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Trial Magazine• Welcome

CONTACT Online: www.trialmaguk.com Telephone: 01663 749163 Email: england@trialmag.com Address: 48 Albion Road, New Mills, High Peak, Derbyshire, SK22 3EX United Kingdom THE TEAM Co-Managing Directors John Hulme & Charles Benhamou Executive Director Philippe Benhamou
























FIM X-Trial

2020 Dates

Toby Martyn


Albert Cabestany Gas Gas

Editor John Hulme

Sheffield Indoor

(NUJ No: 949620)

Editorial Staff Cyrille Barthe, Jean Caillou, Phil Disney, Nick Shield, Matthew Heppleston, Heath Brindley and John Moffat.

KTM Trials

Gas Gas UK

Photographers Colin Bullock, Eric Kitchen, Cyrille Barthe, Josh Turner, Yoomee, Trials Media, Barry Robinson, Don Morley, Mauri/Fontserè Collection and the Giulio Mauri Copyright, Andy Gregory, Toon Van De Vliet, Brian Holder and Leah Robinson.

Costa Rica


Jess Bown S3 Parts


Proof reading Jane Hulme and Davina Brooks

Team Station Garage


Commercial Manager John Hulme england@trialmag.com Design and Production Dean Cook The Magazine Production Company www.magazineproduction.com Printing: Buxtons Press Distribution: Warners Group Publications © 2020 CJ Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the Publishers. 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. Trial Magazine is published by: CJ Publishing Limited, registered in England Number: 5947718. Trial Magazine: ISSN: 1753-0040. Trial Magazine • February-March 2020




6 8 14 18 22 102 110 112

Cover: 2019 Toby Martyn (TRRS-GBR) Photo Credit: Nige Pearson Photography


Talk trials • Toni Bou



As we rounded off another successful year it was time to get out my best suit – no not my Hebo riding one on this occasion but my best Smart Attire, to attend the FIM Gala awards presentation. Held in Monaco, it certainly attracted the glamour of motorsport, and it was a privilege to mix amongst the best of 2019. As I looked around, I felt very proud; how many other people hold 26 FIM world titles, I wonder, maybe it’s only me? Words: Toni Bou with John Hulme • Pictures: FIM and Goodshoot

The Enduro rider Brad Freeman, who won the FIM EnduroGP and E1 World Championships, and I were the only double gold medal winners as I collected mine for TrialGP and X-Trial. I often ask myself just how long I can continue winning at the very top of my chosen two-wheeled sport, but in truth, it’s an open question. As you are aware I train as often as possible and the combination of man and machine I hold with the Repsol Honda has made us as one. If I can keep injury-free, I am sure I can keep winning. Yes, younger riders are coming through and no doubt they will start to challenge me just as I did all those years ago when Dougie Lampkin, Fujigas and Adam Raga were at the top as the ones to beat. It leads me nicely to the Sheffield Indoor Trial which celebrated its 25th running in late December. It’s hard to believe my first win was way back in 2005 and I have only conceded defeat once to, you have guessed it, Adam Raga. The passing of both Martin Lampkin and Neil Crosswaite left a massive hole in both the families’ lives and our sport, but they must both be very proud of Sheffield #25. It certainly lived up to its reputation as a superb indoor trial. Before I close, I would like to thank them for the warm welcome I always received and for including me in this event over the years. Thank you. Until next time – Toni ‘Dynamite’ Bou.


February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine


13 26

20YM COTA 301RR REPRESENTATIVE FINANCE EXAMPLE Manufacturer’s Recommended Retail Price (Cash Price) £7,999.00 Deposit


Amount of Credit


36 Monthly Payments


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INTRODUCING THE NEW COTA 301RR - THE MOST RACING-ORIENTED TRIAL BIKE. Dominate the competition with the new 2020 Montesa Cota 301RR — a racing-oriented Trials machine built to take you to the top step. An enlarged 298 cc engine with a new ECU and redesigned crankcase help make the machine feel lighter and more controllable. The higher rear fender, new slimmer and more angular fuel tank and new LED headlight all add to the more aggressive and sharper lines, giving the Cota 301RR a sportier look and a modern touch. The new Montesa Cota 301RR: How high will you take it?

Visit your local dealer to find out more.


0345 200 8000

VPL Terms & Conditions: *New Montesa Cota 301RR 20YM orders from 03 January 2020 to 30 April 2020 and registered by 30 April 2020. Subject to model and colour availability. Representative Example based on 3 years 6.9% VPL. Offers applicable at participating dealers and are at the promoter’s absolute discretion. Indemnities may be required in certain circumstances. Finance is only available to persons aged 18 or over, subject to status. All figures are correct at time of publication but may be subject to change. Honda Franchise Dealers are credit brokers, not lenders. Credit provided by Honda Finance Europe Plc. Cain Road, Bracknell, Berkshire RG12 1HL. Honda Financial Services is a trading name of Honda Finance Europe Plc. a company registered at Companies House No 03289418. Honda Finance Europe plc is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Financial Services Register number 312541.

News • The world of trials

SAMMY MILLER JOINS ACU TRIAL GB 2020 The organising Committee of the Keedwell ACU Trial GB Series are delighted to welcome Sammy Miller as an official sponsor for the 2020 championship. Whilst the Keedwell Group will remain as title sponsor for the year, Series Manager Brian Higgins visited the 11-times British Champion’s museum last month with ex-British and European Sidecar Champion Colin Dommett and an immediate agreement was reached. Obviously, the sport has changed since Miller’s domination of the British and European scene in the '60s and '70s, but Sammy’s professionalism marked the

beginning of the modern Trials Era. Series Manager Brian Higgins is very pleased with the association: “I am absolutely delighted to be working with Sammy again after our association with the Honda project back in the '70s. His knowledge of the sport and his dedication shines through, and I look forward to welcoming him to some rounds throughout the season”. Talks are underway with existing sponsors, Wülfsport and Point-S, where it is hoped that their valuable input in 2019 will continue. Following his retirement from mainstream trials, Miller now owns

and runs the highly successful Motorcycle Museum with over 500 prestige machines on show, which highlights the attention to detail the great man still holds for all types of motorcycles. Sammy holds the all-time record, being 11 times successive British Champion and winner of over 1,400 events! Speaking about his rekindled link with the British Series, Sammy commented: “I would like to see the championship become an even more prestigious event in the Trials world, and look forward to the 2020 championship”. The eight-round series will cover all

parts of England and Wales during the summer season and starts at Hookwood in Surrey on Saturday 7th March. www.acutrialgb.co.uk

BETA EVO FACTORY MY 2020 Compared to the standard version which has already introduced numerous design and improvements the ‘Factory’ version adds a whole series of components. Four engine options are available: three two-stroke versions 125, 250 and 300cc and one four-stroke version 300cc. Engine: The ‘Factory’ engines differ from standard version power units as follows. Two-Stroke: Black magnesium casings – a more appealing look and greater weight savings; Titanium manifold – with a conical cylinder connector (125 cc only) which boosts performance and reduces weight; Profiled clutch discs ensure clutch precision under all riding conditions; Cylinder with optimized timing charts – this brings out the full racing character of the engine without affecting user-friendliness; Cylinder head with specially designed volume and squish (300 cc only) – for a further performance boost; Optimized control unit mappings – these ensure excellent low-rev handling without compromising mid-high rev performance. Four-Stroke: The 300cc features a lighter, even higher-performing titanium silencer and a new electronic control unit. This increases sparking stability thanks to higher electrical power and consequently improves combustion throughout the rev range. Chassis: From a design and chassis viewpoint the new ‘Factory’ model differs from the standard version as follows. Front Fork with re-calibrated fork hydraulics and compression adjustment – these ensure an optimal setting whatever the conditions; Gold anodized machined-from-solid triple clamp – besides reducing weight and increasing stiffness it lets the rider shift the handlebar risers forwards or backwards to adjust machine set-up to perfection; Rear suspension with longer wheelbase and adjustment of both compression and rebound – more progressive hydraulics allows for a more refined set-up that provides benefits in terms of pre-obstacle compression and lift-off; Rear suspension with new hydraulic settings – this provides much greater low-speed control which aids balance and stability while riding; Rear suspension with new 'spring guide' geometry – increases high-impact absorption through greater

flexibility of the shock absorber plug which now features a bigger containment space; Linkage progression – even more sensitive and progressive, ensuring better responsiveness and traction; Lanyard-type kill switch – ensures even greater riding safety; Black anodized bar end plugs – protect the grips and throttle; Black anodized chain adjusters – make chain tension adjustments extremely precise; Machined-from-solid foot pegs in non-slip steel – besides clearly improving boot grip, these ensure significant weight reduction. Galfer racing brake discs – deliver more powerful braking, weight savings and a 'Racing' look; BrakTec brake and clutch cylinder – for improved braking; Black anodized brake and clutch cylinder covers; Rear brake caliper with brake pad anti-vibration system; New gold Excel rims; Michelin X-light tyres – maximise grip whatever the riding conditions; New look and new decal graphics – the racing spirit of this bike is enhanced by new graphics in the Beta Factory colors of red, white and blue, with gold trims. Beta-UK contact details can be found on page 10-11.

YMSA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS The superb YMSA National Championship continues with a six round series starting in February and finishing with the last round and awards presentation in November. The breeding ground for many of today’s star trials riders, including the current British Trials Champion Jack Price, the series caters for every one of all abilities.


Round 1: 16th February, Talon Trophy Trial Dudwood Farm, Elton, Matlock, DE4 2LZ Round 2: 8th March, Beta Trophy Trial Burycliff Quarry, Elton, Matlock, DE45 1LL Round 3: 10th May, Gas Gas Trophy Trial Foxholes, Tansley, Matlock, DE4 5LF Round 4: 14th September, Kia Trophy Trial

Harborough Rocks, Longcliff, DE4 4HF Round 5: 4th October, SXS Trophy Trial Longcliff Tops, DE4 4HN All above starts at 11.00am Round 6: 1st November, (9.30am start) Sherco Trophy Trial and Awards Presentation Dudwood Farm, Elton, Matlock, DE4 2LZ

February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine


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

To discover the MICHELIN Trial range visit: moto.michelin.co.uk

News • The world of trials


The undisputed FIM Ladies World Trial champion Emma Bristow has joined the VanandKombi team for 2020. Speaking about her latest collaboration, Emma said: “It feels like I spend half my life on the road so when I was looking at my travel arrangements for 2020 I wanted to make sure my journeys would be both comfortable and economical. VanandKombi really know their stuff and found me the perfect van to get me around the UK and Europe in 2020. The best bit is I don’t have to worry about road tax, servicing, tyres, mechanical problems or depreciation of my own van, and the fact that I know there is a friendly team which will solve any issues I have gives me a great peace of mind. Oh and the best bit — I now drive a VW Transporter”. If you are looking at your travel plans for 2020 and beyond, chat to the guys at Van and Kombi to see how they can help you. You can find their contact details in the advert in this magazine on page 41.

MONTESA MAGIC S3 START Magic start – yes, it does exactly what it says on the can. Bringing innovation to the motorcycle trials world is second nature to the Spanish hard parts manufacturer, S3. This latest part is an essential extra for your four-stroke Montesa 4Ride. Easy start in any situation, this mechanical piece includes attributes such as usability and design with total effectiveness, minimalist with laser finishes and anodized colors with a combination of excellent quality materials. It is easily accessible and precise for starting and adjusting the idling control of the engine. www.s3parts.com


New to Trial Magazine: we have introduced these superb quality drawstring gym bags which are ideal to carry a set of waterproofs, for example, just in case it rains when you have your summer kit on or to carry that gym kit for the workout. The bag packs away easily in to a small pocket. Also, at the request of readers, we can now supply these high-quality protective binders to keep your Trial Magazine collection safe, to enjoy time after time. The binders hold 12 copies, two years of the magazine (magazines not included). Both products, not to forget a 12-month magazine subscription (see page 112), make for great birthday gifts for any trials enthusiast and are available to order from our international website. Order yours now: www.trialmaguk.com


The 2020 FIM X-Trial calendar has been updated and the proposed round six in Ecuador has been removed. Once again the honour of closing the 2020 FIM X-Trial World Championship falls to Andorra la Vella, the spectacular scene of last season’s finale, which is back in the calendar on 25th April.


The producer of the superb trials DVDs, Colin Bullock of CJB, has a new telephone number when placing orders: 01564 822348. In stock is a wide range of trials-related DVDs, both classic and modern, to enjoy including the 2019 reviews. CJB DVDs can also be ordered via: www.trialmaguk.com or turn to p88 in this issue.



New TRRS signing Toby Martyn is confirmed as the winner by the Sunbeam MCC of the Pinhard Trophy for 2019. This is one of the UK’s most prestigious awards; the giant three-gallon cup having been presented since 1950 to the best Under-21-year-old sporting motorcyclist competing under ACU or SACU jurisdiction. Riding for the Beta Factory Team in 2019, the 19-year-old finished third in the FIM Trial2 World Championship and second in the ACU British Trials Championship against much more experienced competitors. He also represented Great Britain at the FIM indoor X-Trial Des Nations and outdoor Trial Des Nations. Sunbeam MCC awards the trophy in memory of Frederick William Pinhard who died in 1948 whilst serving as Secretary of the Club. The judges were editors of leading motorcycle periodicals, General Secretary of the ACU, President of Sunbeam MCC and two officials appointed by Sunbeam MCC. Previous winners are a list of motorcycling greats over the last 68 years who have excelled in all spheres of the sport, including trials and motocross riders: 1952: Maureen Towler; 1953: Bill Martin; 1955: Jeff Smith; 1956: Arthur Lampkin; 1957: Roy Peplow; 1961: Scott Ellis; 1962: Malcolm Davis; 1963: Mick Andrews; 1964: Derek Adsett; 1966: Gordon Farley; 1967: Tommy Milton Jnr; 1968: Malcolm Rathmell; 1971: Martin Lampkin; 1973: Rob Shepherd; 1974: Clive Smith; 1981: John Lampkin; 1984: Steve Saunders; 1987: Paul Edmondson; 1988: Wayne Braybrook; 1989: Jason Lawer; 1991: Steve Colley; 1993: Dougie Lampkin; 1996: Graham Jarvis; 1997: Sam Connor; 1999: Martin Crosswaite; 2000: J Walker; 2002: Tom Sagar; 2004: Donna Fox; 2006: Alexz Wigg; 2010: Jack Challoner; 2011: Jack Sheppard; 2016: Jack Peace. Due to a prior commitment, Toby Martyn could not attend the ACU Awards Dinner in January so the Pinhard Trophy will be presented to him at the Hookwoods round of the ACU British Trials Championship on 7th March.


We are aware a number of photos we or our contributors own are appearing on social media with no prior written permission. We would ask that you please respect copyright and encourage you to contact us for permission. Simply drop us a line: 01663 749163 or email: england@trialmaguk.com.

February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine

CHAMPIONS RISE • 6 7 3 FAT B A R ® • T O N I B O U • 2 6 W O R L D T I T L E S •



Observation • Schreiber’s Section


WHAT YOU SEE Trial Magazine is proud to introduce a new column by the former FIM World Trials Champion and Scottish Six Days winner, Bernie Schreiber.


My last few years have been STOP ‘N’ GO in Trials but 2019 marked a return into the sport, celebrating the 40th Anniversary 1979–2019 of my world championship title. The season began at the 2019 Solo Moto Indoor FIM X-Trial in Barcelona as a spectator and then on to Scotland for the Highland Classic Trial as a participant. I can’t think of a better place to get your feet wet in the sport, on and off the pegs. The 110-year history of trials in Scotland should represent ‘everything’ to everyone in the sport. The day after the Highland Classic in Scotland, I hosted my first ‘MasterClass’ Schreiber Experience since 1989. Yes, the sport of motorcycle trials has changed. Yes, my school format has changed. Yes, the motorcycles have changed; but the fundamental basic skills of the sport remain the same and for many past and present riders instructions are needed now more than ever before. To become a complete rider in the sport you must have basic techniques. Observed Trials still remains the ultimate skills-based product for two-wheeled off-road riding. 14


The season continued with the Bultaco Revival in England, the Andorra two-day trial, then overseas to Canada and California where it all began for me as a child. After summer holidays I headed back to Scotland for the Leven Valley and finished the season in Spain at the Robregordo two-day. I have hosted five ‘MasterClass’ schools with over 125 students and competed in five Classic events with over 1,000 enthusiastic competitors during a year of Trials. During the season I had the opportunity to acquire further knowledge about the sport in general and observed that some basic facts needed to grow a sport will never change.


The base of the sport has been chipped away, eroded, and has largely disappeared over the last few decades. Structurally what is left is an unstable and unsustainable structure. It will eventually collapse from its own weight unless the core base is rebuilt. I am not concerned about what is going on at the TrialGP competition level at this point. Because to create one highly competitive rider who is financially supported at that level you need a ‘base’ of probably 1,000 support riders, one of whom may eventually rise to the top like ONE American did 40 years ago! So where February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine

Schreiber’s Section • Observation

“Plan, disrupt, innovate, integrate and activate…” are those 1,000 riders coming from now in the key Trials markets? I don’t believe addressing the problem will be a ‘Top-Down’ solution, but generated from the ‘Bottom-Up’ grass roots club level of the sport. TrialGP rule changes, crowds of spectators and profitability will change little as entries aren’t going to trickle down to create the huge number of riders required to prop up the pyramid. And quite honestly, I don’t think the 300 entry Classic Trials events featuring classic and vintage machines are either. Because I’ll bet that an in-depth analysis of the entrants would prove the average age of 50 years old. Hugely popular but it’s like trying to grow the community population by asking grandparents to have babies! They’ll have a lot of fun trying, but are unlikely to produce the end result the sport is looking for. At the moment the Classic scene is the only base showing signs of rider growth in most countries.


