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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

Close bonds when disaster strikes.

6th April 2011
Lending a hand
Lending a hand

Our very good friend Ishi sent this email and we would like to share it with all our readers.

Hi Stephen,Deborah & David
This is the article of a Nelsonian's devotion carried in the Mainichi(Japanease newspaper)web site on March 25.
Ms Georgia Robinson,who has been serving as a ALT(Assistant Language Teacher) in Noda-mura (bordering the north part of Fudai-mura in Iwate) since 2009,encountered this terrible earthquake and tsunami disaster.
When the tsunami had struck the first floor of their office,she and coworkers had to escape to the second floor in a hurry.
She stayed all night on this floor fearing another quake,but courageously she started donating next morning in Noda-mura.
Ms Robinson said,"The people who living in Noda-mura are helping each other,and have a very close relationship.They'll be sure to reconstruct their town and community,and I'd like to support them.
And Christchurch will be sure,too !"

Kind regards

Youji Ishiyama

Rumi to the Rescue

5th April 2011
Rumi to the rescue
Rumi to the rescue

Everyone who took part in the 2010 NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial will remember Rumi Takahashi: her enthusiasm and effervescence is infectious! Rumi and her family live in Sendai, which was hard-hit by the recent earthquake and tsunami. Fortunately they are OK, and since the quake they have been busy with relief efforts. Eager to help out, riders from all over Japan have donated goods that Rumi and her husband have collected at their motorcycle gear shop, sorted, and delivered to those in need. The photo shows Rumi heading out on a scooter to deliver goods to local retirement homes. They have also distributed food and much-needed camping stoves and gas cylinders to villages that have no electricity and gas supplies.

Needless to say, the area used by the Ihatove Trial in Iwate has suffered some damage. However, locals are keen for the event to go ahead this year as a sign of recovery, so the organizers are looking at ways of holding the event as usual in August.

Message from NonStop

4th April 2011
Stephen and Deborah with new found friends
Stephen and Deborah with new found friends

To the People of Japan and all our new found friends there.

It was with great sadness that we heard about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan on Friday.

Such an event affects the whole world and our hearts go out to you all at this difficult time.

We realise there are going to be many casualties but just hope and wish for the safety of all our Japanese friends.

Our own families in Christchurch have been experiencing the force of nature in its destructiveness but this fades to insignificance compared to what your country is going through at this time.

We hope some long term good comes out of this terrible disaster but we know it will be in people's minds for generations to come.

We feel helpless and wish we could be of some assistance but would not know where to start.

Let us know if there is anything we can do.

All our best wishes for the days ahead and our prayers are with you.

Kind regards
Stephen, Deborah & family

2011 NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial

6th March 2011

Day two was the Ihatove event itself.
What a day. Two main loops that were a fabulous trail ride amidst simply breathtaking scenery, each loop taking around two hours.
Along the way there were just under forty sections to ride and apart from the six by the car park, you only got one chance to ride them.

They were superb. We rode in groups of 3-4 and marked each other just like in golf. I chose the blue grade for the day and had an absolute whale of a time. I regrettably missed a peg which gave me a 5 (not good) which ruined my overall results (came 4th on 8 points)- The winner was on zero - Yasuo on a Honda Montesa 4RT.


The little Scorpa was fantastic and yes it climbed almost anything. Mind you with no seat at all my legs were screaming out on Monday after five hours of constant standing up.

What I absolutely loved was the genuine camaraderie, the smiles, the willingness to do the best you could, the helping one another spot the best lines, and sections that had been excellently set out. There was no moaning at all from anyone involved, perhaps only that directed at ones self when you had mucked something up.

It seemed full of fun and what trials is all about, when sections are properly marked out
It was relaxed enough that once you had ridden your grade's section and recorded your score , you were allowed to try one at a higher grade that didn't count, which was fabulous for working out what level you were at, plus for skill development. Again In golfing terms - a little like hitting another ball.


The classic bike fraternity were out in force and I saw some fantastic riding on classic old machinery that would make many a modern rider gasp.
Also riding in the Expert class was Stef Downes a young lady who was amazingly good- way beyond where I could ever be.
All day long the Oliver family were there to help, from Stephen's mum and dad, to his brother and of course his wife Deborah, plus the skilled yet fun-loving sons. Pete is a real comedian.

