Tuesday January 19th 2021

January 19th, 2021

I saw this posted on FB - not sure where the bike is, but somebody has done a really nice job on  renovating this TY 175   -  I see pics like this and for a moment - think about the original one I have in the shop, and ponder if I should spend money doing all the updates to make it more like a modern bike  ! - Then I wake up!!
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youtube.com Scott 1974 Trial very old


This is Ron Golden on the Chinese bike he is Importing - He asked us to sell them but I declined.
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Sad news that this Motorcycle Museum in Austria burned to the ground with the loss of over 200 vintage Motorcycles.

click on the links to read the history>

Quick tour through the TOP Motorcycle Museum in Hochgurgl!

Vintage racer section in the TOP Mountain Motorcycle Museum

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While I thoroughly   enjoyed my day out riding with the boys last Saturday - I never feel comfortable having to wear layers of clothes in order to keep warm. - I feel very restricted on the bike - also my clutch finger freezes up pretty quick, due to old age or poor circulation, which requires a lot of stops to warm my hands on the engine.  Olivier mentioned that he wraps some hockey tape around his levers, which helps - might have to try that.

On that theme - check out this pic of Stirling Moss racing a Formula One Maserati with open cockpit and bare arms!!

Obviously the upgrade in both car design and protective fire proof clothing, have saved many lives in F 1 racing  - as have the new rules on riding apparel for Trials ( at FIM level ie: back armor)

But looking back at the early days, when all we wore for Trials, was a flat cap and a rain proof Barbour suit - I have to concur that Safety Helmets are a good idea. However, bulky MX type gear with chest protectors - elbow guards etc etc - are I think a bit overkill for our sport. ( Unless you are planning on doing back flips etc)
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A lot of racing drivers were killed in the early years - many thrown out of the cars and in the Pre War days they only wore a leather helmet. - Others like Dick Seaman and Bandini were burned to death - Nicki Lauda was also badly burned but survived to eventually run the Mercedes Team. - These are a few of the drivers who lost their lives racing - Ascari -Gonzales -Rosemeyer,  plus others from that era - I can’t remember the names - - then in later years, Peter Collins, DePortago, Lewis Evans, Jim Clark, Ritchie Ginther, Bruce McLaren– plus Canadian Legend  - Villeneuve - and perhaps the greatest of them all Ayrton Senna.

The F I - cars these days look  more like fighter jets with wheels - but are without doubt much safer.


Here is a shot of Adrian Prato - stylin’  on the 240 Fantic - He is able to move around on the bike, because he is not restricted by heavy stiff riding gear. - It should also be noted that MX style boots are not the best for Trials as they are too stiff at the ankle and some even have steel toes another no-no. - If you want to ride your best and feel comfortable - do as the top club riders do - buy Trials clothing, helmet and boots PLUS don’t forget  thin Trials gloves ( You will notice that Prato is not wearing gloves in order to get the best “Feel” for the controls)
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Check this out - Steve McQueen’s  FIM license. - TRIALS and Scrambles. ( He did of course compete in the ISDT)
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Monday January 18th 2021

January 18th, 2021

Our two local youngsters from Vernon, had a real “Blast” riding their Outlaw Beta Evo 80’s on Saturday - typical kids - they didn’t want to stop!! Olivier took this shot of them going up a step side-by-side.
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Sunday morning saw a dusting of snow on the yard - but with temps looking to be above zero it should all melt pretty quick.
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Video selection for today.
Jonny Walker Off-Road Racer

Trials Riding When Air Cooled Monoshocks Arrived!


Natural gullies, like this one at Bear Creek are great to practice on - there are others farther up the hill with more rocks - I would like to see more sections like this in our Trials events, instead of all the big logs and Rock steps.  A good organizer  can always work out a few twists for the better riders.
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Nobody correctly guessed the Saturday quiz of the guy playing Dominoes!!  It was Jeff Smith World Champion MX  rider and also a winner of both the Scottish Six Days Trial and the Scott Time Trial when he was with BSA.