The social experience is driving the success. Realistically, to build a strong base structure Trial Magazine • February-March 2020

you really have to start anew. Survey, excavate, lay new footings, create a strong foundation and build a broad base that is large enough to support the height and peak of the pyramid. If during that construction process the existing top of the pyramid still exists, then ‘transplant’ it onto the new base. The sport has all the assets to build from going forward, but changes must be activated and executed. Clubs, riders, retailers, event organisers, media, partners and spectators are full of passion for the sport. At some point the sport must draw a line between spectator Entertainment which sells tickets and Education of the sport to eventually recruit new riders, build a base and provide a sales platform for the next generation of products

and riders. We must communicate the core message, the clear facts, and the sport’s tradition to continue developing the fundamental basic foundation of the sport.

Plan, disrupt, innovate, integrate and activate are keys to growth. More in the next Schreiber’s 2020 Vision. 15









Shopping • What’s new

WHAT’S ON YOUR SHOPPING LIST? HEBO MONO CRASH HELMET Various colour ways Web: www.apico.co.uk Tel: 01282 473190

CLASSIC TRIAL MAGAZINE 32 New look for 2020 Web: www.trialmaguk.com Tel: 01663 744766


Polycarb Construction. Colour Ways: Red/Black/Fluro. Sizes: XS-XXL Web: www.trialendurodirect.com Tel: 01298 766 813

TRIAL MAGAZINE DRAWSTRING BACK-PACK Light-weight and easy to use Web: www.trialmaguk.com Tel: 01663 744766

KAPPA GEMINI TRIAL HELMET Colour Ways: Matt Black – Gloss White Three multi-colour designs Web: www.neodistribution.co.uk


Collect and keep your magazine collection safe Web: www.trialmaguk.com Tel: 01663 744766



Sizes: S-XXL Web: www.trialendurodirect.com Tel: 01298 766 813

February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine

What’s new • Shopping

HEBO TONI BOU REPLICA GLOVE Web: www.apico.co.uk Tel: 01282 473190



Web: www.osetbikes.com Tel: 01424 211804


Web: www.trialendurodirect.com Web: www.s3parts.com Tel: 01298 766 813

Web: www.osetbikes.com Tel: 01424 211804


Titanium with performance Web: www.trialendurodirect.com Web: www.s3parts.com Tel: 01298 766 813

S3 REPLICA GLOVES BOSCO Sizes: S-XXL Web: www.trialendurodirect.com Web: www.s3parts.com Tel: 01298 766 813

APICO ‘FAT BAR’ PAD Various colour ways Web: www.apico.co.uk Tel: 01282 473190

APICO WATER IMPELLER UPGRADE KIT TRRS 2019/20 Web: www.apico.co.uk Tel: 01282 473190

Trial Magazine • February-March 2020


Sizes: S-XL Web: www.trialendurodirect.com Tel: 01298 766 813


Youth riding kit Web: www.trsmotorcyclesuk.com Tel: 01242 675015


Paddock • Caught on camera










February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine

Caught on camera • Paddock






Trial Magazine • February-March 2020






International • FIM X-Trial Toni Bou (Repsol Honda-ESP)



Yes, it’s that man Toni Bou who continues to dominate the FIM X-Trial World Championship as he took his 65th career victory in the Indoor series with another win at round three in Budapest, Hungary. Adam Raga (TRRS-ESP) continues to be the one to challenge Bou, but in a massive breath of fresh air, the young Spanish rider Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa-ESP) made his first visit to an X-Trial podium in Hungary. Words: Trials Media and FIM • Pictures: Trials Media

Starting on the French overseas territory of La Reunion island in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar, the 2020 FIM X-Trial World Championship came to life in late 2019. It then moved back to Europe for the remainder of the proposed seven-round series one week later, at round two in the vibrant student-populated town of Rennes in France. After a break for the festive celebrations, the action would resume in the historical city of Budapest in Hungary in January 2020. At each round, three nominated riders joined a quintet of permanent riders, consisting of the defending champion Toni Bou (Repsol Honda-ESP), Adam Raga (TRRS-ESP), Jaime Busto (Vertigo-ESP), Benoit Bincaz (Beta-FRA) and Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa-ESP).

elimination stages in three heats, with the three highest-scoring riders eliminated. The eventual winner is found from the top six, who then proceed to the next round in two heats and then the semi-final, where only the best of each of the two groups continue in the competition and will go through to the final. A consolation final over one-timed hazard to determine the third position on the podium is staged, prior to the grand final which settles the top two rankings. In the final, different variants of the hazards are used, and some are ridden in the reverse direction. All the hazards are made up of a mixture of steel, wood and concrete objects positioned in the most bizarre and awkward situations in the arena to challenge the riders and find an eventual winner.



The format and rules for each round were implemented by 2Play Event Production, the promoters of the FIM X-Trial. The new format was introduced in 2018 with the majority of the rules remaining into 2020 from last year. The qualifying process takes place at the start of the competition for all eight riders, over a selection of five hazards, racing against a time limit of six minutes over the timed lap. Three groups of riders go through the


The five permanent riders were joined by Miquel Gelabert (Vertigo-ESP), Jorge Casales (Gas GasESP) and Kieran Touly (Scorpa-FRA). More than 3,500 spectators enjoyed a spectacular and very demanding course at the Stade Jean Ivoula de Sant-Denis on Reunion Island as Toni Bou started the defence of his FIM X-Trial World Championship in the best possible way: with a victory.

Having already topped the first and second heats of the contest, Bou met the current world number two, Adam Raga, in the final, which was decided when Raga failed in three of the six sections leaving Bou with an unassailable lead. The fight for the final place on the podium was contested between Vertigo’s two new Spanish signings, Jaime Busto and Miquel Gelabert. Busto came out on top and took the final step on the podium after parting with just two marks on the single-section play-off as Gelabert was eliminated after exceeding the one-minute time limit. On his debut for Gas Gas, Spain’s Jorge Casales took fifth overall ahead of young Gabriel Marcelli, whose debut, as a permanent rider, saw him in third place after the opening heat but he then scored a maximum 25 marks in his second heat. Struggling with an ankle injury, Benoit Bincaz was seventh as Kieran Touly scored a maximum on his X-Trial debut.


FINAL: 1: Toni Bou (Repsol Honda-ESP) 10; 2: Adam Raga (TRRS-ESP) 17. RUNNER-UP FINAL: 3: Jaime Busto (VertigoESP) 2; 4: Miquel Gelabert (Vertigo-ESP) 5; 5: Jorge Casales (Gas Gas-ESP) 12; 6: Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa-ESP) 25; 7: Benoit Bincaz (Beta-FRA) 17; 8: Kieran Touly (Scorpa-FRA) 25.

February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine

FIM X-Trial • International

Adam Raga (TRRS-ESP)


The five permanent riders were joined by Miquel Gelabert, Jeroni Fajardo (Sherco-ESP) and Toby Martyn (Beta-GBR). Miquel Gelabert was the first heat winner, but only by a single mark from Jeroni Fajardo. X-Trial debutant, Toby Martyn, suffered two mechanical failures on his final ride for the Italian manufacturer. In the second heat, Gabriel Marcelli failed to produce the form he had shown one week earlier as Jaime Busto held a two-mark advantage over the ‘home’ rider Benoit Bincaz. Toni Bou and Adam Raga had a very close battle, but it was Bou who held the advantage as Raga stopped in the fifth hazard. With both Martyn and Marcelli eliminated, it was now down to six riders for the second phase of the event. It was once again dominated by Bou and Raga with the difference only two marks

Jeroni Fajardo (Sherco-ESP)

between them as Bincaz was eliminated. We now had the final four. The first fight would be between Jeroni Fajardo and Miquel Gelabert with the runners-up final decided over just one hazard, section one ridden in the reverse direction. They both failed the hazard, and with the time element deciding the positions, it was Fajardo who was rewarded with the trip to the podium. Bou and Raga moved to the final, which would include an additional hazard as the other five were ridden in the reverse direction. Bou held the upper hand as Raga would attempt the hazards first and, after an uneasy stop in the second hazard, Bou simply pushed harder as he added yet another trophy to the cabinet.


Jaime Busto (Vertigo-ESP)

Trial Magazine • February-March 2020

FINAL: 1: Toni Bou (Repsol Honda-ESP) 15; 2: Adam Raga (TRRS-ESP) 27. RUNNER-UP FINAL: 3: Jeroni Fajardo (ShercoESP) 5; 4: Miquel Gelabert (Vertigo-ESP) 5; Jaime Busto (Vertigo-ESP) 17; 6: Benoit Bincaz (Beta-FRA) 18; 7: Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa-ESP) 11; 8: Toby Martyn (BetaGBR) 20.


International • FIM X-Trial

Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa-ESP) Miquel Gelabert (Vertigo-ESP)

Podium: Budapest, Hungary

Jorge Casales (Gas Gas-ESP)


The five permanent riders were joined by Miquel Gelabert, Jeroni Fajardo and Jorge Casales. Both Miquel Gelabert and Benoit Bincaz were eliminated in the very first phase of the competition. This event had possibly the strongest line up so far in the 2020 series as Jorge Casales outpointed the pair by a three-mark margin despite his unfavorable first rider starting position in the heats. In round two, it demonstrated just how testing the hazards were as both Casales and Jaime Busto were also unable to make it through any of the sections successfully. For the young newcomer to the 2020 championship, Gabriel Marcelli, this was his moment as he made it to the third position final alongside the experienced Jeroni Fajardo and with a strong ride made the final step on the podium, much to his delight. In the final, which was once again a duel between the lifelong rivals Toni Bou and Adam Raga, the action was very close as they were both very evenly matched in their riding on the night. As it turned out, they would both end up in a tie-break situation as they both lost the same amount of marks. In order to claim his 65th FIM X-Trial career win, Bou had his toughest test of the 2020 season as the official referee had to look back to the second round results


following two ties in the Grand Final. Both Bou and Raga lost 15 marks each in a tense six-section finale before both going on to fail a challenging run-off over the hazards. In this unique situation, they could only be split by their results in the opening Heat stages which gave Bou the win by ten marks to thirteen over the reigning world number two.

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY FINAL: 1: Toni Bou (Repsol Honda-ESP) 15; 2: Adam Raga (TRRS-ESP) 15. RUNNER-UP FINAL: 3: Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa-ESP) 5; 4: Jeroni Fajardo (Sherco-ESP) 5; 5: Jorge Casales (Gas Gas-ESP) 25; 6; Jaime Busto (VertigoESP) 25; 7: Miquel Gelabert (Vertigo-ESP) 16; 8: Benoit Bincaz (Beta-FRA) 16.


RESULTS: 1: Toni Bou (Repsol Honda-ESP) 60; 2: Adam Raga (TRRS-ESP) 45; 3: Jamie Busto (Vertigo-ESP) 22; 4: Jeroni Fajardo (Sherco-ESP) 21; 5: Miquel Gelabert (Vertigo-ESP) 20; 6: Gabriel Marcelli (Montesa-ESP) 18; 7: Jorge Casales (Gas Gas-ESP) 12; 8: Benoit Bincaz (Beta-FRA) 7; 9: Toby Martyn (Beta-GBR) 1; 10: Kieran Touly (Scorpa-FRA) 1. The 2020 FIM X-Trial World Championship will continue with round four in Barcelona Spain on the 3rd February.

February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine


acutrialgb.co.uk Round Round Round Round

1 2 3 4


7th March Hookwood Surrey 5th April Neath, South Wales 14th June Harrogate, Yorkshire 27th June Bovey Tracey, Devon

Round Round Round Round

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British Championship • Diary

2020 DATES


James Dabill (Beta): 2019 SSDT and Scott Trial Winner.



RD 1: 7th March, Hookwood Trials Club RD 2: 5th April, Neath MC St David’s Trial RD 3: 14th June, Yeadon Guiseley Mackenzie Trial RD 4: 27th June, West of England MC Antony Rew Trial RD 5: 28th June, Torridge Tavistock RD 6: 26th July, Scarborough RD 7: 15th August, Bro Cader Llanbedr RD 8: 16th August, Hafren Llandiloes

RD 1: 29th February/ 1st March, East Lothian MC RD 2: 25th/26th April, Berkhempstead RD 3: 16th/17th May, Isle of Man RD 4: 27th September, Mansfield Maun


ACU S3 PARTS TRIALS CHAMPIONSHIP RD 1: 16th February, North Berks MC Wallace Cup RD 2: 1st March, Westmorland MC Milnthorpe Cup RD 3: 8th March, Stratford-on-Avon MC Colmore Cup RD 4: 29th March, Hillsborough MC Jack Wood Trial RD 5: 13th April, Llangollen DMC Lomax Trial RD 6: 19th April, Yeadon Guiseley Chris Carter Trial RD 7: 17th May, Richmond MC Gerald Simpson Trial RD 8: 21st June, Wetherby DMC Wainwright Trial RD 9: 20th September, Newcastle DMC Travers Trial

ACU BELLE TRAILERS LADIES AND GIRLS TRIALS CHAMPIONSHIP RD 1: 15th March, North Berks MC RD 2: 4th April, Lincoln RD 3: 13th June, Hookwood Trials Club RD 4: 14th June, Bexley Heath RD 5: 26th July, Chelmsford RD 6: 16th August ,Guisborough RD 7: 18th October, Torridge Tavistock

ACU TRAIL BIKE CHAMPIONSHIP RD 1: 26th April, West Glos and Dean Forest MC Wyegate Trial RD 2: 5th July, Neath MC Fred Rist Trial RD 3: 20th September, West of England MC Moor to Sea Trial

Trial Magazine • February-March 2020


ACU WESSEX PLANT SIDECAR TRIALS CHAMPIONSHIP RD 1: 1st March, Normandy MC Ray Thomas Trial RD 2: 26th April, South Birmingham MC DK Mansell Trial RD 3: 24th May, BSSA Tuck Cross Trial RD 4: 7th June, Mansfield Maun Doncaster Cup RD 5: 21st June, Congleton MCC RD 6: 16th August, Owls MCC Ray Denyer Trial RD 7: 20th September, Yeadon Guiseley DMC Mel Harrison Trial RD 8: 3rd October, West of England Trial RD 9: 1st November, Spen Valley

OTHER PROMINENT NATIONAL/CENTRE TRIALS 15th March, Cleveland Trial 22nd March, Bemrose Trial 1st/2nd May, Pre-65 SSDT 4/8th May, Scottish Six Days Trial 13/14th June, Highland Two Day Classic Trial 21st June, Mintex Youth Trial 5th July, Dave Rowland Trial 11/12th July, Manx Two Day Trial 17/18/19th July, Reeth Three Day 13th September, White Rose Trial 26/27th September, Leven Valley Two Day 10/11th October, Lakes Two Day Trial 17th October, Scott Trial 7th November, Northern Experts Trial 7/8th November, Jersey Two Day Trial 15th November, Southern Experts Trial Remember always to confirm all dates if you are making plans. Dates correct at time of going to print.


Diary • World Championship

2020 DATES


FIM TRIALGP AND TRIAL2 CHAMPIONSHIP RD 1: 23rd/24th May, Czech Republic RD 2: 5/6/7th June, Japan RD 3: 20th/21st June, Andorra RD 4: 4th/5th July, Italy RD 5: 11th/12th July, Great Britain RD 6: 29th/30th August, France RD 7: 5th/6th September, Spain

FIM TRIALGP WOMEN CHAMPIONSHIP RD 1: 23rd/24th May, Czech Republic RD 2: 5/6/7th June, Japan RD 3: 20th/21st June, Andorra RD 4: 5th/6th September, Spain

FIM TRIAL2 WOMEN CHAMPIONSHIP RD 1: 23rd/24th May, Czech Republic RD 2: 20th/21st June, Andorra RD 3: 5th/6th September, Spain

FIM TRIAL125 CHAMPIONSHIP RD 1: 5/6/7th June, Japan RD 2: 4th/5th July, Italy RD 5: 11th/12th July, Great Britain RD 6: 29th/30th August, France RD 7: 5th/6th September, Spain

TRIAL DES NATIONS 12th/13th September, Portugal

X-TRIAL DES NATIONS 3rd April France, Lievin


FIM TRIALE CHAMPIONSHIP RD 1: 20th/21st June, Andorra RD 2: 4th/5th July, Italy RD 3: 29th/30th August, France

FIM X-TRIAL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP ROUNDS 1 AND 2 WERE HELD IN 2019 RD 3: 19th January, Budapest, Hungary RD 4: 2nd February, Barcelona, Spain RD 5: 15th February, Bilbao, Spain RD 6: 21st March, Weiner Neustadt, Austria RD 7: 25th April, La Vella, Andorra Remember always to confirm all dates if you are making plans. Dates correct at time of going to print.

February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine


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Meeting • Toby Martyn


READY TO WIN Imagine shooting the rapids in a boat, trying to miss the rocks that could sink a career! This roller-coaster ride for one of Great Britain’s ‘hot’ motorcycle trials talents, Toby Martyn, now looks on track to deliver the potential of a well-deserved FIM Trial World Championship. It was announced in late 2019 that he would be moving to the Spanish manufacturer TRRS. After a successful youth career, the move into the adult world has seen the very lows. From having one hand on a world title, only then having it ‘snatched’ away in dramatic fashion at the very last hurdle through to injury, which has also played a part in this young man’s progress. As we enter 2020, Toby feels he is ready to win with a new machine and a new team. It was time for John Hulme to have a Cornish Pasty, and Toby Martyn a cup of tea, as we chewed the fat on the future of his chosen profession in motorcycle trials. In more recent times, the move to TRRS was a very closely guarded secret and a shock to many. More to the point, many onlookers thought that the step back to his first love with Beta in 2019 would pave the way for a future with the Italian manufacturer. Article: John Hulme with Toby Martyn • Pictures: Trials Media and Heath R2W


February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine

Toby Martyn • Meeting A winning start on the TRRS at the 2019 Southern Experts settled the nerves on the move to the Spanish manufacturer.

