Trials Torque Articles
More Challenges for Takumi Narita
Takumi Narita is leading the way to the future of trials as 125cc machines gain popularity around the world.
This year Takumi Narita is competing in International A-Class trials on a TY-S125F. This is a radical decision in two respects: choosing a 125cc bike and asking for special permission to drop down to IA class (from IA Super Class).
Narita has experience of competing in IAS Class on a modified TYS-125F in 2004, but this time his bike will have the standard capacity of 125cc and he is taking on the challenge with a completely different goal from 2004. However, the potential of the small bike cannot be fully displayed in IAS Class (as shown by the struggle he had in the 2004 season). In order to showcase the attractions of the125, he asked to drop back to IA Class. Normally a top-ranked IAS Class rider like Narita could not compete in IA Class, but the special "demotion" was approved because Narita's project has the potential to change the direction of Japanese trials.
Since Narita returned to the All-Japan Championships in 1997 after several years competing in the World Champs, his trials efforts have had some kind of special feature each year. Competing on a modified 125F in 2004 was one example of this. This time he is not using a 125 as the base machine, but rather striving to show the attractions of the standard 125.
The 125cc category is a major one that will determine the future of trials. The 125 class occupies a worthy position on the world stage as the gateway to success as a top rider. In Japan - perhaps because there is not enough information about what is going on in the rest of the world or perhaps because the mindset is different - the value of 125s has not been recognized. In future, however, if we are going to develop world-class riders from scratch, we won't be able to ignore the 125cc class.
Narita is one of Japan's most experienced top riders, and he is certain that this is what he should be doing in 2007. Riding with the aim of getting top results in IAS Class would be fine, but Narita feels that doing what he can for the next generation of riders is a way of giving something back to trials.
Narita confesses that dropping back to IA Class is a rather radical step, but there is no doubt that if his decision spurs the Japanese trials world to take another good look at the 125cc class, he will have satisfied his aim and it will naturally be a highly significant development for trials in Japan.
With a small-capacity engine, you can't rely solely on the power of the machine, so you have to ride with a mastery of technique. This results in riders improving their technique, says Narita of the 125 category. Trials is a motor sport, and 125s enhance the "sporting" element. First of all, Narita has pledged to display riding that will showcase the attractions of 125s during the 2007 IA Class season.
As for his podium goals, he originally disregarded the possibility of winning. However, as all kinds of people began talking about his chances of success, he realized that he couldn't honestly say he had no interest in taking the title. While showing the next generation of trials riders the powerful appeal of the 125, Narita may just also show us his winning style.
In tandem with competing on a 125, Narita is heading up the Trial Academy launched by MFJ. The basic plan is to develop young riders who have dreams for the future. The first school will be based in the Kanto region [the area around Tokyo].
This bike was put together for the announcement and the colouring is not yet finalized. The plan is for it to have the red and white Yamaha "strobe line". The replacement bash plate, exhaust pipe, silencer and kick start lever were noticeable, but basically the machine was standard.
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