he was inducted into The Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame, which was founded in 2006. Since then more than 130 distinguished motorcyclists and organisations have been inducted into The Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame, which is a non–profit association with charitable status governed by an independent board of volunteer directors from across Canada. The annual Gala was held at the Burnaby Delta Hotel in Vancouver BC to recognise the Inductees for the Class of 2018. They were as follows: Peter Gagan, for his work in promoting Vintage Motorcycles; The Shanks Family, who were instrumental in forming the Victoria Motorcycle Club; Joseph and Vera Godsall, both long-time members of the Canadian Motorcycle Association and MX promoters; Al Perrett, Cross Country and ISDE competitor and a Motorcycle dealer for 50 years in British Columbia; Wally Klammer, Motorcycle enthusiast, race promoter and journalist; Dan Amor, one of the best ever Canadian Cross Country and ISDE competitors who sadly died at the age of 28; Dave Rhodes, trials enthusiast and long-time trials dealer and clerk of the course at the 1975 FIM Canadian World Round; Alan Dyck, Canadian Motocross Champion, team manager and promoter; Rick Hobbs, race mechanic for many famous teams both in Canada and the USA; and Steve Crevier, one of the most successful Canadian road racers of all time and winner of numerous Championships. At the Saturday evening presentation the room was filled with more than 300 people from the Canadian motorcycle world.

CLASSIC TRIAL MAGAZINE 2019 • ISSUE 28


TRIALS GURU JOHN MOFFAT

Two- or four-stroke: it’s all a matter of taste I am well known for creating the occasional wind-up on social media, although sometimes it does bring the worst out in some people and not the intended ‘bit of fun’! I was even poignantly reminded recently that the sport of trials is a business and not a pastime for some. Well, I must apologise, but I have never considered my involvement in the sport as a salary generating vehicle. If it had been, it would have lost its appeal a long time ago. Recently, I expressed the opinion that I didn’t like black coloured wheel rims on classic competition machines; it brought a fifty-fifty response. After all, a set of coloured rims never ever enhanced the performance of a machine; frame geometry, suspension, tyres, even footrest position does alter the performance to one degree or another. In truth I don’t like wheels that are different from what was fitted at production, but does it matter?

8

Not really, it’s all down to personal preference – but I wouldn’t have coloured rims on a 1979 Bultaco Sherpa as I think they still look fantastic in polished aluminium alloy! My choice I suppose. Which brings me round to the question that has been asked since machines were first converted to off-road specification; that of four-stroke or two-stroke? Now there is a burning question. Many of my contemporaries of similar age were really brought up in the twostroke dominated twin-shock era. If you rode pre-65, you are now in your eighties! I suppose I prefer the four-stroke motor; it has a lovely sound if unworn, burns no oil and can run as sweet as a Swiss watch. I remember my late father – a four-stroke man – speaking with Alan Clews in 1973 about getting a CCM built for trials, and I got rather excited about it. However, when the 350T did eventually appear in 1977, it wasn’t a real contender against the two-stroke powered ‘Spanish Armada’ of

Bultaco, Montesa or Ossa at the time. I had a ride on one before a trial and was very disappointed, to say the least. Sammy Miller’s defection from Ariel to Bultaco in late 1964 caused a complete sea-change from four- to two-stroke power and trials never really looked back. The two-stroke has fewer moving parts so theoretically less maintenance. The most important point was to ensure crankcase pressure, so seals had to be in tip-top condition. Any reduction in crankcase sealing results in air leakage – weak mixture – if the ignition side is worn, or in oil contamination if the clutch side seals let go. But it appears that there are still two camps, those who love or hate either; rarely do you get riders who are equally at home riding a four-stroke or a two-stroke. I admit though that I can get along quite happily riding my BSA C15 or my Bultaco; I suppose as long as it’s a trials machine, I’m happy. After all, it’s not my ‘business’; it’s always been my hobby!

CLASSIC TRIAL MAGAZINE 2019 • ISSUE 28


PADDOCK CAUGHT ON CAMERA

CALM

NO TONGUE, PLEASE

PADDOCK

JUST THE ONE

CONDOM SUIT

10

LOVERS

CLUB

MOTO SWM

CLASSIC TRIAL MAGAZINE 2019 • ISSUE 28


PADDOCK CAUGHT ON CAMERA

SUPPORTING THE SPORT

THE BOSS PHOTO TRIAL

THE END

WIPEOUT

WHEELIE

CLASSIC TRIAL MAGAZINE 2019 • ISSUE 28

TEAM S3

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CLASSIC TRIAL MAGAZINE 2019 • ISSUE 28

13


CLASSIC COMPETITION 1969 SSDT Gordon Farley having now made the move from Greeves to Montesa, he was showing excellent early season form on the Cota 247 putting some international and national results under his belt.

THE ‘ONCE’

GREAT BRITAIN

This was now the machine to have if you wanted to win. The 250cc Bultaco Sherpa ‘T’ designed and developed by Sammy Miller. Titled the Model No: 49 it was available from 1968–1971 with 4,706 machines produced.

The 1969 trials season looked, on paper, to be the final nail in the coffin for the ailing Greeves brand in trials. With an outdated machine using the old Villiers engine the new, more advanced reliability and performance of the Spanish machines from Bultaco, Montesa and Ossa were taking over. Still very much considered the home of motorcycle trials, the ever-defiant small cottage industry of manufacturers in Great Britain produced a wide variety of machines which were also proving very popular, using small capacity engines from Europe and Japan. Many riders remained loyal to the once mighty motorcycling culture in Great Britain as they watched the Spanish start the invasion that would eventually change the face of the sport forever. But, in truth, many of the riders knew the industry was in decline and that it would only be a matter of time before they would make the switch and jump on board the Spanish Armada. On paper, the 1969 season looked like the Spanish machines would dominate it, but no one had taken into account the ‘Bulldog’ spirit of the British riders who would remain loyal to the bitter end. Before we move to the Scottish Six Days Trial in the May, we take a brief look at what was happening on the run-up to the world-famous event. Words: Yoomee with support from Motorcycle/ Morton’s Archive and John Moffat, Trials Guru Pictures: Brian Holder, The Nick Nicholls Collection at Morton’s Archive, Bultaco, Greeves, DOT and Eric Adcock

14

CLASSIC TRIAL MAGAZINE 2019 • ISSUE 28


CLASSIC COMPETITION 1969 SSDT

Well on top of his game, Sammy Miller and the Bultaco were always immaculate but the season had not started so well. At the back of his mind would be the SSDT and the three consecutive wins to match Hugh Viney from 1947–1949.

Making a mark on the trials scene was the new Montesa Cota 247. They had made an impact at the 1968 SSDT and Don Smith wanted to be the first rider to give the Spanish manufacturer a win in 1969. There was no new trials model from Greeves for the 1969 season. Supported riders would be using this 1968 Anglian model and the ageing, unreliable Villiers engine.

As the once mighty machines from Great Britain struggled, DOT motorcycles unveiled their latest production trials model for 1969 which used the Italian 170cc Minarelli engine, priced at £208.00 in kit form.

T

he year was opened in January with the news that the famous London motorcycle dealership Comerfords would be producing a 250cc Triumph Trophy Trials model conversion. In the seasonopening national Vic Brittain trial, with a low entry of just 56, blamed the ACU for the delay in issuing new licences, the new Montesa team rider Gordon Farley took a narrow victory from Mick Andrews (Ossa). It was Farley once again who would steal the glory in the first international event of the season at the St Martin Trial in Belgium, but it was fellow Montesa rider Don Smith who was the real victor over the weekend as he took the European Championship win at round four in the Dison Trial held near Verviers, Belgium. It closed the gap on the leader Dennis Jones (Suzuki) to a single point. One week later Sammy Miller gave the Bultaco a win at the European Championship round, also in Belgium. It was also announced that Montesa would be having two factorysupported teams at the SSDT. The A team would be Gordon Farley, Don Smith and Lawrence Telling; with the B team consisting of French champion Christian Rayer, Charlie Harris and another rider, yet to be named. Having stayed loyal to BSA, Scott Ellis moved to Dalesman to help with the development of the 125cc Puch engine machine. Greeves revealed their works-supported team of Bill Wilkinson, Derek Adsett and new member Mick Wilkinson. Malcolm Rathmell would also ride selected trials

CLASSIC TRIAL MAGAZINE 2019 • ISSUE 28

as the manufacturers wanted him to concentrate on motocross. February was a winning month once again for that man Gordon Farley. He took the Montesa to victories at the Colmore Cup but more importantly put a stop to Sammy Miller’s winning ways at the Knock Club’s Hurst Cup. DOT motorcycles unveiled their latest trials weapon, which used the Italian 170cc Minarelli engine priced at £208 in kit form. The battle between Sammy Miller and Gordon Farley continued with Farley winning in France at the Clamart Trial and Miller the St David’s in Wales. With everyone’s eyes on the fast-approaching Scottish Six Days Trial, Sammy Miller was moving closer to his best form, with wins at the Victory Trial and the British round of the European Championship the day after at Sevenoaks in Kent as Don Smith moved into the lead. At the Cotswold Cup, Don Smith (Montesa) was victorious, with Miller back on form at the Kickham trial. The secretary of the SSDT Tom Melville announced that with the entries to close on the 1st March they were still ten riders short of the 200 target. It was rumoured that this was partly due to the severe moor crossing on the Blackwater crossing on the second day and the economic situating in the UK. As the ‘Scottish’ approached, picking a winner would be based on the present form, point towards a Spanish domination, but as you will find out one experienced Greeves mounted rider had other ideas!

15


CLASSIC COMPETITION 1969 SSDT

Taken from high up on the lead mines of ‘Tyndrum’, many SSDT travellers will have stopped at the ‘Green Welly’ on the right-hand side of this picture on the way to Fort William on the A82. The road junction on the left is the one where you can continue to Fort William or bear to the left and join the A85 to Oban.

The 1969 Scottish Six Days Trial winner Bill Wilkinson (Greeves) seen here on ‘Callart’ on day two on his way to victory.

All the atmosphere of the 1969 Edinburgh and District Motor Club Ltd Golden Jubilee Scottish Six Days Trial is captured here at the weigh in of all the machines and the riders on the Sunday at the city’s Gorgie Cattle Market.

The fuel and lubricant supplier was Shell/BP who provided this support vehicle, seen here at the Shell filling station in Stenhouse Road which was only an eighth of a mile from the Gorgie Market start area. The fuelling was managed by Shell’s Lew Ellis, the motorsport fuel manager at that time. The Shell vehicle was ferried all over the Highlands during SSDT week!

We love this picture of the 1966 winner Alan Lampkin in his very stylish overcoat. He is having his Gaunt Suzuki applied with the marking paint at the weigh in to the parts that cannot be changed during the event.

Wilky’s a winner With the entry finally rounded off at 190 riders, the Edinburgh and District Motor Club Ltd Golden Jubilee Scottish Six Days Trial presented the annual ‘Weigh-in’ of all the machines and the riders on the Sunday at the city’s Gorgie Cattle Market. The event started in Edinburgh on the Monday over the Forth Bridge before heading 150 miles north to Fort William and back to Edinburgh on the Saturday, having taken in 682 miles over the six days of action. It had been very dry in the area with not much rain falling, which meant the going would be quite difficult as the rocks and rivers would be very dry. The moorland going would also be more difficult, as when it’s dry the ground is harder and more punishing for both man and machine. The international appeal of the event was now taking shape, and 16 riders from five countries were entered. Five came from Canada at an

estimated cost of £830 each, including the Trials Champion John De Gruchy who, along with John Jones, Tony Porter and Bob Kelly would ride Bultaco with Ray Bosman on a Montesa. Five riders from Sweden were entered, including the previous year’s Best Foreign Rider award winner Roland Bjorck on a Bultaco, two riders were entered from Eire, one from the USA and one from New Zealand. Trends, as well as machines, were also changing as the big, and heavy four-stroke over-250cc machines were reduced to fewer than ten, and the smaller-capacity machines were now more popular with over 30 on under-200cc machines. Times were changing in the world of broadcasting too, and for the first year, the BBC had dropped its networked daily reports presented by Max King. He would still present them but on more local networks.

Words: Yoomee with support from: Motorcycle/Mortons Archive, John Moffat, Trials Guru and Yrjo Vesterinen Pictures: Brian Holder, The Nick Nicholls Collection at Morton’s Archive and Bill Wilkinson Collection

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CLASSIC COMPETITION 1969 SSDT

Watched by Scottish enthusiast, SSDT official and rider of note Willie Pitblado, and eventual winner Bill Wilkinson on the left with the goggles on his head, Sammy Miller faced an uphill battle all week after a very poor opening day. Just look at the ‘flex’ on the rear tyre! He finished third with the Best up to 350cc Cup on the 252cc Bultaco.

Looking very physically large in its appearance, the Spanish Ossa machine needed all the skill and determination of Mick Andrews to finish in a well-deserved second position. A new machine had been promised with a re-designed frame and styling but it had not been finished in time, so he rode his eight-month-old model. This is ‘Caolasnacoan’ on day five with concentration at 100%.

Desperate to win the event was Don Smith. Montesa had risen to the challenge of the Bultaco domination but for Smith it proved not to be, as he fell off the pace as the week progressed. Despite this he still took the lead with the Montesa team to win the much sought-after Blackford Challenge Trophy for the Best Manufacturers’ Team award.

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he talk around the weigh-in was of that man Sammy Miller and his immaculate 252cc Bultaco. With five wins in this iconic event already safely tucked away he was looking at joining Hugh Viney, who had taken three consecutive wins from 1947–1949 with his own third consecutive win in 1969. He had looked on course to achieve this in 1966, but Alan Lampkin (BSA) was the winner. Five trade teams were entered: AJS with Derek Edgar/ Norman Edgar/Ray Sayer; Bultaco with Sammy Miller/Dave Rowland/Jim Sandiford; Gaunt Suzuki with Peter Gaunt/Alan Lampkin/Martin Lampkin; Greeves with Bill Wilkinson/Mick Wilkinson/Derek Adsett; and Montesa with Gordon Farley/ Lawrence Telling/Don Smith. Gordon Farley had warmed up for the event with a victory on the Thursday at Sancerre in France where he had easily outpointed Christian Rayer (Montesa-FRA), who would miss the SSDT this year after taking the Best Newcomer award in 1968. Montesa had learned from their lessons in 1968 where the machine’s fuel capacity at ten pints had not been enough, and the three works machines had larger two-gallon fuel tanks fitted which were modified from their roadster range. The red Spanish machines were proving more popular, with 19 Cota 247 models in the entry. The new model from Ossa that everyone expected to see Mick Andrews on was not ready, and he rode the same machine that he had been competing on for the previous eight months.

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In a study of concentration the youngest of the three Lampkin brothers, Martin, feels for the grip on the Gaunt Suzuki. He was the highest placed rider on the new generation of ‘Micro’ machines that were challenging the invasion of the Spanish manufacturers and the 17-year-old was rewarded with the Best up to 150cc Cup. Suzuki GB rider Dennis Jones crouches down as he checks out Lampkin’s line.

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CLASSIC COMPETITION 1969 SSDT Captured on ‘Callart’, you can clearly see the bulk of the larger fuel tank on the Montesa Cota 247 of Gordon Farley, which was fitted for the event. Farley arrived at the event as the man on form but could not carry this into the six days.

Having made his mind up that the Spanish trials machines were the way forward after riding Bultaco and then Greeves, at the 1968 SSDT Lawrence Telling produced some good results on the Montesa.

Day one:159 miles, 24 sections It would be Evesham Motor Cycle Club member Mick Bowers who would lead the riders away at one-minute intervals at the start of the event on his prototype 178cc BSA Bantam. Riding over the Forth Road Bridge the riders would take a north-westerly route in the cold and wet drizzle as the rain came down on the way to Fort William, taking in the opening 159 miles and 24 hazards. For the 190 riders who started, it was a miserable start on to the Killin lunch check some 83 miles from Edinburgh. The first hazards were at Culross where there were no surprises, with early clear rides from the Lampkin brothers and the Gaunt Suzuki man himself Peter Gaunt. Seven miles before the lunch check the eight hazards in the rocky gully at Glenogle provided a different story. The hazards were shrouded in the ever-persistent rain, and the men on form were the youngest Lampkin Martin, Sammy Miller and a few others, who parted with no marks. After lunch, the trial took in the two new hazards named Edramucky near the bridge of Lochay. A massive jumble of exposed rocks in the river added to the challenge, as Miller found out to his cost with a single mark lost in the first one before a stop was recorded in the second one and the five marks that went with it. It must have rattled the Bultaco star as he also had a disaster at the Meall Glas group of ten sections when he went for a supporting ‘dab’ which ended up with an out-of-control Miller missing the ends cards! As the sun shone through the riders arrived in Fort William with Don Smith (Montesa) looking very happy despite nearly missing the start as he had overslept, with his five marks lost giving him an early lead followed by the top 20 all covered by just a few marks. One rider missing from the top 20 was Sammy Miller who had parted with 11, it was a case of game on!

Watched closely by Ralph Venables, holding the programme, is Sheffield’s Dave Thorpe. Fitted with the lowermounted front mudguard it transforms the physical look of the Ossa compared to the one Mick Andrews was riding.

MONDAY RESULTS: 1: Don Smith (Montesa) 5; 2: Peter Gaunt (Gaunt

Suzuki) Chris Milner (250 Ossa) Bill Wilkinson (Greeves) 6; 3: Jim Sandiford (Bultaco) Geoff Chandler (Bultaco) Malcolm Barnes (Ossa) Mick Andrews (Ossa) John Hemingway (Sprite) Rob Edwards (Cotton) Malcolm Rathmell (Greeves) Kenny Fleming (Montesa) Martin Lampkin (Gaunt Suzuki) 7; 4: Gordon Farley (Montesa) Dennis Jones (Gaunt Suzuki) Dave Thorpe (Ossa) Billy McMaster (Bultaco) 8; 5: Lawrence Telling (Montesa) Alan Lampkin (Gaunt Suzuki) John Hayton (Bultaco) 9.

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Man and machine. Peter Gaunt changes the gearbox oil at the Shell/ BP refuelling and lubricants service transporter, on his own brand of the Suzuki trials machine. A man of many engineering talents, he also produced other ‘Gaunt’ manufactured trials machines using a variety of engines from Ducati, CZ and Jawa to name a few.

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CLASSIC COMPETITION 1969 SSDT

British motorcycle manufacturer Cotton was looking to the future after the loss of the old and trusty Villiers engines for its trials models. The answer was to follow the ‘Micro’ trend, and Rob Edwards is seen here on the 170cc Minarelli powered machine. He was more than happy with the Best up to 200cc Cup on a machine that would do no more than 40mph on the road!

