Tag Archives: SSDT

Coming soon – Memories of the White Heather

Trials Guru is always looking for something different, so we have been actively seeking information concerning what was probably the furthest north promoted UK mainland motorcycle trial, the White Heather in Sutherland.
wh5
Watched by ‘Big Phil’ Paterson, Raymond Leitch from Culloden on his Bultaco, sponsored by Cawdor Castle in the 1979 White Heather Trial at Rogart – Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven
Stay tuned to Trials Guru – Release date Christmas Day 2016!!!

NOW RELEASED: Go straight to the article HERE

The Premier Trial Sport Website for photos, articles, news and the history of motorcycle trials

TG Logo 2

Peter Mitchell – a trials character

PETER MITCHELL – a Scottish Trials Character – 1942 – 2011.

 

1997-ssdt-parade
Peter Mitchell – 1942-2011

 

Words: John Moffat, Isobel & Duncan Mitchell

Photos: Eric Kitchen; Jimmy Young, Armadale; Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven; Colin Bullock/CJB Photographic, Solihull; Anthony MacMillan, Fort William*; Richi Foss, Inverness; Mitchell Family Archive.

 

JY - Peter Mitchell
Peter Mitchell having a cautionary dab on his 250 Suzuki at a Forfar event around 1980. Photo: Jimmy Young

One of Scottish trials best-known characters was Peter Mitchell.
Born in the granite city of Aberdeen on 20th July 1942, he was the youngest of six children with four sisters and one brother, also a trials rider.

p-m-ajs
Peter Mitchell on elder brother Colin’s 16c AJS at Skatie Shore in 1962

Elder brother Colin competed in the SSDT and many events having been demobbed from his national service in 1959 and purchased a new 350 AJS 16C from Comerfords at Thames Ditton, a machine that Peter would ride on occasion.

colin-mitchell
Elder brother, Colin Mitchell seen here on his Beamish Suzuki in 1979

Peter attended school in Aberdeen, firstly at Mile End primary school and then Stonehaven’s Feteresso and Mackie Academies.
Married to Isobel, they had four children, Duncan, Derek, Stuart and daughter, Alison. His nephews were Alan and Richard, Colin’s two sons.

colin-mitchell-suzuki
Peter’s elder brother Colin seen here in 1979 with his Beamish Suzuki. Colin was a car body repair specialist and rode many events together with Peter Mitchell.

Isobel recalls: “Peter started scrambling as a member of Bon Accord MCC at the age of sixteen at a meeting at Findon near Aberdeen. Although I did not know him at the time, I used to go along to the scrambles to watch the racing, but never thought that on the 28th of December 1966, I would be married to him”.

Peter Mitchell scrambled a BSA Gold Star at one time, but a bad crash put him out of scrambling and he decided to concentrate his motorcycle efforts into trials, like his elder brother Colin.

pm-bsa-gold-star
Peter on his BSA Gold Star scrambler – Photo courtesy: Mrs Isobel Mitchell

Young Mitchell worked in various jobs as a builder, digger driver, lorry driver and with a demolition company. At the weekends he also worked at his brother Colin’s garage, where he would dismantle cars for parts reclamation and sales, this was before the advent of large vehicle dismantlers such as Overton Dismantlers. The beyond use parts were sent away to the scrap yards for crushing.
Dismantling work was always done on a Saturday when his four sons were also involved, by donning their boiler suits to work at removing parts from the cars. Lunch times involved a trip to the Cammachmore public house where pie, beans and chips and a few pints were called for, while the children got a game of pool and a soft drink.

1988-ssdt-start
The camaraderie of Scottish trials is shown in this photo of Peter Mitchell at the 1988 SSDT start. If you look closely to the left, the man reaching forward with his hand to his face is Jimmy (J.D.) Morton of Sorn, Ayrshire – shouting ‘words of encouragement’ to Peter as he is piped away!