So do yourself a favour and add "ride a /another trial" and contact Stephen Oliver at NonStop Adventure.
Do it before it's too late and I promise you won't regret it. Next years event will almost certainly have a suitably modified trail bike class added
Life is too short to not pack it full of different experiences.
My bucket list just had added to it- "Ride another Ihatove trial!" Maybe I will see you there in 2012?
Allan Boot
See the Ihatove Photo Gallery here

» 2011 NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial Results (Sunday) «

Ihatove Report - written by Allan Boot

5th March 2011

The Bucket List

Most of us know what a Bucket list is - the movie with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman reminded us that it's those things you mean and want to do before you die, but mostly never make the time to do.
Life Coaches stress the importance of always having 150 things on your bucket list so you are always looking ahead and setting goals. I totally get that stuff - being a part time life coach helps!.
So it is that I found myself in February, at the 2011 NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial run by NonStop Adventure NZ, based in Nelson. Two weeks prior I re-read my bucket list which had on it "ride another trial" and thought - "practice what you preach".

So how did this event make my bucket list?
Trials had been my first love of off-road motorcycling and in my "youth" from 15-25 had me keenly involved.
Youth has well and truly passed me by and at 53, the screws, plates and replacement hips are the result of a life lived to the maximum with a few off-road motorcycling injuries taking their toll.
Still, you have to live and I have loved the last 5-6 years on my various CRF250X's, mainly doing trail rides and was looking forward to plenty more until some low life stole my 2008 CRF in 2010, serial No. JH2ME11088M4000223- reward offered!
I have been pondering "what's next". Family and friends say a wheelchair, but I want to wear out not rust out and motorcycling is very much in the blood.


I decided Trials should do less damage and is the golf of motorcycling, where you compete against a course, other competitors, but mostly against what your mind says you can and can't do.
I had followed the progress of the Oliver family in Nelson and their Ihatove Trial - see sidebar for more details and it looked like a great thing to do.
So luckily for me, a quick phone call two weeks out and accommodation, flights, entry and lease of a bike is arranged. It should be called "One stop"- Not "NonStop". However, I'd recommend you get your request in earlier than me for next year as the lease bikes are in hot demand for international guest riders.

After being picked up early on the Saturday morning by trials guru Nick Oliver, we head out to their fabulous property 25 minutes out of Nelson.
Wow, wow, wow- as we drive in, there are fantastic creeks, banks, logs, hills and all manner of potential sections just everywhere. I see plenty of potential crashing spots too.
I'm introduced to my bike for the weekend, a Scorpa 125 4 stroke. I must say that being on the "larger" size I am a little nervous but the plate on the front says "Peter Oliver- Expert" and Nick is waxing lyrical about what he can do on one of these "Don't be afraid to rev it " he says. I'm not Nick, but I take it for a spin and was pleasantly surprised. What a marvellous wee bike and I realise just how far trials bikes have come since I last competed some 16 years ago on a Honda RTL 250.

Rust is everywhere- not on the bike but on me and I manage to make simple sharp turns and hills look hard, until after 10 minutes or so there's a modicum of control.


Day one is a low key affair with the 50 or so entrants treated to a 2 lap trial of 10 sections per lap followed by an afternoon of coaching for those that want it- Yes Please!

I like the fact that sections are to be ridden in a "non stop" manner as I was never any good at all that hopping and bouncing stuff anyway. The new scoring system of 1- 4 for "dabs" and a five for stopping or crashing is simple too.
Not sure which grade to enter, I try the Social "green" option. After two sections, I find that a little on the easy side so move up to the Clubman "blue". There's still Intermediate yellow and Experts red ahead of me.
What to say. I had an absolute blast, rediscovering a few past skills and finding the challenge perfect. In fact on a few sections I even tried the odd yellow bit, mostly this being at the upper end of my current skill level.

Coming around to ride over an above-handlebar sized obstacle for the first time sure does put your heart in your mouth.
One prays that both distant muscle memory and the recent watching over the past two weeks of trials instruction clips on You Tube will carry the day.
It may not have been pretty but I did manage some nice clean rides.
A great days ride and I surprised myself with a second placing.
In the afternoon we had a fantastic training session where the Oliver family- Father Stephen and sons Nick, Peter and Ginga all dazzled us with what they can do on a motorcycle, and not only trials bikes. Nick and Peter took a CRF 230 places it simply shouldn't go. I couldn't help thinking that any off-road rider would benefit from a day spent with these boys, to find or sharpen skills. This would apply to those Enduro riders wanting to sharpen up Enduro Cross, or advanced skills too.
Dinner and drinks in a local club, watching some of the days footage and catching up with different personalities -there was a Pom out on his honeymoon, a German guy just back-packing around and the original founder of the Japanese event, Yasuo Manzawa who as it turned out was a great rider.

And last but not least, Mick Andrews was there from the UK. Mick is a living legend in the trials world; I first saw Mick live when Yamaha launched the TY 250 back when we were all riding TL 125's and Bultaco ruled the day, some 35 years ago! Remember the Mick Andrews replica Ossa?
A great guy and still a great rider even at age 67!

