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SUMMER 2019 Issue 29 • UK: £6.25


1989 SSDT




100% Polyester, breathable and quick drying Sublimination Graphics for long lasting colour Hook & Loop waistband adjustment YKK flat Vislon zipper pocket Micro elastic cuff

4-way stretch fabric Performance Knees


Picture: ‘Living the Dream’ Credit: Trials Media

Cover Photo: Front Cover: Dan Thorpe (Triumph) Pre-65 Scottish Winner. Picture Credit: John Hulme © 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�������������������� 78 Parts Locator������������������� 90 Subscribe����������������������� 94 Shop������������������������������ 96

FEATURES Celebration��������������������� 14 Bernie Schreiber

End of an Era������������������� 26 1989 SSDT

Traditional��������������������� 36 Pre-65 Scottish

Flashback����������������������� 44 1979 SSDT

Special��������������������������� 52 Four-Stroke Kawasaki

Profile���������������������������� 58 Brain Hutchinson

Classic Competition��������� 66 1969 Cotswolds Cup

Birthday������������������������� 72 Northern Bike Championship

Rare������������������������������� 80 Moto Villa

International������������������� 86 1979 World Trials Championship CLASSIC TRIAL MAGAZINE IS PUBLISHED BY CJ PUBLISHING LIMITED 48 Albion Road, New Mills, High Peak, Derbyshire, SK22 3EX. UK Telephone: 01663 749163 Email: CJ Publishing Limited is a Company Registered in England Number: 5947718

Co-Managing Directors: John Hulme and Charles Benhamou

ISSN: 2049-307X

Mail order:,

Executive Director: Philippe Benhamou Editor: John Hulme, 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, Proof reading: Jane Hulme, Davina Brooke Design and Production: Dean Cook, The Magazine Production Company Printing: Buxtons Press Webmaster: Heath Brindley,


2019 PRE-65: JUSTYN NOREK JNR You may well have seen, within the past issues of Classic Trial Magazine, tests and articles from our Italian friends, Justyn Norek Snr and Justyn Norek Jnr., well, we eventually met up for the first time at this year’s Pre-65 Scottish. Justyn Norek Jnr made the long drive from Italy to visit some friends in London before heading north and to Scotland. The aim was to have a look at this event and the Leven Valley Two-day, which he has entered. Justyn Norek Jnr: “I want to say thank you to everyone who made me so welcome. This event is one that I have always wanted to visit. My father and I am massive enthusiasts of the Triumph Twins and it was so good to see so many in action. Such is my passion for the

John Hulme (left) with Justyn Norek Jnr

event, I will hopefully return to compete in 2020 as I intend to put an entry in when they become available”.

2019 PRE-65: CLAUDIO PICTURES Classic Trial Magazine has made so many friends over the years and it was a delight to welcome Frenchman Jean Claude Commeat, more commonly known as ‘Claudio’, to Scotland for the Pre-65 and Six Days Trial. You will have seen his superb pictures in the publication and also on the web. Claudio has a long association with motorsport, including Formula One, but his biggest love is trials motorcycles. He loved his time in Scotland and vowed to return in the near future.

THE 2019 LEVEN VALLEY 2 DAY TRIAL Due to the unbelievable demand for entries for the 2019 Leven Valley 2 Day Trial on the 28th & 29th September the committee of the Kinlochleven & District Motor Cycle Club met and looked at every avenue to allow as many hopeful entrants to ride the trial as possible. The decision was made to increase the entry from 200 to 250 riders. All successful entrants have been notified and all non-successful entrants have also been notified concerning a reserve list. If anyone has any queries about their entry feel free to get in touch; please email: david.dougan71@btinternet. com The club is still looking for observers if anyone can help.

2019 COSTA BRAVA CLASSIC TRIAL With plans well under away for this two-day Spanish event on the 16th & 17th November you can keep a check on what’s going on at the club’s website: www.trialcostabrava. com or find out more on their social media site on Facebook: Trial CostaBrava. Once again the interest in this event is overwhelming, so be sure to keep a look out for when the entries are released, which we believe will be in September.



Rocks: granite rocks, solid rocks in Dartmoor streams, running down from the high moor; no, not your usual rolling rocks and scree or loose shale like in some of the Scottish terrain, but rocks laid down in stream beds by volcanic lava or placed in some cases by prisoners – of both the American war of independence and French captives of Dartmoor prison during the Napoleonic wars! This is what you will find in the Dartmoor Classic Trial of 2019. Now in its successful 32nd year of running by the South West Classic Trials Association together with the West of England Motor Club Ltd and sponsored by the Twinshock Shop of South West Trials at Sidmouth, the entries will open on the 1st June and close on the 15th July, or when full. Although going on past experience the ‘when full’ happens quite quickly! The trial date is Saturday and Sunday 7th & 8th September. This yea,r the first day will be at ‘Hound Tor’ with good parking, where entrants will be riding the stream beds with some of the larger rock slabs. Camping, toilets and catering is available at the venue. Day two will be held a few miles away at the well-known ‘Ruby Rocks’ down below Ripon Tor. This venue with its many rocky streams has been used both by the British Trials Championship in recent years and the famous Knill Trial which regularly gets 150 entries for a one-day trial because of its varied terrain. This terrain can suit anyone, from the British Experts rider to a big rigid four-stroke no problem, and here the venue is adored by many. Again camping, toilets and catering will be at the site. Experienced course markers who know what the big machines are capable of within the terrain and what deviations the twinshocks can achieve are in charge, while Mike Naish is looking after the paperwork. From June 1st 2019, look out for the entry forms both on the SWCTA website: and its Facebook page.



Bernie’s Back

It is a well-known phrase: ‘build it, and they will come’. It has been used many times when attempting to justify the running of an event and trying to make something work and be a success. But the ‘building it’ part is the tricky component, and it takes a lot of effort. So much effort that some would give up as it is either too costly in money or even time. I have a bit of a reputation of being someone who doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. It’s a failing of mine. If I have what I think is a sound idea, I like to give it a try. Okay, I have to admit sometimes I do have to take a negative backlash, as it can be too costly once quotes are received for a venture. Our club, the Inverness & District, set high standards when planning this year’s Highland Classic Two-Day event in June. It was agreed at our club committee that the theme would be SWM motorcycles, but who would be the now customary guest of honour? I had already given that careful consideration and, indeed, I was given the task to make the personal approach to none other than the 1979 World Trials Champion Bernie Schreiber. I had met Bernie back in 2007 at the Robregordo Two-Day near Madrid in Spain, where we hit it off very well. Bernie is very much his own man, he is a perfectionist, and I knew that, so my sales pitch had better be very good. Not every rider of yesteryear wants to be a guest of honour. I went


for it, a message was sent off to Zurich and he responded: “Hi John, let’s hook up one evening by telephone to discuss this. When suits you? Do you have a plan?” The negotiations were quite involved, it had to be worth his time coming over from Zurich to Scotland, so we planned carefully, and we found common ground. It just went from there. Bernie is a thinker, an ideas man, but he doesn’t like people who just assume he is going to do things for them. He is a likeable, amicable guy, but, as I said before, he knows what he likes and likes to be active and to have input. Bernie Schreiber plans very well; he doesn’t just have ideas. I left the final decision in his hands, no pressure. And you know what, it worked! Bernie is our Guest of Honour at the Highland Classic on 8 & 9th June, much to Scottish trials fans’ delight. He is also kick-starting his series of Bernie Schreiber Experience Days on the Alvie Estate the day after our event; a planned by-product, if you like, of his agreement to be our guest. The building part is complete; it’s happening. It’s not easy building or even planning events, but you have to stick with a concept and see it through, and the rewards make it all worthwhile. Bernie stuck to his ‘plan’ way back in 1979, and his reward was FIM World Trials Champion, so far the only American-born rider to achieve that feat.
























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Winners all

Swimmer Michael Phelps, footballer Michael Owen, golfers Greg Norman and Rory McIlroy, motorcycle racer Nicky Hayden (RIP), IndyCar and NASCAR driver Danica Patrick are just some of the people Bernie Schreiber, now 60, worked with while associated with the global Swiss watch giant the Swatch Group and their brands Tissot and Omega. Winners all. And so, 40 years ago, in 1979, Bernie was the FIM World Trials Champion, the first non-European champion, the first (and only) American champion and the youngest FIM World Champion at age 20.

Words: Len Weed with Bernie Schreiber • Pictures: Solo Moto, J-C Commeat, Colin Bullock, Eric Kitchen, Toon van de Vliet, Mauri/Fontsere Collection and the Giulio Mauri Copyright, Yoomee Archine, Schreiber Family, Francesco Rappini, Alain Sauquet, Len Weed, Roger Lorer and Cycle World


ut when you retire at 28, you move on. And in those following 32 years, Bernie successfully tackled many non-terrain challenges. His CV discloses more than 20 years’ experience in global sports marketing. Among his projects based in Europe were product development work with the likes of Alpinestars and Malcolm Smith Racing and, in 1992, he launched his own company, Schreiber Group Europe in France. He helped American companies set up foreign distribution and coordinated with bicycle and motorcycle companies. In 1998, Tissot, a multi-national Swiss watch brand, owned by the Swatch Group, hired him full-time. He relocated to Switzerland after previous residences in Spain, England, Italy and France during his riding career. He focused on


developing sports partnerships for the brand with numerous sports federations, event promoters and ambassadors. During the next 11-year span he met Kristina, an international tax adviser in a big-four firm. In 2010, they had a son, Daniel, and he decided to take a career break. In 2012, the CEO of the Swatch Group made contact. The company wanted to send him to the USA as Omega US Sports Marketing Director, based in Palm Beach, Florida. Duties included major golf tournaments, golf clinics with brand ambassadors and corporate retail tie-in programmes with prestigious golf clubs. In 2015, he became head of global golf partnerships for Omega. Returning to Switzerland in 2016, he found new management and, a year later, he decided it was time to chart a new course.

Celebrating pole position with Valentino Rossi and Tissot watches at the Catalunya circuit in 2007.

What next? It was a return to trials as an ambassador and coach with a plan to make a difference. “I’m back in the boots now, riding classic trials, enjoying the community, doing trials schools globally and finding new ways to promote and grow the sport. Maybe my story, overcoming the numerous obstacles of becoming a ‘European’ to pursue my dream, to work



It all started at ‘Little Rock’ on the Kawasaki 90cc.

The boots were back on just a few years ago at the Ventoux classic trial in France.

hard and achieve success in the sport I loved can act as a guide to others in whatever they choose to pursue.” So it’s full circle, back to the sport that started it all. 51 years have passed since Bernie started riding his bicycle off-road! “I grew up in Los Angeles, and I had a paper round after school, seven days a week. I was riding a Schwinn ‘Stingray’ bicycle, and we had a lot of hills, and I always enjoyed trying to do wheelies up and down them. I only had a brake on the back, so I’d just balance and do downhill coasters. There were some hills behind the house, and I’d build a little ramp to make a jump. I just liked the emotions of being on two wheels. “My first motorcycle was a Kawasaki 90. We used to go riding in the desert in a place called Little Rock. One day, I saw my dad’s friend’s son riding around in a circle standing up; I didn’t know what that was. He told me he was practising for a trial at Saddleback Park. So I went to Saddleback. One of the kids out there was Jeff Ward, whose father was riding as well in the adult class. I had footrests on the back, so I tried to stand up on those to see if I could lean forward riding up the hills – and I kind of liked it!” Bernie moved up to a 125 Bultaco Lobito and began competing against adult riders. “I got a little deal on a motorcycle – the first Sherpa T250 – and I started doing much better. I was sponsored by a local dealer, Steve’s Bultaco. “The first time I went to El Trial de Espana I got to see Sammy Miller for the first time. That was a big deal back in 1972 or ’73. El Trial de Espana was an annual event that raised funds to send young riders to Europe. The trials, created by Fred Belair, remains a high-priority event on the Southern California trials schedule. They had a world round at Saddleback Park in 1974. It was really muddy. I rode with an X on my bib because I was under 18. There were about ten European riders there. I finished eighth, better than any other American rider. El Trial de Espana sent a delegation to Europe to watch world rounds. When they returned, they tried to make our sections for the Master Class similar to


El Trial de Espana where I got to see Sammy Miller for the first time, which was a big deal back in 1972.

Showing off the style just six years away from winning the FIM World Trials Championship.

what they saw in Europe. I got to see a world round in Spain and visit the Bultaco factory in 1974. In 1976, I went to the Scottish Six Days Trial as a spectator as I was too young to compete. But I did ride a few sections there. The French champion, Charles Coutard, had broken his wrist, so I changed into his clothes and rode the Ben Nevis sections, which became a storyteller even today. I was riding the national championship in 1975 when Bultaco sent someone to visit me. Manuel Soler stayed with us for a few weeks in Los Angeles, and we rode together. He came to visit Los Angeles, but also to see how I was doing and report back to Bultaco. Manuel sold the idea to them of having a young rider in the USA. They wanted to develop the US market and Bultaco brand. Then John Grace, the Bultaco importer, asked if I’d like to compete in the world championship. They wanted me to ride with the rest of the Bultaco team in 1977. Of Mr Bulto, I only remember positive things. I remember him saying the idea was not to make a product the public couldn’t buy. He wanted his riders on production model machines. He was very warm, very open

1974: Dreaming of the world championship.



1977 was a difficult year for Bernie, mostly due to a lack of experience in many areas other than trials riding. So many factors came into play crossing the Atlantic…weather, food, language, local culture and general home-sickness at 18 years old. He learned a lot, which gave him confidence to compete in 1978.

Looking very calm and confident on the Bultaco in 1976.

and always there to help. It didn’t matter if you won the event or finished seventh, he would always be there to help you. I remember not having such a good result the first time I rode in 1977. He came to me and asked if there was anything he could do to help. He and the whole Bultaco factory including team manager Oriol Puig Bulto, were very supportive of my career. It was really like a big family. Vesterinen, Soler, Coutard, the Lampkins – they were like mentors to me. We would all practice together.” In 1977, Bernie finished third in Spain and second in Germany to place seventh overall in world points. “1977 was a difficult year for me, mostly due to a lack of experience in many areas other than trials riding. So many factors came into play crossing the Atlantic; weather, food, language, local culture and general homesickness – at 18 years old. I learned a lot, which gave me the confidence to compete in 1978. My approach was to stay focused on consistency and continue learning from the other riders’ strengths and understanding their weaknesses. I knew that my skills in dry-weather countries like Spain, France and Italy were at the same level as many of the top riders. The muddy conditions in northern Europe were my weakness. I worked to stay focused on having as much fun in wet conditions as I did in the dry. With experience, I knew that if I could win in the dry countries and stay consistent in the wet events, then my chances at the championship would be more realistic, and that was the result in 1978.” In 1978, Bernie won four world events and finished just 12 points back in the final standings, to claim third overall. “1978 felt more difficult for me to sustain and cope with the European culture and the people. It was getting tougher, to the point where I wondered if I was going to continue. I asked myself: Am I really going to do something else with my life or not? I’d gone so far though that I knew I had to finish it.” Bernie moved to Spain, then on to England. He stayed with Pete Hudson, the competition manager for Comerfords, the UK Bultaco importer. Hudson recalls. “I really just tried to keep Bernie’s head on. Although he was a quiet boy off the motorcycle, on it Bernie was flamboyant and would play to the crowd. He could do all the tricks, and he liked to show people he could do them! Bernie was the first one to do the pivot turns – riding on the balls of his feet instead of the insteps – and bunny-hopping. When I saw him doing this, I remember thinking ‘trials is on the change, this is really different’.” In 1979, four more world round victories were achieved. After a mechanical DNF in the first round, he mounted a charge from


Holding the line in the deep water of Canada 1979.

behind, not taking over the points lead until the ninth event. A seventh in the penultimate round in Finland cut his points lead to three. But masterful riding in the final event, dropping just 13 marks to the runner-up’s 32, clinched the title. “I was excited to win. Excited for Comerfords who had supported me, and I was excited for the Hudson family who supported me when I lived in England. That win was important for me – not as an American or a nonEuropean. I was just happy to feel like I was the best trials rider in the world.”

Showing complete control – well almost!



On the left Yrjo Vesterinen talks with Colin Boniface and Bernie at the Scottish Six Days Trial.

1979, and it’s 100% concentration all the way.

1980 could have produced a repeat title, but Bultaco was on its last legs. There was no money, and the factory would soon cease to exist. “Signing with Italjet is always a question mark that comes up in my career. Why did I go there? There were reasons. Bultaco was insolvent. The Bultaco importer in Italy, Mr Tartarini, made an offer. SWM talked to me, and so did Comerfords. After Bultaco’s problems, I wanted to keep the world championship at Comerfords. They made a good offer to me with a ride on their white-framed Bultaco, and I should have accepted it. I probably could have won again, but I thought I wanted something different. I felt I needed a change. Mr Tartarini had a vision at Italjet. He said he planned to take Manual Soler and all the mechanics from Bultaco, so I took the risk and signed with Italjet. “I moved to Bologna and started to learn Italian. The first bike was basically a green Bultaco. At one point that prototype was one of the best trials motorcycles in the world. Then they slowly started making modifications, and it had some issues. It broke down twice, making it two events I didn’t finish. Those two events cost me the 1980 world championship.” He finished the series with four straight wins, but 10 points behind the new world champion, Ulf Karlson, who won just one event compared to Bernie’s six victories. “I think not accepting the Comerfords or SWM offer to carry on riding a Bultaco for the rest of the 1980 season could well have been the biggest mistake I made career-wise. Then the next year’s Italjet was just not at the competitive level of other brands on the market. At that time, I thought I could ride anything, but I was wrong. I wasn’t a good development rider. I had been riding Bultaco motorcycles developed by world champions, Lampkin and Vesterinen, as well as other top riders. At Italjet, there was no-one there to help me develop the machine, and I became extremely frustrated.” Bernie ranked sixth in the 1981 series and then moved on to SWM for 1982. “Pietro Kuciukian, a dentist and the manager of the SWM team, became one of the most inspiring and supportive persons for me in my life in general, besides my mother and father. Not just in trials but as a person. We’re still in touch today. Pietro helped me so much after the Italjet experience. He changed my life completely. At first, I lived with him and his wife, a philosophy teacher, almost


Standing tall on the way to 6th position at the 1980 SSDT.

