187BLF – An historic AJS

Words: Trials Guru
Photos: Trials Guru copyright – John Hulme/Trial Magazine – Sammy Miller – Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven – Tommy Sandham


Here are a few photos of the most famous competition AJS single.

187BLF is the ex-factory AJS of Gordon L. Jackson who won the 1961 Scottish Six Days Trial aboard this very machine and only lost one mark in the process.

It is a fascinating story of how a bike was ridden, won the most famous of all trials on the lowest ever recorded score and then after being sold at a reduced cost to pay for another AJS rider’s expenses and winnings bonus, which was lost to the world for many years.

The Thames Ditton sporting dealers, Comerfords’ Sales Manager, Bert Thorn immediately ordered one-hundred replicas straight after Jackson’s SSDT win, but the factory never fulfilled the order.

Enjoy these photos, courtesy of Trials Guru.

5 The famous Gordon Jackson AJS as it arrived at the museum.
187BLF in its ‘as found’ state in 2011 – Photo: Sammy Miller, New Milton, Hants

Copy of SL702101
Fitted with the number 166 which was Jackson’s race number in the 1961 SSDT on the machine that was built for the task specially for Jackson to contest the event

Copy of SL702097
Close up of the offside of 187BLF showing the high level exhaust and central oil tank which lowers the centre of gravity, rubber covers were used to shield the carburettor which was devoid of air cleaner. The factory reckoned that an air cleaner made the mixture too rich

Copy of SL702098
The nearside view of 187BLF showing the alloy primary chaincase and the spigot mount for the prop stand which was obligatory for the SSDT

GLJ - 187 BLF - Feb 2011
Trials ace, Gordon L. Jackson re-united with his 1961 SSDT winning AJS.

Sammy Miller with 187BLF shortly after initial restoration which was carried out in Sammy’s workshops at New Milton, Hampshire and now displays the machine permanently at the Museum. 187BLF is owned by The Sammy Miller Trust – Photo: John Hulme/Trial Magazine

2011 - 187BLF- GOV132 - IL
Photographed at the SSDT Centenary in 2011 – Two of the most famous trials machines, of all time – 187BLF (350 AJS) which won the 1961 SSDT ridden by Gordon Jackson losing only one mark. GOV132 (500 Ariel) Sammy Miller’s famous machine that won the SSDT (1962 & 1964) – Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven

Offside/timing side of 187BLF – Notice the black rockerbox cover. These were cast in ‘Elektron’ a magnesium alloy and this is the short-stroke motor with cast in pushrod tunnels – Photo: Tommy Sandham, Magor

Nearside/Primary drive side of 187BLF, note the alloy primary chaincase and the spigot, mounted on the magneto plate to take the propstand which is attached to the front down tube, this was a requirement for the Scottish Six Days, to have an operating stand – Photo: Tommy Sandham, Magor

187BLF in the spring sunshine of 2011 at the Centenary SSDT in Fort William – Photo: Tommy Sandham, Magor

Gordon L. Jackson waits for the call to fire up 187BLF at the parade during the Centenary celebrations for the Scottish Six Days in 2011 – Photo: Tommy Sandham, Magor

Gordon Jackson reunited with his 1961 winning AJS 16C (187BLF) at the Centenary SSDT in High Street, Fort William in 2011 – Photo: Tommy Sandham, Magor

In late 1962, Gordon Blakeway (on the right with Jackson) took over 187BLF as it’s factory rider, but by 1965 AMC couldn’t afford to pay Gordon’s bonus, so they sold the machine to him and they deducted his expenses from the total price. Blakeway sold the machine on a few weeks later for “an acceptable profit”.

Have a read…’That Boy’ – The story of Ferry Brouwer


The Guru usually restricts information to the sport of trials, however, he has recently obtained a copy of the book titled: ‘That Boy – What became of Ferry Brouwer’ – Natascha Kayser

Ferry Brouwer was a race technician with Yamaha Motor Company and was spanner-man to a host of top grand-prix riders. Later in life, he became importer of Arai helmets to Europe.

He had a happy family life growing up in a working class area of Holland, life was not easy, money was not plentiful, but young Ferry always found something interesting to do and had the will to succeed.