» NZ NonStop Trial Results (Saturday) «

Show Time

4th February 2011
Follow the leader is always a good way to start the day
Follow the leader is always a good way to start the day

2011 is going to be a full on year for the members of Team Xtreme as Nick and Peter have been requested to entertain at a number of shows through out the year.

With Gore this weekend followed by the NZ Ihatove and then another five performances before May the brothers decided it was high time to get back on the bikes.

Their last ride was back in October, so both were a little rusty; however it wasn't long before everything started to come together.

After several hours riding they headed off home to rest up and prepare for the 1000 km trip to Gore this coming weekend while leaving Dad / Photographer behind to continue working on the NZ Ihatove event.

» More images «

Never a dull moment

3rd February 2011
Big days preparation
Big days preparation

While everyone have been enjoying their Christmas/New Year break Stephen has been hard at work preparing the adventure trails for this years NZ Ihatove event this month.

With a willing hand from favourite son Nick and his very helpful nature, Nick & Stephen were able to complete the lockable gates on the now famous bridge in the middle of nowhere spanning the great Parkes/Hunt farm boundary, in order for the Ihatove trial to take in all the wonderful scenery and trail opportunities on offer at 88 Valley.

Nick cruising back after a long day
Nick cruising back after a long day

Stephen was fortunate that Nick purchase a CRF230 last year and has generously made it available to mark out the trail and Trials sections and to enable the materials and equipment to be transported to the top of the farm.

After several days of trail blazing, Stephen and Nick have been grooming and marking sections on the two Ihatove trail loops. Tony, Jason and Paul will be joining Stephen this Sunday to put the finishing touches to some of the sections to be used for the NonStop Trial competition on Saturday.

After some extensive gully clearing we now have an interesting and flowing course which is easily navigated thanks to the brightly coloured course markers . The white markers with red, yellow and blue clearly show the route for all the classes, with white arrows on coloured backgrounds easily directing the flow of the section. Some extra tracks have been cut for easy entry and exit points for the many recreational / Social / Classic riders this event has attracted.

» More images «

Countdown to Ihatove

1st February 2011
 Stephen and Nick at the end of  another day of preparation
Stephen and Nick at the end of another day of preparation

The pace has picked up in the lead up to the NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial. Founder and leader in waiting of NonStop, Stephen & Nick Oliver have been working hard finalising the two loops for the Ihatove Trial and designing the sections and obstacles for the NonStop trial and NonStop 'KickStart Scott trial'.
These events are shaping up to be lots of fun while challenging riders at whichever level they are riding. After suggestions from the inaugural trial riders in 2010 some new ideas have been incorporated for this year.
As this event is run there will be developments to ensure the continual growth in popularity of the weekend to put February in the Tasman District of Nelson on the calendar.
Interest is being shown from widely diverse riders looking to put the fun back into their riding.
International enquiries are also on the rise and a great off-season ride for visitors from overseas, as well as a good pre-event training session for the Scottish Six Day in May.

"Adventure rider" Brett Jordan

31st January 2011
Brett  was please with his day out.
Brett was please with his day out.

North Island visitor Brett Jordan, of Auckland contacted NonStop to tee up a trials ride while he and his wife visited Nelson on holiday.
Being good friend of recent visitor Chris Birch, Brett had three goals for his visit -Better throttle control for track riding (inspired by Ryan Hampton), better clutch control for trail riding, and last but not least simply to have fun!
He spent a day with Nick Oliver training one-on-one at the NonStop Trials Academy, 88 Valley.
Here is what Brett had to say - I got much further with my riding than I was expecting and Nick was terrific at keeping it simple for me and explaining not just what to do but why. It all seemed to just fall into place after that and the fun factor went up so all objectives met!
Nick has a very popular style, able to explain technical skills while encouraging the rider to lift their game and try new things. He is also careful to put the rider at ease and keep them safe while fostering the joy of riding. He is following in the footsteps of other riders admired by many such as Takumi Narita and Chris Birch

2011 NZ Ihatove preparation

5th January 2011
Nick and Stephen, loop one and two completed
Nick and Stephen, loop one and two completed

Stephen & Nick have been working on the trails for the 2011 February Ihatove Adventure Trial at 88 Valley and have the bulk of the two loops sorted for this year. It is great to see all the hard work from last year paying off in a much easier preparation season for the new event.
There will be some changes from last year's inaugural event taking into account suggestions from the first batch of riders in 2010. The team at NonStop are always keen to fine-tune the experience for its riders. To allow more time for socialising as well as great riding there will be a BBQ lunch break for riders on Saturday as well as an evening get-together Saturday night.
It's great to see the entries rolling in and we look forward to hosting Mick Andrews & Haruo Kimura as this year's special guest riders.

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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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