Starting out on a variety of small motorcycles including a Yamaha PW 50 before a Clipic 50 started the feet-up career for Toby and the family.

Why the TRRS? If I am totally honest, in my opinion, 2019 did not deliver the results I wanted, and my head went down a little during the season. The deflation and lack of consistent results were maybe connected to the ‘shock’ of having the 2018 Trial2 world title taken away in such a fashion at the final section in the final round in Italy. With no world round wins in 2019, and dropping to fourth in the championship, it was time to take a good look at my direction in trials. I wanted a fresh start. After speaking with Jordi Tarres and Steve Saunders, I tested the TRRS, and it answered its own question for me.

2008: A Gas Gas 50 automatic came along and with it success in the ACU Youth D class British Championship.

Trial Magazine • February-March 2020

“…it was time to take a good look at my direction in trials. I wanted a fresh start.” In your voice you sound excited about the 2020 season! That’s because I am excited! I wanted a fresh start, and that’s what I have. I understand 100% what I have to do this year, and with the experience that Jordi Tarres and Steve Saunders can bring to me, it’s totally down to

me as an individual to deliver. Not just in the world championship but also the British one. The whole team image feels right for a young rider such as myself. When I tested the TRRS, they were more than happy to help me adjust to the Spanish machine, which confirmed in my mind that the decision to move was the correct one. I have witnessed the brand grow since its introduction in 2016, and it’s something I want to be a part of. Right, down to your minder; it’s a new team this year. I cannot speak highly enough of the opportunities I have already had in my short adult trials career, and I thank everyone who has ever helped me to get where I am today. Friendships last a long time and I especially want to thank Rudi Geiser from the RG Trials Team. It was Rudi who guided me on the way up the ladder; we are still good friends, and my family and I are eternally grateful for the year with him on the Montesa. For the last two years,

2009: Progress was made through the C class on the Beta 80cc before moving to the 125cc Beta and the B class with support from Robin Martin through his RCM trials dealership.


Meeting • Toby Martyn

2014: The B class title was followed by the A class which concluded the youth career in 2016. These were fantastic times as he travelled the length and breadth of the country from the family home at St Agnes in Cornwall. Eight hour road trips were normal to return home from events on Sunday evening so he could be back at school on the Monday.

I have been kept safe and secure in the hands of Sam Decoux as my minder. He has been incredible, and I will always be grateful for the support he has given me. The team for 2020 will include my new minder, Matt Dixon. Matt has some world-round experience under his belt, and his mechanical knowledge is without question. We have worked really hard during the closed season to grow and work together as one. Where will you be based in your preparation for the year ahead? My time will be split between Europe, based mainly in Spain close to the TRRS factory, and Great Britain. Matt will be with me 24/7, and this will give him the opportunity to understand how I ‘tick’, if that is possible [he laughs] and also to get to know every nut and bolt on the TRRS. To be the best you have to train with the best and I intend to spend as much time as possible with Adam Raga, the TRRS factory number one rider. Jordi Tarres will also be

Attempting the tough hazards at the Belgium world round on the Beta in 2016.

“The main focus has to be the FIM Trial2 World Championship as this is unfinished business… it will be no easy task as, year on year, the rivalry becomes more intense.” involved in my rider development, as will Steve Saunders in the UK. Without a doubt, the experience from these two trials legends has to be hugely positive for my future. Daft question time; what are the goals for 2020? The main focus has to be the FIM Trial2 World Championship as this is unfinished business, as you all know. It will be no easy task as, year on year, the rivalry becomes more intense. Just look at the quality of the riders and you will see why each round has so many potential winners. I have three years’ experience at this level, and 2020 is where the application and desire to win will be obvious to all who are watching at the world rounds. On my own admission, I under-performed in the 2019 ACU TrialGB British Championship. Yes, I proved I could win, with individual round victories, but the consistency to challenge for the title was not there. I am sure, with the support of Steve Saunders, I can change this. Born on the 2nd June 2000 — a life in trials Yes; literally the storyline of this is that the introduction was very much a family thing with dad, Tim, and mum, Kate. Dad has had the motorcycle blood from a very young age competing regularly up until I took over, and he devoted his spare time to me. Having so much fun with my dad is what memories are made from, on a variety of small motorcycles including a Yamaha PW 50, a Clipic 50 and a Gas Gas 50 automatic before many years riding the Beta where success came in the Youth British Championships.

2016: As a family the Martyn’s are quick to endorse the experience and support from John Lampkin. Tim Martyn: “I can assure you that without the likes of ‘John Boy’ and Beta UK supporting this adventure it would have been much harder”.


Beta was your first love First and foremost, I would like to thank everyone at Beta, both in Italy and here at Beta UK, for their support in the past and also during 2019. John Lampkin has been so supportive, and I can assure you that, without the likes of ‘Johnboy’ and Beta UK, this adventure would have been much different. The Beta connection goes right back to my youth career as I progressed through the ACU British Championships and the superb YMSA trials run by the superenthusiastic Barry Burton and his team in Derbyshire. The first ACU youth title though came on the automatic Gas Gas 50cc as I won the Youth D class back in 2008. February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine




Meeting • Toby Martyn

Toby: “Rudi Geiser owned the RG Trials Team based in Switzerland which used the four-stroke Montesa. He had started to speak with my dad in Italy about trying a machine and offered me a contract for 2018. My dad had reminded me of the time when my 2020 sponsor at TRRS Steve Saunders made the change from the two-stoke to fourstroke power at a very young age and suddenly I was thinking of the move Toni Bou made from Beta to Montesa and the Cota 4RT”. On the way to winning in the FIM Trial2 class in Italy 2017.

“These were fantastic times as I travelled the length and breadth of the country from the family home at St Agnes in Cornwall. Eight-hour road trips were normal to return home from events on Sunday evening, so I could be back at school on the Monday.”

Toby: “It was a very proud moment and one to finally taste the winners champagne in Italy as I hit the top spot, Vertigo’s first FIM World Championship victory. The team deserved this and I cannot thank them enough for what they did for me in 2017”.

You rode the Beta throughout your youth career Progress was made through the C class on the Beta 80cc before moving to the 125cc Beta and the B class with support from Robin Martin through his RCM trials dealership. I took the title followed by the A class, which concluded my youth career in 2016. These were fantastic times as I travelled the length and breadth of the country from the family home at

Winning in Japan 2018 with ‘minder’ Sam Decoux on the left and Rudi Geiser on the right. Tim: “Without the help and support from these two fantastic people and the RG Trials Team we would have struggled, as a family we will always be eternally grateful for the level of support we received, thank you”.


St Agnes in Cornwall. Eight-hour road trips were normal to return home from events on Sunday evening, so I could be back at school on the Monday. Mum used to literally pull me out of bed on Monday mornings, brush me off, put me in the school uniform and send me off to school! Dad reminds me on many occasions how he kept a check of the yearly mileage in the early days; in 2013, we covered more than 20,000 miles just travelling to and from events! The early practice ground in Cornwall was homemade. My dad was very fortunate that a local building site gave the family literally tons of soil to help build the ‘back garden’ practice area, essential to any young rider who cannot drive! Ex-British-Championship rider, Jason Lawer, donated some massive granite rocks from the family quarry to finish off the project, which allowed me the opportunity to practise whenever I liked. During the summer months, away from school, you would find me across the road riding on one of my favourite areas, near the cliffs.

2018 Japan, it’s champagne time.

February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine

Toby Martyn • Meeting

The pure emotion in the moment after the win France is captured here from both Sam and Rudi, two very passionate people in the world of trials.

to the adult class in the middle of 2016. I rode the 125cc in the first three adult British Trials Championships rounds while practising on the 300cc. It was a case of riding and finding my feet on the more powerful machine.

2018 in France and it was literally ‘flat-out’ on the RG Montesa in the qualifying.

To progress your career, you looked at the European championship Talking to friends at the YMSA trials, it sounded like the place to be, and so in 2014, I competed in the top class of the Youth European Championship. It was trials on a different level as the standard was so high, and I found it quite difficult at first. After finding my feet in 2014, I won the title in 2015. As a family, we were over the moon, happy days indeed as a ‘Gypsy’ family travelling around Europe. How did you cope with school and exams? In both 2015 and 2016, it was a juggling act for both riding and schoolwork, made even more difficult with my birthday being in June. We had looked at competing in the 2015 FIM Trial125 championship, but this would have meant missing the early rounds. The decision was made to miss the championship and to start working with the 300cc Beta as soon the 2015 championships had finished, and concentrate on the move up

2019: High above the town of Comblain au Pont in Belgium on the Beta in the World Championship.

Trial Magazine • February-March 2020

And school work? I decided not to concentrate on any championships as I was also working hard at school, and I was reminded by my parents just how important school was for good exam results. I was happy at school and went through the process to get what I set out to do, and achieved good enough grades that my parents and I were happy with. With school out of the way, I got on the podium for the first time in my adult career ACU British Championship as I rounded off 2016. You moved into the FIM Trial2 class in 2017 Yes, and it was also a move to the green Vertigo. Once again, I could not thank Beta UK and John enough, he has always been very good to the family and me, as I have already said. It was a move to another Lampkin, but this time Dougie, who I know needs no introduction, who was the UK importer for Vertigo and would be looking after the team. TrialGP had introduced a new set of rules for 2017 that meant that you had to have a rider in the Trial2 class and the TrialGP class to contest the manufacturers’ championship. Vertigo would have Spain’s Jeroni Fajardo in TrialGP and me in Trial2.

2019 was not the season Toby wanted it to be and for whatever reason he did not achieve his personal goals.


Meeting • Toby Martyn to find some winning form. I duly delivered, with three consecutive wins which put me into straight into the fight for the title. The final round would be the decider.

Behind the smile Toby knew he had under-performed in 2019.

A different level of riding. It was a whole new game for me to understand, a class with so many potential winners. Would I be one of them? I asked myself. It was once again a learning year but a beneficial one. The marks were so close; every loss mattered so much. Riding on home ground in Great Britain gave me the extra incentive with the crowd support for the podium, and I delivered on day two with a second place. It was a massive confidence boost for me, and at the last three rounds of the 2017 season, I set the quickest time in the qualifying. It was a very proud moment and one to finally taste the winner’s champagne in Italy as I hit the top spot; Vertigo’s first FIM World Championship victory. The team deserved this, and I cannot thank them enough for what they did for me in 2017. A man in demand Rudi Geiser owned the RG trials team based in Switzerland, which used the four-stroke Montesa. He had started to speak with my dad in Italy about trying a machine and offering me

Giving his all on his way to 4th position overall at the 2019 Sheffield #25 invitation indoor.


a contract for 2018. I was very impressed with the Montesa and the team, which would allow me to live in Spain near Barcelona, the ‘Hub’ of the world championship riders. The decision was made to move to the four-stroke Cota 4RT. My dad had reminded me of the time when my 2020 sponsor at TRRS Steve Saunders made the change from the two-stoke to four-stroke power at a very young age, and suddenly I was thinking of the move Toni Bou made from Beta to Montesa and the Cota 4RT. A learning process! Supplied with the production Montesa Cota 300RR, RG Trials Team would prepare my suspension settings as well as engine modifications to suit my riding. I was over the moon as the quick learning process on fourstroke power soon gave me the enthusiasm for the new season that I needed. It was time to move up a gear, and I would have a new minder, Sam Decoux. The year went well, despite a shoulder injury which required me to start wearing a support. By the halfway stage, I had dropped away from the leaders and needed

Proud This is how I would describe a very emotional day in Italy, proud! My main rival, Italian Matteo Grattarola, was in fantastic form parting with just two marks. I take nothing away from his performance. I, on the other hand, was, shall we say, having a bad day at the office. I held second position after the opening lap, with Spanish rider, Gabrielle Marcelli, in third. As he approached the final hazard on four marks lost to my score of nine, it looked like it was all over for me and the title had gone. I accepted that. All Marcelli had to do was clean the last section, and he would finish second in the trial. He rode into the final hazard and, after a pause, was awarded a ‘feet-up’ five by the observer, who held the board up and blew the whistle — and I was the 2018 FIM Trial2 World Champion. It was not to be. However, by the time Marcelli had finished the hazard, Matteo Grattarola was the 2018 FIM Trial2 World Champion. Would you believe it; the observer changed his mind. A strong patriotic Italian crowd had verbally remonstrated with the decision, and the observer had buckled under the pressure. I was gutted, to say the least, but I stood proud on the podium knowing what should have been! Great expectations 2019 was not the season I wanted it to be and, for whatever reason, I did not achieve my goals. Going forward into 2020, I have set my sights on great expectations, and it’s down to me as an individual to deliver the results. The shoulder I had the problem with is good and does not need an operation, which is a huge relief, allowing me to continue my intense training schedule. The team is good, and the infrastructure to succeed is in place. To everyone who has made this possible, I want to say ‘thank you’.

The 2020 team will include his new minder Matt Dixon. For the last two years it has been the safe and secure hands of Sam Decoux as his minder. Toby acknowledges that he has been incredible and will always be grateful for the support he has given him. Matt has some world round experience under his belt and his mechanical knowledge is without question.

February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine

My world • Albert Cabestany


WINDING BACK THE CLOCK It’s always good to see new faces in the rapidly expanding world of classic trials. So, when my good friend, the organiser, Joan Comas, contacted me concerning the 2019 Costa Brava two-day event in Spain to tell me Albert Cabestany was riding, it certainly put a smile on my face. I have been in regular contact with Albert and his father, Francesc, for many years on the FIM World Championship scene and in more recent times, when he rode the Gas Gas electric trials model to the world title in 2019. Talk about rewinding the clock; he would soon be riding a twin-shock Fantic, circa 1984 – quite a difference from the all-singing, all-dancing 2019 Gas Gas which works at the flick of a switch. Article: TM with Albert Cabestany • Pictures: Trial Magazine, Peter J Beardmore and Mario Candellone


February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine

Albert Cabestany • My world

It was good to have my two girls at the Costa Brava Two Day Trial.

Congratulations on the ‘Costa’ win Thank you very much! As you know, it’s never easy to win an easy trial. You always need to stay focused on your goal but most of all it’s a little bit strange because you try to have fun, but at the same time everybody expects you to win, so to find a good balance is not an easy thing. I have to make it clear that the only goal for me was to have fun and understand why everybody loves this kind of event. I thank Joan Comas for thinking of me and allowing me to ride his fantastic trial. Your father, Francesc, is a classic fan? Nobody in the family really likes classic trials machines, as we think we can enjoy more of what we love, which is trials, with modern trials motorcycles. In fact, my father’s favourite model is the Gas Gas TXe, the electric one. In Spain, things are not easy regarding access to the mountains with a trials machine, and he found that with this one people accept us much more than with petrol-powered ones. Many people close to us use classic machines and push him to join them, but every time he tries one, he is even more convinced about how good the modern ones are. He understands they had their place in the past and the history of motorcycle trials but says if he has the chance to use a modern machine why not? Where did the idea come from to compete at the Costa Two-Day? I’ve always heard great things about this trial, and via Facebook, Joan offered me the chance to come and ride it, and I just wanted to give it a try. My father had the opportunity to compete, Trial Magazine • February-March 2020

Winning the 2019 FIM TrialE World Championship for Gas Gas was a special moment.

but he always prefers to stay close to me and enjoy this day out together. It’s a fantastic event and very well organised. The modern trials scene could learn so much from this type of event. They should understand that maybe what people want are trials in fantastic places with the same level of difficulty in the sections and the same ambience. Do not increase the riding level; just focus on having a good time with excellent organisation! Who owns the Fantic you rode? The Fantic I used was from a doctor they call ‘Bala’, if I am correct. I would like to thank him for letting me use his machine. Basically, I didn’t

Scoring my first ever FIM World Championship points on the Beta in Spain 1997.

touch a thing other than put the handlebars a little further forward. I had it for just a couple of days’ practice before the trial. I focused on understanding the Fantic’s capabilities so that I could have a pleasant experience during the trial. Was this your first Classic event? Yes, this was my first classic event as a rider. At my hometown, many people used to ride classic machines and organise events as well. Next year they are also preparing a two-day classic event, so maybe I will ride in it. It was good to see Takahisa Fujinami and Jeroni Fajardo at the event, but they were both on modern machines. Sherco forbade Jeroni to ride a classic machine as they pay him to sell the Sherco 2020 model, not the classic trials, which I understand. What factories should realise though is that they need to promote (or find someone who does) more events like the Costa Brava but for modern machines; the ones they are selling to people. They should be more involved, maybe, in giving the customer the experience and not so focussed on making the sale. 2019 FIM TrialE World Champion! I must admit, I am a massive fan of E-trial machines. I have a really good friend who built his own five years ago. I’ve been in contact with him since the first day, as it is an area that I am really interested in. I’m convinced that it can make the difference and make the sport I love, grow as it deserves to. From the moment I had the chance to be more involved in the electric world, I didn’t doubt it; I embraced the opportunity. 43

Albert Cabestany • My world

With my father Francesc on the left and Lluis, right, I am in safe hands at the 2009 FIM World Championship round in Great Britain.

On the Gas Gas in Portugal 1999.