Son Duncan Mitchell, also a trials rider: “We used to get to drive the cars around the fields until they broke down, crashed them, or ran out of fuel, then we used Uncle Colin’s Land Rover to recover them, syphon the petrol from the cars so we could all use our bikes to race about the fields next door”.

 

Duncan Mitchell -2014 - HC2DT - IL
Duncan Mitchell now rides Peter’s 350cc BSA B40, which he called his ‘secret weapon’ when it was first built. Duncan believes in keeping his Father’s memory alive in Pre’65 events, seen here at the Highland Classic on Alvie Estate, near Aviemore – Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven

Peter was also a supervisor at George McGowan civil construction, operated by the brother to Rodger McGowan, who ran the Aberdeen bike shop ‘McGowan Motor Cycles’. After McGowan closed his company, Peter was made redundant and started out as self-employed, setting up a building company simply called Peter Mitchell Builders. He had the assistance from all his children on weekends and summer holidays to assist with any jobs they could undertake.

Duncan: “I remember this one time we built a wall and set the coping stones on it, then put the scratch coating on it all in one long day, Dad then said to me ‘great job let’s wash out the mixer’. He said to me to put some stones in the drum to knock off the mortar from it, so that is what I did, this was a ‘tow behind’ mixer so you can imagine where the stones came from, the wheel chocks! Well it took off down the hill and went clean through the wall, I’ve never ran so fast”.

2014-10-29_4
Mind on the job in hand, Peter Mitchell (Beamish Suzuki) at the 1980 Aberfeldy Two-Day Trial – Photo: Jimmy Young

In 1998 Peter had a heart attack and was forced to give up his company. After he had some rest and was finished all the bikes in the garage he got a job with Ready Mixed Concrete (RMC Group) at Durris Quarry where he was in charge of the batching plant. He had a good easier job there and had a shed there where he could tinker with his bikes, also had a folding seat that he could sit outside when he was not too busy.

1982-ssdt-pm
In 1982, Peter Mitchell rode and finished with this 238cc Bultaco in the Scottish Six Days.

 

Recycling:

Duncan Mitchell: “When the RMC company closed the Durris plant, Dad then got a job working driving skip lorries for a living, he was in his element here as many a good thing was discovered in a skip was what he told me. Many a tool and other things used to come home”.

witches-burn-1988
1988 Scottish Six Days with Peter taking a hefty dab and advertising the ‘YAMSCOT’ support as he gets the TY250R Yamaha up the big step at ‘Witches Burn’

1993-ssdt-pm-cjb-photo
Eyes front and concentrating hard, 1993 Scottish Six Days on the TY250R Yamaha – Photo: Colin Bullock/CJB Photographic, Solihull
Family Man:

Peter was a real family man; he was Grandfather to Nicole and Callum, Katy and Iona, and father-in-law to Fiona, Pauline, Willie & Jill.  He was also a Step Grandfather to Leanne, Darren and Liam with Great grandchildren, Tony and Sol.
Son Stuart was not captivated by motorcycles, preferring football and golf as his sports.

pm-bultaco
Family man! Peter on his 1969 Bultaco M.27 Sherpa with his children Duncan, Derek and Alison.

family-group-ssdt
Family was important to Peter Mitchell, seen here with son Duncan, daughter-in-law Jill, and wife Isobel at the finish of another SSDT for Duncan on the TYZ Yamaha.

Derek did both trials and motocross and also car rallying, autocross and hill climbs. He also took part at the Alford Museum popular moped race on a Yamaha DT50 and won this several times including the first year it was organised. Derek worked at Shirlaws Motorcycles for many years.

p-mitchell-ll2dt
Waving a precautionary right foot, Peter Mitchell was a regular competitor at the Loch Lomond ‘Dan Stewart Memorial’ 2 Day Trial, seen here at the 1980 event on his 250cc Yamaha TY ‘Yamscot’ – Photo: Jimmy Young, Armadale

Alison was also a trials rider and rode for many years and only gave up competing to have a family and start a new business.
Duncan Mitchell still rides trials most weekends, with the moped racing at Alford in September. He also assists the Bon Accord club whenever possible, the SSDT, Loch Lomond Two Day and at club trials. He was also the Bon Accord trials and enduro convener for a number of years and also set up the 2 Day events at Ballindalloch, where the barn dances were epic many a good weekend spent there.

