Tag Archives: yamaha

Peter Mitchell – a trials character

PETER MITCHELL – a Scottish Trials Character – 1942 – 2011.

 

1997-ssdt-parade
Peter Mitchell – 1942-2011

 

Words: John Moffat, Isobel & Duncan Mitchell

Photos: Eric Kitchen; Jimmy Young, Armadale; Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven; Colin Bullock/CJB Photographic, Solihull; Anthony MacMillan, Fort William*; Richi Foss, Inverness; Mitchell Family Archive.

 

JY - Peter Mitchell
Peter Mitchell having a cautionary dab on his 250 Suzuki at a Forfar event around 1980. Photo: Jimmy Young

One of Scottish trials best-known characters was Peter Mitchell.
Born in the granite city of Aberdeen on 20th July 1942, he was the youngest of six children with four sisters and one brother, also a trials rider.

p-m-ajs
Peter Mitchell on elder brother Colin’s 16c AJS at Skatie Shore in 1962

Elder brother Colin competed in the SSDT and many events having been demobbed from his national service in 1959 and purchased a new 350 AJS 16C from Comerfords at Thames Ditton, a machine that Peter would ride on occasion.

colin-mitchell
Elder brother, Colin Mitchell seen here on his Beamish Suzuki in 1979

Peter attended school in Aberdeen, firstly at Mile End primary school and then Stonehaven’s Feteresso and Mackie Academies.
Married to Isobel, they had four children, Duncan, Derek, Stuart and daughter, Alison. His nephews were Alan and Richard, Colin’s two sons.

colin-mitchell-suzuki
Peter’s elder brother Colin seen here in 1979 with his Beamish Suzuki. Colin was a car body repair specialist and rode many events together with Peter Mitchell.

Isobel recalls: “Peter started scrambling as a member of Bon Accord MCC at the age of sixteen at a meeting at Findon near Aberdeen. Although I did not know him at the time, I used to go along to the scrambles to watch the racing, but never thought that on the 28th of December 1966, I would be married to him”.

Peter Mitchell scrambled a BSA Gold Star at one time, but a bad crash put him out of scrambling and he decided to concentrate his motorcycle efforts into trials, like his elder brother Colin.

pm-bsa-gold-star
Peter on his BSA Gold Star scrambler – Photo courtesy: Mrs Isobel Mitchell

Young Mitchell worked in various jobs as a builder, digger driver, lorry driver and with a demolition company. At the weekends he also worked at his brother Colin’s garage, where he would dismantle cars for parts reclamation and sales, this was before the advent of large vehicle dismantlers such as Overton Dismantlers. The beyond use parts were sent away to the scrap yards for crushing.
Dismantling work was always done on a Saturday when his four sons were also involved, by donning their boiler suits to work at removing parts from the cars. Lunch times involved a trip to the Cammachmore public house where pie, beans and chips and a few pints were called for, while the children got a game of pool and a soft drink.

1988-ssdt-start
The camaraderie of Scottish trials is shown in this photo of Peter Mitchell at the 1988 SSDT start. If you look closely to the left, the man reaching forward with his hand to his face is Jimmy (J.D.) Morton of Sorn, Ayrshire – shouting ‘words of encouragement’ to Peter as he is piped away!

Son Duncan Mitchell, also a trials rider: “We used to get to drive the cars around the fields until they broke down, crashed them, or ran out of fuel, then we used Uncle Colin’s Land Rover to recover them, syphon the petrol from the cars so we could all use our bikes to race about the fields next door”.

 

Duncan Mitchell -2014 - HC2DT - IL
Duncan Mitchell now rides Peter’s 350cc BSA B40, which he called his ‘secret weapon’ when it was first built. Duncan believes in keeping his Father’s memory alive in Pre’65 events, seen here at the Highland Classic on Alvie Estate, near Aviemore – Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven

Peter was also a supervisor at George McGowan civil construction, operated by the brother to Rodger McGowan, who ran the Aberdeen bike shop ‘McGowan Motor Cycles’. After McGowan closed his company, Peter was made redundant and started out as self-employed, setting up a building company simply called Peter Mitchell Builders. He had the assistance from all his children on weekends and summer holidays to assist with any jobs they could undertake.