Tell us about the difference between petrol and electric power At the moment, E-bikes do not have the performance of the petrol ones, but it is to be expected as we are just at the beginning of the project. With petrol, we can say they have arrived at their limit; they have almost nothing more to offer. You can just scratch the surface, but not make a significant change. With the E-bike, there are many good things that you need to understand compared to petrol power. Absolutely no vibrations, no carburettor setup or loss of power at high altitudes, like Andorra. The opportunity is there for you to customise the E-machine to levels you could never imagine before so that you can have a much better product for your riding style. Battery performance should improve; this is clear.

Showing commitment in the FIM world round in Andorra 2012.

Trial Magazine • February-March 2020

“The opportunity is there for you to customise the E-machine to levels you could never imagine before so that you can have a much better product for your riding style. While this is happening, it’s important that we start to set up the machine, so when that moment is a reality, we can offer a fantastic product. Right now, though, for example, I can use my TXe for two hours without stopping just to drink water, so for a high percentage of the people, this is more than enough. I’m also thrilled about the fact that the setup of the machine is more important than ever and there is fascinating work to do around this. For me, it is ‘The Future’.

Are you still involved in the trials world? Yes, I have recently joined Gas Gas as a TrialE rider and to help them in the development of their models. I had the chance to come back to the TrialGP class with them, but there’s nothing that makes me want to go back. It would be like living in the movie ‘Groundhog Day’. Being involved with the E-machine makes me stay more motivated. I really have so much fun and enjoy riding my TXTe; it’s exciting work, fantastic, and it surprises me constantly. That’s

I was very fortunate to have David Sarrias as my mechanic when I was at Sherco; here he looks on in Spain at the FIM X-Trial in 2015.


My world • Albert Cabestany

Putting on the style at the 2019 Costa Brava Two Day as a guest was Japan’s Takahisa Fujinami on his Repsol Honda world championship machine.

the better part of being at Gas Gas as they have a wide range of models. I have also been working on my website: www.albertcabestany.tv where the people who love this sport, and want to enjoy and understand it more, will have the chance to learn from my videos. The game-changer of this website is that they will have the chance to interact with me by uploading their videos, and I will explain to them what are they doing wrong or how they can solve the problems they are experiencing. As we arrive at the beginning of 2020, it’s almost ready, using different brands of machines. Now I have joined the Gas Gas family, I will have to make some new videos just riding a Gas Gas! I think it will be something really exciting and interesting for all trials people. Combined with trial schools, I can demonstrate all my experience and skills I’ve learned over the years. Will we see you defend your E-world title? It will be one of my goals for 2020. For sure it will not be easy, but we will give our best, as we

Always by my side in trials: my father Francesc.


Winning the 2019 Costa Brava Two Day on the Fantic was a superb fun.

did in 2019, to achieve this goal. Let’s see which brands and contenders we will meet this year! But we will take this as a motivation to improve our Gas Gas TXTe and give a better product to the customer. What are your thoughts on the current FIM World Championship? Well, what I felt when I was involved as a rider and what I felt in 2019 from the outside, is the same; both X-trial and TrialGP make things so hard to understand and apply. It has no sense; it should be easier to observe and more thrilling for the spectator. The X-Trial is so dangerous and, regarding the engine touch rule, it’s unbelievable how they apply it. Now you have two-and-a-half hours of a show, and you enjoy just 20 minutes of it. They miss out some good riders and put some that still don’t deserve to be there. It’s funny. It’s a world championship; not a young-age-and-different-nations championship. If I go there as a spectator, I want the best show in the world; it doesn’t matter if the rider is from Spain, is 39 years old or anything else. TrialGP: how many pages

do we have for this interview [laughing]. I will start by saying that non-stop rule is an unfair one and, with time, it will just get worse. I don’t know what are they waiting for — a miracle maybe? How many more years should we throw away? As I have explained, I have seen this situation from both sides of the fence. Have you any answers? I have a new system that I think could be great for the sport — something where you can make all classes compete together and have one overall classification. Then there are individual competitions in Trial2, Trial125, TrialE, and Women’s Trial. I think this would be something great for the sport. This year, if I had the chance, I would give it a try in an event close to my home town; let’s see if I can manage to make it happen. If the FIM is really interested in our sport, I’m open to talk with them and help in any way I can, but they should also be open-minded and really want to do something for our sport, not just pretend to do it.

My world – my two girls.

February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine

2 0 2 0





Don’t just take our word for it, try it for yourself!

Book a free test ride at Inch Perfect Trials on 01200 448130 or info@inchperfecttrials.co.uk

Product Focus • Gas Gas



Held annually in Milan, Italy, usually in November, the EICMA motorcycle show is the premier event for the motorcycle industry. It was here, in 2019 during the KTM Press Launch, that they officially announced they had added the Gas Gas brand to the group that also includes Husqvarna. The success story of the KTM AG group needs no introduction and is well documented in all areas of motorcycling — apart, that is, from the trials world. In 1985, we first noted that the Spanish Gas Gas trials machines had entered the arena of the observed trials world as two well-respected and successful Spanish off-road motorcycle champions, Joseph Pibernat and Narcis Casas, were coming to the end of their respective careers. They decided to take a different direction as opposed to retiring, and entered into the world of manufacturing their own machine, the Gas Gas. Over the following years they would rise to the top of the trials world with world championship titles from Jordi Tarres and Adam Raga, and the machine would become a benchmark amongst the manufacturers. In its 35-year history, it has had some very difficult turbulent years but has always been a survivor, as we have now seen with a brand in demand as it parts from its Spanish roots to the open arms of KTM and Austria. Article: John Hulme • Pictures: Trials Media, John Edward Shirt, Toon Van De Vliet, Peter J Beardmore, Eric Kitchen, Cyrille Barthe, Justyn Norek Jnr and Iain Lawrie



oseph Pibernat and Narcis Casas owned a small motorcycle shop in the suburbs of Barcelona. They specialised in off-road products and the Bultaco brand in particular. With the demise of the once-mighty Spanish motorcycle manufacturer, they found themselves in the position of having a shop but with nothing to sell. In Enduros, at which they were both successful, often when attacking the special tests, the crowd would echo the words ‘Gas Gas’; it literally means twist the throttle to ‘gas it’ and go faster. The very first Gas Gas machines would come from this small Barcelona shop, which embarked the two Spaniards on a journey that was to take them to world championship glory.


The very first trials machines to carry the Gas Gas name were called the ‘Halley’ after the comet bearing the name arrived with us in 1986. These machines featured a homeFebruary-March 2020 • Trial Magazine

Gas Gas • Product Focus

In the late 80s the big three trials manufacturers in Spain Bultaco, Montesa and Ossa were suffering with financial problems. Gas Gas, along with a small cottage industry of other manufacturers, were about to be unleashed onto the trials world. This picture is from 1987.

fabricated steel frame incorporating ideas which were influenced by the input from the two business partners who recognised the ingenuity of the ground-breaking Yamaha mono-shock technology and the mechanical ideas of talented engineer Joseph Paxau. The engine would come from the Italian Villa company and was based on the 125cc motocross engine mated to a Bultaco inspired cylinder. The very first prototype machines featured drum brakes front and rear for a brief period before the front was replaced with a Grimeca disc brake. The frame featured a single-shock system with the side plate footrest mounting points, which kept the machine very slim. Marzocchi front forks were fitted as the development team tested various rear shockers before deciding on the Corte Cosso unit linked to an aluminium swinging arm. It weighed 84kg and soon attracted the attention of Spanish world

At the Belgium FIM world round in 1987 a Spanish winning combination of Gabino Renales and Gas Gas gave the Gerona based manufacturer its first world round win on a very cold day.

Trial Magazine • February-March 2020

championship contenders Gabino Renales from Mecatechno and Andrew Codina from Montesa. Neither of these riders was sure what future they had with their current machines, and so tested the new Gas Gas, but Renales agreed on terms to compete in the 1986 FIM World Championship. A brilliant seventh place in the season-opening round in Belgium showed the machine’s potential. In their first year in the world championship, Renales had finished in 14th position and runner-up in the Spanish Championship.


With so much interest in the new machine, a small production run of 200 of the ‘Halley’ model was produced, and Andrew Codina had had no hesitation in signing to ride the machine in the 1987 FIM World Championship. The opening round was in Spain where the ‘new’ manufacturers were determined to put on

Taken in 2010 at the Italian world round, one half of the Gas Gas partnership was Joseph Pibernat, seen here on the left. On the right is the rider who gave them their first FIM trials world titles Jordi Tarres.

a good show, and Renales mounted the podium for the first time in third place. Seven days later, at the Belgian world round, they shocked the trials world when Renales gave Gas Gas their first-ever world round win. New ideas were continuously tried and tested to improve the machine’s performance. A short time later Codina just managed to beat Renales in the British world round, and they had two machines in the top ten. As the season closed, Renales had finished in tenth place overall, with Codina in 12th. Another larger batch of 400 machines was produced, and they all sold very quickly. A new machine was tested and was ready to be launched at the opening world round of the 1988 world championship in Spain.


As Renales moved to Montesa, it was decided to enter the world championship with just Codina,

It was good to see the other partner in the winning combination of Gas Gas, Narcis Casas seen here on the right, in Andorra in 2012 with Adam Raga. Adam was the protégé of Jordi Tarres and gave Gas Gas their first FIM indoor world titles from 2003 to 2006 and two outdoor FIM world titles, in 2005 and 2006.


Product Focus • Gas Gas In 1988 John Edward Shirt was, shall we say, in between jobs. The Yamaha years were over and his 17-year-old son John Richard Shirt was riding a factory supplied HRC four-stroke RTL in the trials. This picture was taken at the 1988 SSDT as ‘JES’ ponders on his future; very shortly a Gas Gas would arrive from Spain. The rest is history, as they say.

Always proud to be an innovator and not one to cut, copy and paste, Gas Gas built this aluminium prototype trials machine in the late 80s. Way ahead of its time, it featured the exhaust system as an integral part of the frame. It never made production.

who would assist with the development of the new machine. The other manufacturers were amazed at the progress with the new model from the small Spanish company. With a totally new frame the rear shock position had been lowered to give the machine better stability, and the weight was even lower at 81kg. Following the trend of the other manufacturers, floating front and rear disc brakes would be fitted at the front and rear. New crankcase castings to accommodate the six-speed gearbox would be machined at the Streit-JCM facility in France, and an aluminium rear silencer would be added. Red, white and blue aesthetics complemented the slim onepiece seat and fuel tank and red frame as plans were announced to produce 800 of the new models. The next target for the Gas Gas brand was the export market, the UK in particular. The younger Shirt JRS, who is seen here in the 1989 SSDT, would play a huge part in the success of the Spanish manufacturer.

A very early picture of the first water-cooled Gas Gas at the 1990 world round in Great Britain in the hands of Spain’s Lluis Gallach.



Both Joseph Pibernat and Narcis Casas were well aware of the trials engineer John E Shirt, based in the UK. He brought Yamaha back onto the world trials stage with the Majesty Yamaha-powered trials machine and had been heavily involved with the mono-shock trials programme in Japan. Through his contacts in the Speedway world, he had contacted Gas Gas to enquire about importing a sample of the new production machine to be sent to his UK headquarters in Buxton, Derbyshire for evaluation. After a meeting with the Spanish manufacturer, he was encouraged by the enthusiasm shown by them, and he would become a significant factor in the future of the Spanish company. He had worked with Nigel Birkett, sponsoring him on the Majesty Yamaha and mono-shock machines, and chose him to ride the machine in its first UK national trial at the Jack Wood on 7th August 1988. Stamped number ‘231’, this was the very first machine imported into the British Isles. February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine

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Product Focus • Gas Gas

Standing all its glory in this brochure shot is the 1994 Gas Gas 250cc. With the success of Tarres, the sales shot through the roof.

DELTA Spain loved a Spanish rider winning on a Spanish machine as Jordi Tarres is seen here competing on home ground in 1994. Tarres won three world titles for Gas Gas from 1993 to 1995.


Encouraged by the new machine’s performance, he placed an order for a small batch of the machines to be imported to his Buxton headquarters, which would retail at around the £3,000 mark, and Gas Gas UK was born. To help promote the new machine, Shirt hired the talented Tony Scarlett to ride alongside his young son John R Shirt in a new trials team. Gas Gas did not have the money to sign a top rider and focussed its finances on new machine production. In 1989, machining and production was carried out in Spain inside the now-defunct Merlin factory, as the machines remained unchanged apart from the aesthetics and minor changes to the specification. The order books had 1,300 machines in them as Gas Gas became the top-selling trials model in its home country for the first time. To test the 125cc market, a small run of 150 machines were produced using the old air-cooled Cagiva engines they acquired when they took over the Merlin factory. Air-cooled models were now out of fashion but, behind the closed doors of the Paxau workshop in the mountains above Gerona, a secret new water-cooled machine was under development.

Setting a new trademark for Gas Gas, a steel peripheral type of frame design was applied using the engine as a stressed member with a cast aluminium swinging arm. The new water-cooled 238cc engine was added, and the prototype weighed 80kg. The old air-cooled model would continue in production until the new water-cooled one was ready. Named the Delta, Spain’s Amos Bilbao would take the new machine to sixth place overall in the 1991 FIM World Championship, scoring points in every round. With all the models sharing similar components its official title would be the Delta GT available in 125cc, 250cc and 330cc engine sizes. A purple and lime-green colour scheme complemented a silver frame, which gave it a very distinctive appearance. It was the at the Milan show in Italy where the production machine was shown for the first time ready for the 1992 season. Air-cooled model production would last for one more year before it was dropped. 1992 would witness further development and the move to the red colour scheme. This machine was now a true world challenger, and Bilbao proved this potential with two wins, in Germany and America. Yellowcoloured 125cc and 160cc machines were added to complement the expanding range of trials models. Showing ability to innovate new ideas at the Spanish world round, the 330cc ridden by Bilbao featured a first for trials with its hydraulically operated clutch.


Mr ‘Showtime’ Steve Colley gave Gas Gas their first British Championship in 1995 and the first SSDT victory in 1997.


Two things happened in 1993 that would change the face of Gas Gas for the next few years. The first was the new model, which featured the new crankcase reed valve induction system, the hydraulic clutch, and very strong aesthetics starting with a steel chrome frame and red bodywork. The second was the arrival of the FIM World Trials Champion Jordi Tarres from the Italian Beta. It was the turning point in the Spanish manufacturer’s great history as Tarres continued his world trials championship success for the next three years, 1993 to 1995. The 250cc Contact ‘T’ model — the ‘T’ designation indicates Tarres — was a huge success, which further endorsed the Gas Gas name in the off-road world. The once small company from Gerona, Spain had turned into the brand chosen by the most riders wanting to ride worldwide, with solid sales. A four-model range was made up; the yellow for the 125cc, 160cc, red 250cc, and white for the 320cc. During this period, the hard work began to pay off for Gas Gas as the other manufacturers started to redesign their machines to keep up with the world leader in trials motorcycle design and development. 1994 would see the introduction of a new lower and lighter frame, and a separate removable tank cover with an evolution of all the ideas that Tarres wanted in a trials machine. The removable tank cover gave easier access to make light work of maintenance. On this machine, Tarres was virtually unbeatable. The company continued with the 125cc, 160cc and 250cc but the 320cc was dropped from the line-up to allow for more time to develop the 250. February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine

Gas Gas • Product Focus

The 250 machine took Tarres to a third and final world title in 1995 and gave Gas Gas their first UK title with the popular Manx-man, Steve Colley. JTR MODELS

With only small changes, 1995 saw a continuation of the previous year’s machine. Still, they did feature front forks manufactured in-house by Gas Gas as opposed to buying other manufacturers’ front forks, and a lightweight alloy rear subframe. The alloy swinging arm was now curved to allow for more suspension movement without sacrificing seat height. After many requests, the 320cc was also reintroduced. The 250 machine took Tarres to a third and final world title in 1995 and gave Gas Gas their first UK title with the popular Manx-man, Steve Colley. The company honoured the wellrespected Tarres for his world championship efforts and, in 1996, the machines were sold as JTR models the ‘Jordi Tarres Replica’. With such a proven product, development slowed down apart from general changes in suspension and styling. The blue 370 appeared, and the 270 model was introduced. They did, however, recognise the attraction of the younger riders and introduced smaller-capacity machines to the range. As Tarres’ riding career concluded at the top of the sport, a new young rider would arrive at Gas Gas — Adam Raga. As the company started to develop a new machine ,Tarres had taken Raga under his wing at a very early age to fine-tune his riding in readiness for this new radical model which was to challenge for the world title once again.

A young protégé of Narcis Casas and Jordi Tarres, Adam Raga gave Gas Gas four indoor FIM world titles from 2003 to 2006 and two outdoor FIM world titles in 2005 and 2006.


As early as 2001, pictures began to emerge of a completely new Gas Gas trials machine that was under development. The 1997 FIM World Champion, Marc Colomer, and Raga would be the test riders, under the guidance of Jordi Tarres. The engineer Josep Serra ‘Xiu’ started with a blank script for a new design of engine. It set new standards, with its compact size housing a six-speed gearbox featuring another first for trials, which was a three-disc diaphragm clutch similar to the design used in modern-day cars. The main bearing design allowed for it to run immersed in oil with the bearing sandwiched

Looking to address the emissions around the world of motorcycles the FIM asked the trials manufacturers to look at producing just four-stroke models. This is the 2007 side-valve Gas Gas four-stroke that never made production.