It looks like Brian Hutchinson is going for a well-placed ‘dab’ on the Sprite as he strives to keep on line on the mud-covered rocks.

Well wrapped up against the cold, long day on Tuesday taking in 111 miles – check out the headgear and gloves – John Hemingway lines up the Austrian Sachs engined 125cc Sprite on the difficult ‘Camp’ hazard.

Along with the two Wilkinson brothers Derek Adsett was a member of the Greeves manufacturer’s team. Some-time trials rider Malcolm Rathmell was contracted to Greeves for motocross meetings but he also had the use of a trials model. Here he executes the first ever clean passage of this ‘Leitir Bo Fionn’ hazard, much to the interest of the watching crowd.

When Sammy Miller was looking at the Bultaco option before his move from Ariel in late 1964 Roy Peplow had been by his side. He had moved from the sinking, onceproud motorcycle manufacturers in Great Britain to Bultaco.

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A TIME TO REWIND

Looking at a very ‘Golden Age’ of motorcycle sport from 1965– 1985 this limited edition 132-page publication spans Enduro, Motocross, Road Racing and Trials. Thema jority of pictures have never been seen in print before. You will enjoy this motorcycle adventure demonstrated with black & white and colour photos captioned with informative text. Presented in an A4 magazine format, it is a step back in history for any motorcycle enthusiast to enjoy and remember an iconic time with the great names and machines.

Inside you will find such great names as Jeff Smith, Roger De Coster, Malcolm Davis, The Lampkins, Jarno Saarinen, Mike Hailwood, Barry Sheene, Giacomo Agostini, Mick Andrews, Yrjo Vesterinen and incredible machines of their time produced by BSA, Greeves, Bultaco, Montesa, Ossa, MV Agusta, Triumph, Honda and many more. Yes, it’s as good as it sounds.

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The Dave Rowland Trophy Trial 1980 Anglo-American Match Races 1971

PHOTOS | PETER J BEARDMORE

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was restricted p The first ever Anglo-American series Triumph to factory contracted riders on BSA and in machines. Both brands were still very prominent problems road racing around the world despite the facing. the motorcycle industry in the UK was from Don Number eight, John Cooper, leads the way Dave and (6) Emde Castro (5), Dick Mann (4), Don Aldana (3). Rocket 3 was still t ‘Moon Eyes’ John Cooper on the BSA and goggles using an open-face ‘cork’ crash helmet for head protection!

1971 Teams

GREAT BRITAIN John Cooper (BSA), Tony Jefferies Smart (Triumph), Ray Pickrell (BSA), Paul (Triumph) and Percy Tait (Triumph) UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Dave Aldana (BSA), Don Castro (Triumph), Don Emde (BSA), Dick Mann (BSA) and Jim Rice (BSA) RESULTS: 1: Great Britain 183; 2:

USA 137

971 — The Easter Bank holidays in April would come alive for the first time to the booming sound of the four-stroke BSA and Triumph machines in the Anglo-American Match Races. Launched by the BSA–Triumph group, two teams of riders from Great Britain and the United States of America would race over three rounds at Brands Hatch on Good Friday, Mallory Park on Sunday, and finishing at Oulton Park in Cheshire on Easter Monday. The winning team would be the one with the highest number of points. The two main teams of five riders were limited to factory contracted riders from both BSA and Triumph. This limited the strength of the American team, but without a doubt the new series format was a big hit with the fans. This was very much a show of power from the once mighty ailing British motorcycle manufacturers and the upper hand was without a doubt with the British from the very start. They would compete on the superior and lighter new triple-cylinder machines whereas their America rivals were on the 1970 model machines which were heavier and not as dynamic.

p Dick Mann on the left and Dave Aldana on the right, of the American team. The crash helmet Aldana was wearing was the latest offering from Bell helmets. u American Jim Rice signs another autograph. The Yanks were very popular with the ladies! q The full-on aggressive riding style from Dave Aldana was reminiscent of flat track racing as he ran onto the grass on a few occasions! You can see the ‘Gaffer’ tape holding the fairing together after numerous crashes.

RESULTS PHOTO | UNKNOWN

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from the Manchester erhaps the best known of the trials riders his exploits on factory 17 Motor Cycle Club is Dave Rowlands, after for the road-based trial they support BSA machinery. He had pushed status, and it came to fruition in had run in the past to get it National Trial In 1978 they had a rehearsal with 1979 much to his and the club’s delight. report gave them 10 stewards centre the Hepworth Trophy Trial, the ACU for the first time in 1979. Now out of 10 and it was awarded national status start area and it was Norman it had grown in stature they wanted a better was a manager at the Duron Brake Eyre who came up with the answer. He permission to use the factory factory in Buxton and he gained the club’s for the first time in 1980. The and its canteen facilities as the start area and taking his first national win event attracted 75 riders in the solo class at the event was Chris Clarke.

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1: Chris Clarke (350 Sandiford Montesa) 39; 2: Norman Shepherd (310 Holden Ossa) 41; 3: Rob Shepherd (360 Honda) 41; 4: Chris Sutton (350 Sandiford Montesa) 43; 5: Nigel Birkett (350 Sandiford Montesa) 49; 6: Allen Collier (280 Jerrard SWM) 62; 7: John Hulme (350 JES Majesty) 63; 8: Kiyoteru Hattori (200 Honda) 65; 9: Steve Moore (325 Comerford Bultaco) 65; 10: Alan Lampkin (325 Comerfords Bultaco) 75. EDITION 01 | YEAR 2018 | 95

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CLASSIC COMPETITION 1969 SSDT

With eyes well focussed on the section ends cards Alan ‘Sid’ Lampkin lines up the Gaunt-built Suzuki. Sammy Miller had been stopped, by Lampkin and his BSA in 1966, from making it three wins in a row. Sid was riding after dislocating his right shoulder one month earlier at a scramble over the Easter celebrations at Builth Wells.

Day two: 66 miles, 27 sections With the event now safely in Fort William, the riders faced a much shorter day compared to the opener. Don Smith was happy with the three single marks lost which allowed him to defend his lead in front of Bill Wilkinson who, along with Andrews, was in joint second position. In trouble early on in the second of the six days though was Mick Andrews, whose Ossa had suffered a partial engine seizure on the opening day. Some hectic spanner work had seen him remove the cylinder head and the extra gasket which was fitted to up the compression ratio to give him more power. Despite these changes, he was forced to get his feet down in section eight which was the second group of the day at the 1,500m summit of Grey Mare’s Ridge,

Using a photographic-like memory Dave Rowland keeps the Bultaco on his chosen line as he demonstrates the art of the trials rider.

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Owning his own motorcycle dealership gave Jim Sandiford his own choice of machinery. As a Bultaco agent he rode the SSDT as part of the Spanish manufacturer’s team along with Sammy Miller and Dave Rowland.

although this was his only penalty for the day. The top hazard at Grey Mare’s Ridge was the toughest sub-section, and only 11 clean rides were recorded. Sammy Miller parted with just four marks for the day to start his climb back up the leader board, and his overall tenth position left him much happier than on day one. For the joint second-placed finishers Peter Gaunt and Chris Milner it was a disastrous day, as Gaunt parted with 15 and Milner 20. Though not a long day mileage-wise, the terrain between the groups of hazards was open track and moorland, and many riders were in trouble. In particular, the 25-mile ride over the Blackwater mountain crossing proved extremely difficult to navigate. A total of 15 retired, from either being exhausted or running out of time.

Using all his skills and ‘body lean’ Mick Wilkinson tries his very best to hold on to the Greeves on the lower Ben Nevis hazards on the second day.

It was the same with the machinery, and Paul Dunkley’s Villiers-powered Cheetah cried ‘enough!’ with a big-end failure. With fourth position down to tenth covered by just three marks, the biggest loser of the day was Montesa team rider, Gordon Farley. On the top hazard at Grey Mare’s Ridge, he believed he had parted with a single mark, but the observer marked him for a three. Despite a protest, the stewards stood by the observer’s decision, which kept him just off the top three. TUESDAY RESULTS: 1: Don Smith (Montesa) 8; 2: Bill

Wilkinson (Greeves) 10; 3: Mick Andrews (Ossa) 10; 4: Geoff Chandler (Bultaco) 13; 5: Martin Lampkin (Gaunt 14; 6: Gordon Farley (Montesa) 14; 7: Dave Thorpe (Ossa) 14; 8: Peter Gaunt (Gaunt Suzuki) 15; 9: Rob Edwards (Cotton) 15; 10: Sammy Miller (Bultaco) 15.

Originally entered in the event on a WASP machine, Geoff Chandler competed on this production 250cc Bultaco and had some excellent rides during his week in Scotland.

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CLASSIC COMPETITION 1969 SSDT

I think you will all agree that this picture of Ian Haydon’s factory prepared Minarelli engined Cotton certainly encapsulates the spirit of the Scottish Six Days Trial. You can clearly see the tyre levers strapped to the bottom engine rails and the fuel-can for the long ride to Fort William attached to the rear frame loop. The machine also looks very workman-like in the face of the Spanish Armada of Bultaco, Montesa and Ossa.

It looks very much like the Ossa of Ted Breffitt has suffered a crash as the high-mounted front mudguard is missing.

One of the best ever riders to come out of the Ottervale Motor Club, Ian Haydon focuses on the turn on the Cotton.

Watched over by Brian Hutchinson – with goggles on cap – and looking very confident in this all-action picture is winner of the Best Foreign Rider award, Roland Bjorck from Sweden on his 250cc Bultaco.

Day three: 111 miles, 21 sections As the halfway house closed after day three the trial was turned on its head, with costly errors being severely punished. It’s a long way around the route taking in two sections at Annat before the riders pass the famous Glen Finnan Memorial and Camp Hill to attempt a run of three groups of hazards containing eight sections. The Camp Hill hazards dropped Don Smith to his knees as he crashed off the Montesa on the loose rocks and a five-mark penalty was recorded; he was not amused! The man on good form was that man Sammy Miller. With his concentration levels at 100%, he parted with just a single mark for the day on the Ravine hazards. This spirited ride from the Irishman pulled him right up the leader board to finish the day on the same marks as the Greeves-mounted Bill Wilkinson. The elder of the two brothers supported by Greeves started the day in excellent form, with just one of only ten clean rides recorded at Ravine’s most difficult hazard. On the rocks at Camp, where Don Smith had been dumped to the floor two threemark penalties cost, Wilkinson dearly but at the close of the day, the six-mark loss would put him at the head of the trial for the first time on a total of 16, the same as Miller. The two hazards at Camp were very difficult, and rider after rider recorded five marks for the stop on the more difficult second one. At his brilliant best was Dennis Jones on the Gaunt Suzuki who cleaned them both; he was one of only five riders along with Mick Bowers on the BSA Bantam, Wilkinson’s younger brother, Mick on the Greeves, Geoff Chandler on the Bultaco and, all the way from Sweden, on the Montesa, Lars Sellman. For the first time in five years, the once mighty AJS motorcycle manufacturer entered a team of three riders on the new Villiers engine two-stroke trials machines. The tough rocky hazards at Camp put them out of the manufacturers’ team competition though, as Ray Sayer broke the gearbox on his machine. Despite originally entering on a Triumph the Yorkshire rider had joined the AJS team for the event, but despite a valiant effort to repair the machine, he was out of the competition. WEDNESDAY RESULTS: 1: Bill Wilkinson (Greeves) 16; 2: Sammy Miller (Bultaco) 16; 3: Mick Andrews (Ossa) 17; 4: Don Smith (Montesa) 18; 5: Peter Gaunt (Gaunt Suzuki) 19; 6: Dave Thorpe (Ossa) 20; 7: Geoff Chandler (Bultaco) 20; 8: Martin Lampkin (Gaunt Suzuki) 22; 9: Rob Edwards (Cotton) 24; 10: John Hemingway Sprite) 25.

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Just look at the ‘body lean’ on Ireland’s Billy McMaster Junior on the Bultaco as he tries to guide the front wheel between the rocks and stays on line on Ben Nevis. The building in the background at Achintee is now the Ben Nevis Inn.

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CLASSIC COMPETITION 1969 SSDT Watched from the banking by lead observer, Dr Hugh Davidson of Forres, and taking the Best Newcomer award as well as finishing in 25th position and with it a Special First Class award was Barrow & District MCC member Darrell Stobbart (250 Bultaco). Look at the jacket pockets bulging with spare parts and the cycle pump across the handlebars; he most certainly wanted to finish the event.

Day four:123 miles, 33 sections Talk about scaling the heights, today’s route would take the riders out to Spean Bridge and past the Commando Memorial before tackling eight hazards at Laggan Locks. It would then be a climb up to the height of 2,500 feet above sea level and the crossing of the Corrieyairack Pass. To add to the action of the day’s 123 miles, all the riders knew that the time limit would be very tight with no chance to hang about. Sammy wanted to attempt to extend his lead, and he took an early advantage on the hazards at Laggan Locks, showing an immaculate passage parting with no marks. To challenge for the win at the SSDT you need some good fortune, and Bill Wilkinson’s came as he parted with a single mark; as he exited the top hazard his chain de-railed, but he was well clear of the section ends cards and the finish of the hill. Not only was good fortune shining on Wilkinson it also did on Mick Andrews as his hand came off the throttle of the Ossa, forcing him to part with a single mark to avoid disaster as he approached the ends cards. On the return leg of the long day new hazards had been introduced at Bradileig and Stob Ban, and on the wild moorland between the roads to Spean Bridge taking the riders to Leitir Bo Fionn. This rocky mud-covered climb above Kinlochleven had ten hazards to be ridden, and the top three were the most difficult. On the eighth hazard, Wilkinson had spun to a halt as the Greeves lost adhesion, giving Miller the advantage as he used all his experience to part with just two. On the ninth one, Miller went for the clean feet-up ride attempting a new line but it failed and a three-mark penalty was added. Wilkinson followed suit. On the final hazard, it was some-time Greeves trials rider Malcolm Rathmell who earlier had recorded history with the first clean ride, a feat that was only matched by Alan Lampkin on the little Gaunt Suzuki who passed through all the hill’s hazards for just four marks, which was the best of the day. THURSDAY RESULTS: 1: Bill Wilkinson (Greeves) 17; 2: Sammy Miller (Bultaco) 17; 3: Mick Andrews

(Ossa) 19; 4: Peter Gaunt (Gaunt Suzuki) 20; 5: Don Smith (Montesa) 22; 6: Martin Lampkin (Gaunt Suzuki) 25; 7: Dave Thorpe (Ossa) 26; 8: Rob Edwards (Cotton) 27; 9: Gordon Farley (Montesa) 32; 10: John Hemingway (Sprite) 36.

Seen here on Callart, why was this BSA Bantam, here fitted with an experimental aluminium cylinder barrel, as ridden by Mick Bowers never put into production is a question that must have been asked a thousand times. Maybe, just maybe it could have been the machine to take the fight to the Spanish machines. In this picture it looks like it has acquired Bultaco Sherpa fork bottoms. Mick, or ‘Bonkey’ as he is known, knew the machine’s potential and continued to impress with good results on the BSA.

Based in the Midlands, it made sense for Ken Sedgley to ride a Sprite. The late great Frank Hipkin supported many riders on his new breed of ‘Micro’ trials machines.

Watched by Bill Faulkner, on the left with trilby hat, Sweden’s Lars Sellman on Grey Mare’s Ridge. The elder brother of the better-known Benny, they were both Swedish champions at some point in their careers. This picture of Lars clearly shows the new production Montesa Cota 247, which were starting to prove very popular.

E.G.R. ‘Ernie’ Page – One of Britain’s best ISDT performers in the 1970s was also Scottish Scrambles Champion in 1967 and runner up in the Scottish Trials Championships the same year. Ernie, who was from Edinburgh, was a well-known motorcycle and car dealer and was a regular competitor in the SSDT. He was also officially the very last man to finish the SSDT on a 500cc Ariel in 1976. He is also the father of trials rider, the late David Page.

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CLASSIC COMPETITION 1969 SSDT

Edgar Brothers in Edinburgh were the Scottish distributors for AJS, and the sons of founder Norman Edgar, Derek and Norman also rode them. This is Norman Edgar the elder brother, who was Scottish Trials Champion three times (1966, 67 & 69) and who would be the highest placed finisher in the trial for AJS. Watching in the background, cross-legged top left is Bill Reid from Inverurie, who later became a regular observer at the event and known to all as the ‘Ticket Collector’ because of his passion for railways.

Later in his trials career Sweden’s Thore Evertson would become a leading challenger at both the SSDT and European championship. Mounted here on a Bultaco, he would soon move to Ossa. He was the second-best newcomer in the 1969 ‘Scottish’.

Missing the Special First Class award by three marks was motorcycle dealer John Lee on his Montesa, seen here on Achintee.

Day five: 71 miles, 32 sections You can argue that the fifth day in the Scottish Six Days Trial is always one of the most difficult. You sort of have one hand on a finish, but it can also be a case of ‘a bridge too far’. In this year’s case, the retirements had been relatively low with Monday and Tuesday showing the highest numbers. Monday had seen seven riders go out, but Tuesday was where the riders were most affected. A total of 15 riders retired on the second day even though the route only covered 66 miles. On Wednesday five riders retired, and on Thursday eight went out, but only two on Friday. The competition was now looking very much like a close battle between Bill Wilkinson and Sammy Miller as the riders woke for day five, with Mick Andrews waiting to pounce only two marks behind. The biggest loser on Friday was Peter Gaunt. Riding the machine that he had converted into a full trials model from the road-based Suzuki, his loss of 18 marks blew his winning chances away after holding a strong position in the trial to this point, and he slipped down to sixth position, way off the chance of a first victory.

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Still a very competent rider as well as a mechanic, Reg May steadies the new Comerfords converted 250cc Triumph Trophy at Achintee, which was called Ben Nevis that year. This machine was built by Reg, who was Comerfords service manager, and their competition manager Gordon Farley as the logical successor to the 200cc Triumph Tiger Cub model they converted. The machine was based around the Triumph TR25W trail model. When converted it would weight 228lb (103.5kg) and cost £299.00.

