ACU announces plans for restricted sport

The Auto-Cycle Union has released a statement on Wednesday 27th May, outlining a partial and restricted return to motorcycle sport.

Youth sport is not included and non competitive meetings will be allowed initially with competitive events coming on stream in early July.

It was forecast by many commentators that a full scale return to racing and competition would not be possible and that it would be some time before events could get back to what was perceived as ‘normal’.

The ACU have stated that training and practice will be allowed, but only for riders aged 16 years and above, this is in keeping with UK Governmental guidance.

You may read the full statement > HERE <

Nevis Radio Fund Raiser Plea

You will all remember the superb 2020 ‘Virtual Scottish Six Days Trial’ run in association with Trial Magazine and Michelin along with the superb guys from Nevis Radio a few weeks ago. It was a huge hit with the many listeners around the globe.

Nevis Radio have their crowd funding effort on the go and have found a funder who has made a committment to match fund their total amount. They have a month left to try and up the total and then to double it.

Yes we all know it’s challenging times at the moment, but if anyone can help could you please click on the link below and donate an amount of your choice and support such a worthy cause.

https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/savecommunityradio?fbclid=IwAR0X5Akci0K_wzIrZBbS3S0dumz3DhtaaIPnXGt4Nlt0q7f-7prs7s7fhcI

Jack Williamson hits 90

Three times Scottish Trials Champion, John ‘Jack’ Duncan Williamson has reached the 90 milestone on 22nd May 2020!

Jack who took over the family business of J. Williamson & Son in Newtongrange in the late 1960s from his father was a force to be reckoned with in Scottish trials from the early 1950s. He rode competitively until 1975 which included rides in the International Six Days Trial and the Scottish Six Days events.

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Jack Williamson (left) with his father John Williamson in 1971 at the family business in Newtongrange, Midlothian, Scotland.

Champion of Scotland three times, 1962-64 on Greeves machines, Jack was always quick to purchase the very latest in trials machinery of the time, which saw him ride AJS, BSA, Matchless, Ariel, Dot, Greeves, Bultaco, Montesa and Ossa over a career that lasted over 25 years.

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Jackie Williamson taken by Ray Biddle, Birmingham from the 1953 Scottish on his Alexanders of Edinburgh sponsored BSA Gold Star on ‘Conduit’ above Kinlochleven – Print supplied from J.D. Williamson’s private collection.

A native of Newtongrange, Midlothian, the local community heralded Jack as their ‘hero’ and in the 1960s organised bus trips to go to events to watch him compete, such was his popularity not only as a trials rider but as a local business owner who supplied many of the homes in the area with radios and later, televisions from his firm based in the town’s Main Street.

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SSDT winner 1969, Bill Wilkinson does a bit of fettling for Jack’s wee run on the 500 Ariel which he was briefly reunited with in 2014 at Kinlochleven.

Jack was one of the first riders to compete under the Scottish ACU in the ISDT, in 1969 at Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria on a 250cc Montesa King Scorpion. He did not finish that year due to a mechanical issue, but did go on to compete in more ISDT events and was awarded the Arthur Prince Trophy in 1972 as best British privateer on his 250cc Ossa. He also won a bronze medal at the event in Czechoslovakia.

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Jack Williamson (250cc Greeves) awaits the signal to start in the 1963 Spring Trial at Kinlochleven. Ian Pollock was a driving force in this event which was re-maned in his honour after his death.

We wish Jack Williamson a very happy birthday having reached 90 years of age, he will spend the day quietly with his wife, Rose at their home in Rosewell, Midlothian.

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Jack Williamson on his 90th birthday – Photo: Mrs Rose Williamson

Jack would like to thank all those very much, who wished him a happy 90th birthday on Trials Guru website and various facebook pages.

For more on Jack Williamson go > HERE <

Manx Classic is cancelled

The annual two-day Manx International Classic on the Isle of Man, planned for September 2020 has been cancelled. In a statement issued by the organising Manx Trials Club, the committee was faced with an organisational issue and decided to cancel the event due to riders having to arrange ferry and accommodation to get to an island which currenmtly has closed its borders.

The statement read:

“The Manx International Classic Trial Committee regret to announce that this years event scheduled to be held on 5th & 6th September has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 virus. Our committee are all bitterly disappointed as I am sure you are but it is the only option available to us. We have delayed making the decision until now in the hope that we would reach a point where we could be confident that the current restrictions on travel, mass gatherings and the like would be lifted by September and the event could run safely. However we have now reached the point where we would need to ramp up the organising activity, and we appreciate that visiting riders need the opportunity to transfer/cancel travel and accommodation arrangements, so the decision to cancel was taken. With the information available to us at this time the following main issues exist:-

The Isle of Man’s borders are currently closed and there is no indication of when they will open – the IOM Government having stated last week that ‘the borders will not be open any time soon’

All the islands hotels, guest houses and the like are currently closed with no indication of when they will be permitted to begin operating again

There is currently a ban on all mass gatherings and there is no guarantee that this restriction will be eased sufficiently to allow the numbers of riders & spectators we normally attract to congregate

Whilst the AMCA in conjunction with the ACU are currently formulating a plan to recommence motorcycle sport in July the early indications are that this will be on a very low key basis and would not provide for a multi venue and large event such as the Manx International Classic Trial.”

The club announced that next years’ event is already planned for 4th & 5th September 2021.

John Shirt and Gas Gas are back

Words: Trials Guru

Photos courtesy: Gas Gas Motorcycles & John Shirt Motorcycles Ltd

For many years the UK importer for the Gas Gas brand of trials motorcycles, John R. Shirt has formed John Shirt Motorcycles Ltd to become an authorised Gas Gas UK dealer.

Previously Shirt supplied trials dealers the length and breadth of the British isles with Gas Gas trials machines, but following the take-over of the Spanish brand by the Austrian based KTM organisation, matters have now changed dramatically.

KTM tested the trials market back in 1975, when they built a small number of prototype KTM trials machines and engaged Austrian Walther Luft and German Felix Krahnstover as development riders. Shortly after, the company decided to end the project and concentrate on development and production of both motocross and enduro machines.

John Shirt told Trials Guru: “I am excited by my new venture, Gas Gas had real financial problems since 2015, but now that the KTM organisation is fully in charge, matters have been resolved and now I am trading as an authorised Gas Gas dealer, selling bikes direct to the trials buying public at large. As an authorised dealer, we at John Shirt Motorcycles Ltd interface direct with the manufacturer, there is no official UK concessionaire any longer. I was very keen to continue with the brand which I have been loyal to for 30 years. I am looking forward to engaging with direct customers, many of whom I know are similarly loyal to the Gas Gas brand. I have already a team of great people at JSM raring to go.”

For more information, have a look at John Shirt’s official website: HERE

Photos of the new GAS GAS trials model:

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ACU issue update 13 May 2020

The Auto-Cycle Union has issued a joint statement with the AMCA regarding the current state of motorcycle sport in the UK following an ACU board meeting held virtually on 12th May, with a phased return after 4th July when Step Three of the UK Government Covid-19 plan is initiated, but this is under constant review.

In order to reflect the differences in devolved administrations, there will be no British Championship Enduro, Motocross, Trials or Speedway events to take place until travel restrictions between England; Scotland; Wales; Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man have been lifted and other factors considered, in line with Government guidance.

The full statement can be read HERE

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