If you get a chance to buy a copy of this book, do so, even if your interest is not in motorcycle racing, it is a captivating story. Written in both Dutch and English language, it is an open and honest recount of life in the Netherlands, post-war.

Read how Ferry took his life savings and approached Mr. Arai of the Japanese safety helmet company to attempt to import the famous helmets to Europe, he met with obstacles, yet he was not put off.

It is a true-story of endeavour and self-belief.

For more information:

That Boy – Ferry Brouwer



SSDT 2014 & Trials Media – Press Update



The official Public Relations and Publicity partner of the Scottish Six Days Trial 2014 is Trials Media.

Based in High Peak, Derbyshire, Trials Media is the PR arm of Yoomee Ltd, their MD is trials enthusiast John Hulme, himself a former SSDT competitor.

‘Trials Media’ Chief, John Hulme heads up the Press and Public Relations for the SSDT 2014. (Photo: Heather Mead Photography, Dingwall)

John Hulme or ‘Yoomee’ as he is universally known, will be at the SSDT not only reporting for Trial Magazine, but will be keeping in constant touch with Press Officer, Heath Brindley who will be manning the SSDT World-wide press office, based at the Ben Nevis Hotel, the HQ of the SSDT.

Heath Tarres 2
Heath Brindley (Left) seen here with former World Champion and SSDT winner, Jordi Tarres; will be Press Officer situated at the SSDT HQ (Ben Nevis Hotel)

Meet the 2014 SSDT/Trials Media Press Team…

Yoomee 1980 Majesty SSDT
John Hulme in the 1980 SSDT on his Shirty supported Yamaha Majesty. (Photo copyright: Jimmy Young, Armadale, Scotland)


Jotagas Heath
SSDT Press Officer – Heath Brindley from Weston Super Mare, will be on hand during the 2014 event at the Ben Nevis Hotel

Honda ‘retire’ the Montesa brand name

It has just been announced that Honda (HRC) have decided to end 70 years of off-road motorcycle history by retiring the ‘Montesa’ brand name.

The HRC Trials Team of Takahisa Fujinami and Toni Bou, will now be riding Honda 4RT machines from now on.

This ties in with the HRC Moto GP road racing enterprise.

Montesa became a wholly owned subsidiary of Honda Motor Co back in the 1980’s, which helped Honda sell more units in the Spanish markets, by their purchase of a Spanish company which was founded originally by the Permanyer family in Barcelona.

It comes as no surprise for those within the industry as much of the production was moved to Honda’s factory in Italy two years ago.

The Montesa 4RT was always a Honda at heart as the motor was built by HRC (Honda Racing Corporation) which also manufactured the motor for the previous model the Montesa 315R 250cc two-stroke.

SSDT 2014 – Meet The Importers…



1 Sherco
Malcolm & Rhoda Rathmell…Malcolm Rathmell Sport

You might say that Sherco importer, Malcolm Rathmell, has the ‘magic’ touch when it comes to the Scottish Six Days Trial. Providing the support with his wife, Rhoda, they have continued to be involved in the winning ways from the start of his career right through to the modern era.

‘Rastus’ as he is known, first visited the event as a spectator in 1963 before he started his SSDT career in 1966 on a Triumph Tiger Cub, retiring with a broken rocker. 1967 would see him take a similar machine to a Special First Class award and he followed the trend over the next few years, though mounted on Greeves in 1968 and 1969 before joining the Spanish Armada in 1970 with Bultaco, taking the first of a top-three finish on the prototype slim-line ‘Kit Campeon’ model.

Malcolm would also finish third in 1971. In 1972 he slipped just off the top spots with a fourth place before taking his first win in 1973 on the early 325cc Bultaco featuring the blue and silver one piece aluminium fuel tank/seat unit.

Rathmell finished in second place, ten marks behind Mick Andrews, in 1974 in his last year on Bultaco before the move to rival manufacturer, Montesa.

Riding the prototype Montesa Cota 348 machine, which would eventually be sold as the Malcolm Rathmell Replica, he took second place again in 1975.

Third in 1976 and second in 1977 were good years before a disappointing 1978 on the Beamish Suzuki finishing in a lowly, for him, tenth position.

He would put this disappointment behind him to give Montesa its first win in the event in 1979 at the final hurdle in a show down with friend and rival, Martin Lampkin, on the slopes of Ben Nevis.