Both Wilkinson and Miller, who had each started the day on a new rear tyre, moved their riding up a gear in the fight for the victory, and the two-mark gap that Miller had opened up looked like he was about to record history on the final day. Don Smith sat waiting in the queue along with Mick Andrews, desperately wanting to give either Montesa or Ossa their first victory and join the rising tide of Bultaco who had started to make massive inroads to the trials market with Miller’s success. They knew just how important the victory was to both manufacturers as Dave Thorpe hung on to the top five positions on his Ossa. One thing was for sure it was Wilkinson who had single-handedly put the brakes on a total Spanish domination at the event with the only all-English motorcycle in the top ten. As the riders retired to their beds on Friday evening who, under pressure, would crack first? FRIDAY RESULTS: 1: Sammy Miller (Bultaco) 28; 2: Bill

Wilkinson (Greeves) 30; 3: Don Smith (Montesa) 31; 4: Mick Andrews (Ossa) 32; 5: Dave Thorpe (Ossa) 36; 6: Peter Gaunt (Gaunt Suzuki) 38; 7: Gordon Farley (Montesa) 41; 8: Rob Edwards (Cotton) 49; 9: Lawrence Telling (Montesa) 49; 10: Dennis Jones (Gaunt Suzuki) 52.

With his film star looks came one of two American riders in the trial – Vic Boocock, who just missed a Special First Class award on the Bultaco. In reality Boocock was English born who had immigrated to Northern California to become their trials champion on a Bultaco. The other USA entrant was Bob Ewing, who rode an Edgar Brothers AJS 37A-T.

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CLASSIC COMPETITION 1969 SSDT

Another Services rider was Chris Watts who had changed the trend and moved from the Spanish machines to this production AJS 37A-T trials model. He is watched here with interest from Ralph Venables and Stephanie Wood, above his left arm.

Chesterfield’s Chris Milner (Ossa), seen here on Achintee on the slopes of Ben Nevis, had been taken under the wing of his nearneighbour Dave Thorpe and would soon start to make his mark in national trials.

Riding for the Army Team was Paratrooper Jack Galloway (Bultaco) seen here waving his tongue as he concentrates hard on the notorious Leiter bo Fionn.

John May was the son of Reg, the Comerfords service manager. The machine is the Triumph Tiger Cub powered Cheetah from the Bob Gollner stable.

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Seen here on Callart is Derek Edgar who, along with his brother Norman and Ray Sayer, made up the first official AJS manufacturers team for five years at the SSDT. They rode official factory machines, but they were actually built by the Edgar Brothers in Edinburgh from a tranche of parts sent up in crates by the Andover factory.

Watched by former SSDT and ISDT rider Mrs Mollie Briggs, on the left, Derek Cranfield stayed loyal to the Greeves brand and was supported by Comerfords, his then employers.

Having spent his £830.00 to compete in the event John Jones was the best of the five Canadian riders who entered. It’s a case of both feet down here on the Bultaco at Caolasnacoan on day five.

For fellow Canadian rider Bob Kelly it’s the same mode of ‘feet down’ and push on the Bultaco at Caolasnacoan. He was rewarded with a Second Class Award for his efforts.

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CLASSIC COMPETITION 1969 SSDT This was the first ever Yamaha to compete in the Scottish Six Days. It was imported from California by Ralph Forbes who was a garage proprietor from Edinburgh and also ran Northern Motorcycles in Eyre Place in the Scottish capital. The machine was originally registered in the USA and was exported to Scotland prior to the 1969 SSDT. The model was a 250cc DT1. The man with the cinecamera is C.H. Wood who was filming the event for Castrol. The group of three watching are Edward Damadian (ACU Steward), Ralph Venables and Stephanie Wood.

Day six: 143 miles, 18 sections In the last few years, the closing day had very much been a comfortable ride back to Edinburgh, but for 1969 this would change. George Baird, as chairman of the Scottish Six Days Trials committee, wanted to include more hazards to break up the ride. After some careful consideration, it was agreed to introduce what would eventually become the iconic Pipeline above Kinlochleven on the southwards ride, some 16 miles from Fort William, before the final machine examination at Edinburgh’s Blackford Hill, Royal Observatory. What a decision it turned out to be as the final result would be all about this steep three-section loose, rocky, undulating climb. Bill Wilkinson knew that the two-mark advantage that Sammy Miller held was a close enough call to be beaten. He had the Greeves pulling like a tractor up the steep incline in second gear. Leaving the second sub-section and heading into the third and final one, he made a quick push on the gear change to drop the Villiers engine down to first gear, and with a huge grin, passed through the ends cards just as the machine was running out of power. With the Bultaco in second gear, Sammy Miller knew it had to be a clean ride; he was looking good as the Spanish machine did all it could to break free from his grip. Entering the third and final hazard, a rock knocked him off line, and a single mark was parted with before he lost momentum and had to resort to getting both feet down, and a three-mark penalty was incurred. In a very unsporting manner, some of the spectators whistled and jeered, which did not amuse Miller. It was sad as the Irish rider had given it his all and fought back from a poor opening day, and they should have known better! Not happy with his ride, he was just one mark behind ‘Wilky’. Three miles later it was all over as Miller parted with a further four marks on the wet rocks at Martuim, as in the now ever-present rain Bill Wilkinson knew he had the win in the bag; he was happy. It was an even bitterer pill for Miller to swallow as Mick Andrews just edged the Ossa in front of him by a single mark when the results were confirmed at the evening’s presentation.

The third day, Wednesday, spelt disaster for the AJS team when Ray Sayer was forced out with a broken gearbox. This was a machine built on behalf of the Andover factory by Edgar Brothers in Edinburgh from parts supplied by the factory. Notice the leading axle ‘Stormer’ motocross front forks and hub.

1969 was not a good year for Dennis Jones on the Gaunt Suzuki. Looking very much on target for a top-ten finish he was excluded from the results when he had been found to have swopped a marked part on the final machine inspection at the close of the last day. Seen here at the weigh in on the Sunday, the official with the knitted jumper is Trevor Hay who back-marked many SSDT events and was an accomplished ISDT rider in his own right.

SATURDAY RESULTS: 1: Bill Wilkinson (250 Greeves) 30; 2: Mick Andrews (250 Ossa) 34; 3: Sammy

Miller (250 Bultaco) 35; 4: Don Smith (250 Montesa) 42; 5: Martin Lampkin (128 Gaunt Suzuki) 44; 6: Gordon Farley (250 Montesa) 46; 7: Peter Gaunt (128 Gaunt Suzuki) 48; 8: Dave Thorpe (250 Ossa) 49; 9: Lawrence Telling (250 Montesa) 54; 10: Rob Edwards (170 Cotton) 59.

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CLASSIC COMPETITION 1969 SSDT

Canadian trials champion John De Gruchy on the Bultaco made it all the way until Saturday, when he was forced out with a broken machine. He is shown here being pulled by the rope up the Leitir Bo Fionn hazards on Thursday.

Before the days of the parc ferme, the overnight ‘SSDT garage’ was in fact the premises of MacRae & Dick who operated a vehicle repair workshop and filling station at Cameron Square in Fort William. The section ‘M&D’ was just up the hill from this garage and was ridden on a cold engine in the morning.

Bill Wilkinson, winner of the Scottish Six Days Trial 1969: “This is a fantastic result. I am so happy. The run-up to the winning ride had not been a happy one as the machine would break down in every event – nine weeks running – before the trip to Scotland, with the factory pulling its hair out trying to resolve the problem. All the major components were changed, but still, nothing was found. They continued to replace parts, the competition department, led by Bill Brooker, was very good with nothing too much trouble. The machine was basically a standard production machine with my own secret modifications carried out, such as the fitting of Ceriani motocross fork yokes to aid the handling; a major improvement I kept to myself for quite a while. I had asked Bill Brooker if I could have the frame chromed but he said the budget was not available, but to my surprise, it was carried out before the Scottish – maybe a good omen considering the machine’s problems! “The first day’s run would cover 159 miles, and it was close at the top with young Chris Milner, one of three riders only one mark behind leader Don Smith. He again kept the Montesa in the lead on day two as Mick Andrews threw down the gauntlet, moving into second place. “After Wednesday, the first 100 riders would be moved into the second half of the entries, so number 101 would be the first man away on Thursday. Sammy Miller carried his Wednesday lead into Thursday as Smith cracked, dropping him off the leader board. Friday would see Smith move back to where he wanted to be for the final push on Saturday, but boy was it getting close. I was riding number 54 and gave the huge crowd at ‘Pipeline’ a lesson in trials skill with a superb feet-up ride, which was well received with a good round of applause. All I had to do now was coax the Greeves back to Edinburgh. “The week had gone well with no machine problems at all; I fitted a new rear tyre on Tuesday and Thursday evening and a Renold’s chain on Wednesday evening. The victory was good for me as I managed to put Miller under pressure on both Thursday and Friday, and when I cleaned Pipeline in front of him on Saturday morning, I began to think about winning. On the ride back to Edinburgh I had visions of the Greeves packing up after all the problems before the event but no way, I was one happy SSDT winner! Greeves were over the moon with the win. Director, Derry Preston Cobb, gave me the winning machine to keep and a bonus of £50! Further bonuses came from Shell, Lodge, Dunlop and Renold’s. Happy days”.

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After the event Bill Wilkinson sold the winning Greeves to further fund his trials career but, happily, he was able to buy it back 18 years after he had last seen it. A full restoration was carried out by Jim Swallow, much to ‘Wilky’s’ delight.

SCOTTISH SIX DAYS 1969

SPECIAL FIRST CLASS AWARDS: 1: Bill Wilkinson (250 Greeves) 30; 2: Mick Andrews (250 Ossa) 34; 3: Sammy Miller (250 Bultaco) 35; 4: Don Smith (250 Montesa) 42; 5: Martin Lampkin (128 Gaunt Suzuki) 44; 6: Gordon Farley (250 Montesa) 46; 7: Peter Gaunt (128 Gaunt Suzuki) 48; 8: Dave Thorpe (250 Ossa) 49; 9: Lawrence Telling (250 Montesa) 54; 10: Rob Edwards (170 Cotton) 59; 11: John Hemingway (125 Sprite) 64; 12: Roy Peplow (250 Bultaco) 64; 13: Brian Hutchinson (125 Sprite) 65; 14: Alan Lampkin (128 Gaunt Suzuki) 68; 15: Malcolm Rathmell (250 Greeves) 68; 16: Derek Adsett (250 Greeves) 72; 17: Mick Wilkinson (250 Greeves) 75; 18: Jim Sandiford (250 Bultaco) 81; 19: Dave Rowland (250 Bultaco) 85; 20: Geoff Chandler (250 Bultaco) 86; 21: Ian Haydon (170 Cotton) 90; 22: Ted Breffitt (250 Ossa) 90; 23: Roland Bjorck (250 Bultaco-SWE) 91; 24: Billy McMaster (250 Bultaco) 91; 25: Darrell Stobbart (250 Bultaco) 96; 26: Mick Bowers (175 BSA) 97; 27: John Hayton (250 Bultaco) 103; 28: Kenny Fleming (250 Montesa) 104; 29: R Brown (250 Montesa) 105; 30: Ken Sedgley (125 Sprite) 107; 31: Billy Hutton (250 Bultaco) 112; 32: Lars Sellman (250 Montesa-SWE) 113; 33: M Brown (250 Bultaco) 113; 34: Maurice Newsham (250 Bultaco) 114; 35: Ernie Page (250 Bultaco) 119; 36: John Luckett (250 Bultaco) 122; 37: Norman Edgar (250 AJS) 123; 38: Thore Evertson (250 BultacoSWE) 129.

MACHINES SPECIAL FIRST CLASS AWARDS: Bultaco: 15; Montesa: 6; Greeves: 4; Gaunt Suzuki: 3; Ossa: 3; Sprite: 3; Cotton: 2; AJS: 1; BSA: 1

Special Awards BEST MANUFACTURERS’ TEAM: Montesa: Don Smith, Gordon Farley and Lawrence Telling

BEST 150CC: Martin Lampkin (128cc Gaunt Suzuki) BEST 200CC: Rob Edwards (170cc Cotton) BEST 250CC: Bill Wilkinson (250cc Greeves) BEST 350CC: Sammy Miller (252cc Bultaco) BEST 500CC: R Thomson (440cc BSA) BEST NEWCOMER: Darrell Stobbart (250 Bultaco) SECOND BEST NEWCOMER: Thore Evertson (250 Bultaco-SWE) BEST SCOTTISH RIDER: Kenny Fleming (250 Montesa) SECOND BEST SCOTTISH RIDER: Ernie Page: 250 Bultaco) BEST FOREIGN RIDER: Roland Bjorck (250 Bultaco-SWE)

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INTERVIEW JAIME SURBIRA

J A IME S UR B IR A

My life in trials I find it quite hard to believe just how long ago the year 1978 was, and just how fast that time has gone. I was just as passionate about trials as I am now and the fact that it was the first year of the Barcelona indoor trial appears to be light years away. About five years ago I was in Barcelona on business with my good friend Angel Magrinya from Delay Trial, and he said we could go and meet Jaime Subira. My thoughts were: “Now there’s a blast from the past!”. When we first met, he was very warm and welcoming, and he had just won the 1978 Barcelona indoor event. Over the next few years, I would see more and more of him, especially at the Costa Brava Two Day Trial. When our good friends at the best

trials website in the world: www.todotrial. com interviewed Jaime, I asked if we could print it in the Classic Trial Magazine, to which they excitedly agreed. The emergence of the trial as a sport in Spain would not be understood today without the huge and outstanding contribution made by the former for Montesa and Fantic rider in the ‘70s and ‘80s. The year 2018 marked four decades since the birth of the indoor trial as a speciality sport. In Martorelles, a town near the Ciudad Condal, we went to talk not only with its first winner but with one of the few men who can boast having participated in the development of two of the most iconic and influential motorcycles of our sport, the Montesa Cota 348 and the Fantic 240.

Words: www.todotrial.com, Horacio San Martin ‘Yoyo’ with Jaime Subira Pictures: Yoyo, Iain Lawrie, Toon Van De Vliet, Yoomee, Mauri/Fontsere Collection and the Giulio Mauri Copyright, The Nick Nicholls Collection at Mortons Archive, Joan Valls and Fili

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On the Montesa Cota 348 at the 1977 Italian world round.

CLASSIC TRIAL MAGAZINE 2019 • ISSUE 28


INTERVIEW JAIME SURBIRA About five years ago I was in Barcelona on business with my good friend Angel Magrinya from Delay Trial and he said we could go and meet Jaime Subira; my thoughts were: “Now there’s a blast from the past”.

Still chasing the perfect Fantic.

Forty years have passed since your victory in the first SoloMoto Indoor Trial in Barcelona. What do you remember of that first event? Forty years ago, wow! [He smiles]. What I can tell you is that it was a great novelty and a surprise for everyone. It was held at the Palau d’Esports on the Lleida Street in Barcelona, and it was not small — no, it was very small! There were people everywhere, on the stairs, in the corridors, etc. My memories of that day are still very clear; I was focused on the hazards and my attempts at them, but something very curious happened. People whistled when I completed each hazard and rode to the next one and, of course, as you can imagine, I did not understand it. Why were they doing it, I asked myself? Well, it turns out that it was the same people who were following me from hazard to hazard. Those who were sat the furthest away could not see the action and that was why they were whistling. I did not realise it until I finished. While it was held in the Palau d’Esports on Lleida Street, for me, it was more intimate with people very close to us and to the action, almost touching us but when it moved to the Palau Sant Jordi in Montjuic, I think it went from being a big event to a huge event; of course, it had good and bad things. The good thing was more people, a better location — but on the other hand, it lost a bit of the atmosphere from the early events.

At the 2016 Costa Brava Two-Day Classic Trial.

You took the win in front of Yrjo Vesterinen and Quicko Paya, was this the most important win of your career? I think it was one of the most important, but there have been other moments. When I started riding in the Junior class there was an older rider who kept beating me. I would lose 50 marks and he would lose just five. One day I did beat him; I was so proud. I can remember the first time I beat Bultaco rider Manuel Soler in a Spanish Championship round in Alicante in 1977. My two second places in the FIM World Championship; first in Sant Llorenc, Spain on the Montesa Cota 349 and then on the little Fantic 200 in Pilsen in Czechoslovakia. I was also the first Spanish rider to finish in the top five at the Scottish Six Days Trial in 1980 on the Fantic 200 and then fourth on the 240 model in 1981. Such was the opposition, with so many top riders in the event, it felt very much like a victory at the time. The hazards of the first Indoor in Barcelona were the work of Joan Bordas, an expert in gardening and motorcycling and Pere Pi, the first Spanish Trials Champion. How did they surprise you? I was surprised how much the tyre section moved when you rode it. It was a selection of tyres from cars and motorcycles, and I remember that it changed continuously with the passage of every rider. The other hazards were made to look as natural as possible using tree trunks and railway sleepers. They were very nicely decorated, which was very novel. The favourite spectator hazards remained the same for many years, which was your favourite hazard? Riding over tyres was always very different and not many clean rides were recorded. As for the Pyramid, at first it remained impossible but I remember trying it in third gear and, after breaking the wood of the ramp, I ended up embedded inside the Pyramid! As a result, we had to reinforce it to prevent anyone else from getting hurt.

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Trying to hold the line at Ba House in the 1978 SSDT.

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INTERVIEW JAIME SURBIRA

Aesthetically the Montesa brand made their motorcycles very attractive to the buying public.

One of the proudest moments for Jaime Subira was winning the very first Barcelona indoor competition in 1978 on the Montesa. Just look at the crowd and the tyres!

Showing good style in Italy 1977 in the world championship.

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Winning on the Montesa was a major victory in Spain. Since 1978 the brand has won the most indoor events and carries so much respect in trials. What were the times like at Montesa in the ’70s? Montesa was always a very serious company, but with respect to Bultaco for example, I think that Montesa were maybe more dedicated to the commercial side of the business than to competition which was something completely opposite to Bultaco. In addition, Montesa focussed on the aesthetics, making their motorcycles very attractive. Without going any further a very important novelty at the time was the seat-tank unit of the Cota 348, which allowed access without having to unscrew anything; you were able to lift it like the bonnet of a car for easy engine access and maintenance. Montesa, as a motorcycle, was so different from Bultaco or the Ossa at the time as the Cota range was so much lighter, moreso at the front, and I think that was what gave the rider the most advantage in the hazards at the indoors.

An important novelty for Montesa at the time was the seat-tank unit of the Cota 348, as you were able to lift it like the bonnet of a car for easy engine access and maintenance without using any tools.

Your first trials motorcycle was a Montesa Cota 247 which you purchased when you were just 17. Why Montesa? The Cota 247 was very pretty. I knew Jordi Rabasa, who rode for Montesa, and Josep Isern from Motos Isern — the shop where I purchased my first motorcycles. He allowed me to take a Montesa to test and was always giving me good advice. I suppose that it was also influenced by the fact that my town Martorelles was in Montesa territory. Trials or motocross? At first I was more interested in motocross. However, I soon realised that I could ride my trials machine any time I wanted and practising was so much easier. I remember that my first contract with Montesa was to ride trials in winter and motocross in summer. I never got to compete in motocross because after starting with trials and doing well they left me there.

