Category Archives: Feature

Ross Noble: Off Road

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The film crew charted Ross Noble’s first attempt at the 2017 SSDT – In the background are Nevis Radio’s John Weller and Trials Guru’s John Moffat (on microphone) before one of the daily runs. – Photo courtesy of Trials UK Media


Ross Noble: Off Road – Coming Soon! – Stand-up and TV comedian, Ross Noble took part in this years’ SSDT in May. He was accompanied by James Burroughs and a film crew who have provided footage for a mini series charting Ross’s attempt at the famous annual event.

The series will be aired on DAVE channel on December 7, 14 & 21st at 20.00. Photo: Courtesy of Trials UK Media, showing Ross and Trials Guru’s John Moffat at the Parc-Ferme in Fort William before one of the daily runs. Definitely something pre-Christmas for the trials enthusiast.

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Vesty strikes Gold

Bultaco ‘Manuel Soler’ 1977 Factory Sherpa found in USA:

The prototype 199 model of 1977 discovered in the USA as found by Yrjo Vesterinen – Photo: Y. Vesterinen

For those of you that are interested in Bultacos, Trials Guru would like to show you some pictures of the latest ‘treasure’ from the USA, unearthed by none other than three times FIM World Trials Champion, Yrjo Vesterinen.

Vesty had been offered the machine where it has been laying for many years unused in the USA, having been bought after the 1977 world round, ridden by works development rider, Manuel Soler.

It’s hard to imagine that Manuel Soler rode the world championship round in the USA at Port Huron and that this bike was sold into private ownership 40 years ago.

The Bultaco factory had shipped works bikes out to the USA for their riders to compete in the world series, but logistics dictated that it was cheaper to sell the bikes off in the USA through importer ‘Bultaco International Ltd’ than repatriate them back to Spain. So this particular machine was sold for $600 to a private buyer on 12th September 1977 on the factory’s behalf.

The rear top suspension mount is doubled for experimental shock positioning – Photo: Y. Vesterinen

The most visible difference between this and the standard bike are the dual mounting points for the rear shocks. Most other modifications are hidden from view.

Similarly the lower shock mounts are doubled on the swinging arm which was not gusseteed for the 199 model, this would be done for the subsequent 199A version – Photo: Y. Vesterinen

These include a works air-filter box, a modified cylinder barrel and a new gearbox that gave a much higher top gear, something Scottish Six Days Trial competitors welcomed. Most other things are cosmetic like a slimmer fuel tank and a lower seat were fitted by the factory. The lower seat being a favourite item by works rider and Bulto family member, Soler.

The crankcases were machined to take the high top gear pinion, a feature of the production model 199 Sherpa of 1977 – Photo: Y. Vesterinen

Inside the beast, the porting of the cylinder barrel is non standard – Photo: Y. Vesterinen

The real deal, the factory air boxes differed from standard – Photo: Y. Vesterinen

Yrjo Vesterinen says that water ingress has caused some corrosion damage within the clutch case – Photo: Y. Vesterinen

A 1977 photograph clearly shows the doubled shock mounts on Manuel Soler’s prototype 199 Sherpa

Along with the machine came paperwork showing the sale in September 1977 of the machine into private ownership.

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The bill of sale from September 1977 of this very special Sherpa prototype – Photo: Y. Vesterinen

This is without question the prototype for what would become the model 199 Sherpa of 1977and will be of particular interest to those who own or have owned a model 199 Sherpa. – All Photos: Y. Vesterinen

Factory publicity photo of the Sherpa 199 of 1977, a direct descendant of the prototype that Yrjo Vesterinen has repatriated from the USA – Photo: Bultaco Motorcycles, Spain

Vesty has promised to update us of the restoration of this very historic Bultaco over the next few months, here on Trials Guru.

To Be Continued……

Article copyright: Trials Guru & Y. Vesterinen 2017

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Trialsport 500

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The German Trialsport magazine has reached a fantastic landmark with its 500th edition in November 2017.

Originally the brainchild of former German Trials Champion, Felix Krahnstover in the mid 1970s, the magazine has been the staple publication for trials news in Germany for over 40 years.

Rainer Heise was an early contributer who took hundreds of images for the magazine, some of which he allowed Trials Guru to feature in the page: Trials in Germany

The editor currently is Hans Greiner who continues this great tradition.

We at Trials Guru congratulate Trialsport in its achievement of 500 issues, here is to the next 500!

Scott Trial 2017 – Resume

The Scott Trial 2017 is over and time to reflect on a fantastic event.

