All posts by bigjohn2014

Gearhead Alert 015

Jon Stoodley of JSE Trials, Muskogee, Oklahoma talks us through….

Carburation!

Let’s talk about Carburetors. They can be fairly simple, like the pictured flat slide Keihin PWK or the Dellorto PHBL, both common on Trials bikes today. Or, they can be fairly complicated, Like the electronically controlled Mikuni on a YZ250 I modified. For this post, I’ll try to keep it simple and helpful for new riders.

Here’s one of my old articles about basic carburetors and jetting that might be helpful to newer riders. Trials engines are probably a little more difficult to properly jet and adjust because they must perform over a wider range of throttle settings, engine loads and ambient conditions than just about other form of motorcycle competition in my experience.

Here’s a couple of tips to get started. There seems to be some controversy surrounding adjusting the air/fuel screw for some reason. I’ve had riders argue with me that the factory setting (number of turns out) is what it should be set at, period. Other riders tell me that they read on the Internet that so many turns out is recommended by an “Expert” and that’s what it is supposed to be.

Here’s how I do it before each ride. The air/fuel screw “fine tunes” the low rpm circuits to handle the low-speed throttle response by compensating for changing ambient weather conditions (temperature, barometric pressure, humidity etc.). I warm up the engine to operating temperature, place it in Neutral and quickly “blip” the throttle (quickly open the throttle and let go of the grip) and adjust the air/fuel screw in or out to get the best engine response. For ever how many turns out I end up with (no matter how many turns out), that is the best setting, for this specific day, and under these specific weather conditions. This is why the screw is adjustable. I add knurled knobs to the air/fuel and idle screws so I can adjust them easily with gloved hands. When you bottom out an air/fuel screw, do it very lightly as they, like suspension adjusters, can be delicate and easily damaged.

Engine idle speed is generally a matter of personal preference, but I would suggest that you set it this way. Put the warmed up engine in gear, with the clutch lever pulled in normally the way you would ride which is usually back to a knuckle and not fully back to the grip. Then adjust the idle speed and in this way, you compensate for any “clutch drag” (GasGas riders take particular note). If you set the idle speed in Neutral, and you have too much clutch drag, when you are in a section stopped, or close to stopping, clutch drag will pull down the rpm below where you set it and you will have a much greater chance of stalling the engine.

A slight amount of clutch drag can be a positive thing as it keeps the engine’s drivetrain “loaded” (mechanical slack taken up) so that clutch modulation is much smoother than if the clutch released totally. This is particularly important under less-than-ideal traction conditions and slow going. Say you were in a tough section almost completely stopped, full-lock turn, off camber, muddy with roots, the clutch modulation (if it totally released) would result in a “jerky” take-up (and loss of traction) as the drivetrain loaded and unloaded.

One of the most frequent questions that riders ask me about is how they can properly set up their jetting. It seems like a lot of riders put up with poor performance from their bikes without realizing that, with a little time, effort and most important, a basic understanding of how that nasty little piece of aluminum and brass that some engineer stuck on their engine works, things could be a lot better. I’ll try to give a crash course (excuse the term) on what the carburetor is required to do and how you can help it do its job better.

Why would we need to change jetting anyway? Jetting doesn’t change by itself unless there is a mechanical problem in the carburetor. Conditions outside of the carburetor change and they have an effect on the engine’s air/fuel requirements.

For example, most bikes are jetted rich from the factory when they are assembled because they are shipped to various countries with a wide variety of conditions and fuel. The engineers can’t possibly anticipate and jet for all the conditions and areas they ship to, so they put in “safe” (ie rich) jetting with the idea that the individual rider or dealer will make the final adjustment to the engine requirements.

Riders who travel to different Trials find that their engines don’t operate as efficiently as they desire unless they adjust the jetting to suit the area. You may have bought a used bike that is jetted incorrectly (jetted for high altitude and brought down to sea level) and want to set it up for the area where you ride. Temperature, humidity and altitude have a direct effect on the amount of oxygen available to the engine. Ask any Ute Cup rider how much of an effect altitude has on engine performance. Fine tuning an engine to maximize performance is so important in racing that years ago when I was campaigning fuel dragsters, we would build special engines just for high altitude competition and we would refer to them as our “Denver motors”.

What is a carburetor and what does it really do? A carburetor is a device that atomizes fuel with air and meters that mixture to the engine over a wide variety of throttle openings. The stoichiometric (or, chemically correct) ratio under perfect conditions of the air and fuel is 14.7 pounds of air to one pound of non-oxygenated gasoline, although AF (air/fuel) ratios in the range of 12/1 to 14/1 seem to produce the best power in motorcycle engines.

Trials engines seem to work better on the lean end of the A/F ratios due to the conditions that they operate under. You can see that if your carb had only one metering orifice (jet) it wouldn’t be able to maintain that ratio from closed to full throttle opening. That’s why they have all those other fuel and air metering gizmos, in order to adjust the amount of fuel to the amount of air allowed into the engine by the slide opening from almost shut, to wide open.

Most modern carbs have six (and sometimes seven, a “power jet”) different air and fuel metering jets that affect the fuel mixture over the range of throttle openings. Those are the air screw (sometimes this a fuel metering needle), throttle slide, air jet, pilot jet, needle jet and main jet. Most riders can just replace the pilot and/or main jet to get the desired performance and fine-tune the engine with the air/fuel screw and needle clip adjustments.

Let’s look at where those little thingies do most of their work. The throttle settings and the air/fuel jets that affect the air/fuel ratio at those openings are:

-Closed to 1/8 throttle opening – air (or fuel) screw, pilot jet

-1/4 to ½ to full throttle opening – throttle slide, jet needle

-1/2 to full throttle – jet needle, needle jet, main jet, air jet

As you can see, most of the air/fuel circuits overlap in their functions so it’s not a black/white decision as to what to change and how far to go rich or lean. A savvy tuner spends a lot of time looking for the signs that the engine exhibits in order to make a well-educated guess, and its not unusual to see such tools as exhaust gas analyzers, air/fuel electronic sensors and relative air density meters used at the professional level of racing.