No this isn’t the quarry at Revelstoke  that we have used many times for our WTC Trials - it’s one at Taff’s old home town in Wales and the rider is the great Jordi Tarres.
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Nice to see Beta Canada boss Steve Howland out helping the local Club setting up for their first Trial  of the year in Nova Scotia. - Steve has been out riding with us a couple of times at Summerland.

One of the riders taking a “Bow” after dropping his Gasser on a greasy log .
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ATTENTION:  2020 Beta  RR 390 has been  obtained by using a fake Credit card - watch out for it and if you know anything - call the cops - not sure where this was bought but here is the vin #



Sunday January 17th 2021

January 17th, 2021

Alan Lampkin jumps off his Sherpa T on “Grey Mare’s Ridge” in the Scottish Six Day Trial - Cancelled this year due to the Pandemic.
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Yesterday we made the most of a cold but dry day to take our first ride of the New Year - no snow in this area of Bear Creek and we had fun with Andrew, Olivier and our two young “Up and coming” riders on their Beta 80’s - It felt great to get out in the fresh air - I see we have snow again today, so our timing was perfect.

The lads had got a fire going which felt good after the ride.
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Olivier practicing logs on his Outlaw Beta Evo 200 - he is doing well.
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Saturday January 16th 2021

January 16th, 2021

Toni Bou has just signed with Honda for another three years - making this a total of 18 years that he will have been with the Japanese Factory. During that time he has won just about everything in the Trials World ( Except the Scottish Six Days)

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Still on the Honda theme - here is a terrific shot of the Dakar winner Kevin Benevides- (no idea who took the pic)

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To win a Trial - you have to sometimes try to get through a section with a “3″ when your competitors have all “Fived’ - here is Mick Andrews on the Ossa working hard on doing just that - saving two points can sometimes win you the “Overall”

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Still some events being planned Stateside for this year - neat poster.
Image may contain: text that says 'Plonkers Southern California Trials Club is putting a one day trials class and is brought to you by Brad and Clive Hannan. The class will be on January 31st. The class will be from Novice to advance rider and include basic riding, bike setup walking section ano more. The class is free of charge but only up to 12 riders. First come first serve. pm for location we will start at 9am. Last time class was wonderful you don't want to miss out. Thanks Lior PLONKERS CALIFORNIA SOUTHERN RIALS CLUB'


Quiz - Name this Domino player.
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I saw this pic listed in Trial Mag UK - showing dealers locations -Likely the ones who Advertise with the Mag: -      I see only two listed in Wales  - one in Taff’s home town of Merthyr Tydfil #18 on the map.
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A Steve Troupe pic of his brother riding at a Trial in Sudbury - likely when Dave Butler had his shop there - looks like a great spot - I do recall putting on a Sales Seminar in Sudbury back in my Yamaha Days - also flying back to Toronto in a DC3 !!! The Air Stewardess looked like Mary Poppins. !
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Some people sure spend a lot of money and time into updating their old vintage bikes - check out this TY175

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Friday January 15th 2021

January 15th, 2021
Kevin Benavides wins 2021 Dakar Rally

Monster Energy Honda rider Kevin Benavides has become the first South American rider to win the Dakar Rally as he completes a HRC one-two finish ahead of American Ricky Brabec – Sam Sunderland completes the podium in third for Red Bull KTM.

  • There were no team orders in this final, 12th stage of the 2021 Dakar Rally as Ricky Brabec put on an immense charge to try and overcome his teammate in the race to the flag. With a seven-minute time gap starting the day, the reigning champion had no choice but to go all out and claimed two minutes back, winning the stage overall in the process,
  • It was not enough as Benavides set an equally impressive pace, overtaking stage 11 winner Sam Sunderland to lead on the ground, racing ‘blind’ out front and win the rally by an overall margin of 4:56s.
  • Finishing first on the road was a fitting way for the Argentinian to close out his rally and become both the first Argentinian and South American to win the historic event.
  • 1987 was the last time Honda riders occupied the first two places on the podium. Back then it was Italian Cyril Neveu ahead of Frenchman Edi Orioli across in African continent.
  • The charge from Sam Sunderland fell flat on today’s stage as the Red Bull KTM rider opened the stage but got overtaken on the ground by Benavides and on the timing sheets to finish in 12th place on the day and 13 minutes down. It was still enough for Sam to finish third and claim a precious podium for KTM.
  • Daniel Sanders becomes the best-placed rookie this year with fifth on the final stage to bring home fourth place overall in what was an immensely difficult debut Dakar for the Factory KTM team rider.
  • Skyler Howes wins the battle for fourth with a very solid P5 on the final stage putting him clear as best placed privateer
  • =============================================>