Motorcycle trials at its very best: natural hazards and a good crowd at the 1976 SSDT.



2019: Fond memories of the Bultaco years which played a major part of the Bernie Schreiber trials success Check out the jumper! 1980 was a difficult year as Bultaco was plunged into crisis when the factory closed.

like a son for a year before getting my own place in Milan from 1982 to 1985. That’s when I really started to find personal growth and understanding of Europe. He taught me a lot about life in general, to look at life from a different perspective. I was an American kid from California, living in a kind of artificial world until he mentored me towards a new way of thinking.” His SWM machine produced two seconds and a third in the world rankings for 1982 through 1984. Then SWM was sold, prompting a change. Bernie finished out his career on Garelli (just two world rounds), then Yamaha in 1986 and 1987 on Fantic. “In 1987 at a world round I looked at the sections in front of me and thought, no way. It was hopping and stopping, arena trials stuff, acrobatic and great fun, but not really trials riding anymore. The sections had changed drastically because of the rules changes. Stopping, backing up, which meant tighter turns. Riding styles changed. When forward motion stopped being a major element of riding that was a signal for me to look in a new direction.” Bernie realised he was ready to begin the rest of his life.


Feeling for that Michelin grip at the opening world round in Spain in 1981.


YEAR WORLD RANKING MOTORCYCLE 1977 7 Bultaco 1978 3 Bultaco 1979 1 Bultaco 1980 2 Italjet 1981 6 Italjet 1982 2 SWM 1983 2 SWM 1984 3 SWM 1985 -- Garelli 1986 7 Yamaha 1987 20 Fantic

1979 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES RND LOCATION FINISH 1 Northern Ireland DNF 2 England 7 3 Belgium 3 4 Holland 4 5 Spain 1 6 France 2 7 Canada 3 8 Texas (USA) 1 9 Italy 2 10 Sweden 1 11 Finland 7 12 Czech Republic 1 He took over the points lead after the ninth round in Italy. He then held a three-point lead heading into the final round. He won the final round with just 13 marks lost; the runner-up lost 32 marks.

Bernie’s riding style “At the time I think I influenced the riding style. In my early days, I’d modelled my riding style on Martin Lampkin’s. Then I saw Yrjo Vesterinen with his more controlled approach and found it suited me better. The old British rules weren’t very flexible. You just couldn’t stop forward motion. As a result, I was always thinking about how I could make a turn tighter without stopping forward motion. That’s how I developed the floating turn, but you could only use that easily in a dry environment. It was much more difficult when it was wet. “I was accused of trick riding. Maybe ‘accused’ isn’t the right word, but the fact is I never wanted to change things. I was focused on finding out ways to ride within the rules that existed at the time. Maintaining forward motion was paramount. If by floating or flicking or jumping, I could change direction in a section while keeping moving, then so much the better. I didn’t think it was trick riding.



After struggling for wheel grip in the 1981 world round at Bainbridge on the Italjet a swap to the Pirellis from Michelins for the second lap did not prove the answer and no points were scored!

In 1982 the move to the SWM witnessed a most welcome return to winning form.

SSDT 1982: Bernie drinks the champagne as Martin Lampkin shakes hands and thanks the top mechanic Dario Seregni as they celebrate winning the manufacturers’ team prize for SWM with Danilo Galeazzi.


Performing a ‘bunnyhop’ on the Italjet over the event sponsors at the 1981 Kickstart Arena Trial in Great Britain.

Despite the snow and rain at the Scottish Six Days Trial and in a particularly high-scoring event, the first and only ever win was recorded by an American rider.

Showing total control of the 350 Jumbo model SWM, Spain WTC 1984.

As Martin Lampkin and Bernie eat their sandwiches a keen photographer shows his work to Pietro Kuciukian, dentist and the manager of the SWM team.



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



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.



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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Playing the clown on the mono-shock Yamaha!

The deal with the Garelli did not work out. Having a fantastic time teaching so many students at the Val D’isere trials schools in France in 1986 with Gilles Burgat. They had students from all around the world including Great Britain.

In 1987 at a world round; Bernie is number 116 stood with Tony Scarlett: I looked at the sections in front of me and thought, no way!

“Everybody wants to learn how to do the big steps, big hills, or big obstacles, but the simple fact is that most points are lost in the turns, or obstacles that are immediately preceded by a turn. Your turning technique can make the obstacle much more difficult or easier because a good turn is essential to get set up properly. If the terrain is slippery or full of loose stones, a good basic turn can change your score. Good basic turning technique is the foundation for developing your trials riding skills.”

BERNIE’S TRIALS CAREER AT A GLANCE • Born January 1959 in Los Angeles, CA, began riding trials at age 10. • By the age of 15, considered the best rider in Southern California. • Influenced development of a new riding style by adding floating pivot turns and bunny-hops to his hard-charges. • In 1977, ranked seventh in the world at age 18 riding for Bultaco. • In 1978, ranked third in the world winning four of the 12 events. • In 1979, world champion, winning four of the 12 events. Youngest champion ever. • From 1979 until 2004: the only non-European world champion. • Remains the first and only American world champion. • In 1980, ranked second in the world, winning six of the 12 events, including a record four straight. • Three-time runner-up in world championship competition: 1980, 1982, 1983. • 1982: the first and still only non-European to win the Scottish Six Days Trial with SWM • Four-time American trials champion: 1978, 1982, 1983, and 1987. • El Trial de Espana (U.S.): eight-time winner. • BBC Kickstart Trial: three-time winner. • Solo Moto Indoor Trial: two-time winner. • Retired in 1987 with a record of 20 world wins and 48 podium appearances. • In 2000, inducted in the AMA (US) Motorcycling Hall of Fame. • In 2004, inducted in the NATC (North American Trials Council) Hall of Fame. • Co-wrote a popular book: Observed Trials with Len Weed


Bernie Schreiber on life FAMILY: “Growing up, if one of the children wanted a dollar, there was an attitude in our family that said: here’s a broom, start sweeping. My father was very clear about certain values that there was nothing free in life. My father also said: you have two choices. Either you’re a player or a spectator. The spectator pays to watch. The players are out on the field and paid to compete. I’ve been an ex-pat for 40 years. Kristina is from Lithuania; she’s an international tax adviser at a big-four firm. We’re both ex-pats. We decided Zurich was a good place for our family. Our son, Daniel, is nine. My two daughters, Jessica and Beverly from my first marriage, are in France, so no plans for a return to the US and, besides, I do enjoy Switzerland. Riding trials was a much easier accomplishment than growing a successful family!” EUROPE: “I don’t think I coped with Europe until many years later. It was always challenging. I think if I had been more disciplined and had practised more, I could have won several world championships. I wasn’t as focused as some of the other riders. I didn’t have my father in Europe, sitting me down after every event. I didn’t have my mother there to look after me. So I was lacking another level of management. But being on your own does create other strengths. I’ve been based in Switzerland for many years now. I love this country. Just look at the flag. It’s a big plus sign! That’s what life is about. It’s about adding value, something more, something additional. The kids today, before they learn the alphabet, they should learn how to use a calculator – and use the plus a lot more than the minus.” ONE RIDER, ONE MOTORCYCLE: “What I saw it to be was that a guy on a trials machine could go where nobody else could ever go on a motorcycle, and it’s still the case today. I always enjoyed individual sports more than team sports. Even in team sports the team often wins because of one individual, either a player or a coach. Something or someone stands out to make a difference. I’m disappointed there are no other US riders, but I’m not surprised. Trials in the US is very small, but there is potential.” RULES CHANGES: “Contrary to popular belief, we older riders are not stuck in the past. Golf hasn’t changed much in over 100 years. The rules remain the same, and people still take up the sport. Trials, well, what can I say. Some riders want the rules changed to suit their riding style. They don’t want to ride to the rules. I call that ‘cheating’ the sport at a certain point.”



2019: Bultaco will always be a part of Bernie’s life.




In 2012, the CEO of the Swatch Group called. They wanted to send Bernie to the states as Omega US Sports Marketing Director based in Palm Beach, Florida. He is seen here with Eugene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon

In 1998 Tissot, a multi-national Swiss watch brand owned by the Swatch Group hired Bernie full-time. He relocated to Switzerland after previous residences in Spain, England, Italy and France during his riding career. He focused on developing sports partnerships for the brand with numerous sports federations, event promoters and ambassadors. During the next 11-year span he met Kristina, an International tax adviser in a big-four firm, and they married.

With his ‘English’ family the Hudson’s in 2017: Scott Hudson, Bernie, Pete and Glenn.

MOTORCYCLE IDOL: “My biggest motorcycle idol was Steve McQueen, because of the movie On Any Sunday. For me, as a kid, he was my hero; he was so cool. He inspired me. I had a poster of him from the movie on my wall. And then later I appeared on the second On Any Sunday movie. “My favourite motorcycle of all time? Steve McQueen’s Husky from On Any Sunday. Simply awesome.” LIFE: “Every life has a story; every story has a lesson. A world championship title is like an MBA. One thing I say: that it’s only three letters in the alphabet. I also ask: did you learn the rest of the alphabet? Do you have any experience in the rest of the alphabet, or did you just specialise in that? I think my trials victories are part of my success, but only part of my life. I’m a relationship-oriented person. People make the difference. In communities, families, clubs, business, and trials. It’s not about how much money you make or how many accolades you accumulate. It’s about your effect on others that will live on long after you are gone.”


Daniel Schreiber is the next generation.

GOALS AND PLANS: “A goal without a plan is nothing but a dream. Succeeding at trials, or other challenges requires both talent and determination. Assets are only good if you know or learn how to use them. To succeed at trials, you have to be like an entrepreneur. You have to be open to new ideas. You have to want to grow and learn. That’s number one. The second thing is you have to be super adaptable and flexible because you have to deal with all sorts of things. Third, you have to be focused – on what you want to do, to block out interference and distractions coming at you from different angles. You need a realistic vision. You start at the bottom and earn your way up to the top.” NEW CHALLENGES: “When you change your career it can be tough. But you can use what you’ve learned, the process of succeeding, and apply it to your new challenge. I’m looking to make an impact, a difference, and it’s not so easy when you enter a market of status quo and little vision. I like to be disruptive and innovate out of the comfort zone as

in 1979, and that’s the only way: to wake up each morning with a breath of fresh air.

Bernie Schreiber Trials/School Calendar 2019

• Scotland, Inverness: June 8th-9th, Highland Classic Two-Day Trial. MasterClass School, June 10th • England, Yorkshire: June 15th, Bultaco Revival Classic Trial. • Andorra: June 29th-30th, Two-day Classic Trial • Canada, Toronto: July 28th, Ontario Club Trials. MasterClass School on July 27th • USA, San Diego, CA: August 4th, Fun Trial. MasterClass School on August 3rd • Switzerland, Grimmialp: August 31st, Classic Trial Grimmialp • Spain, Madrid: October 5th/6th, Robregordo Classic Two-Day Classic Trial. MasterClass School on October 4th. Classic Trial Magazine thanks both Len Weed and Bernie Schreiber for their editorial contribution.



Steve Saunders (Fantic) in total control on day three at Creag Lundie.

Supreme Saunders

Putting in a strong, mature ride over the six days would give Great Britain’s undisputed number-one rider Steve Saunders a second successive Scottish Six Days Trial victory. The expected challenge from Spain’s new trials ‘Hotshot’ Jordi Tarres ended in a disaster. His new prototype liquid-cooled aluminium-framed Beta seized up at the close of the opening day, forcing him to retire. This would leave the door open for the Beta UK importer John Lampkin to take his air-cooled Beta into the runner-up spot as he held French rider Philippe Berlatier at bay, who was also Beta mounted. The retirement of Tarres and the Beta was not in vain though, as much had been learned by the Italian manufacturer in the ongoing development of water-cooled trials machines in the harshest of conditions. Steve Saunders’ win on the Fantic would be the last by an air-cooled machine, and the last for the Italian manufacturer. By the end of the year ‘Water-Cooled’ would be king as Jordi Tarres celebrated the first world title for the new generation of liquid-cooled machines. Words: John Hulme, Mike Rapley, Motorcycle, Morton’s Archive and Motorcycle News • Pictures: Colin Bullock, Eric Kitchen, Iain Lawrie and Yoomee Archive


After the problems on the opening day, the event closed on the slopes of Ben Nevis in the sunshine.


END OF AN ERA 1989 SCOTTISH SIX DAYS This superb close-up picture shows the plumbing snaking around the engine to the exposed radiator. The cylinder barrel looks very much like a ‘one-off’.

p When Spain’s Jordi Tarres wheeled out the new aluminium framed water-cooled Beta late on Sunday afternoon the watching crowd knew they were witnessing a very special Trials moment. t The Fantic 305 would be the last win for an aircooled machine and the Italian manufacturer, in the hands of Steve Saunders.

1989 Scottish Six Days Trial Daily awards Monday: Steve Saunders (Fantic) 20. Tuesday: John Lampkin (Beta), Philippe Berlatier (Beta-FRA) 11. Wednesday: Philippe Berlatier (BetaFRA) 4. Thursday: Philip Alderson (Yamaha) 8. Friday: Steve Saunders (Fantic), John Lampkin (Beta) 5. Saturday: Glen Scholey (Beta) 3.

Class Awards Best up to 150cc: No Award Best 151cc-200cc: No Award Best 210cc-250cc: Steve Saunders (Fantic) Best 251cc-350cc: Philippe Berlatier (Beta-FRA) Best Agents Rider: Harold Crawford (Hamilton Yamaha) Best Foreign Rider: Philippe Berlatier (Beta-FRA) Best Newcomer: Robert Crawford (Beta) Manufacturers Team Award: No Award

Machines Top 15 Tarres puts on a superb display, both of his talents and the new Beta, to the watching crowd in the weigh-in area – they loved it and they finished off with a round of applause.


Results: Beta: 7; Yamaha: 4; Gas Gas: 2; Fantic: 1; JCM: 1



In the cold and wet of the Fersit hazards Steve Saunders (Fantic) remains calm and collected on his way to the best daily score on day one.

Monday: 29 sections, 111 miles ‘Chaos’ was the word that was being thrown about after a challenging opening day for both the riders and the organisers. It all started early on when the marshals arrived late at the opening group of hazards at Callart Falls. Riders had to wait for them to arrive and from then on the day turned into a race against time. As the torrential rain came down, the water levels rose, and the organisers had to reroute the riders away from the swollen rivers. It meant a detour over the sodden moors and then, one by one, the riders ran out of fuel and had to push their machines. Many riders were angry as the club eventually decided to scrap the time limit. It came about on Wednesday after many protests from the riders. If the time limit had been kept, close on 100 riders would have been excluded. As the results stood, Steve Saunders was the trials leader but in second position was the talented Irish rider Robert Crawford on his first appearance in this legendary Highland event.

At this point Jordi Tarres, seen here riding the hazards at Fersit on the water-cooled Beta, struggles up the rocks as the engine was over heating due to the blocked radiator.

Monday leaders: 1: Steve Saunders (Fantic) 20; 2: Robert Crawford (Beta) 25; 3: Gerald Richardson (Yamaha) 30; 4: Jordi Tarres (Beta-ESP) 31 – Excluded out of time; 5: John Lampkin (Beta) 38; 6: Duncan Walmsley (Yamaha) 39; 7: Mark Holland (Yamaha) 42; 8: Nigel Birkett (JCM) 42; 9: Glen Scholey (Beta) 43; 10: Steven Hole (Beta) 43. It’s back to the drawing board at the end of day one for the new watercooled Beta as it arrives back in the paddock on this pickup. The engine seized on the way back to the paddock, forcing Jordi Tarres out of the event.

Looking very confident, the Beta UK importer John Lampkin took the ‘scalps’ of all his sponsored riders! His second position was a superb result in Scotland as the Italian Betas started to make their mark in this testing event, with seven machines in the top 15 proving their reliability.



END OF AN ERA 1989 SCOTTISH SIX DAYS Looking very English in his Belstaff riding suit, French rider Philippe Berlatier (Beta) had a disastrous opening day in the rain when it all went wrong with many problems. He came fighting back, taking the best daily awards on day two with John Lampkin and on day three where he was the best performer.

Tuesday: 30 sections, 80 miles A total opposite to the chaotic Monday, Tuesday opened its account with some sunshine for the riders and a much less stressful day as the time limit was much more relaxed. The main spectator group of the day was at ‘Meal Nam Each’, which managed to extract a five-mark penalty from both the leader, Steve Saunders, and the joint best rider of the day, John Lampkin. The other rider on fire, with some excellent riding was the French rider, Philippe Berlatier. The ‘Bear’, as he is known, had a very tough opening day with many problems, at one point was 90 minutes behind on time, and recorded a loss of 58 marks for the day. Keeping his composure on day two he parted with 11 marks, the same as Lampkin, which pulled him right back up the leader board. Saunders had ridden consistently all day on the Fantic, parting with just 13 marks, to maintain a clear lead over second-placed Gerald Richardson. Tuesday evening would see a final decision from the club over Monday’s time limit. Tuesday leaders: 1: Steve Saunders (Fantic) 33; 2: Gerald Richardson (Yamaha) 49; 3: John Lampkin (Beta) 49; 4: Robert Crawford (Beta) 50; 5: Duncan Walmsley (Yamaha) 62; 6: Matthew Robinson (Beta) 64; 7: Philip Alderson (Yamaha) 66; 8: Glen Scholey (Beta) 67; 9: Philippe Berlatier (Beta-FRA) 69; 10: Steven Hole (Beta) 69.