1989-ssdt-pm-fantic-205
Scottish Six Days in 1989 with Peter Mitchell on a Fantic 305 on Ben Nevis.

Peter Mitchell played Football for a local team in Cove Bay, until he got struck with the ball and punctured his lung. He was also an officer in the Boys Brigade 1st Cove Juniors.

1984-ssdt-weigh-in-pm
Never one for sitting polishing his machines, Peter weighs in his well used 240 Fantic for the 1984 Scottish Six Days Trial

Peter was a member of the Bon Accord MCC for over 50 years, and other various clubs through Scotland and England from Rogart in the north of Scotland to Somerset in the south of England. He took part in scrambles, grass track racing, trials, enduro and also stock car racing.

Music:

Peter loved country music and also loved to go to the speedway racing, especially Cradley Heath when on holidays in the south.
Peters motto in life was “Love me, love my bike – have bike will travel” and so the whole family joined in for many happy and enjoyable years, trekking up and down the country and making lots of friends along the way.

John Dickinson, formerly Editor of T&MX News: “I was minding my own business one day at home when I looked out of my window and suddenly there was Peter Mitchell and family walking outside my house, he had called into Kendal on holiday, knowing I lived there and began searching for me just to say hello”.

peter-mitchell09-cam-h
Hard riding Peter on his BSA B40 on Cameron Hill in the 2009 Pre’65 Scottish – Photo: Iain Lawrie, Kinlochleven

Duncan: “In 2009 we had a great holiday, we flew to Birmingham, hired a car and went to Cardiff to the world speed way cup and also visited the Sammy Miller Museum which was a place my Dad wanted to visit for a long time. We then watched the speedway racing at Eastbourne and then on to a meeting at Wolverhampton before handing back the hired car with over 1,000 miles on it”.
“We had a great holiday, but little did we know what laid ahead of us. Sadly in the following April, Dad was diagnosed with cancer the week before we were heading up to Fort William. He rode the Pre-65 trial at Kinlochleven, but sadly this would be his last. He loved the area and loved the events there, after a long battle, he passed away on the 13th February 2011”.

ssdt-group
Peter Mitchell enjoys a post event chat (and beer!) at the Scottish Six Days with (from left): Rab Paterson, Derek Mitchell, Peter, Duncan Mitchell and Alan Johnston.

Trials Guru’s John Moffat: “I was extremely privileged to be invited by the Mitchell family to speak at Peter’s funeral in 2011. I had known of Peter and his brother Colin before I started riding trials in 1974. Peter was a great character, he always greeted you with a broad smile and was always keen to chat about the sport whenever he met you. Never a shrinking violet, he was a hard rider, but had a heart of gold. The kind of guy that you could rely upon”.

1984-ssdt-fantic-pm
No time to look at the scenery in 1984, Peter Mitchell tackles Laggan Locks in the morning sunshine of the Tuesday, 8th May on his 240cc Fantic.

Peter took part in many events and won many trophies over the years. He was Best up to 250cc in the SSDT, best Scottish rider in the Pre’65, Best over 350cc in the Pre’65 trial.
Peter had ridden the Pre-65, then the SSDT, followed by the Lochaber Invaders trial which was the equivalent to nine one-day trials on the trot.

Duncan: “He was proud to show me the way around the hills of the SSDT course, not many people get the chance to do things like this with their fathers. I was so proud to have known this man for the time I did, I have so many experiences and great fun with him. He was to me a great man, missed by us all”.
Peter also was one of a few that rode all of the Loch Lomond Dan Stewart Two-Day Trial up to the events’ 25 years celebration. It is believed that it was Ian Abbot and Peter were the only two to have ridden them all.