1st Dougie Lampkin
Scott Trial 2017 Winner Doug Lampkin with Trials Guru’s John Moffat and the coveted Alfred Angas Scott Memorial trophy – Photo: John Hulme/Trial Magazine UK

Here are Trials Guru’s observations of a very tough trial held on 21st October 2017 with assistance from photographer John Hulme of Trial magazine UK.

193 started and 87 finished on time.

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First man away at 09:00:00 was Scotsman, Gordon Murray from Evanton, Highland on his Beta, seen here being interviewed by Scott Trial commentator, John Moffat – Photo: John Hulme/Trial Magazine UK

Last years’ winner James Dabill set standard time, but it wasn’t enough to take the coveted A.A. Scott Memorial trophy from 41 year old Dougie Lampkin a rider with no less than four previous wins and three fastest finishes to his credit. Lampkin made it win number five, which was coincidentally his late father Martin’s favourite number!

Dabill came home in fourth position and a Gas Gas which resembled a boiling kettle. “Fancy a brew” quipped Dabill when he stalled the motor on the finish line.

“I wasn’t sure if I had another Scott win in me” stated an emotional Lampkin at the award ceremony on the Saturday evening at around 10.45 pm when he hoisted the A.A. Scott trophy high. A trophy which has borne the name ‘Lampkin’ on 12 previous occassions.

At the start, Dougie stated to Trials Guru’s Moffat during a filmed interview that his Uncle Arthur had stated that a Lampkin should always compete in the Scott Trial, the mantle falls to Doug at this time, so we can expect DL to be riding for a few more years yet.

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Trials Guru’s John Moffat interviewing winner Doug Lampkin at the scrutineering in the morning – Photo: John Hulme/Trial Magazine UK

When Doug returned to the finish field at Feldom Lane after 3 pm in the afternoon, he was a man with doubts in his mind, that was evident. Moffat again interviewed him to get his thoughts. He stated that the ‘young ones’ had closed in on him quicker than he could have imagined during the five hours or more that he had been wrestling the 300 Vertigo over a very wet Swaledale.

There had been heavy rainfall prior to the event which used a reverse direction course, which involved a lot of zig-zagging according to one of the local landowners and the moors and overall going was soft and slippery.

Miles Carruthers from Hookwoods commented that: “I’m a southern softie, used to mud trials, but today was very muddy even by my standards, it was super slippery, but yes, I’ll be back in 2018 for another go!”

The course has to be run at least every five years in reverse direction as part of the conditions placed on the event by the Yorkshire Dales, National Park.

But it was Lampkin’s day… again. Eleven minutes late, he lost 43 marks on observation but it was 7 marks in front!

John Moffat said: “You must never, ever underestimate or rule out Doug Lampkin, he is not known as the King of Trials for no reason. He is a thinking rider, he is calculated, but can also suffer from bad luck on the day, but as the saying goes, when the going gets tough… Doug gets tougher!”

There were some other noteable achievements of course, with Ian Austermuhle taking second spot, having won in 2015 and doesn’t ride trials as often as he used to.

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Newly crowned British Champion, Jack Price at scrutineering gives the low-down to Trials Guru’s Moffat – Photo: John Hulme/Trial Magazine UK

Fast rider, Jack Price boiled his Gas Gas, a suspected cylinder head ‘O’ ring being the likely culprit. He pushed all the way from Rotton Wood to the finish, but given that his machine had a tow-rope fitted and was seen to have been hauled up the finish field by two spectators, he was unable to be classed as a ‘bona fide’ finisher this year. So near and yet so far, but better luck for 2018.

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Fast on the moors, Gas Gas UK mounted Jack Price at By-Pass, captured by John Hulme/Trial Magazine UK

Local rider from Skeeby, Jonathan Richardson had a bad day at the office and almost rode clean away from the finish holding area. Fortunately he stayed and commented that it was not hsi day, with problems to overcome. He finished in eighth position, being a former winner and fastest rider in the past, he was justifiably disappointed.

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Duncan McColl (132) centre at By-Pass with Chris Brown entering the section – Photo: John Hulme/Trial Magazine UK

Scottish rider and newcomer, Duncan McColl from Glasgow who won the Mintex Trial is a man to watch for the future. He was unlucky and came off at speed, cutting his forehead and required eight stiches and a check-over for concussion, but he got round regardless and finished in 55th position.

Local rider, Jimmy Stones had an excellent Scott, coming home in third position with best on observation, losing 41 marks with 21 time penalty marks.

Thanks to the Richmond Motor Club (Yorks) Ltd for putting on yet another unique Scott Trial.

The Scott Trial will return on Saturday 13th October 2018!

