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AUTUMN 2019 Issue 30 • UK: £6.25





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Summer 1989 Spain World Championship Credit: John Hulme

Cover Photo: 1989 John Hulme with Jordi Tarres Picture Credit: John Shirt Snr. © 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 Observation�������������������� 10 Paddock������������������������� 12 Shopping������������������������ 14 Subscribe����������������������� 16 Poster����������������������������� 49 Back Issue’s�������������������� 60 Parts Locator������������������� 88 Shop������������������������������ 96

FEATURES Evolution������������������������ 18 Go with the Flow

Visit������������������������������� 28 Bassella Museum Montesa Cota ‘50’

Legends�������������������������� 38 Oriol Bulto – Pere Pi

Micro Machine���������������� 54 Cotton Cavalier

Celebration��������������������� 62 Dave Rowland National 40 Years

International������������������� 70 1979 World Trials Championship

Classic��������������������������� 76 Alvie/Andorra Two Days

Sport������������������������������ 90 Kia 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

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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,


COSTA BRAVA TWO DAY 16-17th November 2019

By the time you read this the entries for the 2019 Costa Brava Two Day Trial will have been released, and planning for the 2019 event will be well underway. Here we have a preview of some changes to the event. Observing – In order to promote a classic riding style better suited to the machines the organisers have decided to add a few rules to the rulebook in relation to the maximum score of five marks lost. It will be now considered a five-mark penalty for the following: The sideways movement of any of the wheels while the machine is stationary – this will be especially applied to the blue and red levels. Going backwards with the machine, with or without a foot on the ground, will be a five. Stopping, with or without a foot on the ground, will NOT be considered a five. The sections will be made with these rules in mind, so that they won’t require sideways movement from the motorcycle. Routes – The organisation has decided to take the following measures regarding section difficulty: Yellow and Green Route: The section level will be slightly lower from last year’s level. Blue Route: The section level will be sensibly lowered; it will be easier than the level on the 2017 event, making it available for the top 20–30 riders of the previous Green Route. Red Route: It will be the same level as the blue sections from the 2018 event, which means a significantly lower level compared to last year’s. It will be available for top riders and the more advanced blue level riders. Illegal Riding – If you want to legally follow the event go to the club’s website to find out about the ‘tracking’ where you can purchase a device to follow the event. You are reminded that trials machines are the only ones accepted for tracking and that any motorcycle without the proper identification will be fined on the spot by the police officers. We ask you to respect the work put in by the people of the club to have given you the possibility of riding in places where it is usually forbidden. Results – For the 2019 event the e-trialgo system will be introduced. All riders will have a chip that will be read with a PDA that the observers will have in each section. The PDA will read the rider’s information, the observer will put in the score, then will show the PDA to the rider and confirm the score. This score will be sent to the control system, which will give a live update on the results. They will be available on the trialgo app which will soon be available. This way they will have the final results as soon as the last rider finishes the last section. As this is a new system being used for the first time the riders will also have a score card that the observer will still record the marks lost on. Live streaming will be on the YouTube Channel: Trial Costa Brava. The organisers will set a big screen in Sant Feliu’s promenade area on Saturday and in the paddock on Sunday where the stream will be shown. All the information for the 2019 event can be found on the multilingual website:


THE LEVEN VALLEY TWO DAY 28-29th September 2019

The focus of the classic trials world will move to Scotland and Kinlochleven for the 2019 Leven Valley Two Day Trial. With a full house of entries all the riders will be wanting to take home the magnificent Sammy Miller trophy, seen here being presented by the man himself to the 2018 winner John Charlton. The two days of action takes in some of the more iconic hazards from the Scottish Six Days Trial including the notorious climb up the rocks at Pipeline. The organising Kinlochleven & District Motorcycle Club first hosted this event in 2018, and such was the success of the event it has very quickly gained a good reputation. Giving the riders what they want is the recipe to this success and all the riders can enjoy two good days’ riding in the surrounding areas of Kinlochleven. It’s a good evert to spectate at so why not head north at the end of September to enjoy the atmosphere and local hospitality in the Scottish Highlands.


Yes, we’re looking forward to 2020 and the Classic Dirt Bike Show sponsored by Hagon Shocks at the Telford International Centre over the weekend of February 15th/16th. Once again, this show will draw in the biggest names and motorcycles in the off-road scene to the superb venue at the Telford International Centre which can be found at St Quentin Gate, Telford, Shropshire, TF3 4JH. As we went to press it was confirmed that from trials Americas Bernie Schreiber would be attending as a guest of honour alongside Bryan ‘Badger’ Goss from the moto-cross world. With off-road machines as far as the eye can see the show has dirt bike machinery to cater for every need. You’ll be able to dig out classic machines galore, see fascinating club and private off-road machines, bag a bargain at the Autojumble and see off-road legends interviewed on stage over the weekend. It’s the event of the year for classic off-road enthusiasts! Don’t forget you can find out more information and take advantage of fantastic savings by buying your show tickets in advance at:



Photo: Tim Britton Media

Back to basics

As I have stated previously, some 11 years ago, I met Bernie Schreiber at the International Robregordo two-day trial near Madrid. I am pleased to say that we chatted for a while and discovered we had some mutual friends and acquaintances in the trials world. He was polite and took a genuine interest in the matters that we discussed. Never did I imagine that some years later, he would be sitting in my lounge chatting openly about such diverse subjects as machine control and American politics! Bernie had accepted our club’s invitation to be Guest of Honour at our now very popular and internationally recognised Highland Classic Two-day event in June. Rather than put him up in a hotel, I decided to invite him to my home. It provided ease of transportation to and from the event and allowed him to experience Scottish hospitality that a hotel could not offer. More than that Bernie had arranged, with my assistance, the first of his innovative ZEROBS Experience days which was eagerly awaited and has now expanded over to Canada, the USA and Spain with all three events fully subscribed. Bernie is not only back into trials, but also back to basics. He believes that his Schreiber Experience is exactly that; it is memorable and gets riders to think about what they want to achieve and, most importantly, how they are going to do it? The comment from my house guest that stuck in my mind is “John, an idea without a plan is merely a dream”. How true. Bernie was so taken with his first visit to Scotland since his win at the six days on the SWM in 1982 that he has plans to attend the Leven Valley Two Day at


Photo: Iain Lawrie, Trials Guru

Kinlochleven in September. I briefed him about this event before he headed south to take in more meetings during his week-long visit to the UK. Bernie is a shrewd operator; he is no fool, don’t underestimate his knowledge and ability; he did not become a World Trials Champion in very competitive times by accident. Just because he has been absent from the trials paddock for many years does not mean he doesn’t understand the problems that face our sport in 2019. The sport of Observed Trials has fragmented over the last 20 years; maybe it needs a Bernie Schreiber plan to steer it through troubled times?




Spain 1989 It was straight off the back of a 12-hour night shift on the brake production line in the factory at Ferodo, Chapel en le Frith where this story began. After stamping the part number on 15,000 Ford brake pads over the 12 hours, it was a quick shower and a walk outside to be picked up by John Shirt Snr in his trusty ex-Parcel Line Mercedes 307 van. We then took a 28-hour drive, via Dover and the English Channel, to arrive at the Gas Gas factory in Gerona on Thursday afternoon. My bed was the bunk in the van.


Article: John Hulme — Yoomee

was very fortunate, through the Shirt family, to be included on many foreign excursions to the world rounds in the late ’80s. This trip was one of many I enjoyed. John Shirt Snr, seen here on the left in the swimming pool, had enjoyed success with the Majesty Yamaha and the ground-breaking mono-shock machine. A brilliant innovative engineer, he had moved to the then relatively small Gas Gas concern based in Gerona and started to import the machines 12 months earlier. John Jnr had moved from the ex-Eddy Lejeune four-stroke Honda to ride the Gas Gas machines they imported. Our first port of call was the Gas Gas factory, where production of the new 250cc had just started with a small batch. John put one of these in the van to bring back to the UK for evaluation. It was summertime in Spain, and it was red hot. All three of us were using the Mercedes van as our ‘hotel’. This picture is from a campsite where we met up with some other riders including


Robert Crawford. On the Saturday, I was able to witness the Beta team, working out of the Jordi Tarres team truck, build, from scratch, a new prototype aluminium framed water-cooled Zero model for the great Spanish rider to compete on the next day. I was, as ever, curious, and when I asked for a picture of him with the machine and shaking hands with me, he duly obliged. The front cover picture was 30 years ago. Little did I know that the relationship would endure the test of time and that all these years on, we would still be friends on the world championship scene in 2019. Jordi is working with TRS, and me as the editor of both Trial and Classic Trial magazines; it’s been some adventure for us both! After ‘minding’ for John Jnr at the trial on Sunday it was the race back to the ferry on Sunday night and back to work at Ferodo on the Monday night! As they say, ‘living the dream’.


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In any motorcycle sports discipline, we see windows of opportunity that appear every so often — a time when machine development has gone stale, and the model specifications are very much the same as before, and a manufacturer once again goes back to the drawing board to break the mould. You can always copy and paste but with the Spanish Armada then in decline and the Japanese resting on the laurels of the sales success of the Mono-Shock Yamaha, in 1983 it was the time of the Italians to be the game changers once again and raise the bar even higher with a radical new trials machine from the wheels up. By 1985 the Italian manufacturers were back at the head of the world trials championship. The battle for the top spot was between Fantic, with Thierry Michaud, and the fast-emerging Beta with Jordi Tarres. In 1988 Michaud would win his last world title, and in 1989, history would be recorded, as you are about to find out. Motocross had seen the water-cooled revolution arrive in the very early 80s; now it was time for the trials manufacturers to go with the flow and join the water-cooled brigade. By the close of the year, air-cooled was out of fashion. Words: John Hulme, Cla ssic Trial Magazine Pictures: Yoomee Archive, Toon Van De Vliet, Aprilia, Beta, Fantic, JCM, Mecatecno, Yamaha, John Shirt Snr, John Hulme, Iain Lawrie, Eric Kitchen, Mauri/Fontsere Collection and the Giulio Mauri Copyright

Seen here with the ‘Guardian’ of trials Charley Demathieu, on the right, the 1988 FIM World Trial Champion Thierry Michaud had a season long battle with Jordi Tarres who had won in 1987.


1988: Fantic 303.

1989: Beta Zero Prototype.

1990: Beta Zero.



This is the 1989 model Yamaha TY 250. In 1983 the introduction of the mono-shock machine had been a game changer in the world of motorcycle trials.

Thierry Michaud had won the world title in both 1985 and 1986 on the Fantic before Jordi Tarres ‘rattled’ the trials world on the new Beta to take the 1987 title.


n 1988, the fast-moving Aprilia motorcycle manufacturer had approached Great Britain’s Steve Saunders with a two-year contract, asking him to join them for an assault on the 1989 FIM World Trials Championship. However, he declined and stayed with Fantic. Little did he know at the time, he would be recording history on an air-cooled machine — he would be the last rider to record a British Trials Championship and a Scottish Six Days Trial victory riding the Fantic 305 model in 1989. He almost made it a triple as the last winner of a world round when he won the opening one of the 1989 season in the UK. One week later French rider Thierry Michaud would take that accolade away from him with a win in Ireland. The remainder of the season would be dominated by a young Jordi Tarres on the sensational new prototype of the water-cooled Beta Zero, which would be on sale at the end of the year. As for Saunders, he would move to the new Beta Zero in 1990 with the Screenart-supported John Lampkin Beta team, but that’s a story for another day.

Beta had moved up a gear with the combination of the TR 34 model and a certain young Spanish rider, Jordi Tarres.

The Climber At the end of the 1988 trials season, many international riders competed in the Cingles Three-Day Trial, and it was here that the Spanish public became the first to see the new offering from Aprilia, the Climber model, the world’s first production water-cooled trials machine. A steel single-beam type frame would have the heavily modified, tried and tested, Austrian manufactured Rotax engine squeezed into it. To control the engine temperature, a water-cooling system had been added, passing through a high-mounted radiator at the front of the engine, and a high-speed electric fan would be thermostatically controlled to keep the 280cc single-cylinder motor happy to operate in all situations. With more power on hand, a new flywheel was fitted which could be adjusted by the use of easy-to-change flywheel weights. Throw in the latest trend of fitting upside-down front forks and some super cool styling, and the Italians believed they were on to a winner. With various ‘tweaks’ and changes they had also managed to keep the all-important weight down to the same as the previous year’s air-cooled model at 83.5kg, despite the addition of the extra plumbing and water-cooled features. On its debut Italian Diego Bosis finished third, followed by the team’s new signing from Sweden Tommi Ahvala, who was seventh, and Piero Sebenini in ninth position. It had been a tough three days, but the machine had passed with flying colours, and everybody was happy as no problems were reported. It was now time for Aprilia to move up a gear to challenge the dominance of both Fantic and Beta on the world stage. Each of the Aprilia team’s riders would have his own factory technician and minder to support the ultimate goal of winning the 1989 FIM World Trials Championship.


Wanting to combat the attack from Beta, fellow Italian manufacturer and the 1988 FIM World champions Fantic had released this new-look model for the 1989 season. It would prove a winner in the hands of both Thierry Michaud and Steve Saunders as the last air-cooled winner of world trials in 1989, but Tarres would take the world title on the water-cooled Beta.

Team Aprilia at the 1988 Cingles Three Day Trial in Spain, talking about water-cooled developments.


EVOLUTION 1989 At the end of the 1988 trials season many international riders competed in the Cingles Three Day Trial, and it was here that the Spanish public became the first to see the new offering from Aprilia, the Climber model, the world’s first production water-cooled trials machine.

Air-cooled is out

A steel single-beam type frame would have the heavily modified tried and tested Austrian manufactured Rotax engine, now water-cooled, shoe-horned into it.

This is the 1989 production model Aprilia Climber.

The 1989 FIM World Championship season would be contested over 12 rounds, with ten in Europe and one each in America and Canada. The season would open in a very wet Great Britain at Bainbridge. The only hope of a ‘home’ success would be from Steve Saunders, who had been laid up in bed all week with ‘flu. He arrived at the Yorkshire venue on Friday, and after having a quick look around the venue, he took to his bed early for some much-needed sleep. On Saturday he picked up a brand new Fantic 305 model, which he had seen some weeks before at the factory but had never ridden. Despite the constant rain, he had a practice ride on the machine and, after some fine-tuning on the engine and suspension by his mechanic Dario Seregni, he was happy. The rain continued all day on the Sunday, and with a strong following of home supporters, he took the win from Diego Bosis on the new water-cooled Aprilia. French rider Phillipe Berlatier held the lead after the first lap, finishing an eventual third in front of the defending champion Thierry Michaud, with Donato Miglio next followed by Jordi Tarres. It was a quick ‘skip’ across the Irish Sea for round two at Newtownards, Ireland. Once again it had rained heavily, and it was a very tough event, with the eventual winner Michaud finishing on 102 marks lost as Saunders finished second on 105. Despite Saunders holding the lead in the world championship, the door would be closed forever on the air-cooled era very shortly. With the world championship now taking a break until mid-May only a few of the top riders from the championship, including Steve Saunders, Jordi Tarres and Philippe Berlatier, had entered the Scottish Six Days Trial in May.

Shell Shocked The Scottish Six Days Trial is internationally recognised, even in the present day, as the ultimate test of man and machine. Its enduring moorland crossings and long road mileage would push any machine to the limit of its reliability, as both Aprilia and Beta were to find out. Out of the starting blocks and, at the front of the queue with the first-ever production water-cooled trials machine, Aprilia had a handful of the new models entered for the gruelling six days. The presentation and scrutineering of the


Great Britain’s Steve Saunders was the last winner of the Scottish Six Days Trial and British Trials Champion in 1989 on the Fantic, the last time these two events would be won by air-cooled machines.




PRE ‘65



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EVOLUTION 1989 Putting on a display to the watching public, Beta had unveiled its new water-cooled machine with Jordi Tarres at the 1989 Scottish Six Days Trial but it ended in retirement at the close of the opening day. With a radiator blocked with mud the machine overheated and the engine seized up.