He annually rode the Forfar & Perth & District Club’s Aberfeldy Two-Day trial and along with a few others received a long-time rider award, this was a special motorcycle trophy made by a local artist, constructed from spark plugs, gears and bolts.
In 2008, Peter received a life time achievers award for services to motorcycle sport from the Scottish ACU.

When undergoing treatment for cancer, Peter had numerous chemotherapy sessions but he still managed to ride the Scottish AMCA Over-40 series and finished the season by winning the championship. Sadly, he died while he was a reigning champion and never got the chance to defend this title.

Peter Mitchell’s career highlights:
Pre 65 Scottish:  1989-2010
Started the event as number 1 in 1994
Best finish was 4th overall in 1995
SSDT: 1978-1997
Started the trial as number 1 in 1998.
1988-ssdt-pm-a-macmillan-photo
Getting his time-card from the official guest starter in the 1988 Scottish Six Days, Peter on his Yamaha TY250R at the start in Fort William, issued with number 1 – Photo: Anthony MacMillan, Fort William*
Peter rode for the Aberdeen based Yamscot team in 1978 won the ‘Eigg Cup’ for best performance on a motorcycle under 250cc, riding a TY 175 Yamaha, he rode with Jock Fraser and John Winthrop.
ssdt-mitchell-crop
Peter Mitchell in his first SSDT in 1978 on the TY175 Yamaha on Blackwater
Peter rode a variety of machines in the SSDT, Yamaha TY 175, TY 250, Beamish Suzuki, Bultaco, Fantic, Yamaha TY 250R Mono, TYZ, Gas Gas, and completed his last SSDT on a TYZ model Yamaha.
mitchell-peter-1997c-2
A fantastic shot of Peter Mitchell on his Yamaha TYZ climbing ‘Garbh Bheinn’ in the 1997 Scottish Six Days Trial, watched by Richmond clubmen, John Fraser and Andrew Kearton – Photo: Worldwide copyright – ERIC KITCHEN – (all rights reserved).
In 1994 Peter was in the winning team which were awarded the ‘Jackie Williamson’ trophy for the best Scottish team with Duncan Mitchell and Neil McGregor for the Bon Accord club, this was the first time the trophy was presented.
1998-ssdt-pm
Grimacing with the effort of concentration in the 1998 Scottish Six Days, Peter Mitchell on the 250 Gas Gas at Piper’s Burn.
On the lighter side, Peter raced in the ‘Team Kwackersaki’ for McGowan Motorcycles with son Duncan from 1991 -1995 where they won the Scottish moped racing crown on several occasions.
peter-mitchell-cropped
Peter enjoys a pint and some grub after a hard day on the bike!

Peter Mitchell Memorial Trophy:

 

faww-9
The Peter Mitchell Memorial Trophy, the trophy which was made by Inverness artisan, Richi Foss, the base was made by Peter’s eldest son Stuart.

After his death, Isobel Mitchell approached the Inverness based welder/fabricator and artisan, Richi Foss to commission a special trophy in Peter’s memory. It was to be presented to the Edinburgh & District Motor Club Pre’65 committee for the oldest finisher award at the annual Pre’65 Scottish Trial.

Foss undertook the commission and the first winner was none other than seven times TT winner, Mick Grant. Foss was delighted to hear that news, being a motorcyclist himself.

If you look at the Peter Mitchell trophy you will see that the rider is climbing his machine over a large granite out-crop, this is significant, as it represents the granite from Peter’s homeland of Aberdeen and also that he was always regarded as a ‘hard rider’.

Being an artisan, Foss contacted a ‘person’ who knew Peter Mitchell well and questioned him closely about Peter’s life and his career as a trials rider. Foss took all this information he had gleaned from the fellow enthusiast and thought about it long and hard before forming his ideas as to how the trophy would look. He also studied some photos of Mitchell in action, noticing that he rarely rode with a crash helmet with a peak fitted for example.

