Tag Archives: Scottish Six Days Trial

Doug Lampkin’s Wheelie

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Dougie Lampkin MBE – Photo: Kimages/Kim Ferguson

Trials Guru takes this opportunity to congratulate Dougie Lampkin MBE (12 times World Champion) on completing his ‘one wheel’ ride of the entire TT course on the Isle of Man on Sunday 25th September 2016.

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Dougie Lampkin on his specially adapted Vertigo 300 which he used for his one-wheeled lap of the Isle of Man ‘Mountain Circuit’ on 25th September 2016. – Photo courtesy: Dougie Lampkin Publicity/Red Bull TV (copyright)

Twelve times FIM World Trials Champion, Dougie Lampkin added another achievement to his long list of attainments, when he successfully ‘wheelied’ his modified Vertigo around the 37 ¾ mile Isle of Man TT Mountain Course on Sunday 25th September. This is the first time it has been done continuously without the front wheel touching down until he crossed the finish line.

Previous attempts were made as early as 1976 by stunt rider, the late Dave Taylor on a Yamaha XS650. Taylor made various attempts over the years during TT week, however it was never documented and therefore assumed that he failed to complete a full circuit with the front wheel off the ground.

Known as The Wheelie King, his last attempt was in 1993. His daughter, Katie Taylor spoke to Trials Guru:

“Dad did his last wheelie attempt in 1993, but he did it with a broken wrist. He touched down because the rear brake link broke on his machine. By then he was suffering with terminal cancer quite severely. He had stomach cancer but by then it had spread to his throat. He also did this attempt all in the name of charity, riders for health, he was never paid for it”.

Taylor died in 1996 aged 53, he had been for many years a leading road safety campaigner in an effort to make motorcycle riding safer.

The Lampkin/Vertigo/RedBull attempt was watched live by many thousands of people on Red Bull TV, Lampkin’s main sponsor.

Many months of training and machine preparation went into the attempt. The Vertigo Combat machine was modified slightly to enable a serious attempt at the feat. The bulk of the modification work was undertaken by Hope Technology of Barnoldswick, Yorkshire with considerable input by life-long friend, Blackie Holden, himself a former trials rider.

Valuable input was received from the Vertigo Technical Manager, Francesc Romani.

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Detail of the specially made auxiliary fuel cell, added to increase the range but also to assist in steering the Vertigo when on the rear wheel – Photo: Dougie Lampkin

The modifications included a special footrest set up with hydraulic brake mechanisms mounted on the rear wheel spindle to allow Lampkin to stand bolt upright and to lower the centre of gravity when the front wheel was pawing the air.

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Detail of the footrest/rear brake fitment by Hope Technology – Photo: Dougie Lampkin

A 36 volt electric motor was attached to the front wheel hub, with a special twin rear brake caliper set up designed to cope with the excess heat generated during the extensive downhill parts of the Isle of Man TT course. The two-separate brake systems were operated by Dougie by both a foot pedal and a hand lever, which was mounted on the handlebars where the front brake lever would normally be fitted.

The front wheel was effectively kept spinning throughout the attempt by the electric motor, thus maintaining the ‘gyroscopic effect’ which assists in stabilising the plot when being ridden on the rear wheel.

The special handmade, large capacity carbon fibre auxiliary fuel tank was mounted on the rear mudguard area to extend the range of the 300cc, fuel-injected two stroke Vertigo trials machine. It also allowed Lampkin to steer the machine with his knees by gripping the fuel cell when the machine was in motion.

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John Moffat interviews Dougie Lampkin at the finish of the 2016 SSDT – © – Image: Trial Magazine UK

Gale force winds on the Isle of Man on the Saturday, 24th September forced a re-think and the attempt was postponed 24 hours to allow for more favourable weather conditions.

Prior to the attempt, critics poured scorn on the effort, likening the modified Vertigo to a ‘Segway’ (the two-wheeled, self-balancing, battery-powered electric leisure vehicle invented by Dean Kamen), on social media . However, this was somewhat misguided as the machine was very much a trials machine with some suitable modifications and adaptations described above and bore no resemblence to the leisure vehicle.

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The modified factory Vertigo Combat 300 used by Dougie Lampkin in his Isle of Man TT course wheelie attempt – Photo: Dougie Lampkin

It was noticeable that Lampkin had complete input to maintaining the front wheel clear of the ground and had to use all his trials skills learned over thirty years of intense competition. It was not only a feat of balance but also endurance, he was visibly exhausted when he crossed the official finish line in the early evening.

