Ahead of it’s time, we are carried back to 1978 when photo-journalist Mike Rapley snapped this unique monocoque framed 325cc Bultaco at the Welsh Trophy Trial.
The top frame tube carrying fuel it bears a strange resemblance to machines we use today.
Mike Rapley could not recall who built it, who rode it or if it still exists, but we do know someone that would like to own it!
Have a look at the detail shot and judge for yourself!
November 2019 – Thanks to the power of the internet, Phill Smith, the machines creator in 1978 discovered Trials Guru and his machine! Stephen Hopkins also produced a colour photograph which indicated that the machine was further modified and developed.
We aim to bring more information on this special machine shortly.
All photos: copyright Mike Rapley & Stephen Hopkins
For more Welsh Trophy and other action from Mike Rapley, click HERE
To contact Trials Guru with information about this Bultaco special, make contact HERE
Mick Bradley wrote: 06/03/2016: “RE unusual Bultaco. Phill Smith from Kidderminster built and rode a very similiar Bulto to this around that time. Not sure if this is him but looks very much like it. Regards Mick”.
We have noticed that viewings of Trials Guru have increased considerably throughout 2015 and as such we would like to thank all regular and new viewers of the website accordingly. We hope you enjoy what you see and read about our great sport – Trials!
Trials Guru would not exist for your enjoyment without the continued support by our generous photographers and contributors. We are extremely grateful to them for allowing Trials Guru to display their images of the great sport of trials on these pages.
We have added a few new pages recently including Mike Rapley’s Recalled by Rappers; Lampkin of Silsden which will shortly be expanded and Bultaco – Spain, dedicated to the Spanish marque which brought you the famous Sherpa T. We have also added a dedication to three times World Trials Champion, Yrjo Vesterinen.
There is much more to come in the next few weeks including a tribute page to the most famous trials rider of all time!
So stay tuned wherever you are to Trials Guru – Broadcasting to Trials enthusiasts throughout the World!
The name ‘Lampkin’ is synonymous with off-road motorcycle sport. It has to be the most famous of all families associated with motorcycling in the world.
Trials Guru are proud to release a feature page dedicated to the Lampkin family, with informative articles and photos from our regular contributors. We start with Alan R.C. Lampkin’s story of a life in motorcycle sport.
As close family friend and former trials competitor, Blackie Holden said: “The Lampkin family can be summed up in one word – winners. There is something very special about them, from a very early age I remember their tremendous ‘will to win’ it is immense. Whether it be a game of noughts and crosses or a 500 GP, the competitive element with them is incredible. It’s not in a nasty way, they just have to win”.
Read all about ‘Lampkin of Silsden’ on Trials Guru
Tommy Robb is a well-known Ulsterman who rode for Honda, Yamaha, Seeley, Bultaco and a whole host of private sponsors, including Terry Hill in a career that started in 1950 and went on until the mid 1970s.
In 1962, Robb was the first non-Japanese factory rider to be signed by Honda, the year he was runner-up in the 350cc World Championships. He is a five times winner of the North-West 200 and has won the Lightweight 125cc TT in 1973.
He wrote an autobiography called ‘From TT to Tokyo’ a fascinating recount of a works riders life on the ‘Continental Circus’
Tommy been friends with Trials Guru representative John Moffat for some years now, having been interviewed by Trials Guru at the Scottish Motorcycle Show near Edinburgh.
What is not generally known is that Tommy was also a keen trials competitor both in his youth and in later years to keep fit when not travelling the world racing motorcycles.
Recently Tommy had a very pleasant surprise and contacted Trials Guru.
Here is what Tommy sent Trials Guru:
“Hi Big John, – A very happy New Year to you, your family and Trials Guru’s everywhere!
I thought the attached Certificate (Factory Rider) would be of interest to you. This arrived on the 2nd January 2016, from the DOT Motorcycle Club, whilst all the major personalities were getting their Knighthoods, MBE’s, and OBE’s I was delighted to receive this award, from 1954 -1958 and inscribed:
‘Special Award made to Tommy Robb, from the DOT Motorcycle Club in recognition of your Achievements as a rider representing the DOT Motorcycle Factory in the Golden age of British Motorcycle Competition’.
This, believe it or not, dates back to the mid-fifties when I rode factory 196cc and 250cc DOTS in grass tracks, scrambles (in those days) and trials in Northern and Southern Ireland. When Burnard Scott Wade was the MD of the Company.