What do all those numbers and letters stamped on the parts mean? In the pilot and main jets the larger the number, the richer the jet. On the slide, the larger the number, the leaner it is. Needles have various codes, but as a general rule the smaller the number (if it doesn’t have letters), the richer the needle. To richen the needle setting when it is installed in the carburetor, lower the circlip one groove at a time. And to lean the needle, raise the circlip in the grooves (lower clip = raise the needle and vice versa).

Air/fuel screws are a little trickier. Although they may look the same, an air screw is turned clockwise to richen the mixture but a fuel screw is turned counter-clockwise to richen the mixture. To tell if its an air or fuel screw, look at the carb from the side. If the screw is located on the carburetor towards the front of the slide (manifold/reedcage area), it’s probably a fuel screw. If it’s located towards the back on the carburetor (air box side), it’s probably an air screw adjuster. Air screws usually have a blunt end and fuel screws have a sharp needle-shaped end.

The air jet, and sometimes the needle jet, are usually not replaceable on some carbs. For example, the needle jet is replaceable on most Keihin carbs and on most Mikuni carbs.

The numbers on jets, throttle slides and needles will allow you to tell how rich or lean they are from stock settings. The jets are stamped with their numbers but don’t be confused by the radical difference in the numbers between models of carbs as some jets are rated according to flow rate and some are rated according to the metric size of the orifice. For example, a 172 Keihin jet is roughly equivalent to a 350 Mikuni jet in Motocross bikes.

Needles have the number or letters stamped at the top by the clip slots. Those numbers or letters relate to the thickness and taper of the needle which will dictate how much fuel it will allow to flow around it as it is retracted out of the needle jet by the slide as the throttle is opened.

As the needle is tapered, the more it is pulled out of the needle jet by the slide, the more fuel it will allow to pass into the throat of the carb, relatively speaking. A thinner needle will pass more fuel around it than a thicker one, and it therefore a “richer” needle. Some needles have compound degrees of taper that allow individual adjustments to various throttle settings. Slides are usually stamped on the bottom front of the slide. That beveled cut on the front of the slide, near where the needle comes out (called the cutaway), has numbers that usually relate to the height of that bevel from the bottom of the slide. A #4 slide will have the top of that bevel 4mm from the bottom of the slide, a #5 slide will have a bevel 5mm high, etc. The higher the number, the leaner the slide as higher bevels allow more air to be funneled over the needle jet tower (that little protrusion that the needle retracts from in the center-lower part of the carb throat).

Before we set out jetting, we must eliminate the possibility that other problems exist that could have an effect on the jetting requirements of our engine. The engine must be in good shape with no leaking crank seals, broken reeds, air leaks in the intake system or crankcase, weak ignition system, cylinder head coolant leaks or blown-out packing in the muffler. The carburetor float level must be a factory specification, the fuel inlet float level needle must not lead and the vent hoses should be replaced if there is any possibility of clogging. Also, check to make sure that the air cleaner is clean and the engine has fresh pre-mix.

As far as special tools are concerned, you should have a good metric scale short ruler (for float level), a small magnifying glass to read jet/needle stampings accurately (Mikuni jets are notorious for being hard to read because of shallow stampings), a long, narrow screwdriver for pilot jets, a long 6mm socket for hex jets and good sharp screwdrivers, as the screws and brass jets are soft and you’ll have a hard time extracting them after you’ve rounded them off with poor tools.

As far as jets are concerned, I usually buy one size larger and three sizes smaller than stock on the main jet, and one size larger and two sizes smaller than stock on the pilot jet. I’ve usually never needed to go out of this range when jetting bikes from below sea level to about 8500 feet. A good way to store jets is in a film canister between layers of foam so they don’t rattle around.

Now for the actual jetting ritual. First, try to figure what throttle setting is not responding well by riding the bike in a practice section. Atmospheric changes have a dramatic effect on the amount of oxygen available to the engine, as mentioned before.

Higher temperature, altitude and humidity will sometimes require going leaner on the jetting. Lower temperature, altitude and humidity sometimes call for richer settings. Decide what jet to change according to what throttle setting needs adjustment. Only change one jet at a time. If jetting is a new experience for you, always start by going rich at first. This is safer than initially going too lean and it will give you a direct experience of how an engine acts when it’s running too rich.

Diagnosing jetting by listening to the exhaust note takes experience as even practiced ears can sometimes have a problem discerning the difference between a “surging” (lean) and a “bogging” (rich) sound coming from the exhaust pipe. If the engine runs worse with your change, then go two steps leaner, which will actually be one step leaner than where you started. The engine will tell you if you’re on the right track. Test the bike again to see if that solves the problem but keep an eye on spark color (it should resemble a milk chocolate color with most grades of gasoline) with any changes of the needle or main jet.

Let’s look at some common conditions and possible adjustments, starting with what to try first.

-ENGINE RUNS “FLAT” AT MID-THROTTLE – Adjust the needle, change main jet

-ENGINE STUMBLES WHEN THROTTLE IS OPENED FROM IDLE TO 1/8th – Adjust air/fuel screw, change pilot jet

-THROTTLE OPENED QUICK, ENGINE BOGS THEN CATCHES – Adjust air/fuel screw, change pilot jet, change needle clip position

-ON LONG UPHILL, POWER STARTS OUT OK, THEN FALLS OFF – Check for blocked vent tubes

-ENGINE HAS INTERMITTENT MISS FROM ABOUT 1/8TH THROTTLE ON – Check for water in float bowl.

Here are some hints and tips that might prove helpful:

-Gray, thick wall Tygon fuel line is the best I’ve found. Some small engine repair shops can get it for you. Be sure that it’s Tygon type, as that’s the tubing they make for use with fuel. The clear is not as good. For dusty, dry conditions, keep an extra, clean/oiled air cleaner in a sealed plastic bag to use in the Trial in case practice has gunked up the one on your bike. This will keep the engine from running rich. Run the vent lines of the carb relatively short (about 4-inches), as fuel can collect in longer lines and a hard hit, like splattering rock step, can cause the fuel globules to quickly drain out of the lines (creating a partial vacuum), and lower the float bowl pressure, making the engine bog. If you like long lines, run a “T” fitting at the vent hole and run the top line up under the fuel tank. This will allow the fuel to drain out without lowering the float bowl pressure.