Yorkshire’s Phillip Alderson was the best of the Hamilton sponsored Yamaha riders. He parted with just eight marks lost on the Thursday to take the best daily award.

Turning into a huge new trials talent: Ireland’s Robert Crawford (Beta) in the sunshine at Creag Lundie on day three.


Looking at a potential top-three finish Gerald Richardson (Yamaha) ‘blew out’ on the final day to eventually finish in fifth position.



On the rocks at Chairlift Ireland’s Harold Crawford (Yamaha) uses some ‘body - lean’ to stay on-course to finish in eight position.

Wednesday: 30 sections, 114 miles With the decision made to scrap Monday’s time limit now official, some riders lost out, and some did not. It was a simple as that. The sunshine was out once again, and the man in the spotlight was Philippe Berlatier, parting with a mere four marks all day in single ‘dabs’. Hot on his heels was Robert Crawford on nine, followed by Scott Cameron having his moment of glory on 11 and John Shirt Jnr on 14 marks lost. Steve Saunders was a very relieved rider as he signed off for the day having parted with 16 marks on his early-start day. For the organising club, however, the Monday problems were still haunting them. In the evening many riders wanted to protest about the

Struggling in the rocks is Steven Hole (Beta). The large exhaust system on the air-cooled Beta can be seen here at the front of the engine.

scrapping of the time limit on the Monday, but the club had made their decision and stood by it. It left a sour taste in the mouths of the many riders who had ridden the hazards ‘blind’ to save time penalties. Despite all this Saunders still held a good ten-mark advantage over the young challenger Crawford. Wednesday leaders: 1: Steve Saunders (Fantic) 49; 2: Robert Crawford (Beta) 59; 3: Gerald Richardson (Yamaha) 67; 4: Philippe Berlatier (Beta-FRA) 73; 5: John Lampkin (Beta) 73; 6: Philip Alderson (Yamaha) 75; 7: John Shirt (Gas Gas) 89; 8: Glen Scholey (Beta) 89; 9: Steven Hole (Beta) 91; 10: Duncan Walmsley (Yamaha) 92.

Revelling in the sunshine on Ben Nevis on the final day, Yorkshire cafe owner Glen Scholey rode out of his skin to lose just three marks and in doing so secured seventh overall in the event, much to his delight.

Racing against time, John Shirt Jnr (Gas Gas) takes a dab as he urges the Spanish machine up the hazards at Fersit on day one.



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END OF AN ERA 1989 SCOTTISH SIX DAYS Thursday: 30 sections, 120 miles Day four was when Steve Saunders ‘put the hammer down’ on the Fantic and made his intentions of another victory very clear as he opened a lead at the close of play. With the daily rotation of the riding numbers, he was now at the very back of the entry. At the opposite end of the entry, riding at the front, John Lampkin knew he would have to be at his very best if he was to maintain his challenge for his first ever SSDT win. Looking very confident all day his final score of 18 was damage limitation and still kept him within reach of the top three positions. Saunders was locked in a duel all day with Philip Alderson on the Yamaha. Both were very evenly matched, but it was Saunders who had the upper hand by a single mark. On a very competitive day, Alderson’s riding had lifted him into second above fellow Yamaha rider Gerald Richardson. In close company for the runner-up position was Philippe Berlatier, with Lampkin in fifth in front of Crawford.

1989 was the first year that the Shirt family was in Scotland with the Spanish Gas Gas machines. Thirty years on they are still there! John Shirt Jnr had made his debut one year earlier on the four-stroke Honda RTL.

Mark Jackson (Beta) takes a steadying dab on the rocks at Creag Lundie. The hazards are still in use in 2019.


Thursday leaders: 1: Steve Saunders (Fantic) 58; 2: Philip Alderson (Yamaha) 83; 3: Gerald Richardson (Yamaha) 85; 4: Philippe Berlatier (Beta-FRA) 88; 5: John Lampkin (Beta) 91; 6: Robert Crawford (Beta) 92; 7: Duncan Walmsley (Yamaha) 111; 8: Harold Crawford (Yamaha) 119; 9: Steven Hole (Beta) 121; 10: John Shirt (Gas Gas) 124.

Keeping forward motion on the slippery rocks is Wayne Braybrook (Beta) on Pipers Burn on the Friday, day five.


END OF AN ERA 1989 SCOTTISH SIX DAYS Cumbria’s Nigel Birkett had a change of machine from his usual Yamaha to the French-built JCM. Seen here on the slopes of Ben Nevis on the final day, he has ridden a wide range of machines since his first ‘Scottish’ in 1971.

Friday: 30 sections, 95 miles Who could argue that with the sun out in all its glory the route around the Moidart Peninsula is one of the best day’s trials riding you can ever have anywhere in the world? Over the years, Steve Saunders and John Lampkin had spent many competitive days travelling and riding together, and day five of the SSDT would be no different. Lampkin was just over 30 riding numbers behind Saunders and at the back of the entry. The two different riding techniques were a pleasure to watch: Saunders on the Fantic with the lightning reactions needed to suit his ‘quick’ riding style, and Lampkin on the Beta the total opposite riding more steadily and delicate. Both would part with five marks, all lost in single marks throughout the day. The next best was Glen Scholey, having a superb day losing eight followed by Philippe Berlatier on nine. Keeping his eye on that runner-up position Gerald Richardson remained calm and parted with ten marks lost. At the end of the warm, dry day, Saunders had stretched his lead even further.

Finishing in 20th position ‘Magical’ Mick Andrews (Yamaha) proved he can still ride well in the Scottish and used all his experience to enjoy the week’s action.

Friday leaders: 1: Steve Saunders (Fantic) 60; 2: Gerald Richardson (Yamaha) 95; 3: John Lampkin (Beta) 96; 4: Philippe Berlatier (Beta-FRA) 97; 5: Philip Alderson (Yamaha) 100; 6: Robert Crawford (Beta) 114; 7: Glen Scholey (Beta) 132; 8: Harold Crawford (Yamaha) 135; 9: Duncan Walmsley (Yamaha) 139; 10: John Shirt (Gas Gas) 142.

Very disappointed with his result was Tony Scarlett (Gas Gas) who did not agree with the organiser’s descision to scrap the time limit after the problems on the Monday; he was not on his own.


Having won the Pre-65 Scottish earlier in the week on his Triumph Dave Thorpe takes the Yamaha up Pipeline in the main event, the Six Days, on his way to 25th position.



The second Best Newcomer was French rider Michel Traini on the JCM. Take note of the larger fuel tank and comfortable riding seat on the French-built machine.

Stuart Blyth (Yamaha) can still be found riding both the Pre-65 and Six Days Trials in more modern times. In 1989 he finished in 75th position.

Saturday: 30 sections, 77 miles

Making his debut in the event is the future winner Steve Colley (Fantic) who took his first wins in 1992 and 1993 on a Beta.

Knowing that barring a disaster his good friend, Steve Saunders, would take his second SSDT win; John Lampkin had just one thing on his mind: to be the best Beta rider in the final results. Played out in Mediterranean-like sunshine, it was not Lampkin but another Beta rider who would be the star performer on the final day. Yorkshire café owne, Glen Scholey, rode out of his skin to lose just a measly three marks compared to Lampkin’s six and, in doing so, secured seventh overall in the event, much to his delight. Lampkin achieved what he had set out to do and finished second and the best of the Beta riders, the majority of whom he sponsored! Third was a just reward for Philippe Berlatier after his massive loss of marks on the opening day and Philip Alderson was the best of the Yamaha riders. The biggest loser on the final day was Gerald Richardson as a massive loss of 31 marks dropped him down from second to fifth. The 1989 event had been challenging for both the riders and the organisers with the problems on the opening day, as the door closed on the event with just 207 finishers from the 275 starters.

1989 Scottish Six Days Trial

Under the watchful eye of the observer, Chris Clarke (Yamaha) finds his way up the rocks at Lagnaha on day three.


Results: 1: Steve Saunders (Fantic) 70; 2: John Lampkin (Beta) 102; 3: Philippe Berlatier (Beta-FRA) 110; 4: Philip Alderson (Yamaha) 114; 5: Gerald Richardson (Yamaha) 126; 6: Robert Crawford (Beta) 128; 7: Glen Scholey (Beta) 135; 8: Harold Crawford (Yamaha) 150; 9: Stephen Hole (Beta) 152; 10: John Shirt Jnr (Gas Gas) 153; 11: Mark Jackson (Beta) 158; 12: Wayne Braybrook (Beta) 163; 13: Nigel Birkett (JCM) 171; 14: Tony Scarlett (Gas Gas) 173; 15: Duncan Walmsley (Yamaha) 182.






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DAN Following in anyone’s footsteps is always a difficult task, and when it’s your father, you are following your aspirations are even higher. Everyone in any walk of life has a hero, and in Dan Thorpe’s case, it’s his father, Dave. The utmost admiration and respect come from the fact that he has seen him struggle for so many years with a serious back complaint that has just got worse. Ever defiant of his problems Dave has persevered with his constant success on two wheels – he can ride a motorcycle better than he can walk! A world round winner in his day for Bultaco and the most successful rider at the Pre-65 Scottish, Dave won in 1987 to 1990, 1993, and he took his last win in 1997, which was also the first two-day event. Parting with just one mark on the first of the two days Dan knew he would have to be at his very best on day two to emulate his father. When he came back to the finish, he was more than happy to tell anyone he bumped into that he had gone ‘clean’. When the results were confirmed and read out at the evening’s prizegiving there could be no one more proud than Dave Thorpe and his wife Carol when it was announced that Dan had won the 2019 Pre-65 ‘Scottish’; his wife Katy was just as proud to see her husband on the top step of the podium. They are the first father-and-son winners in the history of the event, dating back to 1984. Words: Classic Trial Magazine, John Hulme • Pictures: Trials Media


Dan Thorpe (Triumph) checks out the line on the famous Pipeline on day one.



Dan encourages his father Dave at the end of day one. Dave has stated that this was his last Pre-65 Scottish; if it is, well done; we certainly enjoyed watching the skill and entertainment over the years.

As always, the rider parade ahead of the two days opens up the event. Once again it had a very international ‘feel’ about it, with Javier Gil (BSAESP) proudly displaying his national flag.


an Thorpe: “It goes without saying that I’m delighted to win this fantastic event. I might have put on a brave face last year, but to have gone round clean and still only finish third due to the tie-deciders was tough. Don’t get me wrong, I totally understood the rules on the tie decision, but this year more than makes up for last year’s disappointment. It makes it extra special to achieve this at the same time as my 73-year-old father managed to finish the event for possibly his last time.

Ben Butterworth (Ariel): Taking the award for the best rider on day one parting with just one mark lost, he repeated the single-mark loss on day two but was still denied victory by Dan Thorpe.

Gary MacDonald (Triumph): Very graceful in defeat Gary went around clean on day two but in a low-scoring event he knew the opportunity of three consecutive wins had gone with the wrong choice of gear at Caolasnacon on day one where he parted with his two marks in total.

Best Foreign Rider — Stephen Murphy (BSA-IRE): This will be one very happy Irishman who went home with this much sought-after award.

Best Scottish Rider — Calum Murphy (BSA): On a good day there is a win waiting in this event for young Callum, we will just have to wait and see when it comes out.


“This year’s event was made more difficult because once again, I didn’t get a chance to ride the Triumph beforehand. Knowing that I had possibly the more difficult loop including Cnoc-a-Linnhe, Pollock Hill and Caolasnacon at the start of my day, I knew I needed to be switched on straight away. Cnoc-a-Linnhe looked okay as I was fairly early and managed to clean it without much fuss, and then came Pollock Hill. It was the section where I made my ill-fated second gear attempt in the past, so despite wanting to use it again, I selected bottom gear. Despite having a few early cleans, it had just started chewing up, and I went for it without being totally happy with my line. The back wheel spun on a loose rock, and I needed a big dab to keep moving. It is where I thought my challenge had ended, by losing a dab so early on in the trial. “Rather than sulking too much thought I would knuckle down and managed a good clean on the tricky looking Caolasnacon. Despite being painfully slow on the bottom part, first gear proved to be the right choice on Pipeline as I flew up to the top. Seeing the results overnight gave me hope that if I could clean the next day, I would stand a good chance of finally managing to win.”



Best over 350cc — Colin Bailey (Ariel): This was a great ride for Whitby based Colin on the mighty four-stroke single cylinder Ariel.

Day two “On day two, I was quite happy with my riding and had started to understand my machine’s strengths and weaknesses. Going fast certainly wasn’t a strength, and so I was pleased to clean some of the long loose climbs off the side of Mamore Road. We soon arrived at Cnoc-a-Linnhe again, which was, without a doubt, the hardest section of the trial. Despite the rocks being fairly solid, the moisture had been carried onto the dry rocks making them incredibly slippery. Every rider I had seen making an attempt was going for speed; I didn’t feel was a good option for me. I knew that, quite simply, I had to clean this to stand a chance of winning. I spotted a different line at the start on some dry rocks and planned my slower attack. Luckily, this proved to be successful and I managed to clean it with any problems. I managed to keep my concentration and cleaned the remaining sections. I, once again, had to wait for Dad at the final section, but he soon turned up and,

Robbie Weir (Triumph): You need a good strong lad to get the best out of the Triumph Twin, and Robbie did a good job on his way to 9th position.

John Charlton (Triumph): The winner of the 2018 Leven Valley Two Day Trial, which is also based in Kinlochleven, John is another potential winner of the Pre-65 Scottish. He along with a few other riders also enjoys a sporting holiday taking in the six days with his young family.

Best Newcomer — Kiaran Hankin (BSA): One of the ‘Ton Up’ speed merchants with a 120-plus miles-per-hour lap at the Isle of Man TT races, ‘Hank’ is just at home with the throttle of the BSA Bantam in his hand. A very worthy winner of this award.


Neil Dawson (BSA): I once tried to keep up with Neil on the moors on my modern Ossa Explorer at the Pre-65 Scottish but to no avail, as Neil just breezed past me on his bike, I think at that time a Sprite. Another rider who also takes in the Scottish Six Days Trial.

Best 201–250cc — Darren Wasley (Triumph): This is another rider more than capable of a win in this event. Over the last few years ‘Wass’ has mixed his modern riding with the classic scene with great effect.

despite falling off in the first part of the section, he managed to do the next part for a single dab. It was very moving to hear cheers from spectators and officials who had been waiting for him until the end as he completed the section. After a nervous wait for the results at the presentation, I was thrilled to bits to win this prestigious event. Even before the results were announced, it had already felt special simply by witnessing everybody who had been looking after my Dad, helping him and picking him up, and cheering him on. It is, without a doubt, one of the proudest moments of my career, winning the event and seeing my Dad finish, and I would like to thank everyone who contributed to that. Whether or not it will be my Dad’s last ride remains to be seen, but the fact that he muttered the words himself is a pretty strong indication that it might be! “It goes without saying; I would like to thank all of the organisers and officials, all my friends and family, especially my Mum, Dad, and wife Katy. A special thanks also to John Shirt Jnr and Gas Gas UK, Michel Kaufmann (S3), Cesar Carmona (Mots), Sally Hayden and Putoline UK, Henry Rosenthal (Renthal), Duncan and Judy MacDonald, Norman Blakemore, Alan Whitton, David Dench, Staff at BUMPY, Nigel Land, Richard Thorpe and anyone else that helped out in any way – you know who you are!”



A new idea

Best 251–350cc — Dennis Sweeten (BSAUSA): As far as records go, for Dennis this is the best result for a rider from the USA in the Pre-65 Scottish. Dennis has also been riding in the six days for many years.

Best Rider Over-60 — Yrjo Vesterinen (BSAFIN): The three-time FIM World Trials Champion from 1976–1978 and the first foreign rider to win the Scottish Six Days in 1980 is still as determined as ever. How good would it be to see him win this event – if he does, he is going in the Loch!

Mark Harris (ArielIRL): Another good strong rider of the Ariel, Mark has on other occasions taken the Best Foreign Rider award.

Best-up-to 200cc — Norman Shepherd (BSA): Pateley Bridge farmer Norman will be very happy with a trouble-free weekend.


It was Bob Adamson who approached the Edinburgh & District Club with the idea to run the first Pre-65 Scottish in 1984. It all went ahead on the Wednesday of the main Scottish Six Days, to ease the parking problems at the old Achlain group of sections and give the spectators a diversion from the main event and bring some added interest to the six days of trials action in the Highland area. The first one-day trial was run over private ground, taking in some of the popular section groups such as Pipeline. As we are all now well aware, it proved a huge success; so much so that it is, year on year, massively over-subscribed which means bringing in the dreaded ballot. For those lucky enough to have a ride, they then have to have a machine which fits the strict criteria of the specifications to make it eligible. The Highland village of Kinlochleven and its inhabitants are happy to play host to the Pre-65 Scottish, and the opening street parade of riders is a most welcome addition to the event in more recent times. With such a strong demand for an entry, the number of riders has been increased to 200 from last year, and there was still a 25-strong reserve list of eager riders who wanted to take part. The list of reserve riders was soon accommodated to the point that come Thursday evening after scrutineering and signing on had taken place, if you had a previously accepted machine with you a last-minute ride was available; a rare occurrence indeed. With all the formalities out of the way, a cool, cloudy day welcomed the 200 riders, headed by the guest of honour, Jock McComisky and his son, Mark, for the popular parade around the town, keeping the welcoming crowd very happy. At exactly 10.00am, Murray Whittaker and John Charlton left the start ramp to go in different directions around the figure-ofeight course; even numbers go one way and odd numbers the other, taking in 30 hazards laid out in 15 groups.