Watched by the late great Giulio Mauri on the left at the Torino Indoor Trial in 1979. It was a happy Subira who took second place in the 1979 FIM World Championship round at Sant Llorenc, Spain on the Montesa Cota 349.

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INTERVIEW JAIME SURBIRA

Jaime was not very happy with the Montesa Cota 349 as it did not suit him. He made contact with Bultaco, Italjet and then Fantic which is where his decision took him. He signed the contract seen here in late 1979.

Why motorcycles? As a young man, I enjoyed the thrill of riding the motorcycle. Since the age of 14, I tuned every motorcycle I ever had. For example with the Montesa Brio 81 model, I removed the mudguards, fitted higher handlebars and was soon jumping drainage ditches, etc. These were fantastic times. The official Fantic poster in 1980 with Jaime in full flow.

Winning on a Montesa opened the door to a Montesa factory contract. The contract came through my association with Isern Motorcycles. Josep Isern was the one who first told me that Montesa had noticed me. In fact, I signed as a rider and a mechanic for another Spanish rider, Quico Paya. The idea was for me to have my own machine but to train with him and learn from him. You were an official factory supported rider with Montesa from 1974– 1979 where you gained some very good results. Were you satisfied with your achievements? [He smiles] Of course I was. I remember the first trial I rode in with Pere Pi and Ignacio Bulto in Zaragoza, which I won. The final hazard was riding over a car — the very first time I had attempted this and I cleaned it and won. Happy days. Did you have a favourite rider at the time? In Montesa, it was Jordi Rabasa. I also liked Joan Bordas. Then came along two great riders; Ulf Karlson from Sweden, and Malcolm Rathmell from Great Britain. Being able to train and take advice from them as well as retain my relationship with Quico Paya helped me a lot to raise my level of riding.

Crashing at the Italian world round in 1980. With the small-capacity engine the world rounds were hard work.

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In 1980 Fantic gave you a contract. Why the move from Montesa to Fantic? I was not very happy with the Montesa as it did not suit me and my riding, so I made contact with Bultaco, Italjet and then Fantic, which is where my decision took me. The brothers Toni and Estanis Soler had a company, Como International, through which they imported Fantic into Spain. It was through them that I made contact with Fantic. I travelled to Italy to test the new Fantic and what impressed me the most was the performance from the engine. The quality of the components was very high, but I did not like the suspension at all. Part of the conditions with the contract was that Fantic would control the engine and I could not tune it. I was happy with this as long as I could work with the suspension and modify the rest of the machine as I chose. In truth, they were quite surprised at how much I praised the engine. As the engine capacity was only 156.9cc, they also were not clear what options they had in the World Championship with such a small motorcycle, but I decided to sign the three-part contract: Rider, Factory and Importer.

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INTERVIEW JAIME SURBIRA 1980: The superb Fantic 200 model opened the door for such a wide ability of riders.

The press were told, with my consent, that I was only a rider for the Spanish importer the Soler brothers. When the first results arrived in Italy, they changed their strategy, and they presented me as an official factory rider. So you became their rider and main development man working on the trials project. What suggestions of yours came out firstly with the 200 model and then the 240 model? As I mentioned before, I did not like the suspension on the 200. I proposed that we used the Betor brand as used by Bultaco and also modify the geometry of the rear suspension. The latter was essential because, due to the displacement of just 156.9cc, it needed to go faster than the larger capacity machines. I needed to have a very well-tuned suspension otherwise the

Fantic was impossible to ride. We also modified the chassis in some other areas but basically the machine was very standard. With the 240 model, we carried over the experience and learning from the 200 model in pretty much the same way. I was involved with the 240 model from day one which allowed me to develop it very much to my liking. I remember we spent two years working with Marzocchi suspension and they still did not arrive with the settings where we wanted them. So much so that the technicians of Marzzochi even insinuated to my bosses at Fantic that I received money from Betor and that the Marzzochi would never work well for me. Then they set a trap for me. They made a Marzzochi damper with the base of a Betor. The surprise for them was that when I tried it, I told them that it was much better than the Betor since

The big step at Muirshearlich held no fears for Subira and the 200 Fantic. In 1980 he finished in fifth overall.

1980 SSDT: He did not like the suspension on the 200 and proposed that he used the Betor brand as used by Bultaco, and also modify the geometry of the rear suspension. The latter was essential because due to the displacement of the 156.9cc engine it needed to go faster than the larger capacity machines. Very well-tuned suspension was required, otherwise the Fantic was impossible to ride.

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INTERVIEW JAIME SURBIRA

Feet-up and cleaning Caillaich at the 1980 ‘Scottish’.

the Marzzochi was at the higher level of machining and materials, such as seals, and, as such, was well above the standard of Betor! With the Fantic 240, one area of focus was the grip, and we soon achieved this after much hard work. It was one of the key points of the machine which made it so successful. In my first year at the Scottish Six Days Trial with Fantic there were about 10 to 15 of the red machines, but when the 240 model came out, I think that in its second year there were 80 and the next year, more than half — about 140 riders on the Fantics! Personally, I believe that the 240 has been one of the most successful models in the history of trials. This model witnessed record sales, as well as the

Seen here at the opening Spanish world round in the snow. 1981 was a development year with the new Fantic 240 model.

Montesa Cota 348 in which I also participated in the development of. I am very proud to have played such an important part in both these iconic machines. Gilles Burgat, Steve Saunders and, above all, Thierry Michaud owe much of their success in those years with the Italian brand from your good work at Fantic. Did all three ask for your help? Burgat used the 240, but he was not very demanding. He focused a lot on the competitions, and if he found one Fantic he liked he would keep it for a while, but in general, he was quite confident in my good work. He was never a problem. When Michaud came to Fantic, I was already in

Keeping the prototype Fantic 240 model clean at the SSDT in May 1981.

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the final stages of my career as a Fantic rider. He won his first world title on the 300 model that I had developed. He soon took the reins to develop his ideas and make the Fantic suit his riding style. When Saunders arrived, I was already importing the Fantic brand in Spain. Every time I travelled to Italy though the riders let me test their machines for my opinion, which was nice. You had some good results with the Fantic in the latter part of your career? Yes, I finished much better than what the pundits of the time expected me to achieve having signed for Fantic, although I admit that it was risky to go from a 350cc Cota 349 to a Fantic 200 model with

In the wet and cold at Cameron Hill at the 1981 SSDT Jaime came home 4th and very happy.

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INTERVIEW JAIME SURBIRA

1981: World championship hazards were getting harder and needed more power. Jaime was once again helping to develop a new model, the Fantic 300.

It’s 1982 and the official Fantic picture of Jaime Subira.

a 156.9cc engine. In fact, I think I even improved in some areas than when I was competing with Montesa. The fourth place in the SSDT and my ninth place in the FIM World Championship answered the questions. In 1984 you decided to end your competition career. Why? There is a suitable age for each time of your life, and I considered that my years as a competitive world championship rider had already come to an end when I turned 30 years old. In addition to this, I was also very excited to start my own business. A new Spanish talent Jordi Tarres had arrived and, yes, I could compete with him, but I knew a great change in the sport was coming. Tarres with his riding and presentation would change the face of the sport forever, and therefore I considered it a good time to leave. I also had the option to become the Fantic Team Manager at the end of the same year, but returning from an event in Germany an incident on a highway with a truck and car coming in the opposite direction changed my priorities since I was travelling with my wife and young son. Nothing happened to us, but it made me see that maybe it was better to start my own business than to travel with them around the world.

At the official presentation of Fantic of its new rider Gilles Burgat holding the microphone. The French rider would finish 3rd in the FIM World Championship. Subira is the other rider in the Fantic shirt.

organised, and besides that, we had known each other for a lifetime. It was easy to understand since we both had the same goal, and one passion: Trials! But in 1997 Fantic announced that it would close. How did you find out? I happened to be at Fantic. The boss’s secretary told me. They had treated me like a son; I moved around with total freedom in the company and got along

with everyone; workers and the management. They understood that they gave me money and I made them motorcycles, it was as simple as that. I tried to contribute everything that was in my hands and to be consistent with everything I had received from them until that moment. It was a hard time for me because the Fantic closure coincided with a fire in the Yamaha factory which also affected my business. I had a difficult time.

Jaime: “For me, personally, I believe that the Fantic 240 has been one of the most successful models in the history of trials. This model, as well as the Montesa Cota 348 which I also participated in the development of, witnessed record sales. I am very proud to have played such an important part in both of these iconic machines”.

Your ties with Fantic remained from that moment as the Spanish distributor. Did you find it easy to change jobs? I had always had the idea of having my own business, and I was very excited to start this new stage in my life. But starting from scratch is anything but easy. A few years after starting as a distributor your good friend Angel Magrinya from Delay Trial joined you. How did you entice him to work with you? Angel is an excellent communicator and commercial person, and for me, his collaboration in this era was very helpful. He attended the events that we

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CLASSIC TRIAL MAGAZINE 2019 • ISSUE 28


INTERVIEW JAIME SURBIRA

1982: Developing new models at the cutting edge of the sport at the world championship came at the cost of not always scoring points. This is in Great Britain at Bainbridge.

The world championship hazards were getting steeper and harder, as seen here in Spain 1983.

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Making a pivot turn on the 300 prototype at the 1982 SSDT on his way to 23rd position.

Concentrating up Laggan Locks in the 1983 SSDT.

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INTERVIEW JAIME SURBIRA

He retired from world trials in 1984 aged 30 years old. He still returned to the SSDT in 1985 on the Fantic Section model. This 1997 Fantic brochure is of the ill-fated Casta 250 model.

In one last, desperate bid to stay alive, Fantic produced just one Casta 250 model. It remains close to Jaime Subira and his good friend Angel Magrinya at a secret location in Spain.

At first, you inherited all the spare parts from Fantic but soon after, why did you transfer it to Angel Magrinya? I had a Yamaha dealership, so I decided to focus on this. As for Angel, I had confidence in him and our good friendship; I decided to transfer everything to him. Among all that he inherited was also the Fantic Casta, the last prototype, manufactured in 1997 and which had been going to be put into production and sold from 1998. Do you think that if it had been produced and sold this model would have changed the fate of the brand? The latest Fantic models did not reach the required production numbers to survive. But what I think hurt them the most was that they imported motorcycles, mopeds and scooters from China and sold them in Italy branded with the name Fantic. They lacked the passion and quality expected of the brand, and the trials models had fallen out of fashion.

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In these years you collaborated in Spain with the Moto Club Gava and the Zona Zero and KM2 stores to give life to the Open Trial de Catalunya. How did the idea of this social championship come about? Actually, they collaborated with me [Jaime bursts out laughing]. It was an idea of the Moto Club Cent Peus of the time, and it was a great success. We organised a trial for everyone with many categories, and everyone could choose their category. When the first restrictive measures of access to the environment began to come from the Government of Catalonia, we thought that the only way we had to counteract the impact of these was to make very important events with a lot of participation to try to save the market. We, at MC Cent Peus, met with KM2 and Zona Cero to organise events with a lot of riders. The factories turned to our proposal. So much so that we managed to get up to five machines from the different manufacturers to distribute between the participants in the championship. I assure you that this had never happened before, nor do I think it will happen again! [More laughter from Jaime].

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INTERVIEW JAIME SURBIRA

A very good friend of Classic Trial Magazine, Angel Magrinya has watched the trials career of Jaime Subira for many years.

Watched by a very young David Cobas on the left at the 1998 SSDT, but this time on a Gas Gas.

Why do you think you had such success at the time? We were ahead of the way of seeing things by most people at that time. What we did was to give the maximum facilities, both in the signing on and in the start times of the riders. Also, for the categories, we established three levels of difficulty, each one with a different colour. And each category also went by ages: up to 35 years, from 35 to 45, from 45 to 55, from 55 to 65, and over 65. I think the latter was one of the factors that determined its success because everyone competed with those of their similar level of ability and age. Do you think it would be possible to imitate this formula today? Today it would be very successful if implemented in the classic trials. In 2011 we would witness your return to competition, but now as Director to replace Marc Colomer of Ossa’s racing team. How did they convince you? When passion runs through your veins, it’s easy to convince you. At that time it still did, and I loved it.

John Hulme: At the classic Costa Brava Two Day Trial in 2016 I spotted this trick-looking Fantic. I knew Subira was about!

involved in the competition, research, etc. are very high. What proves this point is the fact that the majority of the machines produced still have a carburettor, which is something that is practically underestimated for the rest of the motorcycle. I believe that this is because trials do not allow a budget generous enough to carry out the development of new lines of research or projects such as fuel injection.

Jeroni Fajardo was the rider and Dani Oliveras, the chief mechanic. What went wrong with the Ossa TR 280i? Was it too innovative? Look, I came to Ossa through my friendship with Joan Roma. In my opinion with Ossa, it was a very impulsive project with very little research, and there was not a sufficiently strong and passionate group to carry out the project. The OssaTR 280i was a very daring project. Unfortunately, it did not give the results it promised, in part due to the lack of experience and the exaggerated optimism that moved around the project. Unfortunately the resurgence of Ossa did not materialise and, in the end, it was absorbed by Gas Gas. Was it the best possible solution? It was an extreme solution that did not lead anywhere. In the trials world, is everything already invented? In my opinion, the trials world as a manufacturer is very difficult because the units that are made are very few and the costs

CLASSIC TRIAL MAGAZINE 2019 • ISSUE 28

The Costa Brava Two Day Trial 2016: Checking the line with his old friend and rival Lluis Gallach.

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INTERVIEW JAIME SURBIRA

Celebrating 40 years of the Barcelona Indoor Trial in 2017. On the far right is Pedro Pi who Jaime worked with at Montesa in the 70s.

The Costa Brava Two Day Trial 2016: He still wants to win!

I think that today manufacturers, in general, are wrong with regard to the product they sell to their customers. Motorcycles, in my opinion, are more demanding than most of the users who use them. I’ll explain; the manufacturers would have to reflect and study why in the classic competitions the yellow category has between 60 & 70% of the registered entries. You have to cater for the masses. In more recent times you have put your time into Subira Classic Motorcycles. What is it and how was it born? Subira Classic was born by accident. Four years ago they called me from MC Sotobike in Spain because the last date of the National of Classics events had been celebrated and the winner was given a Fantic 200. They asked me if I could help to prepare it and gave it to me, and that is how it all began. My good friend, Julian Sanz, had prepared me for the trap. He proposed that we each competed, him with his machine and a Fantic 200 for me and when it was over I realised just how good it had been. From there I prepared a Fantic 240 that has since then evolved and now I’m running two-day trials in Spain, Italy and France. I can assure you that I had never imagined that at my age I could continue to do so well competing in trials! But I am currently confident that I can do it without giving answers or having to prove anything to anyone. It makes you enjoy the competition so much more.

Do you support any riders? Currently, we are focused on the classic trials, in which we have a good time. In this type of competition, you do not need to support anyone as we support each other. I think classic competitions and the areas we ride in are the future of trials. It is said that you do not get much riding time, but meanwhile, if you look at the 2018 Costa Brava Two Day Trial, it had around 500 participants. Someone has to realise that the trial offers plenty of riding time. I doubt that in other times there were trials with so many participants. IT shows that short riding time is in the modern trials!

2018 and it’s still Fantic, Fantic and more Fantic!

From time to time we see you compete on a modern machine in some classic competitions. Do you not like modern trials motorcycles? Look, today’s modern trials motorcycles, as they are being manufactured right now, invite you to take unnecessary risks since, as I have said before, they are motorcycles designed for a high level of competition and rider. Is it not it the fault of marking the hazards? It is these machines that lead you to mark the hazards the way they are marked. The machines are designed for high competition, and this leads you to mark more demanding hazards, that sometimes can even entail danger. For example, if Honda, Yamaha or Ducati sold the same motorcycles used by the MotoGP riders or Ferrari marketed a Vettel F1 car their sales would not be excessive. They are making motorcycles today that very few riders have sufficient ability to ride.

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John Hulme: “I would like to thank www.todotrial.com, Horacio San Martin ‘Yoyo’ and Jaime Subira for this excellent article. Thank you, my friends”.

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LOST TREASURE BULTACO

VEST Y The trials detective We all enjoy a good read where the detective goes in search of uncovering history, in turn, leads to the finding of the lost treasure. In the world of motorcycle trials, a majority of the readers of Classic Trial Magazine will be familiar with the name Yrjo Vesterinen from Finland. He needs no introduction as the first rider to win three consecutive FIM World Trials Championship titles for Bultaco, from 1976–1978. Throw in a Scottish Six Days Trial win in 1980, the first foreign victory on a Montesa before a return to Bultaco in 1982 to be rewarded with the British Trials Championship title; yes, the only foreign rider ever to achieve this accolade. He is synonymous with the Bultaco name and the history of the manufacturer in the trials world and owns all his world championship winning machines and other rare models in his collection. These have all been lovingly restored to, in many cases, better than new condition. His restoration projects are amongst some of the best you will find in the world. Some of these other models are the ones ridden by his fellow Bultaco team riders Bernie Schreiber, Martin Lampkin, Manuel Soler and Charles Coutard. He is in contact with many Bultaco related people from around the globe and is always in search of information which will, very occasionally, lead him to lost and forgotten but important ‘missing’ machines. It was the case when he was contacted from the United States of America as one enthusiast wanted to speak to the trials detective Yrjo Vesterinen about his find. Words: Vesty with John Hulme • Pictures: Yrjo Vesterinen

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‘Elementary dear Watson’: If the hat fits, wear it. ‘Vesty’ the detective!

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LOST TREASURE BULTACO

Sometimes one machine is just not enough.

T

his detective story starts with good-old Facebook, where Vesty became friends with fellow Bultaco enthusiast Jim Carey from North Carolina. Jim contacted Vesty on Messenger on 19th August 2013 to ask questions about some Sherpa T models he had purchased that appeared to have historical significance. Jim had obtained them from long-time Bultaco enthusiast and fellow trials club member Phil Simpson of Virginia. Phil had purchased the machines from Bultaco International following the 1975–77 World rounds and had kept them safely for nearly 40 years.