Doug Lampkin showed his usual gritty determination to succeed, a well-known trait of the Silsden based family who have literally dominated off-road motorcycle sport for over fifty years. There is no doubt that his late father, Martin who passed away after a battle with cancer in March this year, would have been proud of the attempt and Dougie’s ultimate success and achievement. This endeavour follows on from a tenth victory at the annual Scottish Six Days Trial in May, an event that the Lampkin family have featured in the winning of many times in half a century.

Current international motorcycle stunt performer and former Scottish Motocross champion, Kevin Carmichael told Trials Guru: “I think what Dougie Lampkin has done was absolutely awesome. It required huge concentration and lots of preparation! – Anyone who thinks it was easy should try it!”

Doug Lampkin’s wheelie of the entire 37.73 mile circuit is a feat in itself, but still a bit far short of the World’s Longest motorcycle wheelie which, at the time of this article, stands at a staggering 205.7 miles, set in 1991 by Yasuyuki Kudo at the Japan Auto Research Institute!

Lampkin family tribute section: HERE

Thanks to both Verigo Motors and Dougie Lampkin’s Press Office for material pertinent to this feature on Trials Guru.

Thanks also to Katie Taylor, daughter of the late Dave Taylor and Kevin Carmichael for their contribution.

Copyright:

Photos:

John Hulme/Trial Magazine UK

Dougie Lampkin Press Office

Kim Ferguson/Kimages, Fort William

LOOK! Trials Legends – Volume 2

Latest release from Trials Guru is Trials Legends – Volume 2, which will be extended over the next few weeks.

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Rob Shepherd – Honda – 1977 SSDT – Photo: Rhosalyn Price, Abergavenny

We kick-start Volume 2 with the Legend known as ROB SHEPHERD.

In collaboration with Trial Magazine UK

Trials Legends – Volume 2 is HERE

SSDT – Where are they now?

Where are they now?

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1966 Weigh-In at Gorgie Market, Edinburgh – Sammy Miller’s Bultaco Sherpa 252cc (EAA60D) – Photo courtesy: Kenny McNamee, Motherwell

The Scottish Six Days Trial is one of those events that every trials rider not only wants to take part in at least once in their lifetime, but to win it, well that is something really special.

Motorcycle manufacturers have entered works machines to the event with the sole aim of achieving victory, pure and simple.

Tommy Sandham, who has written four books on the subject, has asked me to undertake a tricky task – to find out how many SSDT winning machines still exist!

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SSDT Centenary 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

We know of a few that are still around, these are as follows:

1946/47/48 – HughViney’s 350 AJS (HXF641)

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Hugh Viney’s AJS with some details painted on the front plate of HXF641 as it is to this day – Photo: David Lewis, London

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Hugh Viney’s factory AJS HXF641 on which he won three successive SSDTs post-war – Photo: David Lewis, London

1957 – Johnny Brittain’s 500 Royal Enfield Bullet (HNP331) – National Motorcycle Museum.

1962/64 – Sammy Miller’s 500 Ariel (GOV132) – Sammy Miller Trust.

1961 – Gordon Jackson’s 350 AJS (187BLF) – Sammy Miller Trust.

1963 – Arthur J. Lampkin’s 249 BSA C15 (XON688) – Owned by A.J. Lampkin.

1965 – Sammy Miller’s Bultaco Sherpa (669 NHO) – Owned by Sammy Miller Trust.

1966 – Alan R.C. Lampkin’s 249 BSA C15 (748MOE) – Owned by A.R.C. Lampkin.

1967/1968 – Sammy Miller’s Bultaco Sherpa (EAA60D) – Owned by Yrjo Vesterinen.

1969 – Bill Wilkinson’s 250 Greeves – (WWC 169F) – Owned by Bill Wilkinson.

1981 – Yrjo Vesterinen’s 349 Montesa Cota – Owned by Yrjo Vesterinen.

2005 – Sam Conner’s 290 Sherco – Owned by Paul Rays

So where are the rest?

Some SSDT winning machines – but where are they?