-Check the spark plug color often to monitor mid and upper range jetting. Run a fuel filter. I like the small cone-shaped, sintered brass, clear ones. You’d be surprised how much gunk can collect in your fuel can and make its way into the fuel tank and then clog the float needle and possibly the jets. Don’t forget to clean the filter on the sides of the Dellorto carbs once in a while.

-Clean the throttle often and make sure there are no kinks. It’s a good idea to safety-wire the ends to the housings. Drain your floatbowl after wet weather Trials. Most standard bike service manuals have altitude/air temperature jetting correction charts with instructions for use. Ask a buddy who has one if you can copy it and keep it in your toolbox. They can come in handy. Keep a notebook in your toolbox of any jetting changes (along with ambient weather conditions) when you travel to a different Trials area so when you return, you have a good place to start when setting up the bike again. This goes for any other changes like tire pressure and suspension settings, too.

This should give you a good place to start. Take your time. Properly jetting an engine isn’t as esoteric as a lot of riders seem to believe it is.

That’s it for now… or have a look at my other Gearhead Alerts

Jon Stoodley, Muskogee, Oklahoma

Eric Kitchen at 90

The doyen of motorcycle trials sport photography, Eric Kitchen from Cumbria, North West England has reached 90 years of age, today 6th January 2023.

Trials Guru website salutes Eric who has over the years brought images to many people of both International and domestic trials events over a 60 year period. He came to the forefront of trials images when Trials & Motocross News appeared in late May 1977 and has been exciting us ever since with his sharp, focussed and innovative photography.

Eric Kitchen at work during a Pre65 Scottish Trial at Mamore – Photo: Jean Caillou

Not a professional photographer, Eric was for many years in the motor trade with Eric Kitchen Motors and latterly EK Brakes and EK Motor Factors Ltd. His son Anthony runs the family business nowadays, himself a former trials rider.

Trials Guru ran a bespoke article on Eric some years ago, here it is:

ERIC KITCHEN

World Champion Bernie Schreiber returning to the USA in 2023

Words by Matt Liberatore

Former World Trials Champion and Scottish Six Days Trial winner, Bernie Schreiber will return once again to the USA in 2023 to conduct another ZeroBS Master Class two-day trials school on May 13/14, 2023 in Tulsa Oklahoma.

The event will be hosted by one of the oldest clubs in the USA, the North Eastern Oklahoma Trials Team, founded in 1969 by one of the legendary names in US trials history Mike McCabe, who became the first American competitor in the Scottish Six Days Trial in 1972.

In 2022 a very successful ZeroBS trials school was held in Montana hosted by Rich Hilbun. This celebrated the 40th anniversary of Schreiber’s double US National Championship victories in 1982. For 2023 the school will be held in Tulsa, Oklahoma where it will be more central and accessible to students from across the USA.

This venue became a reality after conversations with Dr. David Klein of Texas at the FIM Vintage Trial Trophy in Monza, Italy on September 24, 2022. Klein put Schreiber in contact with his long-time friend, another US trials legend Kirk Mayfield of Oklahoma who competed in the 1973 Scottish Six Days Trial on one of Mick Andrews factory Yamahas. Mayfield and Schreiber competed together in the Turkey Creek US National in September of 1975, an event that included many of the best riders in US history.

Schreiber said, “I’m excited for this opportunity in 2023 to teach, ride and encounter friends again in such a memorable place. It really is an honor to host a school with Kirk Mayfield after all these years and he is someone that many people do not realize was such an excellent rider in the history of US trials. To revisit the famous Route 66 or Mother Road is always a special experience as well. Looking forward to meet many club members and current NEOTT President Jason Shackelford who leads one of the oldest Trials clubs in American history.”

Mayfield, who is one of only six riders to have been granted life time membership in the NEOTT Said: “We have hosted many prestigious events here at our club in Tulsa, but it is such a privilege to host the USA’s only World Trials Champion and my friend for so many years here in Tulsa. Everyone is really looking forward to this, because we can share all our experiences from riding overseas and have Bernie’s instruction on how he became a world champion!”

For information about the Schreiber Masterclass on May 13 & 14, 2023 contact: Kirk Mayfield at: kirkmayfield@gmail.com

Note: Limited Spaces Available.

Competing to win

FIM World Trials Champion and Scottish Six Days Trial winner, Bernie Schreiber shares his winning attributes with Trials Guru. Schreiber is the co-Author of the renowned book “Observed Trials” with Len Weed.

Photos: Eric Kitchen; Mauri/Fontsere Collection

Excerpt: Motor Cycle News 1977.

TG: Everyone would like to win, but most don’t. Why?

BS: To win, you must prepare yourself to be the winner – not simply “do my best” mentality. During 40 years of off-road motorcycle Trials coaching, I continually see riders under-performing due to a lack of proper preparation. Many have plenty of potential, talent and skill, but they are often performing best at a time when it is not necessary or not focused when the big day comes along. The performance transition from skills to victory is complex in the sport of Trials even when you’ve got it right physically. Many athletes fail to get the result they could because they have not prepared themselves to be the winners but merely to ‘do my best’. This attitude might work once, but usually only once. The bigger and more important the event, the more likely the win will go to someone who has been expecting to win and who has trained him or herself to cope with all the demands that winning entails. This clearly involves mental as well as physical preparation.

TG: Can you elaborate on the transition from skills to victory?

