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Trials-Torque Articles

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

New Zealand Trials News

Jake at the Italian Champs

31st May 2011
Jake rides well in Italy
Jake rides well in Italy

Update from Jake

Hi Guys,
On Sunday I rode in an Italian championship in a small town called Barzio, I rode the red line which is the top class in the Italian championship, I finished in 8th position so not a bad effort and an improvement so overall I am happy with the result, I lost 24 points on my first lap and 15 on my second, The sections were set at a good level with a few tough ones, I felt I was riding pretty well an felt an improvement from the last event on the bike.

Training the past week with my team mate Jack Challoner has been really good for my riding and have been learning a lot just by watching him and having ago at the same sections while out training with the team during the week.
Next weekend we have an Italian Indoor round so I am really looking forward to giving it a rack and getting in amongst the atmosphere of an indoor event.
Thanks to Karl for minding on Sunday, Top Trial Team for all the support, Friends and family back home for once again all the inspirational and encouraging words.

Jake's Update

25th May 2011
Jake takes a giant leap to 7th
Jake takes a giant leap to 7th

Hi everyone,
Well what a full on couple of weeks I have had with my first European championship down and Three world rounds down as in France last weekend It was a two day event.

Firstly apologies for not being able to get some info out to you sooner, I got really busy as you can all imagine and I wasn't able to find any internet connection around.

Anyway Back in Germany a week ago which by the way seems already like a season ago I placed 16th in The European on the Saturday, At first I didn't feel myself on the bike but I soon wormed up and was able to get focused, The sections were quit big and the odd really long one that was tight on time, I had some great rides where the thousands of spectators really got in behind me which felt awesome, Back home we may just get the observer congratulate us on a good ride but here it feels like your at a bloody rugby world cup.

Jake was in fine form in France
Jake was in fine form in France

Sunday was The first World round of the year and the junior line stayed the same in all the sections as the day before in the European, So I was really going out to make an improvement on my two laps the day before, However it rained over night quit heavily which made some of the sections much more difficult. On some sections I improved but others I found tough and there was a few I wasn't able to get through. I finished my first world round in 14th position all the scores are extremely close and normally one five can drop you from 5th to 15th so every point really does make a big difference.

Monday morning we left Germany and began our travels to France which took a couple of days in the truck, Wednesday I was able to get out on the bike training at the venue of the world round with all the Spanish federation riders, That was awesome and to ride with them was a big learning curve. We did the same on Thursday and Friday was the normal sign in and bike cheeks also walked the sections. My first impression of the sections were that they were extremely big but there was heaps of grip there and the actually rode much better than they looked.

Saturday morning I was feeling good and started the day off good with some awesome rides, there is a new rule over here that even if you touch the markers just the slightest you will be done a five, I would even go as far as to say if the wind blew while riding past you would be penalized. It was very frustrating at times when you look where some of them have been placed and especially when you are having a wicked ride and then you hear the whistle blow for a five. However, it's the same for everyone and something I am fare more aware of after this weekend. I finished Saturday in 7th position which I was very happy with considering I was only two points off 5th.

Sunday I was really pushing hard for that top 5 but again some issues with touching markers really put me down the ladder, I was feeling quit good on the bike all day but just some really unlucky mistakes put me down in 14th again over the two laps.

I was a wee bit disappointed to have finished outside the top ten again but looking ahead at Spain and Andora now where my goal is to get back in there and do my best to improve on my best result yet 7th. Now I'm back in Florence and will be training here this week before an Italian championship this coming Sunday.

A big thank you to you all for your words of encouragement and support especially my sponsors for the world rounds, Francis Sydenham for Germany and Max at Intercoat for France. Thanks to Karl for minding and all family and friends back home couldn't do it without you all.


Cota 316 "Sheronda" tidy up

17th May 2011
Cota 316 "Sheronda"
Cota 316 "Sheronda"

The team at NonStop have been busy working on another NRC Project after successfully completing the 2RT.

This time it was to complete what we had already started, the tried and tested "Sheronda". For more details see previous articles mid last year.

The machine is technically spot on and performs very well, however it was in need of a make over to bring it in line with some of the more modern bikes.

So we set to with some inspiration coming from our latest creation, the 2RT. using the 4RT muffler heat shield and rear fender, added some carbon fibre graphics and a few stickers some extra black goodies and voila, a revitalised Cota 315.

The S3 high compression head and titanium header pipe and other bling items have most definitely transformed this machine.

Watch this space as we are intending on doing a comparison test between the Cota 2RT and the Cota 316 "Sheronda" in the not too distant future. Test pilot yet to be announced, we are currently looking for volunteers.

» More images «

Iwate Springs Back

12th May 2011
Spring Trial Japanese style
Spring Trial Japanese style

In a sure sign that Iwate Prefecture is on the path to recovery after the tsunami, the Ihatove Spring Trial took place as usual on the first weekend in May, attracting a good field of 28 entrants. Saturday gave riders a chance to hone their skills with a coaching session, while Sunday's event featured 18 sections spread out over a 35 km course. Melted snow made for some muddy riding on low-lying terrain, but the rocky sections higher up were dry and grippy. After coming through a challenging winter, the Japanese Ihatove team are looking ahead to their main event at the end of August.

