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The 30-Year Road to Producing a World Champion
Relax to the Max!
Jake's World
Posting on Ihatove Website - Dancho and Mitsuo Back Home Safe & Sound
Nobukazu Ohtsuki
More Challenges for Takumi Narita
An Interview with Yasuo Manzawa - founder of the Ihatove Trial
Which Bike? A Beginner's Perspective by David Atwool
Oceania Championship - Tauranga 5 April 2007
Kiwirider - March 2007
Simon Wearmouth visits NonStop Adventure
The Nelson Mail- October 2006
The Nelson Mail - 23rd October 2006
Kiwi Rider - October 2006
Dirt Rider Downunder - September 2006
2006 Idemistsu Ihatove Trial - Japan
60th Anniversary Kaikoura 3-Day 2006
The Leader - June 2006
DirtRider DownUnder -Jan 2006
KiwiRider -Jan 2006
The Nelson Mail - 28th November 2005
The Nelson Mail - 18th November 2005
The Leader - 9th June 2005

Trials Torque Articles

2006 Idemistsu Ihatove Trial - Japan

Oliver family
Oliver family

A group of six NZ Trials riders have just returned from Japan where they attended the 30th Anniversary of the Idemitsu Ihatove 2-day Trial in north-east Japan, based on the 6-day Scottish event held every year in Scotland.

This event was the idea of one man, Yasuo Manzawa, who has been developing it for 30 years to make it the World Class standard that it is today. Stephen says it is the World's most friendly and enjoyable Trial event. As well as being suitably challenging it is also a tremendous amount of fun. Many thanks are owed to Yasuo Manzawa for his amazing effort, perserverance and dedication.

As guests of the event organiser Stephen & Deborah Oliver; Stephen's three sons Andrew, Nicholas & Peter ; and Stephen's father, Allan all rode in the event.

Nick & his bike owner
Nick & his bike owner

The bikes used by the six Oliver family members were loaned on a reciprocating arrangement, so that when any of the Japanese bike owners come to New Zealand, they will be able to ride bikes owned by Stephen & his family.

Allan and Deborah rode Scorpa 125cc in the Neli Class (the easiest grade) , while Stephen on a 250cc Montesa and Andrew & Nicholas on Scorpa 125cc rode the Classic Class (top grade). Peter, only 14, who could not ride on the road, took part on a Gas Gas 250cc with two other teenage Japanese boys (17 & 19 years of age) in the Display riding, which was indispersed throughout the two days near to where the Classic riders were taking part.

Takumi Narita & boys
Takumi Narita & boys

Stephen, Andrew & Nicholas rode with Takumi Narita, previous Japanese Champion and World Trials podium competitor. He was a fantastic guy to ride with and Stephen & the boys are looking forward to him visiting NZ to ride with the NonStop team and to help coach the High Performance Squad some time in the near future.

There were approximately 500 entries in the Trial, with Stephen finishing 1st equal ahead of Takumi Narita by one point, Nicholas a very impressive 6th and Andrew a creditable 16th place on a lesser power bike. Stephen admits that he had an advantage over Takumi and the boys, them being on smaller capacity bikes, which gave him the edge on one of the particularly long and steep hill climbs.

The one-day Neli/Budoli classes were run over approximately 120km with 20 sections to ride throughout the day. It was approximately 9 hours riding in the one day. Sanmutoli was also one-day over 150km.
The two-day Classic class was run over 350km with 25 sections per day, starting and finishing in the Appi Ski Resort area of the Iwate prefecture in north-east Japan with an overnight stay at the coast. It is late summer in this area with a comfortable 28C.

Oliver family with Yamaha riders
Oliver family with Yamaha riders

Many good contacts have been made with the Trials community in Japan. It was an impressive site to see Yamaha arrive at the event with a large truck and unload many motorcycles for the event and to meet sponsored riders involved in the development of the bikes. Already a visit is planned by one of the Idemitsu Ihatove organisers to Nelson in March 2007.

Classic/Sanmutoli Class riders
Classic/Sanmutoli Class riders

The Japanese people made the Oliver family very welcome and the Idemistu sponsor was responsible for covering their costs to be at the event. Many friends were made during their stay and very many laughs had by all. It involved lots of hand shaking and photo opportunities with all riders being interviewed and filmed by TV Iwate.

The intention is to lift the profile of Trials in New Zealand with Nelson as a training ground in the off-season for Trials riders from throughout the world. The experience of multi NZ Champion Stephen Oliver as a previous Scottish 6-Day competitor, and the terrain that we ride in Nelson being similar to Scottish countryside, are both pluses to encourage Japanese riders in particular to come to Nelson to train.

Stephen's Trials Park at 88 Valley in Wakefield, Nelson as recently featured on Sky's Sanyong Sport and Prime's Speed Machine will also be the venue for the first day of the 3-day NZ National Trials Championship in October when many New Zealand riders will get to see the facility for the first time.

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General Enquiries to Stephen & Deborah Oliver
P O Box 752, Nelson, New Zealand
Tel: 64-3-545 1053
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