We have over the years reported on various Canadian Champions in Motorcycle sport, but this pic is of a guy very well known with the Victoria Club - John ( Boomer) Gronow leading a Speedway race in the UK - which he won, finishing ahead of the guy who would be World Champion that year.

Moving to England from Australia back in the day - Boomer raced Speedway for quite some time before moving to Canada. - He has three sons who have all ridden Trials, and is still very much involved with the VMC, even though he must be about 90 years old now. - A great guy with a terrific sense of humour.
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Below is a pic taken at a VMC Trial a few years ago showing “Boomer” with myself and Roger Boothroyd
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It’s that time of the year, when we try to plan our Outlaw Trials Calendar, and although 2020 was a “Write-off” - we are still optimistic that we will be able to hold the series this year.  Therefore - if you or your club would like to post a date for a proposed event - Please contact me via email - daverhodes@shaw.ca  - As posted earlier - there will be some changes this year happening, mainly due to the Pandemic, but also due to other factors involving the WTC.  - Stay tuned.


These are strange times for everybody, and I never thought that the highlight of my day, would be going to get a hair cut!!! - Our local Barber shop is usually very busy with 4 chairs going, but the owner told me that his business was down 50% last year - certainly a sign of the times.


More news as it happens >>>

Thursday January 14th 2021

January 14th, 2021

Sad to say that the great Joel Robert multi time World Moto Cross Champion, has passed away at the age of 77 from Covid 19, RIP.  ( Like most European riders, Joel also ride a Trials bike when he was young with his friend Roger DeCoster)
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Image may contain: text that says '250 cc WORLD MOTOCROSS CHAMPION Suzuki and Joel Robert secured the 250 cc World Motocross Championship for the second year in a row and insured Rob- ert a place in history as a five time world motocross cham- pion. Joel Robert was born in Belgium and joined the Suzuki factory team in 1970 when he won his fourth world champion- ship. For more information on every Suzuki and the name of your nearest dealer write to: U. S. Suzuki Motor Corp. 13767 Freeway Drive, Dept. BGL Sante Fe Springs, Calif. 90670 COLLECT ALL 66 CARDS'


Not sure where this shop is in Europe - but the new 2021 TRS looks fantastic and has lots of new features - Jordi is certainly not resting on his laurels .  If you want one - get your order in NOW>


Video for today  >>>>>
youtube.com David Knight’s exclusive update after Stage 10 of the Dakar Rally Knighter updates from the Alula bivouac after successfully navigating stage 10 of the Dakar Rally.


Wednesday I was up early as usual and after doing the blog - sat down with a cup of Tea to watch the news - at 6 am - the TV and all other electrical appliances shut off !!  Now I did hear the wind howling pretty good earlier, so guessed correctly that we had a Power Outage - likely cause by tree branches coming down on the lines, something that happens quite often out in the Country where we live. - However this last for 6 hours, so just before Noon - I pulled out  the Coleman Camp Stove ( which I only used once last year) and made Momma Bear a cup of tea.  As they say be prepared, but I do wonder how things will go in the future with the push to go all electric and the drain this will have on the Power Grids.


No this is not this year - but shows Shane having a blast in the snow up on Bear Ridge in 2016 on his TRS. - As you can see he had made tracks all through the snow,  which was quite deep, it was a fun day.
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Scrambling in the years after World War Two, was very much a learning experience - usually converted street bikes and clothing bought from the Army Surplus Store - the most popular boots, were “Fireman’s”  leather.