Trial Magazine • February-March 2020

between two seals and with a passage coming straight from the gearbox constantly lubricating the bearing. The steel frame was fabricated from sectional tubing to Gas Gas’s specification with a hard chrome-plated finish. The moulding for the airbox and seat unit was a two-piece composite item with the air intake at the front. They had even reduced the number of spokes in each wheel to 32, to bring the weight down to an incredible claimed 68kg. The new model was available in engine sizes of 125cc, 200cc, 250cc, 280cc and 300cc. The new machine would go into production in 2002 and be titled the Pro. Raga now had the tools to win, taking the FIM World Indoor Championship from 2003 to 2006. The pinnacle moment of his career was in 2005 and 2006 when he won the FIM World Championship. From 2008 to the present day the ‘Pro’ model would continually evolve over the years, mainly in the chassis development.

Two of the world’s best ever trials design engineers contributed to the success of Gas Gas in its early years. On the left is John E Shirt and on the right Joseph Paxau, who moved to Sherco; here they share their memories at the 2007 SSDT.


Product Focus • Gas Gas

In 2013 the order books were still full but the decline in world-wide sales was beginning to affect the trials world.

Full steam ahead as the Gas Gas production line is in full flow in 2008.

On Monday 18th May 2015 Gas Gas Motos, S.A. filed for insolvency in the Spanish courts


Despite a strong presence in both the competition world and in sales, the trials world was shocked when the Spanish manufacturer issued a statement in 2015: “On Monday 18th May 2015, Gas Gas Motos, S.A. filed for insolvency in the Spanish courts. In spite of all efforts to find a solution to the current financial situation, and to restructure the company, to date none has been found. In the coming weeks, a court-appointed trustee will take control of the company but, until that date, efforts continue to secure the investment required. In the event, this fails the court-appointed trustee will see that the company is sold, and we believe several parties are already involved in negotiations behind the scenes to acquire the company as a going concern”. It was a massive blow, and the factory doors were closed. In February 2016, an official statement about the acquisition of Gas Gas by the Torrot Group enabling them to take complete control of this new project was most welcome. The Gas Gas management was now putting the 54

In February 2016 an official statement about the acquisition of Gas Gas by the Torrot Group would enable them to take complete control. The Gas Gas management was now putting the infrastructure in place to come back into the world of off-road motorcycle production. They announced that they would produce 2000 machines in 2016.

infrastructure in place to come back into the world of off-road motorcycle production. They announced that they would produce 2,000 machines in 2016. Despite the continued success and with a cutting-edge machine, the future did not work out. As previously mentioned at the 2019 EICMA motorcycle show in Italy during the KTM Press Launch, they officially announced they had added the Gas Gas brand to the group that includes Husqvarna.

A massive show of commitment came at the opening round of the 2017 FIM Trial World Championship in Spain with this display of the international trials team.

Walking into the Gas Gas factory in Spain was welcomed by a line-up of the machines that had made the manufacturer so successful in the off-road world.

The last success in the FIM Trial World Championship came on an emotional day for Gas Gas in Japan 2018. Jeroni Fajardo had won on day one, and on day two Jaime Busto became the last Gas Gas rider to win them a world round.

February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine


Celebration • Traditional


SHEFFIELD #25 This 25th anniversary event to celebrate the Sheffield Indoor Trial was a very poignant moment, as it was run in joint memory of its founders, Martin Lampkin and Neil Crosswaite, who both passed away in recent times; Martin in 2016 and Neil in February 2019. Both families had worked together to ensure that a fitting event was delivered on this historic occasion, in celebration of the two men who were responsible for bringing a World Indoor Trial to the UK. From a chat in a pub, it evolved into a world-class event which they have hosted since the first indoor show at the Arena in Sheffield on 6th January 1996. They did not disappoint at Sheffield #25 as the ten invited riders all put on a show that both families were very proud of, in late December 2019. The undisputed ‘King’ of trials, Toni Bou, arrived in Great Britain with his thoughts focused on another win at Sheffield. The Repsol Honda team rider showed no change in his excellent winning form, taking a hugely popular victory in front of his two fellow Spanish rivals Adam Raga (TRRS) and Jaime Busto (Vertigo) as the ‘home’ fans cheered a new rising star, Toby Martyn (TRRS) to fourth place. Words and images: Trials Media

Toni Bou (Repsol Honda-ESP)

Adam Raga (TRRS-ESP)

Trial Magazine • February-March 2020



Traditional • Celebration

Toni Bou (Repsol Honda-ESP) and Adam Raga (TRRS-ESP) were never far apart.



This year marked the dominant Toni Bou’s 14th win in total at Sheffield. It was his fourth consecutive victory, having last been beaten at the famous Yorkshire venue by his constant rival Adam Raga (TRRS) back in 2016. Once again it was Raga who was Bou’s closest challenger on the night, finishing as the eventual runner-up after having thrown the gauntlet down in the qualifying heat by pushing his fellow Spanish rider down to second. CHALLENGING

Using its own rules and a separate format — as it is no longer included in the FIM X-Trial World Championship series — it still provides a very challenging and intense night of competition. The six man-made hazards are made from a selection of natural materials including some local Sheffield-manufactured steel, huge Michelin tyres, Rock Oil steel drums, rocks and logs, which are all located to make the passage of the riders as testing as possible. A dual-lane race is also included to decide starting positions, which adds to the evening’s entertainment. A new format for the event would see the action open with the four young riders Toby Martyn, the Peace brothers Dan and Jack joined by the Spanish rider Pau Martinez, to battle it out for two places in the main event alongside the six pre-selected riders. These eight riders would then compete in the heats where the best four would proceed to the final. A one-minute time allowance also added to the action, with riders penalised a single mark for every minute that exceeded this allowance. These same hazards would be ridden in the reverse direction in the final, where a dual-lane race again decided the starting positions.


Jaime Busto (Vertigo-ESP)

Without a doubt the Star of the night was Toby Martyn (TRRS-GBR).

February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine

Celebration • Traditional

James Dabill (Beta-GBR) just missed out on qualifying for the final on the time element.


In the four-rider opening ‘shoot-out’ it was Cornwall’s Toby Martyn (TRRS) who had the patriotic crowd shouting for him and his fellow Brit, Jack Peace, who made their way through to join the other six riders in the qualifying. The hazards proved more demanding than in recent times, and soon the atmosphere became more tense as everyone knew a drop in form could see them fall outside of the top four positions that would proceed to the final. As the eventual top-three finishers, Toni Bou, Adam Raga and Jaime Busto, all made mistakes conceding five-mark penalties in their total scores on the way to the final, the crowd knew the action would be close. The patriotic crowd wanted to see a good showing from the British Trials Champion Jack Price (Gas Gas) and James Dabill (Beta), but along with Spain’s Jeroni Fajardo (Sherco) they failed to make an impact at the event. Great Britain’s young star Toby Martyn (TRRS) would be the fourth rider to make the final. The young British rider had successfully passed through the qualifying phases to make it to the final four in the fight for the podium, finishing the qualifying in third position. Jaime Busto only just made it into the four-rider final by beating local hero Dabill in a nail-biting tie-decider that brought a premature end to Dabill’s night. It was decided by the time element, where Busto was just 7.6 seconds faster than Dabill over the fourth hazard. Adam Raga had pushed Toni Bou off the top spot by two marks in the qualifying despite losing three time-mark penalties, making for what looked like a very competitive four-rider final.

Jack Price (Gas Gas-GBR)

Trial Magazine • February-March 2020

Jack Peace (Sherco-GBR)

Jeroni Fajardo (Sherco-ESP)


With the hazards ridden in the reverse direction, some would prove harder and some easier, as we would soon find out. Busto would be the first to go followed by Martyn, Bou and then Raga, who had the advantage of watching his main rival. Adam was in immediate trouble though, as he stopped in the opening hazard while Bou remained ‘feet up’ and was looking very confident. In the second hazard, Adam tried to fight back, but once again, Toni was edging out an advantage with his controlled riding. Adam knew the stop in the opening hazard would be critical, and he was proved correct as he could not pull back the advantage Bou had. Looking very confident the undisputed King of Sheffield remained calm and his single-mark loss in the final hazard secured victory as Raga failed to pass through it.


FINAL: 1: Toni Bou (Repsol-Honda-ESP) 10; 2: Adam Raga (TRRS-ESP) 17; 3: Jamie Busto (Vertigo-ESP) 25; 4: Toby Martyn (TRRS-GBR) 28. QUALIFICATION: 1: Adam Raga (TRRS-ESP) 14; 2: Toni Bou (Repsol-Honda-ESP) 16; 3: Toby Martyn (TRRS-GBR) 25; 4: Jamie Busto (Vertigo-ESP) 26; 5: James Dabill (Beta-GBR) 26; 6: Jeroni Fajardo (Sherco-ESP) 27; 7: Jack Price (Gas Gas-GBR) 30 and Jack Peace (Sherco-GBR) 30. SHOOT OUT: 1: Toby Martyn (TRRS-GBR) 0; 2: Jack Peace (Sherco-GBR) 2; 3: Pau Martinez (Vertigo-ESP) 6; 4: Dan Peace (Sherco-GBR) 11.

The podium riders celebrate another successful indoor with the Crosswaite and Lampkin families. John Hulme: “I would like to personally thank both families for the last 25 years of this world-class event. They should be very proud of what they gave to the trials world in the quality of the event, both of entertainment and riders; thank you”.


Traditional • Celebration

1996–1999 Dougie Lampkin (Beta-GBR)

2000–2002 & 2004 Dougie Lampkin (Montesa-GBR)

2003 Albert Cabestany (Beta-ESP)


BOU: STEEL-CITY KING With fourteen wins to his name Toni Bou can quite rightly to claim the ‘Steel-City King’ title. Dougie Lampkin stands proud with eight wins, Adam Raga has two and Albert Cabestany one. Pictures: Colin Bullock and Trials Media


2005 Adam Raga (Gas Gas-ESP)

2007–2015 Toni Bou (Repsol Honda-ESP)

2006 Toni Bou (Beta-ESP)


2016 Adam Raga (TRRS-ESP)

1996: Dougie Lampkin (Beta-GBR) 1997: Dougie Lampkin (Beta-GBR) 1998: Dougie Lampkin (Beta-GBR) 1999: Dougie Lampkin (Beta-GBR) 2000: Dougie Lampkin (Montesa-GBR) 2001: Dougie Lampkin (Montesa-GBR) 2002: Dougie Lampkin (Montesa-GBR) 2003: Albert Cabestany (Beta-ESP) 2004: Dougie Lampkin (Montesa-GBR) 2005: Adam Raga (Gas Gas-ESP) 2006: Toni Bou (Beta-ESP) 2007: Toni Bou (Montesa-ESP) 2008: Toni Bou (Montesa-ESP) 2009: Toni Bou (Montesa-ESP) 2010: Toni Bou (Montesa-ESP) 2011: Toni Bou (Montesa-ESP) 2012: Toni Bou (Montesa-ESP) 2013: Toni Bou (Montesa-ESP) 2014: Toni Bou (Montesa-ESP) 2015: Toni Bou (Montesa-ESP) 2016: Adam Raga (TRRS-ESP) 2017: Toni Bou (Montesa-ESP) 2018: Toni Bou (Montesa-ESP) 2019: Toni Bou (Montesa-ESP) 2019: Toni Bou (Montesa-ESP) #25

2017–2019 Toni Bou (Repsol Honda-ESP)

February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine


Photograph courtesy of Red Bull Media


Flashback • KTM T

Walter Luft was the first rider to attempt the Scottish Six Days Trial in 1976 on the KTM from Austria.

KTM IN TRIALS Kraftfahrzeuge Trunkenpolz Mattighofen

In the off-road world of modern times, KTM stands loud and proud and are best known for their motocross, enduro and rally raid machines. As the European market leaders who also have Husqvarna under their arm, with the acquisition of the Gas Gas brand the Austrian marque now can add a trials model to its range. It is not their first move into the motorcycle trials market as we ‘Flashback’ here to an ambitious project that began during the ’70s and ended with the KTM 325T trials machine. Yes, a KTM trials machine was a reality... some 43 years ago! Words: Alexandre Arnaud, Matthew Heppleston and John Hulme • Pictures: Andy Gregory, Eric Kitchen, A2, DR, Moto Verde, Iain Lawrie and Yoomee Archive

Dominating the machine that German Felix Krahnstover rode in the 1978 SSDT is the huge fuel tank and cylinder barrel.


You can just see the KTM, second from the right on the front row, at the 1977 Scottish Six Days Trial in the ‘Parc Ferme’. It looks very comfortable amongst its Japanese and Spanish rivals.

February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine

KTM T • Flashback

If you inspect the machine closer, despite the ‘Production’ appearance you can see it’s still very much a prototype.


ewind the clock to 1975 when the big boss at the Austrian manufacturer, Erich Trukenpolz, the T in KTM, was the originator of the motorcycle trials project. The country’s trials specialist at the time was Walther Luft, who was also an excellent rider and engineer, and Erich was able to convince him to come and work in the factory at Mattighofen, Austria. Luft had already worked with another Austrian motorcycle manufacturer, Puch, and during his time with them had produced a superb, innovative and superlight 250cc trials machine. Luft agreed to join KTM in the hope of seeing his ideas reach production as his efforts at Puch hadn’t gone beyond the doors of the research-and-development department of the rival Austrian manufacturer.

On his way to 30th position at the 1978 SSDT is Felix Krahnstover; he would return to his first love, Montesa in 1979.

of machines headed by Mick Andrews. Now, there could be another motorcycle manufacturer trying to capture a share of the market as the Austrian factory was already a big player in motocross and enduro. It was now time for KTM to enter the trials race. In early 1975, Walther Luft had started work in earnest on the trials project with many new ideas in mind. As he had done at Puch before, he was obliged to start the basis of the project with an existing engine. He worked in close cooperation with the other KTM engineers, with Heinrich Wieditz heading the team. Luft was to develop a machine that didn’t have the ambition of being revolutionary in concept but one which was to provide a credible alternative to the hugely popular Bultaco, Sherpa and Montesa Cota models, amongst others. Along with strong global sales, they also had the competition pedigree of providing winners in the new FIM Trial World Championship, which had been upgraded from the European Championship to the full FIM title in 1975, when Martin Lampkin had won for Bultaco.

“The 240cc engine size was selected to take advantage of the VAT situation in France, which at the time was a very important market factor…”


The ‘big’ three in the trials world were the very successful Spanish factories of Bultaco, Montesa and Ossa, who were already in fierce competition with the Japanese in this market sector in the mid-seventies. Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha had already laid their cards on the table with production machines. Notably, it was Yamaha who had already made significant inroads to the clubman market with its superb TY range


Walther Luft selected the engine from the KTM 400GS enduro machine with an actual cylinder capacity of 355cc as the starting point for the trials engine. He chose it for its big flywheel and inherent inertia, and it was reduced in capacity to 240cc with a 70mm bore and 62mm stroke, which was the same as the enduro model. The 240cc engine size was selected to take advantage of the VAT situation in France, which at the time was a very important market factor as

This is Walter Luft’s KTM at the 1978 ‘Scottish’. On closer inspection you will see many changes to the machine that Krahnstover rode.

Trial Magazine • February-March 2020

On Krahnstover’s KTM the flywheel casing was much narrower. We believe this is the 324.7cc engine.





Flashback • KTM T

During the ’70s Walter Luft was one of the most innovative motorcycle trials engineers in the world at the two Austrian manufacturers Puch and then KTM.

Using the good-old English ‘Body-lean’: Luft on the KTM in the 1978 SSDT.

machines exceeding 240cc were heavily taxed. A heavier flywheel magneto was fitted along with a lower geared primary transmission: 20/73 for the trials project as against 25/69 of the GS enduro machine. The clutch was modified to use just four drive plates, and the six enduro ratio gears were also retained. In particular, Luft made use of the engineering exercise to reduce the cooling fins of the cylinder and head to save weight. According to KTM, the engine developed between 17 and 18bhp, and between 7,500 and 7,800rpm, which was slightly less than the Bultaco Sherpa 350 or Montesa Cota 348 models which were the reference machines of the time. The bigger engines of the Spanish opposition also had more low-down power.


FELIX KRAHNSTOVER In 1978 Felix Krahnstover was employed by KTM to work alongside Walther Luft and Heinrich Wieditz to develop the machine. In 2010 Trial Magazine spoke with Felix about his memories of his time at the factory. Article: Matthew Heppleston • Pictures: A2, DR and Moto Verde

Felix joined the team as the rider charged with developing the KTM in competition. He was already the ten-times German Champion and a regular World round competitor. He told us that the development engineer Heinrich Wieditz came from the Zundapp factory, and the whole project was based on Heinrich’s Zundapp frame concept


and the bottom end of KTM’s enduro engine. Unfortunately, Heinrich had no idea about trials, but with help from Walther Luft, he could get the engine to develop power wherever it was wanted. The 240cc engine had more than sufficient power for the trials of the time. If it did have a problem, it was that the power delivery was not as smooth as the Montesa that Felix had been riding before. To calm the enduro power delivery, a number of new sleeves with different porting configurations were tested over the season. They also used a Bing carburettor which, despite not being as good as the Amal which was the benchmark of the time, did at least stay in tune longer thanks to improved materials. Given its enduro heritage, the KTM was a little taller and a little wider than was optimum. The suspension was as good as the standard for the time, with Marzocchi front forks and shocks for the rear suspension. Felix mentioned that there were no real innovations introduced during the development as the project was to create a viable machine for sale and, as such, everything was costdriven. There were not the funds available to start with a clean sheet of paper, as many outsiders had first thought.

Clearly, the machine did have pretty good potential though, as Felix finished in 10th place and earned a world championship point at the German round held in May. He also won the German championship once again. Before starting out on the development project, KTM had asked its worldwide importer network what the potential sales were, and the total came to around 10,000 machines per year. However, before committing to the expensive task of producing tooling, they asked the same question again, and the result was nearer 1,000 units! This effectively killed the project stone dead.