Andy Hipwell (BSA): It was a very happy ‘Hipscotch’ in the parade before the battle commenced. Andy was two-stroke mounted for the first time in the Pre-65 event.

Nick Shield (Triumph): Looking in full control on Mamore on day two, he will be disappointed with this result.

Best Matchless/AJS over 300cc — Philip Wiffen (Matchless): It’s always good to see a very original British motorcycle in the hands of a competent rider, and Phil never disappoints.

Best Original Machine — Chris Clarke (BSA): Riding in the event with his son Sam will be another box ticked for this father and son pair. Roy Palmer (Velocette): The question when you celebrate your 60th birthday is ‘what do you do now’? Pushrod, as he is known, rode this Velocette in the Pre-65 Scottish and then enjoyed another six days of trialling in the main event in Fort William; good on ya!

Best Woman — Donna Fox (BSA): If results went on enthusiasm this young lady would win the trial hands down; this is another good result from the ‘Foxy’ lady.




Oldest finisher — Mick Grant (BSA): No spring chicken these days, ‘Granty’ can still show the youngsters a thing or two on the Pre-65 scene, especially when it comes to engineering genius. I often wonder how many Moto GP machines have been robbed of their exhaust systems to make the one on his ‘Bantam’!

Vincent Mackintosh (Triumph): I take my hat off to Vince; he lost his wife Clare to cancer in December 2018 aged 46, but he has gone out of his way to raise funds for the various cancer charities by immersing himself in various activities. She would be so proud.

No one clean The weather in the lead up to the event had been unprecedented, with warm and very dry conditions which had left the many rocky climbs and rivers in a very dry state. The usual opening hazards on day one at Aluminium Works for the even numbers had to be cut out due to the bridge leading to Pipeline being under repair and were replaced by extra two sections in Loch Eilde Burn, as the odd numbers started at Cnoc A Linnhe. It was here at the opening group that the fourth section would prove to cause many problems for the riders. Eventual winner, Dan Thorpe, was one of the clean rides with a superb ride, which as the day progressed proved very rare. In the second group at Pollock Hill, which was a single subsection, he parted with his


Enjoying the moment are 153 Colin Benson and 143 Craig Asbridge: The scenery around the trial is, in one word, ‘stunning’. We must all remember we are visitors on this cherished land and support the organisers in stamping out illegal riding which could threaten the future of the event — please, stop it!

only mark of the day, and the trial. The even numbers opened up the action on the iconic Pipeline, which early on in the day rode very well but with every passing rider, the loose rocks made it more difficult. Quite a few clean rides were witnessed and rewarded with a rapturous round of applause from the many spectators who gather every year at this very testing hazard. As the riders came in from the day’s action, it soon became apparent that four riders had all parted with a single mark each, which was confirmed when the results were released. Dan Thorpe, on his Tiger Cub, had his mark early on as we have stated, and he was joined by Dan Clarke the 2016 winner, on another ‘Cub’; Clarke would retire on the second day with mechanical problems.

Riding his big four-stroke Ariel with his usual mixture of aggression and finesse, Lancashire’s Ben Butterworth kept his dream of his first win on track with a single-mark loss. The only two-stroke at the head of the field was the BSA Bantam of Ireland’s Stephen Murphy, who was more than happy with his single-mark score. For the local favourite and winner of the last two years, Gary MacDonald, his wheels came off his attack for his third consecutive win in the single hazard at Caolasnacoan. His Triumph Tiger Cub simply ran out of power as he chose to attempt the steep loose rocks in second gear instead of first, would rider error deny him the win? There were many excellent rides further down the order, as a mere 11 marks covered the top 50 positions.



PRE-65 SSDT 2019 Riders Best performance: 1: Dan Thorpe (Triumph) 1; 2: Ben Butterworth (Ariel) 2; 3: Gary MacDonald (Triumph) 2. Best performance on first day: Ben Butterworth (Ariel) 1 Best performance on second day: Dan Thorpe (Triumph) 1 Best foreign rider: Stephen Murphy (BSA-IRE) 3 Best newcomer: Kiaran Hankin (BSA) 9 Best Scottish rider: Calum Murphy (BSA) 4 Best rider over 60: Yrjo Vesterinen (BSA-FIN) 10 Best rider on a rigid up to 250: No Award Best rider on a rigid over 250: Gary Shaw (Triumph) 89 Eugene Salles (Terrot-FRA): If one classic motorcycle caught our eye it was superb to see this French machine in action with its French rider Eugene who finished a very creditable 80th.

Best Woman: Donna Fox (BSA) 19 Best over 350: Colin Bailey (Ariel) 6 Best 251-350: Dennis Sweeten (BSA-USA) 10

All to play for Talk about all to play for; four seasons in one day also covered the mountainous area around Kinlochleven as the riders encountered sunshine, the odd light rain shower and a flurry of snow blown off the snow that had landed on the higher hills during the Friday night. The second day witnessed an even larger gathering of spectators in the Highlands to see some more ‘Classic’ action with the 30 hazards again in the two loops for odd and even numbers. The two separate loops for the riders would see hazards found once more alongside the loch, with the ‘hill’ loop being along the old military Mamore Road. The men on a mission were Macdonald, who was visibly very annoyed with what he termed ‘Pilot’ error on day one, Butterworth chasing his first win, and of course Thorpe, who was focussed on emulating his father with his first win. As it turned out Dan and Gary both went clean all day parting with no marks, some incredible feat on its own merits as Butterworth parted with another mark to make a total of two for the event. It did have its consolation though as Ben’s score gave him second position in front of MacDonald on the tie break decider. With only 18 retirements, due mainly to mechanical problems, the riders came into the village school to sign off their two days of action. As the stories came out in the vein of ‘I nearly cleaned it’ and ‘I was in the wrong gear’ it was apparent that the event had once again enjoyed a vote of success from the finishers. Maybe the event had been a little on the easier side; reflected by the low scores. Thorpe won on one mark lost with the last official finisher Kieran Abraham on 183 marks lost, but for the many people who put on this event one thing they cannot control is the weather. When the sun shines on this event, you’d better enjoy it!

Best 201-250: Darren Wasley (Triumph) 5 Best up to 200: Norman Shepherd (BSA) 11 Best Matchless/AJS over 300cc: Philip Wiffen (Matchless) 18 Oldest finisher: Mick Grant (BSA) 59 Special First Class Awards: Stephen Murphy (BSA-IRE) 3; Calum Murphy (BSA) 4; Darren Wasley (Triumph) 5; Colin Bailey (Ariel) 6; Neil Dawson (BSA) 7; Robbie Weir (Triumph) 8; Kiaran Hankin (BSA) 9; John Charlton (Triumph) 10; Dennis Sweeten (BSA-USA) 10; Yrjo Vesterinen (BSA-FIN) 10; Norman Shepherd (BSA) 11; Mark Harris (Ariel-IRL) 11; Murray Whittaker (Triumph) 11; Andy Hipwell (BSA) 12; Paul Dennis (Triumph) 12; Nick Shield (Triumph) 13; Davy Morewood (Triumph) 13; Ian Myers (Triumph) 13; Mark Sunter (Triumph) 14; Mark Reynolds (Triumph) 14. First Class Awards: Hamish Jamison (Francis Barnett) 14; Paul Bennett (Francis Barnett) 14; Chris Clarke (BSA) 15; Sam Clarke (Triumph) 15; Scott Alexander (Sprite) 16; Robin Luscombe (Triumph) 17; Duncan Mitchell (Triumph) 17; Chris Haigh (Velocette) 17; Mike Watson (Triumph) 18; Michael Erving (Ariel) 18; Mark Smith (Ariel) 18; Philip Harris (BSA) 18; Philip Wiffen (Matchless) 18; Richard Allen (Ariel) 18; Tyler Murphy (Triumph) 18; Donna Fox (BSA) 19; Roy Palmer (Velocette) 19; Lewis Bell (Royal Enfield) 20; Ian Payne (Trifield) 20; Kevin Chapman (Trifield) 21; Eric McMeekin (Francis Barnett) 21.

Machines Special and First Class Awards Triumph: 17; BSA: 11; Ariel: 6; Francis Barnett: 3; Trifield: 2; Velocette: 2; Matchless: 1; Royal Enfield: 1; Sprite: 1.

Winners: 1984–2019

‘Freedom with Friends’: Sharing the moment with my pal Tyler Murphy at the top of Callart Falls. Thank you to his father Martin for the loan of the Montesa 4RT.


Riders: 1984: Sammy Miller (Ariel); 1985: Brian Cottrell (BSA) & Sammy Miller (Ariel); 1986: Sammy Miller (Ariel); 1987–1990: Dave Thorpe (Triumph); 1991: David Pye (Triumph); 1992: Mick Andrews (James) & Alan Wright (BSA); 1993: Mick Andrews (James) & Dave Thorpe (Triumph); 1994: Mick Andrews (Ariel) & Roy Wilson (Triumph); 1995: Alan Wright (BSA); 1996: Matt Chambers (Triumph); 1997: Dave Thorpe (Triumph); 1998: Roger Williams (James); 1999 – 2000: Stig Karlsson (Triumph/ Ariel-SWE); 2002: Mick Andrews (James); 2003: Scott Dommett (Cotton); 2004: Neil Gaunt (Royal Enfield); 2005: Mick Andrews (James); 2006: Neil Gaunt (Ariel); 2007 – 2008: Tony Calvert (Triumph); 2009 – 2010: Paul Heyes (Triumph); 2011: Steve Saunders (Trifield); 2012: Davy Morewood (Ariel); 2013: James Harland (Triumph); 2014: Robert Bowyer (Triumph); 2015: James Noble (Ariel); 2016: Dan Clarke (Triumph); 2017- 2018: Gary MacDonald (BSA & Triumph); 2019: Dan Thorpe (Triumph). Machines: Triumph: 18; Ariel: 7; James: 5; BSA: 3; Cotton: 1; Royal Enfield: 1; Trifield: 1




PRE ‘65



t: 01784 440033




Viva Montesa

No one could have predicted the titanic battle between good friends Malcolm Rathmell (Montesa) and Martin Lampkin (Bultaco) at the ‘Scottish’. Riding close together all week at riding numbers 114 (Rathmell) and 123 (Lampkin) the close-fought action would finally be resolved in Rathmell’s favour, as Lampkin crashed out with one hand on the famous trophy in the final hazards of the day on the slopes of Ben Nevis. The weather had been very mixed, but the action was as hot as ever, with each day’s action delivering some very interesting scores. A foreign rider had never won the SSDT, but what was interesting in 1979 were the overseas riders and the fact that the other European manufacturers such as SWM were beginning to make inroads into the Spanish reign in Scotland. For Montesa, it was a case of ‘Viva Montesa’ as they recorded their first win, much to the delight of the official UK importer Jim Sandiford. Words: John Hulme, Mike Rapley, Motorcycle, Morton’s Archive and Motorcycle News • Pictures: Colin Bullock, Yoomee Archive, Eric Kitchen, The Nick Nicholls Collection at Morton’s Archive and Iain Lawrie




Martin Lampkin (Bultaco): In the sixth hazard on Ben Nevis Lampkin hits a rock, which throws him and his Bultaco almost to the floor. The spectators could not believe what they were witnessing. Martin Lampkin (Bultaco): A three-time winner of the event from 1976 to 1978, could he become the first rider to be a fourtime consecutive winner? Try as he might he finally conceded defeat with one hand on the trophy.

The Vesterinen brothers from Finland were out in force at the event. Here we see the youngest, Anttoni, in the car park meeting Jock Wilson, on the left. He would ride his Bultaco to 50th position.

Monday: 32 sections, 80 miles The event had started in cold but dry conditions before a small fall of snow gave the riders an indication that they were in for a cold week as they rode to the first group of hazards at Callart Falls. The early drama had already started in the car park at the start though, as one of the pre-event favourites, Malcolm Rathmell, collected a five-mark penalty when his Montesa would not start up in the allocated time. As the results came in it was the five-time winner, Mick Andrews on the Ossa, who had taken an early lead from Rob Shepherd on the mighty 360 Honda, followed by Martin Lampkin who was bidding for a record fourth consecutive win on the Bultaco. Rathmell had kept his nerve and his feet on the footrests after the earlier setback, and rounding off the top five was Finland’s Yrjo Vesterinen who was attempting to become the first foreign winner of the event. On a difficult opening day, only ten riders had retired, with a further two excluded for exceeding the time limit. Monday Leaders: 1: Mick Andrews (Ossa) 9; 2: Rob Shepherd (Honda) 10; 3: Malcolm Rathmell (Montesa) 11; 4: Martin Lampkin (Bultaco) 11; 5: Yrjo Vesterinen (Bultaco-FIN) 12; 6: Jaime Subira (Montesa-ESP) 14; 7: John Metcalfe (Bultaco) 15; 8: Nigel Birkett (Montesa) 15; 9: Nick Jefferies (Bultaco) 17; 10: John Reynolds (Suzuki) 18.


Ever the perfectionist, Yrjo Vesterinen had exchanged the experimental Bultaco rear shock absorbers for the French Fournales ones in his pursuit of becoming the first foreign rider to win the SSDT. The man on the hand pump is his brother Jussi. The machine he rode at the event was not his world championship-chasing one.


FLASHBACK 1979 SCOTTISH SIX DAYS Tuesday: 26 sections, 103 miles A cold frost greeted the early starters, and later in the day, the route would have to be changed due to heavy snow blocking the Clunes Forest. The organisers had to implement some delaying procedures and parked the men and machines up at the side of the road while they made a decision on the route. Four missing hazards at Meall Choir were replaced with a second visit to Laggan Locks. At the back of the entry, it was Rob Shepherd who lost the least marks on five as Rathmell closely followed him, parting with the same amount of marks. With the marks so close both Mick Andrews and Martin Lampkin were punished after parting with a five each, Lampkin’s for brushing his shoulder on a tree at Achlain, which pushed them away from the top. Looking for a first win Finland’s Yrjo Vesterinen had some problems with his swinging arm which he rectified at the side of the road and also replaced a rear tyre as the organisers decided where to take the riders, with the Clunes Forest area out. Tuesday Leaders: 1: Shepherd 14; 2: Rathmell 16; 3: Martin Lampkin 19; 4: Mick Andrews (Ossa) 21; 5: Vesterinen 24; 6: Subira 24; 7: Birkett 26; 8: Reynolds 27; 9: Charles Coutard (France-SWM) 28; 10: Metcalfe 30.

John Metcalfe (Bultaco): This was an excellent week, with his best day Thursday when he was the third best performer.


Rob Shepherd (Honda): This was a new Honda for the event that he had not competed on before which featured a mighty 359cc four-stroke engine. With improvements to the handling achieved by the fitting of Showa front and rear suspension, the engine was where the most improvements had been carried out. The engine now featured all-aluminium crankcases with the side cases magnesium, a new cam shaft was fitted along with a heavier flywheel, and a redesigned exhaust system complemented the engine changes to provide a smoother power delivery.

Wednesday: 32 sections, 96 miles With both Rathmell and Lampkin having their early starting days it was left to the tall American Marland Whaley on the Montesa to become the first ever ‘Stateside’ rider to record the lowest score of the day in the event. His score of 11 marks lost hauled him up to sixth position overall with the next, Lampkin, on 13, which he was happy with. New hazards on the Old Military Road took marks from almost everyone as Rob Shepherd remained in the overall lead. The running schedule was once again very tight on time on the ride, from the car park start right through to the lunch check at the Inveroran

Manuel Soler (Bultaco-ESP): This was the first outing in the Scottish Six Days Trial for the new 340cc engine, which also housed the six-speed gearbox. Soler would be the best performing rider on the day five Friday, parting with just six marks lost.

Hotel. At Callart Falls, the first hazards of the day, the later numbers were awarded extra time for the delay, which helped, but the earlier riders missed out on this. On the homeward run the rocks of the hazards at ‘Ba House’ took many marks as they proved very difficult. At the close of day three, a battle for the top spot was hotting up between Shepherd, Lampkin and Rathmell. Wednesday Leaders: 1: Shepherd 30; 2: Martin Lampkin 32; 3: Rathmell 38; 4: Manuel Soler (Bultaco-ESP) 45; 5: Vesterinen 45; 6: Marland Whaley (Montesa-USA) 47; 7: Coutard 51; 8: Subira 54; 9: Reynolds 58; 10: Metcalfe 62.

Yrjo Vesterinen (Bultaco-FIN): As neat and tidy as ever; the crowd lean forward as he executes another clean on the big step at Altnafeadh on Monday morning.


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John Reynolds (Beamish Suzuki): The low gearing of the Japanese engine was always a problem at the ‘Scottish’. After his third position in the 1978 event on the SWM ‘JR’ was looking to finish higher than his eventual tenth in 1979.

Thursday: 30 sections, 112 miles Three-time winner Martin Lampkin was at his very best riding at the back of the entry, parting with a mere five marks which took him comfortably into the lead in front of Shepherd. The ride around the Moidart Peninsular is one of the most spectacular as the riders encountered four seasons in one day, with snow and rain in the morning before a small shaft of sun from behind the clouds shone through. From the start ‘Mart’ was on a mission, as he was the only rider to part with no marks on the eight hazards that opened the day on Ben Nevis. Marland Whaley went from hero to zero as the day turned into a disaster, as he lost the engine oil drain plug and with it 45 minutes on time. He continued in the event but was way down the order. Also, spare a thought for Dave Thorpe on the four-stroke CCM as the machine had fallen to pieces from day one when it caught fire, but he was still in the event. Thursday – 1: Martin Lampkin 37; 2: Shepherd 46; 3: Rathmell 51; 4: Vesterinen 71; 5: Coutard 73; 6: Metcalfe 78; 7: Reynolds 78; 8: Subira 78; 9: Soler 86; 10: Whaley 90.

