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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

New Zealand Trials News

Lady Wigram Revival meeting 2010, Ruapuna

3rd November 2010
Ryan pleased with the weekends results
Ryan pleased with the weekends results

Qualifying:

Was very close between John and I, there was a bit of dust and debris on the track from the cars so parts of the track were hard to judge what the surface was like, still the bike performed well, I was happy with the result.



Race 1: Saturday

I got a great start and managed to out drive Jimmy to turn 1 for the holeshot, I held him off for around half a lap until I run it a little wide which allow him to get past, I pushed hard to try keep up but I am still just a tad shy of his pace, John was right on my tail he and I swapped positions a few times the John seemed to find some extra corner speed, I caught him under brakes to not let the distance get too big planned my move which consisted of railing the sweeper coming onto the straight to gain the drive then sat right on his tail in the slipstream pulling out just before the line and powering past my Honda Fireblade had the grunt over the BMW! I was stoked, I held him off for the remainder of the race.



Race 2: Sunday

Being a car meeting, we more or less a support class so therefore had no practice on Sunday just 2 laps warm up which I kind of struggled with a bit as I like to have a decent warm up especially after making a few suspension changes, I got a good start but didn't quite get Jimmy under brakes, I struggled to find a rhythm and took a couple of laps to get the feel of things and wasn't entirely happy with the changes we'd made, I ended up 3rd


Race 3: Sunday

Having quite a gap in between races I had plenty of time to really think about what changes I could make to improve the bikes handling, I went to a radical new setting and took a gamble, but we recorded everything changed and I felt confident, the bike was all good to go and I just focused on improving on the race earlier, I got another good start....

Lady Wigram Revival meeting 2010, Ruapuna

Again Jimmy got me under brakes, I was very determined to not let him get too far away or let the BMW get in front of me, I focused hard on maintaining corner speed and keeping my lines consistent, The bike felt great I have a few minor changes to make but otherwise I was rapt with how good it felt I rode to the conditions (and abit more at times) but I really enjoyed the challenge of keeping John at bay and tailing Jimmy, John had a go coming into the hairpin but I knew that was coming so closed the door and blocked that option for laps to come, again my Metzeler Race-tecs were flawless, superb grip and were also wearing very well I have gained a lot of confidence in them and being that Jimmy was also on them he just reinforces how well that perform even under extreme conditions.

Jimmy ended up taking the overall I gained 2nd place but enjoyed the weekend and am looking forward to this Saturday which is the next meeting, the King of Ruapuna round 2.

Ryan Hampton #366

Thanks very much to all my sponsors:

Hampton Honda, Bluewing Honda, Smart Collision Repairs, Forbes and Davies, Metzeler tyres, Airoh Helmets, Muc-off products, Castrol racing NZ, Darbi Accessories, Berik Leathers, Sidi racing boots, FIVE gloves, Moto batt, RK Chains, AFAM Sprockets, W.Whites Wholesale, SPY Optics NZ, PRV NZ, Powerbar sports nutrition.


Jake Whitaker enjoying his riding

2nd November 2010
Jake enjoys the grippy rocks
Jake enjoys the grippy rocks

Ended the year on an awesome note this long weekend winning my 4th New Zealand 3 day title, down In Christchurch. I headed down south last Thursday with my Minder Nick so I could have a practice on Friday to get use to the conditions and the terrain down that way. Turned out that the area we were training in was perfect practice for Saturday's competition with slippery creek beds and muddy climbs.

I really enjoyed my riding all weekend and felt I was riding well, I won three out of the 3 days, which made things a lot more pleasant over the weekend compared to last years champs were I left it to the last day on the last few sections to retain my title, So this year I was a lot more relaxed and confident in my riding especially after day ones result.

Jake has also mastered the slippery conditions
Jake has also mastered the slippery conditions

The sections I feel were set at a good consistent level for a New Zealand Championship with a few testing sections on each of the days, I enjoyed Sundays trial the best with majority of the sections set on a hill side with big grippe rocks everywhere, I enjoy this kind of riding the most but still enjoyed the slippery venues on Saturday and Monday.

I feel that I have improved tremendously this season with my riding in the slippery conditions which I am really pleased with as in the past this has always been one of my week areas.

This year has been a really big and successful year for me and I'm really happy how it has all paned out, I have achieved everything I set out to do at the beginning of the season and now looking at bigger and greater things to accomplish in the new year, hopefully I can return to Europe for the Junior World Championship. However as always the major issue is a lack of funds, over the next few week's we will be working extremely hard with more sponsorship attempts to help achieve this goal.