As Jordi Tarres on the Beta dominated the 1989 FIM World Championship Thierry Michaud on the Fantic won only one round in Ireland, the last for an air-cooled machine; times were changing.

machines in the West End car park, Fort William, had created its own problem for the new water-cooled machines: how to seal the cylinder head to the cylinder barrel. The engine had no cooling fins to drill through to make the seal to stop the parts being changed in the event of a mechanical disaster. It was pretty quiet until around three o’clock in the afternoon as the signing on process continued in the car park. The Beta factory truck had arrived from Italy, and its personnel had ‘hinted’ earlier in the day that they had something special with them, but when Jordi Tarres rolled out his new machine the watching public were shocked into silence — you could have heard a pin drop, it was that dramatic. The new prototype Beta was unveiled and featured an aluminium ‘twin-spar’ delta-box type frame housing the fuel in the main ‘spar’ with upside-down Paioli front forks, although it still carried many of the other components over from the current air-cooled TR34 model that was ridden by so many other riders in the ‘Scottish’. The engine was based around the TR34 but with the obvious addition of the water-cooled cylinder head and barrel and the various components needed, including the water pump and radiator to support the water-cooling. The project had been started in the late close season of 1988, and secret testing

A new prototype Beta Zero starts to come to life at the Spanish world round in the June. Jordi’s race truck carried full workshop facilities.


This was the Jordi Tarres ‘roadshow’ in 1989, bringing a new professional edge to the world of motorcycle trials.

had soon proved very positive. It was only in early April that both Jordi Tarres and the development team led by Pedro Olle had given the green light for the machine to be ridden in the Scottish. Giving a world-class display of the machine’s potential a huge crowd soon gathered to watch the Beta being put through its paces by Tarres. The huge round of applause from the watching crowd indicated they knew they were about to witness something special at this year’s SSDT.

Beta did not use a ‘cloak and dagger’ approach; they were very proud, and quite rightly so, to show the world their new creation up close to public eyes.



Jordi Tarres makes some last-minute adjustments to his new machine. At this moment in his life he was unbeatable, a new rider the like of whom not seen before with his exciting all-action riding technique.

Now finished: the machine awaits its master.

Winning 10 of the 12 rounds, the 1989 FIM World Trials Champion Jordi Tarres.


Italian rider, Italian machine; the late great Diego Bosis tried all he knew to win Aprilia a world round, with runner-up positions on four occasions.














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The three-man Fantic team included Donato Miglio, now the trial competition manager in 2019 at Beta.

Testing times As everyone who has ridden in the Scottish Six Days Trial will tell you the weather can change dramatically very quickly. Day one in 1989 started under cloudy and wet dark skies as the rain came down. In full wet-weather gear, Jordi Tarres set off on a day he will never forget — ask him now in 2019! Out on the open moors, the rain was coming down and, with it, the rivers; many crossings included were rising at a rapid rate. With one particular river crossing, now too deep for the riders, the organisers were forced to change the route. This made one of the moor crossings more than 30 miles, and soon the machines were running out of fuel. As a footnote, it did state on the regulations that all machines must be capable of covering 50 miles on one tank full of fuel! On the few water-cooled (literally) machines, the exposed radiators at the front were getting clocked up and blocked with thick peaty-type mud. With little experience of the water-cooled machines in trials, the riders were forgetting to clean out the radiators. Once off the moors, the riders would ride down the tracks and roads, and with no cooling air the engines would seize up due to the overheating. One of the first to find out in a cloud of steam was Aprilia-mounted Ian Weatherill; he was eventually forced out with a hole in the piston where it had melted due to overheating. Tarres was also in trouble as his engine also started to overheat. He kept immersing the engine in the many rivers to keep it cool, but he was also pushing on, aware of the time element. The problems escalated on a long road section with the engine seizing up. Tarres had the machine in pieces as he tried to get some life back into the broken engine, which he succeeded in doing. At the final hazard of the day, at the aptly named ‘Witches Burn’, he attempted it in clouds of hot steam before the engine finally cried ‘enough!’ as he tried in vain to make it to the safety of the support truck in the car park. It was game over on day one.

Still wanting to help their other supported riders on the air-cooled TR 34 models, Beta had the Italian Renato Chiaberto in the team. At times during the season he would provide a supporting role for the dominant Tarres.


Finland’s Tommi Ahvala had arrived on the world trials scene with recommendations from none other than the English Enduro rider Derrick Edmondson. He had first seen the riding skills of the young Ahvala in 1988. Aprilia took him on in 1989 and he would reward them with their first motorcycle world title in 1992.

A new team fast emerging on the world championship stage was Gas Gas from Spain. Its leading rider was Andreu Codina who is seen here on the air-cooled 327 model at the final round of the 1989 championship in Luxembourg.



How old does air-cooled look now! During the 1989 season the design engineer for the small Spanish motorcycle manufacturer, Joseph Paxau had started work on a new Gas Gas water-cooled engine, witnessed first-hand by the author of this article.

Montesa was still going through difficult times financially but still presented a three-man works team consisting of Eddy Lejeune (BEL), Gabino Renales (ESP) and Pascal Couturier (FRA) and this nice-looking Cota 309 model. French manufacturer JCM presented this radical JCM model with the air filter under a ‘dummy’ fuel tank. The fuel tank location was in the place of the air filter.

Another small Spanish manufacturer making waves in the trials world was Mecatecno with its rotary valve engine machine in the hands of Lluis Gallach.

World ‘Beta’ With the lessons learnt in Scotland, Beta quickly built a new machine for Jordi Tarres for the Italian world round shortly after. He came out and simply blew the opposition away; water-cooling may not have worked at the Scottish, but it did in the world rounds as he won ten out of the twelve in the series. The Fantic factory-supported riders all had new machines for the Italian world round, with a new cylinder head and barrel fitted and a reworked exhaust system but, in truth, all anyone wanted to

watch was Tarres. He had won in Italy on an Italian machine and Beta had recorded the first-ever world round win for a water-cooled trials motorcycle. Along with their rivals, Beta and Aprilia were still working on fine-tuning the machines, and Diego Bosis came so close to beating Tarres as they both tied on eight marks lost at the final round of 1989 in Luxembourg. After a slow start, Jordi Tarres dominated the world championship, and the new Beta was very much in demand. As the door closed in 1989, the official UK Beta

importer, John Lampkin, presented the new Beta Zero trials model with a price tag of £3,500. It was the machine everyone wanted and, with the new high-tech machine in demand, the price justified the product. Many of the main trials manufacturers stuck with the air-cooled machines for 1990 and 1991, but the door was closing on them quickly in the showrooms as everyone wanted water-cooling. By 1994 all the major manufacturers were producing and selling the liquid-cooled machines.

1989 FIM World Trials Championship 12 Rounds, 24 Riders scored points: 1: Jordi Tarres (Beta-ESP) 223; 2: Thierry Michaud (Fantic-FRA) 193; 3: Diego Bosis (Aprilia-ITA) 178; 4: Donato Miglio (FanticITA) 139; 5: Steve Saunders (Fantic-GBR) 129; 6: Tommi Ahavla (Aprilia-SWE) 118; 7: Phillippe Berlatier (Beta-FRA) 93; 8: Amos Bilbao (Fantic-ESP) 83; 9: Peter Jahn (Beta-SWE) 76; 10: Eddy Lejuene (MontesaBEL) 57; 11: Pascal Couturier (MontesaFRA) 55; 12: Thierry Girard (Beta-FRA) 51; 13: Renarto Chiaberto (Beta-ITA) 44; 14: Gabino Renales (Montesa) 31; 15: Andreu Codina (Gas Gas-ESP) 24.

In Luxembourg at the final world round Japan’s Takumi Narita rode this Honda two-stroke TLM. In 1990 he would return for a full season in the world championship.


Rider Wins: Jordi Tarres (Beta-ESP) 10; Thierry Michaud (Fantic-FRA) 1; Steve Saunders (Fantic-GBR) 1. Manufacturer Wins: Beta 10; Fantic 2.



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The Cota celebration is officially opened with the arrival of Toni Bou.

In my world of motorcycle trials, I feel very privileged to know so many wonderful people who share the same passion. Some article ideas come out of the blue, and catch you out with some new-found information when talking with people. The Montesa brand is so well known on a global scale and, in my opinion, very much because of the Cota trials models.

Montesa 1968–2018

On one of my frequent trips to Spain, and in particular Barcelona, I had seen on the internet reference to a motorcycle museum in the city. In February 2017, I visited the museum, and I was happy to see an original early-model Montesa Cota 247. In the evening, I was attending the Barcelona indoor trial, where I mentioned my findings to Miquel Cirera. I am sure that this gentleman needs no introduction as he has worked at Montesa for more than 50 years! He is the head of the mighty Repsol Honda trials team. To my surprise, he told me it was his machine and that he had a few other Cota models in his collection. Wind the clock forward to February 2018, and the museum had closed its doors and shut down. I was once again in Barcelona for the indoor trial when my good friend John Shirt Jnr, from Gas Gas UK, text to say I must visit this fantastic museum he had come across while attending an enduro at Bassella with his sponsored rider, David Knight.

Montesa 1968–2018


Words: John Hulme with Miquel Cirera Pictures: Trials Media and Montesa



Miquel Cirera, on the right, was at the opening of the collection and was happy to answer questions.


arlier this year, I was in Barcelona for a long weekend attending various motorcycle events, and I decided to make an effort and go and find the museum at Bassella. I had seen that Montesa had a collection of the Cota models to view as they continue with the celebration of 50 years of production of the Cota models. A quick check on the sat-nav revealed that the journey was just under two hours, at 85 miles. It was quite easy to find and even more enjoyable when I went inside. To say I was speechless when I witnessed the Montesa Cota collection is an understatement. It was stunning! Over the weekend, I put some pictures of the machines in the museum on social media while once again attending the Barcelona Indoor.

Miquel Cirera

On my return on the Monday evening, I noticed an email from Miquel Cirera which I promptly opened, expecting some news from the indoor. I had to read the mail twice before it sunk into my head what I was reading: Miquel owned many of the Montesa Cota machines in the museum! In the morning, I called him in Spain, and he talked enthusiastically about the museum and the collection. We were on the phone for quite a while as he had so much to tell me, all about the Montesa collection; I was all ears, believe me! Off the back of the conversation, I decided to ask Miquel about the collection in more detail. In this following interview, we talk about the machines in this fantastic collection. Miquel himself owns many of the machines, and it’s so good that he has saved them as I am sure that many would have disappeared forever, never to be seen by the public


Talking about the museum here with Miquel are, on the right, Estanislao Soler, director of the Bassella Motorcycle Museum and Albert Cavero, PR & Safety Department Manager of Honda Motor Europe Spain on the left.

again. The collection tells its own story of the Montesa Cota trials models as you walk around — it is as good as it looks. So let us begin. Where did the idea come from to display the machines at Bassella? MIQUEL: In the museum, there are 66 motorcycles. The owner of the museum is Estanislao Soler, who is a good friend and also a very active person in the world of motorcycle racing. He was, for many years, the director of the racing department of Bultaco and the owner and founder of the Clice brand. For me, it was very easy to work on this project for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Montesa Cota model. The first idea was to make the exhibition in

Barcelona in the motorcycle museum you spoke about that was owned by the same owners as Bassella, but it had to close; and that is why we went to Bassella. As it turned out, it’s the ideal location. When did you start to collect the Montesa Cota models? It was by chance that I started saving my competition machines, the ones I had been riding until, one day, I decided just to collect trials machines. For a long time, I bought everything ranging from Bultaco, Montesa, Ossa and Honda etc., but in 1999, I focused on the collection of the Montesa Cota because I realised that it was the history of my professional life.



The collection endorses the success on the Montesa Cota models.

What happened with your life when you finished competing? I joined Montesa in 1976 as a rider, but at that time the Spanish riders, who rode for Montesa, were also employees of the company, such as Jaime Subira. I was, at the time, competing regularly, and I accepted a proposal from Pedro Pi to be a test rider. Pedro was responsible for the Montesa Race Department. When I finished riding competitively, I dedicated myself for several years to that of a role as a test rider, one which I enjoyed.   How long did it take to put the collection into the museum? As this was a celebration of the 50 years of the Montesa Cota model, the golden anniversary, we really wanted to make it very special, to give the recognition to such a fantastic achievement. We wanted the public to be able to see just what had been achieved during this time, the evolution of the trials motorcycle and also the success in the competition world. We spent almost one full year deciding what models to include. We then had to prepare all the models you can see to make sure they were correct for the collection, to define the designs into years. It may sound an easy task, but you must remember to do this — you must have the information to make sure it’s all correct!

On April 30th 1968 the first Montesa Cota 247 models rolled off the production line in Spain.

Starting from the early days of the Cota models, when did they start to become popular, with which models? Straight away, the dimensions were popular, from the very first moment of its appearance on the market. The Cota 247 model lasted a few years since its introduction in 1968–1969. During these years several other Cota models would appear with the same aesthetic image: Cota 25, Cota 50, Cota 74, Cota 123, and the Cota 172. A wide range of machines to suit all levels of ages and abilities.

In 1967 Montesa arrived in the trials world with the prototype Cota 247.

Montesa wanted to promote the sport of trials as one the family could enjoy and introduced a little brother to the Cota 247 with the introduction of the Cota 25 in the early ’70s.




TONI BOU 13 x FIM X-Trial World Champion (Indoor) 13 x FIM Trial World Champion (Outdoor)

To discover the MICHELIN Trial range visit:

VISIT MUSEUM The late great Swede Ulf Karlson would remain loyal to Montesa during his 12-year career. With excellent results in the 1974 European Championship Montesa produced the Cota 247 Ulf Karlson replica. He would become the first world trials champion for Montesa in 1980 on the Cota 349.

This is ‘Viva’ Montesa!

With the Cota 348 model over a four-year period of production, between the years 1976–1979, they hit the crazy heights of 15,700 units with the majority earmarked for export.

Montesa wanted to grow the trials market and ultimately attract more riders to the sport of motorcycle trials. The image of the father and son out together, riding and owning the same image of motorcycle was very important. That is why the decision was made to keep the same styling of the red Montesa Cota; it was very important to give the brand the correct image and to leave a good impression on the owners. From the Cota 247 through to the introduction of the Cota 348, Montesa enjoyed huge success with these models. Did the 348 model

1980: A Montesa Cota model for all the family.

bring new innovation to the trials motorcycle? Montesa knew they needed to introduce a new model, and the Cota 348 was created to surpass the success of the Cota 247. It was achieved, and it was a huge success around the globe. For several years it was the best-selling trials motorcycle with record sales. It had important technical innovations such as the double-cradle frame; the fuel tank would pivot from the front of its mounting point to allow easy access for maintenance to the carburettor and air filter. The cylinder barrel and head had new ‘crinkled’ fins to allow for better cooling of the engine, which improved the performance. If you

remember it also had the enclosed rear drive-chain with the black tubes for increased protection; this would become a Montesa trademark for many years. Such was the success of this model it would evolve into the Cota 349 ultimately, in 1980, bringing Montesa its first ever FIM Trial World Championship title with Sweden’s Ulf Karlson. Montesa was delighted with this success, and quite rightly so, it was a journey that had started in 1968. In the early ‘80s, the Cota 242 was introduced; did this model feature major changes? As the ‘70s turned into the ‘80s, the Italian

The Montesa Cota Portus 4T was a prototype from Antonio Roma who transformed the Cota 330 two-stroke into a four-stroke 360cc in 1980. Motus Portus was a Montesa dealer based at Vic, Barcelona. When tested the Montesa was very competitive and had a weight of 95kg.