Duncan: “I remember this one time we built a wall and set the coping stones on it, then put the scratch coating on it all in one long day, Dad then said to me ‘great job let’s wash out the mixer’. He said to me to put some stones in the drum to knock off the mortar from it, so that is what I did, this was a ‘tow behind’ mixer so you can imagine where the stones came from, the wheel chocks! Well it took off down the hill and went clean through the wall, I’ve never ran so fast”.

2014-10-29_4
Mind on the job in hand, Peter Mitchell (Beamish Suzuki) at the 1980 Aberfeldy Two-Day Trial – Photo: Jimmy Young

In 1998 Peter had a heart attack and was forced to give up his company. After he had some rest and was finished all the bikes in the garage he got a job with Ready Mixed Concrete (RMC Group) at Durris Quarry where he was in charge of the batching plant. He had a good easier job there and had a shed there where he could tinker with his bikes, also had a folding seat that he could sit outside when he was not too busy.

1982-ssdt-pm
In 1982, Peter Mitchell rode and finished with this 238cc Bultaco in the Scottish Six Days.

 

Recycling:

Duncan Mitchell: “When the RMC company closed the Durris plant, Dad then got a job working driving skip lorries for a living, he was in his element here as many a good thing was discovered in a skip was what he told me. Many a tool and other things used to come home”.

witches-burn-1988
1988 Scottish Six Days with Peter taking a hefty dab and advertising the ‘YAMSCOT’ support as he gets the TY250R Yamaha up the big step at ‘Witches Burn’

1993-ssdt-pm-cjb-photo
Eyes front and concentrating hard, 1993 Scottish Six Days on the TY250R Yamaha – Photo: Colin Bullock/CJB Photographic, Solihull
Family Man:

Peter was a real family man; he was Grandfather to Nicole and Callum, Katy and Iona, and father-in-law to Fiona, Pauline, Willie & Jill.  He was also a Step Grandfather to Leanne, Darren and Liam with Great grandchildren, Tony and Sol.
Son Stuart was not captivated by motorcycles, preferring football and golf as his sports.

pm-bultaco
Family man! Peter on his 1969 Bultaco M.27 Sherpa with his children Duncan, Derek and Alison.

family-group-ssdt
Family was important to Peter Mitchell, seen here with son Duncan, daughter-in-law Jill, and wife Isobel at the finish of another SSDT for Duncan on the TYZ Yamaha.

Derek did both trials and motocross and also car rallying, autocross and hill climbs. He also took part at the Alford Museum popular moped race on a Yamaha DT50 and won this several times including the first year it was organised. Derek worked at Shirlaws Motorcycles for many years.

p-mitchell-ll2dt
Waving a precautionary right foot, Peter Mitchell was a regular competitor at the Loch Lomond ‘Dan Stewart Memorial’ 2 Day Trial, seen here at the 1980 event on his 250cc Yamaha TY ‘Yamscot’ – Photo: Jimmy Young, Armadale

Alison was also a trials rider and rode for many years and only gave up competing to have a family and start a new business.
Duncan Mitchell still rides trials most weekends, with the moped racing at Alford in September. He also assists the Bon Accord club whenever possible, the SSDT, Loch Lomond Two Day and at club trials. He was also the Bon Accord trials and enduro convener for a number of years and also set up the 2 Day events at Ballindalloch, where the barn dances were epic many a good weekend spent there.

1989-ssdt-pm-fantic-205
Scottish Six Days in 1989 with Peter Mitchell on a Fantic 305 on Ben Nevis.

Peter Mitchell played Football for a local team in Cove Bay, until he got struck with the ball and punctured his lung. He was also an officer in the Boys Brigade 1st Cove Juniors.

1984-ssdt-weigh-in-pm
Never one for sitting polishing his machines, Peter weighs in his well used 240 Fantic for the 1984 Scottish Six Days Trial

Peter was a member of the Bon Accord MCC for over 50 years, and other various clubs through Scotland and England from Rogart in the north of Scotland to Somerset in the south of England. He took part in scrambles, grass track racing, trials, enduro and also stock car racing.