Montesa rival, Yrjo Vesterinen, took the win on Montesa in 1980 with ‘Rastus’ second. Now approaching the end of a successful riding career he would finish eighth in 1981 and sixth in 1982 before retiring from trials.

Rathmell would return to trials though in 1991 as an importer with the Italian Aprilia machines providing support for riders such as Tony Scarlett.

In 1994 he would move to importing the French Scorpa machines at the event with Graham Jarvis coming home in sixth place.

Jarvis would give the MRS team its first win in 1998 on the Rotax powered machine before another win on the new breed of Bultaco Sherco in 1999. Rathmell moved to fully importing the Sherco in 2000 and three years later Spanish rider, Joan Pons, would give the new re-brand its first win. Jarvis would win in 2004 with team rider, Sam Connor, taking his only win in 2005 before Jarvis once again returned to the top spot in 2006.

2 Sherco
Malcolm Rathmell is a previous winner of the event seen here in the 1982 SSDT.

SHERCO Wins: 1999: Bultaco Sherco – Graham Jarvis (GBR); 2003: Joan Pons (ESP); 2004: Graham Jarvis (GBR); 2005: Sam Connor (GBR); 2006: Graham Jarvis (GBR).


1 Jotagas
Steve Sanders with Jotagas rider, Ross Danby

The Spanish Jotagas name is fronted by the importer and four times SSDT winner, Steve Saunders.

The Gloucester based rider/importer has a superb history with the Scottish Six Days after his first ride on the Comerfords supported 250 Bultaco in 1982 when he finished in twentieth place, having just recovered from a broken collar bone earlier in the season. He finished sixth in 1983 and third in 1984 on the British-built Armstrong machine featuring the Italian Hiro engine. In 1985 on a Honda UK supported four-stroke single shock RTL250S he took the runner up position to Frenchman, Thierry Michaud, on the Fantic and repeated this result again in 1986, although this time he was on the full Rothmans supported works RTL270SW machine.

The 1987 ride nearly did not happen after the Fantic Team in Italy did not bring Saunders a fully prepared factory machine to the event, as was expected and he arrived with just his spare practice machine. Burning some midnight oil the spare machine was quickly refurbished and he once again took second place, this time behind Jordi Tarres.

Saunders took a well-deserved win in 1988 and again in1989, the last wins for Fantic before giving Beta the wins in 1989 and 1990. His last ride in the event was 1994 on a Gas Gas when he took a Special First class award with a top ten finish.

2 Jotagas
Steve Saunders, a previous winner of the SSDT, seen here when he rode for Fantic

Gas Gas Motos UK

1 Gas Gas
John Shirt Jnr and his Gas Gas team

The Shirt family had been in Scotland providing support for the Majesty Yamaha effort and with Yamaha and the revolutionary TY 250cc Mono-Shock machine, before becoming the Gas Gas importers in 1988 when they became the first company that the Spanish manufacturer ever exported to.

Their first year at the Scottish with the Gas Gas name was in 1989 when they had only four of the machines in the entire entry, including John Shirt Jnr who had made his first attempt at the event in 1988 on the Honda RTL270SW taking a very creditable tenth place and the Ian Pollock Memorial Trophy for the best newcomer.

Since then Shirt Jnr has competed in, and finished every year to date, with his best performance coming in 1992 when he was second.

Considering the popularity of the red Spanish machines it’s almost unbelievable that they had taken only two wins in 1997 and 2000 with Steve Colley on the TXT model before Dougie Lampkin changed all that in 2012 and 2013.

‘Shirty’ still competes in the event which he enjoys as one of only a handful of outings each year on a trials machine.

2 Gas Gas
Shirty still loves his annual ‘holiday’ in the Highlands.

Gas Gas Wins: 1997 and 2000: Steve Colley (GBR); 2012: Dougie Lampkin 2012 and 2013.

Beta UK

1 Beta
John Lampkin of Beta UK

The Beta support team is headed by John Lampkin, a former factory rider for SWM, Fantic and Armstrong, before he became the Beta importer starting with the air-cooled single-shock TR 34 model in 1987.