BS: The performance transition phase depends on your level of challenge, but the higher you go, most likely the less you know and this applies to most sports athletes. If you compete at a clubman level, a National Championship or World level it’s very important to clearly understand your goals. The sport of Trials has changed over the years, along with bikes, skills and section design, but the transition to winning is a mindset, that needs very fine tuning. The nature of competition is that the unexpected will happen. A great competitor will expect the unexpected, have anticipated how to manage it effectively, know how to overcome it completely and have planned and prepared to deal with whatever challenge comes along. If your training plan only deals with what can reasonably be expected – what statistically is most likely to occur, you may be competitive but you will rarely win. Winners expect to win regardless of what happens on the field of battle. Not only that, but they train to be the unexpected: to be the competitor who does things that no one thought possible and in doing so give themselves a clear winning advantage.

TG: How important is confidence?

BS: Nothing gives an athlete confidence like winning, but knowing with absolute certainty that they have consistently out-prepared everyone they will face in their targeted competition. You can talk it up, you can tell them how great they look in practice, you can try to convince them they have improved and that they are ready for anything, but for the most part the only person getting motivated from your motivation talks is you. Athletes need evidence, real evidence that they can be successful and the only currency they will bank on is knowing that their preparation has been absolutely perfect in every detail. The cheap talk and bullshit will not help you on competition day. Competition tactics need a plan like training, you must also have a winning plan for each event and the Championship. This means that you must know the opposition and what they are likely to do when and where. You must have a response to deal with each situation, know your own strengths and weaknesses and when you have made your plan you must be able to carry it out under pressure. It always comes down to a battle of wills, and you will be the winner if you have built yourself to a point where you will not accept defeat.

TG: What are the emotional aspects of competing?

BS: If competition was only about being physically ready, then coaching would be easy. But it’s not. The emotional aspects of competition are what determines success or failure. In professional sports and among the serious competitors, physical preparation, techniques and training methods are remarkably similar the world over. The real competitive advantage comes when athletes can maintain control and calm during competition and do their “job” regardless of the situation, country, weather, rules or opposition. The capacity to do this in competition comes from practicing to do this in training. All sports have a strong technical aspect, but being able to execute good technique at training is not enough. Winning in competition means performing with technical excellence under fatigue, under pressure and doing it repeatedly. If you have only practiced executing the technical elements of your sport during the first 50% of your training session – then you are not practicing to execute the skills of your sport under competition conditions. It is important to practice techniques and skills in conditions and circumstances which simulate and even exceed the demands of competition. The athlete must execute skills accurately and consistently when they are fatigued and under emotional pressure. Performance practice makes for perfect performance.

TG: How important are Trials skills?

BS: Trials skills are very important when used correctly. The transfer of technical skills learned to competition skills and to actual winning skills are major steps at the highest level. The best skill and most difficult is to “perform well, under fatigue and under pressure consistently in competition conditions.” You’ll often find trials schools promoting a list of trick techniques to learn, but most of them are not really applicable in competition consistently and therefore results are often not achieved. It’s important to work on every basic aspect of the sport to reach your potential and do it with consistency. Most improvement strategies are based on the “more” approach: more effort, more practice, more techniques, more hours and work. Unfortunately, experience has proven that simply adding more techniques or more hours is not the answer to winning. Real performance improvement is a result of critical actions on key variables that help you take action by removing obstacles that stand in your way. As a result, you will be able to use your knowledge and skills more effectively. Each training phase must be a built-in structure of progress. In the build-up phase, this should be both in the overall quality of the training and in the proportion of high-quality competition training.

TG: Did you give your opponents a chance to win?

BS: There are two types of people in sport. Those passionate about participation and all the great, wholesome, healthy, community enriching aspects of sport and those who are just as passionate about winning. Those passionate about winning is a very low percentage of athletes. Those in the participation group will tell you that sport is all about fun, community, kindness, peace, love, happiness and about people enjoying the weekend. The reality for this passionate winning type is that sport, if you want to succeed is ruthless. For winners it’s about winning and being dedicated to and single minded about winning. It’s about consistently competing to the very best of your ability without excuses. It’s about realising that your opponents do not care how you feel, they don’t want you to enjoy the competitive experience, they don’t give a shit about your dreams, they want to beat you and if possible, beat you badly. That’s why tough training is so critical. You must prepare to a level that does not give your opponent, regardless of their talent, their resources, their training programs or their coaching support, any possible chance of victory. If you want to win, make your training more challenging and more demanding – physically, mentally, technically, tactically and every other possible way harder than the competition you are preparing for and more than your competitors.

TG: Is Trials a Sport that can prepare you for winning in life?

BS: I believe sports competition prepares individuals to challenge themselves and Trials riders are a smart and talented group of people. They are ready to go face the obstacles head on and evaluate themselves on a scorecard. Trials is measured from the ears up and very frustrating sometimes, but it can teach a person to be brave, strong and resilient. I’ve always liked individual sports like trials, golf, tennis, skiing and others. You learn to observe things differently and stay focused on your personal results without team excuses or mistakes. It is a sport that gifts its participants with the knowledge they need for the rest of their lives. A sport that can provide you the keys you need to unlock your future. Without this sport, I would have never become the person I am today.

Bernie Schreiber receiving the 2021 FIM Trial Legend trophy from FIM President, Jorge Viegas.

Copyright: Bernie Schreiber/Trials Guru 2022

Price takes Scott Trial 2022

Jack Price (Vertigo 300) has been declared winner of the annual Scott Trial which took place on Saturday 15th October 2022.

Organised by the Scott Trial committee of the Richmond Motor Club (Yorks) Ltd, the time and observation event had a full entry list of 200 riders.

Fastest time was recorded by local rider, Jonathan Richardson, himself a previous winner in 2011.

Three times winner, James Dabill came home a creditable second place, not bad considering he rarely is on a trials bike, never mind competing in national events since his retirement from the sport in 2020.

The 2022 results can be viewed on our Scott Trial page HERE

Photo credit: Trial Magazine/Trials Media 2022

Tony Bingley 1940 – 2022

On the same day as the British nation lost their Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, the sport of motorcycling lost a veritable character and all round sportsman, Beetham born, Kentmere raised, Tony Bingley.

