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Dateline March 2014…
With the event approaching at a rapid rate the Edinburgh & District Motor Club has sent out riding numbers to all the successful entrants for this year’s event. A detailed description of ‘who’s who’ in this annual classic will be issued shortly.
The machine importers who will represent the manufacturers will once again be providing excellent support facilities within the Parc Ferme in Fort William. For this to run as smoothly as possible, they will need riders to register with them for all your requirements before and during the event.
Contact details for all the importers are available, so please make your arrangements with them as soon as possible.
Beta – Tel: 01535 655970 – Mail: email@example.com
Gas Gas – Tel: 01298 766814 – Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jotagas – Tel: 01452 849458 – Mail: email@example.com
Montesa – “Montesa Honda will be providing on-event support at the Scottish Six Days Trial for competitors on Montesa machinery. Any competitors interested in receiving support at the event, opening a parts account prior to the event or interested in machine hire for the duration of the event, please make contact with your local Montesa dealer from the list below”.
Craigs Motorcycles – Tel: 01924 488 117 – Mickey Oates Motorcycles – Tel: 0141 332 7374 – St Blazey Moto-X – Tel: 01726 816 181
Ossa – Tel: 01229 716806 – Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Scorpa – Tel: 01229 716806 – Mail: email@example.com
Sherco – Tel: 01423 772885 – Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The very first pre-production water-cooled Yamaha TYZ 250 to appear at the Scottish Six Days Trial was this one seen here in May 1992. It was ridden by Yamaha factory technician and test rider HIRO KAMURA. His aim was to test the bike to its’ limits and finish the event which he did in 144th position losing 517 marks. This bike was to effectively replace the, by now, ageing TY250R air-cooled mono-shock Yamaha trials machine, which had proved so popular during its production run from 1984 to 1992. Kamura returned to Japan and fed back useful information to his development colleagues which resulted in the new models launch in early 1993.
Kamura seen here on Creag Lundie in the 1992 Scottish Six Days on the prototype TYZ Yamaha.
Hiro Kamura on the TYZ riding the Ben Nevis sections in May 1992.
(All Photos copyright: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven)
SSDT UPDATE 2014 – Clerk of the Course, Jeff Horne
After another few days in the Lochaber area, I can confirm you will be treated to some new and spectacular views along with a new route this year. In addition to this some old favourites will have an extra twist or two, and the introduction of some brand new sections just to keep you on your toes.
Along with a small group of Assistant Clerks we spent a very cold day of snow, hail and rain showers on Saturday preparing new sections that can only be described as a replacement for the old Witches burn and some.
We are scheduled to be back in the area in two weeks to continue where we left off. Bad weather and snow prevented us from carrying on. However this gave us an opportunity to look at some of the existing sections on the Sunday and we will indeed be extending some of them, like we did with some last year. So look out for some minor changes throughout the week.
I can also confirm that permission has been granted for the trial to use the Achlain group of sections for the first time since the early 90s. For those of you that can remember them, they may bring back fond memories or nightmares.
We will be publishing a comprehensive list of riders along with an editorial mentioning some of the riders taking part very soon.
Clerk of Course, SSDT
Christian Rayer is a name not universally known in the UK, but is very well-known in his native France. Born in 1945, riding Greeves and Motobecane machinery in his early years as a rider, he was instrumental in the development of the first Montesa Cota 247 series trials machine which emerged in 1967, based and developed from the Spanish factory’s Impala engine design.
This was done in association with both Pedro Pi and England’s Don (D.R.) Smith feeding information back to the Barcelona factory, owned by the Catalan Permanyer family, based then at Esplugas de Llobregat.
Rayer was six times French trials champion and rode the Scottish Six Days Trial three times on the Spanish marque. His main rivals of that era on the European trials scene were Sammy Miller, Gordon Farley and Don Smith (England) and Gustav Franke (Germany) who were all professional riders. Thereafter, in 1971 he was contracted by Yamaha to develop a trials machine the basis being their DT175 off-road model.
The trials model became known as the ‘TY’ which stood for ‘Trial Yamaha’ Rayer again feeding back useful information to the Japanese engineers at the Yamaha factory. Rayer’s efforts paved the way for a full-on attack by the Dutch based competition arm of Yamaha Motor Co in trials, but now with Mick Andrews as their main factory rider in 1973. Andrews had been with Spanish rivals, Ossa from 1967, switching to Yamaha in a blaze of publicity.