A really big thanks to everyone who has helped made this year possible including my sponsors:
Hutt Boyz Choppers, Spectro Oils, Pro Grip, NGK,DID, Kaos trials team, Kapiti Beta and good old Mum and Dad.

Also a special thanks to Nick Ball my minder throughout the season in all events, he has done such an awesome job and we have worked so well together having some good laughs along the way, so thanks for your support mate you played a big part in helping with my success this year.

Bye for now,
Jake Whitaker


NZ Moto Trial 2010 -"NonStop"

30th October 2010
"Team NonStop" Steve, Jake, Pete, Andy, Nick
"Team NonStop" Steve, Jake, Pete, Andy, Nick

NZ Moto Trial 2010 -"NonStop" the order of the weekend.

Team NonStop takes centre stage at the ultimate NZ Moto Trials event for 2010 with four wins over the weekend.

Jake Whitaker, current NZ & Australian Champ rode a blinder of an event confirming without a doubt that he is worthy of the No.1 plate. Spectators watched in awe as Jake rode from point to point on the very much world class sections.

Jake is riding high and has confirmed that he intends to contest the WCT Series in 2011. NonStop and Goldpine are very proud to be partners in waiting in helping this talented star to reach his lifetime goals.

Jake Whitaker "flying high"
Jake Whitaker "flying high"

Another NonStop team member, Nick Oliver, having stepped down from competition for most of this year returned to the A-Grade and once he had honed his skills again on day one, managed to secure another Team NonStop 1st placing for the weekend.

In addition to his success, Nick took the NonStop built machine, which his father Stephen fabricated, to victory. This was the 'Sheronda's' first outing (so named after its Sherco, Honda Montesa heritage). Kiwi Rider has a full report of this creation in the next issue, test ridden by the current Australasian champion, Jake Whitaker, so watch this space.

Nick enjoyed the "Sheronda"
Nick enjoyed the "Sheronda"

Next of the weekend's championship grades went to another NonStop team member, younger brother Peter Oliver. Peter had not competed since the 2009 Championships held in Wellington. He scrapped in on day one by one point but very quickly found some of his old form to win his grade overall by a healthy margin.

Nick & Peter encouraged older brother Andrew to compete after a six year break from the sport, when he won the NZ Junior title back in 2004. The younger brothers helped encourage and give pointers to Andrew all weekend. Their friendly camaraderie epitomises the true spirit of great trials riding. He finished with a well deserved 6th placing after his great efforts all weekend.

Not to be outdone by the younger members of the NonStop squad, founder of NonStop Adventure NZ Ltd and father to the Oliver brothers, 50 year old Stephen Oliver, proved without a doubt why he is considered to be one of New Zealand's leading coaches, with the experience and skill to take fellow riders to the next level of skill while having a fun ride. Stephen was on top of the podium all weekend with a pearl of a ride on day three to stay clean all day in his class.

Andrew "pleased to be back"
Andrew "pleased to be back"

The NZ Juniors grade was won by Liam Draper from Auckland, who celebrated his 14th birthday over the weekend. He was rapt to hold up the winner's trophy alongside his mentors and best of mates among the NonStop team. He shows the same enthusiasm and joy of riding and loves mixing with the team of more experienced riders.

As an added bonus the North vs South shield went to the South Island, just reward to the Pioneer Club for an outstanding event.
Mention must go to local Christchurch rider Glen Smith who rode superbly all weekend, helping to secure the win for the South Island.

Congratulations must go out to the members of the hosting club, Pioneer, who chose three outstanding venues. With the help of their major sponsor, Plumbing World, they provided a fantastic weekend of riding and hospitality. The after event function was overflowing, a testament to the success of the Championship.

NonStop would like to congratulate all the other competitors on their efforts and companionship.
For a full report and results see the Pioneer Motorcycle Club website www.pioneertrials.co.nz.

» More images «

Greymouth Street Races 2010

27th October 2010
"Move over, I am coming through"
"Move over, I am coming through"

The day started off looking like we were in for some rain, 1st practice I played it safe and just had a wet front and dry rear, while learning where the track went.