Article: Trials Guru
Photographs: John Hulme/Trial Magazine UK – Copyright



Barry’s Pre-Scott

Barry Robinson captures ace photographer Eric Kitchen at Orgate with tons of water pouring over the falls – Photo: Barry Robinson

Barry Robinson who celebrated his 86th birthday yesterday (19th October) was out and about doing what he does best, taking photographs of places and people around the Swaledale area just prior to the 92nd Scott Trial.

A smiling John Shirt of Gas Gas UK when out and about pre-trial – Photo: Barry Robinson

Robinson’s photos have graced quite a few pages of this year’s souvenir programme, which it has been said is selling like ‘hot cakes’ in and around the area pre-trial.

The Trials Monkey, Michael Brown a former winner in 2013 and second last year – Photo: Barry Robinson

Here are just a few of Barry’s photos for your enjoyment pre-2017 Scott Trial.

The Welsh contingent, pre-trial. Iwan Roberts is on the far right – Photo: Barry Robinson


Coming soon to Irish Trials

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David Coughlan from Waterford on his very original 244cc Bultaco Sherpa T seen here at the Banbridge Classic Trial – Photo: Chris Sharp

Trials Guru has pleasure in announcing that we will be showcasing some images granted display by County Londonderry’s Chris Sharp, a trials, cycling and motorcycling enthusiast.

Chris has taken photographs for many years at events on the Emerald Isle and beyond and he takes really good images.

We are of course delighted to be able to show his work on the new ‘Irish Trials – Chris Sharp Selection‘ page and of course, as usual, all images remain the copyright of Chris Sharp, so please be respectful of that.

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Build it and they will come

A facebook interest page has spawned a new event in Derbyshire, we catch up with Mark Trueman…

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Words: Trials Guru – Mark Trueman

Photos: Nigel Ward

Facebook is of course a world-wide social media website and trials is becoming well catered for in that popular place, it now boasts over 5,000 members.

A general interest entitled “Hard to Find Twinshock Trials and Aircooled Mono” has now a large following, with members trading parts and complete machines. It is quite refreshing as it isn’t just another chat room, riders are helping other riders.

The result was the creation of a ‘Group Trial’ where members of the facebook group were invited to compete in a two day trial at two separate venues in Derbyshire.

Mark Trueman from Sheffield, England is the man behind this special interest group and puts a lot of time and effort into keeping it fresh and sensible. If people post inappropriate content or comment, he politely asks them to remove it, before it is removed. Most if not all, comply!

Here is the report on the third edition of the ‘Two Day Group Trial’ or 2DGT for short:

Hard To Find Twinshock Trials & AC Mono – Two Day Group Trial – 22ND / 23RD July 2017

Day One : Burycliffe Farm, Elton, Derbyshire

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Day Two : Dudwood Farm, Elton, Derbyshire

The ever popular Facebook Group 2 Day Trial headed back to the rolling Countryside of Derbyshire over the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd of July, stageing its 3rd edition.

Hosted and organised by the well known pairing of ‘YMSA’ couple of Barry & Sally Burton, with on the weekend assistance from facebook master, Mark Trueman, a weekend fielding over forty riders competed over the ten section, four laps per venue courses.

Classes were offered for Pre’65, Twinshock, along with a smattering of the comparatively modern Aircooled Monos.

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Heavy pre-event rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the entrants, and sections were designed and set out by trials master, Mr Mick Andrews leading up to the event.

Camping and entertainment was provided on the Saturday, and riders came from as far and wide as Malta and the Isle Of Man, as well as a strong contingent from the Southern Counties, for what is fast becoming a popular yearly event.

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Day one saw Dan Clark ride clean on his 1987 Honda RTL250 in the Expert Aircooled Mono class with an exceptional ride in the sticky conditions, as you would expect from a rider with his natural ability and experience.

Day one also saw Paul ‘Mac’ Houghton only lose 3 marks on his smartly turned out 1989 Gas Gas 250 in the Novice Aircooled Mono class, with Danny Littlehales riding well in the Pre’65 Expert category.

Andrew Bunton taking the spoils on the first day on his 1983 SWM 320 in the Twinshock Novice class.

In the Twinshock Expert class, a great ride also from Matt Spink on a 1980 Suzuki saw him clean all ten on the day.

With Richard Rogers riding a 1984 Fantic 300 and Jim Williams on board a 1983 SWM 350 ‘JUMBO’ cancelling each other out in the 50/50 Twinshock class.

Day two provided a few more entrants on the day, and complimented perfectly the great weekend had by all in drying conditions, providing a little more grip in the Rocky sections.


  • PRE 65 – 50/50 – SIMON SMITTS – 44 MARKS LOST

Well done to all involved, and the planning now starts for next year’s event to again be staged at Elton, Derbyshire. All details to be found when available on the ‘Hard To Find Twinshock Trials and Aircooled Monos’ facebook Page.