Bultaco International In order to see the Bultacos, Jim and Phil arranged to meet in Virginia, where Phil was living and where he kept them. None of the machines were in running order; as is the case with many machines they had been stripped down for renovation and the projects had never got off the ground. Phil indicated to Jim that he thought they might have been factory machines supplied to the American importers for their works supported riders to use in the American world rounds. As was normal in those days, these machines would then not have been returned to Spain but sold to the general public after the events. The Bultaco importers in America were owned by the Spanish manufacturer, headed by a man named John Grace who was better known as Juan Garcia. In the 1960s, Bultaco wanted to break into the lucrative and expanding American off-road market and needed someone from its Spanish base to represent the manufacturer in the USA. No one was really keen to relocate from Spain, and Mr Bulto narrowed it down to two names in the company whom he trusted to move to America and make inroads to the off-road market. They were Juan Soler, Manuel Soler’s father, and Juan Garcia. He decided the best way to decide who would be going was to throw the dice, and as it happened, it landed in favour of Juan Soler to remain in Spain and Juan Garcia to move to America. To make his name in the USA Juan changed his name to John Grace. The importership would be called Bultaco International, which coincidentally happened to be located in Phil Simpson’s hometown of Virginia Beach, Virginia.

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French Champion Charles Coutard in action on the Bultaco.

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LOST TREASURE BULTACO Phil Simpson: “Thanks to you all for making this happen; please understand that the Bultacos were ridden often and hard in the intervening years, not put away and saved. We tried to eat it all, only the bones were left for restoration!”

Vesty knew that these machines were something special despite the poor state of them as he recognised the Bultaco ‘Works’ fuel tank and MX-style side panel fitments for what was later identified as the bike of French National Champion, Charles Coutard. Only he would know what they were, such is his knowledge on Bultaco.

For sale The team riders rode the Bultacos to be used in the world rounds across the Atlantic before being returned to the factory for refurbishment. They would then be fully rebuilt in Spain to the rider’s requirements and tested and issued with new frame numbers before being shipped to America. As was common practice, the machines were then sold after the event. That is the point of contact where Phil Simpson comes into the detective equation. He purchased some machines and, for example, the Manuel Soler Bultaco was around $600. Phil retained the original Bill of Sale. He used all of his machines for a number of years and eventually stripped them down with a view to renovating them. They would remain with him for many years before he decided to retire from trials and sell his collection of Bultaco machines and parts. Jim found out about the sale through mutual friends and members of the Carolina-Virginia Observed Trials Club. After a deal had been struck, and while loading up the machines, Jim and Phil reminisced about the Bultaco brand and its glorious history. The conversation turned to the decal on one of the Sherpa fuel tanks that bore the name of World Champion Yrjo Vesterinen. Phil suggested that this Bultaco may have belonged to the famous world champion. Jim followed up on Phil’s suggestion and searched the internet for information about Yrjo Vesterinen (Vesty) to enquire about them. He was ultimately successful, contacting Vesty directly using Facebook’s Instant Messenger. This is when things got very interesting indeed. After their initial exchange, Vesty was curious to find out more and asked Jim to email him some pictures of the broken machines. Straight away it was apparent to Vesty that these were something special despite the poor

John Hulme: “The attention to exact detail is unreal and in all honesty quite scary! It just winds the mind back to exactly what a factory supplied works model was like ‘back in the day’; a golden era for trials.”

state of them as he recognised the Bultaco ‘Works’ fuel tank and MX-style side panel fitments for what was later identified as the one of French National Champion Charles Coutard. Only he would have known what they were; such is his knowledge on

Bultaco. He was soon trying to decide which engine went with which frame etc. The cylinder barrels, he knew, were from a certain period but he was not sure from which rider’s machines; was it Charles Coutard’s or even one of his own machines?

Charles Coutard was the French Trials Champion on Bultaco from 1971–1977

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LOST TREASURE BULTACO On first impressions this Bultaco just looks a like a wreck. Not through the eyes of Yrjo Vesterinen though!

All the parts were laid out on the floor and the machines that could be were put on workshop stands. It was a case of seeing what went where and trying to gain a mental picture of each machine before arriving at something that resembled a Bultaco.

After some research, he soon identified 100 per cent (in fact through the rear suspension mounting points on the frame and swinging arm) that one of the machines was the one of Manuel Soler. Vesty was elated with the new find. Now it got more serious as he wanted to physically see the machines himself. He knew that the signature from Bultaco would be found in the form of the rather suspect welding quality!

Stateside With the long distance proving a problem, Vesty and his wife Diane decided to make the long journey so that he could physically identify the machines. They flew to Atlanta where on arrival Vesty hired a Jeep with a large boot so that he could get some machines in if he needed to. They then drove the 400 miles to a motel near Jim’s house where for the first time he would shake hands with Jim Carey. They both got on well and immediately began sharing their passion for Bultaco motorcycles. Phil Simpson then arrived, having travelled a fair distance from his home, and the detective work could begin. All the parts were laid out on the floor, and the machines that could be were put onto workshop stands. It was a case of seeing what went where trying to gain a mental picture of each machine.

Watching the detective The first machine to be identified was the Charles Coutard one as the cylinder head, which had been drilled for lightness, was identified by Vesty as the same one as he had been using at that time. With the first bike identified, they moved on to the later model one with dual rear suspension mounting positions. The next part of the jigsaw came to light with the frame number: no 1, as this was on the receipt for $600 for the 1977 Manuel Soler machine. It was obvious to someone with the knowledge that Vesty had collected over the years; all the hallmarks of a factory supplied Bultaco were there. Watching the detective were both Jim and Phil, who were left in awe at Vesty’s superior knowledge of the Bultaco motorcycles. The welding on the Soler machine, where the rear shock mountings had been repositioned, were a real give away as were the other frame modifications, swinging arm changes and the air filter box, which took the air in from the front and not the top as you would have found on a production Sherpa ‘T’ model. Ever inquisitive, Vesty wanted to dig even deeper, and he removed the cylinder head and barrel

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The welding on the Soler machine where the rear shock mountings had been re-positioned were a real give away, as were the other frame modifications.

to reveal a modified inlet port, another ‘Works’ modification he knew about. He also wanted to split the engine crankcases to see if it had the new prototype gearbox ‘cluster’ fitted but time was running out for their visit. Vesty and Jim talked, and it was agreed that he would take the Coutard machine as he knew this would be the most challenging to restore.

Homeward bound After a nice meal with Jim and his wife, Terry, the Coutard machine was lifted into the Jeep, and they all said their goodbyes. The next stop was Charleston, South Carolina, where a shipping agent for the homeward bound journey of the Bultaco was found, at the cost of around £500 to London. Once home, Vesty confirmed all he had seen and the investigation into the lost treasure started to open out on the Coutard machine. All the This picture on the 1978 Bultaco calendar confirmed the Bultaco was that of Manuel Soler as you can see the rear shock mounting modifications.

Swinging arm changes on the Soler Bultaco included the repositioned bottomrear shock absorber mounting positions.

contracted Bultaco riders had been required to write reports after each competition and return them to the Spanish manufacturer. If you did not do this you did not get paid, simple! Manuel Soler confirmed on the phone regarding his machine that it was all correct, and confirmed that it had been his for the American and Canadian world rounds in 1977. Impressed with his enthusiasm for the whole detective work, Jim Carey called Vesty to say that he would like to offer him the Manuel Soler Bultaco. A mutually agreed deal was struck, and Jim organised for this machine to follow the same route from the USA to Great Britain, and it duly turned up despite some worry over the three months it took! An excited Vesty immediately went into the workshop to pull the engine apart. All his expert knowledge was confirmed, as the works prototype gearbox, as used in the Scottish Six Days, was inside and the cases had been hand-machined to accommodate the larger gears in the gearbox. Over the next few months, both machines would be lovingly restored by Vesty to the exceptionally high standard he is well known for. The lost treasure was back in the land of the living. Yrjo Vesterinen would like to thank both Jim Carey and Phil Simpson for making this story happen. Classic Trial Magazine would also like to acknowledge the help from everyone involved in this ‘Lost Treasure’ story. John Hulme: “The passion shown from ‘Vesty’ to bring these Bultacos back to life is a credit to his commitment to these ‘lost’ machines, and long may it continue. If you ever find he is exhibiting any of his Bultaco collection at a show, please go and have a look at these superb, better-than-new machines from a golden era in trials.”

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LOST TREASURE BULTACO

Polished aluminium still has the ‘goose pimple’ effect on many people.

Standing proud: the renovated 1977 Manuel Soler machine.

The machines restored by ‘Vesty’ almost have that factory brochure picture feeling.

Every nut, bolt, washer, spoke nipple, spoke, gasket, etc makes for the concours finish of the Bultaco trials machines that ‘Vesty’ is so proud off, and quite rightly so.

The ‘Custodian’ of Bultaco trials models – Yrjo Vesterinen.

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DEVELOPMENT MAN OSSA

Mick Andrews Replica As many readers will know, I have been friends with Mick Andrews and his family for many years. I vaguely remember his early years with Ossa, and the last time I called to see Mick, and his wife Gill, he presented me with some of his old correspondence he had received from both Bultaco and Ossa in Spain. From a small village in Derbyshire, Mick would marry his childhood sweetheart, Gillian Bunting, and move to Spain to develop the Ossa off-road range which would eventually evolve to the Mick Andrews Replica Ossa. We have copied the text from the first of these letters offering Mick an opportunity to ride for Bultaco – yes, would you believe it? Copied from the original letters, they make very interesting reading and, through the cooperation with Mick and Classic Trial Magazine, we can bring this exclusive look at his younger days as the ‘development man’. To begin, we’ll give you a small account of the star of the Ossa brand as a serious off-road producer of motorcycles. Words: Ossa, Mick Andrews, John Hulme and Don Morley Pictures: Brian Holder, The Nick Nicholls Collection at Mortons Archive, Christian Rayer, Ossa and Brian Catt. We are in some cases not 100% sure of the copyright on certain images. If you are the intellectual owner of any, please contact us.

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DEVELOPMENT MAN OSSA

This young ‘Lad’ from Derbyshire in 1966.

I

n the early 1920s, Spaniard, Manuel Giro, would start a small company that would produce cinema projection equipment. The company would be called Orpheo Sincronic Sociedad Anonima – OSSA was born. During the late sixties and early seventies, they would become a major player in the off-road motorcycle world, with such famous names as trials legend Mick Andrews giving them the competition success they deserved in the trials world. In the early ‘50s, the name Ossa became a significant player in the manufacture of motorcycles when his young son Eduardo took an interest in two wheels when he designed and built a small working two-stroke engine during his summer vacation from school. French rider Christain Rayer in 1966 testing the very first Ossa trials machine. He would move to Montesa and help Pedro Pi with the early Cota 247.

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At the 1966 SSDT, filling the Bultaco with fuel.

With his young son showing interest in this area, his father took a bold step and, instead of expecting his son to follow in his footsteps at the cinema projector factory, he gave him space in the factory for motorcycle development and production. The result of this was that the son produced a tidy little 125cc machine. With success on the road racing front with these machines, Ossa sold in the region of 80,000 after its introduction in 1951. In the early sixties, motocross and general offroad riding was beginning to take off — especially in the United States where Ossa realised the potential for a complete off-road motorcycle range. In 1966, Giro visited various off-road meetings in Europe and decided to follow rival manufacturers Bultaco and Montesa in signing a talented young rider who could

help the company with development in off-road machines. Ossa signed the young Mick Andrews from England in January 1967, originally to ride in motocross but at the same time help them to develop a trials machine as well. Andrews would debut his new prototype trials machine in the February at a Midlands-based centre event.

Spain calls This is where we take the story up for this article beginning with the Bultaco letter of intent for a factory contract after Mick had contacted them. Mick was already riding a Bultaco for the then importers the Rickman Brothers. After some careful consideration he then, with the support of his father Tom, made the difficult decision to start from

Eric Housley was the official Ossa UK importer, here in the bottom lefthand corner, and the man who introduced Mick to Ossa. After a few phone calls and eventually a trip to Ossa in Spain a contract was discussed in early January. Having signed the contract everyone looks very happy.

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DEVELOPMENT MAN OSSA

Both 23 years old at the time, Mick and Gill married on the 21st March 1968. After the reception it was then time for a honeymoon as they set off for Spain in their van complete with two Ossa machines.

scratch instead with Ossa to produce a range of offroad motorcycles. Mick soon realised that there was much work to be done but admired the enthusiasm from the Spanish Ossa workers. The pace of life was moved up a gear, and soon Mick was passing on his ideas for the development of the machines. Both 23-years-old at the time, Mick and Gill married on the 21st March 1968. After the reception, it was then time for the honeymoon, as they set off for Spain in their van complete with two Ossa machines and the move to Spain which would become their base, as the work to improve the machines continued. Eric Housley was the official UK importer and the man who introduced Mick to Ossa. He had supported Mick on scrambles machinery. He was the one who made a few phone calls and eventually went to Ossa in Spain to discuss a contract in early January. It would be the first time that they would see their early attempts at producing a trials machine. You must also understand the slow pace of communication and transport compared to the present day.

Ossa signed the young Mick Andrews from England in January 1967 originally to ride in motocross but at the same time help them to develop a trials machine as well.

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Astride the very first Ossa trials prototype model in 1967. We think ‘room for improvement’ springs to mind! Eric Housley looks on.

World traveller After Mick and Gill moved to Spain in 1968, and with very little knowledge of the native language, for seven months lived in an apartment. With the move by Ossa to the new factory there was not much spare money, but soon they would both be travelling a little further than Spain. Now working all the time in the factory in Barcelona, Ossa decided to send him to America on a promotional tour. He could demonstrate through a series of training schools the potential of the new Ossa off-road motorcycles in both trials and scrambling, or motocross as it was now titled. He also competed in some Trans-AMA international competitions and came into contact with the American Ossa importer John Taylor. John Taylor, along with Dick Mann, was working on a new venture the Ossa 500cc Yankee. Mick helped them with some of his ideas passed on to the venture. Over the next few years, he would become very popular around the globe as he promoted the world of motorcycle trials far and wide. Now it’s time to go

The first outing in the UK at the Colmore Cup on the new Ossa in 1967.

back to the start of the adventure and his years as the development man at Ossa starting in 1967.

Bultaco letter (16th December 1966) We acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 4th December 1966 and before dealing with its contents allow us to congratulate you on the successes you have been obtaining with our Sherpa T in England. We were aware of this through the British motorcycling press. We were also aware of your relations with our competitors the Ossa motorcycle manufacturer and to tell you the truth we never thought we would have the opportunity of having you ride for us in an official capacity and consequently your letter has been a bit of a surprise. A very pleasant one though! Naturally, we can offer you much better conditions than what you have been obtaining in the past from the Rickman Brothers. On general lines, there would be certain basic points to cover any possible agreement, like the supply of a complete machine plus a spare engine free of charge, an

Although a bit ambitious at the time, Ossa then entered a three-man team for the 1967 Scottish Dix Days Trial in the May. Riding basically converted trail machines they all retired with mechanical problems and the ‘Plonker’ model got off to a very poor start.

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DEVELOPMENT MAN OSSA

Just look how big the Ossa still appears as Mick takes it to third position at the 1968 SSDT.

At the 1968 ISDT as part of the Ossa off-road model development.

assortment of spare parts to keep you going for a full season also supplied on the same basis and your commitment to use our motorcycles in trials riding for a period of 2 years. Regarding financial assistance, we would suggest a retaining fee to be determined, and a bonus covering the trade supported trials in the UK also to be determined. If you think keeping the above points in mind, there is a possibility of coming to some sort of an agreement I would then pursue the matter further with our directors.

for the gear change system of the trials model so as to adapt it to the other side of the machine as you describe. Please describe in detail the modification to the steering yokes which you mentioned on the telephone but which we were unfortunately unable to understand. Just let us know if you want us to supply you with a complete gearbox with gears fitted for the motocross model in case the breakdown has caused some damage to these parts.

Ossa letter (31st January 1967)

We would thank you very much for all your suggestions concerning the scrambler and trials motorcycles and for the clarity of your drawings. The new pinions of the trials model are now 18/23 as opposed to 19/22 as before. They are already under manufacture but, as these are special parts, their manufacture takes more time. We hope we can send them to you before the end of this month. Some days ago we already sent you some spare footrests. They are no stronger than the previous

We acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 31st January. We are sincerely sorry about the bad luck you have had with our motocross machine on your first outing. Please let us know in detail all the drawbacks you noticed. If possible, you should send us a sketch of the parts that broke. As for the steering axle spindle, we have already made the necessary arrangements for no further problems to arise. We are also looking for a solution

Ossa letter (14th February 1967)

The MC Sport magazine from Europe used this action picture of Mick Andrews for its front cover from the 1968 SSDT.

1968: John Taylor along with Dick Mann was working on a new venture the Ossa 500cc Yankee. Mick helped them with some of his ideas passed on to the venture.

1968: Mick’s father, Tom, supported him all the way when he made the move to Spain to develop the Ossa range.

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DEVELOPMENT MAN OSSA

1969: Ossa engines are assembled ready for fitting into frames for a production run.

ones, but the final version is not yet available. In the meantime, you may reinforce the current ones as best you can. The location point on the frame for the footrests will also be reinforced on future models. We are currently testing standard pistons to see if they are actually suitable for the kind of engine you have. If they prove not to be suitable with the use of proper carburation settings we shall send you competition ones. The carburation as described by you is perfectly correct. Of course, you may use an AMAL 32 Ø but we think the IRZ one provides better adjusting possibilities in two-stroke engines. Sometimes it may prove suitable to use the big jet in the first and the small one in the second stage for the scrambler making the mixture in the first part richer, and it may give better results. Montesa are using this arrangement in this carburettor. We have ordered additional jets to forward to you. The Telesco brand is preparing a somewhat harder rear suspension damper. This will be forwarded to you shortly. We are also sending you two spare saddles for the scrambler. We notice in your drawings that what you are asking for is what we pointed out in our previous letter concerning

Looking very confident at the 1969 SSDT, Mick’s reward was the runner-up position.

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1969: Cylinder barrels are machined in the workshop prior to engine assembly.

Ossa letter (6th March 1967)

In 1969 Mick would take in some UK trials such as the Wye Valley in April in preparation for the SSDT in May.

the steering of the trials model. Please let us know the results so that we may proceed accordingly. We would request you kindly to keep all the damaged material or the parts you do not use to bring them here to Spain on your next trip so that we may study and possibly repair these parts here. Concerning the costs of your entry fee in the International Scottish Six Days Trial, please tell Mr Houseley to let you have the amount of £21.00 from our account. This sum will be refunded by us on the first possible opportunity.