1954: Artie Ratcliffe’s 350 Matchless (OLH721)

1959: Roy Peplow’s Triumph Cub (RUE923)

1970-1971 : Mick Andrews’ Ossa (B775073 – Barcelona registration)

1972 : Mick Andrews’ Ossa (B-1681-C – Barcelona registration)

1973: Malcolm Rathmell’s 250 Bultaco (XWW34L)

1974: Mick Andrews’ 250 Yamaha (CRA33L)

1975: Mick Andrews’ Yamaha (JGF729N)

 

Use the Trials Guru CONTACT page to let us known – HERE

Fifteen Minutes with Carlos Casas

 

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Carlos Casas in a familiar place, the parc ferme of the Scottish Six Days Trial – Photo: Trials Media/John Hulme

An addiction in life usually needs a fix, something to make your life feel good. Motorcycle trials becomes an addiction for many people, be it young or old. They may need a new machine, maybe some new riding kit, who knows? In many cases the older you become the more the addiction takes hold as more time becomes available in your life. Many years ago a Spanish motorcycle trials rider by the name of Carlos Casas came to ride in the Scottish Six Days Trial. A foreign adventure to the ‘Highland’ trial. The pleasure and enjoyment of riding in this location became so strong that over thirty years on, this enthusiastic man returns every year to the ‘Scottish’ for his fix to feed his addiction for motorcycle trials. 

John Moffat of Trials Guru was the SSDT secretary in 2002 and that year at the Highland Council reception in Fort William, Moffat introduced  Carlos Casas to guests and councillors as “the Ambassador for Spain for the Scottish Six Days.

Words: John Hulme with Carlos Casas

Photos: Carlos Casas Collection – Trials Media – Eric Kitchen – Kim Ferguson/Kimages

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Carlos Casas has had a long association with the Montesa brand, seen here in 1978 on a Cota 348 – Photo: Carlos Casas Collection

Why the Scottish Six Days Trial? 

Carlos: “For many reasons, it’s the biggest trial in the world, I love Scotland, the scenery, I love trials, good sections, friendly people as riders, observers, public, organisers and friends  from all around the world…and all of this I can meet in the SSDT. This is my favourite event by far and my best holiday every year”.

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Trials Guru’s John Moffat interviews the SSDT Ambassador to Spain for Nevis Radio during SSDT week – Photo John Hulme/Trials Media

How well do you remember your first trip to the ‘Scottish’?

Carlos: “My first trip to ride the SSDT was in 1979. I was the winner of a challenge/competition for the best private rider at the Santigosa Three Days and Cingles Three Days trial in Spain. We travelled with the Montesa factory riders who were Jaume Subira, Miquel Cirera, Pere Olle and Josep Jo. I remember that we travelled by car and van and it was a long trip from Spain”.

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Watched by observer, the late Bill Reid, Carlos Casas in the 1979 SSDT on the Montesa 348 Cota.

Was the week’s competition a tough one?

Carlos: “I rode a Montesa Cota 348 and the weather was horrible as each day the route was very long and it was extremely cold with rain and snow. At the end of the week I was happy about the experience and finished in the top fifty with a Special First Class award”.

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Carlos climbs Pipeline in the 1979 SSDT, the first of many to come

When you returned home did many people ask you about the event?

Carlos: “Yes, all the trials riders and many people asked me about the SSDT – I was a minor celebrity – Carlos laughs at this! This event is very popular in Spain and for many trials riders it is like a dream. It’s incredibly expensive to travel and compete from Spain but at every event we are always talking about the ‘Scottish’. It’s an event that you’ll love or hate. I always say that every trials rider must ride this event at least once. The problem could be that if you then enjoy it, you’ll repeat the experience every year and that’s when the addiction begins or as I always say, an incredible experience”.

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Camaraderie at the SSDT – Paul Nicholson, Gary Pears and Carlos Casas carrying a fellow competitors mount through a swollen river – Photo: John Hulme/Trials Media

Did Montesa support you in the early days?

Carlos: “I have always had good support from Montesa. I have never been a good enough rider to make a wage from the sport but I won the Spanish Veterans class over twenty eight years ago, a championship I have won fourteen times. I have also had some other good results and based on this and my loyalty to the brand, they are always happy to loan me a machine. I think of Montesa as family”.

How good did it feel to win the Best Foreign rider award?

Carlos: “I can remember it like it was yesterday, the first time I won the Best Foreign rider award. I have won this award four times and my highlights from the event are two thirteenth place finishes. The last time I achieved this result I had tears of joy in my eyes on the last sections on Ben Nevis I was so happy”.

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The Spanish are keen supporters of the SSDT and Casas has encouraged even more to come, hence his nickname, “The SSDT Ambassador”

You continued to support the event even when it went back to full ‘No-Stop’ in the nineties.

