Trials Guru reports the passing of Weardale stalwart Walter Dalton, one of the North East’s best known trials characters.
Walter was employed by Portland Blue Circle Cement at their Weardale plant at Eastgate and was a regular competitor across the border in Scottish trials which also included the Loch Lomond Two-Day and Scottish Six Days events, plus the Pre’65 Scottish.
In later years he took up riding Pre’65 trials on a 500 Ariel and supported Spain’s Carlos Casas on a 200cc Triumph Cub for many years in the Pre’65 Scottish.
Dalton competed in many Scottish Six Days Trials back as far as the late 1960s. He rode both Bultaco and Montesa machinery.
In 1984, Walter entered the SSDT and the Pre’65 Scottish on a Reg May built ‘RM Special’, this machine was actually road registered as such. The machine was a BSA B40 motor in a much modified Bultaco Sherpa frame, with Alpina front wheel and Pursang rear wheel and a modified 340 Sherpa alloy tank and specially fabricated oil tank. The machine was not strictly Pre’65 but the organisers were less strict in those days.
Trials Guru extends sincere condolences to the Dalton family.
The newly reformed Kinlochleven and District MCC have just launched their new website.
Situated in the ‘electric town’ that was famous for aluminium smelting and electricity production. The club is chaired by local man Martin Murphy with secretarial support from David & Lorna Dougan who are also local to the town.
Entries for their new Leven Valley Two Day Trial will be released at midnight on the 31st March and demand is expected to be high.
Sammy Miller agreed to be their guest of honour for the inaugural event which will see 25 miles each day, completely off-road. The trial will be for Brit-shock and Twin-shock machines.
Entry fee will be £50.00 and is permitted by the Scottish ACU.
The course details are emerging, it will be 30 sections per day, one lap per day of approximately 25 miles.
Club Official, David Dougan spoke to Trials Guru:
“This is an exciting event for the locals of Kinlochleven, but like all events we need the co-operation of the landowners and government agencies that control the use of the land. We also need observers to staff the event. As with any trial we will be looking for observers. If any of our wonderful trials friends are able to help out in any way it would be greatfully appreciated. Lorna Brackenridge has kindly agreed to organise the observers for us, so if anyone can help please get in touch with her. We will be needing 30 observers per day. Lorna can be contacted by the following E-mail: email@example.com ”
News that all eight businesses in Fort William have once again agreed to display trials motorcycles during the SSDT week, 7-12 May in the town’s High Street.
Machines will appear in the following display windows: Off Beat Bikes; The Granite House; The Whisky Shop; Marshall & Pearson; The Bank of Scotland; Nevisport; Mountain Warehouse and Visit Scotland.
The arrangements are being handled by Trials Guru in collaboration with: MRS Sherco/AGBikes; Vertigo UK; GasGas UK; Birkett Motosport/Scorpa; Inch Perfect Trial/Montesa; TRRS/Steve Saunders & Beta-UK/John Lampkin.
Marshall & Pearson usually have something a bit special and an older machine usually appears on display in the ironmonger shop window.
The shop displays help create a special atmosphere for shoppers to let everyone know that the event is underway.
Nevis Radio, sponsored by Trial Magazine & Michelin, will also be covering the event with the SSDT Morning show, daily from 07:00 to 11:00 Monday to Friday and a little bit longer on the Saturday. Guest presenter is Trials Guru’s John Moffat (aka The Moffster) and the lead presenter will be once again be Mr. John Weller, with techno-geek Si Abberley pressing all the buttons back at Nevis Radio base.
The station will be trying out a few new ideas this year to capture even more of the action. There wil be a number of guest interviews during the week and a QR Code in the official programme for your phone to listen live!
Yamaha Motor Company have re-entered the World trials arena by confirming that they will contest the 2018 FIM ‘Trial-E’ class with the announcement of their ‘TY-E’ model. The machine will be ridden by the factory rider Kenichi Kuroyama.
Kuroyama, is an eleven-time national champion of Japan. He rode for eleven years in the World championships and achieved four world title rounds and scored twenty-five podium positions.
The re-entry of Yamaha onto the world stage is significant and to be electric powered, even more so.
The question now must be asked, will the mighty Honda concern make inroads to electric-trials with their own electric powered machine?
Images courtesy of Akihiko Hattori, taken at the Tokyo Show, March 2018:
Published by Simon & Schuster
17 May 2018 ǀ Hardback ǀ £20.00
A COMPELLING AUTOBIOGRAPHY FROM THE TWELVE TIMES WORLD CHAMPION OF TRIALS
When Dougie Lampkin was born, his father Martin had placed a motorcycle next to his cot before he returned from hospital – if anyone can say that they were destined for a career in motor biking it was him.
So far, nine members of the Lampkin family have competed at a high level of the sport, but it was Dougie who set new standards, winning seven consecutive outdoor world titles and five indoor world titles, earning him the MBE at the age of twenty-five.
Off-road motorcycling continues to grow in popularity, with more than 100,000 people taking part in the UK alone, and millions more following online or on television. In this superb memoir, Lampkin brings the excitement of his sport vividly to life.