February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine

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KTM T • Flashback

It was thanks to a good friend of Trial Magazine, Andy Gregory, that this picture came to life. We often wonder why the cylinder barrel was taken off the KTM!

Luft created one of his signature tubular steel frames to house the engine in a double down-tube cradle type frame protected by a Teflon sump guard. It was a very traditional design that used Ceriani front forks and Girling rear shocks with conical wheel hubs, helping with the weight saving. The finished prototype machine weighed only 85kg but appeared to be much heavier as the large, flat-sided aluminium fuel tank, and red paintwork did nothing to help the aesthetics.


As 1975 drew to a close, the KTM trials model was finally ready for competitive action at the beginning of 1976 season. The attraction of the new KTM trials machine had the trials world waiting in anticipation as they wanted to view the expertise of the Austrian motorcycle manufacturer and the well-founded engineering reputation of Walther Luft. The excellent rider and engineer was to develop the machine in competition during the season, and he competed in a number of trials in Austria, some European championship rounds and the legendary Scottish Six Days Trial, which is deemed as the ultimate testing ground for any trials motorcycle. Even if Walther didn’t break the mould with his riding abilities and technical finesse, he kept the 250T development in a positive direction. Not able to challenge the likes of top riders such as Yrjo Vesterinen, Martin Lampkin, Malcolm Rathmell or Bernie Schreiber he nevertheless managed to finish in a fine 11th position in the final round held in Czechoslovakia. The 1977 season saw some evolutions, with the appearance of a banana-shaped swinging arm to increase rear suspension travel and more practical polyester fuel tank. The engine received a massive 34mm Bing carburettor and an increase in capacity to 324.7cc with a 78mm bore x 68mm stroke, giving a claimed output of 22bhp @ 6,500rpm. To help support Walther Luft with the ongoing development, they signed the German champion Felix Krahnstover from Montesa, who at 2.05m tall would make good use of the extra power. He was a good rider who would give KTM more visibility on the international scene, which was rewarded some favourable results.

“Krahnstover worked hard throughout the 1977 trials season when he once again became the German Champion, and he took a fine 10th position in his homeworld round which was by far the best result obtained by KTM.” Trial Magazine • February-March 2020

Taking a strong ‘dab’ at the top of the legendary ‘Pipeline’ hazard in the 1978 is Walter Luft, who finished with a Special First Class award in 38th position.


At the end of the 1977 season at the Milan Show, KTM officially presented the 325T on their show stand. To say that it was pretty would be an exaggeration, but neither was its Spanish rivals. Fantic and SWM had also been attracted to the trials world. They presented their new models which looked very functional, but more importantly, were also cosmetically attractive to the buying public! The KTM was finished in grey and blue with an extended seat and the bigger 324.7cc engine. Technically it had changed; it was tidied up from the prototype with the addition of Marzocchi rear shocks and appeared ready for production even if this was never to be the case. Krahnstover worked hard throughout the 1977 trials season when he once again became the German Champion, and he took a fine 10th position in his homeworld round which was by far the best result obtained by KTM. The machine had been developed further by the addition of a smaller fuel tank, a new exhaust system and an aluminium swinging arm. It looked very functional, but it was not convincing in the trials world, where fashion is king. Even if the Spanish manufacturers, with their ageing product line, seemed unable to resist the new and ambitious Italian manufacturers, the trials market was judged to be far too small by Erich Trukenpolz who preferred to see his teams concentrate on the core business of motocross and enduro. The boss declared a definitive end to the KTM 325T project at the end of the year. Trial Magazine would like to thank Eric Kitchen and Ian Lawrie for going that extra ‘mile’ to support this article with some very rare, old pictures: EK, thank you. 69

Flashback • KTM T



The KTM 325T featured here is one of only four development models from the project. One example is still in Austria and the other three went to Italy, where the importer Farioli had recovered the machines when KTM first went into liquidation in the early 1990s. Arnaldo Farioli still has one and another was sold to an old mechanic, and the featured one here belongs to Piero Gambirasio, a KTM dealer in Bergamo, Italy. How did he get the bike? Quite simply he exchanged it for a KTM 250 ‘military’ model that Farioli wanted for his collection. Words: Alexandre Arnaud, Matthew Heppleston and John Hulme • Pictures: A2, DR and Moto Verde

GREAT ESCAPE: One of the four models in existence to escape to a safe home, this KTM 325T stands proud in its orange and white aesthetics.

CLASSIC LOOKS: Elegant in its 1978 version, the T325 model took its inspiration from the best of the day. Marzocchi front forks, Koni rear shocks and a polyester fuel tank, this KTM was well equipped for the time. The sales figures didn’t add up though and KTM killed the project MUSEUM: The first European motorcycle museum suffered a massive blow in 2015 when damage caused by a thunderstorm closed the museum for nine months. Now very much improved and refurbished, inside you can find a stunning collection of rare and small-production trials models such as another KTM T325, Villa ‘Everest’, Puch ‘Yeti’ and Wassel ‘Antilope’ to name but a few, alongside many other famous manufacturers. Famous trials memorabilia is also on display.

CYLINDER: Just check out the huge cooling fins on the aluminium cylinder barrel from the Enduro machine. A thick Teflon sump guard protects the engine. HARTWIG KAMARAD: If you want to visit the museum then you can find all the contact details below: we believe it’s by appointment only.

ENDURO RANGE: Conical hubs from the KTM Enduro model range laced to Akront flangeless aluminium wheel rims endorsed the use of quality products.

EUROPÄISCHE MOTORRAD TRIAL MUSEUM PVC TUBES: This photo shows one of the original features from the prototypes: two rigid PVC tubes to protect the chain, which were also fitted to the Montesa at the time.


PROTO T: A KTM engine in a trials motorcycle; no you are not dreaming, it did exist! It featured a smaller cylinder and carburettor, flywheel magneto, different gearing and in ‘Men’s terms’ was a real prototype machine.


Web: www.webermichl.at/museum/ Weinbergstraße 66, 4694 Ohlsdorf, Austria Telephone: +43 7612 47026, E-Mail: trialgarten@ts1.at

February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine

Reflection • Gas Gas UK

1988 — A NEW ERA



A NEW CHAPTER There are some things in my life I feel very privileged to be a part of. One of them is the Shirt family. My enduring relationship started with John Edward Shirt and his lovely wife, Margaret, in the late ’70s, both as friends and sponsors. As the years moved on, my relationship continued with their son, also called John, as the business continued to grow. From the early years of the Majesty Yamaha days, and the game-changing mono-shock Yamaha to the Spanish Gas Gas in 1988, we think you will agree it’s been an adventure. The Yamaha years have been well documented before and, yes, we have touched on the Gas Gas UK story as well. As we move into 2020, a new chapter in the Shirt family book will start as the Gas Gas brand changes direction and so does the future of the business. As the saying goes ‘as one door closes, another one opens’; a very true statement if you look at the past history of the Shirts importing motorcycles, parts and accessories into the UK. Over these next four pages we take a brief look through the eyes of the camera at the life and times of Gas Gas UK from 1988–2019, a history of 31 years of importing the Spanish brand onto the UK shores; something to reflect on I am sure you will agree. Words: John Hulme • Pictures: Many of the pictures seen here are from the Shirt family album. Others are from the following contributors: John Hulme, Eric Kitchen, Dennis Fowler and Toon Van De Vliet



February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine

Gas Gas UK • Reflection


1989 SSDT

1989 250cc TIME



Trial Magazine • February-March 2020

1991 WTC




Gas Gas UK • Reflection


1993 SSDT


2007 SNR

Trial Magazine • February-March 2020

1996 — GERMANY





Reflection • Gas Gas UK

2008 TEAM



2015 TEAM




2017 TEAM

2019 TEAM

February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine

Travelling man • Andy Perry


In my view, the very fact we get out on our motorcycles in some of the most beautiful countryside with our closest friends is paradise. To get to do all this in a location that just about everyone on the planet earth would class as paradise is life-changing; but how did all this come about? Back to 2018 and I’m at the biggest and most amazing trial in the world, the Scottish Six Days Trial in Fort William Scotland. I’m walking down the West End car park on a wet and fairly miserable Monday morning for the start of another awesome week of motorcycles, beer, friends, more beer and some of the most amazing scenery in the world. As I ‘rock up’ to my machine I have a good look around to see who I recognise and which good riders I’d like to catch up with or fall back with to hopefully get a flow going, as you do. My eye caught a guy sitting on his machine shivering with a very light – at best showerproof – jacket on, no base layers or proper protection from the elements! The jacket had Costa Rica printed down the breast; the guy was swarthy skinned, so it was a wild guess he wasn’t a local… Words: Andy Perry and Trials Media • Pictures: Team Costa Rica, Trials Media and Ronald Acuna


February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine

Andy Perry • Travelling man

This is the original crew that went out to validate the course in Costa Rica in December 2018.


introduced myself: “Hi, I am Andy from Ireland” and he did the same, “Felipe Koberg from Costa Rica” he replied. I asked, did he not have a Goretex jacket or any other layers to keep him warm. He replied “No, we don’t use jackets where I am from. I rode last year in 2017, and the weather was great, so I didn’t think I’d need one”. Luckily my lodgings for the ‘Scottish’ week are just across from start area in the West End car park, so I ran up quickly and got him another jacket, and said that I understood he had travelled a long way so if he needed anything just ask and if I had it he could use it.

usual social media channels, and we filled each other in on what we did for a living, and here there were a lot of ‘comparables’ in our lives. He’s a super-easy guy to get on with and loves the sport of motorcycle trials, which makes him a top bloke in my eyes.

Without the support of the likes of Spain’s Carlos Casa the dream of the trial in Costa Rica would not have happened.


As the week went on, we bumped into each other here and there, and I would ask how was he getting on. He always replied he was doing well but struggling with the cold, and he had injured his arm so was trying to keep it mobile while also trying to protect it from further injury. All I could think was ‘what a guy; over here on his own and competing in one of the toughest events in the world because he felt the need to do better than he had done the year before’. I could relate to this, as anyone who has ever ridden the Scottish Six Day will know, the event is the ultimate test of man and machine, and the goal is always to better your own personal best every time you compete. But to travel halfway around the world and spend all the time, money and effort that he had done deserved respect and, at the very least, a friendly bit of support and guidance. Now I know him much better and if I had to describe the man in a few words they would have to be: focused, strong, determined, fit, brave and kind – in fact, a lovely man. He battled through the week which wasn’t great weather-wise, even coming from an Irishman, but it must have felt like a week at the South Pole for him being that his home country temperature was in the middle to high forties when he left! He accepted the advice I offered where I felt it was useful and was super grateful that our sport is full of guys all looking out for each other and making sure that he enjoyed his week sharing time with myself and other likeminded guys. After the ‘Scottish’ we kept in touch via the

Trial Magazine • February-March 2020

Here at Trial Magazine we would like to say thank you to our good friends Yrjo Vesterinen (left) and Andy Perry for bringing this report alive with their superb contributions.

Andy Perry prepares to defy death under the wheels of Pat Smage to entertain the locals!


Travelling man • Andy Perry

Andy Perry and, the young star of the FIM Trial World Championship, Aniol Gelabert prepare for the raft ride of their life. Hire machines were available, including the TRRS.

You will get wet in one of the many rivers!

All aboard the floating paradise.


As time went on, Felipe told me he came from an enduro background and had taken up trials for more of a challenge. He informed me that they have an enduro event in Costa Rica with over 1,000 riders and that there were only around 30–40 trials bikes in the country, but with extreme enduro getting bigger and riders like Graham Jarvis, Jonny Walker and Billy Bolt all coming from a trials background more and more enduro riders are keen to learn the new techniques from the sport of trials. He said it would be a great location to run a big event, as the terrain is perfect and the country is very open to new international events. This accelerated very quickly from an idea to receiving photos and videos of the type of sections and terrain as he envisaged his idea becoming a reality and he was keen to get feedback from his trials friends from around the world. Over the next few months, he contacted a number of riders of various levels from Spain, France, Latin America and, of course, good-old Ireland to see if we would be prepared to travel over and see the course that he would like the event to be held on – that was a 100 per cent ‘yes’ from me! I think we all thought this could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and jumped at the offer. I spoke to my good friend and ex-world trials sensation Rob Crawford and he loved the idea, so we both jumped on the plane and off we went.

“…set about the epic task of clearing tracks and rivers through the dense jungle to roll out and discover the most amazing sections; most of which are waterfalls varying from one metre upwards” sky’s the limit! They arranged for local riders to lend us their machines to do the inspection of the course, and we all filled a card in to register our views on the 90 sections they had marked out. We scored each one of the 90 sections from 1–3; 1 being a good section for all levels, 2 being hard but achievable and 3 being pro level only. We also listed sections that were either too hard or too dangerous, but there were only 2 or 3 of these in the 90 sections and made for some great video of what went wrong! The course was just about perfect and, with a few tweaks, it was agreed it was a fantastic test for any level of rider. The group then sat at the end of the three days and analysed the course along with everything that we felt would need to be included in the package and what riders would expect from such an exotic experience.


Felipe and his buddy, Gustavo Jop, along with a small number of local helpers, set about the epic task of clearing tracks and rivers through the dense jungle to roll out and discover the most amazing sections; most of which are waterfalls varying from one metre upwards and, as they say, the 80

Dancing the day away as the locals entertain the visiting foreigners.

February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine

Travelling man • Andy Perry

Always keep an eye out for deep rock pools; you were warned.

One of the organiser vans, shall we say fully loaded.


Moving on to August 2019, and Felipe had been super busy getting crates made for machine transport, agreements in place for the transport and hotels booked to accommodate the riders. Things moved very fast and, with it being the first running of the event, he was constantly on the move dealing with every aspect of this epic event. This is not a small task for the largest of well-oiled clubs and, for a one-man-band that hadn’t even run a club event, this was a huge task to take on. Still, with Felipe in the driving seat, it was never going to be anything other than a success and nothing else would do for this man and his small team of merry helpers. I flew into Costa Rica on Thursday the 21st November. Felipe had a busy schedule planned, with the first press event, which I performed at on my own, happening at the local Honda/ Repsol HQ on the Friday. With all the local press and TV companies present, I put on a little demonstration to show them what our sport was about and welcome them all to the following two press events taking place on the Saturday at the national sports stadium. This is a huge venue, and I was joined at this one by the USA number one, Pat Smage, along with Aniol Gelabert, Pau Martinez and the beautiful Ladies’ FIM world number two, Berta Abellan. It made for a fantastic show to the public as well as the press and made a huge impact with the locals.

Beach life.


Monday saw the last press event, happening again at the stadium, and then we all parted ways, with Felipe, Spanish legend Carlos Casas, Australian rider Matthew Hannaford and myself making the three-hour drive to the location of the trial in Nandayure where the first two days of the event would take place. With the event starting on Friday and three days of trials to mark out we didn’t waste any time and as soon as we arrived in the early afternoon, we got changed to head out on to the proposed course. Carlos had been working on the course via video link and photos prior to our arrival and, to be fair to him, he had a clear plan of what he

wanted to do so he led the way as we headed out to mark out the course where Matthew and I simply did what was needed to assist Carlos to achieve the course he wanted. We finished Monday riding home in the pitch black of the jungle darkness following the local Sherpa guide Jossmann back to the hotel for a well-earned beer! Carlos had arranged for all the local observers, (remember this was Costa Rica’s first-ever trial, so no one had ever observed a section before), to go through the rules and give them all allocated section numbers etc., which went on for over two hours. Matthew and I had to drink beer the whole time while waiting for Carlos to finish so we could go for dinner.

On the ‘rocks’ with Andy Perry.

Friends for life.


February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine

FEBRUARY 15-16, 2020


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Andy Perry • Travelling man

Entertainment was all around.


The next morning we were up at 6.00am and on the road for 8.00am to start marking the next part of the course. We worked until around 4.00pm before we all got too tired in the heat and humidity to keep going, so we called it a day and decided that we would finish off the course at that side of the mountain the next morning before riding the 30km trail over to where the main hotels were and the last day’s trial would take place. Again, it was up nice and early on Wednesday, and we hit the trail hard. We finished the first two days of the trial by lunch and headed straight over to the last day’s course. With time running out, we hit a snag with the first river ravine, as the river was simply too slippery to use which ruled out half of the course for the last day. The decision was made to move on and mark the second half of the day out; we would address the first half problem tomorrow — a day we had earmarked for relaxing before the signing-on ceremony in the afternoon. The next day Carlos said Matthew and I could take the day off and he would finish the course with Felipe. This came as a great relief as we

Secure parking for the machines was provided in the Parc Ferme.

Trial Magazine • February-March 2020

Happy Days.

were both exhausted and still had to do another show for the locals that night after the riders’ parade. It gave us both the time we needed to get our machines ready for the event and sort the arena course out for that night’s activity. The rider presentation went very well, and the locals turned out in their masses to see the riders do their parade of the town before we finished the night with another well-supported show over the now well-practised arena trial kit, which Felipe had made specifically for the shows after asking me to send drawings of what I wanted.


Friday – or day one – had finally arrived, and the riders all showed up at ‘Parc Ferme’ which overlooked the beautiful white sandy beach as we looked at the riders with smiles and nervous excitement written over their faces. The temperature was already in the low thirties and the humidity was very high. The trail out to the first sections was around 30– 35km and a very pleasant ride, with the breeze of the wind and the heat making it fly past. The first group of nine sections was up a

very warm, humid, slippery river and, as with any trial, all you could do was work your way through them one by one. To be fair, this was very hard work, and we had soon earned our lunch stop, which was on top of the mountain and overlooked all of the land nearly 360 degrees around you – beautiful! The hard ‘Red’ route had some testing sections and, while not being stupid-hard, they did require a lot of thought. After lunch, we had another 12 testing sections and, at the end of the final one, it was a long ride back to the hotel. I spent most of the day with my Australian buddy, Matt, who I was also sharing a room with, and the ‘craic’, as the Irish call it, made the week fly by. We hung tight with ex-world champ, Yrjo Vesterinen, and multiple ACU British Sidecar Champion, Robin Luscombe, who, despite struggling a little with the heat, had been riding fantastically and both kept each other going, which was great to see. I lost track of the other Expert riders but had heard that they had all lost marks throughout the day, so I was delighted for Carlos as this proved his course was perfect because no one went clean!