Music:

Peter loved country music and also loved to go to the speedway racing, especially Cradley Heath when on holidays in the south.
Peters motto in life was “Love me, love my bike – have bike will travel” and so the whole family joined in for many happy and enjoyable years, trekking up and down the country and making lots of friends along the way.

John Dickinson, formerly Editor of T&MX News: “I was minding my own business one day at home when I looked out of my window and suddenly there was Peter Mitchell and family walking outside my house, he had called into Kendal on holiday, knowing I lived there and began searching for me just to say hello”.

peter-mitchell09-cam-h
Hard riding Peter on his BSA B40 on Cameron Hill in the 2009 Pre’65 Scottish – Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven

Duncan: “In 2009 we had a great holiday, we flew to Birmingham, hired a car and went to Cardiff to the world speed way cup and also visited the Sammy Miller Museum which was a place my Dad wanted to visit for a long time. We then watched the speedway racing at Eastbourne and then on to a meeting at Wolverhampton before handing back the hired car with over 1,000 miles on it”.
“We had a great holiday, but little did we know what laid ahead of us. Sadly in the following April, Dad was diagnosed with cancer the week before we were heading up to Fort William. He rode the Pre-65 trial at Kinlochleven, but sadly this would be his last. He loved the area and loved the events there, after a long battle, he passed away on the 13th February 2011”.

ssdt-group
Peter Mitchell enjoys a post event chat (and beer!) at the Scottish Six Days with (from left): Rab Paterson, Derek Mitchell, Peter, Duncan Mitchell and Alan Johnston.

Trials Guru’s John Moffat: “I was extremely privileged to be invited by the Mitchell family to speak at Peter’s funeral in 2011. I had known of Peter and his brother Colin before I started riding trials in 1974. Peter was a great character, he always greeted you with a broad smile and was always keen to chat about the sport whenever he met you. Never a shrinking violet, he was a hard rider, but had a heart of gold. The kind of guy that you could rely upon”.

1984-ssdt-fantic-pm
No time to look at the scenery in 1984, Peter Mitchell tackles Laggan Locks in the morning sunshine of the Tuesday, 8th May on his 240cc Fantic.

Peter took part in many events and won many trophies over the years. He was Best up to 250cc in the SSDT, best Scottish rider in the Pre’65, Best over 350cc in the Pre’65 trial.
Peter had ridden the Pre-65, then the SSDT, followed by the Lochaber Invaders trial which was the equivalent to nine one-day trials on the trot.

Duncan: “He was proud to show me the way around the hills of the SSDT course, not many people get the chance to do things like this with their fathers. I was so proud to have known this man for the time I did, I have so many experiences and great fun with him. He was to me a great man, missed by us all”.
Peter also was one of a few that rode all of the Loch Lomond Dan Stewart Two-Day Trial up to the events’ 25 years celebration. It is believed that it was Ian Abbot and Peter were the only two to have ridden them all.

He annually rode the Forfar & Perth & District Club’s Aberfeldy Two-Day trial and along with a few others received a long-time rider award, this was a special motorcycle trophy made by a local artist, constructed from spark plugs, gears and bolts.
In 2008, Peter received a life time achievers award for services to motorcycle sport from the Scottish ACU.

When undergoing treatment for cancer, Peter had numerous chemotherapy sessions but he still managed to ride the Scottish AMCA Over-40 series and finished the season by winning the championship. Sadly, he died while he was a reigning champion and never got the chance to defend this title.