(Main Cover Image courtesy of Eric Kitchen)

SSDT 1980 – Tony Bingley on his 325 Bultaco tackles Muirshearlich (Trotter’s Burn) – Photo: Iain Lawrie

Known throughout the trials world as ‘Bing’, he rode many Scottish Six Days Trials on Bultaco machinery. ‘Bing’ became good friends with Sid Lampkin and Malcolm Rathmell and he gained some support from Shell during his trial career. He also took up racing in his motorcycle sporting career.

Sid Lampkin got to know ‘Bing’ as teenagers when Sid competed in trials up in the Lakes: “Tony was an infectious character, everyone liked him and he was good company. He used to bring Libby’s products with him when he visited us, when he lived near their factory at Milnthorpe.”

Tony also competed in classic racing on a 496cc Seeley G50 Matchless and was no slouch at the tarmac game, posting an 88.72 mph lap in the 1994 Manx GP Classic Senior race. However, Tony suffered a major accident at Scarborough’s Oliver’s Mount circuit which, having a physical impact, curtailed his activities somewhat.

He was also a keen supporter and eventually became a director of Carlisle United Football Club, at one time their Commercial Director. But his main occupation was at Leyland Motors in Lancashire and most of his working life was motor trade based.

Tony on the Harrison Montesa 200 in 1981 (Photo: Jimmy Young)

Tony Bingley was a friendly character, he enjoyed interacting with fellow competitors and organisers, it is true to say he was a likeable individual with an outgoing personality.

Tony’s son Gary was also an accomplished trials rider and in May 2022, Tony had great pleasure watching his Grandson, Jamie Bingley riding the Scottish Six Day Trial. Over a 50 year period, the Bingleys had a Grandfather, Father and Son competing in the same event.

Photo courtesy: Bingley Family, Carlisle.

Whiskey Gulch Two Day Spectacular 2022

Words: Team TrialZone\Matt Liberatore

Photos: Mark Matteson

Dateline: Bozeman, Montana July 4, 1982

Independence Day was celebrated as a travel day for those taking part in the 1982 United States National Trials Championship Series. The day before, the riders had completed the first national ever held in the state of Montana which happened to be one of the championship’s easiest scoring rounds ever. 1979 World Trials Champion Bernie Schreiber, one week removed from his third place finish at the World Trials Championship round held at the Donner Ski Ranch in Norden, California, won the event  by two marks over Florida’s Jack Stites while losing only five marks in the process.

Traveling to Whitefish, MT where the second of the two nationals would be held on July 5th, virtually all the participants hoped for a more difficult test, in order to give more room for errors on the scorecards, but had no idea what was in store for them. What is the old saying? “Be careful what you wish for”. Montana’s Rich Hilbun, of the hosting trials club GOTE (Glacier Observed Trials Enthusiasts), organized that second national in Whitefish and knew the sections needed to be toughened up and acted accordingly. Mother Nature also leant a helping hand as heavy overnight rain turned the jagged rocks of Whitefish into not just a difficult challenge, but simple survival for most as Schreiber once again took the victory, this time with a winning score of 144 as Colorado’s  Morgan Kavanaugh placed second 40 marks behind. The riders finishing this event were given stickers saying “Clean the Fish” but many thought “Five the Fish” would have been better. Schreiber’s winning score stands to this day as the highest winning score in the history of the United States National Trials Championship Series.

Fast forward thirty nine years later as Hilbun had the idea to contact Schreiber about returning to Montana on the 40th anniversary of those 1982 nationals. Hilbun thought Schreiber could not only conduct one of his ZeroBS Masterclass trials schools, but take part in a multi-day celebration held in conjunction with the annual Whiskey Gulch Two Day Trial that began in 2009 and has been held uninterrupted for twelve consecutive years. The conversation resulted in Bernie Schreiber’s return to Montana  June 15-19, 2022  starting with a sold out two day trials school, followed by the  celebration of Champions Day, and then the Whiskey Gulch Two Day Trial as the finale.

Global Ambassador of Montana:

Dateline: Butte, Montana June 13, 2022

Bernie Schreiber’s return to Montana, USA forty years later began with the announcement from the promoter of the Whiskey Gulch Two Day Trial, Dan Larson of Mossy Rock Trials and Off Road that Schreiber had been appointed as a Global Ambassador for motorcycle trials in the state of Montana. This affiliation will help with communication of the event as Schreiber, being the most successful rider ever from the USA, will be committing his years of experience for future growth. Together with a shared interest in unique trials events, Schreiber and Larson plan to embark on a series of exciting projects demonstrating innovative solutions for Motorcycle Trials going forward.

The Bernie Schreiber ZeroBS Masterclass school:

Butte, Montana June 15/16 2022

Bernie Schreiber conducted his first signature ZeroBS Masterclass experience since 2019 (due to COVID-19) while riding a TRRS 300 supplied by Dan Larson of Mossy Rock Trials and Off Road in beautiful dry conditions, much different than 40 years ago on the factory 280 SWM on rain saturated terrain. Schreiber treated the 30 participants to a unique structured format based on lessons learned in becoming a World, National, and Scottish Six Days Trial Champion, but also while relating other sports such as golf, where direct comparisons become involved. Classroom training, hands on riding and the all important mental approach were covered in great detail.

The classroom setting began this first day before hands on the bars riding, by covering the most important aspect of Motorcycle Trials, the proper stance. Motorcycle Trials has always been a very unique form of off-road riding which requires certain techniques that do not always apply to riding a “normal” dirt bike, especially when it comes to the basic fundamentals. Fortunately, all aspects were covered during three “Impact Zones” throughout the full day of instruction.

Hammer Nutrition founder and CEO Brian Frank spoke towards the end about the often overlooked aspect of performance in sport nutrition. Founded in 1987, Frank told of his experiences from the beginning of the Triathlon boom when the company’s first products were manufactured to help the athlete’s body combat side effects such as fatigue and recovery from high endurance training.

After lunch on the school’s second day, everyone was treated to instruction on what gave Bernie Schreiber an advantage over his rivals, that being the technique which he introduced and perfected, the floating front wheel turn. Also known as the “Pivot turn”, Schreiber used this to great effect in winning the World Trials Championship and showed exactly why this technique is just as effective now.