Chris Milner (Bultaco): It was more success for Bultaco as the Chesterfield based rider won the Best Up To 250cc class award


The three SWM team riders, headed by Charles Coutard from France, seen here, and Italian’s Danilo Galeazzi and Giovanni Tosco all had new machines. These featured a new threebearing crank engine, with the main changes being in the frame geometry and handling. The engine frame tubes were removed and replaced with an aluminium sump guard and the frame plates were now flat around the footrest area. The engine was lower in the frame and Coutard used Marzocchi front forks and dual-spring rear Girling gas shocks.

Ray Haslam (Windsor Comp Shop Bultaco): Finishing as the Best Agents Rider was just reward for a rider more used to mud than rocks.


FLASHBACK 1979 SCOTTISH SIX DAYS Friday: 29 sections, 76 miles Who could conquer the iconic ‘Pipeline’ and its three continuous hazards, that is what Friday was all about. In total only ten riders kept clean sheets up the steep, unforgiving rocky climb at the side of the massive pipes that carry water down to the now redundant aluminium works below in Kinlochleven. On his way to the best performance of the day, Spain’s Manuel Soler was very impressive, as was Rob Shepherd who cleaned it for the third year in succession. A little pushed on time, John Shirt Snr in his first SSDT on his Majesty Yamaha had no time for an inspection, selected third gear and flew up for a loud round of applause to record a clean ride – much to his delight! Malcolm Rathmell and Martin Lampkin arrived together; Lampkin went first, but his ride was halted for a five-mark penalty in the last one. Rathmell was immaculate and went clean. The day closed, and a ‘Grand Finale’ was set up for the final day between Shepherd on 60, with Rathmell and Lampkin on 58 each. Friday: 1: Shepherd 58; 2: Martin Lampkin 58; 3: Rathmell 60; 4: Vesterinen 78; 5: Coutard 84; 6: Soler 92; 7: Subira 92; 8: Reynolds 103; 6: Metcalfe 108; 10: Andrews 117.

Miquel Cirera (Montesa-ESP): Now a regular visitor to the SSDT, with the official Montesa support from Spain the Repsol Honda team manager finished in 26th after a challenging week in the ever-changing weather conditions.


Mick Andrews (Ossa): The five-time winner of the event led after the first day, eventually finishing up in ninth position.

This was the first outing for the new Majesty Yamaha in the hands of its creator John Shirt Snr. By 1980 he would have a team of riders with support from Mitsui Yamaha, the official UK Yamaha importers.


FLASHBACK 1979 SCOTTISH SIX DAYS Yes this is your editor John Hulme: “This was my second SSDT riding an SWM supplied to Town and Country Motorcycles from the UK importers run by Cliff and Roger Holden. The frame geometry was slightly different and the engine had the three-bearing crank. It seized twice on the way to Laggan Locks on the cold Tuesday morning. At ‘Laggan’ it was running really strange, and what I did not know at the time was that the Woodruff key had sheared and the flywheel had welded itself to the crankshaft! When I returned home I went a quick spin up the road and the flywheel fell off. Cliff and Roger Holden were always very good to me with their support at the event”.



No one could have ever written the story of finding the winner of the 1979 ‘Scottish’. Away in the first 70 riders, Rob Shepherd denied Honda their first SSDT victory when he parted with a massive 29 marks to slip down the order to fourth. Having a very good week in Scotland, Finland’s Yrjo Vesterinen moved into third as he lost the least marks at seven on the final day. As Martin Lampkin and Malcolm Rathmell arrived together, the crowd waited to see who would take the win. Lampkin decided to ride the final ten Ben Nevis hazards first, and he went through the bottom three clean as Rathmell parted with two; the scores in Lampkin’s favour were 62 playing 64 – it was tense! The fourth section stood on its own, which they both cleaned feet up. In the fifth and sixth Lampkin hit a rock and with it, the resulting five as Rathmell took a double clean. On the seventh and eighth Martin attacked first again, parting with four putting him on 70 marks lost as Rathmell took a three in the eighth. Rathmell now took the initiative and went first, and with two marks lost rounded his week off on 69 as Lampkin went clean, but Rathmell had won. Both shook hands and complimented one another, and the UK importer Jim Sandiford was delighted as the Spanish manufacturer Montesa took its very first victory in this legendary event.



Saturday: 30 sections, 60 miles




Alan Lampkin (Bultaco): Riding the 175cc Sherpa ‘T’ model to the Best Up To 200cc class award ‘Sid’ enjoyed his six days of riding.


John Hulme’s father Ron fuels the SWM in Kinlochleven.

S3 CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS: 1: Malcolm Rathmell (Montesa) 69; 2: Martin Lampkin (Bultaco) 71; 3: Yrjo Vesterinen (Bultaco-FIN) 87; 4: Rob Shepherd (Honda) 87; 5: Charles Coutard (SWM-FRA) 100; 6: Manuel Soler (Bultaco-ESP) 106; 7: Jaime Subira (Montesa-ESP) 108; 8: John Metcalfe (Bultaco) 124; 9: Mick Andrews (Ossa) 135; 10: John Reynolds (Suzuki) 136; 11: Nigel Birkett (Montesa) 138; 12: Danilio Galeazzi (SWM-ITA) 153; 13: Norman Shepherd (Bultaco) 154; 14: Chris Sutton (Suzuki) 156; 15: Marland Whaley (Montesa-USA) 161.

Daily Awards Monday: Mick Andrews (Ossa) 9. Tuesday: Rob Shepherd (Honda) 4. Wednesday: Marland Whaley (Montesa-USA) 11. Thursday: Martin Lampkin (Bultaco) 5. Friday: Manuel Soler (Bultaco-ESP) 6. Saturday: Yrjo Vesterinen (Bultaco-FIN) 7. Best upto 150cc: No Award Best 151cc – 200cc: Alan Lampkin (Bultaco) Best 210cc – 250cc: Chris Milner (Bultaco) Best 251cc – 350cc: Malcolm Rathmell (Montesa) Best Agents Rider: Ray Haslam (Windsor Comp Shop Bultaco) Best Foreign Rider: Yrjo Vesterinen (Bultaco-FIN) Best Newcomer: Danilio Galeazzi (SWM-ITA) Dave Thorpe (CCM): “They decided to build me a new machine for the event, but it happened all at the last minute. The new 350cc engine would feature magnesium crankcases and a new five-speed gearbox from specialist manufacturer Quaife. The problem was it made the engine four-and-a-half inches wider! At the finish the machine was a wreck; the wheels had collapsed and the oil was spewing from the broken frame. My highlight of the week though was the only clean on all the sections at Grey Mare’s Ridge”.


Manufacturers Team Award: Bultaco: Martin Lampkin (GBR) Yrjo Vesterinen (FIN) Manuel Soler (ESP)

Machines Top 15 Bultaco: 5; Montesa: 4; Suzuki: 2; SWM: 2; Ossa: 1; Honda: 1



TONI BOU 12x FIM Trial World Champion 2007-2018 13x FIM X-Trial World Champion 2007-2019

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Four-stroke Out and about, many trials machines catch your eye for different reasons, and this green four-stroke Kawasaki was one of them. Roy Palmer from the RAS Sport trials dealership is well known on the trials scene as he has been around in the motorcycle world for quite a while. He has ridden so many different and sometimes odd machinery – who remembers the 305cc Fraser Hondas in the late 70s? Roy claims this machine ruined his career! The Kawasaki project goes back a little further than you would have thought, as we are about to find out after a recent visit to his workshop.

Article: CTM with Roy Palmer • Pictures CTM and Bob Gollner Motorcycles


Roy makes a splash on his special Kawasaki.



It looks good and appears to handle very well.


he original Kawasaki trials project in the early ’70s, headed by Don Smith, promised so much but delivered so little. His vision of a trials motorcycle was not what the buying public wanted; it’s as simple as that. Speaking with the few works riders who rode them, we soon found out that they ‘secretly’ altered the frame to improve the handling and modified the engine to make it perform something like they had expected. It was the same story with the production two-stroke KT 250. The vast remaining stocks of production models were parked up, and it never sold well.

In this picture you can see how tall the four-stroke engine is.

Gollner Kawasaki The only Kawasaki trials models that were any good had seen the engines placed in a very tidy tubular chrome-plated frame. A quick phone call to my good friend Mick Whitlock confirmed that the frames were fabricated by Robin Rhind-Tutt, who is famous for their own Wasp motorcycle kits. The Gollner Kawasaki, as it became known, used the KT 250 engine, suspension and wheels and gained moderate success in the south of the country selling though Bob Gollner Motorcycles at Denmead, near Portsmouth in Hampshire. The super-enthusiastic Bob Gollner would make a one-off special using the four-stroke Kawasaki KL250 engine, which nicely leads us on to this Kawasaki we look at here.

We think you will agree that from this side it looks very professional.

A four-stroke start Encouraged by his father, Phillip, Roy’s trials life started back in the early ’70s on a four-stroke Honda TL 125 before he progressed, as many young riders did at that time, into trials just before the schoolboy scene was up and running. In a career that’s covered close on 40 years, he has ridden in all the trials events on offer, including the world rounds. A very handy rider, he also has eight treasured Scott Trial spoons under his belt. Around the time that the RAS dealership came to life just




A very neat and tidy folding kickstart from a ‘Pit’ bike was fitted. All the original kickstarts had fouled on the footrests, but for a mere £16 this problem was eradicated forever.

He got the exhaust system right first time, and it’s stayed the same ever since.

after the turn of the year 2000, he had moved into the world of enduros. Enjoying the freedom to have a good ‘Burn’ around and getting the throttle open, his racing years were very much enjoyed. But it’s back to trials where we take up the Kawasaki story.

On fire The Roy Palmer Kawasaki got off to a very tough start in life as

The welding around the headstock is functional!

Beamish Suzuki front forks and yokes were replaced with Marzocchi ones from a Beta TR34.


it was set on fire and classed as an insurance right-off — in Roy’s words, it was in a very poor state! It’s a 1980 KL 250 four-stroke, five-speed gearbox model and it came into Roy’s hands in 1982. A time-served electrician, he had spent many hours working in hospitals maintaining the Hilton equipment, and this is where the special story starts to take shape as the frame was fabricated from an old bed, making use of the steel! With advice from his friend and fellow trials rider Paul Jackson, the frame was fabricated using the steel tubing cut out of the old bed. The front box section is from a bed head, of all things. The steering head angle was judged to be right from the word go; talk about a little luck!

Its four-stroke engine has been ‘tweaked’ along its journey; as Roy says development is ongoing.

At the moment the gearing combination is a tentooth gearbox sprocket and a rear 46-tooth one.


SPECIAL KAWASAKI The original The four-stroke engine sits quite snug in the frame, and to keep it looking conventional an aluminium engine plate keeps it in place attached to the front down tube. The swinging arm is steel, once again using the hospital bed material. The original engine had very little tuning as it performed quite well and proved very reliable. One thing Roy wanted to keep was the affection with the fourstroke exhaust note. It’s actually modelled on the one from Rob Shepherd’s works Honda. Many hours were spent working on the exhaust as it snakes down the right-hand side of the machine. It still amuses Roy that he got it right first time as it’s stayed the same ever since! Beamish Suzuki front forks were added, as was a TLR 250 Honda rear wheel sourced from Rob Sartin at Talon. The machine was ridden in some of the early Sebac twin-shock rounds with encouraging results before it was parked up at the time of the monoshock trials years.

Back to grass roots After spending many years riding enduros, Roy got interested in trials again, and the Kawasaki was brought back into life; it had had a few outings in these years but not many. The engine was treated to a re-bore and a piston from a Kawasaki GPZ 1100 model, taking the engine capacity to 265cc. A Chinese copycarburettor was also added to help with the performance. The steel fuel tank is hidden under a fibreglass cover to make it look better. A tubeless rear wheel rim was fitted, and the front forks and yokes were replaced with Marzocchi ones from a Beta TR34. The rear suspension is looked after by a pair of OZO branded shocks. In more recent times a Scorpa side stand was added, as was a very neat and tidy folding kickstart from a ‘Pit’ bike. All the original kick-starts had fouled on the footrests, but for a mere £16, this problem was eradicated forever.

Performance In its present state, Roy is using a gearing combination of a tentooth gearbox sprocket and a rear 46-tooth one. On his admission, it all works very well. The power delivery is very smooth, and first

Power delivery is very smooth and first gear is very long, allowing him to rev the engine quite high.

gear is very long, allowing him to rev the engine quite high; the gap to second gear is quite high, so gear selection is vital. The third of the five gears is very good for burning out in deep mud or on long hill climbs. Watching Roy in action on the Kawasaki makes you realise just how well you can build a machine to suit your own tastes; it cannot be that bad either as he has won his class at events in recent years in the very competitive Kia twin-shock series. The main point is the fact that Roy loves riding it, always turning heads with its distinctive green look. Maybe if Roy had been around at the same time as the Don Smith years, Kawasaki would have followed the four-stroke route with more success than the two-stroke disaster which was the KT 250cc model.

t The Gollner Kawasaki, as it became known, used the KT 250 engine, suspension and wheels and gained moderate success. p Bob Gollner would make a one-off special using the four-stroke Kawasaki KL250 engine.



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When John Hulme asked if I could catch up with Brian Hutchinson for an article in Classic Trial Magazine, I said it would be very unlikely, because in all the years of competition both in trials and scrambles he was almost uncatchable! But I did finally manage to nail him down for a few words – he must be steadying up! Over the many years involved in off-road motorcycle sport, I have counted myself lucky to have met many characters including riders, officials and helpers, and there are many from all backgrounds and differing walks of life, but I have never encountered such a unique character as Brian Hutchinson. A ‘Sackfull’ of stories emanate around the man from relatives, friends and rivals; some hilarious some, Brian says, mischievous – and most would make for a fantastic book. But for this article, I shall have to stick to the printable ones! Article: John Watson • Pictures: John Watson, Allen Collier, Malcolm Carling, Alan Vines, Motorcycle News, The Nick Nicholls Collection at Mortons Archive, Yoomee Archive and Barry Robinson




It’s the 1973 Scottish Six Days Trial, in the snow at Edramucky on the Montesa Cota 123.


farmer from Stokesley, Brian was one of the most talented and wellrespected riders ever to throw a leg over a trials or scrambles motorcycle. In a fantastic riding career that spanned more than three decades from the early 60s through to the 80s, staying at the top of the trials scene for most of those 30 years and riding his last SSDT in 1986 on a Bultaco which came to an ignominious end when, he says, “I got washed away crossing a bloody river”.

You win some, you lose some

This very early picture has Brian in action on, we think, a DOT.

Article author John Watson believes the machine in this picture of Brian is a Butler.


Nicknames, such as Bunny or Hutchy; he answers to all of these and believe it or not I think he is even a contradiction unto himself, because once on a motorcycle the easy-going, laid-back description does not do him justice as there is no-one more competitive. But either winning or losing, Brian’s philosophy has always remained the same throughout his career: ‘You win some, you lose some’ he says. And that says it all to me, along with his God-given talent, because I never saw anyone on a trials motorcycle that could match him for finding grip, which places Brian amongst the great riders of his era. What also amazes me – not sure if Brian would agree with this – is that I don’t think he ever actually realised just what a special talent he possessed. To witness his infinite skill of balance and throttle control to find that elusive grip in almost impossible conditions was an absolute treat unless competing against him, as then it could and did destroy the best of riders. Brian admits he felt the most confidence when conditions were slippery (in other words, almost impossible), thus proving the learning of his craft came from those early winter trials. Born at Stokesley in 1943 and brought up on the farm within a stone’s throw of the famous Carlton Bank scrambles circuit, his early experiences did not define him as a child prodigy on a motorcycle as they were not very successful. Asked when he started riding: “I would have been about 15 years old, I think. When my elder brother Keith nipped off on holiday, I borrowed his old DOT out of the shed, thinking he would never know. I rode to Carlton Bank and coming down the steep bank I had a right ‘tank slapper’ and was pitched over the handlebars, knocking the wind out of me. I couldn’t get my breath and thought I was going to die! Luckily, there was no damage to the machine, and I got it home and back in the shed. Keith never did find out.”


PROFILE BRIAN HUTCHINSON This ‘Scrapbook’ picture sees a flying Brian on his way to taking the East Yorkshire Motocross Championship.

Taking a steadying ‘dab’ at Robinson’s Rocks below Hawk’s Nest in the 1966 Northern Experts trial. The Sprite he is on is one of the very early Villiers engine models. Concentrating hard at the 1969 Scottish Six Days Trial on the Sachs engined 125cc Sprite.

Standing tall in the 1970 Scott Trial.

Leaving School On leaving school an old school mate, the late Geoff Davison sold Brian and Chris Bainbridge an old rigid-back-end SUN motorcycle. It would be his first machine in joint ownership with Chris and cost them the princely sum of £12 each. At this time Brian’s father built a bigger shed but for some reason the entrance door was narrow, and as Brian aimed the SUN at the open door to garage it up for the night the throttle cable snagged on a nail, opening the throttle, and the engine was revving flat out! It jumped out of his hands, crashed into the side of the shed, revving its b******s off, blue smoke everywhere, spinning round and round before dying! Brian progressed and played about with roadgoing machines for a year or two on a 500cc Triumph Speed Twin model, eventually swapping it for a more up-to-date DOT, and began competing. It brought the best out in him. In these early days of competition he had found his niche, and he loved it. In his first few races, he blew away the highly rated, up and coming, John Gatenby, a leggy sort of a rider but an effective one, who was flying on a Bultaco Metisse at Great Ayton. It was followed by a fantastic win at Huggate, near Hull, in the 250cc race. On a really fast, undulating grassland circuit he caught


and passed future Yorkshire Champ Malcolm Hall, then Ronnie Tate, before hauling in leader Norman Crooks to win by a good margin. Within just a couple of seasons, Brian broke the domination in the East Yorks Centre of the Tate brothers, Norman Crooks and the like, who had reigned supreme for a good number of years. He continued to ride scrambles and trials all year round, often riding to and from events and using the same machine for each discipline.