Peter Mitchell’s career highlights:
Pre 65 Scottish:  1989-2010
Started the event as number 1 in 1994
Best finish was 4th overall in 1995
SSDT: 1978-1997
Started the trial as number 1 in 1998.
1988-ssdt-pm-a-macmillan-photo
Getting his time-card from the official guest starter in the 1988 Scottish Six Days, Peter on his Yamaha TY250R at the start in Fort William, issued with number 1 – Photo: Anthony MacMillan, Fort William*
Peter rode for the Aberdeen based Yamscot team in 1978 won the ‘Eigg Cup’ for best performance on a motorcycle under 250cc, riding a TY 175 Yamaha, he rode with Jock Fraser and John Winthrop.
ssdt-mitchell-crop
Peter Mitchell in his first SSDT in 1978 on the TY175 Yamaha on Blackwater
Peter rode a variety of machines in the SSDT, Yamaha TY 175, TY 250, Beamish Suzuki, Bultaco, Fantic, Yamaha TY 250R Mono, TYZ, Gas Gas, and completed his last SSDT on a TYZ model Yamaha.
mitchell-peter-1997c-2
A fantastic shot of Peter Mitchell on his Yamaha TYZ climbing ‘Garbh Bheinn’ in the 1997 Scottish Six Days Trial, watched by Richmond clubmen, John Fraser and Andrew Kearton – Photo: Worldwide copyright – ERIC KITCHEN – (all rights reserved).
In 1994 Peter was in the winning team which were awarded the ‘Jackie Williamson’ trophy for the best Scottish team with Duncan Mitchell and Neil McGregor for the Bon Accord club, this was the first time the trophy was presented.
1998-ssdt-pm
Grimacing with the effort of concentration in the 1998 Scottish Six Days, Peter Mitchell on the 250 Gas Gas at Piper’s Burn.
On the lighter side, Peter raced in the ‘Team Kwackersaki’ for McGowan Motorcycles with son Duncan from 1991 -1995 where they won the Scottish moped racing crown on several occasions.
peter-mitchell-cropped
Peter enjoys a pint and some grub after a hard day on the bike!

Peter Mitchell Memorial Trophy:

 

faww-9
The Peter Mitchell Memorial Trophy, the trophy which was made by Inverness artisan, Richi Foss, the base was made by Peter’s eldest son Stuart.

After his death, Isobel Mitchell approached the Inverness based welder/fabricator and artisan, Richi Foss to commission a special trophy in Peter’s memory. It was to be presented to the Edinburgh & District Motor Club Pre’65 committee for the oldest finisher award at the annual Pre’65 Scottish Trial.

Foss undertook the commission and the first winner was none other than seven times TT winner, Mick Grant. Foss was delighted to hear that news, being a motorcyclist himself.

If you look at the Peter Mitchell trophy you will see that the rider is climbing his machine over a large granite out-crop, this is significant, as it represents the granite from Peter’s homeland of Aberdeen and also that he was always regarded as a ‘hard rider’.

Being an artisan, Foss contacted a ‘person’ who knew Peter Mitchell well and questioned him closely about Peter’s life and his career as a trials rider. Foss took all this information he had gleaned from the fellow enthusiast and thought about it long and hard before forming his ideas as to how the trophy would look. He also studied some photos of Mitchell in action, noticing that he rarely rode with a crash helmet with a peak fitted for example.

Foss wanted to capture the ‘spirit’ of Peter Mitchell in the finished article. This he achieved and the trophy was greeted with great pleasure by the Mitchell family when it was handed over to them by its’ creator.

Richi Foss has achieved the impossible when you realise that the wheels carry no visible spokes as they are spinning too fast for the eye to see, thus giving the piece the impression of ‘motion’.

 

FFAW 1
The specially commissioned trophy for the oldest finisher in the Pre’65 Scottish Trial in memory of Peter Mitchell. Made by the Inverness artisan, Richi Foss of Foss Fabrication and Welding

pm-trophy1
The Peter Mitchell trophy rear view – Photo: Richi Foss

pm-trophy2
Detail of the tank – Photo: Richi Foss

pm-trophy-3
Nearside view – Photo: Richi Foss

More on Foss Fabrication’s work: HERE

Trials Guru is indebted to the Mitchell family for their assistance in compiling this tribute to a true character and sportsman of Scottish motorcycle trials.

* Alistair MacMillan / West Highland News Agency, Fort William (with permission of current copyright holder: Anthony MacMillan, Fort William – All rights reserved)

1985-ssdt
The Yamscot Team in the 1985 SSDT – from left: Peter Mitchell; Alan Fender and the late Ian Fender who lost his life in a road accident during the 1991 event.