Carlos: “Yes, I like the ‘No Stop’ rules at this event and I believe it was the correct decision”.

Carlos: “The last years of the event when they were using the ‘Stop’ rules the sections became tighter, difficult, dangerous and boring because of delays at the sections. Each year less competitors entered and I think the SSDT committee made a good job and the decision to go back to ‘No Stop’ was correct for the future of the event. Since then the SSDT is oversubscribed every year and it needs a ballot. One year I suggested to the committee that there should be two SSDT trials, one in May and one in October – Carlos laughs again as he explains he just loves the event!”

How important in Spain and to Montesa was the win of Amos Bilbao in 2002?

Carlos: “It was very important for Montesa/Honda to win the SSDT as it’s a very prestigious event, classed by many as nearly as important as the World Trials Championship. Montesa won the SSDT in 1979 (Rathmell), 1980 (Vesterinen), 1983 (Toni Gorgot) but for both Amos and Montesa/Honda the victory in 2002 was more important because it was a Montesa Honda machine and Dougie was contesting the World Trials Championship”.

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1995 SSDT Carlos Casas on the Honda powered Montesa Cota 315

Have you ridden all your Scottish Six Days on Montesa/Honda machines?

Carlos: “I have ridden the Montesa Cota 348, Cota 314, Cota 315 and Cota 4RT, twenty four times in total. I rode a Gas Gas one year because there was no support from Montesa. My good friend Manel Jane loaned me his Gas Gas. It’s very important for foreign competitors to know that the manufacturers, through the importers, have full facilities available”.

When did you first ride the Pre-65 Scottish?

Carlos: “My first year was 2004 and since then every year after”.

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Carlos loves the Pre-65 Scottish as much as he does the SSDT

What machines have you ridden in the Pre-65 Scottish?

Carlos: “I have always ridden a Triumph Tiger Cub usually loaned from my good friend Walter Dalton, but one year I used a ‘Cub’ loaned from Peter Remington. I love all the machines and one year I’d like to ride in the event on a rigid”.

Many people think you can win the Pre-65 Scottish – Is this your dream?

Carlos: “Around twenty riders could win the Pre-65 Scottish. It’s one of my dreams to win it but the most important thing for me is to be there and enjoy every section and every minute of this fabulous event – you would not believe the smile on his face when we talk about the Pre-65 Scottish”.

We know you are very good friends with the Vertigo brand owner Manel Jane. How do the Spanish trials riders feel about Vertigo?

Carlos: “People in Spain waiting patiently for the Vertigo to arrive because they understand that it would be well made, good quality, lighter and perform well. They were not disappointed. Manel is a real trials enthusiast and his dream was to build his own machine and build a good strong team”.

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Manel Jane and Carlos Casas have been friends for many years

Why the loyalty to Montesa?

Carlos: “Because the motorcycles produced are always superb quality, very reliable and nice to ride. The people from the Montesa factory are always very good, friendly and professional”.

How much longer will you come to Scotland and compete in the Six Days and Pre-65 events?

Carlos: “As long as my body allows me to! I love both events and every year the memories are with me forever. I am getting old but the addiction just gets stronger”.

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Carlos Casas negotiates Ba House in the 2000 SSDT on his Montesa 315 – Photo – worldwide copyright: Eric Kitchen

Before we finish; the question that gets asked so many times – Stop or No-Stop?

Carlos: “For me as a rider, No-Stop, it is without doubt correct. But sections whatever the rules must be well thought out to make them challenging and interesting, you must try to always make the rider think about the challenge”.

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Carlos Casas, the “Spanish Ambassador to the SSDT” – Photo: Kim Ferguson/Kimages

This article was generated for Trial Magazine issue 50 in April/May 2015 and we at Trials Guru thank John Hulme for the use of his article on this website.

Why not subscribe to Trial Magazine or Classic Trial Magazine, contact: www.trialmaguk.com

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Rob’s tribute to Barry Overy

Montesa’s former world-wide ambassador, Rob Edwards recently sent Trials Guru a tranche of his personal photographs, taken over a number of years for his section on this website.

Among them was a photo taken high up on a hill of his friend, Barry Overy who died recently at the age of seventy.

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Barry Overy, taken by Rob Edwards in the Highlands – Rob: “That was some karate chop Barry!”