I want to win One particular ride of Brian’s, who was by now developing a tall, angular style reminiscent to the great Don Rickman, that will always stand out in my memory was at a Players No. 6 sponsored meeting run by Thirsk DMC at their Long Plain Farm circuit, high up on the Hambleton Hills. Brian had been out of action for a couple of weeks after suffering a broken wrist when clashing with the late Malcolm Davis at Loughborough while riding for the East Yorks Centre team. But Brian was determined not to miss this one, injured or not, so he hacksawed a chunk out of the plaster cast so he could grip the handlebars! Riding a Maico Sprite, a machine with such

hellish compression it could rip a boot clean off or break a leg kicking it into life, Brian, who possibly weighs about eight stone wet through, decided not to risk it and would tow it off with the tractor to start it! Come the race day he and his brother-in-law, Brian Johnson, started it with the tractor and loaded it into the pick-up, leaving young Brian responsible for keeping it going and adding fuel when running low to take it to the event. Unbelievable really, as the two of them kept it running on tick-over between races all day, and he finished a magnificent third overall on the day to a flying Andy Roberton. I can’t remember who was second, but he left many of the works men for dead that day, it was a fantastic ride. In 1966, at 23 years old, Brian married Eleanor Johnson from nearby Battersby, the marriage taking place on a Saturday. It happened to be the day before the Cleveland trials, so such an understanding girl that she was, (today’s riders, please note!) the honeymoon was delayed for a day allowing her newly-wed husband to ride in the event. Sorry to say there was no fairy-tale ending as he didn’t win it, possibly because he had other things on his mind! Now that is an understanding woman, and over the coming years, the marriage produced three children: Andrew, Delise and Heidi.


PROFILE BRIAN HUTCHINSON Despite the fragile looking frame the Sprite was one of the better ‘Micro’ machines which were so popular at the time. This picture is from the 1970 Northern Experts Trial and the hazards at Danebower Quarry.

Using that delicate throttle-right-hand to find wheel grip in the wet 1971 Victory Trial held in February. By March 1971 Brian was having some outings on a Cotton with the Minarelli engine.

The Cotton period didn’t last and soon he was back on the 125cc Sprite. Here he attempts the river step at Pontsticill in the Mitchell trial. With the Spanish machines the ones to have, Brian moved to the Montesa Cota 123. Here he attempts the bottom hazard at Hawk’s Nest, and his large spindly frame makes the machine look minute.


Representing the Easy Yorkshire Centre in the 1973 Inter Centre Team Trial held near Rochdale.


PROFILE BRIAN HUTCHINSON In the right hands the Montesa Cota 123 was a very effective trials machine, and Brian knew how to get the best out of it.

With support from the official Montesa importer Jim Sandiford Brian was competing in many national trials around the country such as, seen here, in the Kickham Cup where he is about to attempt a very tight turn. It’s the 1973 Scott Trial, ‘Hutch’ always relished the challenge of this unique time and observation event.

When the new Montesa Cota 172 model was released, the factory in Spain wanted to push the machine on a more global scale. Brian keeps forward motion at the 1975 FIM World Championship round near Bristol.

A winner Through the ’60s and ’70s, Brian won the East York Trials Championship ten times and also the East Yorks Scrambles Championship twice; the only rider to hold both in the same year — a feat that is unlikely ever to be equalled. To Brian, motorcycles and riding have, first and foremost, always been about enjoyment, much like his outlook on life really. He recalls: “I think, over the years, I got the most pleasure out of my spell riding for Frank Hipkin on the Sprites in both trials and scrambles”. On one occasion, though, he did have a lucky escape when he first brought the Sprite back from the factory. Brian Johnson had already picked his machine up from local dealer Norman Crooks, so arriving back late at night Brian and, ‘Johnno’, built the Sprite up from kit form. After flooding the carburettor in an attempt to start it the machine burst into flames, quickly spreading across the garage floor. Panicking, Johnno grabbed the fire extinguisher and sprayed everything and got the fire out. They were like a couple of flour graders, everything covered in a white powder, but luckily only the wiring loom suffered on the Sprite! Brian also rates the SSDT highly. Asked how


many he had ridden in he could not precisely remember, but it was certainly on many different machines. He remembers one year crashing into the side of a car as a woman turned into her drive. He bailed off just before hitting her front door, and she jumped out of the car and ran into the house screaming! He thought she must be phoning the police so quickly straightened the machine out and rode off, and never did hear any more about it! He did not have any particularly good results in any ‘Scottish’ really, as he treated it like a trials-riding holiday and was maybe not under the same pressure as some of the other riders were. One of the machines he rode was the Cotton Minarelli; it had such a lowratio gearbox, he had no option but to change the gearbox sprocket every time a decent stretch of road work was involved as it only did 25mph flat out.

Travelling times Dave Willoughby, great mates with Brian, travelling, riding and yes sharing the odd drink together as well, knew him better than most: “Brian’s greatest achievements were on mini or the aptly named ‘Micro’ trials machines. He was never averse to making his own mods, but usually all at the last

minute and on the cheap. I remember him cutting through the top tube to alter the steering angle of one machine, and it worked. The next day he went out and won on it! Montesa sent him a new machine for the ‘Scottish’ one year and he made his modifications to the front forks in the Cattle Market just before he was due to start, at the very last minute. A spectator even allowed him to borrow his walking stick to jam down the forks to stop the bottom retaining bolt from turning! He was almost unbeatable on the ‘Micro’ machines, some maybe not as ‘Micro’ as they appeared, shall we say, producing a superb ride to beat the big names in the Northern Experts in 1969. I also recall him having his last ride on the Sprite, finishing fifth in the Scott and the very next day winning the Travers on the new Montesa Cota 123. He followed this with wins in many other Nationals all over the country including the Colonial and the Mitchell, and the very next day he finished second to Bill Wilkinson in the Welsh Dulais Valley Trial prompting manufacturers to take note, which they duly did. The works ride deservedly came from Montesa, signing on the dotted line in 1973 when trials were at the peak of their popularity.”



Riding number one at the 1975 Inter Centre Team Trial, which was promoted by the Cheshire Centre.

By 1976 it was a change to a Japanese manufacturer. This picture is from an East Yorkshire centre trial on the very early Beamish Suzuki RL 250cc.

Viva Montesa From then on he, along with Rob Edwards on the Montesa, hit the world trials scene, travelling to many rounds together. Although the sunny and dry, grippy conditions in such countries as Spain did not suit his riding style he was always a regular top ten finisher, with his best ever world result being a fifth place in Ireland. Throughout a long career Brian has many dealers to thank for sponsorship locally, beginning at Quinn’s Motorcycles on 175cc Bultacos and continuing for a great number of years with Dave McKenzie Motorcycles of Yarm before swapping to an early 250cc Suzuki for the late John Burdon of Great Ayton. Not that Brian has retired from the trials scene altogether, still riding in the odd trial now and again, and is often called upon for observing at the Scott and many other National events. Brian Hutchinson is a man very much admired by riders and officials throughout the trials scene. Not only for his riding skills – the results over the years speak for themselves – but also for what he has put back into the sport and how he conducted himself with officials, observers etc. when things did not always go his way. No bad language, no toys out of the pram; always the easy, laid-back attitude coming to the fore and moving on, a true sporting gentleman. An enjoyable couple of nights were spent reminiscing in Brian’s company to bring this article about. I think we touched on sport, agriculture, politics, Brexit, the state of the nation and the supposedly educated people running it and concluded that we really should be running the country as we could do a whole lot better job than them. And they should be forced onto a ‘Micro’ machine to ride the Scott Trial and show them just what a hard day’s work is like! John Watson: “It’s been a pleasure to generate this magazine article and I would like to personally thank Brian and Dave Willoughby for sharing such an enjoyable adventure.”


Brian can still be found riding in the odd trial, observing, and just enjoying life.


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Cotswold Cup Trial Scott Ellis (BSA): Staying loyal to his beloved four-stroke BSA, Scott had made his way to a solid second position to keep the ailing British flag flying amongst the invasion of the ‘Micro’ and Spanish trials machines. This was the only four-stroke machine in top awards after years of dominating the sport.

Lawrence Telling (Montesa): Loving his move to Montesa, ‘Sparkie’ was part of the Spanish team that had three riders in the top five. People were gaining confidence in this alternative machine to the all-conquering Bultaco and soon this would start to show in the machine sales as they gathered momentum.

Don Smith (Montesa): Having closed his motorcycle business at the start of March, Smith had a lot going on in his life but still managed to put this all behind him with a welcome win after a recent loss of his usual high standard of riding. Furthermore, all was not well between himself and the Montesa factory behind the scenes as they continued with the development of the machine. Smith had his own ideas and Montesa theirs.

Starting and finishing at the Leighterton Garage near Nailsworth in Gloucestershire, the Cotswold Cup Trial in the Western Centre had moved from its traditional December date to the early spring month of March for its 10.30am start time. On a cold but bright day this third round of the British Trials Championship had not attracted such a large entry with just 41 solo riders, but it was a massive increase over the four sidecars who entered the 1968 event as 13 assembled to tackle the traditional single-lap, 28-mile roadbased course taking in 39 hazards around the Dursley area. Words: Classic Trial Magazine with support from Mortons Archive Pictures: Brian Holder


Derek Adsett (Greeves): Having finished third in the 1968 ACU British Trials Championship he had been very underrated but was now making an impression in the results. His only problem was with the ageing two-stroke Greeves, which was getting very long in the tooth and the manufacturer did not appear to have a replacement model in the pipeline in the immediate future.



Gordon Farley (Montesa): After finishing as the runner-up in the 1968 ACU British Trials Championship on a Greeves, Farley has his eyes on knocking Sammy Miller off the top spot in 1969. He had started the season with a superb win at the Vic Brittain Trial in January, followed by another win at the Colmore in February. Now with a Duckhams oils contract, who had been very influential in getting the 1968 European round of the ground with financial support along with Miller, Duckhams were more than happy to have the top two riders using their products.


fter the heavy fog conditions in December 1968 had created many problems for the organisers, the change of date to March in 1969 would see the ground frozen as solid as in the previous year. It would later change though as the heat of the sun brought the thawing out of the ground as the event progressed, leaving wheel grip at a premium in the mud. In a competition that favoured the earlier numbers, the event turned out easier than expected as just six marks separated the top half-dozen riders with some tie-breaks deciding the positions. The action would open at the upper, and lower Court sections around the Cotswolds scrambles track at Nymphsfield after a very cold ride from the start; with no sun out the riders were all well wrapped up.

Adsett’s only clean The move to the Spanish machinery by many riders was now gaining more and more momentum as the once great British machines, which had been the mainstay of the trials world for so many years but were now looking very long in the tooth, failed to keep pace with the likes of Bultaco, Montesa and later Ossa. One of the loyal riders was Derek Adsett on his Villiers engined Greeves who was the only rider to remain ‘feet-up’ in the opening hazards on his way to an eventual fifth position. Very slippery drops and climbs made worse by the frozen conditions spoiled the observers’ scoreboards of all the entry apart from Adsett, who was showing very good early form. On hand to witness the action was the Western Centre president Chris Stagg, who had plotted out these early hazards. His work managed to extract a single mark each from both Don Smith (Montesa) and defending British Trials Champion Sammy Miller (Bultaco). An awkward drop into the rock-filled gully had seen them both take precautionary ‘dabs’ as Tony Davis (Bultaco), Gordon Farley (Montesa) and Ian Haydon (Cotton) joined them. Lawrence Telling (Montesa) and eventual lightweight cup winner Dennis Jones (Gaunt Suzuki) left the opening groups on three marks lost followed by the new Montesa rider Gordon Farley and, riding further down the entry list, Scott Ellis on the four-stroke BSA.


Sammy Miller (Bultaco): Presented with the award in February 1969 as the Caltex Motor Sport Star winner in 1968 as Ireland’s top contender in two- and four-wheel sport, it was a disappointed Miller with his results at the Cotswolds Cup, having been on top form only one week earlier winning the European championship round in Sevenoaks in Kent on the Saturday and then the Victory Trial the day after in Wales.

Paul Dunkley (Cheetah): Even in 2019 you have to admit that the Cheetah with the Villiers engine looks such an attractive machine. Dunkley was in superb form in the Southern Centre, where the machines were becoming more evident amongst many trials riders who still believed ‘British’ was the best. Dennis Jones (Gaunt Suzuki): On his way to winning the up-to-200cc cup ‘Jonah’ and his carefree attitude delivered so much success on the little Gaunt Suzuki. He was constantly under the scrutiny of the late great Ralph Venables, who in secret marvelled at Jones and what he achieved on the small-capacity machine.



Ian Haydon (Cotton): In a recent interview that Mike Rapley carried out with Ian Haydon he acknowledged that his results had been affected by his loyalty to the Cotton brand. Along with many other UK motorcycle manufacturers they had stayed loyal to the ageing Villiers engines which would soon be no match to the Spanish Armada. He would eventually move to Montesa.

Awesome drop Despite the cold conditions, the action would soon heat up at Ashmeads with an awesome ten-foot drop into the cold, muddy river. Two more steep drops and climbs then followed it before exiting the hazard. Putting themselves right back into the challenging positions for the win with superbly executed feet-up rides were Scott Ellis, Jim Sandiford (Bultaco) and Geoff Chandler on the Wasp framed Bultaco. Parted, once again, with a single mark each, Smith and Miller kept the battle for control going as they were joined by Haydon and Ken Sedgley on the 125cc Sprite. Gordon Farley was very annoyed with himself as he parted with two marks, knowing that every mark would count in this low-scoring trial. The very naturally formed hazards at Laycombe Ditch had 16 clean scores recorded before the move across the road to the largest group of sections in Binley Valley. With names like Twist, Gate, Drop, Dell and Climb the Binley Valley would witness drama for Miller who would see his fight for victory disappearing in front of his very eyes. Amongst the large amount of rope that had been used to mark one of the sections out, he was deemed to have hesitated, and the observers gave him a five-mark penalty. At Withymore with its twisting, rocky, mud-filled river he was also penalised once again for a ‘feet-up’ five, and with it any chance of victory.

Ken Sedgley (Sprite): Sprite manufacturer Frank Hipkin was selling his machines to many good Centre and National standard riders including Ken Sedgley seen here on the 125cc Sachs engined model. They were proving very popular as an easy and affordable way to get more riders into the sport.


Malcolm Davis (AJS): Recovering from a twisted knee with a damaged ligament he received when on a tough training regime run by the Army in the Brecon Beacons with his fellow AJS motocross team member Andy Roberton, Malcolm was enjoying an outing this AJS trials model which had the Greeves Anglian engine fitted.

Jim Sandiford (Bultaco): Now with a bustling trials business in Bury, Jim was still very much a part of the trials scene. After a few rides in 1968 on a Sprite he knew that the ailing British machines were going nowhere and moved to stocking the fast improving and good-selling Spanish Bultaco and later Montesa trials models.


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Bob and Len Colein (Tribsa): John Hulme, Classic Trial Magazine editor: “I for one was scared as a nine-year-old boy when I first saw this sidecar in action. With Bob Colein in charge of the 734cc powered machine the actual noise it made blew your ears inside out!”

Smith eyes victory

Roy Bradley and Christine Bull (Ariel): Runners-up in the 1968 ACU British Sidecar Trials Championship, this pairing had started 1969 in excellent form. Their aggressive riding style as seen here did not always go to plan though!

It was in the Binley Valley where Don Smith eyed up the victory with some excellent riding as he watched Miller join Malcolm Davis on the AJS (which had the Greeves Anglian engine fitted) making excellent attempts on the Binley Dell hazard. At the Withymore group which contained six short hazards in its handlebar-width gully, Smith very nearly slipped away from the eventual victory. He added a further five and a three to his score of four, but when Miller took his second ‘feet-up’ five, it was all over as a jubilant Smith took a very long ’drag’ on the ever-present cigarette in his mouth. This was the best ever result in a national trial for the ever-improving Montesa team of Smith, Telling and Farley. On his ageing BSA, Scott Ellis had been quietly riding his own trial at the back of the entry; he was number 39 of 41 starters. He knew how many marks his rivals had parted with and that a clean on the final hazard of the day would secure him the runner-up position, and he duly delivered. Best Solo: 1: Don Smith (Montesa) 12. First Class Awards: 2: Scott Ellis (BSA) 14; 3: Lawrence Telling (Montesa) 16; 4: Gordon Farley (Montesa) 16; 5: Derek Adsett (Greeves) 17; 6: Sammy Miller (Bultaco) 18; 7: Paul Dunkley (Cheetah) 21; 8: Dennis Jones (Gaunt Suzuki) 22; 9: Jim Sandiford (Bultaco) 23; 10: Ian Haydon (Cotton) 23; 11: Ian Taylor (Cotton) 24; 12: Tony Davis (Bultaco) 26.

Class Awards Up to 200cc: Dennis Jones (128 Gaunt Suzuki) 201cc–250cc: Scott Ellis (250 BSA) 251cc–350cc: Sammy Miller (252 Bultaco) Manufacturers: Bultaco 3; Montesa 3; Cotton 2; BSA 1; Cheetah 1; Gaunt Suzuki 1; Greeves 1.

Winning duo In the very well-supported sidecar class, it was Roy Bradley holding the handlebars, with Christine Bull keeping things going in the right direction in the sidecar, who took their second win of the year. The pairing of Bob and Len Colein on the roaring 734cc hybrid Tribsa lost the battle for the victory at the Upper Court on the final hazard where he stopped in the frozen mud. At this point, he was only one mark down on his rival and the eventual winner Chris Bradley, who was in excellent form and recorded the only clean. Best Sidecar: 1: Roy Bradley/Christine Bull (Ariel) 14. Jack Mathews (BSA): God help anyone who got in the sidecar with ‘Jumping Jack’ at the controls. He was fearless in charge of sidecar outfit but would later go on to win ACU British Sidecar Championship titles for CCM and Ossa.


