Rob Edwards Story – Bits ‘n Bobs – Part One

Hi Everybody!
Thank you for all your comments and good wishes. I hope you all have A Happy New Year?
My favourite Christmas present was an e mail from Alberto Mallofre, formerly of Montesa Motorcycles.
He is struggling with a few health problems, but he sends his best wishes to all.
Unfortunately ‘Guru John’ wants me to write a few pages telling you some of the things that have happened along the way.
I am happy to do this as I didn’t want to finish on the dismal subject of health!
So here we go with ROB’s ‘ BITS ‘n BOBS’….
Thorpey, Nige, Sid and I were passing through Austria on our way home from a European Trials Championship round.
Mart was at the wheel and as usual we weren’t hanging about – in an effort to catch the ferry to Dover.
Suddenly, an Austrian policeman walked into the road in front of us holding up a lollipop stop sign.
We knew straight away that we must have gone through a speed trap. Leave this to me said our driver and wound down the window. Marts plan was to use the old ‘no comprende’ trick.
As the bobby put his head through the window he was greeted with an ‘all right pal no comprende’.
Ah” said the bobby, “thank you for being concerned about my well-being, however you have just passed through a speed trap at almost twice the legal limit and you must pay me x number of Austrian schillings“.
How unlucky could we be he spoke perfect English!
Mart changed to ‘Plan B’. “Look pal we haven’t any Austrian money at all“.
Oh that’s okay” he said. Had we got away with it?
Pointing up the road he said: “do you see that blue sign?
Well that is a bank you can change money there and when you give me the right number of schillings I will give you back your ignition keys“.
The time had come to admit defeat!
At the risk of sounding like an agony aunt, Simon Valente asked me if I could suggest any modifications to the 250 or 348 Montesa?
Well, I was constantly doing small mods to tailor the bike to suit me like popping the fork stanchions through the top yoke by 6mm.
I also made up footrests that were 6mm down and others that were 6mm back.
This way, I could test the position without grinding off the footrest mountings.
Talking as we were about modifications, I remember going to Jim Sandiford’s at Bury to pick up my new bike.
Jim came up to me in the yard as I admired my new machine.
He put a fatherly arm around my shoulders and said to me quietly: “Rob please promise me that you will ride it before you modify it?” Fingers crossed I agreed.
In the 1975 Scottish Six Days, I stopped to talk to Bill Wilkinson at the top of the Black Water sections.  When we set off to cross over Black Water moor Bill went first and I followed behind.
I’ve crossed dozens of moors with Bill but he was going slower and slower. Eventually feeling very embarrassed I overtook him. I gave him a wave and shouted “see you later“.
I couldn’t help thinking poor old Bill. Once in front I set too to make up lost time.
The course went close to the reservoir for sometime then turned hard left and we went up a steep hillside.
I was enjoying the scenery. About three quarters of the way up the hill I spotted another rider who I presumed must have a puncture. When I got close I could see the rider was laid in the heather eating a topic bar. It was bloody Bill Wilkinson! From the grin on his face it was obvious that I had been set up. So much for me feeling sorry for him. For years now I have tried to get the story out of him to no avail – one to you Bill!
Bye for Now! – Rob
Rob Edwards on a 348 Montesa - Santigosa Three Day Trial 1977. Photo: Rob Edwards Private Collection
Rob Edwards on a 348 Montesa – Santigosa Three Day Trial 1977. Photo: Rob Edwards Private Collection

One thought on “Rob Edwards Story – Bits ‘n Bobs – Part One”

  1. Hi Rob, enjoying your series of articles via Trials Guru. Would love you to expand a bit on your ‘bits n bobs’ series as I ride a 74 Cota 247 Mk 4b and would love to know any modifications that you made to your ‘works’ bikes, thanks in advance. Dave Cox

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