During each day of the school, each individual student was given one on one instruction on the techniques of this fascinating sport and an insight into what actually makes a World Champion, the attention to detail, leaving no stone unturned.

Champions Day:

Butte, Montana June 17, 2022

This day of celebration was to reconnect with old friends and get to know others while recognizing the achievements of Bernie Schreiber as the Guest of Honor. Also joining Schreiber were fellow past US Champions Geoff Aaron, now the US trials team manager for Gasgas,  and Scott Head, who happened to be Schreiber’s teammate in 1981. These three icons of US trials have a total of 17 National Championships between them. This was a relaxing off day for everyone involved getting together to enjoy the week.

The Whiskey Gulch Two Day Trials:

Butte, Montana June 19/20 2022

The final event of the five day celebration of Schreiber’s return to Montana after 40 years was held as the fourth stop in the eight event Conquer the West Trials Series which began in 2017. This is a two-day event series in the western USA where riders take part in at least four events to earn points towards their respective final positions, and has expanded to include ten-two day events in 2022. 

The Whiskey Gulch Two Day Trial brought in 122 riders from several different states and countries to take part in one of the most anticipated trials events of the year.

Unlike 1982 when Schreiber won the national round in Whitefish, perfect weather greeted the riders from the very start of the ZeroBS Masterclass school on Tuesday and continued throughout the week as the riders went off at 10:00 AM Saturday morning, at fifteen minute intervals depending on class, to tackle 10 sections three times on the beautiful Montana countryside. The sections featured plenty of grip on a nice combination of dry rocks, log crossings, and up and down banks. with some steep loose climbs thrown in requiring throttle control to maintain grip on the rear tire.

William Head took the lead on this first day in the Master Class by an 11 mark margin over Chad Redman. Head continues to improve while showing the type of skill that does not surprise anyone considering the trials career of his father Scott. 

Bryce Pophal lost only 3 marks on the day in Expert while Geoff Aaron’s son Murphy, another rider taking after his father displaying impressive form and talent for his age, took second position with 20 marks lost. David Taylor came in at third place with a score of 26.

Yoyi San Martin of todotrial.com fame, making his first ever trip to the USA traveling from Spain, took the first day lead in Expert Sportsman by a single mark over Nick Schacht. These two riders were so close that they also had the same amount of clean rides, matching 24 on the day.

The Rising Stars Montana Silent Auction took place after the day’s riding ended. Rising Stars Montana is a fund dedicated towards the future development of up and coming youth riders in Montana. One of those promising up and comers, eleven year old Bennett Hebner took the lead in Intermediate Class by 4 marks over his father Bob 41 to 45 at the day’s end.

A question an answer session with Bernie Schreiber then took place before The Rising Stars Montana fund raising check of $2,940 was presented in order to give a helping hand to the youth riders of Montana in reaching their full potential.

Afterwards, landowners Keith and Heather Fortin were presented with everyone’s gratitude for their continued commitment in helping grow the sport in the state of Montana. The evening ended with the Under the Montana Stars bonfire.

Day two began with rider sign in at 8:00 AM sharp followed by once again the section scorer and gift bag distribution, thanking those who have the not so easy but rewarding job as an observer. Shortly before the riders meeting all riders were required to be in the paddock area looking up towards the sky for the Big W arial drone photo, another detail making this event so special.

The staggered start really helps in preventing the dreaded bottlenecks that can take place with everyone going out at the same time as the riders left to face another three laps, this time with 9 sections as the perfect conditions continued.

William Head once again took the day two lowest score in Master Class by only 2 marks over Chad Redman, 17 to 19 and thus took the overall event victory with a grand total of 57 marks lost to Redman’s 70.

Murphy Aaron produced very impressive rides with a closing score of 3 to lead day two in Expert as Bryce Pophal came in 7 marks adrift with a score of 12. Despite the outstanding ride on the day, it wasn’t quite enough for Aaron as Pophal  took the overall win with a grand total of 15.

Yoyi San Martin halved his day one score in Expert Sportsman to win again on day two by finishing with just 6 on his scorecard while Nick Schacht fell back, losing 23 marks on the day, San Martin now has the distinction of being undefeated on US soil as his grand total of 18 also gave him the overall win for the two days.  

Bennett Hebner placed second behind his father Bob this time, in Intermediate class but took home bragging rights with the overall win by a single mark with a grand total of 59 in one of the closest finishes.

The other close finish came in Amateur class as Mark Vonmetteheim won with 17 over Wade Fuller who dropped a total of 18 marks overall.

Afterwards, the awards presentations, drawings, and give aways ended these five days of festivities as everyone involved showed the excitement of already looking forward to 2023!

Special thanks to Dan and Laura Larson, Rich and Yoyo Hilbun, all the sponsors, observers, media, riders, photographers and everyone involved for making such a memorable weekend for us all! More photos of this event will be available at mossyrocktrials.com

Results Top Three per Class Whiskey Gulch Two Day Trial 2022

Master: 1. William Head 40+17-57; 2 Chad Redman 51+19-70

Expert:  1.Bryce Pophal 3+12=15; 2. Murphy Aaron 20+5=25; 3. David Taylor 26+26=52

Expert Sportsman:

1. Yoyi San Martin 12+6=18; 2. Nick Schacht 13+23=36

SR Advanced:

1. Mike Diesburg 10+6=16;  2. Lance Butler 22+12=34;

3. Brandt Kennedy; 24+14=38

Advanced:

1. Tony McGrath 18+9=27; 2. Richard Fullen 47+9=56;

3. Nels Arneson 41+28=69

SR Intermediate:

1. Mark Snyder 17+1=18; 2. DJ Gottofrey 45+15=60;

3. Jeff Holman 41+20=61

Intermediate:

1. Bennett Hubner 41+18=59; Bob Hubner 45+15=60;

3. Ryan Alley 50+12=62

Amateur:

1.Mark Vonmettenheim 14+3=17; 2. Wade Fuller 17+1=18;

3. Christopher Kott 22+4=26

Novice:

1. Levi Sutheimer 8+12=20; 2. Brandy Kennedy 16+13=29;

3. Morgan Goetting 17+15=32

Vintage:

1. Matt Parsons 4+0=4; 2. Andrew Parker 6+3=9;

3. Jacob Roberts 10+0=10

FIM Trial Vintage Trophy

Quite simply the biggest celebration ever staged of all things retro in the wonderful world of trial, we’re less than two months away from the inaugural FIM Trial Vintage Trophy which is scheduled to take place at the legendary Italian venue of Monza on September 24, 2022.