First Class Awards: 2: Bob/Len Colein (Tribsa) 19; 3: Roger Martin (Ariel) 33; 4: Jack Mathews (BSA) 35.



Pre-65 Road Trials Championship

It’s a fact that the ever-expanding classic motorcycle trials scene continues to grow year on year. The Northern British Bike Championship, which caters for Pre-65 machinery, is a very well-established series which in 2019 celebrates 20 years of the championship. It prides itself on road-based events, very much like the trials scene was back in the day, and the riders love it. The ever-enthusiastic Mike Gallagher, who is very much behind the championship’s success, thought it was about time to tell the story of the Northern British Bike Championship. Words: Mike Gallagher • Pictures: Errol Gowshall

A good organising team keeps everything running smoothly.

Everyone’s welcome!




Adrian Clarke (Greeves) exits the top of Hawk’s Nest. Using old traditional hazards has been the secret of the success of the series.

Ossy Byers (DOT) is a staunch supporter of the series as well as being a sponsor. The event has attracted many riders back to off-road motorcycling, such as Mark Pearson (DOT). After enjoying the Pre-65 scene Mark can now be found competing in Enduros.

In this picture the bottom of Hawk’s Nest is very reminiscent of the old trials scene in the ’60s and ’70s.


ow time flies! In 2019 we see our championship’s 20th birthday, so we thought it might be interesting to let you know how we got here.

Early days Prior to 2019, The Poachers Bag, Reliance Cup Trial and The West Riding Trial were part of the ‘British Bike Series’ before all the British Pre-65 Road Trials were to come under the new Sammy Miller series umbrella. It soon became evident that the geography of the northern events didn’t quite fit within the Miller Series, and they were eventually left out for 1999. That is when Errol Gowshall and Mark Francis stepped in to form a new northern-based road trial championship which became the NBBC with two other northern clubs joining, Midland Classic and Red Rose, to form five events within the championship. Sponsorship was sought from Morton’s Motorcycle Media in the form of ‘Old Bike Mart’ and PJ1 Oils, and it soon became colloquially known as OBM PJ1 Championship. As Morton’s created a dedicated


off-road magazine in the guise of Classic Dirtbike and Richard Thorpe’s sponsorship came to an end, the championship patronage changed to its current standing of Classic Dirt Bike – Rock Oil.

More clubs During the last 19 years, we have welcomed other clubs to host a championship round and have had the Lincoln Motorcycle Club’s Molly Johnson Trial for three years within our series. In addition, The Dales Club ran the ‘Dalesman Trial’ for two years. In 2009, Llangollen and DMC joined us with the Croesi’r Ddyfryn Dyfrdwy Trial, which was voted the best round in 2009 and more recently in 2015. Castleside became part of the championship with ‘The Stanhope Classic’ which in 2018 impressed the majority of riders with their newfound stream sections. The championship now consists of seven of probably the best Pre-65 road trials in the country and each club, in turn, puts a tremendous amount of effort in hosting their

round; for this, we thank them. Over the years we have consistently averaged just over 80 riders per round. My first year riding the series was in 2002, and I became the third co-ordinator in 2009. During my involvement with the events, I have been impressed by the commitment of riders to support the NBBC, many having ridden the majority of the rounds right from the beginning. A few names spring to mind: Eric Boocock, Eddie Bull, Neil Anderton, Chris Gascoigne, Graham Howes and Carl Winstanley, to name but a few. We must also thank all the clubs and officials again as we have a regular group of volunteers that ensure our events run like clockwork. We would like to thank our sponsors and friends of the championship, who are undoubtedly some of the most active companies in off-road sport, for their support and patronage with our awards and prizes for 2018. As part of this review, we have asked one of the trial partners to give his thoughts on our events.



Sadly Richard Thorpe passed away earlier this year. He had been one of the series’ very early sponsors with PJ1 oils.

A word from a sponsor – Ossy Byers The organisers asked me, as a sponsor partner, for a few words on the Northern British Bike Championship and the trials which go to make up the series. What can be said about the series? Well from my view, having ridden it for the past six or seven years and missing only one round thanks to a clash of dates, an organiser of a round for four years and one of the sponsors for two years, I’d have to say the concept of the series is good. There is a decent mix of events up and down the country, and all

Still smiling despite taking a dab, Dougie Greenall (BSA) at Danbower Quarry.


Steve ‘Slippery’ Smith enjoying his day in the Derbyshire sun at Washgates in the Reliance in 2013.

organisers make good use of the land they have available to them. In some cases the events use classic sections that featured in major trials in the actual period promoted by the series, it is even better because the NBBC is for proper classic British machines. I’ve ridden it on two- and four-strokes ranging from a DOT to a Trifield and have managed to be towards the top of the Clubman class every year and crowned this by winning it last year. As a rider, the series is great fun as it harks back to what trials were when a lot of us started riding: decent sections, a bit of roadwork to connect groups and a bit of off-road track too. As a sponsor, the series promotes my business Audit CNC Ltd and the products we produce for not just Pre-65 machines, and as an organiser of Stanhope Classic Trial it is heartening to have such good feedback from riders who seem to enjoy what we put on. So here’s to 2019.

Ex-Speedway rider Eric Boocock still enjoys his two-wheeled outings in the NBBC.



Looking very calm and collected David Dench (Triumph) in the river at Wildboar Clough in the Reliance Trial.

Just above the Pack Horse bridge at Washfold, Roland Jones gently guides the Ariel through into the water.

The Poachers Bag The Poachers Bag will ,as usual, start from Smith’s Farm, Withcall. With three of the Poachers Pre-65 Trials Club principals being the NBBC co-ordinators, the honour of hosting the first round is always awarded to the Lincolnshire club with the trial set in the heart of the Lincolnshire Wolds. The event consists of approximately 35 sections over six groups within a lap of around 21 miles over farm tracks and B roads. The coordinators will be altering this year’s route slightly with the loss of Biscathorpe Pit but still, plan a very enjoyable day for all riders. Dates and information about all our rounds can be found on the NBBC website. So, if you would like to join us for our anniversary year and be part of the most successful British Pre-65 Trials Championships with seven of the most renowned Northern clubs arranging their own single-day events in six of the most scenic counties of the North of England, we must have a trial that is perfect for you. Chris Gascoigne, another long-term series supporter holds the big Ariel steady.

For more information, event and championship dates, venues, etc. visit:

Why not join in the fun?






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What’s the story: WTC 1981

Flashback: Bernie Schreiber Profile: Gustav Franke

Classic Event: Highland Two Day

Mystery Machine: Heuser Trials

Let’s Travel: Andorra


Factory: Rob Shepherd Honda

Development: Ossa Mar

Conversion: Honda TLR 250

New Event: Leven Valley Two Day

Who Is: Toon Van De Vliet

Classic Competition: 1969 SSDT

Flashback North: 1968 Bemrose

Interview: Jaime Subira

Flashback South: 1968 Cotswold Cup

Lost Treasure: The Trials Detective

Product Focus: Rockshocks

International: Robregordo



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Everest 348

Looking slim and trim: an early prototype Moto Villa Everest model from 1977–1978.


There are many times when you have to ask yourself where the time goes. In 1979, almost 40 years ago, I had a ‘Quick spin’ on an Italian-built Moto Villa motorcycle called the Everest 348 made by Francesco Villa, the brother of the world-famous road racer Walter Villa. The first appearance of this new trials machine was a couple of years earlier, at the Milan show in Italy. Walter himself introduced this new model which very much mirrored that of the world famous Montesa Cota 348. At least the machine looked very similar, and the model name of the Moto Villa Everest 348 was not very original, of course. In reality, the only connection between the Montesa and Moto Villa was the number 348. The other question asked was, ‘is it just a dummy with no engine internals’, as many trials fans thought at the time. After many questions concerning its reality I picked up the new ‘working’ machine just before Christmas 1979 with the stern instructions: “Do not damage this machine as it’s the only one we have and it’s going to be displayed at the Milan Show” “okay”, I replied… Article: Toon Van de Vliet • Pictures: Toon Van de Vlie, Moto Villa, Trials Media, Yoomee Archive, Mauri/Fontsere Collection and the Giulio Mauri Copyright


MOTO VILLA RARE Toon Van de Vliet on the very first production Moto Villa Everest 348 in late 1979.

From the left the machine looks very un-finished, with no gear-box sprocket protector and no rear chain guard.


alter Villa (1943–2002) was a great motorcycle road racer who died of a heart attack at the tender age of 58. He started racing when he was just 13 years old on a Moto-Morini, then later on, a Montesa 125cc and, of course, on Moto Villa creations from his brother Francesco Villa. Road racer Walter will always be remembered though for his four FIM World Championship titles in the 250cc: 1974, 1975 and in 1976 adding the victory in the 350cc class riding the Harley Davidsons. In these fantastic years between 1967 and 1980, he took 24 Grand Prix wins and stood on the podium on 36 occasions. Part of this success was off the back of the support from his brother Francesco, with his high standard of technical excellence in both design and engineering. After working for many manufacturers in Italy in 1973, Francesco Villa decided to produce his engines for off-road use.

Why a trials machine? The first off-road motorcycle produced with the Villa engine was the Moto Villa CR, motocross model. Produced in both 250cc and 450cc versions, the engines made use of the mechanical know-how that Francesco had inherited over the years from his Moto GP experiences. The CR model went into production in both Enduro and Motocross and remained there until 1976 with only minor changes. Over the next few years, water-cooling would be introduced and, most importantly, was successful. Moto Villa was now firmly established in the off-road world, so why not produce a trials model to complement the range?

You can see here just how tall the engine unit appears.


A larger physical size is what you can see from this right-hand side picture.

The interest of Italian motorcycle manufacturers in trials was now gathering pace at a very fast rate. The Spanish motorcycle industry had been slowed down by strikes and workers’ demonstrations. Montesa was still quite strong and came out with the successful Cota 349 that would present them with their first FIM World Title in 1980 with Ulf Karlson and the Scottish Six Days Trial win with Yrjo Vesterinen, but both Bultaco and Ossa where nearly bankrupt and Bernie Schreiber moved to the Italian Italjet and Martin Lampkin to SWM. Don Smith was involved with Fantic with the FB Minarelli engines and later with Jaime Subira and their own 240 and 300 models. SWM utilised the Austrian Rotax engine and further Italian interest in trials came with Cagiva (Merlin), Aprilia, Garelli and of course Beta, the only Italian brand still standing in the trials world. The next natural progression for Francesco Villa was to produce a trials model next to his existing off-road models in both Enduro and Motocross.

This close-up engine picture shows the Enduro inspired cooling fins on the cylinder barrel.



Betor Bultaco front forks were fitted with the leading axle.

This is how the models arrived in the UK at John Burdon Motorcycles. As you can see here it’s very much a trail machine as opposed to a trials one.

How good?

Moto Villa Everest 348 Italian designers are world famous, and Francesco Villa is not an exception. The look of the Everest model is absolutely outstanding for a trials machine in those years. The tank and seat unit in red and white gives the motorcycle a fresh and fruity character of its unique appearance. In those days a seat was meant to sit on, very different to the trials models today. It had plastic side panels with nice striping, and the manufacturer VIP made a plastic front number-plate around the headlight and the mudguards. It had never been seen before in what was very much Acerbis after-market country. Francesco made his own choices, for example in the suspension — no Italian Marzocchi but Spanish Betor, the same as the Bultaco Sherpa. The front suspension was okay, but the rear shocks from Betor were too soft. An Italian motorcycle frame painted red was a no brainer! The chassis, probably made near Bologna, was of good quality and the dimensions were quite alright. Aluminium handlebars came from Akront as did the wheel rims, and the brakes were from Grimeca. The clutch and front brake lever and clamp assemblies were Magura in Germany, and the semi-quick action throttle was from Verlichi. As I said, Francesco made his own choices; instead of Italian Pirelli rubber, the tyres came from Dunlop.

With the foam air filter removed you can see the large-volume air filter box.


The riding position was quite good, but first, we had to start the machine. The Villa engine had an engine capacity of 312.5cc, Bore 76.5mm x Stroke 68mm, while the Montesa Cota 348 Cota was 305.8cc Bore 78mm x Stroke 64mm. The Villa engine was a detuned one from an Enduro model and behind the huge cylinder was a 28mm Bing carburettor fitted — Type 84. It was quite normal for a trials engine and mostly used by Bultaco; the Montesa Cota 348 had an Amal 27mm for example. This Bing carburettor that was fitted had a cable-operated choke fitted on the handlebars. I did not like this and I ‘flooded’ the engine with petrol, and it would not start! I had to take out the sparkplug and dry it out. And then first kick, yes! It fired into life with a typical sharp nearly enduro sound from the exhaust. It was mechanically noisy from the exhaust note and with the large cylinder cooling fins and large capacity air filter it was a case of motorcycle music to my ears. I stalled very easily due to the lack of flywheel mass, but the plus point was that it would start ‘in gear’ with the clutch lever pulled in.

Also at the rear was Betor suspension from Spain, using the dual spring arrangement.


MOTO VILLA RARE At the recent Kia TwinShock Championship round at Congelton in Cheshire Classic Trial Magazine Editor John Hulme spotted this Moto Villa ridden by Chris Kent.

Two machines were entered in the Scottish Six Days Trial in 1983.

In truth, the Everest was more of a trail model than a trials machine. The brochure stated it had six gears in the gearbox, but I could only find five; it had been a brochure misprint! The first-gear ratio needed to be a little lower, and so I needed the help of the clutch lever in tight sandy turns.

Lacking development In truth, it needed much more development; maybe some input from riders like Sammy Miller or Mick Andrews who had successfully developed the Bultaco and Ossa machines was required. A good Spanish choice would have been Jaime Subira to make it something like a real 348. He and fellow Spanish rider, Miquel Cirera, were responsible for the successful Montesa Cota 348 and also for the Montesa Cota 349. As we have already stated, the Cota 349 was the model that brought the first world title for Montesa and Ulf Karlson, as well as the Scottish Six Days win for Yrjo Vesterinen. I’m absolutely sure neither of them could have achieved that on the Francesco Villa inspired Everest 348. With a comfortable seat, good brakes, plenty of speed and superb front and rear lighting maybe we should park this model up in the trail class. Three hundred models of the Moto Villa 348 were produced. As for Francesco Villa, the passion for motorcycles never died; as we speak, he has designed a new Moto Villa motocross machine, the FV125: liquid-cooled with fuel injection, which he intends to show at the 2019 EICMA show in Milano Italy.

Trial Made in Italy, yes it’s in Italian text but it’s still superb reference point for Italian trials machines from 1975–1985.

Moto Villa Everest 348 RRP (GBP) £1,395 incl. VAT and lights. SPECIFICATIONS

Despite the passing of the years the Moto Villa engine sounded just as described, mechanically very noisy, ridden by Toon Van De Vliet in 1979. It’s so good to see so many of the much rarer machines been ridden in the successful Kia Twin-Shock Championship.


Production Run 300 Engine Single Cylinder Two-Stroke Air Cooled: 312,5cc Bore 76.5mm x Stroke: 68 mm Carburetor Bing Type 84 28mm Ǿ Clutch Six Plates in Oil Gear Box Five Speed; Ignition: Motoplat with Contact Breaker Points. Frame Semi Tubular Chrome Moly; Steel Swinging Arm Suspension Front: Betor Trials; Rear: Betor: Double Spring Adjustable Brakes Grimeca: Front and Rear 125mm Ǿ Wheel Rims Akront: Aluminum Tyres Dunlop: Front 2.75 x 21” Rear 4.00 x 18”. Weight 90kg including Fuel and Oil. The importer for Moto Villa into the UK around the end of the seventies was the late John Burdon who owned and run John Burdon Motorcycles – Frankfield Road, Great Ayton, North Yorkshire.





INTERNATIONAL 1979 TRIAL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP This picture shows just how many riders were at round two of the world championship. Number 92 Bernie Schreiber warms his cold hands on the engine!


WINNER Finland’s three-time FIM Trial World Champion Yrjo Vesterinen was at the top of his game riding for Bultaco, having taken three consecutive titles after Martin Lampkin had first won in 1975. On paper it looked very much like the ‘Old Guard’ were going to take some knocking off the top spots as the world series gathered momentum. New riders such as American Bernie Schreiber and Marland Whaley along with some younger Spanish riders such as Toni Gorgot were now gaining experience and wanted a piece of the action. The world rounds were hard work, as you will see from the riders’ scores in the results. Throw in the very early start to the season with the opening world round in Ireland in February, and you also had to deal with the harsh weather conditions such as rain, snow and ice! Here we take a look back at the first half of the season with events in Ireland, Great Britain, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain and France. With six rounds down of the twelve to be ridden ‘Vesty’ would still be on track for a record-breaking fourth world title, but with five different winners it was still very much a case of ‘Pick a Winner’. Words: John Hulme, Motorcycle, Morton’s Archive and Motorcycle News • Pictures: Toon van de Vliet, Yoomee Archive, Rappini/Commeat, Eric Kitchen, Malcolm Carling, The Nick Nicholls Collection at Morton’s Archive

FIM World Trials Champion from 1976–1978. Finland’s Yrjo Vesterinen on the Bultaco would be the most consistent rider in the opening six rounds to hold a healthy 12 point lead.


After winning the opening round of the 1979 championship in Ireland the four-stroke Honda of Rob Shepherd was not running well at all in the arctic conditions at round two in Wales. The lubrication oil was changed twice at the start, before a change of contact breaker points and the ignition advance and retard mechanism was carried out under the watchful eye of his mechanic Mike Ember Davies. ‘Shep’ would finish just outside the points-scoring positions in 12th place.