The races were all very similar, I had a lot of trouble keeping the front wheel on the deck due to it being a short track and riding a superbike although it was nothing I couldn't handle, the steward of the day decided to threaten me with a fine if I pulled any more wheelies as he didn't believe me when I said that the majority is all powestands but I carried on as I had earlier and nothing came out of it, the track was very tight in places there's not a lot of room to pass but enjoyable circuit to ride you can get very close to the spectators.

There was meant to be a total of 6 races throughout the day, I won 4 out of 5 races run the only one I ended up 2nd was when I got caught up with 2 slower lap riders coming into the last corner (a tight S chicane) on the last lap there was a major speed difference and I didn't want to lay the bike down, Another rider who wanted to win at all costs dived up the inside and somehow managed to get past the 2 guys without anyone hitting the deck, I though it was going to all end in tears when he came past almost what I would say out of control, a very brave move.

The 6th race was not completed as an older bike blew it's motor after 2 laps and dumped oil all over the track, I very luckily noticed a couple of guys in the crowd waving me to slow down as the flag marshal was unsure of what to do with his yellow flag, I managed to keep the bike upright and miss the oil 4 other bikes were not so lucky, to my knowledge knowone was hurt although I did catch one rider stand up after sliding into the bail turn around and literally jump over another bike that had gone down from oil, very luck escape, the bike still had decent speed, The bike went well very strong on power and my Metzeler Racetec Interact K1's preformed very well and gave great traction on the slippery road surface which gave me a lot of confidence in them.

All in all it was a positive weekend, I believe that my riding style and maybe a few habits, gained a lot of attention from the crowd and therefore gave me great exposure, I enjoy putting on a show for the crowd whenever I can.

The next meeting is the Lady Wigram revival this Saturday and Sunday at Ruapuna.
Ryan Hampton #366
Thanks very much to all my sponsors:

Hampton Honda, Bluewing Honda, Smart Collision Repairs, Forbes and Davies, Metzeler tyres, Airoh Helmets, Muc-off products, Castrol racing NZ, Darbi Accessories, Berik Leathers, Sidi racing boots, FIVE gloves, Moto batt, RK Chains, AFAM Sprockets, W.Whites Wholesale, SPY Optics NZ, PRV NZ, Powerbar sports nutrition.


King of Ruapuna

18th October 2010
Ryan leading "King of Ruapuna"
Ryan leading "King of Ruapuna"

King of Ruapuna round 1 2010, Ruapuna Christchurch

The day started off looking like we were in for some great racing, John Ross my team mate from the nationals this year who has picked up a ride on the new BMW S1000RR, John and I had a couple of little battles on the Friday practice prior to the event.

Qualifying:

We were extremely close in qualifying, there's not much between the two bikes and it was very hard to get a clear lap with 37 bikes on the track at the same time you had to carve people up which is something I don't really like doing to club riders unless its in a race. I managed to just get John by .02 of a second, which put me on pole.

Ryan claims that Trials has tought him great control in the wet
Ryan claims that Trials has tought him great control in the wet

Race 1:

Then the weather made a change for the worst it started to rain so as I always do the first thing to get sorted is my Airoh GP helmet, I took the tint visor off and fitted a clear one but before that went on I use Muc-off Anti fog treatment which I swear by, it works like a charm, you don't get fogging, then on went my new set of Metzeler race-tec rain wets, John didn't ride as it's his first race on the new bike, I got a good start the tyre hooked up and fired me off the line and I took a couple of laps to get the feel of how much traction there was on the track, had a couple of moments but thanks to my trials background I saved them, once I got the feel for it I left the rest of the pack behind, by the last lap I had enough of a gap to just cruise and cross the line with over 12 seconds to spare.

Race 2:

Started off much the same, I pulled a decent gap on everyone on the first lap then halfway down the back straight it was almost as if someone turned the tap on and the rain was unreal, the track disappeared, all I could see was like a layer of water and big droplets bouncing off the track surface, I continued on as the puddles grew larger then coming out of the dipper just going through the quick left hander I hit a deep puddle at speed that was definitely not there the lap before, the bike aquaplaned across the top of it and by the time I had picked the bike up to regain control I had no option but to run off the track onto the grass in the wet = your most likely going to have a bad day, luckily using my manual ABS (Pulsing the brakes) I slowed the bike down enough to turn back towards the track change down a few gears and get back out onto the track without losing the lead, half a lap later they red flagged the race due to safety.

Race 2: Restart

Again I started off good, pulled away and just did what I had to stay ahead of Dennis, there were still numerous puddles on the track that had to be avoided and I was being extra cautious through the area that chucked me off the track as the puddle was still there, this time with me riding to just do enough to win, Dennis was gaining on me but I was keeping an eye on how far back he was.