Trial fans from across the planet are invited to attend and it doesn’t matter whether you’re a rider or a fan, a feet-up ace or an also-ran – you will be assured of the warmest of welcomes!

Master of ceremonies will be the original American Idol and 1979 TrialGP World Champion Bernie Schreiber.

Still the only rider from the USA ever to achieve global domination, the charismatic SoCal superstar will oversee the day’s action with a packed programme of interviews with our sport’s historic heroes and major players.

“I’m excited,” said Bernie Schreiber. “This is going to be an amazing day and I can’t wait to meet up with my old rivals and friends and fans from back in the day as well as new, much younger enthusiasts. Vintage trial is booming at the moment and this is the event we’ve all been waiting for.”

Bringing old and new together, the FIM Trial Vintage Trophy will be staged over a course of two laps of 12 sections on the same weekend as the FIM Trial Des Nations. On top of this there will be an exhibition of classic trial machines at the Autodromo of Monza which will also be the base for a reservation-only Trial Des Nations and vintage cocktail dinner on Saturday after the TDN presentation.

Dinner reservations will soon be available at https://trialgp.com/2022-trial-des-nations-italy/

“Trial has such an illustrious back-story,” added Bernie, “and I’m delighted that the FIM wants to celebrate it in this way. It really is a must-not-miss weekend that encompasses the complete history of the sport we all love.”

The FIM Trial Vintage Trophy will play an integral part of the 2022 FIM Trial Des Nations so whether you’re a competitor or a spectator you’ll be given a never seen before, opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the greatest athletes this sport has ever produced.

There will be two main bits of silverware up for grabs – for best performance on a vintage motorcycle and best performance on an authentic vintage motorcycle. There will also be a support class that will compete over easier sections.

Entries will close 21 days before the event and you can register now at https://www.trialgp-registration.com to be part of this historic event.

The action kicks off at 9am on the Saturday with the start of the FIM Trial Vintage Trophy with official TDN practice getting under way one hour later. The following day the latest generation of trial heroes, both male and female, will showcase their sublime skills and bring you bang up to date starting from 8.30am.

Monza is situated around 10 miles north of Milan. There are three airports within 40 miles and road links are excellent.

For the full timetable and more information: https://trialgp.com/2022-trial-des-nations-italy/

For more practical information download the CTR Info letter 02 Trial Vintage available at the TrialGP Noticeboard.

Source: FIM Press Office

Gloves Off – Heroes and Legends

In this edition of ‘Gloves Off’, we talk with Bernie exclusively about admiration and the inspiration of people over the years. In a culture obsessed with measuring talent and ability, we often overlook the important role of ‘inspiration’.

(TG = Trials Guru; BS = Bernie Schreiber)

TG – Did you admire or inspire from people over the years?

BS – Yes! But don’t forget that everyone you admire was once a beginner.

Let me explain, admiration is when certain qualities in someone or about something attracts you a lot and you are unable to stop yourself from thinking about it.

Inspiration, on the other hand, makes you actually do something after you admire some attribute or quality about someone or something.

One can say that admiration leads to inspiration, and inspiration constitutes admiration at some point.

For some, it’s their parents, be that Mom; Dad; care-takers; relatives; siblings from whom they get or seek inspiration.

Inspirational people are important through our life. They help us become the person we want to be and make a difference in our life. To be like someone, you have to work hard. It all depends on what interests you and what you want to be in your life.

TG – How important is ‘Character’ in those people?

BS – Character is what makes a person. It defines who you are and what you would become – whether to be a commendable inspiration for others to follow or a disappointment. We often hear moving stories about inspirational people we look up to, apart from our parents.

What made them truly notable are their distinct qualities. Inspirational people are often characterized as believers of themselves and of others.

With all those qualities of inspirational people, we learn everyday – from our own experience or from others.

TG – Are there people who marked your life?

BS – Of course, the key inspirational and important people of my life were Mom and Dad, who showed me the way.

There are people you meet in life that mark you forever. The reasons they mark you might be personal or inspiring actions taken, the impact they had on others, or the ways they changed the world or industry. Sometimes we admire people because they overcome a limitation or barriers unknown to us.

Some say that we live in an age without heroes. Do you think that is true? Well, even if it is – even if we no longer have people who walk among us who seem larger than life – we surely have not lost the ability to admire others.

Over the last fifty years I’ve had a chance to meet, speak and work with some amazing individuals from all walks of life. Many were highly educated or successful or becoming someone to be very proud of forever, but often you might wonder how did it happen and what’s the difference between them and others. Why are they unique, famous, rich, humble or achievers? We might not like them, but respect them for their accomplishments at a moment in time.

TG – Can you share experiences that inspired you?

BS – The list is long, but these four individuals brought admiration that led to inspiration in some way, shape or form over the years. They are all different with unique qualities, but they marked me in different ways. They are heroes, legends and role models of accomplishment. They share a common mindset to conquer and achieve not only with results, but breaking records to be first, developing new ways to innovate and challenge the status quo that inspired so many around the world.