VISIT MUSEUM motorcycle manufacturers had started to move into the trials market, such as Fantic and Beta with smaller capacity and lighter machines. In order to compete with these machines, Montesa created the Cota 242. It had a smaller engine capacity of 237.5cc, and for the first time in a Montesa Cota, a Nicasil cylinder coating was introduced. It would allow for closer engine tolerances and less friction, improving the performance. To further reduce the machine’s weight, an aluminium swinging arm was introduced; this was another ‘first’ in the Montesa Cota models. At this time Montesa appeared to be making many changes with the Cota models. All Cota Portus prototypes were created by people outside Montesa who were great innovators and designers, but Montesa never made these models. The N4 was created by the great engineer Antonio Cobas who was involved with Montesa for several years. The tubular steel frame he produced was just a prototype that never arrived in production. Montesa decided to move to the aluminium frame which would be used for many years as it was evolved on the two-stroke Cota 311, Cota 314, Cota 315 and the current four-stroke Cota 4RT. It was a very good choice of materials, as we have demonstrated having used it over such a long period of time while also keeping the Montesa as a winning machine; the results speak for themselves.   Compared to the Yamaha mono-shock how good were the early single-shock Montesas such as the Cota 304 and 310? The early mono-shock models were, if you like, ‘stop-gap’ machines before we made a move to start work on the prototype Cota 311. In the dimensions of the frame fabrication of the Cota 304, 307 and 335, we applied the mono-shock single suspension setup to understand the workings of a progressive rear suspension to be able to compete with the Yamaha suspension, which in trials was the reference point. They were very good, but around this time machine development amongst all the manufacturers were moving at a very rapid pace. We would see the inverted, upside-down front forks, aluminium frames and then the water cooling to give a more efficiently controlled running temperature of the engine.   The breakthrough came with the Cota 311? In real terms, the Montesa Cota 311 was the last motorcycle engine designed and evolved in Montesa, Spain. The frame was designed between Montesa and the Italian company, Verlicchi, and was the first Cota model with liquid cooling and a full aluminium frame and swinging arm. This machine was ridden and developed by true enthusiasts of trials such as Marc Colomer, Gabino Renales, Robert Crawford and Amos Bilbao during the world championship season. Sometimes it was hard, but we all worked together for the result, the red production Cota 311.


In 1990 Antonio Roma added a complete water-cooled system to the twostroke Cota 309. This prototype work was way ahead of its time, aimed at stability of the running temperature and an increase in engine performance.

These three Cota models show the progression from the air-cooled on the right with the reed-valve induction engine through to the HRC connection in 1994.



And then the Cota 314R was designed by the Japanese engineers? Then the Cota 314 engine arrived and another decade began. Honda designed this in Japan and tuned in Montesa-Honda Spain with a programmable, adjustable CDI electronic setup. Here began the future of electronics in the Cota trials models. The Cota 315R pushed Montesa back to the top of the world championship, first with Marc Colomer and then Dougie Lampkin and Takahisa Fujinami. When Marc Colomer won the FIM World Championship in 1996 on the Cota 315R, this was the result of the work of so many people; it did not come easy. Japan’s Takahisa Fujinami had arrived in the team in 1996, and Great Britain’s Dougie Lampkin in 2000. These two riders became the dominant force in world trials which resulted in Dougie winning the FIM title from 2000–2003 before ‘Fujigas’ won the title in 2004, the last for a two-stroke Cota model.

Never before has Classic Trial Magazine witnessed such a collection of one make!

Japan’s Takahisa Fujinami had arrived on the world trials scene in 1996. He won the last Montesa two-stroke FIM Wold Championship title in 2004 on this Cota 315R.


Despite the fact that this prototype model from the great Antonio Cobas dates back to the 90s, much of the technology can be found in other manufacturers in 2019. The frame was fabricated with the multiple use of tubular steel, with the engine becoming a part of the structural strength of the machine.

From two-stroke to four-stoke, Montesa has dominated the world of motorcycle trials.



Toni Bou wins again with the 2019 FIM X-Trial World Championship, his 13th consecutive X-Trial title.

To celebrate 50 years of Cota model production the manufacturer produced this limited-edition Cota 4RT.

Why the move to the four-stroke engines? The FIM was pushing forward with the control of emissions from two-stroke engines and believed the future was with four-stroke engines. In early 2004, the Cota 4RT was revealed at the Japanese world round. At first, it was a struggle with the four-stroke engine, but step by step, we turned it into a winner. When Dougie Lampkin won in Portugal in 2005, it was a massive success for the team and everyone involved. As they say, the rest is history, we have had the 26 FIM World titles with Toni Bou, but you

must also remember the Scottish Six Days Trial win with James Dabill in 2007, the first for a fourstroke since Alan Lampkin on the BSA in 1966, and the ladies’ success with Laia Sanz. And then Toni Bou arrived in 2007. It’s hard to explain the success of Toni Bou, and please do not forget Takahisa Fujinami. We knew Toni was good when he arrived but, as the English say, it was ‘Like a Duck to Water’ with the four-stroke Cota 4RT. To be so consistent over such a period of time in any sport is unbelievable! Toni is also a very good guy to work with; he appreciates we are a team and not just about the rider — this is very important!   Classic Trial Magazine would like to thank both the Bassella Museum and Miquel Cirera for their help and support with this article generation.

The success of the Cota models continues. Here Toni Bou takes another win in 2019 in Portugal, one week later in France he would be crowned an FIM Trial World Champion for the 13th time.




Bassella Motorcycle Museum

The Motorcycle Museum Private Foundation Mario Soler is a non-profit entity.

Recognised as one of the best museums in Europe, it has become an icon for all motorsport fans and an obligatory stop on the route from Spain to Andorra. A journey across the 20th century on two wheels, this is the theme of the Bassella Motorcycle Museum. It’s an interesting route; starting with the most rudimentary models from the very beginning of the motorcycle until modern times through a selection of the leading national and international brands of every speciality from the motorcycle manufacturers. It currently manages a collection of more than 300 motorcycles. It also houses specialist exhibitions and collections such as the current Montesa ‘50’. Article: Trials Media


t the time of opening back in 2002, it was the first museum primarily focused on the world of the two wheels in Spain, with over 190 models on display from different national and international manufacturers. Also included were different prototypes and unique models. It’s a culmination of a project that came to light in the first half of the past century as a result of the work done by Mario Soler. The Motorcycle Museum Private Foundation Mario Soler is a non-profit entity. It works to promote the motorcycle’s values, its responsible and sustainable use and encapsulates its past, present and future from multiple perspectives such as social, economic, industrial, sport, leisure, urban, etc. The present collection was created in 2010 by the


In the middle of the museum stands the original workshop where Mario Soler refurbished the majority of the motorcycles.

Soler family and gives continuity to the task begun by Mario Soler (1907–1991). He was a devoted motorcycle and mechanics fan who, for many years, in his small workshop in Bassella (Lleida), with his hands and talent, recovered a significant number of motorcycles. Thanks to this effort he became a reputable restorer and one of the first collectors in Spain. In the centre of the museum stands the original workshop where Mario Soler refurbished the majority of motorcycles that shape the present collection. Everything was carefully transported piece by piece. from its former location in Bassella, keeping all elements and original

details. It constitutes one of the most remarkable areas in the museum, where time stopped more than 20 years ago.

How to get there…

Bassella Motorcycle Museum Carretera C-14 km. 134 25289 Bassella (Lleida), Spain Opening hours: Monday-Sunday: 10am-6pm. Closed: Tuesday and Wednesday. Enquiries: email: or call: +34 973 46 27 31. Guided tours available by prior booking.


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Bulto v Mont

Sometimes in life, you have to go against what you want to do, and this is the case in this fantastic article. It was first published in the early days of Trial Magazine when we, as a UK publication, were beginning to find our feet and didn’t have as many readers as we have today. Many of you will not have read it. While doing some research on another project, it caught my eye, and I reread it. I decided to edit and re-publish as it plays a massive part in what we are about with Classic Trial Magazine. We are sure you will agree it’s a ‘Gem’. When you read it, please bear in mind the passing of time and how the lifeand-times of motorcycle trials has changed. Article: This was generated by our good friend in Spain Ramon Salles, who enjoyed an evening in the company of these two special trials legends. Classic Trial Magazine: John Hulme • Pictures: Ramon Salles, Bultaco, Beta, Greeves, The Nick Nicholls Collection at Mortons Archive, Montesa, John Hulme, Malcolm Carling, Brian Holder and Toon van de Vliet


o have the privilege and honour to share a table with two people, such as Spaniard’s Oriol Puig Bulto and Pere Pi, is something very special and was made even more so when they agreed to do an interview. These two people changed the face of trials forever when Bultaco and Montesa entered trials in the mid-sixties. We knew this would be a special moment and something to savour forever. When asked about doing an interview, they both warmed to the idea without haste, while they both raced through their minds for stories they could share. The experiences of these two champions could fill the whole edition — or even a whole year — of Classic Trial Magazine. We have put together an enjoyable journey as we talked about many topics concerning trials and the Spanish motorcycle industry. Thanks to Pere and Oriol for sharing your amazing experiences with us.


What was the first contact that you had with motorcycle trials? ORIOL PUIG BULTO: At Bultaco, we had known about trials through the English motorcycle newspapers and magazines. We found out that near Paris a trial would be held and that Juan Soler, the father of Manel, was to compete in the event. I decided to make a motorcycle for the event based on the machine we had used in the International Six Days Trial in Austria in 1962. We transformed the machine with a few modifications, which included narrower handlebars and other minor changes. This machine eventually became the Sherpa N. We contacted both Claude Peugeot and Claude Coutard, the father of the future Bultaco mounted French champion Charles Coutard. Sammy Miller also entered with his Ariel, and there were also many riders on British machines such as Greeves, BSA and Triumph, etc. We liked

Bultaco had a passion for anything motorcycles.

what we saw and, from our experiences, we began to develop what eventually became the prototype of the Sherpa T model. It took two years, but in 1964, the first prototype was finished. PERE PI: My main sporting interest, which was also my work, was off-road motorcycling, with trail riding just for fun, although I did enjoy the speed element as well because the group I rode with all wanted to race one another. My first contact with trials was in Montbeliard, France, through Claude Peugeot — one-time French trials champion — who was a great friend of the



Oriol Puig Bulto.

Pere Pi.



LEGENDS ORIOL PUIG BULTO & PERE PI This Sherpa N model was the base point for the Sherpa model.

They compared the Bultaco to the Ariel and a Greeves, and when Sammy could clean sections easier on the Bultaco they knew they were on to a winner.

The Bulto–Bultaco family share a ride-out on the machines they produced in the early 60s.

then president of the country, Charles de Gaulle. Claude organised proper trials sections to show what a trial was about and he went to a series of people to explain the basic rules about the sport; amongst them was Oriol Puig Bulto. It seemed strange to me that ‘footing’ or losing marks would see you penalised. In addition to this, it was also explained that a total stop would result in the maximum five marks. As I did not want to race my machine, this new discipline seemed the ideal solution to make riding the

machines competitive without the need for speed. My first trial was in Spain at Manresa, where I finished fourth and, I believe that later on, we rode in Martorell, where I was second. After this, we had a whole year away from the sport because the motorcycle that we had modified was not really a trials machine and did not work very well. At this point, we decided to make a purpose-built motorcycle for this discipline — the trials 250. We made 50 of these machines. We again returned to

competition, repeating the results with a fourth position in Manresa and a second in the following trial. From then on, we began to compete as often as possible as we became hooked on the sport of trials. The Montesa factory decided to build a new machine from the ground up, and so the Cota trials machine was born.

Lancastrian Tommy Ollerton brought a new trials machine to the 1962 Scottish Six Days Trial. Developed by Jack Anelay, who also had a passing interest in racing machines, it was based on the 200cc Bultaco and was called the ‘Sherpa’.

Sammy Miller testing the early Bultaco in Spain.



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LEGENDS ORIOL PUIG BULTO & PERE PI Just compare these brochure pictures, when you get a chance to see just how much physically smaller the Bultaco is to the mighty four-stroke machines from Great Britain.

When Miller won the 1965 Scottish Six Days on the Bultaco they knew where their destiny would take them: to the very top!

What were your thoughts of the trial? What was your first impression? ORIOL PUIG BULTO: Without wanting to offend anybody, I found it very amusing! If I am totally honest, I really enjoyed being involved in trials and helping to develop the model from the beginning; it was fun. I must say that we at Bultaco appeared to have a much easier time than Pere as my uncle entered into the spirit of the sport, attending events etc., whereas at Montesa it was all about production of the new machines. As with Pere though, I felt very comfortable with the trials project and loved the competitions. PERE PI: It also took me a little time to understand it all. My memory of one trial that was organised in Barcelona, near the Tibidabo, was of me competing dressed in a cap and tie! For most off-road motorcycle sports you have to train and spend many hours maintaining your machine, but for me, the attraction to trials was the fact that you could work all week in the factory then at the weekend enjoy the trial. Sunday would be a nice calm but competitive day to relax and enjoy the competition. At the factory, it was mainly me who pushed the trials side of the business as I could see a new market in this sport. In the early days, all the riders were from England. How did you get involved with them? ORIOL PUIG BULTO: The English motorcycles were the best, and without a doubt, the best man and machine was Sammy Miller on the Ariel. I soon realised just how good they were on my first visit to the Scottish Six Days Trial. My first trip from Spain to Edinburgh was in a Seat 600, complete with my lady, and towing a trailer with two Bultacos on; one for me and the other for the UK

Pere Pi: “My first trial was in Spain, at Manresa I think, in 1965/1966 where I finished fourth. After this we had a whole year away from the sport because the motorcycle that we had modified was not really a trials machine. At this point we decided to make a purpose-built motorcycle, a trials 250. Fifty of these machines were produced and we returned to competition, repeating the results with a fourth position in Manresa and a second in the following trial. From here we began to compete as often as possible as we became hooked on the sport of trials. The Montesa factory decided to build a new machine from the ground up, and the Cota trials machine was born.”


importers Comerfords, who had a rider entered. From my memory, we had not realised that the discharge coil on my machine had a crack in it, and whenever it rained or the coil got wet, the motorcycle would stop. I changed the spark plug several times but to no avail and, when I arrived in Fort William, I was over my time allowance and so was disqualified. I decided to watch the trial without attempting the sections and, during the week, made contact with Sammy Miller. During the course of the week, we spoke on many occasions; he showed a lot of interest in my Bultaco, a machine much smaller than the mighty Ariel. At the end of the week, I asked him if he wanted to come to Spain to test the machine. Thanks to a defective coil, the connection with Miller was born, and that allowed us to begin our fruitful collaboration. Sammy came to Spain and stopped on the estate at San Antonio in a house owned by my uncle; this was a really nice experience for him and, I am sure that if Pere Pi had been there, motorcycle trials development would have been the topic of conversation. They spent a full 15 days testing without stopping. By day Sammy tried the new machine and, at night, the mechanics made the changes: ignition, frame modifications, anything they thought could be improved. I also remember trying a section at Montseny but mainly rode in the neighbourhood of San Antonio. We compared the Bultaco to the Ariel, and when Sammy could clean sections more easily on the Bultaco, we knew we were on to a winner. We were convinced that we had the motorcycle and were determined to put it in production as soon as possible, and so we signed the contract with Sammy and with this, the machine went to England. I would like to say though that Sammy had a clause in his contract that if he did not win at least 90 per cent of the trials, he entered he could terminate the contract, surely because he did not have total confidence in the machine! We accepted this and, when he returned to England with the machine, it did not work as well as we expected it to.

When Bultaco released this production Sherpa T 250cc in 1965 the nails started to go in the coffins of the once mighty manufacturers of trials motorcycles in the UK.



Don Smith at the European Championship round at Ashford, Kent in Great Britain. This was the first showing in the spring of 1968 of the new 247 Cota model.

I travelled to Sammy’s house with many different components to test, including suspension, ignition, carburettors, etc. We had the Ariel and a Greeves to make comparisons with and, at this point, the Bultaco was not as good as these other machines in the mud. After a few days of testing, we got the Sherpa to work much better though. PERE PI: It was quite clear that trials was an English sport and it is still very much the same nowadays. In those early days, for us to go and compete in such events as the Scottish Six Days Trial, it was a challenge. I was lucky enough to compete, though I must confess my results were not very good. I competed in many trials in Europe and did well but, when we arrived in England, the results changed. The sections were a lot harder than we were used to with very little grip, and so the results were very poor. The reason that the Spanish riders do so well today is the fact that the obstacles and sections have changed to offer more grip; if this had not happened, I am sure English riders would still be the best as they are the masters at finding grip in the slippery conditions.

Standing proud: the Cota 247 on this brochure from 1968.


When well-known trials character Don Smith came to the Montesa factory to do some training, it was raining very heavily. We marked out a section with very tight corners and a steep gradient; he cleaned the section every time with no problems at all. We attempted the section time and time again without success; we deemed it as impossible! He had a special technique with the throttle hand, which enabled him to ride smoothly over the rocks of such famous sections as Laggan Locks or Pipeline in the Scottish, whereas we sank in the mud or stumbled on the rocks. Trials held at this time were proper TRIALS! ORIOL PUIG BULTO: Unlike nowadays; the sections at trials have changed, as I do remember my first ever trial in England and how traditional it was. Our own Trial de Sant LLorenc was even something that I really enjoyed. Now everything is so much shorter; the real character of the trial has gone. PERE PI: The English trials, classic and the traditional ones, are where trials originated; and even today that is unquestionable. ORIOL PUIG BULTO: I believe that you are

1970: Oriel Bulto on one of his many trips to Great Britain. The event is the very wet European championship trial held around the Sheffield area.