Thumbs up for the Cota 2RT

9th May 2011
Stephen pleased with a great result
Stephen pleased with a great result

This past week has had its share of rain, a sure indication that winter is fast approaching.

We awoke this morning to see patches of blue sky so we quickly packed the trailer and headed out to the NonStop Trials Park to test the new creation.

Stephen putting the 2RT through it's paces
Stephen putting the 2RT through it's paces

Tony and Paul decided to join Nick and me for an afternoon in paradise.

Tony was particularly interested in the new machine and was keen to be one of the first to have a ride. Tony arrived back with a big smile on his face and commented that this was one very nice bike.

We all had a good play around and the general consensus was the Cota 2RT will suit all levels of rider. The bottom end power was electric in smoothness offering heaps of traction.

The power then comes on very linear-like and delivers a strong mid range, the top end is lacking only a little, but for the top 10% of riders that require the additional revs then I am sure with a little tweaking of the compression and header pipe diameter then this would be easy fixed. We managed to extract heaps more for the Sheronda when we made a few adjustments in these areas.

So it would be fair to say that the Hontesa Cota 2RT in its present state is just what the doctor ordered.

For the more serious approach to the modern day world of trials then this is the way to go, however I love my 4RT for the share fun of riding it, this is a hard choice so I may just have to have turn about.

Conclusion: Thumbs up for the Cota 2RT and a great day out had by all.

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NonStop Racing Centre Project - 2011

7th May 2011
Hontesa 2RT ready to roll
Hontesa 2RT ready to roll

The Team at NRC have been working hard on the second project bike, since the completion of the NZ Ihatove event back in February.

We had heard a number of comments that it was high time Honda / Montesa developed another two stroke trials bike.

Team NonStop have always enjoyed their Honda motorcycles and decided not to play the "wait and see" game and get on with it, something we have built quite a reputation for.

The New Creation "Cota 2RT"
The New Creation "Cota 2RT"

As you will remember back in August of 2010 NRC released their version of a more modern Montesa 315 using the existing chassis with the Sherco 290 power plant; this proved highly successful when on its very first outing managed to convincingly take out the A class at the NZ National Championships.

I have mentioned previously how unfortunate it was for Honda, when the FIM back-pedalled on the decision to go totally four strokes after Honda /Montesa had already put so much into the development of arguably the best four-stroke trials bike in the world.

Now moving on to the latest creation and we have decided to stick with 100% Honda / Montesa components.

Briefly I have made what I consider to be a great economical option for Montesa and would be achievable using existing resources.

This gives the customer a very reliable and proven combination and I believe would prove to be very popular.

So you start with the 4RT rolling chassis and graft in the Cota 315 engine, do a few mods to improve the performance power plant (however leave the engine standard for 90% of the riders);this includes the exhaust and carburation. I will release more details after a thorough test session.

The result so far, is a lighter feeling machine than the original 4RT while retaining the excellent chassis and suspension. The engine is stronger but still extremely smooth and controllable while retaining the very high level of reliability that Honda is renowned for.

I am in the process of finishing the general appearance of the machine. From initial testing with the bike in its present state, things stack up pretty well. The machine has a very well balanced feeling about it.. I have a few more ideas that will be interesting to test but even as it stands, it is hard to fault. Watch this space.

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Ihatove Adventure Trial 2011

6th May 2011
Alan  in full flight at this years Ihatove
Alan in full flight at this years Ihatove

Alan Honeybone

I traveled up to Nelson with Mick and Jill to meet up with Alan (future president) Duthie and stay with Tony & Joy Cameron in their fantastic big house. We discovered that Tony is a pretty good host and a real cracker on the BBQ. Unfortunately this led to a late night and a lethargic start to the next day.

We arrived at 88 Valley for a friendly "play trial" on the Saturday morning, which was organised to the standards of a NZ Champs event. We even had a machine inspection by Grant Oliver who explained the advantages of having wheel bearings in my back wheel and not in my spares box.

Thanks Grant, they do feel better now. After the "play trial" [Mick and Alan Duthie tied for first] we were given two options, stay at Nonstop Park for some training with Nick Oliver or go for a trail ride with Stephen. Being too thick to train I opted for the trail ride. What fantastic ride. A piece of advice though, if you are trail riding with Mick Andrews and he says 'Do you think it's a good idea to ride up there? Don't even think about it. The answer is NO. Else, when you ride up, Mick then points out "it doesn't look too good going down there does it? But we still had to go down.

More misfortune that evening, Tony was a good host yet again and we had another late night. Everyone was a little lethargic the next morning. Alan Duthie's bottle of turbo medicine was added to the coffee, which gave the day a boost and got everyone into a fit state to ride motorcycles.

Arriving at 88 Valley everything was well organised with Olivers everywhere. They must really have the breeding gene. We were broken up into groups of ten to head off into the wilderness to follow a well marked course. Hobbit was our mule, carrying fire extinguishers and other things required to survive for 7 hours out on the trail.