Article copyright: Trials Guru/Moffat Racing 2016

Photographs and their copyright:

  • We respect the copyright of our photographers who give us access to their work free of charge.
  • Please do not breach copyright laws by taking images from this website for use elsewhere. Permission has been sought and granted from the copyright owners for the use of images on Trials Guru.
  • We are indebted to our photographers for their continued support of this venture.
  • Please be aware: All photographs displayed on Trials Guru are not held in any archive by the website operator, as the images are the legal intellectual property of the photographer only.
  • We do not sell any images used on Trials Guru, if you wish to purchase a copy, we can put you in touch with the relevant photographer.

If you want to know more about Scottish Motorcycle Sport from 1975 – 2005 click … HERE

TG Logo 2
Trials Guru – Dedicated to the Sport!

Dave’s Yamaha Time-warp

Recently, we came across a real nice little story. From time to time, we are sure that stories are told of a brand new, unused motorcycle still in the manufacturer’s packaging crate – they do exist!

yamaha-ty250r-2
What is in this box? – Photo: Dave Smith

Dave Smith from Buckinghamshire recently had a look inside a box he has had for the last 25 years.

What is inside it? – A brand new unused Yamaha TY250R ‘Pinky’ model!

yamaha-ty250r-1
Surely not, is the box empty or? – it can’t be, can it? – Photo: Dave Smith

Bought brand new in it’s Yamaha box from John Lee Motorcycles, it was one of the very last batch made in 1992 and Dave thought because it was such an important machine in trials history he would get one of the last and keep it wrapped up.  Smith recounted: “I seem to remember at the time they had gone well out of fashion and they were discounted down to about £2,000. I’m sure I’ve got the original sales invoice somewhere. Judging by the reaction I have had, a lot of people remember them with fondness”.

The TY250R ‘Pinky’ was the last of the TY250 range which began with the twinshock Yamaha Trials machine in 1974. The TY250S and R models were developed with the direct input of Nigel Birkett and of course were monoshock (Yamaha Mono-cross system) suspension on the rear. The TY250R ‘Pinky’ was produced in 1992 as a single batch, just before the factory commenced production of the Yamaha TYZ, water-cooled, aluminium perimeter frame model.

The TYZ model signalled Yamaha’s ongoing committment to the sport of trials but ended the production run of the air-cooled TY250R which ran from 1984 – 1992.

So let us unwrap the time warp from 1993…

yamaha-ty250r-3
Brand new in box, they do exist! The original owner’s manual, handlebars and propstand – Photo: Dave Smith

yamaha-ty250r-4
Factory fresh, zero miles on the odometer – Photo: Dave Smith

yamaha-ty250r-5
Unused, with factory disclaimer decals on the rear fender – Photo: Dave Smith

yamaha-ty250r-6
Still in the original box, the Yamaha sees daylight from it’s time capsule! – Photo: Dave Smith

yamaha-ty250r-7
The caution decals on the plastic tank, completely empty and unused – Photo: Dave Smith

yamaha-ty250r-8
Not many left in original condition as this TY250R – Photo: Dave Smith

yamaha-ty250r-9
The front mudguard nestles on the rear tyre, still unfitted since being packed away by the factory dispatchers – Photo: Dave Smith

yamah-ty250r-10
Many thanks to owner Dave Smith for allowing us to look at his unused Yamaha TY250R

Many thanks to owner Dave Smith for allowing Trials Guru feature his quite unique Yamaha, the big question now must be… will he ride this precious time warp machine or simply return it to its’ slumbers for posterity?

Text: Copyright: Trials Guru/Moffat Racing 2016

Images: Dave Smith, Buckinghamshire

Trials Guru – we always bring you something new old!

Nick’s YamTYZ

nick-hunt-on-his-bw-racing-tyz-yamaha-lb
Richmond clubman, Nick Hunt on his ‘Barry Watson Tuned’ Yamaha TYZ250 – Photo: Lorenzo Burnet


Richmond forester, Nick Hunt rode the Richmond trial at Marske on Sunday, 30th October, 2016 on a Barry Watson Racing prepared TYZ Yamaha instead of his usual Montesa 4RT.
The 1999 machine has been ‘resting’ in Jack Watson’s garage since 2006 after being prepared for the 2006 Scott Trial.

