MICK ANDREWS

Mick Andrews - Yamah - 1977 SSDT

Mick Andrews – Yamaha – 1977 SSDT – Photo: Roz Price, Abergavenny

Trials Guru special feature on Mick Andrews. Often referred to as ‘Magical Mick’ or even the ‘Monarch of the Glen’ (SSDT nickname).

Mick Andrews - CP

Study of Mick Andrews, former Ossa and Yamaha factory rider – Photo: Claudio Trial Pictures

Mick Andrews is a name synonymous with the sport of trials since the early 1960’s. He has ridden for AJS; James; Bultaco (Rickman Brothers, 1966); Ossa and Yamaha, in a career that has taken him all over the world both as a competitor and a brand ambassador.

Andrews was twice European Trials Champion in 1971 and again in 1972 on Ossa, before the official World Championship commenced in 1975.

mick-andrews-tyndrum-1964-ssdt-cropped

Magical!

Nick-named ‘Magical Mick’ by the trials press many years ago and it stuck, he has won the famous Scottish Six Days Trial a total of 5 times, in fact he was only the second man in the events’ history to win it three times in succession, the first being B.H.M ‘Hugh’ Viney who was to become instrumental in Andrews riding for the AJS factory team in 1963, his AJS factory machine carried the index number 644BLB, registered as a 350 Matchless. Viney after retiring from active competition became AMC Competitions Manager.

Due to his SSDT successes, Mick was also dubbed ‘Monarch of the Glen’ after the famous oil painting by Sir Edwin Landseer by the motorcycle press of the day.

Journalist, Ralph Venables (see Trials Guru’s comments below) tipped Viney off about the young Andrews, whom he had been watching the progress of, closely. A phone call to Viney and that was good enough for Hugh!

AJS ~

Andrews began riding for AJS in 1963 and his first SSDT on the heavyweight four-stroke saw him bag a second place finish behind Arthur Lampkin on the factory BSA C15 (XON688). A feat he repeated in 1964, finishing runner-up to Sammy Miller on the 500cc Ariel. The next two years he finished third on the 250cc James (306AKV) and again on the Bultaco (DOT289D).

1966 - SSDT - Mick Andrews Bultaco DOT289D - 1

1966 – Scottish Six Days – Edinburgh Gorgie Market – Mick Andrews’ 244cc Bultaco – Photo: Kenny McNamee, Motherwell

mickandrews

1966 on the Bultaco Sherpa when Andrews rode for Rickman Brothers, New Milton, then the Bultaco importers.

In 1967 on the prototype Ossa Pennine (ORB222E), machine troubles forced him to retire, but he was back the next year and came home in third, and again in 1969, a second place.

547-red

Third place in the 1968 SSDT went to Mick Andrews on his factory development 250 OSSA (ORB222E), seen here on Tyndrum on the last day – Photo: Ian Robertson, Midlothian

‘Orpheo Sincronic Sociedad Anonima’ ~

His first win in 1970 was on his factory prototype (Barcelona registered: B775073) sporting a much neater tank/seat combination, modified frame and overall a much trimmer package. This particular machine formed the basis for the production ‘Mick Andrews Replica’ (MAR) launched in 1971.

Ossa 1972 Brochure front

Ossa Motos publicity covered Andrews’ successes on the brand in the Scottish Six Days Trial – Image: Ossa Motorcycles

Mick also kept his hand in motocross for the Spanish company, racing a 230cc machine when time allowed. Coupled to this his selection for the British ISDT team on several occasions. He rode a factory prepared Ossa in 1970 at El Escorial, Madrid, Spain. For the British team he rode AJS in 1968 in Italy and a 504cc Cheney Triumph in the Isle of Man in 1971.

Mick Andrews - Cheney - 2008 - Nostalgia - ISDT Rerun

A former ISDT rider, Mick gets ready to take part in the 2008 ISDT Re-Run on a Cheney Triumph similar to the one he rode in the 1975 ISDT on the Isle of Man.