Rayer’s business acumen resulted in the creation of his dealership called ‘Moto 92’ at Chaville, a suburb of Paris, where he went on to develop up-rated motors for the Yamaha TY250; XT600 and other trail models. He was also the founder of the first riding school for off road riders near Paris and competed in the first edition of the famous Paris-Dakar Rally on the Japanese marque as an official team member, winning many of the individual stages in the process. Rayer also rode in the Enduro de Touquet, also as part of Team Yamaha and finished second overall from a start field of 1000 riders.
In later life, Christian took up para-gliding, diving, hunting and microlight aircraft piloting.
Nowadays Christian runs a business in Valbonne Cedex called ‘IP Moteurs‘ supplying after-market upgrade kits for Yamaha, Suzuki and Honda.
The Trials Guru salutes – Christian Rayer.
Alexander John Cameron, known to the townsfolk of his native Fort William as ‘Allie Beag’ or just ‘The Beag’, this Gaelic nickname means ‘Wee Allie’.
At the Parade Garage in Fort William, where he served his apprenticeship as a mechanic, there were two ‘Allies’ so there had to be a distinction and it stuck with him for the rest of his life. Allie was originally inspired by watching the Scottish Six Days and ventured into trials at eighteen years of age, when he could afford a James Commando in 1958. This beginner bike soon made way for a brand new 20TA Greeves, purchased from Duncan’s of Brechin a year later.
Allie progressed to a 250 DOT in 1961, which, he rode for only one year. Next season, Allie bought the ex- Jimmy Hutchins Tiger Cub and had it reduced in capacity by the factory at Meridan with the intention of winning the 150cc cup at the Scottish, which he did. Henry Vale, the competitions manager at Triumphs had a Terrier 150cc barrel fitted to reduce the capacity accordingly. That particular Cub had a twenty-one inch front wheel and a widened swinging arm to accommodate a full four-inch section trials tyre at the rear.
His Scottish 150cc capacity win on the Triumph soon attracted the attention of the Greeves factory at Thundersley, Essex and Allie received factory support in the shape of a 149cc bike (XWC 264) for the 1963 Scottish.
Cameron lifted the cup a second time for the loss of 120 marks with his closest rival being Gordon Farley, on a Triumph supported by Jock Hitchcock, who dropped 174 marks. Greeves were happy with the result and used it to best effect in their adverts in the motorcycle press for many months later.
The same year Allie was runner up in the Scottish Trials championship, two points behind Jackie Williamson. By 1967, ‘Beag’ had two special firsts, four first class and four capacity class wins to his credit in six rides in the Scottish Six Days Trial.
Allie was offered a job as mechanic in the competitions department at Thundersley, preparing the factory trials and scrambles machinery for the works riders. He also prepared many of the special ISDT machines including those supplied to Thames Ditton dealers Comerfords. Allie worked in company with John Pease on the ISDT bikes.
Pease who as well as working at the factory was selected on many occasions as a British Trophy team member. The duo fabricated the special engine cradles to carry centre stands, rock guards and the various brackets to carry headlamps, number plates and compressed air bottles for tyre inflation.
Allie became friends with Don ‘D.R.’ Smith who came up to the factory once a week for testing and development discussions. ‘Beag’ would go practising at Kelvedon Hatch near Brentwood with Smith who was one of Britain’s top trials riders, by then, European Champion.
‘Beag’ knew all the ‘works boys’ and was highly regarded as not only an excellent spanner-man but as a handy rider in the Wessex Centre ACU. He spannered for Bryan Goss and many of the other factory motocross riders.
In 1971, Allie decided to return home to Fort William and took up a position with the area’s largest employer, The British Aluminium Company (‘BA’ for short). He wasn’t home long when he received a call from Jim Sandiford offering him a job at Sandiford’s Montesa import business. Allie thought long and hard but decided to stay at the BA.
Having been diagnosed as having Hodgkin’s disease, the Beag had to restrict his trials riding but never lost his enthusiasm for motorcycling. He rode up until the late 1970’s and was a willing observer at both the annual Ian Pollock Memorial Trial and Pre-65 Scottish.
Sadly, Allie died in the November of 1998. His funeral at the Duncansburgh Church, Fort William was filled to overflowing, such was the popularity of the little man known affectionately as ‘The Beag’ to the towns-folk. Many modern day competitors and “old hands” converged on the Fort to pay their last respects.
Article: Copyright – John Moffat -2005
- Jimmy Young, Armadale
- Alistair MacMillan / West Highland News Agency, Fort William (with permission of current copyright holder: Anthony MacMillan, Fort William – All rights reserved)
- Mrs. Florence Cameron, Fort William
- John Moffat / Trials Guru
- Jack Williamson, Rosewell
For more on Scottish Six Days Trial click: Here