Many hazards were found on the rocky headlands above the beach.


Travelling man • Andy Perry

It’s Jurassic time.


With a few of the riders physically exhausted on day one and with the knowledge that the course followed the same trail out to the far side of the mountain, a few expressed they were a little worried that two tough days in this heat would be too much. Still, after assuring them that the second day’s trial would be much easier physically, they relaxed, and the atmosphere changed from panic to laughter and joy. This was the summary of the second day, and everyone seemed to enjoy the sections, despite them being harder as the rock in the rivers was very grippy sandstone which allowed us to get away with much bigger steps. This included a huge high waterfall that looked like

The fuel stop, Costa Rica style.

it should have been super-slippery but rode like a main road, even though everyone rode it with clenched backside cheeks. The lunch stop was in one of the local villages, where we were met by the local mayor and welcomed in with a traditional little band playing local instruments and bringing a great atmosphere to the break. The mayor, who I had met the year before, asked me if we could perform a little demo for the locals and so Berta, Aniol and myself put on a little performance to show the locals our appreciation for their kind


DIFFERENT The Jurassic 3-Day Trial in Costa Rica was advertised as an adventure as well as a trial. This event was the brainchild of one man and his passion, Felipe Koberg. Yrjo Vesterinen records his travels

Yrjo Vesterinen (FIN) with Robin Luscombe (GBR)


hospitality, which they all really enjoyed. Lunch was followed by the now-famous raft ride in the jungle. The raft was made of 6 x 200 litre Repsol oil drums fastened to a metal frame and accommodated three or four at a time over the deep water, and made for a brilliant spectacle and talking point of the whole event. Day two was a huge success. By this stage, the riders had got used to the heat and the local way of life. Once again Carlos had done it, again with a fantastic course, and again no one went clean!

Felipe had ridden in Europe and even participated in the SSDT and now wanted to introduce trials in his home country. To make this trial happen, he needed riders from all around the world, as there weren’t enough riders for a trial of this calibre in the whole of the Central American states put together. Another problem that needed to be addressed was that there were not enough machines there for the riders who wished to hire one for the event. Felipe’s solution: buy as many new ones as required. This would create a second-hand market of nearly-new machines at a more affordable price to the local riders. For those who wanted to have their machines shipped out, this was also organised by Felipe. The course had to be set in pristine jungle as no other suitable areas were available. Felipe obviously knew that he needed help from experienced people to set the course out. Very sensibly, he teamed up with Robert Crawford initially and then with Andy Perry and Carlos Casas, who did an incredible job. The observers came from the local community and had to be trained in the rules of trials. Myself and Robin Luscombe – and our wives – set off early one cold November morning to start our adventure. After a long flight, we arrived at a warm and sunny San Jose airport in late afternoon. The following morning we drove to Playa Carillo, the trial headquarters, and the next day we were taken by coach to a town some 40 kilometres away to pick up our rented machines. Robin and I were given new TRRS 300cc models, which was a bit daunting after riding Pre-65 ones for the past few years! There was then a parade and introduction of riders watched by a large crowd of locals. Friday morning welcomed 30-degree heat and high humidity for an early start and a 120km ride with 20 sections. Before Robin and I managed to get to the first section, we got an idea of what

February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine

Andy Perry • Travelling man

Global entertainment was free.


The rumours had been true and after the two days, Carlos had been busy marking out what was to be the icing on the cake for this already amazing event. Two laps of 10 awesome sections, all within 30 minutes of the Parc Ferme and along some of the most unreal seafront views with the Pacific Ocean lapping and crashing over the rocks right beside the hazards made for some of the best sections I have ever ridden. This trial was superb, as Carlos had done what every clerk of the course

was to come. Very steep mountain paths were barely wide enough for one motorcycle; riders getting stuck in the ruts and not enough room to get past them. By the time we got to the first section, I was already knackered and pouring with sweat! The 20 sections that we did on the first day were mainly waterfalls. Some of them were huge and scary, at least for me. I decided to try and just make sure that I wouldn’t hurt myself. On some of the sections you had no choice but to attack them as there was no other way out, the sides were far too steep to try to go around and the vegetation was far too dense. Needless to say, I was extremely tired after the first day. On the way to the car park, Robin said he might not be able to ride the next day as he was too tired. I lied and said I was just fine! Luckily we were both able to carry on. The second day started with the biggest waterfall so far. Thankfully it looked much worse than it rode. Still in one piece, I was slowly getting the hang of my 300cc TRRS. In fairness, you needed the power of a modern machine for these types of sections. The second day went mostly okay, and we were also very grateful to the local lads who manoeuvred the raft carrying our machines over deep water – not the usual way of getting between sections! The third day was a lot easier and less physical. There were a lot of smiling and happy faces at the finish, including me; I had survived. Sense of achievement, yes; lasting memories, definitely.

Trial Magazine • February-March 2020

Only in trials – The Clown.

“Carlos had been busy marking out what was to be the icing on the cake…” hopes for and made three perfect days of trial for two levels of ability. The Blue route was intermediate, and the Red route was expert level. Both routes were the perfect mix of difficulty and enjoyment, and as no one went clean on any of the days, this meant

the Jurassic Trial has yet to be conquered. With around 70 riders competing from some 19 countries it really was a world first. The firstever trial in Costa Rica, the first-ever three-day trial in the whole of all the Americas – and Felipe had delivered it nearly single-handed!

Yrjo Vesterinen (TRRS-FIN)

The trial was a great success; congratulations to Felipe. You have made something virtually impossible a reality. You have made history. Credit also to Carlos Casas and Andy Perry for excellent sections under difficult conditions.

On a final note, it is well worth mentioning that Costa Rica is a lovely, unspoilt and true piece of paradise with very welcoming and friendly people. After the trial we managed to see some spectacular wildlife and scenery as well; happy days.


Travelling man • Andy Perry

A typical lunch check in the Bush.


I’ve been a part of clubs at all levels and organising committees to help organise events from world indoor and outdoor to organising shows all over the world, but never without a team of guys behind me. This is an achievement that will probably not be recognised by most but one that I can honestly say blows my mind with how well everything went; from motorcycle transport to the million and one things needed to run this event. I’d like to publicly congratulate Felipe, Gustavo and their small team of three or four helpers for making this one of the best events in the world. Since returning home, I have been contacted by riders and enthusiasts from all over the world asking about how it went and how they all would love to try it next year. I will sign off by saying a massive thank you to my friend and fellow motorcycle enthusiast, Felipe Koberg. I look forward to seeing you all at the Jurassic 3-Day Trial 2020!


RED ROUTE: 1: Aniol Gelabert 6; 2: Pau Martinez 11; 3: Pat Smage 18; 4: Andy Perry (GBR) 34; 5: Berta Abellan 40; 6: Jules Hudry-Prodon 40; 7: Jean Hudry-Prodon 41; 8: Roberta Gomez 60; 9: Chema Quer 63; 10: Xavier Roca Pares 69. BLUE ROUTE: 1: Joan Rovira 6; 2: Robin Luscombe (GBR) 19; 3: Pol Junque 29; 4: Matthew Hannaford 29; 5: Thierry Agret 34; 6: Yrjo Vesterinen 34; 7: Rafael Lllanes 35; 8: Daniel Santos 40; 9: Francisco Ferrer 41; 10: Gavin Brown (GBR) 46.









Team – Strong.


Thank you to this man, Felipe Koberg, for making the Costa 3 Day Jurassic Trial happen; we salute you.

February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine

Ladies • Jess Bown




The huge smile said it all when Jess Bown took her first adult ACU British Championship title in 2019 – yes, she pinched herself, British Champion! Females in a male-dominated sport are now very normal, and the exposure that comes with the off-road world of motorcycles has grown with trials and holds its own against many other sports disciplines. It was a change of sports disciplines from kicking a football to holding handlebars that opened the path to this ACU British Championship title for Jess. With the news that she had become engaged to her fellow trials riding partner Chris Alford it was about time, we caught up with the fun-loving young lady. Article: Trials Media with Jess Bown • Pictures: Trials Media, Fili and Leah Robinson


February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine

Jess Bown • Ladies

Jess with fiancé, Chris

2015: Happy with the move to Nigel and June Birkett with the Scorpa, Jess is looking more confident in Spain.

2014: High above Andorra in the WTC, with Donna Fox doing the ‘Minding’.

2016 Italy: Understanding just how confident you have to be on the huge rocks in the WTC.

“Women’s league and games moved to Sundays, and in my heart, I had got the trials ‘bug’, and so the football boots were parked for the trials ones.” Congratulations on the ‘ring’ news! I have been with Chris since December 2016, and on our recent trip for a well-earned holiday in Mexico he ‘popped’ the question. Chris has been so supportive in my trials career, and the British Championship title is a joint effort. He loves motorcycle trials as much as I do and, both coming from a trials-riding family, we enjoy our two-wheeled Sunday fun days.

But you also enjoyed football Yes, I loved playing football. I sometimes wish I still played! I started playing when I was around 11 years old in a local division before moving up to the Sheffield and Hallamshire League. When I was 18, we moved into the Women’s league and games moved to Sundays, and in my heart, I had got the trials ‘bug’, and so the football boots were parked for the trials ones.

Why motorcycle trials? I was 12 years old it was actually four wheels that attracted me to motorcycles; the good-old quad bike. Riding a quad was so much fun, and I spent many Sundays with my cousins, racing around my Uncle’s field, I just loved the speed and sensation of this form of actionpacked fun! On my 13th birthday a family friend, Colin Pickering, bought me a field motorcycle and that was when my mind was made up.

You then joined the Yamaha TY 80 gang Yes, the good-old Yamaha TY 80 came my way, which has served so well over the years as a stepping stone, taking so many other riders to the top of their game. I competed in my very first trial in March 2009 in a Mansfield Maun event, riding on the conducted route.

Trial Magazine • February-March 2020

It was father and daughter time My mum and dad have always supported me in all I wanted to do, and I spent a lot of time

competing in the Peak Classic trials and other local events with my dad Chris. My hard work was rewarded when I moved to a Gas Gas in August 2009 such was my progress in trials; I loved it. The success in local club and centre trials was bringing so much fun, with my mum Sharon observing and my brother Jim also competing, these were real family days out and ones I will never forget.

2017: Looking every inch a ‘Pro’ class rider: Jess in confident form at the TDN.


Ladies • Jess Bown

2017: The icing on the cake this year was representing Great Britain in the Trials Des Nations; it really was a proud moment not just for Jess but her whole family.

Practice, practice and more practice! All I wanted to do was ride a trials motorcycle! Mum and dad recognised this, and a piece of land was purchased at Stretton, Derbyshire, especially for us to practice on. With ever-improving riding came the confidence to enter my first ladies’ national trial. The Gas Gas was long in the tooth, and with a mechanical failure, I was forced to retire from the event. Surprise, surprise Yes, that was the case when mum and dad took me to Road and Trials Motorcycle shop at Barnsley to collect my Gas Gas which had gone in their workshop for a full service, or so I thought. My parents had organised the purchase of a brand new 2011 model Gas Gas! To say I was happy was an understatement. Winner With my new Gas Gas, and some excellent tuition from Richard Timperley, I went on to win the 2011 ACU Ladies British Youth Intermediate A class. I had become more confident, and with the help in my riding, I was loving trials, and that is what sport is about. I had found a really enjoyable sport for all the family. With this success, you started to compete in the British Championship In 2012, I moved up to the Women’s Intermediate Championship, which was great for me as there were a lot more ladies in my class, which gave me more competition. Becoming a part of the Ladies’ British Championship has been great for me as I have met some great people and made some superb friends who all made me feel so

2018: It’s 100% concentration in the ‘home’ world round in Yorkshire.


2018 Japan: I struggled to get to grips with the whole atmosphere of the WTC. It was a little overwhelming at times and I wasn’t a big fan of riding with all the people around watching on!

welcome from the start. During this year I managed to take the Women’s Intermediate Championship title, which gave me the confidence boost I needed to move up to the top class for the 2013 season. Was the move into the top ladies’ class in 2013 a difficult one? Moving up was difficult for me as it is a big step from the Intermediate to the Expert one. It was made slightly easier as this was the year trials moved to ‘no-stop’ which helped a lot as I struggled with the hopping and stopping. Although it was tough, I really enjoyed my first year competing with the best ladies in Great Britain, and I was thrilled to come away with fourth overall in the class. In many ways, 2014 was a massive learning curve 2014 was a big year, my first year competing in the FIM Women’s World Trials Championship and getting my first podium at the British Championships. After my first year in the WTC, I took 15th place amongst some great riders. With this result I took the ‘Rookie’ of the year at the WTC; this was a great moment for me, especially winning the pushbike, it felt like all my hard work was paying off. You moved to the Scorpa in 2015; what was the orange attraction? Yes, in 2015, I finally saw the light and moved to Scorpa! Nigel and June Birkett were so welcoming, Nigel really helped me with setting the machine up to suit me and help me get the most out of it. Since then, each year he has always helped me with machine setup, and for my style of riding the Scorpa is by far the best machine for me. 2015 was your first SSDT Riding my first Scottish in 2015 was a massive learning curve for me. Craig and Becky Talbot took me under their wing to teach me the ropes of the gruelling six days. Monday was tough, and I wondered what I had let myself in for. I knew it was going to be a long week! Tuesday was a long hard day, and unfortunately, I couldn’t keep up

2019: Yamaha TY Team time with Chris and his father Stuart at a Kia classic round at Congleton.

February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine

Ladies • Jess Bown

2019 SSDT: riding round with Chris really helps as he is a great teacher, and you know he will always be there to pick you up when you crash!

2019: Finishing 100th in the SSDT on the Scorpa prepared by Nigel Birkett was another great achievement for me.

with the pace, and I was excluded for running just two minutes over the hour time limit which you are allowed. I was gutted but still finished the week, which I was glad about as, going into 2016, I knew what to expect. Finishing 161st overall, I was happy just to finish the week and get the box ticked! How were the world rounds going? In 2016, I took another year competing at the World Championship, finishing in 13th place; I wasn’t happy with that overall result as I knew I could do better. I struggled to get to grips with the whole atmosphere of the WTC, it was a little overwhelming at times. I wasn’t a big fan of riding with all the people around watching on. In the British Championship however, it was going great, reaching second position overall, which encouraged me that little bit more to push for more in 2017. 2017 was the breakthrough year 2017 was a great year for me. I got to travel the world that year competing in America, which was stunning. I also took my best result to date with sixth position. It was a great confidence booster to take into the final two rounds in the Czech Republic and Italy. Italy really was a great day, but in some ways not so much as I missed

2019: Ladies’ Day at the greatest trial in the world the Scottish Six Days, I am on the front row on the far right.


out on my first podium at the WTC on ‘most cleans’. I was gutted but again chuffed to bits with a career-best of fourth, putting me sixth overall in the final standings. The icing on the cake that year was representing Great Britain in the Trials Des Nations; it really was a proud moment not just for me but my whole family. After a good year in 2018, you did not contest the 2019 world championship 2019 was the first year I chose not to compete in the WTC due to the cost of travelling to Japan and also the rounds in Europe. I also wouldn’t have been able to get enough time off work. I wanted to concentrate on securing my first Ladies’ BTC title. Finishing 100th in the SSDT was another great achievement for me; riding around with Chris helps as he’s a great teacher and you know he will always be there to pick you up when you crash! How much does the 2019 British title mean to you? I never thought I would take the Ladies BTC title; it’s a dream come true. But of course, I would have never been able to do it without all the support from my family. They are amazing

with the amount of time, money and effort they have put in to help me reach my dreams is unbelievable. I can’t thank them enough. They do go above and beyond for me. My sponsors are a vital part of my success this year, and their support has been second to none; Nigel and June’s support is incredible, they are the loveliest of people and will do anything to help me achieve my best. Craig Talbot and all of the team at BVM have been great this year, Craig was also my minder in 2017, and we had some great results at the WTC and the BTC. Rob at Rotech Support who is based in the Netherlands has also been one of my sponsors for a few years now, he supplied me with an Ohlin’s rear shock, and he came over this summer to perfect my suspension to suit me. He really does know his stuff, he’s great. South Shropshire MCC have also taken me under their wing this year and given me great support; they are a fantastic club. Away from trials, what’s the full-time job? Away from the weekends full of trials, I work full time in the Admin office for Greene King Brewery at the Distribution Centre in Nottingham. In September 2018, Chris and I purchased our first house which is keeping us both busy, and now it looks like we have a wedding to plan! We also spend some of our Saturdays training a few of the up-and-coming youngsters and adults wanting to learn, which is very fulfilling.

Thank you: To my family, Dad and Mum and brother Jim.

February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine

Technical • Montesa

Montesa 4Ride


When TRRS first introduced the electric start button on its X-TRACK model, it was a huge step forward for the age-old problem of starting the motorcycle engine when it stopped, at the simple press of a button. You can argue the trials world is very antiquated in this area; we all know the one when you’re tired and stuck in a water-filled rut, and the machine will not start. Your foot keeps slipping off the mechanical lever, and you want to cry! Following on from the TRRS story, the aftermarket company S3 has launched an electric-starter kit for the four-stroke Montesa Cota 4Ride. The Girona-based company worked with Montesa to arrive at the electric-starter kit option, which will also become available for the 4RT trials model. Would this be the ‘starter’ for the electric-starter race in the trials world? Article: Rodo and Yoomee • Pictures: Sabatier and S3 Parts


Finished Product: The Electric kit is sold with its high-quality Lithium-Ion battery and comes with the machined original Honda starter.