Repeating his SSDT successes the next two years, Mick wondered if it was time for a change. The Ossa trials machine had been developed only because of the death of Ossa factory road racer Santiago Herrero in the 250cc Lightweight TT in 1970. This saw Ossa pulling out of racing. Ossa, which stands for ‘Orpheo Sincronic Sociedad Anonima’ switched its focus to off-road development and trials in particular and Mick had signed for them in 1967 with the help of UK importer Eric Housely.

YAMAHA MOTOR COMPANY ~

Yamaha announced the defection from Ossa in 1973. Andrews was to further develop the trials Yamaha that had been kicked off by Frenchman Christian Rayer, but it was not to be the TY (Trial Yamaha) style that Mick would be given. Factory ‘pure racing’ Yamahas were designated ‘0W’ and it was the Yamaha 0W series that Mick was to be given full reign of. (Yamaha factory designation for racing is:  0W – ‘zero W’)

1973 - First Day Leaders - M.J. Andrews - T. Evertson - F. Munoz

1973 – SSDT Best performance on First Day – Mick Andrews (England, Yamaha); Thore Evertson (Sweden, Ossa) & Fernando Munoz (Spain, Bultaco)

Yamaha’s European operation was called Yamaha Motor N.V., based in Amsterdam in the Netherlands where their race team was officially headquartered. Mick received full factory support and a contract which furnished him with Japanese technicians and a Ford Transit van, suitably liveried in Yamaha racing colours.

Book rear MA BOT

Andrews in his Yamaha supplied Ford Transit van, Dutch registered by Yamaha Motor Company race headquarters in the Netherlands – Image from his 1976 book – Mick Andrew Book of Trials, by Tom Beesley & Mick Andrews (ISBN: 9780917856006) Published by: Trippe, Cox. – Now out of print.

As confirmed by Ferry Brouwer, then Yamaha race technician to Phil Read and Tepi Lansivoiri, all factory contracted riders were supplied with Ford Transits, all Dutch registered and suitably sign-written with the riders’ name on the driver’s door. The enormity of Yamaha Motor Company was in stark comparison to the Spanish Ossa concern.

Surprisingly, all Andrew’s factory 0W’s were all road registered in the UK, a must for many of the national trials Mick undertook in that time period.

In 1975 Andrews once again brought the victors spoils home to Yamaha at the Scottish Six Days Trial, there was a very interesting story emerged about this win from film-maker David Wood of C.H. Wood (Bradford) Ltd.

Wood: “Not many people know this, but now will. After I’d filmed Mick winning the ’75 Scottish, I sent him the telegram, top left in Yamaha news. Unfortunately his Japanese mechanic saw it and sent it on to the top brass in Japan. They looked at the first lines, took it seriously and thought it was a great honour for Yamahaand published it in their house magazine. Obviously they didn’t quite understand Yorkshire humour. Nothing was said at the time, I presume to save face. I did get more work from Yamaha though, who were a great company to work for, even if some of the individuals weren’t!”

Yamaha News - David Wood

Yamaha News 1975 No.7 – Image supplied by the David Wood Archive

Much of the development work was undertaken at Mick’s home near Buxton, Derbyshire with new prototypes built in Japan and freighted over to Amsterdam for test sessions.

Mick Andrews 1977

Yamaha mounted in the 1977 Scottish Six Days, seen here on ‘Altnafeadh’. This is one of the OW series machines. This particular machine formed the basis for the ‘Majesty’ models (the word MA/JES/TY being: MA = Mick Andrews; JES = John E. Shirt; TY = Trial Yamaha) Photo: Iain C. Clark, Fort William

Return to Ossa ~

In 1979 Andrews once again rode for Ossa in the Scottish Six Days much to the delight of spectators.

Mick Andrews Loch Eilde path - 1979

Mick Andrews back on Ossa at the 1979 Scottish Six Days Trial, finishing 9th position on 135 marks – Photo copyright: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven

Andrews also took young riders under his wing, including the Oakley brothers Nick and Peter. He also started his own ‘Trials Academy’ with the help of Yamaha, the first of it’s type in the UK. Called the ‘Mick Andrews Trials Association’ or MATA for short.

