All posts by bigjohn2014

SSDT clicks up a gear! 5-11 May 2014

 

 

SSDT DESIGN 14

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Mick Andrews (Yamaha OW – 250cc) on his way to win the 1974 SSDT with the loss of 41 marks.

 

Dateline March 2014…

The annual ‘Sporting Holiday in the Highlands’ better known as the Scottish Six Days Trial begins to take shape once again. The entry ballot has been run, as is customary for this event is over-subscribed and the payment date has now expired and the riding numbers will soon be issued to competitors. Hopefuls on the reserve list will await their news with baited breath!

For competitors who are by now committed 110% to some eight weeks of machine, physical and mental preparation, this has begun in earnest.

The importers have already issued their own instructions and provided their ‘hints and tips’ for machine preparation for this classic amongst trials events. Many take this event very seriously, some look upon it as a challenge for them, just to take part and finish on the Saturday afternoon. Of course there are those in the minority that have their eyes fixed firmly on the ‘win of the year’!

Many of the riders are from overseas and they have to book ferries, flights and make sure they have everything in order for the lengthy journey to Fort William in the Scottish Highlands, which will be the nucleus of the trial for the six days in early May.

The Scottish Six Days is nothing short of an annual pilgrimage for trials riders and trials enthusiasts the world over.

Equally important, but very much behind the scenes, the trial organisers have in-gathered all the necessary permissions from land-owners, the Police, councils and those organisations that allow the trial to traverse the ground they manage. Much is done every year to ensure proper land use which nowadays is strictly controlled to ensure that environmental regulations are not breached and the event is not placed in any jeopardy. This is one of the reasons why the event cannot be followed by spectators on motorcycles.

There is still much work to be done of course, right up to 07.30 on Monday 5th May, when the first man is flagged and piped away for the 2014 edition!

Soon we will be focussing on those that have a firm chance of winning this prestigious event.

In the meantime let us look at some Magic Moments of SSDT’s gone by….flash-back 40 years…

Magic Moments…1974 – MICK ANDREWS

An event which has a history going back more than 100 years, the Scottish Six Days Trial has witnessed some very interesting and historical moments, magic moments to so many people in fact, who follow the history of this famous International event.

One rider who has always been associated with the ‘Scottish’ is Mick Andrews.

Mick had started his trials career with the support of his family, when his father Tom traded his Vincent road machine for a trials machine, an AJS when his son was sixteen years old. As they say the rest is history – as Mick would go on to have a very successful off-road motorcycling career which would include the SSDT, not once but five times.

The Adventure Begins

Mick’s first ride in the ‘Highlands’ was as a seventeen year old in 1962, as part of the mighty AJS factory supported team. In 1963 he finished a very creditable runner-up to Arthur Lampkin. His early result was not just a one-off as he finished once again in second position in 1964 to Sammy Miller. The move to the lighter weight two-stroke power machines from the heavy four-strokes was now gathering pace with rapid momentum and along with his great rival Miller who had moved to the Spanish Bultaco, Andrews had moved over to a James for the 1965 event where he finished in third place.

It was third position again in 1966 with Andrews on a private Bultaco. He then took over the role of development rider with the Spanish Ossa concern in 1967, but was forced to retire form the event when the rear sprocket carrier broke. But in 1968, he would claim yet another third place finish. In 1969 he would finish second this time to Bill Wilkinson on the Greeves, but now he felt ready to win the event. With his input, the Ossa was turning into a winning machine and he took a hat trick of wins from 1970 – 1972, but soon he would face a new challenge as he was tempted to another manufacturer.

A New Challenge

Mick Andrews had been looking for a something fresh as he felt he had gone as far as he could with the Ossa. The ‘Big Four’ Japanese manufacturers, Honda; Yamaha; Suzuki and Kawasaki all wanted to develop new trials motorcycles. They all needed a professional rider with the experience to take the lead and Yamaha chose Andrews. He started in earnest with the project in 1973 and made his debut at the ‘Scottish’ on the new 250cc Yamaha taking a very strong second place. The Japanese wanted to win and in early 1974 Yamaha shocked the world of trials when it unveiled its new single shock, fuel-injected 250cc bike for Andrews to ride. The machine was a hit and his early success with the machine included a European championship win and in May he headed to the SSDT with one thing on his mid – to win!

After losing just one mark on Monday, by mid-week he had opened up a five mark advantage over Martin Lampkin. To keep the crowds as bay the ‘Pipeline’ hazard had been roped off, but it held no terrors for Andrews. Veteran reporter Ralph Venables hailed his clean ride of the hill as the best he had ever witnessed! Despite pressure from the other riders, Andrews kept his cool through Thursday and Friday parting with very few marks and made the best performance on Saturday to take the historic win. Andrews made the phone call to Japan to tell them of the achievement, the first ever for a Japanese manufacturer – they were elated. Such was the reliability of the new machine he had only used two sets of tyres and two chains to take victory – Yamaha had arrived on the trials scene!