Gary Watson, Barry’s youngest son, wisely decided his knees would not stand another hammering so did not ride. Nick fired the Yam up and opted to give it a whirl at Marske on Sunday.

But for stalling the engine in the seventh section on the last lap he would have been top three or four in the Over 40’s class.

Team Watson are seeking another TYZ despite the fact that the current model will just not wear out.

Coverdale farmer Steve Lambert is an authority on TYZ cow bikes which are a sought-after commodity in the Scott Trial localities. Steve takes it to the extreme though has he has and eras the original Team Yamaha riding clothing.

steve-lambert-lb
Steve Lambert on his Yamaha TYZ – Photo: Lorenzo Burnet

Report and photos: Lorenzo Burnet, 2016

SSDT – Where are they now?

Where are they now?

1966 - SSDT - Sammy Miller Bultaco EAA60D - 2
1966 Weigh-In at Gorgie Market, Edinburgh – Sammy Miller’s Bultaco Sherpa 252cc (EAA60D) – Photo courtesy: Kenny McNamee, Motherwell

The Scottish Six Days Trial is one of those events that every trials rider not only wants to take part in at least once in their lifetime, but to win it, well that is something really special.

Motorcycle manufacturers have entered works machines to the event with the sole aim of achieving victory, pure and simple.

Tommy Sandham, who has written four books on the subject, has asked me to undertake a tricky task – to find out how many SSDT winning machines still exist!

2011 - 187BLF- GOV132 - IL
SSDT Centenary 2011 – Two of the most famous trials machines, of all time – 187BLF (350 AJS) which won the 1961 SSDT ridden by Gordon Jackson losing only one mark. GOV132 (500 Ariel) Sammy Miller’s famous machine that won the SSDT (1962 & 1964) – Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven

We know of a few that are still around, these are as follows:

1946/47/48 – HughViney’s 350 AJS (HXF641)

HXF641 - 2 - David Lewis photo
Hugh Viney’s AJS with some details painted on the front plate of HXF641 as it is to this day – Photo: David Lewis, London

HXF641 - 1 - David Lewis photo
Hugh Viney’s factory AJS HXF641 on which he won three successive SSDTs post-war – Photo: David Lewis, London

1957 – Johnny Brittain’s 500 Royal Enfield Bullet (HNP331) – National Motorcycle Museum.

1962/64 – Sammy Miller’s 500 Ariel (GOV132) – Sammy Miller Trust.

1961 – Gordon Jackson’s 350 AJS (187BLF) – Sammy Miller Trust.

1963 – Arthur J. Lampkin’s 249 BSA C15 (XON688) – Owned by A.J. Lampkin.

1965 – Sammy Miller’s Bultaco Sherpa (669 NHO) – Owned by Sammy Miller Trust.

1966 – Alan R.C. Lampkin’s 249 BSA C15 (748MOE) – Owned by A.R.C. Lampkin.

1967/1968 – Sammy Miller’s Bultaco Sherpa (EAA60D) – Owned by Yrjo Vesterinen.

1969 – Bill Wilkinson’s 250 Greeves – (WWC 169F) – Owned by Bill Wilkinson.

1981 – Yrjo Vesterinen’s 349 Montesa Cota – Owned by Yrjo Vesterinen.

2005 – Sam Conner’s 290 Sherco – Owned by Paul Rays

So where are the rest?

Some SSDT winning machines – but where are they?

1954: Artie Ratcliffe’s 350 Matchless (OLH721)

1959: Roy Peplow’s Triumph Cub (RUE923)

1970-1971 : Mick Andrews’ Ossa (B775073 – Barcelona registration)

1972 : Mick Andrews’ Ossa (B-1681-C – Barcelona registration)

1973: Malcolm Rathmell’s 250 Bultaco (XWW34L)

1974: Mick Andrews’ 250 Yamaha (CRA33L)

1975: Mick Andrews’ Yamaha (JGF729N)

 

Use the Trials Guru CONTACT page to let us known – HERE

Five Minutes with Nikita Smith – Trials Rider

Nikita Smith - TG
Nikita Smith (Gas Gas UK)

Nikita Smith is 19 year of age and comes from a family with trials connections.