February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine

Montesa • Technical

Air Filter: Once the seat is removed you can have direct access to the air filter.


verything about the 4Ride has passed — and continues to pass — through the brains of Spain’s Pere Ferrer. He has been on board from the very start of the Cota 4Ride project. Still very young at heart, this young retiree from Montesa-Honda continues to participate in the evolution of this machine by collaborating with S3 Parts. Based in Gerona, S3 carries a considerable amount of respect in the trials world which is based around their enthusiasm in developing the innovation from the brain of the owner Michel Kaufman, a very well-respected engineer. Montesa-Honda is based in Barcelona and is accountable to Japan, whereas Michel as an independent company owner, has much more freedom to design and innovate. The idea of developing ​​ an electric starter for the 4Ride was borne of a double project. First was the design of the electric starter, to be made adaptable on a Cota 4Ride model as well as for the Cota 4RT, but it was also related to another project to bring an idle adjustment and a manual hot choke to the single-cylinder fourstroke engine.

Pull: A manual idle adjustment coupled with a starter system is under investigation too. It will be smaller than this prototype one. It is already effective and will not require any modification on a Cota 4RT. Now available as an aftermarket part from S3 Parts.

Location: The starter is in position and located parallel to the engine.

‘The brains of Spain’s Pere Ferrer’ Changing the all-important air filter required complete disassembly of the entire rear area. Not easy to start, not easy to change gear and a difficult air filter change; the three deadly sins of the Montesa Cota 4Ride! The easiest area to change was the gear lever’s association with the footrest. The result is an impressive piece of quality engineering kit that ensures a very easy ‘quick-shift’ through the gears as you can slide the front of the boot under the selector-tip to make a change. Attention was then changed to the air filter access. This process was much easier; a perforated grid placed at the bottom of the storage area under the seat of the 4Ride allows direct access to the air filter. Before it was necessary to cut the bottom off, anyway.


The vision of an electric starter for the 4Ride was not easy. The under-seat area could easily accept a battery, but then where to mount the starter motor? A notched wheel to engage the ignition mass was not so easy to adapt to the 4RT either, with the same engine. This is where Luis, the S3 engineer, started a Chinese puzzle ... sorry Japanese puzzle. He succeeded in housing a battery on a 4RT, more precisely between the rear of the cylinder and the damper. A mini Lithium-Ion battery made this possible. Still, it was necessary to design a battery holder which carries on its back the regulator-rectifier off the 4RT, and this required a relocation of the reservoir for the rear-brake fluid. He was also looking for something to


As the Cota 4Ride model has evolved over the last few years, S3 Parts has started to develop accessories for the model-based around interest from the various users of the machine and its appeal to the general public in many different areas of motorcycling. One area for consideration of development was the gear-change lever and its association with the footrest position. Initially, designed for trials use with the Cota 4RT, the lever is placed so far from the footrest that it is impossible to change gear easily without completely moving the foot from the right footrest. Trial Magazine • February-March 2020

Universal: Sitting on show, this is the profile of the electric-starter kit as fitted to the Cota 4RT during development.


Technical • Montesa

‘The ‘Cool’ look for the Montesa Cota 4Ride’ the triangular opening of the rear mudguard. Finally, to enhance the ‘cool’ look for the Montesa Cota 4Ride, a high-level front mudguard kit was developed. It is also a very practical solution if you are riding on muddy terrain as it keeps the front wheel ‘free’ and turning. Once again, the kit is designed inhouse at S3 with a stainless-steel plate secured to the bottom fork yoke with no modifications needed, in true after-market spirit.


Luis: S3 engineering in action: Luis shows us the computer aided design of his starter. In the background is the guinea pig Cota 4RT owned by the S3 boss Michel. This is a real, working, research and development department.

recharge the battery. To make things worse, Michel Kaufmann, the boss of Luis, asked him to design an independent electrical system; that is to say, one that allows the kick-start to continue its life whatever happens to the electric start system. It is a crucial point in terms of reliability and an argument to silence the most reluctant critic. Luis succeeded with the battery, but then he had to engineer mechanical parts to make the association between the ignition wheel that was going to engage and launch the starter. For the boss of S3, it was not a question of playing in China but using the original Honda part that was married to the S3 one, a raw material that has a cost, one of quality! Pere tested the starter at a standstill so that the battery would not

recharge. He pressed the electric start button on the 4RT 160 times at intervals of 15 seconds. Testing and proving in a practical world is the Honda solution.


And since it was a question of starting, the team also thought about the case of difficult starting situations such as in cold temperatures, altitude and the idea of developing ​​ a manual idle adjustment knob in line with a starter was born. Luis achieved what he had set out to do, and the choke is effective whatever the slow-motion idle you have chosen is set at. The prototype piece on the image will be reduced and accessible without modification for a Cota 4RT. It will suffice to access this adjustment with a finger in

Short Shift: Simple and efficient, the short selector for the 4Ride resembles the ones found on road-based motorcycles. Maybe 4RT riders could be seduced!


The addition, the after-market parts transform the production Montesa Cota 4Ride to another level; maybe it will show the way to the next Cota 4RT. Who knows? Other parts available from S3 include an engine upgrade kit which takes the cylinder capacity to 302cc. The only restrictions of the S3 upgrade parts are the cost, but quality does have a price. The plus part is the fact that passion has no limits on the rider’s pocket. Enjoy!.


AVAILABLE FOR THE MONTESA COTA 4RIDE • 302cc Cylinder Kit • Electric Starter Kit • Manual Idle Adjustment Kit and Hot starter • ‘Punk’ Model Footrest • Gear-Change Pedal Kit • High Mudguard Kit • Air-Filter Kit CONTACT Trial Enduro Direct Tel: 01298 766813 Web: www.trialendurodirect.com S3: www.s3parts.com

High Mudguard: Developed by S3, the high mudguard plate has three anchor points; one in the steering column and two on the fork yoke.

February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine

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Youth • Station Garage


THE FUTURE Professional presentation always catches your eye – or it should do! The bright, vibrant colours of the Station Garage Trials Team from the Isle of Man certainly makes you look closer, and that’s how this article came to life. I had witnessed the riders in action at a 2019 ACU Youth British Trials Championship round, and yes I was impressed, firstly by the team colours and secondly by the fact that this passionate team has to travel to the majority of the events from its base on the Isle of Man. It was time to find out more. Article: John Hulme with Michael Owen


eam Manager, Michael Owen, brings us up to speed: “I started in youth motocross, as at that time on the IOM there were no youth trials. The first year of youth trials on the IOM was mainly people from motocross. After a couple of seasons, the youth committee split, and this was the first season really of trials. “I was riding in the B class, so it was around 1979. I was riding a Yamaha TY 175 at the time. I rode all the way through the youth class and on to the adult world, where I became Island Solo and a Sidecar Centre Champion. After this, I moved on to committees and became chairman of the Peveril Motorcycle club, and was lucky enough to be part of the teams that run the Trial Des Nations and FIM World rounds. I was very fortunate as my father ran a motorcycle shop called Tiger Tims and was heavily into off-road motorcycles himself.”


Jacob Wilson (OSET)


“It was at this point I was approached by a person who had nothing to do with motorcycling, who had a son who wanted to ride. He had never been on a motorcycle, and the parents had no interest, but the kid was desperate; where do you start? This is where I got involved with OSET as I had seen this as the way forward. I also started to look at coaching and the sport of trials in general. We started February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine

Station Garage • Youth

2019 Summer Peters (Beta)

training sessions every Saturday morning and got involved in coaching with the IOM sports council; I also sat my coaching badge with the ACU. This is where Team Station Garage originated. We are now about to start our fifth season, and along the way, we have made some really good friends and have picked up little bits of knowledge off everyone. “One of our most significant help has been the YMSA. Barry Burton and his team have bent over backwards to help us, and with his ‘practise on Saturday and ride on Sunday’ policy we get so much motorcycle time, riding and practising with the top riders. Based on the Island, Steve Colley has been a great help in the early days sharing his knowledge of training on and off the machine; we can’t thank the landowners enough as without them we would have nothing. “We also run fundraisers throughout the year, with our biggest being the Christmas raffle and a very successful race night, all of which are based at the Baltic Inn, Foxdale, so a big thank you to our host Judith.”


As the 2019 season closed, we reflected on the achievements of the team riders in their respective championships through the eyes of Michael Owen.


2015 Summer Peters

Trial Magazine • February-March 2020

Kaytlyn Adshead finished in a strong 11th place in the Women’s Championship, and Bobby Moyer finished in 17th place in the Youth International Championship. The Youth European Championships are very tough and attract the very best riders from across Europe, so top-twenty finishes are something to be very proud of. 105

Station Garage • Youth

2019 Stanley Cubbon (Beta)


2017 Stanley Cubbon

Trial Magazine • February-March 2020

Bobby Moyer had a fantastic year on his Motor Worx Gas Gas in the B class, securing the YMSA title at the last round of the season with a steady fourth-place finish which he knew would be enough to take the overall victory. Beta rider Corey Peters finished in an impressive fifth place after some great rides throughout the year. Corey has gained a lot of much-needed experience in the B class, which will prove very valuable going into the 2020 season. The Ladies’ & Girls’ British Champion, Kaytlyn Adshead, has once again taken on the lads and shown she has what it takes, ending her year in a solid sixth place on board her Station Garage TRS. In the C class, both Summer Peters (Beta) and Jack Asbridge (Beta) battled it out for the final spot on the podium. Summer Peters came away the victor taking third place in the series, with Jack Asbridge finishing a close fourth place in what is his first year competing at a national level. Jacob Wilson took the D class title on his Station Garage OSET with four wins from six rounds. Jacob has been very consistent this year and hopes his form continues into 2020 when he makes the move to his Station Garage Beta machine. Carter Cubbon who was also riding an OSET impressed at only six years old, taking a sixth-place finish in his first year at National level competition. 107

Youth • Station Garage


It was Kaytlyn Adshead who beat Daisy Parsons and was crowned the ACU Ladies’ & Girls’ British B class Champion; Kaytlyn won five rounds from six to secure the title. Eleven-year-old, Summer Peters who was riding up a class this year, finished in a very impressive fifth place and held her own against the older girls. Summer has shown she can challenge in this class, so we look forward to seeing what she brings next year with a year’s experience under her belt. Gemma Kerruishe enjoyed her season and finished in an impressive fifth place in the girls’ C class group. This year is Gemma’s first year on the petrol machine since moving from the electrically powered OSET machine, so this has been a steep learning curve for her. Still, she has continued to plug away and has shown significant improvements every time she has ridden.


Carter Cubbon (OSET)

Our B class riders found the going a little tough this year, especially with Corey Peters only just moving up to B class in 2019. Bobby Moyer sustained a wrist injury at round one which saw him miss the next five rounds. Corey finished the year in 14th place, which is an excellent achievement in his first year as he also missed the last two rounds of the year, and Kaytlyn Adshead finished in 15th place, successfully pitting herself against a field of predominately male riders. Class C Medium Wheel rider, Stan Cubbon, kept himself at the sharp end all year with two wins and five second-place finishes. Unfortunately, this was not going to be enough for Stan to become the British Champion this year, but he still had an outstanding campaign. The D Small Wheel class has proved to be a very competitive Class, with OSET rider, Jacob Wilson, finishing second in the championship after putting himself on the podium no less than six times in seven rounds. Carter Cubbon also travelled with the team to contest his first ever British Championship. At only six years old he has given a really strong performance in each round and sits just outside the top ten in an impressive 11th position.


2014: Saskia Baxter Ladies’ Intermediate Class Champion 2015: Sophie May Hardie 2nd, Ella Doherty 3rd B Class 2016: Kaytlyn Adshead 1st, Ella Doherty 2nd, C Class 2017: Ella Doherty 1st A Class 50/50, Kaytlyn Adshead 5th B Class 2018: Kaytlyn Adshead 2nd B Class, Summer Peters 1st, Gemma Kerruish 2nd C Class 2019: Kaytlyn Adshead 1st, Summer Peters 5th B Class, Gemma Kerriush 5th C Class ACU YOUTH BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIP 2018: Stan Cubbon 5th C Medium Wheel Class 2018: Jacob Wilson 3rd D Small Wheel Class 2019: Stan Cubbon 2nd D Small Wheel Class, 1st Petrol Machine 2019: Jacob Wilson 2nd D Small Wheel Class YMSA Kaytlyn Adshead (TRRS)


2019: Bobby Moyer 1st B Class 2019: Jacob Wilson 1st D Class

February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine

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Trial Magazine • February-March 2020


Locator • Find your local dealer


Tel: 01592 772867 Email: trial2t-offroad@Hotmail.com Area: Kirkcaldy, KY1 4DE

02 AB Motorcycles

Tel: 01685 382100 Email: barrie-ab@hotmail.com Web: www.abmotorcycles.co.uk Area: Merthyr Tydfil, CF48 2SR

03 Acklams Motorcycles

Tel: 07957 148588 / 07540 591410 Email: sales@acklamsbeta.co.uk Web: www.acklamsmotorcycles.com Area: Harrogate, HG3 2BG

04 Active Bikesport

Tel: 01761 241887 Email: activebikesport@gmail.com Area: Radstock, BA3 4PD

05 AG Bikes

Tel: 01748 886356 Email: gebrownson@f2s.com Area: Reeth, DL11 6NH

06 Andy Metcalfe Motorcycles

Tel: 01287 638030 Email: andymetcalfemotorcycles@gmail.com Web: www.andymetcalfemotorcycles.com Area: Guisborough, TS14 7DH

07 Birkett Motosport

Tel: 01229 716806 Email: nigel.birkett@talk21.com Web: www.birkettmotosportukltd.com Area: Broughton in Furness, LA20 6EZ

08 Bob MacGregor Trials Academy

Web: www.trialsacademy.co.uk Area: Annick, KA3 4EH

09 BVM Moto UK

Tel: 01453 297 177 Email: sales@bvm-moto.co.uk Web: www.bvm-moto.co.uk Area: Stroud, GL5 5EX

10 Craigs Motorcycles

Tel: 01924 488117 Email: aaron@craigsmotorcycles.com Web: www.craigsmotorcycles.com Area: Dewsbury, WF13 1HX

11 East Neuk Trials Motorcycles

Tel: 01333 311744 Email: duncan.wood@btconnect.com Area: Fife, KY10 2RB

18 RAS Sport

Tel: 01484 711720 Email: andrew@rassport.com Web: www.rassport.com Area: Brighouse, HD6 1LH

19 RCM Trialsport

Tel: 01209 820896 Email: rcm-trialsport@hotmail.com Area: Redruth, TR16 5PN

20 Sandiford Offroad

12 Feetup

Tel: 01282 455697 Email: martin@sandifordracing.co.uk Web: www.sandifordracing.co.uk Area: Burnley, BB11 5SS

13 Inch Perfect Trials

Tel: 01395514287 Mail: southwesttrials@gmail.com Web: www.swtrials.co.uk Area: Sidmouth, EX10 9DN

14 Inta Bikes

Tel: 01726 816181 Web: www.stblazeymx.co.uk Mail: sales@stblazeymx.co.uk Area: St Blazey, PL24 2RN

15 John Lee & Sons Motorcycles

Tel: 01298 766 813 Email: sales@trialendurodirect.com Web: www.trialendurodirect.com Area: Buxton, SK17 9JL

Tel: 01723 865577 Email: alan@feetup.wanadoo.co.uk Web: www.feetuptrialsport.co.uk Area: Scarborough, YO12 4QB Tel: 01200 448130 Email: sales@inchperfecttrials.co.uk Web: www.inchperfecttrials.co.uk Area: Whitewell, BB7 3AU Tel: 01622 688727 Email: intabikes@btconnect.com Web: www.intabikes.co.uk Area: Maidstone, ME15 6HE

Tel: 01933 312827 Mail: johnlee.mc@btconnect.com Web: www.johnleemotorcycles.co.uk Area: Higham Ferrers, NN10 8BP

21 South West Trials

22 St Blazey MX

23 TrialEnduroDirect

24 Trail & Trials UK

16 Marsh MX

Tel: 01334 840414 Email: john@tytrials.com Web: www.tytrials.com Area: New Gilston, KY8 5TF

17 Mickey Oates Motorcycles

Tel: 0113 281 8242 Email: sales@trialsuk.co.uk Web: www.trialsuk.co.uk Area: Horsforth, LS18 5NX

Tel: 01685 385201 Email: Anthony@marshmx.co.uk Web: www.marshmx.co.uk Area: Merthyr Tydfil, CF47 8PE

Tel: 0141 332 7374 Email: sales@mickeyoates.com Web: www.mickeyoates.com Area: Glasgow, G4 9XP

25 Trials UK

26 Winchester Off Road Honda

Tel: 01962 771122 Email: mike.carter@huskysport.co.uk Web: www.worhonda.co.uk Area: Winchester, SO24 0QA


February-March 2020 • Trial Magazine

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Trial Magazine Issue 79 February-March 2020 • NEW LOOK!  

Trial Magazine – your essential read for all things Trial: Motorcycle, Cycle, Sidecar, Classic, Competition.

Trial Magazine Issue 79 February-March 2020 • NEW LOOK!  

Trial Magazine – your essential read for all things Trial: Motorcycle, Cycle, Sidecar, Classic, Competition.