This is a pic of Brian Martin, who worked for BSA and did a lot to develop  both the Trials and other Competition models.  - The Gold Star, could be purchased in either Street mode for road racing, Scrambles or Trials. - It was of course Jeff Smith who really put BSA on the map both in Trials and Scrambling ( now called MX)
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Why I like Estart Motorcycles >>>

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Birthday Greeting today go out to Roger Boothroyd in Victoria - Roger continues to do a super job doing his VMC Newsletter.


Just had word that Beta Trials bikes will be in very short supply this year - so if you want one - you really need to let us know right away, or you will likely be out of luck. - Remember Only TRIALS dealers have the best knowledge about both the bikes and the sport, and only TRIALS dealers likely have the parts you need.
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Wednesday January 13th 2021

January 13th, 2021

Well we are midway, through January, and so far our winter in the Valley has been very mild , and not a lot of snow - not that it’s over by any means, but at least the warmer conditions help give people a bit of a “Lift” in these strange times both with the Health and Political climate  ->


Looking back at some of the old Photographs from the early years,  it sometimes makes me wonder what some engineers  were thinking when they designed some bikes .  - Obviously function is of the utmost importance, but appearance is very high on the list, when it comes to buying any product. - Take this Prototype AJS for example - I don’t think that exhaust system should have made it out of the barn. ( Looks more like a Bazooka)
It’s funny that during my Yamaha Years, I would sometimes be shown new model designs planned for a few years, down the road - and yes they had some great and very innovative ideas. - However, at the end of any such session - I would usually say - ” Don’t paint it Brown or Green - and price it to sell”   - Sad to say a lot of these models with great potential  never topped the sales charts, simply because the factory painted the bike the wrong color. -

Another REALLY important aspect of any Dirt bike design, is ease of access to work on - I think all designers should spend some time in the Service department, - over the years,  I have said a few choice words about some parts being almost impossible to get at, without dismantling the machine.  - ( I won’t bore you with these stories, but believe me this sort of thing does effect sales - especially to the knowledgeable  rider.)
Marketing any motorcycle product, is always about having the “Right bike - at the right time - at the right price” ( And with the right parts back up from the dealer)

Classic Dirt Bikes


A rare watercooled Bultaco Road racer.
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That old saying “Shit happens”  would be a good caption for this pic - but a reminder that this can also happen on a Trials bike if (1) you don’t check the spokes and Sprocket bolts and (2) like to practice “Splats, into rock walls.
Note:  All the latest Trials bikes use the same rear wheel and we rarely hear about any issues, but like everything else - regular maintenance is required to avoid issues.
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This is a great video of the young Hemmingway brothers out of Yorkshire.

youtube.com Best of Trial Bike 2020 | The Hemingway Brothers: George and Harry We are big fans of Dan and Ben Hemingway so we start to see Dan kids growing up. George and Harry amazed us with their Trial Bike Skills since they had 3-4 y…


Below is a link showing the various mods used on the World Factory bikes last year. Check them out.


And another great film from the past. >> Note - This was likely filmed in the South of England, where lots of sections were in sand pits -  and while some may laugh - remember those big 4 strokes were heavy and tires were all 4 ply Dunlop back then - It’s interesting that we see lots of riders losing points on these types of sections even now, on the modern bikes. - The point being that you don’t need big rock walls when plotting a Trial. - Perhaps a good example of this was or last event at Ross Rathbone’s property - Yes he had to hand build a lot, but everybody had fun without getting hurt - and that is what Trials is all about.
.youtube.com Trial and Error - 1958 film on Motorcycle Observed Trials A short instructional film pointing out some common faults in the organization and observation of motor-cycle trials and suggesting how these may be overcome…


The new Wulf Trials boots are the only ones I can remember that have felt comfortable first time out  - and I’ve worn lots in my time - I simply gave them a coat of Dubbin - before the first ride. - Ive had mine now for about six months and they still look like new. - We have all sizes in stock  and they now come with an extra  ankle strap - and thicker leather in this area, -  only $295.00.  ( We ship all over Canada)
New Wulf Trials boots