Lampkin made his debut in the SSDT in 1980 on a Colin Appleyard Motorcycles sponsored 250cc Bultaco, coming home in eighty fourth position. Over the following years he enjoyed the event, with his best finish in 1989 when he took the runner up berth. Although in 1986 John took a close third place on the 301 Fantic in a very wet event finishing behind his greatest rivals, Frenchman Thierry Michaud, and Steve Saunders. In 1987 he witnessed the arrival of a very young Spaniard, Jordi Tarres, on the Beta TR 34 with his unique riding style, who took the win before Steve Saunders ruled the Highlands, taking the last of a consecutive four wins in 1990 for Beta, the previous two wins were with Fantic. Manx Man, Steve Colley arrived on the scene, before another Lampkin, Dougie, took control on the Zero model Beta.

2 Beta
John Lampkin is an accomplished rider who has ridden in many SSDT’s

It was then a lean time for the Italian manufacturer with no wins before Dougie Lampkin returned to the event, after a thirteen year absence, having been chasing world championship glory, giving Beta another podium which was followed by Alexz Wigg in 2010 and then to celebrate 100 years of the event James Dabill took a very popular victory.

BETA Wins: 1987: Jordi Tarres (ESP); 1990: Steve Saunders (GBR); 1991: Steve Saunders (GBR); 1992: Steve Colley (GBR); 1993: Steve Colley (GBR); 1994: Dougie Lampkin (GBR); 1995: Dougie Lampkin (GBR); 2008: Dougie Lampkin (GBR); 2009: Dougie Lampkin (GBR); 2010: Alexz Wigg (GBR); 2011: James Dabill (GBR).


1 Ossa
Nigel ‘Butterfly’ Birkett… Ossa & Scorpa with SSDT Officials, Keith Blythe and Mick Gover.

Ask Nigel Birkett any question on the SSDT and it’s a good chance he will have an answer, having ridden and finished in the event since 1971 when he took his home built 128cc Suzuki to 120th place losing 297 marks. This year will be his 43rd Scottish in total.

Since then he has ridden private machines from Ossa in 1972 – 1974 before works machines came from Suzuki 1975 – 1977, when he finished in third place on the 325cc RL which was incidentally his best finish, Montesa 1978 – 1980, Fantic 1981 – 1982; Majesty Yamaha 1983; Yamaha 1984 – 1988; JCM 1989 – 1990; Gas Gas 1991; Yamaha 1992 – 2002 and his own Yamaha powered Birkett machines in 2003 and 2004 before becoming the UK Scorpa importer and riding the French Yamaha engined machines  from 2005 – phew quite a record!

He rode the Scorpa until he became the Ossa importer towards the end of the 2010 season and then riding the Spanish machine from 2011 onwards. The 100% record on starts and finishes is one he is very proud of and each year has its own tale to tell. As the importer for both the French built Scorpa and Spanish Ossa machines he still competes, which he still prefers than watching from the car park.

OSSA Wins: 1970 – 1972: Mick Andrews (GBR).

SCORPA Wins: 1998 – Graham Jarvis (GBR)

Information provided by: Trials Media – The official PR partner for the Scottish Six Days Trial 2014.


Scottish Six Days 1963…Old colour photos…

Thanks to our photographer, Jimmy Young, we are pleased to exhibit a few old colour photographs taken at the start of the 1963 Scottish Six Days Trial on 1st May. The location is the Gorgie Cattle Market, Edinburgh (Now known as The Corn Exchange)

We don’t know who the original photographer was, but he may have resided in the West Lothian area. We are aware that copyright is valid up to 70 years after the demise of the photographer. We don’t wish to breach any copyright laws by exhibiting these photos and we don’t believe they were taken by a professional photographer due to the quality.