At the 1968 Scottish Six Days Trial Pere Pi rode the first of the production Montesa Cota models to a first class award.

right. In addition, in those days there were many spectators, and the atmosphere between the riders was much more sporting, far from the present professionalism that not only affects the trial now but is also the face of the sport. Now it is spectacular, everything a show, but before the sport was made really for the people. Fair play to your memory though; the sport is still about throttle control and losing the least amount of marks. PERE PI: Before, trials was accessible to everybody, both the riders and the spectators understood it and could compete on an even level. Even at the very first indoor trials, organised by Joan Huts in the Palau dels Esports of Barcelona, the sections were very natural. Today it has changed so much that it is only for the elite riders, which I do not believe is the way forward. Most of the older, veteran riders have vivid memories of sections in the forest with thousands of spectators watching the riders, all on one route. They would act like crazy people as they wanted to see a piece of the action and their favourite star rider. The sections were still very difficult, but the riders were like a piece of elastic as they did everything possible with their bodies to avoid a dab. Yes, at my age, we are always saying that these were the better times, it was more of a traditional type of trial even at this level of competition; but the fact remains, it is still about the control you have between the throttle and the rear tyre. It used to be incredible arriving at a last section of a competition in the mountains and finding it full of spectators. But where had they all come from, you asked yourself? They had left their cars far behind and had walked, but they enjoyed the trial as much as the riders. Tell us of an embarrassing incident that has happened to you during a trial. ORIOL PUIG BULTO: I remember a trial in Belgium. We arrived three days before to train and to practice with Marcel Weitz, our distributor in that country. We went out to practice on the machines in the surrounding area and made some very good sections. To our surprise, when we arrived at the trial on the Sunday, the sections we had been practising on were included in the trial! As you can


LEGENDS ORIOL PUIG BULTO & PERE PI Rob Edwards travelled the world as a brand ambassador for Montesa.

After the success at the Santigosa three-day in the early 70s Montesa called Rob Edwards. They asked him to fly out to the factory to test the new Cota 123cc and give his opinion on it. When Rob saw the small 123cc engine with 20” front and 17” rear wheels he looked at the management and asked if they had gone crazy – they had asked him to travel all the way from England to test this machine fitted with a 17” rear wheel, it was only his British education which prevented him from being badmannered! Montesa marked out some sections nearby similar to the style of the Scottish Six Days Trial. Rob tried these on the machine and could not believe how well it performed. The Cota 123 went on to be a best seller worldwide.

imagine, we all had very good rides. PERE PI: I have thousands of memories, but one which really stays in my mind happened in England. It was on a very long section between trees that finished with a very steep hill. I attacked the section motocross style, full-on, and when I arrived at the top of the hill, I landed on a very small precipice with a large drop to one side! I thought the situation was lost when I saw a person at the last tree…who? Imagine: to my disbelief it was Joan Soler; with all his force he grabbed hold of me and the machine and with the other handheld around the tree he managed to return us to the precipice. The tree remained firm, and all was saved! Lucky for me that Joan was very strong. The tree was a pine? Yes, Yes, Yes! The name of “Pi”, that is pine in Catalan! Of course, in the heart of a British forest, the last person I expected to find standing at the last tree before the abyss was my friend Joan.


Martin Lampkin gave Bultaco the very first FIM World Championship title in 1975.

Oriel Bulto – Who is the best rider? You must always remember the seven world titles of Jordi Tarres.

On many occasions, testing the Bultaco trials models was carried out in the form of a rideout, just like in years before.

They both agree on one thing, Toni Bou is the presentday king of trials on the four-stroke Montesa Cota 4RT.

What were the main differences between the Montesa and Bultaco, what did you consider to be the strong points of each machine? ORIOL PUIG BULTO: I believe the best part of the Montesa was the rear suspension, it was so progressive. The truth is I never liked the rear shock absorber setup on the Bultaco despite trying many different settings. PERE PI: The strong point on the Bultaco was its ability to hold its line in the sections when you opened the throttle, whereas with the Montesa you had to back off a bit to keep on line and it made you pick your path to ride the section. In my opinion, the Bultaco also gripped better; we tried to analyse this and decided that the problem with the Montesa was that the gearbox sprocket position was higher than on the Bultaco. We tried many options to alter this, such as lowering the engine, but I always think the Bultaco had the edge in this certain area. We also spent a lot of time playing with different ignition settings to get the Montesa to grip better. And the same with the riders and the mentality you installed in them? ORIOL PUIG BULTO: Pere had a wilful desire to fight; cunning, an enviable nerve. At Bultaco, I went for the more gentlemanly approach to make

the rider more calm and feel part of the team, the company he represented and to be proud of it. It’s a term I use called “single-breasted uniform jacket”. PERE PI: You are right, for example, in the corners at the motocross races, I always had a trick line to make the exit easier. When the riders were practising motocross or trials, we would alter the track or section to make them react quicker. Then we would tighten the corner with straw bales, and in the sections, we would move the rocks when the rider was not looking. I always studied in detail the way to save tenths of seconds, such as watching the starter with the flag to see how he operated. It’s the same as watching an observer at a trial to see how he marks the riders. Now, in all seriousness, Oriol respects its seriousness and the desire to win. Which is your favourite trial you have ridden in, your best memories? ORIOL PUIG BULTO: For me, it was the second time we entered the SSDT with Bultaco. The event holds so many fond memories of Bultaco. My last year of competition in the event was 1973 on the Sherpa 325cc. It was at the end of my riding career, and I won a special first-class award; these were very special times. PERE PI: Normally, the trial that you like the






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LEGENDS ORIOL PUIG BULTO & PERE PI most is the one you ride well in — he laughs. I always enjoyed the Santigosa three-day events. It was so English, using very natural hazards and was very enjoyable. We tested the very first Cota 123cc machine in this event to see how it would perform, with reliability in mind. It was also interesting to see how it performed against the Bultacos. On the first day, with some spirited riding, the crowd watched out for the little machine to see if its small engine capacity would be a handicap against the bigger machines. By the second day, my fellow riders were following us at the sections, amazed at its performance. At the second section on the third and final day, at a steep climb embedded with tree roots, many thought the Cota 123 would not perform, it was a choice of first or second gear. I chose second gear and cleaned the section with ease. It proved that the smaller machine could cope easily with the traditional sections. After the trial, we called one of our factory riders in England, Rob Edwards. We asked him to fly out to the factory to test the new Cota 123cc and give us his opinion on it. When Rob saw the small 123cc engine with 20” front and 17” rear wheels, he looked at us in amazement and asked if we had gone crazy! We had asked him to travel all the way from England to test this machine fitted with a 17” rear wheel; it was only his British education which prevented him from being bad-mannered. We marked out some sections nearby similar to the style of the Scottish Six Days Trial. Rob tried these on the machine and could not believe how well it performed. The Cota 123 went on to be a best-seller worldwide. Who is the best rider in the history of trials? Oriol says that it is Pere and Pere says that it is Oriol… ORIOL PUIG BULTO: For me, you must remember the seven world titles of Jordi Tarres. PERE PI: It is true, Jordi has been a phenomenon, but for me, I have never seen anybody perform like Toni Bou. He made a big impression on me at the Barcelona indoor, he is very determined, and what he can achieve on a motorcycle is amazing. Sammy Miller has always been incredible. He has ridden in trials all his life and is still winning now! At this present time though I would say Toni Bou is the best. ORIOL PUIG BULTO: It is very difficult to establish comparisons, but I believe that Sammy Miller, like Tarres, brought something new to trials,

Pere Pi – Who is the best rider? Jordi Tarres has been a phenomenon but for me I have never seen anybody perform like Toni Bou. He made a big impression on me at the Barcelona indoor on his debut, he is very determined and what he can achieve on a motorcycle is amazing.


Super Swede Ulf Karlson was the first Montesa FIM World Champion in 1980.

a new style of riding and technique. PERE PI: We must not forget Eddy Lejeune, Martin Lampkin or Yrjo Vesterinen, as they were exceptional riders. ORIOL PUIG BULTO: Vesterinen was the absolute professional, totally dedicated in what he did, so focussed. Sometimes he was quite difficult at the time of negotiating contracts, but once signed, he was a complete gentleman who gave one hundred per cent all the time. I also remember that he always thanked you after the trial. Martin Lampkin always kept me entertained with his full-on riding style. The English during that era were all good-natured and great sportsmen.

Both of you have had a very long sporting career on a motorcycle, competing in many races in multiple disciplines. You are the prototype of the complete rider, but are you satisfied in this way? ORIOL PUIG BULTO: You have part of the reason, but I believe that the satisfaction motorcycles have given us are priceless. In my life, I have competed all over the world in all disciplines and enjoyed motorcycles in every sense; it is something that has filled my life. PERE PI: It means something very serious to me, and I mean, very serious. You must be aware that you have very little time at the top of your sport; trials is no different. It would be very different if we had been soccer players like Ronaldinho, and the millionaire pay-days with it. Any rider of a motorcycle in sport must dedicate themselves for maybe six to eight years. Motorcycles give very little money, and it is necessary to understand this. For me, it was difficult as I was also building a company and missed out in my better years because of this. Speaking of diverse specialities, which is the favourite of each? ORIOL PUIG BULTO: This is the question that I always have to think about. I used to love the challenge of the motocross races as you had to remember in your mind the changes in the circuits very quickly, whereas on the trials machine you have more time to think. PERE PI: For me, it is speed, motocross and trials. I had won seven national motocross titles and one trials title, although people remember me more by the trials title because it was my last one and when I was with Montesa. Motocross was my main sport, even though I had little time to practise this. These races were very hard on the body as you raced for 45 minutes, rested for 30 minutes and raced again! Years on, I have been warned by the doctor that the spine and back have taken a hammering, so now I only ride a trials machine. I believe that the trial is the speciality in which the balance between man and machine needs to be the best, and for that reason, this is the one that I would recommend to everybody. Once again, at Classic Trial Magazine, we would like to thank Ramon Salles in Spain for making this interview happen a few years ago with these two sporting legends.

Taken in 2010 this picture shows one thing, they are forever friends.


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The last Cavalier The small cottage industry of motorcycle trials manufacture had emerged in the face of the welldocumented Spanish Armada of Bultaco, Montesa and Ossa in the latter part of the 60s. Along with many others, the ‘Good Old’ school of manufacturers, Cotton had put all their trusty eggs in the basket of the engine supplier Villiers who manufactured engines in Great Britain. They were exhausted in development and, in truth, when they ceased production of the 37A engine in July 1968 they did the industry a favour, but it came at a costly price. Overnight once great names such as AJS, Cotton, DOT and Greeves, and in more recent times Sprite, had no engines to provide the power for their range of trials machines. They would have to reach across the English Channel and into Europe for the supply of engines, as we find out how Cotton became the last ‘Cavalier’. Words: Classic Trial Magazine (We would also like to acknowledge the words from Alan Vines and Don Morley in the generation of this article) • Pictures: Don Morley, Brian Holder, Cotton Motorcycle, Justyn Norek Jnr, Alan Vines and Yoomee Archive


It’s 1968 as the Cotton boss Pat Onions and frame builder Eric Lee show a very young ‘Works’ rider Rob Edwards the finer detail of the new 170cc Minarelli engined machine.


ime and tide wait for no one, and it was quite unfortunate for the Cotton name that they had started to work on an experimental 264cc Villiers-engined machine for their works rider Rob Edwards in March 1968. In 1967 Rob, had moved to Cotton in the face of the new Spanish machines. He had ridden a 250cc Bultaco in the 1966 Scottish Six Days Trial but decided to stay with a British manufacturer. In the past, Villiers had produced in the region of 500 trials engines per year. Spares were readily available, and the majority of mechanics and riders knew the ins and outs of the simple-to-work-on, single-cylinder, air-cooled two-stroke engines. Their Achilles heel was the contact breaker ignition, which required constant attention.


MICRO MACHINE THE LAST CAVALIER Rob Edwards wheelies the Cotton on its first outing in a shakedown of the new model.

Rob on an early competitive outing in the 1969 Victory Trial. He would win a few national trials on the Cotton.

Check out the riding kit of Rob Edwards on the new Cotton Cavalier!

An Italian import Along with the other manufacturers who had now lost their supply of engines, Cotton looked abroad and to the Italian Minarelli engine. They made the very bold decision in late 1968 (remember that the once-mighty motorcycle manufacturing industry in Great Britain was by then in decline) to produce a new trials model based around the 170cc Italian Minarelli engine. They employed a small, dedicated team of employees at their Gloucestershire base who would help to produce and assemble a new trials machine. The frame would be a one-piece tubeless type with a strong back-bone tubular support and front down tube, with engine protection provided under the engine by thin-walled tubular steel which would be bronze welded. To further reduce weight, the twin rear loops for the mudguard support and sub-frame would see smaller diameter tubing used.The swinging arm would be lightweight tubular steel with the pivot point using silent block bushes with Girling adjustable oil-filled units. At the front telescopic front forks would be fitted, offering six-inches of movement. A fibre-glass combined one-piece seat and fuel tank unit with a ‘Monza’ type quick-fill finished in blue along with the aluminium mudguards gave the machine a quality appearance. The engine performance was made better with the chromeplated exhaust front pipe leading to a twin outlet silencer fitted under the seat out of harm’s way. Dunlop tyres were fitted to the steel chrome-plated wheel rims, which were laced to lightweight aluminium wheel hubs, and the rear wheel featured a ‘Cush-Drive’ arrangement to make the power delivery softer. Riding the new machine, Rob Edwards had some terrific results, including winning the up-to-200cc cup in the Scottish Six Days Trial riding the model entered by Norman Crooks. It used the steel fuel tank with a larger capacity and separate seat unit. In July, he also won the Allen Jefferies Trial. Priced at £230 in kit form, the machine started to prove quite popular.


Rob Edwards gets his feet down to keep forward motion in the 1969 SSDT on the upper reaches of the Leitir Bo Fionn hazards.

Looking very confident on Grey Mare’s Ridge: Rob Edwards won the Best up-to 200cc award with a fine 10th position in 1969 at the SSDT.



Another rider who had some good results on the Cotton was Ian Haydon. Seen here in the 1969 SSDT he had previously ridden the Villiers powered Cotton trials models.

The Cavalier Expert The 170cc Italian Minarelli engine had proved good since its introduction three years earlier, but the lack of power for big hills was becoming a concern, as was the four-speed gearbox, which did not offer the correct choice of gear ratios that the rider wanted. In late 1972, the Cotton Cavalier ‘Expert’ model was introduced; the main change was the new gearbox internals. The standard imported Minarelli engine had just four gears, but in the UK in the

Cotton workshops the standard gearbox internals was dismantled and a new second, third and fourth set of gear pinions were cut while the first gear was retained. This new gearbox arrangement gave the rider four good usable trials gears. Further improvements in the engine department included a slimmed-down magneto cover supplied by the Midlands dealership Hyland Crowe, which at two inches slimmer made the whole engine package so much narrower. To help improve the handling

You must agree that the Cotton does look very well presented. Ian Haydon is seen here at Tyndrum on the old lead mines high above the A82. He came home in 21st position at the 1969 SSDT.


Richard Sunter had some early success on the Cotton; this picture is from the 1969 Scott Trial.

the rear wheel ‘Cush Drive’ arrangement was removed and a new Grimeca wheel hub assembly was fitted. Metal Profile MP S600 model forks were fitted at the front, incorporating the latest modifications. A blue metal-flake finish was also added to the seat, and fuel tank unit and the machine carried a retail price of £272.00 in kit form. The new machine was so much better, but the sales of the Spanish machines were now really taking hold.

The Cotton boss Pat Onions at the 1970 ‘Press’ trial. The machine is the 1971 Cavalier model with the new one-piece seat and fuel tank unit.


MICRO MACHINE THE LAST CAVALIER This is the 1971 model Cotton Cavalier press photo.