Tuesday January 12th 2021

January 12th, 2021

This is the beautiful Geoff Duke Manx Norton, which he was so successful on - I never did see him race this, but did see him on the Gilera 4 and of course had him pass me in the Picton Time Trial in the late 50’s -( He was a very good Trials rider) - also got to shake his hand when he attended the Oswestry Club Dinner and Presentation of wards - what a great man he was. He retired to the Isle of Man where he bought a Hotel. When he died, the Cortege drove all the way around the TT course, as a final tribute.  ( Back in the 1949-1950’s - we used to listen to the TT races  broadcast on the radio - the sound of the bikes was enough to get any enthusiast excited, young or old - the Commentator  back then was Graham Walker, whose son Murray Walker took over when his Dad died)
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And how about this nice 1956 Prototype Norton - now in Sammy’s Museum

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Fixing a rear tire at Dakar - Toby price remembered to take his zip ties - he still got 2nd on the day.  Unfortunately Toby had a big crash the following day and had to be airlifted to Hospital, it seems that lots of other riders also had a few “Get offs” including Sam Sutherland who joined the “Over the bars club” but despite wrecking his instruments - he made it through the day.
Dakar Rally 2021 news & results: Cornejo wins stage 8 – Price second using bushcraft


This is an article on the early Trials bikes built for Eddie Legeune  and his brother by their Dad -  Eddie was one of the first to use the clutch on his small Honda -in order to get enough drive up steep sections. ( Later of course he became a Honda Factory rider and three time World Trials Champion)
Image may contain: text that says 'HONDA FOR TRIALSMEN BRIAN BONNY describes successful Belgian


This is a shot of two riders at the 1959 Cleveland Trial in Yorkshire, UK, one of the most popular events on the British Trials Calendar - it featured a one loop 40 mile course with 40 sections. - It was these long distance similar events, riding over the Welsh moors that first attracted me to the sport - ( And still the main reason I  like getting out on a Trials bike - anybody can do this and have a great day out)

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I see that the Trials enthusiasts in Nova Scotia  are keen to get out for some practice - they have not had a lot of snow, and appear to have a great group. Michael Traves has been one of the main guys in promoting the sport in the area, and Steve Howland has supplied some Beta Trials bikes for some of their ” Learn to ride” events. The future looks good for Trials in the Maritimes.


Here’s a Steve Troupe shot of Sparky Bill at an Ontario National Trial  back in 1982 - Bill is on an SWM, ( Which he still has)  Bill won the Canadian Trials Championship more than once, plus rode in the Scottish - I don’t think he rides much these days as he has some knee problems ( Don’t we all)
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Video for today - an interview with Johny Giles one of the great British “All Rounders” - Usually mounted on a Triumph Twin -  >>>youtube.com Iconic Motorcycle Legends “John Giles” Interview This short interview with legendary off-road racer John Giles was filmed at the 2016 Classic Motocross DeNations event held at Ballyblack Northern Ireland on…


Monday January 11th 2021

January 11th, 2021

Sad news - Well known Dakar racer Hubert Auriol has died from Covid 19 - Before he became famous in the Dakar and other Rallies - He was very much involved with Trials - He was 68. -

Note :  Here is post from FB >

Covid 19 also took away Hubert Auriol, the Dakar symbol man had won it three times two on a motorcycle (1981 and 1983) and once in a car in 1992, for almost a decade it was African marathon race director.

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Like most small boys  who grew up during World War Two.   I grew up fascinated  by the Spitfire - we had a squadron not far from where we lived and the sound of the Merlin engines are like no other .

Check out this link.  >>



No this isn’t me, although I do ride a Beta and wear those same Wulf pants - It’s advertising a video on Trials technique - you can click onto it .

here>> https://youtu.be/XhAUHeTVV3Q
Learn how to ride a trials bike!︱Cross Training Trials Techniques


Another lazy weekend come and gone - although the weather remains mild in the Valley and we have not had any more snow - I just didn’t feel like going anywhere.  - Watched a lot of TV but that was about it.


I guess the second half of the Dakar Rally kicks off today - saw some quite good video on FB posted by Red Bull - Riding those big Sand Dunes must be a real thrill.- Toby Price made a quick fix on his rear tire to finish well up last weekend, and UK rider Sam Sutherland is leading at this stage I think, although the Honda Team are all well placed. - Laia Sanz still leads the Ladies on her GG.