It was a pleasure to receive this recognition some 62 years after the period concerned when I was 18 or 19 years old at the time. To have it in my trophy cabinet at 81 years of age, amongst my TT Replicas is indeed a surprise and an honour”.
We are always looking for something different, special or unusual at Trials Guru, so we thought Trials Guru readers would enjoy this.
Words – Copyright: Trials Guru & Tommy Robb – 2016
Back in 1977, having previously acquired the tooling and stock of the BSA competition shop at Small Heath, Alan Clews decided to create a trials machine. It is believed that Sammy Miller had already approached Clews to supply him with BSA motors to power a trials machine of Millers own design. Clews’ CCM (Clews Competition Machines) brand was by then already well established, having risen from the original ‘Clew-Stroka’ motocross concept from 1971, by using BSA B50 motors as the power-plant, but with the capacity increased from 498cc to 600cc.
Clews had built a reputation of making high quality motocross machinery which performed as well as they looked. In the hands of Lancastrian, Bob Wright; Cumbrian Mick Barnes and later Vic Eastwood and Scot, Vic Allan, the CCM was a serious racing motorcycle.
Based in Bolton, Lancashire, England the company had grown considerably from modest beginnings. Mike Eatough made the frames, before setting up his own venture called EMC.
There seemed to be a market for a four-stroke trials machine and Clews was eager to fill the void and to produce one, Made in Britain! Honda had already launched their TL125 and for the US market, the TL250 trials models, developed with the help of Sammy Miller and the company’s ‘Bials for Trials’ programme.
The eventual CCM production run of their 350T machine was very modest, with just over 100 machines ever produced by the factory. It utilised a variant of the BSA B40 – 343cc unit single, which CCM claimed the capacity as 345cc by using a bore of 79.25 mm and stroke of 70 mm, with compression ratio as 6.2:1.
Quality components were sourced from European manufacturers, From Italy, Marzocchi supplied both front forks and remote reservoir rear shocks, German ‘Magura’ controls, the Italian, ‘Grimeca’ hubs and brakes and gold anodised Spanish ‘Akront’ wheel rims. With American-made Preston Petty motocross red plastic mudguards also fitted front and rear. This particular combination, with the chromed chassis made for a ‘good looking’ machine, this in itself did not make a 100% competitive trials machine however.
The B40 motor was treated to an Amal MK2 concentric carburettor and a revised primary drive alloy casing, finished in black with the CCM motif in relief, with a novel little oil breather/catch bottle fitted to the nearside crankcase. But at heart it was still a BSA B40 which had been developed from the 1959 C15 design.
Given the more modern riding position, the gear pedal was fitted in such a way that it was accessible by the rider standing up on the foot-pegs. The gear pedal passed behind the kick-start lever.
Backed by Castrol Oils UK, riders of the caliber of Dave Thorpe, (who left Bultaco to ride the CCM prototype) and Nick Jefferies were employed to develop the CCM 350T for the factory.
Jefferies entered the 1978 Scottish Six Days Trial riding number 220 on the 400cc CCM prototype, backed by Castrol, but failed to finish the event.
Thorpe entered the 1979 SSDT on the 360cc CCM factory machine with riding number 250, with Thorpe shadowed most of the week by motocross rider, Dick Clayton whose riding gear had been rumoured to be literally stuffed with spare parts.
Dave Thorpe did finished the 1979 SSDT in 95th position on 397 marks lost, which was not a good day at the office for him, having been 11th position the year before on a Bultaco!
V. R. Moyce from Wickham rode a production CCM 350 in the 1979 SSDT and finished in 190th position on 597 marks lost.
Many of the Bolton built CCMs were bought by private riders who wanted something different.
In 1979 Honda launched their own British built four-stroke trials machine, the TL200E (the ‘E’ stood for ‘England’) made by Colin Seeley in England, but ‘adopted’ by Honda UK as their own model and marketed through their comprehensive motorcycle dealership network.
The frame was made from Reynolds ‘531’ tubing, argon brazed and finished with chrome plating to both frame and swinging arm.
The wheelbase at 51.5 inches followed almost the same dimensions as the Bultaco Sherpa it was designed to beat in competition.
Whist the CCM 350T was never destined to become a trials ‘world beater’, the machines did sell reasonably quickly. They were not produced in significantly high numbers, hence now they command extremely high prices for their rarity value alone.
CCM later became part of the ‘Armstrong-CCM’ brand, but that is another story!
Dedicated to the hardest motorcycle trial riders can take part in, the Scott is regarded as an annual classic. One route for all, fastest rider sets standard time. All in the Swaledale, North Yorkshire.