1980 John Shirt Snr (Majesty) watched by Ron Hulme

1980 – John Shirt Senior, the man behind the Yamaha Majesty project, developed by Mick Andrews in the paddock area in Fort William. Man in Yamaha overalls is Ron Hulme – Photo: Colin Bullock

Mick’s bikes were ahead of their time in so far as Yamaha experimented with cantilever/mono shock suspension; fuel injection and reed valve induction systems. Much of the Yamaha development work is described in his 1976 book, ‘Mick Andrews Book of Trials’*, which has become a collector’s item with good copies fetching around £100 per copy.

Book Cover MA BOT

mick Andrews - Eric Kitchen - Nostalgia

Guest of Honour Mick Andrews receiving a momento at the Nostalgia in 2013 from ace photographer, Eric Kitchen

Mick Andrews1978 Pipeline

Mick Andrews (250 Ossa) on Pipeline in the 1978 Scottish Six Days – © – Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven.

Mick Andrews'85 250 Honda Kilmalieu

Mick Andrews rode this Honda TLR250 when supported by Marshalls of Stamford in the 1985 Scottish Six Days, seen here on ‘Kilmaleu’ – Photo copyright: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven

Mick Andrews on Ossa

Mick Andrews (Ossa) – Photo: Mike Rapley

Mick Andrews OSSA SSDT

Mick Andrews (350 Ossa) in the 1979 Scottish Six Days – © – Jimmy Young, Armadale.

Mick Andrews - Gas Gas - SSDT 2000 - CJB

Number one in the 2000 SSDT with Mick mounted on a Gas Gas – Photo: Colin Bullock/CJB Photographic

Some works registration numbers : Mick Andrews

AJS:

644BLB

James:

306AKV

Bultaco (Rickman Bros):

DOT289D

Ossa:

B775073 (Prototype)

B-1681-C (Prototype MAR)

Yamaha:

CRA33L (1973 – Twin-shock bike/cantilever in 1974 with fuel injection module fitted);

ENU29L (1973 – Cantilever bike); JGF729N (1975 – twin-shock bike)

Mick and Krahnst+¦ver exploring Heises Photos

Trials Guru on Andrews: I asked Mick when we were together in Robregordo in Spain 2006; did he ever have a job? He replied with a broad smile: “What, you mean an ordinary or proper job? – yes, I did have an apprenticeship to become a motor mechanic when I was sixteen at Kennings, but then I received the offer of the AJS works ride and I only really had two employers after that, Ossa and Yamaha”.

Robrgrdo group October 2006

Mick Andrews was instrumental in getting friend Jon Tye and Trials Guru’s John Moffat to ride at Madrid in 2006 – Photo: Escobe Baco, Madrid.

References:

(*) – Mick Andrews Book of Trials by Tom Beesley & Mick Andrews (ISBN: 9780917856006) Published by: Trippe, Cox. – Now out of print.

Photos:

© John Hulme/Trials Magazine UK for photos and guidance with this article.

© David Wood Archive, Bradford, England – Worldwide Copyright, All Rights Reserved

© Claudio Pictures, France

© Roz Price, Abergavenny, Wales

© Iain C. Clark, Fort William, Scotland

© Ian T. Robertson, Bonnyrigg, Midlothian, Scotland

© Barry Robinson, Ilkley, Yorkshire, England

© Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven, Argyll, Scotland

© Colin Bullock / CJB Photographic

© Kenny McNamee, Motherwell, Scotland

© Escobe Baco, Madrid

© Jim Young, Armadale, West Lothian, Scotland

Special thanks to David Wood for the use of copyright material from The David Wood Film and Photographic Archive, Bradford, England and both the Yamaha Motor Company, Japan & Ossa Motorcycles, Spain.

Mick Andrews Article © – Trials Guru/MoffatRacing/John Moffat – 2017 (All Rights reserved)

More information and reading on MICK ANDREWS:

on the RETROTRIALS website © – A full interview with Magical Mick… Here

Video of Mick Andrews: Courtesy of Ferry Brouwer, Netherlands via YouTube – Filmed on location in Scotland and Derbyshire by C.H. Wood (Bradford) Ltd for Yamaha Motor Company.