Sunday January 10th 2021

January 10th, 2021

Yesterday, we talked about the fact that the majority of Trials bikes are never used in competition, but as Trail-bikes - to explore the Countryside. - Here is a great shot of a young lady doing just that on her TRS in Italy -  Just look at that neat terrain. –

I’m not sure what seat she has on the bike as this doesn’t appear to be the Xtrack model - We did sell a few Jitsie seats, which worked great on all the brands, but we haven’t been able to get any for a while.


David Knight from the Isle of Man- is racing in the Dakar this year - Most people will remember him for his Hard Enduro exploits - but like so many - David started off in Trials and I recently watched him on a VHS video with Steve Colley teaching some advanced techniques. ( We have a ton of these old VHS tapes)
youtube.com Knighter 101 combats Day 5 at the Dakar Rally (Full Highlights) | Episode 005 David ‘Knighter’ Knight took to the desert for Day 5 of the Dakar Rally on 5th January, and we caught the best of the action.Thanks to fellow sponsors Classi…

And Sammy is at it again - fixing up a bunch of old bikes he bought in the “Off” season

Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum

and check out this one >
youtube.com Trials 94 British Review: The Jack Wood Trial Trials 94 British Review: The Jack Wood Trial 1994Commentary by WoodyA Bennett Video ProductionLike us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/trialsportvideo


Another pic posted by Steve Troupe - this is Trevor Howarth  a very good Expert rider from back a few years - I see he now gets out riding on a Beta Evo.
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Jamie McGregor has posted pics of some old Trials posters from the Ontario region, back in day - I remember when I sometimes used to hand draw some these for our Alberta Trials, and of course all the results were written out by hand.  - Note that they had a Trail-bike class ! - We tried this back in the day at our Kelowna events, but it never did do anything to attract more riders to the Trials scene.


It was just posted that Ex World Champion Motor Cross legend - Joel Robert is in hospital, and in a coma. after suffering a heart attack plus Covid 19. - He is 77 years old.

And this pic is one I took of Mick at the 1992 Pre 65 Scottish with his James. He said I could take it around the parking lot if I wanted, but I declined - He did tell me it had a few Yam bits in it - ie Fork springs and reed valve etc.
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Updates on the 2021 TRS  ( Just minor stuff)

☢️ THE NEW TRRS 2021!!️
- Electrical installation with temperature sensor. ′′ Precision and reliability of the refrigeration system “.
- New CDI with temperature sensor reading.
- New filter box deflector. Reduces dirt storage on the filter and improves internal air flow.
- Improved filter box drainage in case of water entry.
- Bielletta and leverage trapeze reinforced.
- Lighten engine support. Quicker and faster mounting and significantly reduces vibration.
- New plastic silencer finale, more robust and with an additional fixing screw in the top.
- Support for the forged and sturdy front sileziator.
- Protection of the most resistant front brake disc and FIM.
- Frame: engine attachment modifications. Improve editing and decrease tensions.
- Modified Chain Guide Fixing.
- Silicone water pipe between head and curved radiator to avoid interference with the fan.
- Red Anodized Circles.
- New handlebar with new livery.
- Gray swingarm.
- New graphic line
Friday I went to Kelowna to deliver Opti - and decided to drive back via the Westside road as it was quite mild - I checked out  our old riding area at Bear Creek and took a pic as it is absolutely bare - no snow until you get high up on the ridge. - However that is not the case when you get to Valley of the Sun, where I stopped off to see Roy. - He is still having a lot of trouble with his eyes and will be having more Lazer  treatment next week - hopefully he will be improved by the time the snow thaws so we can go riding.
And for our French readers !!  Yes I had one of those White Yamaha caps back in the day - not sure what ever happened to it.
Image may contain: one or more people, text that says 'MICK ANDREWS NICK REWS voila Trial le YAMAHA'
Brett  Clark sent in the only correct answer to our last quiz  - The riders in the picture are
Tarres - Colley –Colomer — Kuroyama — Lampkin — Avahla — Jarvis — Bilbao .