John Luckett — Cotton Times Based in the South West Centre, farmer John Luckett had some good results on the Minarelli engined Cotton. Here he takes up the story: “When Saracen Motorcycles started producing trials models they advertised in Motor Cycle News for riders, who would receive some support. I wrote to them offering my services, but they had already taken on Jack Galloway and Jon Bliss, two other good riders. “Never one to give up, I wrote to Cotton Motorcycles at Gloucester and sent copies of my results. They responded by letting me have a new Cotton at a cut price and said they would support me with free spares if I needed them. I was to get a bonus of £3 for an Open to Centre Win, £12 for a Regional Restricted and £25 for a National Win. After a while, they gave me the second machine free of charge. It was the 220cc Minarelli-engined Cotton. “In the 1970 Scottish on the 220cc Cotton, I thought the engine was tightening up and was taking it easier but then, looking down at the rear wheel I realised the frame was twisted, the back brake was mangled up, and the hub seemed to be breaking up! I was losing 59 marks on time when 60 minutes meant you were out. I got to Pipeline with one minute left. Back at the start/finish, we borrowed a wheel from a Northern dealer, and I used that for the remainder of the week. My wheel was rebuilt so it could be refitted, so that when I finished at Edinburgh, I had all the correct rim, paint intact. I still got a Special First that year! “In the 1971 Scottish, I was ninth on the leader board; I only lost four marks on the Thursday. “At the end of 1972, I wanted to finish at Cotton as I felt the machine was less competitive. I had ridden for Cotton for two years and had some decent results, coming second in the Victory Trial the year that Brian Higgins won it in the early ’70s. The Managing Director at Cotton, Reg Buttery, wrote me a very nice letter asking me to stay and suggested I take the machine to California to demonstrate it. He was a smashing bloke, and I did not like to let him

1971 SSDT: Fighting to stay feet-up on the Cotton, John Luckett attacks the iconic ‘Pipeline’ hazards.


John Luckett had some good rides on the Cotton. This picture is on the lower slopes of Ben Nevis in the 1971 SSDT.

down, and so I had to make my mind up what to do? In the end, I returned it; to be fair, I’d had enough of the machine because it wasn’t that competitive in the face of the Spanish opposition. My mind was made up, and I gave the machine back to the Cotton works, and ultimately Martin Strang from Somerset went to the USA in my place”.

The dreaded VAT

As with many motorcycle manufacturers they avoided purchase tax by selling their machines in kit form, but then this loophole

Proving very popular for the good centre riders, Robin Debben is seen here on the 1971 production model 170cc Cotton Cavalier.


MICRO MACHINE THE LAST CAVALIER This is Cotton is just one of many machines Carlo Ramella has in his collection of many trials machines from around the globe.

It was these pictures from Justyn Norek Jnr in Italy that prompted me to generate this article.

Further improvements in the engine department included a slimmed down magneto cover supplied by the Midlands dealership Hyland Crowe, which at two inches slimmer makes the whole engine package so much narrower.

Despite the fact that this picture was taken in 2017, the Cotton from 1971 still looks intact and in good condition.

ended in the first half of the ’70s. In March 1974, Great Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer made a decision which would put the final nail in the coffin of the Cotton trials production, along with many other of the cottage industry manufacturers. He abandoned purchase tax in September 1972 and replaced it with Value Added Tax. The effect of this change meant that all the kit-form motorcycles became eligible overnight for a hefty ten per cent VAT payment – prior to this decision the kit-form motorcycles had been tax-exempt. With the rise in the retail price, the machines were no longer a profitable viability. Many of the smaller trials motorcycle manufacturers including Cotton, Dalesman and Saracen, to name but a few would disappear forever, it was a case of game over. In the not too distant future, we would see the ‘Micro machines’ start to appear, from Montesa with the Cota 123 and Yamaha with the TY 175. Maybe the early development work and production of smaller capacity machines in Great Britain had planted the seeds with the other manufacturers, who knows?


Attention to detail was very evident on the Cotton Cavalier.





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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 Conversion: Honda TLR 250 New Event: Leven Valley Two Day Flashback North: 1968 Bemrose Flashback South: 1968 Cotswold Cup International: Robregordo

Pre-65 Scottish: Flashback: End of an era: Celebration: Special: Rare:

Dan is the Man 1979 SSDT 1989 SSDT Bernie Schreiber Kawasaki four-stroke Moto Villa



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Dave Rowland working on his BSA at the 1966 SSDT watched by left to right: Stephanie Wood, John Roberts and Dave’s brother Roy.


Dave Rowland Trial The first Dave Rowland Trophy trial was held in 1979, run by the enthusiastic Manchester 17 MCC in the middle of July. It still stands proud in the present day. Before we take a look at that very first event, we take a trip down memory lane to focus on a celebration of Dave Rowland himself, the man after whom the event is named. Words: John Hulme, Manchester 17 MCC • Pictures: Malcolm Carling, Brian Holder, Alan Vines, John Shirt Snr, Norman Eyre, Mike Rapley and Barry Robinson




On his way to a treasured Scott Silver Spoon at the 1965 Time and Observation Trial.

1964: Dave was soon recognised by BSA, and works support was soon coming.

Dave Rowland 1938-1995 Brought up in Chapel en le Frith in the Peak District, Dave Rowland’s first interest in motorcycles came in 1949 when he and his brother Roy travelled to the prestigious Manx GP on the Isle of Man to see Geoff Duke and later going to watch the trials ‘King’ of the time, Sammy Miller, compete in the Clayton Trial held in nearby Buxton. Presumably neither Miller nor Dave had any idea that in the not-toodistant future they would be close competitors!

Early Success

His early success would come in the Haslemere MCC’s 1960 Longmoor Cup Trial when Dave won the award for Best Army Rider, while in the South Eastern Centre Haslemere Cups Trial — his first civilian event — he took the Best Novice award on a 350cc AJS. That year also saw Dave finish a single mark behind the winner Barry Rodgers in the Loughborough Club’s Nemo Trophy Trial.

In 1961, still on the AJS, Dave was runner-up in a North Western Centre Trial alongside the ‘stars’ of the time Don Smith, Mick Andrews and Eric Adcock. He would soon be swapping to a 250cc BSA, on which he completed in the Joe Abbott Memorial Trial in the North Western Centre without losing a mark, taking another notable victory. In 1963 and with more victories under his belt he was invited to join the mighty BSA works team. With better support and factory-supplied machinery, he soon justified their faith in him by winning the many centre trials along with the national-status Red Rose, Clayton, Lomax and the Manx Two Day trials. His win in the Red Rose certainly made the other riders take note when he beat the ‘unbeatable’ Sammy Miller on the world-famous 500 Ariel GOV 132 by a single mark. The positions were reversed in that year’s Scott Time and Observation Trial, with Dave being pushed into the runner-up position by Miller; the Best 250cc class award win was some

1967 SSDT with the ‘Thing’.


Despite wins in the 1967 Allan Jefferies and Mitchell trials, 2nd place to Mick Andrews in the Bemrose on the tie-breaker and taking the Cheshire Centre Trials Championship, the once mighty BSA dropped their support for trials in this year and Dave was left without a machine.

consolation for the BSA team though. Other achievements in 1963 included winning the Army’s Northern and Southern Command Trials, fourth place in the Allan Jefferies Trial, fifth in the British Experts and a further fourth in the Scottish Six Days Trial as the Best Newcomer. The success continued in 1964 and 1965, taking many wins and Best 250cc class awards. He was also rewarded in 1965 with a Special First Class award in the SSDT.

An eye on the Scottish Six Days Trial

1966 would almost certainly have seen his most prestigious result to date until a turn of events changed the course of his career. Having already won the Ipswich Club’s Mardle National, taken third place in the Victory Trial and been runner-up to Mick Andrews in the Kickham, he and the 250cc BSA were well prepared for that year’s SSDT. With his eyes on a victory and with a loss of no marks on the Thursday, which gave him Best

A keen enthusiastic crowd watch Dave and the 175cc BSA Bantam perform yet another miracle clean ride on his way to the runner-up position in the 1967 SSDT. Talk about stick two fingers up at BSA, Dave let his ability do the talking.



High above Kinlochleven in the 1968 SSDT on the Ossa watched by Mick Andrew’s father Tom, on the left.

It was still a Spanish trials machine at the 1969 SSDT as Dave received a parts and machine deal with the Bultaco importers.

With his good friend Martin Lampkin on the left, Malcolm Rathmell was the first winner of the Dave Rowland National in 1979.

Staged in the Derbyshire hills to the west of Buxton the Dave Rowland National Trial started at the Duron Brake Lining factory. Norman Eyre was a manager at the factory and secured the use of the start area, canteen and an office to run the event from.

Performance award on that day, a potential win was on the cards. However, earlier that year, Dave and a friend had witnessed a fatal stabbing in Buxton while out having a meal. The Court proceedings were held the same week as the Scottish and Dave was summonsed to return home to appear as a witness. The SSDT Committee was willing to do everything they could to let Dave complete the trial, but the local Police removed his BSA from the Parc Ferme, effectively finishing the trial for him.

David versus Goliath — 1967 SSDT

After the problems at the 1966 SSDT, Dave Rowland could not believe what was about to come next year, just a few days before the 1967 SSDT. His results were still very good on the 250cc BSA which, in truth, needed replacing. When he went to the BSA Competition Department in Birmingham, he was under the impression, having spoken to factory personnel earlier in the year, that he was picking up a brand new 250cc factory-prepared four-stroke BSA for the six days trial. Instead, he was told there was no new machine and that they had nothing ready that he could ride in the event — he was furious! His only option for his ‘Scottish’ machine was the development machine of Brian Martin. It was a Bushman model BSA which, shall we say, needed some ‘fettling’; it was an incomplete machine in boxes in a corner of the Competition Department.


His four-stroke BSA was literally worn out, so he had no option; it was just a few days before the Scottish. He loaded the ‘Thing’, as it would come to be known, along with some parts into his car and returned home and on to Cartwright’s Motorcycles in Stockport. Here, their mechanic and friend, Bob Lydiatt, assisted him with turning it into a machine ready for six days of action in Scotland. He arrived at the event with the ‘Thing’ and, more determined than ever, decided to take the smile off some of his rivals’ faces. Riding almost literally out of his skin, Dave worked wonders on the ‘Thing’. Never out of the top three all week, despite a late challenge from Dennis Jones, he finished second and took the Best Up To 200cc cup. The establishment at BSA was, shall we say, shocked; the smile on Dave’s face at the finish said it all!

1967 Scottish Six Days Trial

SPECIAL FIRST CLASS AWARDS: 1: Sammy Miller (Bultaco) 18; 2: Dave Rowlands (BSA) 34; 3: Dennis Jones (Greeves) 40; 4: Bill Wilkinson (Greeves) 41; 5: Gordon Farley (Triumph) 42; 6: Don Smith (Greeves) 50; 7: Jim Sandiford (Greeves) 50; 8: Arthur Lampkin (BSA) 51; 9: Ray Sayer (Triumph) 52; 10: Rob Edwards (Cotton) 53; 11: Scott Ellis (BSA) 60; 12: Derek Adsett (Greeves) 62; 13: Paul England (Triumph) 66; 14: Mick Wilkinson (Greeves) 66; 15: Roy Peplow (Triumph) 69.

Chris Clarke’s first national trial win was at the Dave Rowland in 1980 on the Montesa.



Malcolm Rathmell on his way to the first Dave Rowland win in 1979.

Moving up to British Championship status for just one year, it was Tony Scarlett who won on the mono-shock Yamaha in 1985.

Despite this and wins in the Allan Jefferies and the Mitchell trials, second place to Mick Andrews in the Bemrose on the tie-breaker and taking the Cheshire Centre Trials Championship, the once-mighty BSA dropped their support for trials in this year. As a result, he purchased a 250 Bultaco.

Changing times

Dave continued competing in selected national events, first on the Bultaco and then with one of the early Ossa machines from Eric Housley Motorcycles the importer in 1968. In the SSDT Special First Class awards came in 1968 on the Ossa and 1969 and 1970 on a Bultaco with importer support. In late 1970, it was confirmed he had multiple sclerosis. Despite this, after a brief spell on a Montesa, he moved to the world of sidecar trials in 1971 on a

Yes, it’s your Classic Trial Magazine editor John Hulme (Gas Gas) in action. The Clubman class was introduced in 2002 when Toby Eyre was the winner. John won this class in 2006, 2007 and 2008 before the trials riding career was interrupted by magazine publishing.


1958 BSA Goldstar outfit with Kenny Eyre in the sidecar, taking a third position in the Northern Experts Trial. However, it is perhaps Ray Armstrong that most people would know best as Dave’s passenger, the pair achieving Best Sidecar in the Winsford Club’s 1972 Benoit Shield at Oulton Park and a First Class Sidecar Award in the 1972 Vic Brittain National Trial. Is it a coincidence that Scott Rowland went on to take the British Sidecar Trials Championship three times? Dave had always been an inspiration to Scott.

Giving Back

Dave was also an active ‘grafter’ behind the scenes after his condition left him unable to compete. A former Manchester 17 President, he represented the club at the Centre Board and was the instigator of both the club’s John Hartle Memorial Trial, remembering this great road racer who was also from Chapel en le Frith, and of the Inter Centre Sidecar Team Trial. When he resigned from the ACU Trials Committee in 1977, he was one of the youngest and most respected of its members. Finding mobility increasingly difficult, Dave gave up his crutches for a motorised wheelchair — fitted with a CB radio! Under the call sign ‘Beezer’ he was almost as well known around the local airwaves as he had been in the trials world.

1979: You can see just how steep the top hazard is at Hawks Nest as John Renold’s (Beamish Suzuki) heads to fourth position.



1979: It’s all eyes on Martin Lampkin (Bultaco) at Hawks Nest.

The Dave Rowland National Trial As a mark of the club’s respect and appreciation of Dave’s efforts and achievements on motorcycles and as an active club member, in 1979 the Hepworth Trophy Trial became the first Dave Rowland Trophy Trial, moving from Centre status to Regional Restricted and then to National. Since then it has been part of both the ACU British Solo Trials Championship and of the MCN/ACU Clubmen’s Championship, before settling into the trials calendar as a popular clubmen’s National event, attracting entries from across the country. The actual D ave Rowland Trophy is the cylinder head off Dave’s old BSA C15 on which he competed in the Scottish. Dave passed away in April 1995, finally succumbing to multiple sclerosis which he first contracted in 1970.

1979: John Hulme watches on as Chris Clarke guides the Montesa down the slopes at Cheeks Hill.

1979: Mike Skinner (Montesa) attacks Hawks Nest at the bottom hazard.

DAVE ROWLAND TROPHY Winners 1979–2019 1979: Malcolm Rathmell (Montesa); 1980: Chris Clarke (Montesa); 1981: John Reynolds (Beamish Suzuki); 1982: John Reynolds (Montesa); 1983: Steve Saunders (Armstrong); 1984: Mick Andrews (Yamaha); 1985: Tony Scarlet (Yamaha); 1986: Mark Holland (Fantic); 1987: Steven Hole (Fantic); 1988: John Shirt Jnr (Honda); 1989: John Shirt Jnr (Gas Gas); 1990: Adam Norris (Yamaha); 1991: John Shirt Jnr (Gas Gas); 1992: Wayne Braybrook (Gas gas); 1993: Paul Rose (Yamaha); 1994: John Shirt Jnr (Gas Gas); 1995: Dougie Lampkin (Beta); 1996: Steve Colley (Gas Gas); 1997: Graham Tales (Gas Gas); 1998: Paul Rose (Gas Gas); 1999: Dan Thorpe (Gas Gas); 2000: Martin Crosswaite (Gas Gas); 2001: Cancelled — Foot and Mouth; 2002: David Bacon (Beta); 2003: Steve Saunders (Gas Gas); 2004: John Shirt Jnr (Gas Gas); 2005: Mike Roberts (Gas Gas); 2006: Chris Pearson (Sherco); 2007: Dan Thorpe (Gas Gas); 2008: Richard Timperley (Beta); 2009: Jonny Walker (Gas Gas); 2010: Sam Haslam (Gas Gas); 2011: Ross Danby (Gas Gas); 2012: Dan Farrar (Beta); 2013: Ross Danby (Jotagas); 2014: Dan Thorpe (Gas Gas); 2015: Richard Timperley (Beta); 2016: Richard Sadler (Beta); 2017: Dan Thorpe (Gas Gas); 2018: Richard Sadler (Beta); 2019: Richard Timperley (Gas Gas).