Foss wanted to capture the ‘spirit’ of Peter Mitchell in the finished article. This he achieved and the trophy was greeted with great pleasure by the Mitchell family when it was handed over to them by its’ creator.

Richi Foss has achieved the impossible when you realise that the wheels carry no visible spokes as they are spinning too fast for the eye to see, thus giving the piece the impression of ‘motion’.

 

FFAW 1
The specially commissioned trophy for the oldest finisher in the Pre’65 Scottish Trial in memory of Peter Mitchell. Made by the Inverness artisan, Richi Foss of Foss Fabrication and Welding

pm-trophy1
The Peter Mitchell trophy rear view – Photo: Richi Foss

pm-trophy2
Detail of the tank – Photo: Richi Foss

pm-trophy-3
Nearside view – Photo: Richi Foss

More on Foss Fabrication’s work: HERE

Trials Guru is indebted to the Mitchell family for their assistance in compiling this tribute to a true character and sportsman of Scottish motorcycle trials.

* Alistair MacMillan / West Highland News Agency, Fort William (with permission of current copyright holder: Anthony MacMillan, Fort William – All rights reserved)

1985-ssdt
The Yamscot Team in the 1985 SSDT – from left: Peter Mitchell; Alan Fender and the late Ian Fender who lost his life in a road accident during the 1991 event.

Article copyright: Trials Guru/Moffat Racing 2016

Photographs and their copyright:

  • We respect the copyright of our photographers who give us access to their work free of charge.
  • Please do not breach copyright laws by taking images from this website for use elsewhere. Permission has been sought and granted from the copyright owners for the use of images on Trials Guru.
  • We are indebted to our photographers for their continued support of this venture.
  • Please be aware: All photographs displayed on Trials Guru are not held in any archive by the website operator, as the images are the legal intellectual property of the photographer only.
  • We do not sell any images used on Trials Guru, if you wish to purchase a copy, we can put you in touch with the relevant photographer.

If you want to know more about Scottish Motorcycle Sport from 1975 – 2005 click … HERE

TG Logo 2
Trials Guru – Dedicated to the Sport!

Pre’65 Scottish Trial Plans 2017

pre65-2017-layout

The Pre’65 Scottish Trial will take place on Friday 28th and Saturday 29th April in 2017, however it doesn’t magically appear year after year.

The official ‘setting out team’ have been busy this November looking for new routes and sections to keep riders on their toes and to stop the event becoming the same old event year in, year out.

The biggest challenge now is to test the top riders due to the massive improvements made to Pre’65 machinery, with very few original bikes being entered now as the Pre’65 scene has changed dramatically over the years.

Machines that would have been turned away ten years ago are now accepted, with four speed Bultacos being just one make that has come of age.

1959 - Paul Kilbauskas - Glenogle - JDavies
1959 Scottish Six Days Trial – Paul Kilbauskas with his 500 Royal Enfield – Photo: John Davies

Many say that it is sad that so many genuine machines have been assigned to the backs of sheds and garages once again as the Pre’65 movement evolved in the late 1970s to encourage the use of old trials irons. The Pre’65 Scottish unfortunately gets more attention than most events, purely because of its’ popularity and status as being still ‘THE’ event to get an entry accepted to.

image8
Ernie Lyons on his 250 Bultaco, a machine that is now accepted in the Pre’65 Scottish, seen here riding the sections known as the Moon in Glassamucky, Co Dublin – Photo: Pat Ewen, Dublin

However what hasn’t changed since 1984, the first year the Pre’65 Scottish was run as a one day event on a midweek, is that it still takes a team of dedicated individuals to actually put the trial on the ground.

