When it’s time to take the gloves off!

It has arrived, the first article featuring Bernie Schreiber, by way of an introduction, Trials Guru interviewed Bernie Schreiber recently…

Trials Guru – What does this mean? It is said to mean that people have decided to compete aggressively with each other. For others it might mean to start competing harder in order to achieve something and when this happens, you can then say ‘the gloves are off’.

What does it mean to World Trials Champion, Bernie Schreiber?

Bernie Schreiber – “When the gloves are off, people start to fight in a more serious way. This term comes from boxing, where fighters normally wear gloves so that they don’t do too much damage to each other.

The phrase the gloves are off could also mean to engage in a verbal fight in which the intent is to harm the other person, rather than have restraint. This is not my intention, but with all due respect, a disclaimer is needed.”

Disclaimer:Everyone has a right to his/her/my opinion

“Personally, I never liked gloves and my grandfather Bernard Schreiber was a boxer in New York back in the 1930’s.

Bernie Schreiber’s Grandfather, Bernard Schreiber – Photo: Schreiber Archive.

“Somehow, gloves never felt right from the first time I twisted a throttle back in the 1960’s.”

Bernie Schreiber on his first motorcycle, a ‘mini-bike’ back in the 1960s – Photo copyright: Schreiber Archive.

“As the motorcycles got bigger and heavier for me, I didn’t have the muscle or power to do wheelies anymore, but the throttle sure did and that’s when the show really began.”

Bernie’s first sponsor was Steve;’s Bultaco on a 250cc Bultaco Sherpa – Photo: Len Weed, USA.

“When my first 250 Sherpa-T was delivered by Steve’s Bultaco in 1972, I tried gloves once in a while for muddy trials, but always found them large and not sensitive enough for the job at hand. By 1975 the lights came on and it was time to take the gloves off for most of my competitive career.”

On the ‘Steve’s Bultaco’ sponsored Sherpa in 1972 with gloves on – Photo copyright Schreiber Archive.

“Later in my career, Hatch Accessories approached me with a glove sponsorship and I accepted to promote their gloves, but not in competition. It was my choice, but we agreed I’d wear them for bike tests and photo days with American media.”

Trials Guru – In 1977, Bernie went to Europe to compete aggressively with other riders, but his main competitor was the current World Trial Champion Yrjo Vesterinen. The fight was not a one round knock-out or 10 rounds, but it took Schreiber 34 world championship rounds and three seasons to take down the 3 time world champion. The gloves were off all the way and history was made in 1979.

The FIM Gold Medal – 1979 World Trials Champion – Bernie Schreiber – Photo copyright: Schreiber Archive.

Who is Bernie Schreiber?

Here is a short introduction of the one and only American that was on the podium of the FIM World Trials Championships.

  • Born in Los Angeles California, began riding trials at age 10.
  • By age 15, considered the best rider in Southern California.
Bernie aged 15 was considered the best trials rider in Southern California. (Photo copyright, Schreiber Archive)

Influenced new riding style by adding floating pivot turns and bunny hops.

The master of the ‘Floater’ and your ‘basic dabless 180’ – Photo: Len Weed, USA
  • In 1977, ranked seventh in the world at age 18, riding for Bultaco.
Bernie Schreiber (USA) seen here on the factory Bultaco 325 in the 1977 SSDT, the first year he competed in the famous event. The section is ‘Edramucky’ and an appreciative crowd watches the young American closely. In two years time he would be crowned FIM World Trials Champion – Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven, Scotland
  • In 1978, ranked third in the world, winning four of the 12 events.
  • In 1979, World Champion, winning four of the 12 events. Youngest champion ever.
  • In 1980, ranked second in the world, winning six events, including a record four straight.
  • Three-time runner-up in World Championship competition: 1980, 1982, 1983.
  • 1982: first and only American to win the historic Scottish Six Days Trial.
Bernie Schreiber on his factory SWM on his way to win the 1982 SSDT – Photo: John Honeyman.
  • Four-time American Champion: 1978, 1982, 1983 and 1987.
The 40th Anniversary 1982-2022 logo. (Design: Javier Benito Aguado)
  • 1982 winner of the Montana U.S. Nationals the most difficult in U.S. history
Montana Nationals USA – 1982
  • El Trial de Espana: the only eight-time winner.
  • BBC Kickstart TV Trial: three-time winner.
  • Solo Moto Indoor Trial: two-time winner.
  • Retired in 1987 with a record of 20 world wins and 48 podium appearances.
  • In 2000, inducted in the American Motorcycling Hall of Fame.
  • In 2004, inducted in the NATC Hall of Fame.
  • Co-wrote a popular book: Observed Trials with Len Weed.
‘Observed Trials’ produced in collaboration with journalist Len Weed is still a sought after publication. (Photo copyright: Len Weed, USA)
  • 2021 FIM Trial Legend
2021 – FIM Trials Legend – Bernie Schreiber – Photo courtesy of Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme, Mies, Switzerland

Trials Guru – The first episode of gloves off will be ‘Never Live on your Laurels’ Bernie will talk about his experiences; sports athletes; events; organizations; clubs and much more.

Never miss an eposode, click on this link to view all ‘Gloves Off’ articles:

Gloves Off – Bernie Schreiber on Trials Guru

Photos: Len Weed, USA; Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven, Scotland; FIM, Switzerland; Schreiber Archive, Switzerland.

Worldwide Copyright – All rights Reserved: Bernard Schreiber, Switzerland & Trials Guru – 2022.