We are in receipt of your letter dated 21st February with full information about the latest races. We note that unfortunately, our machines are not yet up to competitive standards so that you cannot achieve victories at the present time. We hope we can improve our motorcycles little by little so that you will finally have a machine as good as any other. We already experienced the problem of the rear carburettor seal with the scrambler, but we did not expect this to become a problem in the trial models. Now we shall use the new solutions adopted for the scrambler also in the trials machine. For the time being, all we can do is to ask you to check and replace the seal carefully until we can supply you with the new reinforced type. We shall send you the spare parts. We trust you will have received the spare parts we have sent you some time ago. We suppose you will also have received the pistons and the spare rings. Concerning the pistons, we have not yet reached any final decision on whether the ones you had were adequate or not. Maybe our development time with the scrambler is still too short. We are

By mid-1969 the Ossa was looking more like a competitive trials model. The name had changed to the Pennine.

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DEVELOPMENT MAN OSSA

Mick made a rare UK appearance at a cold and misty Northern Experts Trial in late 1969.

continuing our experiments, and we think that by the time of the Barcelona Grand Prix this will be settled once and for all. The problem of the rubber seal may be solved easily with adhesive tape. We also experienced this problem in competition with the 32mm Ø carburettors. We are sending you new rubbers in case the ones you have are broken. When tightening the screws, please bear in mind that the rubber must be compressed by only about 1mm for if you tighten too much the rubber may be pressed out all around. We have improved the steering axle spindle for all 230cc engine types, and we hope it is now strong enough. We shall send you two parts of the series number one as soon as we have them available but if they are urgently required, please let us know, and we shall accelerate the shipment. In compliance with your request, we shall build one set of steering yokes according to your drawing and with a distance of 2 inches – approx 50mm – between centres. Actually, we think this is too little in relation to the steering angle as in our opinion

the limit would be 65mm. In any case, it will be interesting to test these items to gain experience. In our latest parcel, we have sent you some clutch plates. These can only be used in the trials model as for in the scrambler they would slip and lose friction with the present springs. At a later stage, we shall send you new special springs that are stronger. We shall subsequently let you know the dates of your visit to Barcelona, but we can already advise that this will be a few days before the Grand Prix on the 2nd April. We shall then discuss the last details concerning your motorcycles and their development.

Ossa letter (19th April 1967) We have pleasure in informing you that we have just relocated and moved to the new factory we have built. The whole workshops and offices are in one place called Badal, and we enclose herewith a card with every detail concerning the location of this new factory. Will you please send us on and after the date of the present letter all correspondence as

Spanish crowds loved Mick Andrews, as you can see here in April 1971 on the front cover of Motociclismo magazine.

All the hard work in developing the Ossa was rewarded with the win at the 1970 Scottish Six Days Trial.

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Still based in Spain, this picture sees Mick testing the Ossa at the factory near Barcelona in 1970.

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DEVELOPMENT MAN OSSA

Looking very confident, Mick during his winning ride at the 1971 ‘Scottish’.

well as whatever parcels you could do to the following address: Maquinaria Cinematografica S.A., Poligno, Industrial de la Zona Franca, Sector B – Calle B, Barcelona – 4, Spain

Ossa letter (15th December 1967) We refer to your two letters of 14th November and 2nd December and are very thankful for the test about our trial machine that you have succeeded in publishing in Motorcycle News. We are very glad to hear that you have made all the tests with the new frame we sent to you for this purpose, and we wish to emphasise our thankfulness for your reports regarding the behaviour of the materials used in the manufacture. These reports will be very useful and

The Ossa brochure proudly shows Mick Andrews winning the 1971 SSDT.

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This picture adorned the 1971 Christmas card from Ossa of Mick on the beach.

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DEVELOPMENT MAN OSSA During 1970 & 1971 Mick would spend much of his time in the USA, where he is seen here giving trials coaching and demonstrations.

taken into consideration in connection with our next models. At present we are testing in the factory the same frames with different steering head angles. Regarding the changes you mention in the front fork legs, we believe that it will be more convenient to have this question discussed between you and Sr. Eduardo Giro in the factory. At the same time, it would be possible for you to test all the modifications we have included for the 1968 season regarding both trials and motocross. In our opinion, the most suitable dates for visiting us would be in the middle of next month. In order to decide the exact dates however we will take into account the trial events to be held here on those dates so that you are able to take part as you have done on former occasions. During your stay here we intend to reconsider your position with respect to your contract as owing to the insignificant turnover in our export business we will, unfortunately, be unable to maintain the present financial conditions. We will study this question thoroughly during your stay with us, and we feel sure that it will be possible to find the right solution for both parties. We look forward to hearing from you.

Now looking very much like a winner is the prototype Mick Andrews Replica Ossa.

Competition time In this second part of this article, we conclude with the outcome of all the development work which gave us the Ossa Mick Andrews Replica. Although a bit ambitious at the time, Ossa then entered a three-man team for the 1967 Scottish Six Days Trial in the May. When they realised the new machine would not be ready for the event, the three team members rode what were basically converted trail machines. All the machines retired with mechanical problems and the new machine – named the ‘Plonker’ – got off to an abysmal start. The first season was not all bad though with Mick taking wins in his native Derbyshire-based national Bemrose Trial and sixth place in the British Trials Championship. For 1968, the machine name was changed from the ‘Plonker’ to the ‘Pennine’, a reference to The Pennines where Andrews had lived. This new machine featured a much detuned 230cc engine based on the Barcelona 24-hour Montjuic winning road-racing machine. It was, in many people’s opinion, the ugliest trials machine ever built. It was still very loosely based on their trail machine and even featured a high-rise front mudguard, giving

it a very bulky scrambles model appearance. At this point, Andrews was also pursuing a motocross career and so very little was seen of the machines. 1968 was not a complete waste of time on the trials front though as Andrews put Ossa in the public eye with a fine second place in the SSDT, showing that the machine did have potential. Later in the year, a few minor modifications had begun to appear on the works machine. Much of the ugly fibreglass was removed, giving the machine a slimmer and smaller physical appearance. A new cylinder head and barrel were also fitted to make the power-band more in keeping with a trials machine. 1969 saw Andrews once again finish runner-up at the SSDT.

The Mick Andrews Replica For 1970, Ossa told Andrews to concentrate on trials as they needed to win the ‘Scottish’. Never one to duck a challenge, he won the Spanish European Championship Trial and took a fantastic first win in the Scottish Six Days. His Scottish-winning machine featured many modifications. The frame was shortened by two inches, the steering head angle was much steeper, and the exhaust pipe now went

Looking very ‘American’ in 1971 in this publicity picture taken in the States.

Testing the Ossa MAR before production in Spain 1971.

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DEVELOPMENT MAN OSSA

Monarch of the Glen, Magical Mick, call him what you like but he was in his element competing in the Scottish Six Days Trial. This win equalled the great Hugh Viney who won from 1947–1949 as the second consecutive triple winner from 1970–1972. 1971: The UK importership had now moved to Peter Fletcher. This picture shows one of the first production Mick Andrews Replicas in the country late in the year.

over the engine with the main silencer under the seat. The engine capacity had risen from 230cc to 240cc and the carburettor size from 24mm Ø to 26mm Ø. It gave the machine plenty of top-end power, which was something it had lacked before. The machine retained its four-speed gearbox for the moment but would soon be a five-speed unit. Unknown to the general public this machine was to be launched in 1971 as the new Mick Andrews Replica MK1. In November, Andrews wheeled out the pre-production machine, which featured even more modifications. The new five-speed gearbox was now fitted, and the frame had the bottom tubes removed, in turn, allowed for better ground clearance and lower seat height. The engine protection was now a sump shield manufactured from a very strong, lightweight, plastictype material. With new lightweight alloy hubs and wheel rims fitted the machine weighed a very competitive 91kg. Ossa had also managed to orchestrate a deal where the machines would be equipped with alloy handlebars from Renthal in Great Britain. The new machines arrived in the January and were an instant hit with the public. Mick Andrews went on to take another win in the SSDT on his prototype making it two in a row, and the machine proved a massive success on the sales front. Based on the sales of this machine work was started on the MK2.

The MK2 At the close of 1971, Mick Andrews and Ossa were celebrating even more success as he had added the European Championship to his name. In October 1971, the proud owner of Ossa, Spaniard Eduardo Giro, released their latest version of the Mick Andrews

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replica, the MK2, for sale to the general public. It was a massive achievement as the Ossa factory had been flooded when very heavy rain around the area of Barcelona had caused the Río Llobregat river to burst its banks causing over £400,000 of damage. Despite this, the new machines were soon rolling off the production line at the rate of 200–300 units per month and proving a huge success on the sales front once again. The development work that Andrews had carried out on the machine was very quickly evident, and what was even more amazing was that the factory had listened and taken note! 1972 saw Mick Andrews winning virtually everything he entered on the machine including a third consecutive Scottish Six Days Trial victory and a second European championship. As good as the machine was, Andrews had many ideas for a new machine; he wanted to start work as he knew the opposition from both Spain and Japan had been watching him very closely. However, the factory would not listen and decided to rest on its laurels. They were more than happy as they were selling so many machines. Never one to hold back with new ideas, there were already rumours linking a move for Andrews to the Japanese manufacturer Yamaha. They were desperate to sign a top trials rider to develop a new range of machines, and he duly signed to ride for them in 1973, and his work at Ossa was over.

The very first appearance of the new Mick Andrews Replica Ossa in the UK was in April 1971 at the Inter Centre Team Trial at Ludlow in Shropshire.

To round off his success at Ossa Mick won the European Championship in both 1971 and 1972 with the MAR model.

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MEETING DENNIS JONES 2018

Jonah TO MY FRIENDS

The name Dennis Jones may not be significant to the modern-day trials rider, but then if you grew up in the 1960s that was an entirely different matter. A national trials winner of the Manx Two Day and Greensmith trials, Dennis Jones was not born into a motorcycling family, but he was a self-motivated individual who was both confident and knew his abilities as a competitor. ‘Jonah’, as he was to become universally known in the trials world, was born in 1945 in Smethwick, Staffordshire as it was then. There is the three shires Oak Road one-half mile away from where Staffordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire all met, but in more modern times it all was absorbed into the massive Birmingham conurbation. 1966

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Words: John Moffat with Dennis Jones Photos: Malcolm Carling, Brian Holder and Alan Vines

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MEETING DENNIS JONES

1967: It’s full concentration at the Colmore Cup Trial on the 250cc Sprite.

T

he Smethwick connection spawned a friendship with Sprite creator Frank Hipkin, who was a keen scrambler and multiple 250cc AMCA champion in the Midlands and formed the dealership of Hipkin and Evans in Cross Street, Smethwick, before venturing into production of the Sprite brand motocross machines. The Sprite would be offered in kit form to avoid the dreaded ‘Purchase Tax’ which was the forerunner of the later ‘Value Added Tax’ in the UK. There were no immediate plans to build trials machines, but that would change in late 1964.

The Sprite is born JONES: “I started riding on a 250cc 1964: The Manx Two Day Trial on the 246cc Cotton that would eventually DMW, then a Greeves in some AMCA spawn the first Sprite trials machine. trials events which were strong in the Midlands. Then, I thought, I would move to ride in the ACU Midlands centre, and I bought a Cotton from Frank Hipkin, and from that machine, I made the Sprite. The Cotton’s 246cc 37A Villiers motor was used as the power-plant. Frank fabricated the frame, and the forks and front wheel came from Roy Bevis. In fact, it was the very first Sprite 1964: The Manx Two Day Trial, an event that Jones would win two trials bike. It was registered as a Cotton with registration number 830RHA, and years later on a n ew machine that housed the motor seen here. I rode it in the 1965 Scottish Six Days where I finished in 16th position. I would have been higher up, but I lost some time penalties — exactly how, I don’t know to this day. Perhaps it was because I spent too much time chatting up a girl at one Jones: “I prepared my machine for the 1965 Scottish in the yard by the light of of the sections to ask her on a date that night!” the outside loo. The Birmingham Motor Cycle Club paid the entry fee for me as I Riding number 190, Jonah took home a Special First Class award from the was skint. Mind you, I did go equipped with a pair of pumps and a t-shirt for the 1965 SSDT finishing up on 75 marks, whereas the winner, Sammy Miller (244cc nights out in Fort William! Bultaco) lost just 29 to win the event. Dennis Jones’ machine was entered as a “At the 1965 Scottish, on my now pretty knackered Sprite, Sammy Miller ‘254cc Cotton’ because it was registered as such, but it was, in effect, the first recommended that I speak with Ralph Venables, the motorcyclist journalist Sprite to enter the Scottish. who had interviewed me. He was an unofficial scout for the factory competition Rob Edwards, riding in the official works AJS team, took the 350cc cup on 63 shops, and he arranged with Henry Vale of Triumphs for me to try Scott Ellis’s marks lost, with Gordon Blakeway (AJS) second on 74 and Jonah in third place Tiger Cub. It was registered VWD6, but I still can’t remember the number of my in that capacity class. Spanish-registered car!

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MEETING DENNIS JONES

1965: Trying to hold the line on the steep rocky ‘Laggan Locks’ on the very first Sprite trials model to enter in the Scottish Six Days Trial.

1966: In the Midland centre ‘Jonah’ was showing excellent form. This picture is from the season-opening Vic Brittain Trial. 1966: The Scottish Six Days Trial with ‘Jonah’ on the Sprite high up on Grey Mare’s Ridge. A larger capacity fuel tank was fitted for the event.

1967: Fighting for wheel grip in the John Douglas Trial.

1966: The Scottish Six Days Trial on ‘Caillich’ and the Sprite has sprouted Bultaco/ Betor front forks with a Motoloy front hub.

“When I had the Cub, I won local Midland trials, then at the Red Rose. The chain kept coming off, so I only kept it six months, and I gave it back. I reverted to my normal life with a Sprite. I used to carry a set of mole grips and a small chopper; I wanted a hammer but couldn’t afford one! I remember having a try on John Giles’ works 650cc Triumph and was told to slow down because I was taking away Ken Heane’s bonus points. I remember once Roy Peplow and John Harris chucking my bed out of a hotel window. I rode a Greeves at the 1968 ISDT at San Pellegrino in Italy, which was another failure. Everyone booked their drinks to my hotel room number, so I promptly did a midnight runner with Peter Gaunt!”

The Scott Trial Jones: “For the 1968 Scott, I stayed overnight with Mick Wilkinson at Kettlewell and told him I was going to run up and inspect the sections. During the event I was about halfway round when Mick caught me, he said: ‘Jonah how many you lost?’ I said ‘still clean’ and promptly fell off and then I just went to pieces after that.” Jones still came home a creditable sixth place nonetheless.

Your Favourite machine? He lists his all-time favourite trials bikes as “… my 1965 Sprite or the 1967 third-placed factory supplied Greeves or even my Gaunt Suzuki 128 on which I rode the 1969 SSDT.”

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There is no doubt that Dennis Jones was suited to the rocks of the Scottish Six Days, given his third place in the 1967 event, and it put him in the top bracket of UK trials riders of that era. Having stayed off the beer all week, Jonah pulled back the marks to secure that third place by the Thursday and was ahead of the other factory Greeves riders, holding the position to the very end of the trial. The eventual winner was Sammy Miller (252cc Bultaco) on 18 marks lost, runner up Dave Rowland (175cc BSA) on 34 marks with Dennis (246cc Greeves) on 40 marks in third spot on the podium. He also took home the coveted 250cc capacity class award. However, later that same year, Jones was asked to return the Greeves to Thundersley after an altercation at the Manx Two Day, and he went back to riding for Sprite once again.

Suzuki bound In the 1968 SSDT, riding number 58, Dennis retired on the Friday on the Sprite and, with Yorkshireman Ray Sayer from Leyburn suffering the same fate, Jones took Sayers’ stricken Suzuki back to the Suzuki (Great Britain) Ltd headquarters in the Midlands. It was this very sporting gesture that brought Dennis into contact with Suzuki (GB) boss Alan Kimber who rated Jones’s ability highly, and inevitably a 128cc Gaunt/Suzuki was despatched to Smethwick and Dennis began working for Suzuki in Birmingham.

1967: Watched by Weardale’s Walter Dalton – goggles on hat – Dennis Jones on one of his favourite machines which was his factory supplied Greeves tackles Grey Mare’s Ridge at the ‘Scottish’.

That same year the British Suzuki concessionaires had entered Deepdale’s Blackie Holden, Sayer and Peter Gaunt as a manufacturer’s team on the 128cc machines, with Gaunt taking home the 150cc capacity class award. The Cannock Suzuki Centre entered Jim Taylor, John Taylor and John Statham on 125cc versions. These were modified road machines undertaken by the Taylors, all riding under the Stafford Auto Club banner but strangely not entered as a club team.

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MEETING DENNIS JONES 1967: Check out the concentration in those eyes at the SSDT as Jonah reaches the top of Mamore Path on the factory Greeves. He was so hungover on the Sunday that Bill Price had to fit a new back tyre as Jonah was not feeling well. On the Wednesday he just couldn’t be bothered to change a tyre but still came in third.

1967: Holding third position on the final day of the ‘Scottish’ he is in full attack mode on the Greeves as he tries to conquer the newly introduced ‘Pipeline’ section.

Euro-man cometh

1967: But it’s a ‘Five’ further up on ‘Pipeline’ and goes with it any chance of closing the gap on Dave Rowland on the BSA Bantam for second position at the finish. Jones was paid a £150 bonus for his third place by the Greeves factory.

1968: Always one to enjoy the ‘banter’ Dennis (centre) is seen here with Ron Carnell of Duckhams Oils (right) at the start of the British Experts Trial.

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1968: With no clutch lever pulled in, both brakes are eased on gently at the Greensmith Trial on the Gaunt Suzuki.

The 1969 season saw Jonah undertake the European Championship, the forerunner to the current World Series. His six-foot-two frame, dwarfing the little Gaunt/Suzuki, he claimed the win at the Alpen Trial at Oberberg in Switzerland, beating the 1967 Euro-champion Don Smith by 11 marks. Suzuki (GB) capitalised on this victory by featuring Dennis in all their adverts in the motorcycle press. Montesa-mounted Smith was declared the 1969 European Champion on 51 points, with Jonah finishing runner-up on 48 points and Sammy Miller (Bultaco) on 27 points. For the 1969 SSDT Jones would ride the 128cc Suzuki, but the rot was beginning to set in when Suzuki GB was bought out by Trojan/Lambretta and the business would move south to Croyden in South London. Hardriding Jones failed to finish the trial

1968: Due to his tall frame Dennis adapted the crouched, bent riding style to execute the best of his riding such as here on full ‘rattle’ on the little Gaunt Suzuki. Note the Shell supported cap at the British Experts Trial.

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MEETING DENNIS JONES

1969: This was the year that ‘Jonah’ made his mark in the European Trials Championship where he finished runner up. He is pictured here at home in Great Britain in the Victory Trial.

1969: Watched by Dick Walker, always very good in muddy going ‘Jonah’ used to love telling everyone he had “podged them!” His favourite expression when he had won.