3
Super-enthusiast from Olot, Carlos Casas loves the Pre-65 Scottish as much as he does the SSDT – Photo: John Hulme/Trial Magazine UK

Please be aware that riding in the Kinlochleven area without the full permission of both the landowners and the government agency, Scottish Natural Heritage is strictly prohibited. Many of the well-known Pre’65 Scottish sections are located on SSSIs.

Additional Information on Land use – HERE

SSDT 2017 – Open for business

SSDT open for business!

dsc_8405

The online entries are now open for the 2017 Scottish Six Days Trial – Monday 1st to Saturday 6th May.
The organisers request that the entry notes republished below must be read before completing the online entry form for the annual “Sporting Holiday in the Highlands”.
The riders are allowed to nominate one riding companion ‘Riding Buddy’ whereas in previous years the Edinburgh club allowed up to three riders to compete in consecutive order.
Entries close on Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 and applications must be complete in every detail. The expected entry fee is £460.00 for the 2017 event, which is centred in and around Fort William and Lochaber and nets a cool £1.6 million to the local economy during the week of the trial.
Back at the helm for the 2017 trial is Clerk of Course, Jeff Horne and Event Secretary, Mieke De Vos, the trial is expected to be once again over-subscribed.
The event website is: www.ssdt.org
As a guide/information only, the online notes read as follows (taken as at 12/10/2016, the date entries opened), but please refer to the event official website mentioned above, as items may be varied from time to time by the trial organisers, prior to the event:

Note 1 – ENTRY FEES:

The entry fee for the 2017 SSDT has been set at £460. This includes your entry, your fuel for the week and your lunch for the week. Edinburgh & District Motor Club retain the right to apply a surcharge to this entry fee if the cost of fuel rises significantly before May 2017. Do NOT send your entry fee when you submit your online application.

Note 2 – LICENCE:

All entrants must be in possession of a valid licence. This must be one of:

A current SACU licence (Scottish riders);
An ACU registration card (English and Welsh riders);
An MCUI licence (Northern Irish riders);
A full international licence (all other riders).

Note 3 – RIDING COMPANIONS:

You can elect to ride alongside one other rider. You can list only one name on the entry form. In order to be sure of riding together your nominated companion must also name you on their entry form. You will get a chance to change this once the ballot has been drawn in the event of your selected companion not being successful in the ballot.

Note 4 – ROAD TRAFFIC ACT INSURANCE:

All riders must ensure that their own insurance covers them for use of the machine in competition on the road for the duration of the trial – this is not provided as part of your SACU/ACU membership.

The Club will provide third-party RTA insurance for the duration of the trial and details of this will be sent out with your entry pack. If you opt for your own insurance cover rather than that provided by the club, it is a condition of the acceptance of your entry that you provide the name of your insurer and your policy reference where indicated on the entry form and it is your responsibility to ensure that your insurer covers this type of event.

Please note that most insurers have an exclusion clause if your machine is being used in competition or trials.

Note 5 – REPATRIATION INSURANCE:

Riders affiliated to the SACU/ACU have Personal Accident Insurance provided under their membership and riders with a full international license have Repatriation Insurance included as part of their license.

MCUI riders are required to obtain a Release Form from their FMN or alternatively provide evidence of FIM insurance cover, which must be sent to the Secretary before the trial. If you do not provide evidence of the necessary insurance then an additional charge may be made when you register your entry on Sunday 1st May.

Note 6 – FUEL:

The fuel supplied to you during the event will be the type of fuel selected in the Bike Details section of the Entry Form. Should your fuel requirements change between the completion of entry submission and the trial itself, you must inform the Secretary immediately.

The online entry form should only be completed after reading the notes and any subsequent amendments thereto as they appear on the event website.

SSDT Online entry form: HERE

Scottish Six Days Trial illustrated history of the event: Click Here

Scott Programme 2016

Richmond Motor Club/Scott Trial Press Release – 3 October 2016:

front-cover-2016-jpg
The Scott Trial 2016 Official Souvenir Programme is packed with information and features and is a ‘must have’ for the event on 22nd October.