1979: The crowd strains to watch Tony Calvert (Bultaco) make his attempt on the very steep upper part of Hawks Nest.




1979: A regular visitor to see his friends Norman and Janice Eyre, Tony Davis drops the Bultaco into the river at Robinsons Rocks.

Thirty, yes, 30 sidecars were entered in the 1979 Dave Rowland, won by Adrian Clarke and Mick Bailey on the Montesa.

1979 Dave Rowland National Trial

1979: Good open hazards such as Cheeks Hill attracted the sidecars. The class was dropped some 20 years ago.

The event attracted a massive entry of 113 solos and 30 sidecars; Dave Rowland was a popular guy. Staged in the Derbyshire hills to the west of Buxton, it started at the Duron Brake Lining factory. Norman Eyre was a manager at the factory and secured the use of the start area, canteen and an office to run the event from. The course consisted of a massive 41-mile lap containing 41 solo and 30 sidecar sections. Famous hazards were included such as Hawks Nest, Hollinsclough, Washfold and Booth Farm. The event had an international flavour with riders entered from as far away as New Zealand, America and Belgium. With a topclass entry, Yorkshire’s Malcolm Rathmell won the event on the prototype Montesa Cota 349 from Peter Cartwright on the Italjet. The sidecars were won by the Sheffield pairing of Adrian Clarke and his passenger Mick Bailey; also Montesa mounted. The event is still running to the present day in the same format on its midsummer date and still proves as popular as ever. Words: John Hulme • Pictures: Malcolm Carling

SOLO: 1: Malcolm Rathmell (Montesa) 14; 2: Peter Cartwright (Italjet) 16; 3: John Reynolds (Beamish Suzuki) 19; 4: Martin Lampkin (Bultaco) 19; 5: Nigel Birkett (Montesa) 27; 6: Norman Shepherd (Comerfords Bultaco) 27; 7: Chris Clarke (Paul Ludlum Motorcycles Montesa) 31; 8: Mike Skinner (Berm Montesa) 36; 9: Tony Calvert (Comerfords Bultaco) 38; 10: Nick Jefferies (Bultaco) 42; 11: John Hulme (Town and Country SWM) 46; 12: Colin Boniface (Comerfords Bultaco) 46. SIDECAR: 1: Clarke/Bailey (Sandiford Montesa) 37; 2: Gaskell/Wood (Beamish Suzuki) 39; 3: Dommett/Clift (Comerfords Bultaco) 42; 4: Pallas/ Croome (Montesa) 44. 1979: Bob and Kath Sherras entered trials on their Kawasaki before gaining support from Fantic. Seen here on the left, they speak with Jack Mathews.


Classic Trial Magazine would like to acknowledge the support of the following for their help in the generation of this article: Manchester 17 MCC and its many members, Ken Roberts, Scott Rowland and Mick Bowers.


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Bernie Schreiber in 2019 – 40 years after his world championship win.


It’s Schreiber’s title Back in 1979, the FIM World Trials Championship had a small break in the series from March until June. The Scottish Six Days Trial was still very much the one to win, and both the riders and the manufacturers valued the exposure from this international event, held traditionally in May. Try to imagine that a foreign rider had never won the event. Leading the world championship was Yrjo Vesterinen, and he made the bold decision to ride in the six days; as it happened, it turned into a titanic fight between the three-time winner Martin Lampkin and the eventual winner Malcolm Rathmell, with ‘Vesty’ third. Bernie Schreiber had opted not to ride, the factory and the Bultaco importers Comerford’s had Lampkin and Vesterinen anyway. Montesa was on a high for the second half of the World series — this was their first SSDT win, and they wanted the world title. Having a non-scoring ride in the opening round of the 1979 championship had left Bernie Schreiber on the back foot, but as you will see the tide started to turn and by the end of the year we would have a new FIM World Trials Champion.


Words: John Hulme, Motorcycle, Morton’s Archive and Motorcycle News Pictures: Alain Sauquet, Toon van de Vliet, Yoomee Archive, Eric Kitchen, Malcolm Carling, The Nick Nicholls Collection at Morton’s Archive, Harlow Rankin, SWM, Bultaco, Montesa and Bernie Schreiber

ith the first six rounds all contested by the end of March, the opening of the second half of the season would see the long-haul flight across the Atlantic Ocean to Canada and America in June. These two countries were still quite ‘virgin’ to what was required to put together a successful world round, and the manufacturers did not send all their riders to


contest them. Both Bultaco and Ossa were in financial problems, and Montesa was pinning all their hopes on the soon-to-be-released new Cota 349 model in the hands of Rathmell. He had been developing the machine all season and was still not happy with the engine performance, which he knew needed some fine-tuning. He may have won on it in Scotland, but he still wanted further changes to

the engine’s characteristics, but a world title would be the icing on the cake. It was then back to Europe for the remaining four rounds: one in Italy followed by the move to the rugged terrain of Sweden and Finland before the season finale in the Czech Republic. Would the ‘home’ advantage of the two rounds in Canada and the USA favour Schreiber? We will see!



Great Britain’s attack on the world championship was headed by Martin Lampkin (Bultaco) on the left and Malcolm Rathmell (Montesa) on the right. The blue Bultaco 325cc on the left is the standard version ridden to second position in Canada by Lampkin; some ride, I think you will agree!

After the first half of the season Yrjo Vesterinen (Bultaco-FIN) held the championship lead and was looking on course for a fourth title.

Missing the Scottish Six Days Trial in May, Bernie Schreiber (Bultaco-USA) focussed his energy on attacking the world championship, starting with a win in the USA.

Showing good, consistent form, Martin Lampkin’s chances of another world title were wiped out with two non-scoring rounds towards the close of the championship.

Bernie Schreiber in the middle and Rob Shepherd on the right discuss the depth of the water in the Canadian world round.

Round 7: Canada, Calgary 10/06/1979. Entry: 10 Riders Both Malcolm Rathmell and Martin Lampkin were up for the fight for the world crown that Vesterinen had denied them for the previous three years, but the one-two in Canada for the British riders did not come easy. The problems had started first for Rathmell, when an engine featuring new crankcases for the Cota 349 was shipped out to the event but the factory had forgotten to swap the brake and gear change lever arrangement to suit Rathmell, who had the gear change lever on the right-hand side; instead he stayed with his original engine. As for Lampkin, he did not receive a Bultaco to ride until the last minute, and when it did arrive, it was a standard production 325cc model. He had his 340cc barrel and piston with him to fit, but first, he tested the standard model and decided to stick with it! The event itself was run over a single-lap course of 30 miles with 35 sections to ride. The majority of them were on dry and dusty rocks with some deep rivers also involved, some of which proved impossible. As it turned out both the eventual winner Rathmell and second-placed Lampkin were elated with the British one-two ahead of Schreiber, with Vesterinen in fourth. The Finnish rider still headed the championship but the ‘Brits’ were closing in.


With his fingers on the front brake and clutch lever Rob Shepherd (Honda-GBR) edges towards the deep water in Canada.

RESULTS: 1: Malcolm Rathmell (Montesa-GBR) 73; 2: Martin Lampkin (Bultaco-GBR) 78; 3: Bernie Schreiber (BultacoUSA) 80; 4: Yrjo Vesterinen (Bultaco-FIN) 85; 5: Marland Whaley (Montesa-USA) 93; 6: Rob Shepherd (Honda-GBR) 93; 7: Ulf Karlson (Montesa-SWE) 97; 8: Jean Marie Lejuene (Montesa-BEL) 106; 9: Charles Coutard (SWM-FRA) 121; 10: Eddy Lejeune (Honda-BEL) 125.

CHAMPIONSHIP: 1: Vesterinen 69; 2: Lampkin 61; 3: Rathmell 56; 4: Schreiber 54; 5: Karlson 43; 6: Shepherd 32; 7: Coutard 28; 8: Birkett 22; 9: JM Lejuene 20; 10: Subira 15.



It’s a case of ‘pause for thought’ for Bernie Schreiber. His dedication would give him the world title by the end of the year, the first and only nonEuropean rider ever to achieve this.

During a practice session in the summer of 1979 the three-time world champion Yrjo Vesterinen makes some small adjustments to the Bultaco.

Round 8: USA, Pueblo 17/06/1979. Entry: 14 Riders In ideal hot, dry conditions, Bernie Schreiber had always excelled, and it was no different in the USA as he took the victory. What did shock the championship title-chasers was the performance of Rob Shepherd on the four-stroke Honda, who came home in second position. The event was held at an altitude of 6,000 metres above sea level, and the power advantage over the two-strokes played into his favour. Starting from a scout camp that had been commissioned by the organisers of the event, the riders faced three laps of 20 sections. With a well-supported crowd each paying $5 to watch, the organisers had roped off some of the hazards. The problem

Many times the French National Champion, Charles Coutard had made the move to SWM in 1979. Seen here at the Scottish Six Days Trial in the May he gave the Italian manufacturer their first world round win in the summer of 1979 in Italy.


In Italy it was good to see another SWM in the top ten in the hands of the exciting Italian rider Danilo Galeazzi.

was that many wanted close-up pictures of their home riders including Schreiber and Marland Whaley, and at times they were restricted by their fans! With a strict time-limit of six hours plus an extra hour where the riders would lose a tenth of a mark for each minute they went over, nobody was hanging about. The biggest loser in the time element was SWM mounted Charles Coutard; after an opening lap of 29 marks lost he then damaged a rear shock absorber. Despite finishing in a lowly sixth position Vesterinen still held the world championship lead, but Lampkin was on his case and now lay just three marks behind. RESULTS: 1: Bernie Schreiber (Bultaco-USA) 65; 2: Rob S hepherd (Honda-GBR) 71; 3: Martin Lampkin (Bultaco-GBR) 77; 4: Malcolm Rathmell (Montesa-GBR) 83; 5: Ulf Karlson (Montesa-SWE) 84; 6: Yrjo Vesterinen (Bultaco-FIN) 85; 7: Jean Marie Lejuene (Montesa-BEL) 105; 8: Marland Whaley (MontesaUSA) 105; 9: Eddy Lejuene (Honda-BEL) 109; 10: Charles Coutard (SWM-FRA) 137.

CHAMPIONSHIP: 1: Vesterinen 74; 2: Lampkin 71; 3: Schreiber 69; 4: Rathmell 64; 5: Karlson 49; 6: Shepherd 44; 7: Coutard 29; JM Lejuene 24; 9: Birkett 22; 8: 10: Whaley 22.

World championship travel, 1979 style: Manuel Soler, in the glasses at the back of the picture, unloads his factory Bultaco from the ‘works’ trailer, which was towed behind the car. The Yamaha van is the one of Mick Andrews.



Having suddenly passed away recently, the family of the America rider Marland Whaley (Montesa) can be very proud of the fact that he made it into the top ten riders in the world in 1979. He was also the American NATC/ AMA National Champion on both Honda and Montesa machines from 1975–1980 – RIP. This picture is from 1979 and the English world round.

Round 9: Italy, Mezza Lago 15/07/1979. Entry: 86 Riders After a two-year development period, the hard work for the Italian SWM team was rewarded with a win on home soil. In 1978 the new SWM machine had been the first production trials model to break the £1,000 retail price mark. They had invested heavily in their trials development programme, and the victory must have felt like a lottery win! It was a close call, as the results show, with Schreiber carrying his American winning form back across the water to Europe and to the top of the championship table for the first time in 1979. As for the current world champion Vesterinen he was down in sixth position – not where he wanted to be; but for the British pairing of Martin Lampkin and Malcolm Rathmell Italy was a disaster. Rathmell came home eighth, but for Lampkin, a no points-scoring ride down in 13th position told its own story. Rob Shepherd remained on good form as did Ulf Karlson; Montesa had four of their prototype Cota 349 models in the top ten! Another Spanish talent, Manuel Soler, was starting to show his good form on the Bultaco, and it was good to see another SWM in the top ten in the hands of the exciting Italian rider Danilo Galeazzi. Coutard’s win had no impact on the top four positions, though.

RESULTS: 1: Charles Coutard (SWM-FRA) 88; 2: Bernie Schreiber (Bultaco-USA) 90; 3: Rob Shepherd (Honda-GBR) 92; 4: Ulf Karlson (Montesa-SWE) 95; 5: Manuel Soler (Bultaco-ESP) 98; 6: Yrjo Vesterinen (Bultaco-FIN) 99; 7: Danilo Galeazzi (SWM-ITA) 101; 8: Malcolm Rathmell (Montesa-GBR) 101; 9: Marland Whaley (Montesa-USA) 102; 10: Jaime Subira (Montesa-ESP) 104.

CHAMPIONSHIP – 1: Schreiber 82; 2: Vesterinen 79; 3: Lampkin 71; 4: Rathmell 69; 5: Karlson 57; 6: Shepherd 54; 7: Coutard 44; 8: Whaley 24; 9: JM Lejuene 24; 10: Birkett 22.

Even though this picture is from earlier in the season in the snow of Belgium, history was recorded in Finland as Manuel Soler became the first Spanish rider ever to record a FIM World Championship round win; to make it an even better day it was on a Spanish Bultaco

Round 10: Sweden, Boras 19/08/1979. Entry: 50 Now feeling more confident with his riding, no one was going to stop Bernie Schreiber from winning in Sweden, not even the home hero Ulf Karlson. Consistency would give the American the win over Karlson, who gave the home fans something to shout about; he was also very happy to be the first Montesa rider home as Rathmell slipped down to ninth and with it lost any real chance of championship success. Another spoiler in the championship chase would be the young Spanish rider on the Bultaco Antonio Gorgot, who scored his best finish to date in a strong third position with Vesterinen losing valuable points to Schreiber on the tie-break decider. It was the same story for Martin Lampkin, who knew that any chance of challenging for another world title was slipping away as he came home in fifth position. Great Britain’s Mick Andrews made a return to world championship action in Sweden. Showing his experience, he came home in tenth position to take the last point. The Beamish Suzuki team riders Chris Sutton and John Reynolds also appeared in Sweden, with Sutton finishing in 19th and Reynolds 23rd. With Schreiber now holding the upper hand with a ten-point cushion over Vesterinen and only two rounds remaining, the Finnish rider knew that a good result on home soil the following week was imperative. RESULTS: 1: Bernie Schreiber (Bultaco-USA) 33; 2: Ulf

Here is the eldest of the three Belgian Lejeune brothers, Jean Marie, who had a very successful year in the world championship finishing in tenth position on the Montesa. He had also been looking after his younger brother Eddy on the 200cc Honda.


Looking very stylish on the 325cc Beamish Suzuki in Wales, John Reynolds only contested a handful of the world rounds. The only points scored were at the opening round in Ireland with a sensational second position.

Karlson (Montesa-SWE) 45; 3: Antonio Gorgot (BultacoESP) 47; 4: Yrjo Vesterinen (Bultaco-FIN) 47; 5: Martin Lampkin (Bultaco-GBR) 50; 6: Eddy Lejuene (Honda-BEL) 52; 7: Manuel Soler (Bultaco-ESP) 55; 8: Rob Shepherd (Honda-GBR) 57; 9: Malcolm Rathmell (Montesa-GBR) 59; 10: Mick Andrews (Ossa-GBR) 54.

CHAMPIONSHIP: 1: Schreiber 97; 2: Vesterinen 87; 3:

Lampkin 77; 4: Rathmell 71; 5: Karlson 69; 6: Shepherd 57; 7: Coutard 44; 8: Whaley 24; 9: JM Lejuene 24; 10: Birkett 22.



With talk of a radical new Ossa trials model Mick Andrews returned to the world rounds in the latter part of the year with the machine sporting a yellow fuel tank as opposed to the traditional green. Little did we know at this point that the new model would be the yellow Gripper in 1980!

The find of the season was the young Spanish rider Antonio Gorgot on the Bultaco.

