Trials Torque Articles
Kiwirider - March 2007
Late last year the Oliver family (of Nelson's Non Stop Trials Centre fame) travelled to Japan where they attended the 30th Anniversary of the Idemitsu Ihatove 2-day Trial in north-east Japan. This is the story of the trip.
The Idemitsu Ihatove 2-day Trial is based on the Scottish 6-day Trial held every year in Scotland. This event is the brainchild of one man, Japanese Trials guru Yasuo Manzawa, who has been developing it for 30 years to make it the World Class standard that it is today. Having now attended it I would have to say that it is also the world's most friendly and enjoyable Trials 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, perseverance and dedication.
As guests of the event organiser myself (Stephen), my wife Deborah, my three sons Andrew, Nicholas & Peter, and my Dad Allan all rode in the event.
The bikes we used 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 our bikes.
Allan and Deborah rode Scorpa 125cc in the Neli Class (the easiest grade) , while I rode a 250cc Montesa and Andrew & Nicholas rode Scorpa 125cc in 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 interpersed throughout the two days near to where the Classic riders were taking part.
Myself, 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 myself finishing first equal ahead of Takumi Narita by one point, Nicholas a very impressive sixth and Andrew a creditable 16th place on a lesser power bike.
The one-day Neli/Budoli classes were run over approximately 150kms with 20 sections to ride throughout the day. It was approximately nine-and-a-half hours riding in the one day.
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.
The Japanese people made us 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 intension 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 myself as a multi-time NZ Champion and 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.
A training schedule is available on the website at http://www.nonstopadventure.co.nz
General Enquiries to Stephen & Deborah Oliver
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