Results 1974 SSDT

1: Mick Andrews (250 Yamaha) 41; 2: Malcolm Rathmell (250 Bultaco) 51; 3: Thore Evertson (250 Ossa-SWE) 55; 4: Martin Lampkin (325 Bultaco) 65; 5: Alan Lampkin (325 Bultaco) 68; 6: Rob Shepherd (250 Montesa) 70; 7: Dave Thorpe (250 Ossa) 72; 8: Clive Smith (250 Montesa) 78; 9: Rob Edwards (310 Montesa) 83; 10: Mick Wilkinson (250 Ossa) 85.

Information supplied by Trials Media on behalf of the Scottish Six Days Trial (2014)

Honda RTL250S – 1987

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The 1987 Honda (HRC) RTL250S (actual capacity 270cc) of Eddy Lejeune (Belgium) seen in the paddock at the 1987 Scottish Six Days Trial in Fort William. The machine was maintained by mechanic and enduro competitor, Derrick Edmondston. The machine differed in many respects from the production version having a much more voluminous exhaust and single spar downtube frame and was also fitted with an oil-cooler. Lejeune came home in 3rd position on this machine losing 82 marks. The machine was registered in the UK by Honda Britain. Photo copyright: Donald Young, Stonehaven, Scotland UK.

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Scottish Six Days Trial – The annual classic of all trials

Josep Jo Montesa 1981 SSDT

Trials Guru – 1981 SSDT – Josep Jo (Montesa 349) Montesa Spain. Josep finished in 15th position on 147 marks. Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven.

Schreiber Edramucky 1977Bernie Schreiber (Bultaco 325) on Edramucky near Killin in 1977. This was Schreiber’s first SSDT and finished 11th on 98 marks. (Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlocleven, Scotland)

1977 M Andrews Ben Nevis

Mick Andrews (250 Yamaha) on Ben Nevis in 1977, Andrews came home in fourth position on 62 marks. He won the event four times 1970-1972 and again in 1975. (Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven, Scotland)

Woody Hole'93 Creag Lundie

Steve ‘Woody’ Hole (260 Beta) came 10th in the 1993 event losing 104 marks. (Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven, Scotland)

© – Trials Guru/Moffat Racing, John Moffat – 2014 (All Rights reserved)

Tribute to: DAVID PAGE – Scotland

DAVID PAGE - Scotland
David Page (Yamaha) taking part in the 1992 World Trials Championship UK round at Glen Nevis, Fort William – Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven

DAVID PAGE – Eldest son of Ernie & Elizabeth Page; Ernie being a former Scottish Scrambles Champion and motorcycle dealer from Edinburgh, Scotland. David started out competitively on a Montesa Cota 49 with a Yamaha TY80 motor installed.

Page_racing_MonYam_1985
David Page with his Monyam which was built by his father, Ernie Page – Photo: Page Family Archive

He was quite small for his age as a child, but soon mastered the art of trials at an early age. He became unbeatable in Scottish Youth events. David progressed to an experimental 80cc Fantic provided by Roy Carey Of South Essex Leisure, the Fantic importers.

David Page Fantic Jpeg
David Page on the pre-production Fantic 80 which he developed with his father Ernie – Photo: Page Family Archive

This machine went into production using much of David and Ernie’s feedback to the Fantic factory. David then started to ride in adult trials on the Yamaha TY250R on which he made a name for himself, winning the 1992 Scottish Trials Championship.

Cleveland 1992 - David Page
The Cleveland Trial in 1992 David on the TY250R Yamaha – Photo: Page Family Archive

He was without doubt in the league of Jarvis and Colley and was a young man to watch as he was a natural rider.

David Page - TYZ British Champs 1993
David Page on the Hamilton Yamaha TYZ in the British Championships in 1993 – Photo: Page Family Archive

Sadly, when on a trip to an Italian world round with his father, David started to feel ill and was rushed home to Edinburgh to be diagnosed with the adult form of Leukemia to which he succumbed in late 1993.

The trials world and his family were cruelly robbed of a highly talented competitor and an exceptionally polite young man who is missed by those who knew him, to this day. His funeral and subsequent burial at Hillend Cemetery, Dalgety Bay was attended by a veritable ‘who’s who’ of the trials world.

A cortege of trials riders and their bikes, escorted the funeral procession all the way from Bathgate, West Lothian to Dalgety Bay in Fife.

April 1992 - World Champs - Jordi Tarres - David Page
April 1992, David Page with World Trials Champion, Jordi Tarres – Photo: Page Family Archive

To read more about David Page and his father, Ernie, this has been achieved in the book, ‘Motorcycle Competition: Scotland 1975-2005’ by John Moffat

Available: HERE