“My Dad and his brothers rode a few trials back in their day.” says Nikita.

“The Middlesbrough & District MCC national Cleveland Trial runs just above our farm. When I was around two years of age, I heard the sound of trials bikes and was pointing, so my Mum and Dad took me up to have a look. It all really started from that moment, I just wouldn’t shut up about bikes. My Nan and Grandad bought me a battery bike that I could ride around the farm, but I wanted to go faster so at four, my parents bought my a Honda QR 50. I then progressed on to a Yamaha TY 80 and started to ride trials at the age of six”.

Nikita Smith - TY80
Nikita on the Yamaha TY80

“I just moved through the classes, my parents were always supporting me and I can’t thank them enough! When I was ready to move to B class, I joined ‘Ace Trials Team’ run and financed by the Kilhams family. For me this was a dream come true at such a young age. They gave me brilliant support and they introduced me to the European and World trials scene. They showed me how everything worked, as it’s a bit different than entering a club trial! Unfortunately the Ace Trials Team didn’t continue, so I joined up with John Shirt at Gas Gas UK which was fantastic help as I progressed in my riding career.

Nikita Smith - 4 - SA J S
Nikita’s FIM Women’s Trial GP of Andorra riding bib from 2013 – Photo: Sallyann Smith

“My cousins also rode a few trials we all live quite close so we would go practising together”.

Nikita Smith - Kacey Smith
Nikita shows her all action style on the Gas Gas – Photo: Kacey Smith

“Unfortunately, I suffered a road traffic accident which involved head, chest and leg injuries. This has been a big set-back to me, but my goals still remain the same to ride at the top level. I am currently undergoing physio with my leg and working hard to get where I want to be, on a trials motorcycle”.

 

Nikita Smith - 2
Nikita Smith doing what she likes best, riding trials

Mark Kilhams, Owner of the Ace Trial Team commented: “I approached the Smith family at the final ladies round in the Isle Of Wight as I saw great potential that was not being fully accessed. I knew that Joanne Coles would be the best mentor for Nikita and would make a great team mate. Thankfully the family agreed to compete abroad if supported in the world and European paddocks by Ace Trials Team. This was a very successful arrangement for all involved and Nikita’s achievements and potential brought in a lot of new interest and sponsorship to the team. We have kept in constant contact with the Smith family since Nikita’s terrible accident and I know that the strong-will and single mindedness that bought her so many top podium finishes, will get her back to the top of ladies trials again”.

Nikita Smith - 2016 - Sallyann Smith photo
Nikita getting back in the groove on her Gas Gas in July 2016 – Photo: Sallyann Smith

2017 Update:

Now fully recovered from her horrific road accident, and at the ripe old age of twenty years, Nikita Smith makes a comeback on the world stage with her first appearance since 2013 when she was fifteen.

Nikita will take part on a Gas Gas machine and compete in the newly launched ‘Trial2 Women’ class in the World trial series in Kingman, USA in August 2017.

Article Text Copyright: Trials Guru / Moffat Racing – John Moffat 2017

Photos:

  • Courtesy of Nikita Smith, all rights reserved.
  • Kacey Smith
  • Sallyann Smith

Magical Chase 220 for the Highlands!

IMG_5540
The Yamaha ‘Magical-Chase 220’ – Photo: Ricky Wood, Derbyshire

Mick Andrews will debut a Yamaha ‘Magical-Chase 220’ at the Inverness & District MC Ltd, Highland Classic Two-Day trial at Aviemore on 11th June.

IMG_5541
Former European Trials Champion and multiple SSDT winner, Mick Andrews will be guest of honour at the Highland Classic 2 Day in June 2016 – Photo: Ricky Wood

The bike has been developed by Colin Leese with direct input by Mick Andrews and now owned by Derbyshire rider, Ricky Wood who will also take part in the annual classic trial on Alvie Estate on the Saturday and Sunday 11/12th June.

Mick told Trials Guru that the machine has been built with ideas that were used on his factory 0W10 machines from the mid-1970s when he took the honours twice at the SSDT.