Trials Guru – SSDT 1963 – Rider No. 182 – Gordon McLauchlan (AJS 500). – Start 6th May 1963 – Photo courtesy of Jimmy Young, Armadale.
Trials Guru – SSDT 1963 – Gordon Blakeway (AJS 350). – Start 6th May 1963 – Photo courtesy of Jimmy Young, Armadale.
Trials Guru – SSDT 1963 – Rider No. 168 – Rob Edwards (Cotton 250). – Start 6th May 1963 – Photo courtesy of Jimmy Young, Armadale.
Trials Guru – SSDT 1963 – Rider No. 51 – Eric Adcock (DOT 250). – Start 6th May 1963 – Photo courtesy of Jimmy Young, Armadale.
Trials Guru – SSDT 1963 – Rider No. 91 – Chris J. Butler (Butler Special 250). – Start 6th May 1963 – Photo courtesy of Jimmy Young, Armadale.
Trials Guru – SSDT 1963 – Rider No. 183 – Ron Thomson (Lochaber & District MCC) (BSA 350 Gold Star). – Start 6th May 1963 – Photo courtesy of Jimmy Young, Armadale.
Trials Guru – SSDT 1963 – Rider No. 58 – Arthur Lampkin (BSA 250) The eventual winner of the trial. – Start 6th May 1963 – Photo courtesy of Jimmy Young, Armadale.
Trials Guru – SSDT 1963 – Rider No. 52 – Dave Rowland (BSA 250). – Start 6th May 1963 – Photo courtesy of Jimmy Young, Armadale.

Alwinton 2 Day Trial – 21/22 June 2014

Alwinton 2DT 2014 - 1


Bedlington Motor Club are continuing preparations for the Alwinton Two Day which will take place on the weekend of the 21/22 June. Whilst this is only the fourth running of the event it has changed significantly since first established in 2011.

The course has expanded each year to take in more farms in the area and also Kidland Forest.  The trial is now two single lap days entirely off road including lunch and petrol checks. The club has also worked to establish relationships with the national park and local businesses including Clennel Hall Country House and Hotel which is now the focal point for the weekend. This year the club also wanted to issue T shirts to all competitors in order to further promote the event.

However all of the above has added to the cost of staging the trial. The club want riders to come and enjoy our event and we didn’t want to increase entry fees to the point they became too expensive.

We have therefore sought sponsorship for the trial and we are delighted to announce that the following businesses are contributing to the cost of staging the event.

We are delighted with the response to the 2014 trial as all 120 available entries have now been taken and we are two months away from the closing date.

Further entries will be accepted via the clubs online entry system, visit www.bedlingtonmotorclub.co.uk but will be allocated initially to the reserve list.

Each rider entered will shortly receive an e mail confirmation, further communications will be on the clubs Facebook page and where necessary the club will contact riders directly.

Highland Classic 2 Day Trial – THE THORPE EDITION – 7/8 June 2014

The Inverness & District Motorcycle Club’s Highland Classic 2 Day Trial at the beautiful Alvie Estate, near Aviemore is taking shape with a fresh section of route being tested at this time. Entries from all over Scotland, England and parts of Europe are now confirmed. There are 125 riders and a list will be shown here shortly.

This year’s Guest of Honour is former Ossa, Bultaco & CCM factory rider, Dave Thorpe from Chesterfield, England. Dave was the first man to win a World Trials Championship round in 1975, the year the championship was won by fellow Bultaco rider, H. Martin Lampkin.

The event is aimed at Pre’65 and twin-shock machines, Thorpe has entered the event on his Triumph Tiger Cub and will be riding the A-Route/Unit Class. Other notable entries include: last year’s Guest, Yrjo Vesterinen with daughter Hanna Vesterinen; former Bultaco team rider: Norman Shepherd; former Cheshire ACU champion, Peter Salt; bike builder and developer, Alan Whitton; from Spain: Javier Cruz; Luis Munoz; Puablo Munoz; Salvador del Campo; Juan-Pablo Moll and journalist Tim Britton.

The event is sponsored by Classic Trial Magazine & Trial Magazine.


Entry List in pdf:

Highland Classic 2 Day Trial – 2014 –


Important ‘Gas Gas’ information for SSDT – 2014

Information to assist Gas Gas riders in this years’ Scottish Six Days Trial, issued from Gas Gas Motos Ltd – UK’s John Shirt.SSDT DESIGN 14


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SSDT-gasgasWhat-to-wear-and-carry (1)

Trials Guru wishes to thank Gas Gas Motos Ltd for allowing us to share this information.

John Shirt Jnr.
Director, Team Manager
C/o GAS GAS Motos Ltd., 33 Harpurhill Business Park, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 9JL. UK

Phone +44 1298 766813 opt. 5

Fax     +44 1298 766816

For GG Bikes and spares checkout www.gasgasuk.com
For all other Accessories and Clothing checkout http://www.trialendurodirect.com/

The Premier Trial Website – Recording the History of the Sport 'Since 2014'