1969: Dennis Jones looking very happy with life, proudly displaying the 1968 ISDT Union Jack team badge on his Barbour jacket.

1969: In full control at the Cotswold Cup Trial. The 128cc Gaunt Suzuki was badged by the press as the ‘Clockwork Mouse’. For Jones it was a case of ‘David V Goliath’ against the larger capacity machines; he most certainly made his mark!

1968: Another British Experts picture on the superb ‘Micro’ trials Gaunt Suzuki.

having been excluded for replacing a rear damper, one of the marked components which were not permitted to be changed during the event. Jonah was out of work and without a machine when Suzuki GB moved their location. Jones: “I enjoyed the little Suzuki, they were nicknamed the ‘clockwork mice’ by the press. Laugh?, when I last rode the Scottish on the little Suzuki I got back to the Birmingham Suzuki stores, the franchise owners British East West Africa Company had just sold Suzuki (GB) to Peter Agg who owned Trojan cars and Lambretta scooters. He said ‘You can sling your hook. I want a proper rider, Martin Lampkin’. “In truth, nobody bettered my record on the Suzuki ‘mouse’ machine. Mind you, I got my own back: I told them all the trials tyres and stuff belonged to me.”

Jonah, the Model Jones: “It was nice working there at Suzuki with around ten ‘twenty-something’ girls who worked in the office! They were doing some promotional rally jackets, and the male model didn’t turn up, so Alan Kimber said ‘you will have to do’. So they took a heap of photos of me in Suzuki clothing. All the

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office girls used to wind me up mercilessly. They said that Alan’s fifty-something secretary kept pictures of me in her desk drawer.” After the split with Suzuki, the press reported a possible contract for Jonah with the Andover-based AJS concern, but the factory was not keen on taking on a full-time contracted trials rider; instead they concentrated their efforts on the works motocross team headed up by Welshman Andy Roberton, supported by Scotsman Jimmy Aird and Sweden’s Bengt-Arne Bonn.

Jones returned to riding Frank Hipkin’s Sprite in Midlands events including the 405cc Husqvarna based model, which was regarded as a bit over-thetop for a two-stroke trials machine at the time and wasn’t a popular choice with the trials buying public. Jones: “I stopped riding around 1972, to build up my transport business. I initially started delivering to schools all over Scotland for a school furniture manufacturing company in Oldbury near Birmingham. I am now an expatriate living in sunny Spain.”

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MEETING DENNIS JONES 1971: That’s some aluminium cylinder head and barrel on the 125cc Sprite, as he climbs the hazards at Danebower in the end-of-season Northern Experts.

1971: Once again at the Northern Expert’s his tall frame is obvious here as he focusses on keeping his feet up at Worsley’s Wash. In truth the years of the success of the ‘Micro’ machines were coming to a close in the face of the invasion from Spain of Bultaco, Montesa and Ossa.

1971: By the start of the 70s he was back with his old pal Frank Hipkin on the Sprite. This is the 125cc Sachs engine model at the Kickham Trial.

Odd-ball? Jones: “I left the UK in 2005 and ran my business transporting from the UK to Spain and Morocco, selling some of my 20 trucks in Birmingham in 2003. I only ever had ERF trucks and all did about 700,000 miles, and every one was knackered when I sold it! I must be the only trials rider you’ll ever know who has no trophies whatsoever; just a few mouldy photos and some press cuttings pasted into a photo album! Mick Wilk (Wilkinson) will confirm I was an odd-ball. He used to call me the ‘Human Drain’ for my beer consumption on the night before big events and usually all through the Scottish week.” Jones wasn’t really so much an ‘odd-ball’, but he was an accomplished ‘leg-puller’ and was always up for a bit of fun. He was a rider who enjoyed his trials riding; he was a bottom-gear man for most sections and was used to underpowered machines, which he got the very best out of. Jones: “I started up with Olga Kevelos, the well-known Midlands trials rider, the ‘MAD’ fund which meant the

Motorcyclist Agricultural Distress fund for farmers whose land we used in the Midlands Centre for trials when there was the Foot and Mouth outbreak. “I was described as the ‘Enfant Terrible’ of the trials world. When I worked at the Ariel Motors competition shop in Selly Oak with Sammy (Miller), he used to send me to get milk, sugar and tea, but wouldn’t pay half for the sugar because he didn’t use it. So next time I didn’t bring any milk. Sammy said ‘where’s the milk, Jonah?’ I said: ‘if you don’t pay for sugar, we will go without milk’, that was the end of the problem! By that stage, I was drinking tea, no sugar!”

Greeves no more Dennis had a particular phrase that he used when he beat many of his peers, who happened to be the best riders in the land. Jones: “I used to say that I ‘podged them!’ I think that phrase came about at the 1966 Manx Two Day Trial when the whole trial couldn’t get up the Z bend hill because they all were at the begins card and couldn’t get traction, so I rode around the lot of them and overtook everybody and shot into the section. That was the year I won the event. The following year, I would have won again on the Greeves, but they docked me ten marks for doing the same as the previous year. The result was Sammy (Miller) won, I was second and the clerk of the course, Geoff Duke called me a disgrace because I told him to stick the second place up where the sun didn’t shine! Greeves took their trials machine back, and that was the end of that!”

Jonah today Still living in Spain at Puerto de Cabopino, Malaga where the BBC filmed the TV series ‘Eldorado’, Jonah has in more recent times discovered Facebook social media and has managed to hook up with a number of old friends in the sport, and is surprised that trials enthusiasts remember him as a very skilled trials competitor of his era.

1971: On the front cover of Motorcycle Mechanics magazine on the new 405cc Sprite. Just check out the size of the rear wheel sprocket!

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1972: After having tried the 405cc Sprite he moved to the private Montesa on which he is seen here at the Greensmith Trial. By the end of the year the trials career was over as he concentrated on his haulage business.

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WHO IS TOON VAN DE VLIET

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WHO IS TOON VAN DE VLIET

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ME MOTORCYCLES To say I have made a few friends in my motorcycling years would be a lie as I have actually made so many. As a teenager competing in my first Scottish Six Days Trial in 1978, I came into contact with Dutchman Toon van de Vliet. A larger-than-life character, we have always kept in touch. When I entered the world of publishing around 2004, our relationship moved up to another level, and I am eternally grateful for the support from Toon. So who is Toon van de Vliet? In conversation with the likes of the three-time FIM World Trials Champion Yrjo Vesterinen he speaks of the Dutchman with some very fond memories; yes Toon was around recording these magical moments in our sport as a working journalist at the same time that ‘Vesty’ was at the top of his game. In 2019 I asked Toon to put together in his words his life and times in the world of motorcycles, so here we go… Article: John Hulme with words from Toon van de Vliet

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oon van de Vliet. Dutchman, yes… world famous? I don’t think so, but very well known as a motorsport journalist who specialised in motorcycle trials and general off-road competition. Dutch nicknames such as the ‘Trial Professor’ and also ‘Bultoonco’ were used because of my more than 40 years of experiences in trials and my affinity to the Spanish Bultaco brand. “Who the hell is that big guy born in 1944 in Amsterdam? He acts like a player from the Ajax football team, always one to joke and make laughter and to enjoy the fun of a good life”. It is not a biography, no way – no time for memoirs, and it’s too difficult writing about me anyway. I was just asked to do it and, at the age of 74 years old, ‘You have to take it as it is, and it will never be like it was’.

Born in Amsterdam Born in Amsterdam in a part of the city that is very attracted to tourism at a bad time, just after WW2 with rebuilding taking place very quickly and, because I was just very young, I had never noticed any trouble at all. I remember my school time playing football in the streets and later, on real football fields with grass! I was never that athletic, but later on, I became a good swimmer and played water polo, which I enjoyed. Education, yes, as I knew that this would guide me better through life and so I attended AGS (Amsterdam Graphic School). I studied PhotoLithography and later I became an offset printer. You may ask why, Amsterdam and motorsport?

From Amsterdam came many road racers, speedway, motocross men, enduro riders and, of course, the trials people. We already had motorcycles in the family because, at that time, it was the only mode of transport the working people could afford. We had FNs from Belgium, BSA, and Zündapp and Sparta motorcycles. Sparta was made in Apeldoorn, Holland, with 200cc Villiers engines and used by the Dutch Post (PTT); they were very popular for trials. I started with a machine like that with a three-speed gearbox and plunger rear suspension. Later, when I made some more money as a printer, I got a Sparta with a homemade swingingarm rear suspension arrangement, which was a 225cc and featured a four-speed Burman gearbox. The travelling man Toon in his early journalistic days, seen here on the first trip to Scandinavia on a Norton, to the North Cap.

On the Greeves, taking in some much-needed practice.

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WHO IS TOON VAN DE VLIET

At the Scottish Six Days Trial I met John Hulme. Now he is the editor and publisher of Trial Magazine and Classic Trial Magazine. It was in 1978 and he was also on a SWM and Sammy Miller was the team manager. Why did I only ride in one SSDT?

Playing at being James Bond!

It was then the Greeves period. I had two of them. First a Greeves TES MK11 and then a copy of Don Smith’s 1965 TFS special made by the eleven-time Dutch Trials Champion, Henk Vink. He later became the Montesa importer, and I would buy one of the first trials Montesa models. It was made by Henk Vink himself with the help of Don Smith, who later became a works rider for Montesa and was involved with the legendary Cota model. Then, I changed to a Bultaco Sherpa model 49, which was one off the best decisions I ever made in my career.

Time to move After a quarter of a century living in Amsterdam, at 25 years old, I decided to leave the city which I still love and had given me the lessons for a lifetime and my Amsterdam accent. I decided to move to a southern part of The Netherlands, Limburg, for several reasons. As an offset printer, I wanted to learn the rotary part of printing. At Smeets Offset in Weert, between Eindhoven and Maastricht, they printed Time magazine on a very big printing machine. I could start to learn the process there, and later on, the company also became a part-sponsor to let me compete in the Scottish Six Days Trial. The company had seen me on television riding in trials in this part of Holland. Next to my job, here in Limburg, there were better possibilities for riding in trials and practising than in Amsterdam. For example, going abroad was much easier. I was already competing in international trials in Belgium, Germany and France and in the European Championship trials at St Cucufa Paris, St. Martin trial Aywaille, near Liege and Bielstein Germany. I saw my heroes riding; including Sammy Miller on the famous Ariel, Jeff Smith (BSA), and the three Lampkin brothers Arthur, Alan and, later, Martin. I met Don Smith in Aywaille on a cold Sunday in January; we were both riding Greeves. It is still great to know that I participated in motorcycle trials with those big names in the early days. Happy with myself and my Bultaco Sherpa T, and living in Limburg, for some unknown reason I moved to the Montesa. But it is not all that glitters that is gold. Having just settled in Limburg, I changed my Sherpa for an early Montesa Cota 247; god knows why. It was a stupid move because that machine didn’t suit me at all. It had big drum brakes and the right-side gear change and, just two months later, Montesa changed it all to give it smaller wheel hubs and a different engine — the rear brake pedal and the gear lever changed places from left to right. I had to sell it and I went straight back to a Bultaco.

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With Peter Vos and the sponsored Vos Oss Montesa. After a disastrous year with the Montesa, my sponsor Peter Vos became a good friend and I persuaded him to import the SWM trial machines.

My wife Rita waiting for me at the SSDT 1978.

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Sammy Miller, still one of my all-time heroes.

Sat in the Bultaco sidecar with Finland’s Yrjo Vesterinen in late 1980 after he had just signed to return to ride the Bultaco. I have made many good friends in the trials world but Vesty is a special one

Sammy Miller I got a pre-production 325 Bultaco Sherpa T and was reasonably happy with it. The engine was so good, but I was not happy with the chassis or the exhaust. I felt the overall performance of the machine down. A friend of mine had the same model, and he was not happy either so we decided to visit Sammy Miller, in England, where we bought two of his Hi-Boy frames and some other goodies that we sold in Holland and Belgium which helped to fund the trip. That was the first contact I had with Sammy and, even after all this time, we are still friends. Miller was fantastic in offering his riding tips and in encouraging us on the visit to go practising with him by the sea near his home in New Milton. He was also there in 1978 in the only ‘Scottish’ I would ever ride in. In the meantime, I had my best rides on the Bultaco special in 1976 when I finished on a Sherpa 159 in fourth place in the Dutch Championship. Finishing just

It’s Honda time with the trials school, with the four-stroke Honda TLR machines. Posing with probably the last Montesa road bike, the Crono model at a test near Barcelona.

An Amsterdam guy popular in the Rotterdam Indoor Trial in 1976 on the Bultaco Sherpa ‘T’.

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WHO IS TOON VAN DE VLIET On The Rocks I started writing about the sport with an article called ‘Mick Andrews on the Rocks’ in 1976 followed up by my trial reports in events such as the SSDT in 1978, in which I had competed. I switched magazines and went from Moto73 to Motor Visie, testing off-road machines, writing World Trials Championship reports and the 1979 ‘Scottish’. Then came the big break I needed with Motor Weekly as a freelance reporter. It provided me with more in the world of trials, enduro and sidecar motocross. These were fantastic times as I could test as many machines as I could get my hands on and also travel to so many events. In 1984, I took part in the organisation of the ISDE in Assen and, years later, became the press officer once again at Assen in 1993. In trials, I worked for a Finnish magazine MP1 Lehti and became friends with Yrjo Vesterinen. I also did also some reports for the English publication TMX but all the time stayed involved with Motor Weekly. In the mid-eighties, Drum Store Magazine asked me to work for them. Drum Store was an adventure magazine made by Douwe Egberts, the big coffee company, together with Drum tobacco, which is how they avoided the upcoming ban of making publicity off the back of the tobacco industry. I ran an off-road school for them in association with my trial schools which made it possible to make off-road trips in France, Massif Central and Corsica, Belgium with Bilstain as a base camp and in all parts of my home country. I sorted out the trips and travelled a lot all beside my ‘normal’ work for Motor Weekly.

Busy, busy, busy

Sometimes testing trials motorcycles can be very hard work!

behind three former Dutch Champions, I became ‘best of the rest’. It gave me a sponsorship contract with Vos Oss to ride a Montesa. After a disastrous year, the sponsor, Peter Vos, became a good friend and I persuaded him to become the new importer of the SWM machines from Italy. It was on the SWM that I competed in the Scottish Six Days Trial and where I first met John Hulme. Now that he is the editor and publisher of Trial Magazine and Classic Trial we speak on a regular basis. In the 1978 SSDT, he was also on an SWM and Sammy Miller was the team manager. Why did I only ride in one SSDT? It is a question I ask myself so many times! Back on a Bultaco in 1979, I started a new period in life as a fulltime motorsport journalist. After 15 years, and finishing in the top ten places in the Dutch Trials Championship, I decided to retire from trials.

The second Scandinavia trip on a Honda in 1980.

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More work came along when Drum Store got involved with The Rally Paris Dakar. I found myself with my wife and another Drum Store member in the backseat of an old Nissan Patrol travelling through Algeria to Tamanranset, trying to take pictures of the rally riders. We were sleeping under the bare sky, counting stars and eating dessert sand. The next year, alongside my normal activities, I had to prepare a complete team of three motorcyclists, a Mercedes Unimog and a Mitsubishi. I was there as a driver of the Mitsubishi car and manager of the Drum Store team. None of the three motorcyclists finished, and my navigator and I had to struggle through Burkina Faso, Mali and other African countries to get into Dakar, Senegal but we managed it! It’s an understatement to say that the Paris-Dakar was not my cup of tea. Back in Holland, I tried to go back to my usual business, but the company D-E (Drum Store) wanted more TV exposure. I’m not that glamorous, and so I ended my time with that magazine so that I could do more journalistic work for Motor magazine. In the meantime, I bought my long-awaited Harley Davidson, the big Blue Electra Glide Sport; I loved the 1340cc Evo engine machines. I still love Harley Davidsons, and I created some more work about the Harley Davidson history.

On the front cover of Motor Magazine in 1981, playing Father Christmas on the Fantic.

A first test of the Dutch EML Jumbo sidecar outfit with the big 1000cc two-stroke engine in 1982.

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Always in for a good joke, here I am in control of the Jawa with the World Motocross Sidecar Champions in 1990, with Benny Janssen/ Frans Geurts van Kessel in the sidecar.

That resulted in a trip to Daytona on an invitation from Arai Helmets Europe where I met Willy G Davidson. I also met Mitch Arai, president of the Japanese helmet factory. We had two things in common; a well-fitting crash helmet and a Harley Davidson. By then I was in charge of Motor magazine as the editor and chief test rider. I tested motorcycles, both road and off-road models, all over Europe, Asia (Malaysia) and Africa (Morocco) to name a view. I got to ride international racing circuits in Spain, France, Germany as well as the Assen TT Circuit. I also became a leading authority on airports and aircraft as I spent so much time in them. A trip to Sardinia to test the Aprilia Capo Nord and the Honda Africa Twin in Ibiza did open my eyes; I had to go back to the off-road scene.

The end of the office After three years of having that same job, mostly in an office in Amsterdam, I left Motor magazine with a little pain in my heart. I could not get along with the new publisher who was an ex-money management employee of the Lufthansa airline, without a motorcycle driver’s license, who knew everything about motorcycles better than me, and so I called it the end of the office job. In 1995, I stayed at home with no work because of a non-completion clause in my terminating contract. I polished my Harley and worked on some other trials and enduro machines and decided to start my own magazine. At a

On the front cover of the poster and programme of the 1984 ISDE in Assen.

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Testing new BMW Boxer generation in 1993 on the TT Circuit at Assen.

great motorcycle show in Utrecht, we introduced 2x2 Noppennieuws as the only off-road magazine in the Benelux, and it still is! We? Yes, me, my wife and my associate Ellen de Groot. I had the ideas, Rita my wife did a lot of the photography and more, and my associate did the commercial part of the magazine — and more! Noppennieuws means ‘Knobbly News’, like the profile on off-road tyres. And 2x2 has the same explanation as 4x4 on SUV cars, mostly only back-wheel driven. But the 2x2 sticker did a great job on motorcycles, cars, doors and even on some ferries to England, we noticed. We published over 100 issues (six each year) with great pleasure. It’s hard work but it was fantastic. I sold the magazine to a good friend Eric Bulsink the publisher of Moto Plus. He is still happy with it and my magazine. Noppennieuws looks absolutely fabulous and is now over 20 years old. And now, at three-quarters of a century old, I have to try to be in shape so I can enjoy my fantastic special motorcycles and try to be fit enough to do some trials. There is no biography to come, no! I met some good friends in my life and had the opportunity to be in a lot of very pleasant situations. But, as I said: “It is never so bad that it is not good for something”. The other way round it is: “It’s never so good if there is something bad in it”. I will keep that for myself.