#1 – MALCOLM SMITH

Malcolm Smith is one of the world’s pre-eminent off-road racers, he primarily raced motorcycles but in the 1970s while recovering from a broken leg, he built his own off-road racing buggy and competed in both the Baja 1000 and the Baja 500. The list of Malcolm Smith’s accomplishments is long, he won 8 gold medals between 1966 and 1976 in the International Six Day Trial. He’s a six-time winner of the Baja 1000 (three times on a motorcycle and three times in a buggy), he won the Baja 500 four times (twice on a bike and twice in a buggy), he took two wins in the Mint 400, he won the Roof of Africa Rallye, competed in the Paris Dakar Rally twice, and he won the Atlas Rallye in the mountains of Morocco. When not racing, Malcolm could be seen in films and documentaries, he famously had a starring role in Bruce Brown’s Academy Award nominated classic motorcycle documentary ‘On Any Sunday’, with Steve McQueen and Mert Lawwill.

Malcolm’s Story Malcolm Smith Motorsports Riverside, CA (951) 687-1300

The Facts: Bernie was inspired by Malcolm the first time he’d seen him on the big screen in the movie ‘On Any Sunday’. He wanted to be a motorcycle rider like him. Later in life, Bernie had a chance to work in Europe for Malcolm Smith Products in 1989 and 1990. It provided him a vision that you can be a motorcycle rider and run a successful business as well. It was his first real job outside of riding Trials for a living.

Bernie: “I was so fortunate to meet and work with Malcolm and his team over those two years. It was a dream come true and my admiration for this man continues to grow over time. He is the off-road KING of motorcycling.”

#2 – VALENTINO ROSSI – The Doctor

Valentino Rossi is an Italian former professional motorcycle road racer and nine-time Grand Prix motorcycle racing World Champion. He won World Championships with both Honda and Yamaha. Nicknamed The Doctor, he is widely considered to be one of the greatest motorcycle racers of all time, with nine Grand Prix World Championships to his name, seven of which were in the premier 500cc/MotoGP class. He is also the only road racer to have competed in 400 or more Grands Prix, and rode with the number 46 for his entire career.

Valentino Rossi Story – Bio, Facts, Networth, Family, Auto, Home | Famous Racers | SuccessStory

The Facts: Bernie was exposed to MotoGP in 2002 when working with Tissot Watches of Switzerland. Tissot became a major sponsor and timekeeper of MotoGP. During the next eight years he would develop the partnership with many awards and riders.

Bernie: “Vale was magical in an era of motorcycling the world had never seen. He was a marketing genius, communicator, thrill seeker and touched the hearts of so many in motorsports. Vale was MotoGP and became respected by everyone in the paddock, almost everyone. He inspired so many young riders over the years and I had the chance to present him dozens of Pole Position watches during the years. One day at the press conference he was asked, what do you do with all the watches? He smiled and said, I’m thinking about opening a watch store. A true Champion and legend.”

#3 – GREG NORMAN

Gregory John Norman is an Australian entrepreneur and retired professional golfer who spent 331 weeks as the world’s Number 1 Official World Golf Rankings ranked golfer in the 1980s and 1990s. He won 89 professional tournaments, including twenty PGA Tour tournaments and two majors: The Open Championships in 1986 and 1993. Norman also earned thirty top-ten finishes and was the runner-up eight times in majors throughout his career. In a reference to his blond hair, size, aggressive golf style and his birthplace’s native coastal animal, Norman’s nickname is “The Great White Shark”, which he earned after his play at the 1981 Masters.

Shark.com – Official Site of Greg Norman & the Greg Norman Company

The Facts: Bernie joined Omega Watches of Switzerland in 2012 and moved to Florida after a contract was signed with the PGA of America. Greg Norman was a Brand Ambassador for Omega, so Bernie based himself out of Greg’s office for the next three years to develop Omega’s golf initiatives in America.

Bernie: “Time spent close to Greg and his team was a real learning experience in Sports Marketing. The nickname SHARK was not by accident and doing deals, building partnerships and making money while growing the game is something Greg has been successful doing for decades. The uniqueness of the Norman brand can be felt throughout the world from golf course design, wine, clothing and real estate. After three years working together, I’m fortunate to say Greg is a friend and he inspired me to see things differently and always attack life.”

#4 – CAPTAIN GENE CERNAN

Eugene Andrew Cernan was an American astronaut, naval aviator, electrical engineer, aeronautical engineer, and fighter pilot. During the Apollo 17 mission, Cernan became the eleventh human being to walk on the Moon. Cernan, a Captain in the U.S. Navy, left his mark on the history of exploration by flying three times in space, twice to the moon. He also holds the distinction of being the second American to walk in space and the last human to leave his footprints on the lunar surface.

www.genecernan.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NS3uldKUx90

The Facts: Bernie spent a day with Gene Cernan at the 2012 Ryder Cup golf tournament just outside his hometown Chicago. Gene, one of Omega’s ambassadors who wore the Omega watch during his moon landing.

Bernie: “I had the privilege of taking Gene around the Medinah golf course in a buggy one day and we talked about golf, watches and time on the moon. September 29th, 2012 is a day with a man I’ll never forget. An extraordinary life of service and risk unknown to most people. Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt were walking and singing on the Moon in December 1972, some 50 years ago. When we talk about people who you can admire or be inspired from, Gene’s conversations are unbelievable and unforgettable. The last hero, legend and man on the moon. May your last steps never be forgotten.” God Speed R.I.P.

Article worldwide copyright: Bernard Schreiber/Trials Guru 2022

Photos: Copyright of individual photographers.

Death of Mike Davies

Suddenly, after a short illness, Michael Cyril Davies died on 13th June 2022.

Mike contacted Trials Guru and offered his photographs that he had taken as a schoolboy for display on the website.

Mike Davies in action on Grey Mare’s Ridge in the 1964 SSDT on his Triumph Cub.

His friend John Davies wrote:

Mike davies from Rhayader, Mid-Wales has passed away after a short illness which he failed to overcome. Mike was a very keen Motorcyclist and handy with a camera and competed right up until recently and was also a very competent cyclist and had a famous son Tim Davies who was world class and rode for the Alpine Stars team.

His funeral will take place at Aberystwyth Crematorium (No Church service) on Wednesday, 29th June 2022 at 2pm.

Mike’s photographs can be viewed HERE