Round 12: Czech Republic, Ricany 16/09/1979. Entry: 61 Riders Literally taking the ‘Bulto’ by the horns, Bernie Schreiber went out and blew the opposition away. Showing his worth as a true world champion, he finished way ahead of everybody else. Ulf Karlson took the runner-up position to secure third in the final championship positions, but for Vesterinen the dream of another world title was over after finishing in fourth position; on learning of Schreiber’s winning ride he was one of the first to congratulate him. 1979 had been a very close world championship right until the final round, but now, for the first time, the United States of America had an FIM World Trials Champion Bernie Schreiber. Well done that man! RESULTS: 1: Bernie Schreiber (Bultaco-USA) 13; 2: Ulf Karlson (Montesa-

Round 11: Finland, Espoo 26/08/1979. Entry: 42 Riders History was recorded in Finland as Manuel Soler became the first Spanish rider ever to record an FIM World Championship round win and to make it an even better day it was on a Spanish Bultaco. Carrying on his good form from Sweden, Ulf Karlson came home second with Vesterinen taking the last step on the podium in third. With two laps of 20 sections who would have bet against Yrjo Vesterinen being beaten on home soil, but that’s exactly what happened. To make the championship even more interesting, he came home third as the championship leader Schreiber dropped to seventh, closing the gap to the American to three points with one round remaining. Both Malcolm Rathmell and Martin Lampkin had now been ‘leap-frogged’ in the championship as Karlson moved to third position; the two British riders still had eyes on the final step on the podium but so did the big Swedish rider. Taking his best world championship result was the young Finn Timo Ryysy on the SWM. He was, in fact, the highest placed SWM rider as Danilo Galeazzi finished in 17th position and Coutard a disastrous 20th.

SWE) 32; 3: Martin Lampkin (Bultaco-GBR) 38; 4: Yrjo Vesterinen (Bultaco-FIN) 43; 5: Jean Luc Colson (Montesa-BEL) 45; 6: Jaime Subira (Montesa-ESP) 46; 7: Eddy Lejuene (Honda-BEL) 46; 8: Mick Andrews (Ossa-GBR) 47; 9: Manuel Soler (Bultaco-ESP) 51; 10: Charles Coutard (SWM-FRA) 55.


WINS – RIDERS: Bernie Schreiber

(Bultaco-USA) 4; Malcolm Rathmell (Montesa-GBR) 2; Ulf Karlson (Montesa-SWE) 2; Rob Shepherd (Honda-GBR) 1; Yrjo Vesterinen (Bultaco-FIN) 1; Charles Coutard (SWM-FRA) 1; Manuel Soler (BultacoESP) 1.

WINS – MANUFACTURERS: Bultaco 6; Montesa 4; Honda 1; SWM 1.


MACHINES: Bultaco 9; Montesa 9;

SWM 3; Honda 2; Ossa 1; Suzuki 1. 4; ESP 4; FIN 3; USA 2; ITA 2; AUT 1; FRA 1; GER 1; SWE 1.

Classic Trial Magazine would like to acknowledge the help of the riders, Toon Van De Vliet and Charley Demathieu in the generation of this article.

Remember the name SWM: the Italian manufacturer had scored its first world round win in 1979; over the following years it would become ‘The’ machine to have as the Italians started their attack on the sales charts in the trials marketplace.

Karlson (Montesa-SWE) 43; 3: Yrjo Vesterinen (BultacoFIN) 53; 4: Malcolm Rathmell (Montesa-GBR) 55; 5: Timo Ryysy (SWM-FIN) 64; 6: Antonio Gorgot (Bultaco-ESP) 67; 7: Bernie Schreiber (Bultaco-USA) 69; 8: Anttoni Vesterinen (Bultaco-FIN) 72; 9: Rob Shepherd (HondaGBR) 76; 10: Jaime Subira (Montesa-ESP) 80. Karlson 81; 4: Rathmell 79; 5: Lampkin 77; 6: Shepherd 59; 7: Coutard 44; 8: Manuel Soler (Bultaco-ESP) 28; 9: Whaley 24; 10: JM Lejuene 24.

Statistics 1979 FIM World Trials Championship


RESULTS: 1: Manuel Soler (Bultaco-ESP) 40; 2: Ulf

CHAMPIONSHIP: 1: Schreiber 100; 2: Vesterinen 97; 3:

(Bultaco-USA) 115; 3: Yrjo Vesterinen (Bultaco-FIN) 105; 3: Ulf Karlson (Montesa-SWE) 93; 4: Martin Lampkin (Bultaco-GBR) 87; 4: Malcolm Rathmell (Montesa-GBR) 77; 6: Rob Shepherd (Honda-GBR) 59; 7: Charles Coutard (SWM-FRA) 45; 8: Manuel Soler (Bultaco-ESP) 30; 9: Marland Whaley (Montesa-USA) 24; 10: Jean Marie Lejuene (Montesa-BEL) 24; 11: Jaime Subira (Montesa-ESP) 22; 12: Nigel Birkett (Montesa-GBR) 22; 13: Antonio Gorgot (Bultaco-ESP) 21; 14: John Reynolds (Suzuki-GBR) 12; 15: Eddy Lejuene (Honda-BEL) 12; 16: Mick Andrews (Ossa-GBR) 11; 17: Timo Ryysy (SWM-FIN) 7; 18: Jean Luc Colson (Montesa-BEL) 6; 19: Joe Wallman (Bultaco-AUT) 5; 20: Danilo Galeazzi (SWM-ITA) 4; 21: Anttoni Vesterinen (Bultaco-FIN) 3; 22: Jo Jose (Bultaco-ESP) 3; 23: Claude Goset (Montesa-BEL) 3; 24: Ettore Baldini (Bultaco-ITA) 1; 25: Felix Krahnstover (Montesa-GER) 1.

As the world season closed the Bultaco remained at the top of the tree. With financial implications at the factory in Spain the winning team of so many years was coming to an end. At the end of the year Yrjo Vesterinen would move to the rival Montesa brand.

After a successful season developing the new Montesa Cota 349 model in the world championship with Ulf Karlson (SWE), Malcolm Rathmell (GBR), Marland Whaley (USA) and Jaime Subira (ESP) it was an instant hit in the dealers’ showrooms. With the experience gained in 1979 Montesa were putting in place all the essentials for a full assault in the world of trials in 1980.



Bernie Schreiber (Moto-SWM)

Bernie’s back The fact that Bernie Schreiber is back, and riding competitively on a regular basis, has opened the door to even more exciting times on the classic trials scene. The Inverness & District Motor Cycle Club and its ‘frontman’ John Moffat for the now well-established Two-Day Trial, held on the Alvie hunting estate near Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands, can take some credit for this happening. This year the event followed its ‘themed’ idea and welcomed the SWM edition to its fold. After the two-day event the only ever nonEuropean winner of the FIM World Trials Championship in 1979, Schreiber, held a trials training day which was a welcome addition to the two-day event. Where did the ‘themed’ idea come from? We have to rewind the clock to 2008. Words: Classic Trial Magazine and John Moffat • Pictures: Iain Lawrie



n 2008 at the Robregordo event in Spain, Finland’s motorcycle trials superstar Yrjo Vesterinen, or ‘Vesty’ (as he is better known) had taken part in a tentative comeback to the sport after an 18-year sabbatical, of course on a Bultaco; after all he had won three world titles on the Spanish brand from 1976–1978. John Moffat knew Vesty as they both shared a passion for the Spanish manufacturer. John asked him at the event if he would be interested in attending his club’s two-day competition, Vesty agreed, and the seed was planted for the ‘Editions’ theme. In 2013, such was his enthusiasm, he went one better and invited many of his old riding friends and some of the remaining Bulto family! The ‘Bultaco Classic Trials Team’ for the 2013 Highland Classic was created. Vesty had some ‘spare’ Bultaco machines in his collection, and with these, he invited some of his old fellow team riders and factory personnel. It was a huge success.



Gary MacDonald (Triumph)

Chris Koch (Apico Fantic)

Over the next few years, there would be the following themed events and guests of honour: Bultaco; Thorpe; The Tenth; Yamscot; Honda and Montesa Cota and guests Dave Thorpe; Bill Wilkinson; Mick Andrews and Rob Shepherd, with Nick Jefferies a Special Guest and 1968 Scottish Trials Champion Douglas Bald in 2018. In 2019 the SWM edition was announced, with American Bernie Schreiber, the guest of honour.

A full house

The name Schreiber has many of the Classic Trial Magazine readers’ memories flooding back to his introduction of the ‘Pivot Turn’ along with his 1979 FIM World Championship victory and the memorable Scottish Six Days Trial win on the SWM in 1982. Word soon got out about Schreiber’s appearance and a full house of entries was reached literally overnight, such was his popularity. The SWM theme attracted no fewer than 30 SWM machines, which stood very proud in a special Parc Ferme at the start area along with the 182 competitors present for the event. The UK’s historic SWM main dealer Martin Matthews, who supplies spare parts and machines to customers worldwide for the Italian machines, was on hand with a machine for Schreiber. The riders and attending spectators loved having the American at the event, and he was kept very busy signing many items and pieces of memorabilia as well as giving people the opportunity to have their photograph taken with him. Giving the event a European feel there were entrants from Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Germany and Southern Ireland.

Gary Fleckney (Rockshocks DOT)

Jamie Williamson, the Laird of Alvie Estate, welcomed everyone and wished them an enjoyable two days of riding before the action started. There is no outright winner at the Highland Classic, it is a class winners’ event, and clean sheets were posted by both the top Scottish classic rider Gary Macdonald (Triumph) and from the southerner Chris Koch (Fantic) who rode the Red route sections. Owen

Chris Gascoigne (Francis Barnett)

Hardesty (Honda TLR) picked up the best Post’77 twin-shock award on the Blue route. Each day gave the riders a good selection of 19 hazards, to be ridden over two laps. Everyone enjoyed section 19 as the club had made cheese, wine and Scottish speciality ale available to all the riders and spectators, bestowing some real Scottish hospitality.

A classic Highland event

The Saturday morning of day one was opened up by the music from organising Inverness & District Motor Cycle Club and their official piper to play some Scottish bagpipe music just before the start, adding an extra touch of nostalgia to the occasion.


John Moffat (Bultaco)



Gary Shaw (Triumph)


4ST PRE-UNIT: Kevin Chapman (Trifield) 4ST UNIT: Gary MacDonald (Triumph) POST’77 TS: Chris Koch (Fantic) TWO-STROKE A: Yrjo Vesterinen (BSA-FIN) UNDER 35 P’65 A: Callum Murphy (Ariel) UNDER 35 TS A: Ben Butterworth (Bultaco) 4ST PRE-UNIT B: Gary Shaw (Triumph) 4ST UNIT B: Stuart Edgar (BSA) POST’77 TS B: Owen Hardisty (Honda) TWO-STROKE B: Alan Gordon (James)

Schreiber Experience Days As the guest of honour, Bernie Schreiber took the opportunity to launch his line of trials and casual

Martin Murphy (SWM)

clothing with the S3 brand and his ZEROBS trials school on the Alvie Estate on the Monday following the two-day event. It was the first of a series of ‘Schreiber Experience’ days which had been advertised prior to the event and attracted 20 riders. Some had ridden the two days and wanted to add the opportunity to listen and learn from Bernie and his wealth of trials knowledge. Giving the riders a chance for a lie-in, it started at 10.00am with an introduction session where all participants introduced themselves and gave them the chance to talk trials. For 70 minutes, Schreiber proved that he had forgotten little of his vast experience as a world champion, having been involved with other life experiences in the 30-odd years since he quit as a

John Reynolds (Bultaco)


Phil Disney (Honda)

full-time motorcycle professional. After a chance to talk over lunch was enjoyed with some lively trials talk, it was time to take to the machines for some riding under the eye of Bernie. It was not just about riding the machine but also about putting the classroom theory into practice. It was well thought out and planned, and executed without a hitch and thoroughly enjoyed by all, who also received an instruction pack, certificate of attendance and a commemorative pit cap to round off the experience. Bernie is hosting his ZEROBS Experience days in the USA, Canada and Spain this year to celebrate the 40th anniversary of his World Championship win.

Martin Mathews (Moto-SWM)



Kevin Chapman (Trifield)

Steve Bird (Armstrong)

Yrjo Vesterienen (BSA-FIN)


The Highland Classic 2020: The Fantic Edition

Owen Hardisty (Honda)

Yes, plans are already in hand for the 2020 event with the title theme Fantic. Regulations and entry forms will be available as a download on the Inverness & District website: www.idmcc. and on social media from 00.01 on Saturday 1st February 2020. No paper entries will be sent out, and all entries must be returned to the event secretary by post, courier or hand delivery. Entries will close on Tuesday 14th April 2020 or when the maximum of 160 entrants has been reached on a first-come-first-served basis.

Stuart Edgar (BSA)

2020 is Fantic Time



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Hot classic action

I was dreaming: it was April in Andorra, I was in the small town of St Julia de Loria at the southern edge of the principality. The final round of the 2019 FIM X-Trial was concluding just up the road at La Vella. I parked up and had a small walk around and into the main square where many of the outdoor world championship rounds had started. On the weekend of the 29th & 30th June, this same square would once again welcome with open arms the second running of the ‘Classic Two-Day Trial’. After the huge success of the 2018 trial, which attracted just under 170 riders, the word soon spread amongst the trials community what a superb event it was, and the entry would swell in 2019 to 250. Once again, the event gave the many riders what they wanted; the pleasure of being amongst so many like-minded trials riders, the fun, the adventure and the camaraderie. Yes, the weather was very hot and so was the classic action. Words: Hamish Eadie and John Hulme • Pictures: Claudio


s is typical with these events the doors opened at 17.00 and closed at 21.00 to the signing in on Friday the 28th June, just as the cooler evening air was welcomed. The relaxed atmosphere encouraged a few ‘Drinks’ for everyone, and the only concern was the weather which was exceptionally hot throughout Europe.

Andreu Avella (Montesa-ESP)


Jaime Subira, Charles Coutard and Bernie Schreiber

An early start Andorra is a well-known venue for the motorcycle trial enthusiast, located in the Pyrenees between France and Spain with a population of around 85,000. Its tax-haven status is enjoyed by many, including the ‘King’ of motorcycle trials Toni Bou. Found in an area of outstanding natural beauty, Sant Julia de Loriam sitting at some 900 metres, leaves an impression on everyone who visits the area. Due to the expected heatwave of temperatures pushing to the 40s, the experienced organisers sensibly moved the start time to 08.00. The total lap would be 22 kilometres, taking in 20 hazards on each of their two days. Three routes were on offer to suit riders of all abilities, which had been laid out over the winter ski station reaching heights of over 2,400 metres. The town generously gave up its town square for the ‘Parc Ferme’ start area and, the adjacent office, for relevant paperwork. Even the local police joined in the atmosphere of the trial by directing the traffic on the mornings of the trial.



Angel Cannelles (Merlin-ESP)

With riders from the British Isles, France, Spain, Catalunia, Belgium and Italy, it was the British expat, Steven Farrall, much to his disdain, to be the first man away.


The opening ‘Interzone’ tracks and trails were challenging to reach the first section and then onto the goat tracks winding up the mountains. The impressive views that followed was very much appreciated by the riders, as was the ‘breather’. Free-flowing sections in the streams erased the heat and came as a welcome change to many. The sections were well thought out, classic in both nature and theme. Jean Pere Santure, the organiser, had many of his Scottish Six Days Trial adventures on his mind as he laid out the hazards to try and tempt the riders into parting with dabs; nothing too serious but easy to lose marks if you were not concentrating. Oscar Mills, riding with his father, was looking impressive on his Bultaco riding in a classic flowing style with a modern twist. He easily took the Expats class and was a joy to watch, floating over the hazards and making it look all too easy. Some of the comments overheard were that it should be harder, but when you see the plethora of older machines being ridden, the level was pretty much where it wants to be. 

Bernie Schreiber (Bultaco-USA)


Ignasi Pellice (Bultaco-ESP)

Classic riders and machines There was a fantastic array of Spanish marques from all years and a few Pre-65 machines, with Great Britain’s Martin Gilbert riding both days and parting with no marks taking that class’s win. Many stars of the past were riding, including Bernie Schreiber riding a Bultaco. He was very happy to mingle and speak to riders and spectators alike as was ‘Vesty, Charles Coutard, Mick Andrews and Jaime Subira, to name but a few, all riding very competitively. Mick was riding a borrowed Ossa; not only did he have issues with an injury but he was having to ‘fettle’ the machine with his minder Frank Delubac supplying spanners as he rode around. The author of this article, Hamish Eadie, got a wry smile when he asked if he would like to ride his Yamaha instead!