Road testing the Camel in Israel 1989.

The first issue of 2x2 Noppennieuws, my own off-road magazine I started in 1996.

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PRODUCT FOCUS ROCK SHOCKS

A GREAT BRITISH COMPANY I, for one, am very proud of my heritage in goodold Great Britain. We are a proud nation, and it’s always good to see a British company like Rock Shocks carrying the traditional Union Jack emblem. Something else I have in common with its director and chief shock absorber builder, Gary Fleckney, is that we both adore the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang! Aided by his lovely wife, Caroline, who looks after the administration side of this successful company, Gary is a manufacturer of bespoke, fully rebuildable shock absorbers for motorcycles. Very much a part of the trials scene, the company can offer their shock absorber services to a host of other road and off-road based machines. Not just a successful engineer, Gary also believes in what he builds and sells and can be found most weekends putting his products to the ultimate test in off-road competition. Caroline also makes a very good cup of tea that comes highly Article: Trials Media

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PRODUCT FOCUS ROCK SHOCKS

From mono machines to Pre-65 ones, Rock Shocks have it all covered with their range of shock absorbers.

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he sporting heritage of Rock Shocks goes back as far as 1976 with a long history of off-road competition success in all branches of the sport. The first Rock Shocks made their successful debut at the Scottish Six Day Trial, with every rider using Rock Shocks finishing the event. As a result of the lessons learned at the SSDT, Rock Shocks began to dominate trials in the 1980s with much success. Almost every British National Solo and Sidecar Trials Championship including Schoolboy Youth A and B classes held from 1980–1984 was won on Rock Shocks. Behind every successful man is a very supportive, strong woman. Gary’s wife Caroline introduced a range of casual products to further endorse the Rock Shocks brand.

A new owner In February 2013, Gary Fleckney took over ownership of Rock Shocks from John Bull. Since then he has expanded the business through the development of new products in all areas of offroad. A very competent engineer himself, Gary has a hydraulic engineering background and has been an enthusiastic competitor since the1970s. His passion for the sport is clear, and he can be seen competing across the UK and Europe while testing and promoting the products he is so passionate about. When Gary took over the company, he had a good hard look at what the customer wanted, and that was a lightweight premium product at an affordable price. He also knew that to suit the pocket it had to be rebuildable and easy to service. The answer was the new alloy-bodied Rock Shocks which featured 12mm piston rods, improved internal adjustable damping characteristics, hydraulic cushioning and extended top and bottom mounts. To suit a wide variety of applications Rock Shocks are available in lengths between 220mm to 425mm or, for the imperial guys, 8.5” to 16.75” with bushes to suit most models and machines.

A regular at the Telford Classic Show, Gary welcomes the opportunity to speak to customers new, old, and those who just want to talk about motorcycles.

In addition to all this expansion with the product range and what it can offer, Rock Shocks have moved into the mono-shock or single-shock market, starting with this replacement for the Yamaha Mono-Shock model.

Rebuildable An enormous advantage for the rider and his pocket is that Rock Shocks are fully rebuildable. The development of Rock Shocks is based on their own testing of the shocks alongside the importance of listening to their customers and their requirements. This is how the progression of the move to the larger-bodied shock absorber came about when some of the harder-charging riders on larger machines in motocross such as Tribsa, Metisse, Cheney and CCMs requested consistent damping for the more modern tracks and longer races that we now find in the ever-expanding calendar.

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PRODUCT FOCUS ROCK SHOCKS Another more recent move, due to growing requests to Rock Shocks from its ever-growing customer database, is the option to offer anodising in various colours to the aluminium components and the addition of an option for chrome or black springs. Even in the classic scene the riders still want to give their machines an individual look. In addition to all this expansion with the product range and what it can offer, Rock Shocks have moved into the mono-shock or single shock market. Starting first with the aircooled machines, after an exhausting test period between 2015 and 2016, they felt that the time and the product was right — and how correct were they! The first mono-shocks using the Rock Shocks products had instant success in the air-cooled mono-shock championships, proving that they had got the product to the standard expected for the customer.

Expanding the range Customer demand usually answers questions and Gary had been looking at developing front fork springs for a while. In 2017, he launched the new range as an addition to the Rock Shocks shock absorbers for a wide variety of applications. These were an instant hit and further endorsed the quality of their range of suspension products. “Fitted at the back — then why not at the front” was Gary’s thoughts on Rock Shocks, and how right he was. Rock Shocks are now being used around the world from Australia to the USA on machines from AJS

Customer demand usually answers questions and Gary had been looking at developing front fork springs for a while. In 2017 he launched the new range as an addition to the Rock Shocks shock absorbers for a wide variety of applications.

Another more recent move due to growing requests to Rock Shocks from its ever-growing customer database is the option to offer anodising in various colours to the aluminium components.

to Yamaha, in all forms of competition with success in all areas. As time has gone on, the products have expanded into classic scrambles, enduros, road, road racing and in fact even trials cars, quads, sidecars and aeroplanes; yes, the list is endless! Off the back of all this, Gary is also quite happy to undertake commissions for specials projects.

The future Always proud to promote the winning products, Caroline has introduced a wide range of Rock Shocks merchandise offering riding jackets, polo shirts and sweatshirts, all of which can be

personalised, as well as various styles of hats, mugs and other useful rider accessories. Rock Shocks have been proud sponsors of the Northern British Bike Championships for the last two years and have also supported individual riders with products. Gary Fleckney: “We not only test the products ourselves by riding in trials and scrambles but also involve some top-quality riders in the development of new products. It is an essential part of the ongoing development of products, which is essential for the future of the brand. Rider feedback can sometimes be the start of a new project as we listen to them and take on board their thoughts and ideas. We at Rock Shocks compete ourselves across Europe in trials and scrambles. We always carry spares and welcome the opportunity to speak to customers new, old, and those who just want to talk about motorcycles. I would like to thank everyone who has been a part of this adventure and for their part in making Rock Shocks a proud part of Great Britain and the Union Jack”.

Rock Shocks’ merchandise comes with riding jackets, polo shirts, beanies, wallets and sweatshirts, all of which can be personalised, as well as various styles of hats, mugs and other useful rider accessories.

Gary prides himself on attention to detail on every product that passes through his hands.

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Proving that motorcyclists are the strangest of people, Gary Fleckney, seen here taming the notorious ‘Pipeline’ in the 2015 Pre-65 ‘Scottish’ along with Classic Trial Magazine editor John Hulme, shares a common interest in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!

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CELEBRATION TRIALS LEGENDS

A very special occasion

Friends united in trials: Estanis Soler, Yrjo Vesterinen, Josep Sufla, and Sebastia Cusido.

A very special occasion happened in Barcelona on Friday, November 16th 2018 as the city saw many of the former World Champions and National Trials Champions congregate to celebrate the sport we all love. Organised very ably by Oriol Puig Bulto, who is a former competitions manager of Bultaco and also an FIM official of many years, along with a small but very efficient team who we able to pull in favours and a few strings to get this amazing gathering underway. It involved many phone calls and emails across the globe. What a gathering they attracted: a veritable ‘who’s who’ of the top trials riders the world has ever seen. Sadly not all could attend of course, with Martin Lampkin and Ulf Karlson missing. Words: Oriol Puig Bulto, Bernie Schreiber, Yrjo Vesterinen, Trials Guru • Pictures: Bernard Schreiber, Diane Vesterinen, Joan Font Creixems, Oriol Puig Bulto and anyone else we may have missed

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From left: Estanis Soler (Bultaco), Bernie Schreiber and Pere Pi (Montesa).

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CELEBRATION TRIALS LEGENDS

It was important to remember the friends who are no longer with us: Joan Soler (Bultaco-ESP), Don Smith (Montesa-GBR), Fernando Munoz (Bultaco-ESP), Martin Lampkin (Bultaco-GBR) and Ulf Karlson (Montesa-SWE).

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t was quite fitting to the occasion that two World Champions gave passionate and informative speeches.

YRJO VESTERINEN (1976-78 FIM WORLD TRIALS CHAMPION): “Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. It is a great privilege and honour to be here today. Let me ask a question; why am I here? To answer that, we need to go back in time. In August 1971, Finland was hosting a European Championship Trial in Solvalla. Oriol Puig Bulto and his nephew, Ignacio, had travelled all the way from Barcelona to participate there. After the trial, Oriol came to speak to me. I had been noticed! What followed was a dream come true. I was later offered a contract to join the famous Team Bultaco. What also followed was that as my career as a trials rider progressed I was becoming more self-centred and started to think that the team was there to help me to achieve my own goals. I am sure that happened to many of us, whom some call legends. We forgot that we were there to do a job for the factories and that we were extremely lucky to have been spotted by the team managers in the first place. We were offered jobs that most people only dreamt of. “Some of you here today may have noticed that I was collecting signatures; signatures of World Champions, European Champions, National Champions, Winners of the Six Days and many other important events in the world of trials, placed on these picture boards that I have here with me. What unites these people is that they were, once upon a time, given a chance and an opportunity to prove themselves. For many of us, it was through two remarkable gentlemen, who are here today. They are Oriol Puig Bulto from Bultaco and Pere Pi from Montesa. “What makes these gentlemen truly remarkable is that they were pioneers of all aspects of off-road competition, being great trials riders, motocross racers and enduro riders. They were development engineers, test riders and great ambassadors of our sport. As riders, we probably remember them as wise and patient team managers that we didn’t thank

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So many people joined together to celebrate ‘Trials Legends’ old and new.

The speeches given were very informative and enjoyed by all.

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Oriol Puig Bulto addresses the guests.

enough at the time. What could we as riders give to these remarkable men that they do not already have? Perhaps these printed boards with the signatures of their grateful riders will go a small way to deliver this message that some of us forgot to convey decades ago. “May I ask Oriol Puig Bulto and Pere Pi to come forward, and may I also propose that both of these gentlemen sign these pictures in front of us all here today. In doing so, I would like to think of this occasion as the long overdue signing of a peace treaty between Bultaco and Montesa. The war, albeit always a friendly one, between Bultaco, Montesa and their respective teams is now over! “Finally, one signed copy of this print will be auctioned off at the Telford Classic Dirt Bike show, February 2019, in memory of Martin Lampkin for the family’s chosen cancer charity. Thank you very much.” BERNIE SCHREIBER (1979 FIM WORLD TRIALS CHAMPION): “Good afternoon everyone. It’s such an honour to be here with all of you today. All my trials memories remain deep in my heart and especially my time spent here in Barcelona. Many questioned that young kid from California USA, but some truly believed. For me, the American dream began with Senor Bulto, my dear friend Manuel Soler, his family and my team manager Oriol Puig Bulto who supported me from the very start to my world championship victory. So many unforgettable moments with the Bulto family, importers, race teams and riders. All my respect and thanks to every Spanish and international trials rider who educated me about their country’s cultures, language and riding styles. Many thanks to those world championship motor-clubs for all their hard work organising world-class events at legendary venues. “My memories span across the world, but my heart remains in Sant LIorenc. Today we stand near the birthplace of the greatest indoor trial dating back to 1978 – the Solo Moto Indoor. It was the beginning of a new and revolutionary era that eventually changed the sport of trials forever. “A special thanks to all the media who reported our sport extensively over the years, supported the industry brands and made us riders iconic along the way. Many of you here today are part of our trials history, and without your passion over the years

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Dougie Lampkin, Estanis Soler, Isobel Lampkin, Yrjo Vesterinen, Bernie Schreiber.

Xavier Foj, Toni Bou, Jordi Tarres, Dougie Lampkin, Pere Pi, Laia Sanz, Estanis Soler.

Xavier Foj, Oriol Puig Bulto, Manuel Marques, Gabriel Giro, Luis Vancells, Armand Ferrer, Pere Pi, Jaime Bordoy, Gonzalo Vidal-Quadras, Rafael Puig Bulto, Casimiro Verdaguer, Isidro Marques.

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CELEBRATION TRIALS LEGENDS

The trials ‘Family’ reminiscing and sharing fond memories.

for our sport, the next generation would have no heritage or legacy to look back upon. “Some legends are no longer with us as they rest in peace, but we remember them, we hear them, we love them, and we still see them, riding sections or working championship events to make it an unforgettable experience for everyone. “I truly appreciate your friendships, loyalty, recognition and the opportunity to participate in this ‘Trial Legends’ event. Thank you so much for all your support and precious memories.”

Fulvio Adamoli and Yrjo Vesterinen sharing memories.

CLASSIC TRIAL MAGAZINE 2019 • ISSUE 28

The background Oriol Bulto told Trials Guru the background to the celebration and gathering of champions past and present. Oriol said, “The idea of organising the ‘Trial Legends’ celebration emerged following a discussion I had with Pere Pi (former Montesa) and Estanislao Soler (former Bultaco and owner of the Museu de la Moto) after a similar event we organised for the Spanish ‘Motocross Legends’ in May 2015. Together, we spoke to Pere Mas, President of Motor Club Micorella, who is very active in organising Classic

Trials events. “The motocross meeting was a success; we thought that it would be good to do a similar event for trials which would also be open to foreign riders. The aim was to meet with the older riders who had started riding trials before 1986. It was also to pay tribute to the champions who have left us: Juan Soler Bulto, Fernando Munoz, Don Smith, Martin Lampkin and Ulf Karlsson. Also it was to recognise the participants in the first official trial held in Spain: Trial del Tibidabo, Barcelona on the 2nd November

Hand on heart the great man himself who led the Spanish into the world of trials, Samuel Hamilton Miller.

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CELEBRATION TRIALS LEGENDS

Bringing the world up to date in 2018 with a ‘drone’ photo pose!

1964; pioneer motorcycle clubs organising the SSDT; the early Spanish rounds of the Trial World Championship; the ‘3 Days Cingles del Bertí Trial’; and the ‘3 Days Santigosa Trial’. We also wanted to celebrate the inventors of the Indoor Trial Barcelona 1978 and to recognise the female trial legends and celebrate the Catalan, Spanish, European and World Champions of those times. “In addition to Pere Pi, Estanislao Soler, Pere Mas and myself, we incorporated into the organising group Joan Font and Xavi Foj, also ‘Trial Legends’. We have been working in this project for 14 months, and we are very happy by the number of ‘Legends’ attending (about 248) and the positive response of Catalan, Spanish, European and World Champions. “Too young to be ‘Legends’, we invited Dougie Lampkin, Tony Bou and Laia Sanz who together with Jordi Tarres made the podium with their World Championship titles totalling 56! “Of the big names of those special times in trials only Eddy Lejeune (it was too difficult to get him to travel) and Mick Andrews (who was injured) were unable to attend. “It was a great day and looking to the happy faces of the people attending we feel well rewarded for the effort we made. In total, about 400 people attended the event.” Trials Guru and Classic Trial Magazine is indebted to Oriol Puig Bulto for allowing us to share the details of this fantastic event with you, and to Bernie Schreiber and Yrjo Vesterinen for allowing reproduction of their speeches from this magnificent event. John Moffat, the Trials Guru, commented: “Oriol Puig Bulto is a very modest gentleman with an incredible knowledge; not only of the Bultaco brand but also the sports of trial, motocross and enduro. However, he insists that the Trial Legends Fiesta was the result of a team effort.” Oriol Bulto: “The Trial Legends was organised by a small group, originally formed by Pere Pi, Estanislao Soler, Pere Mas and myself. Soon after, we were joined by Joan Font and Xavi Foj. From the very beginning, we have worked together as a team”. He continued: “The speeches by Bernie Schreiber

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Meeting so many old friends was very special to Finland’s Yrjo Vesterinen. He was the first rider in the history of the FIM World Trials Championship to win three consecutive world titles, 1976–1978 on Bultaco.

and Yrjo Vesterinen were very touching, they are both great persons and champions. I would also like to thank everyone who made that extra special effort

Signing even more memorabilia is Bernie Schreiber.

to attend as we once again celebrated our sport of motorcycle trials and all the enthusiast associated with it like one huge family. Thank you”.

Great manufacturers and great motorcycles.

CLASSIC TRIAL MAGAZINE 2019 • ISSUE 28


PARTS LOCATOR

TRAIL AND TRIALS UK Tel: 01334 840414 Email: john@tytrials.com Web: www.tytrials.com

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Trial Magazine, in association with motorcycle trials literature specialist Yoomee, can now bring you a selection of books dedicated to motorcycle trials. 01 20 Years of Twinshock Trials, Vol. 1 A pictorial look at the men and machines in trials from 1965 – 1985. The book is 120 pages in A4 size and comes in the semi hardback format.

02 20 Years of Twinshock Trials, Vol. 2 A pictorial look at the men and machines in trials from 1965 – 1985. The book is 124 pages in A4 size and comes in the semi hardback format.

03 20 Years of Twinshock Trials, Vol. 3 A pictorial look at the men and machines in trials from 1965 – 1985. The book contains 126 pages in A4 size and comes in the semi hardback format.

04 Spanish Trials Machines

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01 20 YEARS OF TWINSHOCK TRIALS, VOL. 1 02 20 YEARS OF TWINSHOCK TRIALS, VOL. 2 03 20 YEARS OF TWINSHOCK TRIALS, VOL. 3 04 SPANISH TRIALS MACHINES 05 A COMPLETE GUIDE TO MOTORCYCLE TRIALS 06 MOTORCYCLE COMPETITION SCOTLAND 1975-2010 07 LOCHABER SSDT 1909–2011 08 PRE-65 ‘SCOTTISH’ 2018 DVD

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The history of Spanish trials machines between the years 1965 – 2010 contains 128 pages. The book is A4 size and comes in the semi hardback format.

05 A Complete Guide to Motorcycle Trials Produced by Yoomee for Steve Saunders it covers every aspect of the sport. The book is A4 size in full colour, 134 pages and comes in the semi hardback format.

06 Motorcycle Competition Scotland 1975–2010 100 pages covering all aspects of the motorcycle sport in Scotland. The book is A4 size and comes in the semi hardback landscape format from the Trials Guru, John Moffat.

07 Lochaber Scottish Six Days Trial 1909–2011 Yoomee produced this superb collection of over 200 images with over half in full colour. The book is A4 size and comes in the semi hardback landscape format.

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CHRIS KOCH - KIA National Twinshock Championship, Hillsborough

IMAGE CREDIT - TRIAL MAGAZINE

Profile for Trials Media

Classic Trial Magazine Issue 28 Spring 2019  

Classic Trial Magazine – your essential read for all things Classic Trial Motorcycle Sport.

Classic Trial Magazine Issue 28 Spring 2019  

Classic Trial Magazine – your essential read for all things Classic Trial Motorcycle Sport.