After the move from SWM at the end of 1978 John Reynolds was now riding the 325cc Beamish Suzuki. Concentrating at 100% he finished runner-up at round one in Ireland. This would be his best result all season.


he first six rounds had a wide mixture of terrain and weather to contend with. There were no set criteria for the world rounds as in Ireland they rode three laps of 24 hazards, Great Britain one lap of 45, Belgium three laps of 20, Netherlands two laps of 20, Spain two laps of 25 and in France two laps of 25. Championship points were awarded to the top ten finishers. What always played an important factor in the competitions was the time element as the riders had no time to hang around, it was a case of get going and get on with the job. With the opening six rounds all contested by the end of March, we would soon see who were the men on form before the focus changed, for all the riders and manufacturers, to the Scottish Six Days Trial in May.

Round 1: Ireland, Newtonards. 10/02/1979. Entry: 42 Riders This event is always very tight on time and with very unforgiving hazards, and for most riders, they started in full attack mode. With wide-open options in the hazards, many had a choice of line for the riders to take. It was a cold but dry day, and the word was that the hazards would get harder as the day progressed. The man on form was Rob Shepherd on the four-stroke Honda. He was looking much happier with the Japanese machine where much work had been carried out on it in the closed season to sort out the lubrication problems that had caused engine seizures the previous year. The 360cc engine never gave any problems during the day, and ‘Shep’ took the first win of the season from John Reynolds on the Beamish Suzuki. These two were well clear of Martin Lampkin and Malcolm


Wrapped up against the ice and snow at round two in his TT Leathers riding kit, Great Britain’s Martin Lampkin had been very consistent despite not taking a single round win. The Bultaco rider had won the first FIM World Championship in 1975 and was looking to add another world title in 1979.

Rathmell who had made the return to Montesa after a difficult season in 1978 on the Beamish Suzuki. Yrjo Vesterinen came home fifth, but the biggest shock in the results was the retirement of American Bernie Schreiber. He had a massive crash on the second lap when he looped the Bultaco off a seven-foot step, and it landed on the fork leg, jamming the slider in the locked down position. He returned to his support van but with the very tight time limit was forced to retire, much to his disappointment. Results: 1: Rob Shepherd (Honda-GBR) 79; 2: John Reynolds (Suzuki-GBR) 84; 3: Martin Lampkin (Bultaco-GBR) 95; 4: Malcolm Rathmell (Montesa-GBR) 96.5; 5: Yrjo Vesterinen (Bultaco-FIN) 100.4; 6: Toni Gorgot (Bultaco-ESP) 100.6; 7: Nigel Birkett (Montesa-GBR) 105; 8: Jean Marie Lejuene (Montesa-BEL) 108.2; 9: Ulf Karlson (Montesa-SWE) 111.3; 10: Manuel Soler (Bultaco-ESP) 112.6. Championship: 1: Shepherd 15; 2: Reynolds 12; 3: Lampkin 10; 4: Rathmell 8; 5: Vesterinen 6; 6: Gorgot 5; 7: Birkett 4; 8: Lejuene 3; 9: Karlson 2; 10: Soler 1.

Round 2: Great Britain, Rhyader. 17/02/1978. Entry: 79 Riders Once again, as in 1978, snow and ice had hit the area around Rhyader and the Elan Valley in Wales, forcing the organising club to put salt down in the hazards! Defending world champion Vesterinen looked very much at home, but for some of the other foreign riders, it was a nightmare. Used to the warmer foreign climates many were used to riding with no gloves, but in the snow and ice were forced to wear them.

The man on form was Malcolm Rathmell, who managed to outpoint ‘Vesty’ and Martin Lampkin by a clear margin once again. As in Ireland, the time limit left no time for hanging around, and the ice-cold weather conditions helped with this! Behind the leading trio was Nigel Birkett, who used his delicate throttle control to take a nice haul of points as he won the tie-break over French champion Charles Coutard. It was a very welcome result for the Italian SWM machines, who were trying to break the Spanish domination. Joe Wallman had a superb ride followed by Bernie Schreiber and the diminutive Eddy Lejuene from Belgium. Riding a 200cc fourstroke Honda the Belgian rider was not eligible for points as he was only 17, and the FIM rules stated the minimum age was 18. Behind him and happy with his day in the cold conditions was Spanish rider Jaime Subira, as Jean Marie Lejuene and Spain’s Toni Gorgot rounded off the points scorers. Results: 1: Malcolm Rathmell (MontesaGBR) 27.1; 2: Yrjo Vesterinen (Bultaco-FIN) 36.2; 3: Martin Lampkin (Bultaco-GBR) 37; 4: Nigel Birkett (Montesa-GBR) 38; 5: Charles Coutard (SWM-FRA) 38.1; 6: Joe Wallman (Bultaco-AUT) 45; 7: Bernie Schreiber (Bultaco-USA) 47; 8: Eddy Lejuene (HondaBEL) 50.2; 9: Jaime Subira (Montesa-ESP) 50.6; 10: Jean Marie Lejuene (MontesaBEL) 51; 11: Toni Gorgot (Bultaco-ESP) 51. ×Eddy Lejeune (Honda-BEL) not eligible for Points× Championship: 1: Rathmell 23; 2: Lampkin 20; 3: Vesterinen 18; 4: Shepherd 15; 5: Reynolds 12; 6: Birkett 12; 7: Gorgot 6; 8: Coutard 6; 9: JM Lejuene 5; 10: Wallman 5.



Winning the second round on the Montesa in Great Britain was just what Malcolm Rathmell needed after a difficult 1978 season on the Beamish Suzuki.

Round 3: Belgium, Bilstain. 25/02/1979. Entry: 60 Riders The cold weather followed the riders to Belgium and the famous Bistain venue which was covered in snow and ice. More than happy to take the win and move to the head of the points table was Yrjo Vesterinen, who headed home his fellow Bultaco team rider Martin Lampkin by a close five marks. With three laps of the tough venue to ride over the 20 hazards, the riders’ scores were pretty high, as expected. Also as expected, riding on home ground, the two Lejeune brothers finished high up the results with both of them in the top ten. Rathmell kept his world title aspirations on track with a good solid third position as Coutard once again scored valuable points. Schreiber also welcomed more points as Mick Andrews on the only Ossa in the event finished eighth after having shared the lead with Vesterinen after the first lap, showing some of his old magic. The cold weather was affecting both man and machine and, once again, Rob Shepherd’s Honda ran okay but not perfect. Big Swedish rider Ulf Karlson never excelled himself and was disappointed with his riding, having expected to be able to challenge for the win in Belgium, but this never materialised. Taking the final point, his first of the year, after the younger Lejuene was too young to score any was American Marland Whaley. At the head of the table was Vesterinen, but he was tied on points with Rathmell, and the championship was still wide open. Results: 1: Yrjo Vesterinen (Bultaco-FIN) 106.9; 2: Martin Lampkin (Bultaco-GBR) 111.5; 3: Malcolm Rathmell (Montesa-GBR) 116; 4: Eddy Lejuene (Honda-BEL) 119.2; 5: Charles Coutard (SWM-FRA) 121.5; 6: Jean Marie Lejuene (Montesa-BEL) 124.3; 7: Bernie Schreiber (Bultaco-USA) 124.6; 8: Mick Andrews (Ossa-GBR) 129; 9: Rob Shepherd (Honda-GBR) 131.1; 9: Ulf Karlson (Montesa-SWE) 132.5; 11: Marland Whaley


Showing some very good early season form was Cumbria’s Nigel Birkett on the Montesa. He was only nine marks off the win at round four in Holland. Notice he has no gloves in this picture from Belgium in the cold icy conditions.

(Montesa-USA) 139.8. ×Eddy Lejeune (Honda-BEL) not eligible for Points×

American Bernie Schreiber looks frozen as he takes a steady ‘dab’ at round two on the Bultaco. After a non-points-scoring ride at round one he did not fare much better in the UK, taking just a few points.

Championship: 1: Vesterinen 33; 2: Rathmell 33; 3: Lampkin 32; 4: Shepherd 25; 5: Coutard 14; 6: Reynolds 12; 7: Birkett 12; 8: JM Lejuene 11; 9: Schreiber 9; 10: Gorgot 6.

Round 4: The Netherlands, Norg. 04/03/1979. Entry: 60 The trip to the Netherlands was a welcome change to the championship, but it turned into one of the worst rounds for the riders. The event was based around an old sand pit, offering what was basically two laps of 20 hazards which were all a variant of riding up around and down sandy, muddy banks that became worse with the rain. As the rain fell, the men and machines just sank into the sand which turned into a very rough paste-like consistency where the riders had to pass between the miles of marking tape that had been used for the course marking, and they were not happy! For the winner, Ulf Karlson, it was very much a home victory as he was based in Holland at the home of the Montesa importer Wim Suijker who helped prepare his machines. For ‘Vesty’, chasing that fourth world title, his second position gave him a clear championship points advantage as his nearest rivals Malcolm Rathmell and Martin Lampkin finished outside the top five. Nigel Birkett ‘knuckled under’ and got on with the job in hand to come home third, and for the first time in 1979 American Bernie Schreiber finished fourth in front of Jean Marie Lejuene. Taking the last world point was the young rising star Timo Ryysy from Finland on the SWM. He had been the young protégé of Vesterinen who helped him into the world championship series two years earlier, which resulted in a small amount of help from Bultaco. Results: 1: Ulf Karlson (Montesa-SWE) 54; 2: Yrjo Vesterinen (Bultaco-FIN) 60; 3: Nigel Birkett (Montesa-GBR) 63; 4: Bernie Schreiber

Looking very ‘English’ in his black riding kit, Spain’s Jaime Subira (Montesa) is seen here in the UK round; he would make his best ever finish in Spain where he took a proud second step on the podium, this would be his best ever world round result.

(Bultaco-USA) 66; 5: Jean Marie Lejuene (Montesa-BEL) 66; 6: Martin Lampkin (Bultaco-GBR) 70; 7: Malcolm Rathmell (Montesa-GBR) 71; 8: Claude Goset (Montesa-BEL) 73; 9: Charles Coutard (SWMFRA) 73; 10: Timo Ryysy (SWM-FIN) 75. Championship: 1: Vesterinen 45; 2: Rathmell 37; 3: Lampkin 37; 4: Birkett 22; 5: Karlson 19; 6: Shepherd 18; 7: Schreiber 17; 8: Coutard 16; 9: JM Lejuene 15; 10: Reynolds 12.


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In 2019 Miquel Cirera is the team manager for the victorious Repsol Montesa Honda trials team. In 1979 he was a member of the factory supported Montesa trials team and was travelling to all the world rounds with his fellow Spanish rider Jaime Subira. Cut the man in half and you will find Montesa — he has worked for the famous brand all his working life!

Improving year on year, Sweden’s Montesamounted Ulf Karlson knew that if he could become more consistent he could challenge for a world title. In the six opening world rounds he was the double winner but still lay back in fifth place in the championship some 22 points behind the series leader Vesterinen.

Austrian Joe Wallman looks very much in control on the Bultaco and his sixth position in Great Britain was just reward for his efforts.


Riding on the back wheel was a skill that Bernie Schreiber had brought to Europe from the USA. In the cold of Belgium on the Bultaco he was struggling to find the form that everyone knew he was capable of.

Once a very famous name in trials, the Ossa brand was now struggling through difficult financial times. They were desperate for a new model and this appeared in Great Britain for the first time in the hands of her young Spanish rider Joaquim Abad, nick named ‘Abi Dabi Dou’ by Mick Andrews. Following a move from the traditional green the prototype machine had a six-speed gearbox fitted, reed valve induction, laid-down rear shock absorbers and a long exhaust system which ‘snaked’ around the black steel tubular frame.

Round 5: Spain, Matadepera. 11/03/1979. Entry: 95 Riders Put some sunshine on the back of Bernie Schreiber, and he is back home in the USA, and that’s exactly how he felt at the Spanish world round as he took his first win in the 1979 world championship. Spain’s Jaime Subira was elated at being on the podium and the first Montesa rider home. It would be ‘Sooby’s’ highest ever position in a world round during his career. The two laps of 25 hazards had been tough, and when you throw in the time element, many riders had to rush but still picked up penalties for exceeding their allowance. The next shock was that Schreiber’s friend and fellow American, Marland Whaley, justified the support from Montesa as a full factorysupported rider. It was the first time two riders from the USA had stood on a trial world championship podium. Vesterinen’s fourth position kept him comfortably at the head of the championship title as he once again finished in front of his closest rivals Martin Lampkin, who was fifth, and Malcolm Rathmell who slumped to 11th and scored no championship points.

Rob Shepherd’s Honda ran well all day, and with Nigel Birkett another rider out of the championship points he drew level with the fellow UK rider. It’s interesting to note that the results that had once been dominated by British riders now had in the top ten the following: Spain three, Great Britain two, American two and one each from Finland, Sweden and Germany. It’s worth also noting that in 31st position the Italian rider Almir Bodno gave the Fantic brand its debut in the world championship. Results: 1: Bernie Schreiber (Bultaco-USA) 50.5; 2: Jaime Subira (Montesa-ESP) 54.7; 3: Marland Whaley (Montesa-ESP) 61.9; 4: Yrjo Vesterinen (Bultaco-FIN) 67.3; 5: Martin Lampkin (Bultaco-GBR) 71.6; 6: Ulf Karlson (Montesa-SWE) 72.6; 7: Rob Shepherd (Honda-GBR) 76.8; 8: Jo Jose (Montesa-ESP) 83.9; 9: Manuel Soler (Bultaco-ESP) 87.5; 10: Felix Krahnstover (Montesa-GER) 88.2. Championship: 1: Vesterinen 53; 2: Lampkin 43; 3: Rathmell 37; 4: Schreiber 32; 5: Karlson 24; 6: Shepherd 22; 7: Birkett 22; 8: Coutard 16; 9: JM Lejuene 15; 10: Subira 15.



The Dutch looked forward to welcoming the world championship riders to their first world round. As it turned out the event did not add up to expectations, as seen here where Rob Shepherd had to be rescued on the Honda from the sand and mud which was made worse by the rain.

Very much a veteran of the European and world trials championships Germany’s Felix Krahnstover, seen here on the left, had been given the task as the Montesa Trials Team manager. Here he helps the American Marland Whaley at the UK world round.

One of the new breed of Spanish riders coming into the world championship trials was Toni Gorgot (Bultaco). As with many of the other Spanish riders the snow and ice, as seen here in Belgium, was very different than in their native country.

Mick Andrews on the Ossa could still show his ‘Magic’ and he shared the lead with the eventual winner in Belgium Yrjo Vesterinen on the first lap.

Forty years ago a small spectacle-wearing Belgian by the name of Eddy Lejeune had arrived in the world championship on a four-stroke 200cc Honda very similar to this one. It was one of a batch of six that the Belgian Honda importer had purchased. The only modifications to the Lejeuene machine were some front fork modifications and the fitting of CBX model rear shock absorbers, and yes, he finished fourth in Belgium on the Honda! Because of his age of 17 he was under the FIM’s age limit of 18 years old to score points.

Round 6: France, Montbeliard. 18/03/1979. Entry: 46: Riders In the opening world rounds we had seen five different winners, but the shock in France was Ulf Karlson, who became the first double winner of 1979. Many of his fellow competitors knew that if the strong Swedish rider could become consistent, he could challenge for a world title. Schreiber followed his win the week earlier in Spain with a good second position as his championship challenge began to gather momentum. In third position, Charles Coutard was making inroads with the ongoing development with the SWM, and his visit to the podium was most welcome. Vesty consolidated his championship lead with a fourth place, once again finishing in front of his nearest challenger Lampkin who came home fifth. Malcolm Rathmell slipped behind Schreiber in the championship even though he took some more points in France after the no-score the week before. Mick Andrews was doing a good job of flying the Ossa flag in eighth in front of Marland Whaley and Italian Ettore Baldini, who scored his first points of the year. As the first half of the season closed, it was Yrjo Vesterinen who had been the most consistent, and he held a clear 12 point lead over Martin Lampkin. With Schreiber in third some 17 marks in arrears of the cool Finnish rider Vesterinen, it looked very much as the challenge for title number four was well on target. The


Imagine the shock to the system that American Marland Whaley must have felt when he arrived in Europe for the opening world rounds in the ice and snow! As part of the mighty Montesa team he would soon start to score points, with his first one here in Belgium. A few weeks later he would take the final step on the podium in Spain.

championship would now take a break before returning in Canada in June. With the Scottish Six Days Trial in May who would carry the winning form across the water; we will see! Results: 1: Ulf Karlson (Montesa-SWE) 82.4; 2: Bernie Schreiber (Bultaco-USA) 88; 3: Charles Coutard (SWM-FRA) 89.1; 4: Yrjo Vesterinen (Bultaco-FIN) 92.5; 5: Martin Lampkin (Bultaco-GBR) 96; 6: Rob Shepherd (Honda-GBR) 98.5; 7: Malcolm Rathmell

The story on everyone’s lips as after the first six world rounds was who could stop the super cool ‘Fin’ Yrjo Vesterinen marching towards his fourth FIM world title!

(Montesa-GBR) 102.5; 8: Mick Andrews (Ossa-GBR) 110; 9: Marland Whaley (Montesa-ESP) 111.3; 10: Ettore Baldini (Bultaco-ITA) 116.2. Championship: 1: Vesterinen 61; 2: Lampkin 49; 3: Schreiber 44; 4: Rathmell 41; 5: Karlson 39; 6: Shepherd 27; 7: Coutard 26; 8: Birkett 22; 9: JM Lejuene 15; 10: Subira 15. Classic Trial Magazine would like to acknowledge the help of Toon Van De Vliet and Charley Demathieu in the generation of this article.


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Classic Trial Magazine Issue 29 Summer 2019  

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

Classic Trial Magazine Issue 29 Summer 2019  

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