This was my second nonstop trial this year and I must say it was fantastic to be using second and third gear in sections at times. I'm now left wondering why we have moved away from nonstop trials.
I would rate the Ihatove trial the equal of any event in NZ. Mick said he would rate it with the first day of the Scottish [His favourite]. I think this event proves that Stephen is as mad as a meat axe. We have often discussed this after watching him ride but after seeing the huge amount of effort made by the whole Oliver family, I am sure that you would have to be mad to take on such a commitment.

If you only ride one trial in 2012 then make sure it is the Ihatove Adventure Trial.

The Flying Kiwi

11th April 2011
2011 Novus sponsored Nelson Trolley Derby
2011 Novus sponsored Nelson Trolley Derby

The Nelson Trolley Derby, which is one of the many popular Summer Festival events, was raced in less than perfect conditions this year drawing crowds of spectators to Collingwood Street throughout the day on Saturday.

Running since 2002 the Derby continues to develop as a truly community event - helped generously by the sponsors and numerous supporters.

This year was no exception as the NZ TV crew was present to take footage for the up and coming movie "The Flying Kiwi."

This year was to be another successful effort after 2009's racing was wiped out by rain.

Last year saw perfect conditions and this year looked to be a repeat of two years ago.

Racing down Collingwood St
Racing down Collingwood St

Fortunately most of the racing and filming was completed before it became too dangerous with quite a few trolleys ending upside down to the delight of the crowd.

Autographing  Team Xtreme posters was the order of the day.
Autographing Team Xtreme posters was the order of the day.

The overall standard of the vehicles was again high, with a magnificent variety of trolleys; some real home grown designs and many very professionally built race cars.

79 trolleys and 90 drivers registered for the event and racing took place continually throughout the day with a break for lunch.

For the second year the NonStop/Goldpine Team Xtreme Display riders performed and entertained the crowds between races.

The Team Xtreme riders, Nick and Peter Oliver were well received and very popular with their first class display riding and the after-ride chats and autograph signing for the younger members of the public.

Novus Nelson have always had a very competitive entry in previous years but this was not to be the case for 2011; as days before racing while doing the final testing, the test dummy crashed and managed to write the Trolley off and himself. Neither could be repaired in time for the weekend's racing. There is always next year.

Thanks to Francis Lagrutta of Novus Auto Glass for sponsoring us to ride.
This was all in all a great day out for everyone.

Fun Day out

10th April 2011
Gavin enjoys every second
Gavin enjoys every second

Team NonStop have been keen to play host to two of their most recent enthusiastic supporters and the 10th of April was the day.

Gavin Sendall of MTF Finance Nelson, and Francis Lagrutta of Novus 'show-us-your-crack' Nelson.

Stephen and Nick Oliver played host on what was to be a fun-filled afternoon.

To the best of our knowledge neither Gavin nor Francis have owned or ridden a trials machine, at least not for a few decades.

Gavin turned up first, all pumped ready for whatever the NonStop team had in store for him. He was shortly followed by Francis who decided to give his WR250F Yamaha a run.

The guests both had their own riding gear as they are no stranger to the dirt bike scene and frequently hit the trails around the top-of-the-south.

Nick was nominated as group leader and suggested that the pair put the MX boots and helmets aside and go with the Trials option for the day.

After a quick familiarization-with-the-bike session, as sitting down was not an option, the guys looked ok to hit the more challenging loop two of the NZ Ihatove course.

Considering that this was Francis's first ride on the little Scorpa 125 he was in good form and looked comfortable to take on the 2012 event.

Both Nick and Stephen where gob-smacked at how quickly Gavin adjusted to the trials machine and took on some of the more difficult terrain that was on offer.

It was very apparent that Gavin has what it takes to turn his hand to any of the Motorcycle disciplines and be darn good at it.

Stephen quickly started to raise the level of difficultly as Gavin was keen to take on the new challenge. The smiles on the faces said it all.

To sum the day up - great weather, great company, fantastic venue; just a great fun-filled afternoon.

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Team Xtreme head south

9th April 2011
Topp Twin meet and greet
Topp Twin meet and greet

Team Xtreme headed South to perform yet another NonStop / Goldpine Trials Display.

This is becoming a regular occurrence and the boys really enjoy entertaining and have become real crowd pleasers.

Peter keeps it exciting
Peter keeps it exciting

This time it was the Mayfield annual show where Team Xtreme runs a close second in popularity contest to the rip roaring pig racing. This year all the bets were on # 6. (See more images)

Nick and Peter decided that the racing was what the crowd had come to see, so they turned on some spectacular freestyle heats of their own which created a whole new level of excitement, with Nick eventually taking out the "Grand Finale".

The saving grace for Peter was that he achieved the highest body count.

The boys also had the opportunity of meeting the famous New Zealand sister comedians the "Topp Twins"

This was to be yet another successful weekend and a lot of fun had by all.

Next stop Mackenzie Country at Easter.

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