Andrews: “We have put a lot of effort into this little bike which runs very well and the first to ride it was its owner, Ricky Wood who has allowed me to ride it competitively at the Highland Two Day. Colin Leese of ‘Chase TY’ has done all the hard work with my advice and guidance. He builds the TY220 to order and there is quite a waiting list”.

IMG_5543
Based loosely on the factory oW10 concept, the Yamaha ‘Magical-Chase 220’ looks purposeful – Photo: Ricky Wood

Mick Andrews is this year’s guest of honour, a feature of the Highland Classic which now boasts 150 riders competing on a shooting estate which lies four miles south of Aviemore.

IMG_5589
Mick Andrews samples Colin Leese’s handiwork in a pre-season testing session – Photo: Ricky Wood

The theme this year is ‘The Yamscot Edition’ which not only pays homage to Magical Mick Andrews when he rode for the Japanese company, but also Shirlaws Motorcycles of Aberdeen which used the ‘Yamscot’ moniker back in the 1970s to promote the Yamaha off-road and racing brand in Scotland.

IMG_5595
Mick Andrews puts the Yamaha Magical-Chase 220 through its paces – Photo: Ricky Wood

Photos courtesy and copyright of Ricky Wood, Derbyshire.

 

Highland Classic 2016 update

IMG_0005y
‘Magical’ Mick Andrews is the guest of honour at the Highland Classic 2016 on 11/12 June – Photo copyright: Rainer Heise, Germany

The Inverness & District MCC have announced that their special guest of honour for the 2016 Highland Classic Two Day Trial on June 11 & 12 – ‘THE YAMSCOT EDITION’ will be former Yamaha factory trials rider, MICK ANDREWS. They will be paying homage not only to the ‘YamScot’ effort from the mid 1970s by Shirlaws Motorcycles, but also to the rider who won five Scottish Six Days Trials, two of them Yamaha mounted. Having moved from the Spanish Ossa factory, Andrews rode special factory OW series machines, which led to the development of the production TY series twin-shock bikes that were used by ‘YamScot’ riders in Scottish events. Shirlaws’ owner Leslie Shirlaw formed the YamScot team to promote Yamaha machines in Trials, Motocross and Road Racing. Mick Andrews will enter into the spirit of the trial by riding a suitably prepared Yamaha machine at Alvie. – Entry forms will be released and available on 20th February, 2016.

IMG_0013b
Mick Andrews was a factory rider for Yamaha Motor Co on their factory ‘OW’ series machines which were reserved only for contracted to factory riders. Seen here in the SSDT on the OW11 – Photo: Rainer Heise, Germany

The Highland Classic was started in 2004 as a one day event for pre’65 machines at the highland shooting estate, Alvie. The second year entries were increased by the addition of twin-shock classes and finally in 2006 it was extended to a two-day event. The event has gained popularity, but entries became very sought after from the 2013 event, with the introduction of the special guest of honour feature, which is very popular with riders and the estate management who always have a representative present for the ‘address of the trial’ with some short introductions and speeches led by a welcome from the owner of Alvie & Dalraddy Estates himself, Laird Jamie Williamson. The event has been over-subscribed since 2013.

Previous Highland Classic guests of honour include Yrjo Vesterinen (2013); Dave Thorpe (2014) and Bill Wilkinson (2015).

Entry forms and regulations will be released by event secretary, Rick Lound on Saturday 20th February. Last year’s competitors will be sent forms by post, but they will also be available at Telford on the Classic Trial/Trial Magazine UK stand, The Putoline Oils stand and the Inverness & District club website (www.idmcc.co.uk).

Rick Lound
The Highland Classic 2 Day Trial 2016 event secretary is Rick Lound, seen here on his Yamaha Majesty

Support for the event has been promised by both Classic Trial Magazine and Putoline Oils UK.

Classic Trial Magazine Issue 12.indd
Classic Trial Magazine is supporting the Highland Classic 2016
PTL_diamond_motor_Q
Putoline Oils are supporting the 2016 Highland Classic 2 Day Trial at Alvie in June
Mick Andrews - CP
Study of Mick Andrews, former Ossa and Yamaha factory rider – Photo copyright: Claudio Trial Pictures