Javi Conde (Transama-ESP)



Yrjo Vesterinen (Bultaco-FIN)

Oscar Mills (Bultaco-ESP)

Victor Beltran (Ossa-ESP)

Enjoy The challenging terrain between the hazards adds to the weekend. It is a real rider’s trial and not for the faint-hearted, but the local club has many marshals on hand to help in the most challenging areas. It has lifted the bar in terms of two-day classic trials events in Europe, and it is up there with the best in this growing area of the trials market. While the club wants to limit the amount of riders, the secret is out; next year the only problem will be the number of entries they can accept. If you do want to do it, make sure you’re fit, and your machine is well prepared. It is definitely one to do, but get in early and hope it’s not as hot.  The opportunity to compete in a trials event in this part of the world is a massive privilege, and we have to thank the organisers, all the staff, the marshals and everybody else involved for being so kind and professional.  

Class Winners: Yellow Route PRE-65: Martin Gilbert 0. PRE-75: Sergi Gonzalez 2. CLASSIC: Daniel Pages 1.

Class Winners: Green Route PRE-65 EXPERT: Michel Ranc 2. PRE-80: Diego Bidaburu 0. TRIALER: Mariano Gomez 0.

Class Winners: Blue Route EXPERT: Oscar Miralles 2.

For full results, visit the website:


Rafa Sanroma (Bultaco-ESP)



Mick Andrews (Ossa-GBR)

So you want to ride the Andorra Two Day 2020? We have no date as yet for the 2020 event but as soon as we do, we’ll print all the relevant contact details and also put them on our website. You can also look at the club’s superb website: www.fma. ad/contacta/. Below is some information if you are thinking of riding or even spectating.

Where is the trial? Sant Julia de Loria, which is a principality/district of Andorra, is where the trial starts. Nearest Airports: Spain, Barcelona: 220km; France, Toulouse: 230km Tourist information for hotels: visit the website: www. There are many hotels and restaurants in walking distance from the start at Sant Julia de Loria to enjoy.

Joan Noguera (Bultaco-ESP)


Jean-Pierre Pregardien (Ariel-LUX)

Charles Coutard (Bultaco-FRA)

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Getting close at the top It’s not surprising that the Kia Twinshock Championship goes from strength to strength year after year; give the riders what they want, and they will come, it’s that simple. The formula works, the classes work, and with support from a super-enthusiastic band of people, the success is reflected in the continual strong entries at each round. In truth it’s very much a reflection of how the ACU British Trials Championship worked so well in the heyday of the series in the 60s and 70s, attracting strong entries and interesting championships. Maybe it’s time for the governing bodies, not just in the UK but also on the FIM world platform, to take note of what works and what does not. This 2019 Kia Twinshock series has ten rounds on offer with only seven points-scoring rounds counting, which has to work in favour of the riders who cannot commit to a ten-round championship. For the super-competitive guys, it also allows them to drop their worst three scores if they wish to compete over all the ten rounds, which is especially helpful if you have had a bad ride at one of the rounds or suffered a machine failure. With seven rounds completed new events have appeared, and it’s good to witness such a mix of terrain that we can find around Great Britain. Another nice touch was the fund-raising this year for Teenage Cancer Trust in memory of Dominic Feaks, to help those youngsters going through cancer treatment. Dom lost his battle with cancer after a courageous fight last June, at just 21 years old. Article: John Hulme


Richard Allen (Moto-Gori)



Chris Koch (Apico Fantic)

Chris Garlick (Fantic)

2019 Kia Twinshock Championship six rounds completed: The best 7 of 10 rounds will count for the championship

Expert Class: Twinshock Revelling in the action is Richard Allen and his green 165cc Moto-Gori as he fends off the challenge from the Fantic brigade. Richard and the second-placed Chris Koch have been around the trials scene for many years, and despite being good friends, they are as competitive as ever. It’s Richard who holds the upper hand at the moment as Chris missed one round, so his score is made up of just six points-scoring rides. These have been made up of three wins compared to Allen’s two, but then Chris had a poor showing at round two, so it should be an interesting points calculation at the series conclusion. Third-placed Chris Forshaw had a win at round four near Sheffield, taking the win on the tie-break decider with Darren Wasley. The other win went to Michael Irving at the Lancs County MCC at round two, where he was three marks clear of a battle for second position which included three riders including Allen, Chris Greenwood and Chris Garlick.

Dean Devereux (Bultaco)

Expert Class: Historic Spanish & Pre-78 Twinshock Talk about a man on a mission! Dean Devereux has literally taken the ‘bull’, as in Bultaco, by the horns and marched on towards the title at a relentless rate of knots. With five wins and two second places, he has one hand on the title, barring a disaster. His nearest challenger is Rob Faulkner on his Yamaha TY 175, proving that this series can be enjoyed on a budget if needs be, as he has also taken a single win showing just how competitive the smaller-capacity machines can be. Of the seven rounds completed the other winner was Darren Mitchell who has so far only competed in the single round, the Lancs County event. This class deserves more support; such is the nature of the machines allowed and the availability of them. Many good riders grew up with the historic machines, and maybe it’s time for them to throw a leg over one of them and make a welcome return to the sport. Historic Spanish & Pre-78 Twinshock: 1: Dean Devereux (Bultaco) 134; 2: Rob Faulkner (Yamaha) 104; 3: Stephen Bisby (Ossa) 64; 4: Dave Wood (Bultaco) 51; 6: Richard Pulman (Montesa) 36; 7: Darren Mitchell (Bultaco) 20; 8: Barry Roads (Yamaha) 15; 9: Ian Tracey (Ossa) 11; 10: Dave Knaggs (Bultaco) 10.

Twinshock: 1: Richard Allen (Gori) 119; 2: Chris Koch (Fantic) 105; 3: Chris Garlick (Fantic) 83; 4: Chris Forshaw (Fantic) 59; 5: Roy Palmer (Kawasaki) 55; 6: Matthew Spink (Fantic) 46; 7: Mark Cameron (Fantic) 40; 8: Mick Thompson (Majesty) 35; 9: Darren Wasley (Majesty) 30; 10: Phil Daley (Fantic) 25.

Steve Bird (Yamaha)


Team: Jess Bown, Chris Alford and Stuart Alford



Paul Bennett (Francis Barnett)

Expert Class: Monoshock You can take nothing away from Steve Bird as he loves this class, having competed in all the rounds to date and taken four wins in the process, as well as two second places and a third position at the second round. The other wins have gone to the young Chris Alford, a regular National class trials rider on the modern scene who took the honours at rounds

Mark Reynolds (Triumph)

three and four. Chris and his partner Jess Bown, yes the young lady who made such an impression in the FIM TrialGP Ladies’ class in 2018, loved the Monoshock experience on their Yamahas showing that you can mix the machinery between young and old. The other class win went to another all-rounder, Ben Butterworth, who won at round two after taking the runner-up spot at round one the Aqueducts trial in Wales on his Fantic. With only 60 points left on the table Steve can safely say the title for 2019 is his, well done. Monoshock:1: Steve Bird (Yamaha) 129; 2: Peter Ruscoe (Fantic) 50; 3: Andy Paxton (Yamaha) 43; 4: Chris Alford (Yamaha) 40; 5: Ben Butterworth (Fantic) 37; 6: Jack Costigan (Fantic) 22; 7: Jess Bown (Yamaha) 20; 8: Mark Carradus (Beta) 18; 9: Colin Hughes (Yamaha) 17; 10: Ian Baker (Honda) 17.

Expert Class: Pre-72 Britshock

Martyn Gilbert (Honda)

Looking very much like a 2019 class winner already is Ian Peberdy on his BSA Bantam. Contesting six of the seven rounds to date, Ian has shown his class with four wins, a second and a third position to establish himself at the top of the table. Other class wins have come from Finland’s three-time FIM World Champion Yrjo Vesterinen at his ‘home’ round in Lancashire and David Sherlock on his James at round five, the first day of the superb double-header in Devon in late June. Round four was another new event held by the Sheffield and Hallamshire MCC, and it was Mark Reynolds who took the win after a terrific fight with local rider Sam Clarke. These two were head-and-shoulders above the rest, including Ian Peberdy who finished third on 25 marks lost, with Reynolds taking the win as Clarke parted with the majority of his marks on one section. This new Kia round and the venue was voted a fantastic event by all involved. Pre-72 Britshock: 1: Ian Peberdy (BSA) 112; 2: Tim Blackmore (BSA) 55; 3: Yrjo Vesterinen (BSA) 48; 4: Paul Bennett (Francis Barnett) 47; 5: Mark Reynolds (Triumph) 46; 6: Nick Paxton (BSA) 28; 7: Nathan Jones (BSA) 23; 8: Dave Sherlock (James) 20; 9: Sam Clarke (Triumph) 17; 10: Phil Wicket (Triumph) 17.

Ian Peberdy (BSA)


Tim Blackmore (BSA)



Dave Wardell (Montesa)

John Fox (Honda)

Clubman Class: Twinshock

Clubman Class: Historic Spanish & Pre-78 Twinshock

‘Man and machine as one’ is how we would describe Martyn Gilbert and his little two-stroke 65cc Honda TLM. He simply loves riding the Japanese machine and with this comes the well-deserved Clubman Class Twinshock trophy of 2019. Very instrumental in making the Devon ‘Double Header’ a success, Martin has taken all in his stride including the larger capacity machines that at times have been more suited to the terrain than the little Honda. Andrew Williams won the Lancs County round on his 200cc TLR, and at the easier Congleton round, John Fox went around feet-up to record a ‘clean’ day with three riders all on one mark lost, including Gilbert. Using his local knowledge, Lee Hutchinson won on the Majesty at the Sheffield & Hallamshire round while James Lamin won the first day of the weekend in Devon before Gilbert won day two. With victory at the Wye Valley event with another clean ride, Martyn Gilbert is a worthy series winner.

When Montesa asked Rob Edwards to go and test the newly introduced Montesa Cota 123 in the early ’70s, he thought they were ‘Having a Laugh’. He was proved wrong as it went on to become a worldwide best seller, and so it’s quite fitting that this year’s championship leader, Dave Wardell, is from the same neck of the woods. Dave is riding the larger-capacity Cota 172 model, and I, for one, was so pleased to see the small machine in action at the Congleton round. Dave has won four of the seven rounds and been consistent in the others so we will be surprised if he does not win the 2019 title, especially as he has truly entered into the spirit of this class! Another true class supporter is ‘Mr Ossa’ Martin Beech. As green as the day is long, he has taken two wins, the first one at the opening round in his old hunting ground of North Wales and the other at the Wye Valley. It was Steve ‘Butch’ Robson who won a three-way tie break for the win, which included Wardell, at the Congleton round.

Twinshock: 1: Martyn Gilbert (Honda) 102; 2: Jim Williams (SWM) 48; 3: Andrew Williams (Honda) 45; 4: Gary Hawkins (Fantic) 41; 5: Nibs Adam (Fantic) 39; 6: Shaun Francis (Fantic) 37; 7: James Lamin (Honda) 35; 8: Darren Walker (Aprilia) 34; 9: Simon Anderson (Armstrong) 33; 10: Colin Stubbs (Honda) 32.

Historic Spanish & Pre-78 Twinshock: 1: Dave Wardell (Montesa) 125; 2: Paul Cook (Montesa) 75; 3: Ian Thomas (Bultaco) 47; 4: Martin Beech (Ossa) 40; 5: Dave Mathews (Bultaco) 38; 6: Bob Hill (Suzuki) 35; 7: Steve Robson (Montesa) 33; 8: Adrian Kent (Bultaco) 29; 9: Steve Forrest (Bultaco) 28; 10: Dave Fowler (Yamaha) 25.

Jeremy Hawker (Honda)


Paul Howells (BSA)



Gerry Minshall (James)

Charlotte Kimber (Fantic)

Clubman Class: Monoshock

Clubman Class: Pre-72 Britshock

Would you believe that it’s not a Yamaha that’s leading this class? Well, that is the case. It’s still a Japanese machine though, in the capable hands of Jeremy Hawker on his RTL Honda. It’s quite nice to see this class include such a wide range of single-shock machines and if you look at the top positions, you will see a nice mix of machinery. Cheshirebased Hawker looks on-track for this class victory with once again consistency being the key to the top spot, with three wins and three third positions. The other four wins have come from the Yamaha camp with two each for Keith Burgess and Steven Mycock. With a good selection of machinery still available along with spare parts it’s no wonder it has seen 20 points-scoring riders; if you are thinking about joining the Kia Championship then maybe this is the class for you.

How close does this get at the top of the championship table? This series looks as though it will go all the way to the final round, and with the opportunity to drop three rounds, it’s still all to play for. With a massive 48 riders scoring points it’s very competitive, to say the least! The series started with two straight wins from the ex-British Sidecar Champion Robin Luscombe, but he has been absent from the series since. Simon Critchley then took over as a winner at rounds three and five. It was then the turn of Mark Godfrey who took the win in his only appearance so far this season at round four as Tim Wooldridge won at round six, which brings us back to the series leader Paul Howells. He has the three-point championship advantage over second-placed Simon Critchley, but this is where it gets interesting in the championship as Critchley has a higher total on average than Howells. As we have already stated, one of the reasons this championship works so well is the fact that the riders can drop three of these ten points-scoring rounds.

Monoshock: 1: Jeremy Hawker (Honda) 122; 2: Keith Burgess (Yamaha) 68; 3: Robin Foulkes (Yamaha) 65; 4: Paul Whittaker (Fantic) 60; 5: Darren Morgan (Fantic) 43; 6: Steven Mycock (Yamaha) 40; 7: Nick Boxall (Fantic) 39; 8: Paul Hobson (Honda) 34; 9: Andy Perry (Yamaha) 33; 10: Lee Sagar (Fantic) 32.

Nigel Allen (Yamaha)


Pre-72 Britshock: 1: Paul Howells (Triumph) 90; 2: Simon Critchley (BSA) 87; 3: John Chatto (James) 73; 4: Simon Bown (BSA) 55; 5: Chris Myers (Tribsa) 54; 6: Peter Edwards (BSA) 49; 7: Gerry Minshall (James) 42; 8: Robin Luscombe (Triumph) 40; 9: Keith Wells (BSA) 37; 10: David Wilkinson (BSA) 35. Visit: for more information on events, venues and classes in 2019.

Janice Proctor (BSA)




£8.99 FREE P&P (UK ONLY)




Anglo-American Match Races 1971



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

1971 Teams

GREAT BRITAIN John Cooper (BSA), Tony Jefferies (Triumph), Ray Pickrell (BSA), Paul Smart (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: TRIALS

USA 137

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.

70 | EDITION 01 | YEAR 2018

Motorcycle Retro Replay Issue 1.indd

TRIALS 70-71



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

94 | EDITION 01 | YEAR 2018

EDITION 01 | YEAR 2018 | 71

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The Dave Rowland Trophy Trial 1980

Motorcycle Retro Replay Issue 1.indd

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!




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

17/01/2019 15:06

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. The majority 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.

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Trial Magazine, in association with motorcycle trials literature specialist Yoomee, can now bring you a selection of books dedicated to motorcycle trials. 01 20 Years of Twinshock Trials, Vol. 1


Please fill the form below and return to: Yoomee Ltd, 48 Albion Road, New Mills, High Peak, Derbyshire, SK22 3EX Tel: 01663 744766 or order online: Enter quantity in boxes (a tick will assume one required).

A pictorial look at the men and machines in trials from 1965 – 1985. The book is 124 pages in A4 size and comes in the semi hardback format.


03 20 Years of Twinshock Trials, Vol. 3

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A pictorial look at the men and machines in trials from 1965 – 1985. The book is 120 pages in A4 size and comes in the semi hardback format.

02 20 Years of Twinshock Trials, Vol. 2

A pictorial look at the men and machines in trials from 1965 – 1985. The book contains 126 pages in A4 size and comes in the semi hardback format.

04 Spanish Trials Machines

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

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

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

08 NEW DVD The 2019 Pre-65 Scottish

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Enjoy the atmosphere of this iconic event in your own home on this excellant CJB production.


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Classic Trial Magazine Issue 30 Autumn 2019  

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

Classic Trial Magazine Issue 30 Autumn 2019  

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