The 2016 Scott Trial Official Souvenir Programme, which this year, is again a full colour edition is now available for trials fans. Amounting to 92 pages, it is packed with all the information you will need to spectate at the annual classic on 22nd October.

Scott Trial Programme Editor 2016, John Moffat would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped with articles, photographs and information, and for the very smooth hand-over from previous editor, Julia Robinson, wife of Scott Clerk of the Course, Paul.

Scott programmes will be available from the usual local outlets from the 10th of October – Richmond Petrol Stations; Cross Lanes Store, Richmond; Smith and Allan, Darlington; Piercebridge Farm Shop, and the usual Reeth outlets for £5. Profits made, as usual, will go to The Scott Charities.

You can also order a copy by post, by emailing your request to: scotttrial100@gmail.com (cost: £6.50 including the postage). Please make the subject line: ‘Scott Trial Programme Order’, payment details will be made available.

scott-trial-logo
‘The Scott Trial’ logo is copyright Richmond Motor Club (Yorks) Ltd.

Doug Lampkin’s Wheelie

dl-fersit-kimages-2015
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.

dl12-iom-25-09-2016
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.

pl1_9321
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.

pl2_6992
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.

John Moffat 1 (Medium)
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.

pl2_7027-2
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

SSDT – Where are they now?

Where are they now?

1966 - SSDT - Sammy Miller Bultaco EAA60D - 2
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!

2011 - 187BLF- GOV132 - IL
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)

HXF641 - 2 - David Lewis photo
Hugh Viney’s AJS with some details painted on the front plate of HXF641 as it is to this day – Photo: David Lewis, London

HXF641 - 1 - David Lewis photo
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

Jimmy Young – Take 2

Now on Trials Guru, the second volume of Jimmy Young trials action in Jimmy Young – Take 2…

2015-02-10_30
The late Jimmy Morton (J.D. Morton) motorcycle dealer and rider from Sorn, Ayrshire on a 325 Bultaco – Photo: Jimmy Young, Armadale

Featuring black and white images from the late 1970 and early 1980 era of Scottish trials.

2015-02-10_17
Billy McMaster Jnr from Ireland was a regular competitor in Scotland when he worked for Olio Fiat. Here seen on his Lloyd Bros, Hamilton sponsored Suzuki – Photo: Jimmy Young, Armadale

Go straight to Jimmy Young – Take 2 : HERE

 

Fifteen Minutes with Carlos Casas

 

13 - 1
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

4
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”.

Carlos
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”.

5
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”.

6
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”.

1 opening picture please use across two pages -2
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”.

9
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”.

7
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”.

3
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”.

11
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”.

8
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”.

Caros 2015 - Kimages
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

TG Logo 2

 

Ossa in miniature!

We are always looking for something different on Trials Guru, usually trials, recently we featured a scale model Montesa Cappra motocross machine from the late 1960s.

Once again, Justyn Norek from Turin was on hand to take photos of another wonderful model. This time it’s a trials machine, the Ossa 250 Mick Andrews Replica (MAR).

It’s hard to believe it’s not photos of a real Ossa MAR motorcycle, just look at the detail!

The handiwork of  Pere Tarragó of Barcelona, Spain …

 

OSSA MAR 250 020
Pere Tarrago at work on the 1:5 scale Ossa MAR

OSSA MAR 250 084
Components painted and plated, ready for final assembly

IMG_1952

IMG_1949
The finished article, a toffee sweet is placed to give an indication of scale and that this is a model, not a real Ossa!

IMG_1950

IMG_1951

OSSA MAR 250 170
Can you tell if these are models or the real thing? These are 1:5 scale models lined up!

 

For more information:   www.motoscalatarrago.com

You could be forgiven for thinking that is a real motocross bike!

Many thanks to Justyn Norek for the use of his copyright photographs.

More Justyn Norek photos of trial and motocross: HERE