Rob: “Barry Overy, from Stockton was a stalwart of our local club, the Middlesbrough and he was also a supporter of the East Yorks Centre, ACU of which he became President in November 2015, a position in which he took great pride. Barry was a good friend and a tireless worker in our sport of trials. I have known Baz a long time and will miss him.”

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Rob Edwards gains five marks at Edramucky, near Killin on day one of the 1970 Scottish Six Days. Watched by observer, Willie Dewar and photographers, Stephanie Wood and Nick Nicholls. Photo: Rob Edwards personal collection.

Rob: “I have also enclosed another photo from my personal collection, it shows me in real trouble on day one of the 1970 Scottish when I lose five marks as I am clearly past the dabbing stage! The reason for sending you this photo is that it shows the late Stephanie Wood in the background, that is her standing on the left of photographer, Brian ‘Nick’ Nicholls. I am reliably informed that the observer writing ‘five’ in the book is Dunfermline man, Willie Dewar who worked at Angus Campbell’s motorcycle shop”.

For Rob Edwards story of trials on Trials Guru, follow this link HERE

 

SSDT 2016 was ‘hard’

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Scottish hot shot, Calum Murphy (TRS) on Fersit during the 2016 SSDT – Photo: Kimages

News has been posted on social media direct from the Scottish Six Days Trial organising committee that the feedback received from competitors after this year’s event was that the 2016 trial was a ‘bit hard’ for many.

In a spirit of open-ness, the committee invited riders to feedback their assessment of the annual Highland classic event which has been running for well over 100 years.

In a statement issued on 26th May, following from their usual debriefing meeting, the following statement was issued:

“The 2016 SSDT is now officially over after the committee had there ‘greeting meeting’ on Tuesday night.
We had some great feedback from the riders and while they all enjoyed it we did get the message that the sections were a bit hard this year.
We want to spread the message that we will be addressing this next year to ensure a good mix of sections.
For the SSDT to prosper we have to listen to the competitors and ensure they have an enjoyable week while maintaining the challenge of the event.
So we will be easing off on some of the sections next year.
We welcome feedback so if you want to let us know your thoughts please post them here or through our website http://www.ssdt.org”.

John Moffat at Trials Guru commented: “I am very happy that the SSDT organisers have taken the task on board to listen and make constructive comment upon what the competitors say. After all, the riders are this event’s customers, they pay to ride and without them, there would be no trial. I was assisting at the end of the event this year at the finish podium by interviewing the finishers and it was evident that many did feel that the severity of the trial was on the hard side of challenging. OK, one must accept that this may not represent all competitors, but certainly it did reflect the opinion of the majority as far as I could detect at the finish podium. I must applaud the committee for being open and transparent with their findings, this can only be good for the event and the sport of trials”.

The Scottish has a reputation as being the ultimate challenge for a trials competitor to undertake, but the majority of those taking part are clubmen and the over-forty age bracket, which included the winner, Dougie Lampkin. However, there is a fine balance between setting out a challenging course and a destructive one and it would appear that the SSDT committee are keen to set their stall out early to attract riders for the 2017 event.

 

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Euan Campbell (Montesa) 2016 SSDT at Chairlift sections – Photo: Kimages

Michelin & Trial Mag at the SSDT 2016!

Scottish Six Days Trial 2016 – Michelin – Trial Magazine
Once again in association with Michelin and Trial Magazine the Nevis radio station was live in the Parc Ferme every morning bringing you news and views with David Ogg and John Moffat the master of ceremonies.

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The Nevis Radio SSDT Outside Broadcast Team 2016 – John Weller (Head of Music, Nevis Radio); David Ogg (Nevis Radio, Station Manager); John Moffat (Guest Presenter & Trials Guru) – Not in picture, Simon Abberley (back at the station!) – Photo: Trials Media

David Ogg – Nevis Radio: “We have just got the viewer figures in for the 2016 SSDT live stream and for the six days we had in total 227,223 viewers, that’s individual imp addresses. Not bad for a wee station on the West Coast of Scotland and it doesn’t include the number of folk that didn’t view but listened on the net or on FM. We had a fantastic six days and I would like to thank the Trials Guru, John Moffat for his in-depth knowledge on the sport and support to Nevis Radio once again and also to Michelin and Trial Magazine”.

John Hulme – Trial Magazine: “This is fantastic news and spreads the word of trials and in particular the Scottish Six Days Trial to a much wider audience showing our continued commitment to the event. We have enjoyed a very good six days and would like to thank everyone who made us so welcome”.

Picture Credit: Trials Media