He also shares the behind-the-scenes drama behind some of his most famous Red Bull challenges – such as the day he took his trials bike for a ride through Red Bull’s Formula One factory, with Christian Horner looking on in sheer amazement as he rode his bike over a multi-million-pound F1 car, leaving it without a scratch.
To date, some 10 million people have watched this episode on YouTube.
Trials and Error is a brilliant book that goes beyond the story behind trial biking, and the journey to becoming world champion – it is also a love letter to his family and community, to whom Dougie attributes his many successes.
About the author:
Dougie Lampkin MBE was born in Yorkshire in 1976 into a motor biking dynasty and became a professional trials and endurocross rider, winning five consecutive World Indoor titles (1997-2001) and seven consecutive World Outdoor championships (1997-2003). Since retiring from competition, he has worked with Red Bull on a series of high-profile events.
Organised by the Bexleyheath & District Motor Cycle Club, the ‘Battle of Burwash’ trial has been running for around seven years. It’s been named after the Battle off Hastings (1066) as it’s only down the road from the famous battle.
Held on 2nd and 3rd June, it’s run on a brilliant piece of ground over seventy acres of streams, rocks and high banks, which makes a challenge for all abilities.
Run over two days starting on the Saturday at noon with four laps of eight sections with results and awards that same afternoon.
Sunday is three laps of thirteen sections, which are different from the Saturday, the results being compiled that night and up on Motorbiketrials.com by Monday morning.
Camping is available with plenty of room for campers, caravans and tents. Easy access via concrete path so no getting stuck problems. There will be toilets and fresh water available on site. Event postcode TN218XA. Camping available from the Thursday afternoon.
Fifteen minutes with former Scottish trials rider – Donald Buchan.
Interviewed by Grandson, Callum Buchan
Photos: Buchan Family; Ian Robertson
Special thanks to the Classic Racing 50cc Club UK for link to their article on Heldun.
Where and when were you born?:
I was born on the 1st of February 1940 in Perth, Scotland.
What is the family history in relation to motorcycles and can you tell us about Jimmy Buchan’s achievements in racing?:
My father, Jack, rode in the TT, the Scottish Six Days and the International Six Days. My brother Jimmy was in my father’s sidecar for the International Six Days at sixteen years of age in 1951 in Italy!
Jimmy rode the Isle of Man for the first time in 1954 and won the Clubmans TT in 1955 riding a BSA Gold Star. Then in 1956 he won the Manx Grand Prix double riding a Manx Norton.
Tell us about the retail motorcycle business you owned in Perth?:
‘Buchan Motorcycles’ was opened in 1960 by my father on Rannoch Road, Perth. In 1972 I took over the business, not because my father had decided to pack it in, retire and play golf all day, but because he felt you’re never too old to travel and got on his bike.
He planned on going from the foot of Argentina to the tip of Alaska. Off he went on his bike with insufficient cash banking on his charisma to be his currency and his iconic tam o’ shanter to explore the other side of the world.
Unfortunately, having reached as far as Mexico, he took ill before making it to the U.S and couldn’t complete his journey.
By the mid 1970s I opened a branch of the business in Forfar and in the next decade another in Perth Town Centre.
As you sold Bultaco and Montesa, did you deal directly with Comerfords and Montala Motors/Jim Sandiford?:
Yes, I dealt with all them directly and also dealt with Greeves Motorcycles, Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki directly.
You rode a 50cc Heldun (mistake in SSDT programme saying 60cc Heldun) in 1968. Tell us about the Heldun and how did the SSDT ride come to pass?:
Having spoken to the Heldun representative at the 1967 Motorcycle Show, chatting about trials, they suggested I visit the factory at Birmingham for a test ride. This lead to me being offered a bike for the SSDT for the following year. The Heldun was powered by a Sachs engine.
You rode the ISDT in 1969. Tell us about the bike you rode on? None of the Scots finished in 1969, not even Ernie Page, what put you out of the event?:
I rode on a Greeves, it was a Comerfords International Six Days model, 250cc, part of the British Vase B team. I was hit by an Italian rider, I think on day two and fractured my ribs causing my premature departure from the event.
How many times did you ride in the SSDT?:
I think it was five or six times.
Any favourite events in trials in Scotland?:
Any Scottish champion trial, none in particular. I competed in the length and breadth of Scotland, from Rogart to Ayrshire. Riding various bikes from the aforementioned Heldun to Triumph 500cc.
Were you a member of Scotland’s oldest motorcycle club the Perth and District Motor Club?:
Yes, I was a member from the late 1950s until the late 70s.
Did you organise any events?:
Yes, I was the trials convenor for a few years of the Perth & District MC.
Did you scramble or road race at any time?:
Yes, I road raced on a 50cc in Errol 1958 and at Beveridge Park, Kirkcaldy in the early 60s. I took part in various organised scrambles and hill climbs.
Many thanks to Donald and his family for putting this interview together.
The article on Heldun, linked to in this article is the copyright of the Classic Racing 50cc Club UK.