The 3rd round was called off due to the conditions so the came the fun bit, packing up! Soaking wet gear and the cleaning began.

Looking forward to the next meeting Greymouth street races on the 24th October.

To my sponsors back on board for the 2011 season,

Thanks very much to:

Hampton Honda, Bluewing Honda, Smart Collision Repairs, Forbes and Davies, Metzeler tyres, Airoh Helmets, Muc-off products, Castrol racing NZ, Darbi Accessories, Berik Leathers, Sidi racing boots, SPY Optics NZ, PRV NZ, Powerbar sports nutrition.


"Trials Park" taking shape

14th October 2010
Work In Progress
Work In Progress

The Pioneer M/C Working Bee at the Waimak was a huge success with a lot of work getting done. Massive thanks to Steve Hand for donating his time and more importantly his digger to get the job done. Without that we would not have achieved much. There is still work to do out there but this was a good start and there are now several obstacles to go out and practice on. The plan is to have another working bee in the new year and to keep adding to the area as time goes on.

Thanks to all the members who came out to help and to Paul Delis and his 2.I.C. John Regan for organising everything on the day. Also thanks to Kate for the BBQ lunch and drinks.

South Island continue to lead the way.

Sandra took a few photos (about 60) and she will post them on the Pioneer gallery.Pioneer web site for photos here

Also check the extra photos on "more images" below right.

» More images «

My Dream Machine

9th October 2010
My Dream Machine
My Dream Machine

I just had to include this in on the NonStop web site.

Recently I created our new trial mount the "Sheronda" and we have succeeded in producing a very nice combination of great components along with a very well mannered machine.

With this success I have seriously been planning to build my dream enduro/trail/trials machine. This was going to be a fantastic combination of the Italian TM rolling chassis and the Honda/Montesa 4RT engine.

This would have to be an awesome combination and a machine to die for. Fortunately or not this may now not be necessary as this photo clearly indicates, some one has had the foresight to develop such a machine which is reviewed in the latest Trial Magazine. Watch this space.


Girls Day Out

26th September 2010

Saturday was a day of trials practice at the Glenduan property which was a great opportunity to hone the skills necessary for traction control when competing at the nationals in Christchurch later next month. With that out of the way, on Sunday a group of us headed back out to Punawai for more practice and a great bit of fun as all work and no play is not the way.

Girls day out Deborah, Gemma and Magen
Girls day out Deborah, Gemma and Magen

Although it was looking like the rain had set in for the day we made our way out to 88 and to our surprise the rain clouds drifted away south and we were blessed with some much appreciated sunshine. Deborah, Magen and the new girl on the block Gemma made a great day of it. For Gemma it was her very first time on a motorbike but was a fast learner and surprised everyone. Deborah had a couple of hours warming up before husband Stephen challenged her to "follow me" whereupon he added a few extra challenges. Deborah was later heard telling the others of her successful attempt of a very intimidating hill climb.

Andrew, Nick & Peter were all in fine form despite the slippery/muddy surface and they were also joined by Mark Sidebottom, another recent newcomer.

Usual 88 stalwarts Paul Dowell & Tony Cameron were missing in action as they had headed to Christchurch for the weekend to partake in some pre-national practice at a local Pioneer club trial.

Once again a lot of fun was had by all along with the great practice and extra challenging terrain.


Scorpa scorcher

21st September 2010
Scorpa 2011 looking smart
Scorpa 2011 looking smart

Scorpa is back! Not just in name but with actual 2011 bikes. When Scorpa founder Marc Tessier - who went on to found Sherco - re-acquired the Scorpa brand after it went bust last year he promised to build a brand-new 2011 model that would be bang up-to-date but would maintain the Scorpa identity.
The prototype appeared at the Milan show last year, after which things went quiet. Then BANG! Out of the blue the production bikes were announced and the British importer suddenly had the first batch of the all-new SR280 sitting on his doorstep.
And Tessier has been absolutely true to his word. The all-new Scorpa makes a bold statement with its striking orange and black colour scheme.
And while the overall look is unmistakeably Scorpa, with its distinctive steel tube chassis, the whole bike is actually brand new with the rear suspension, while remaining linkless, featuring a shorter shock absorber set in a more upright position to make it feel and work in a similar way to the opposition.

Scorpa rides well
Scorpa rides well

And while offering a similar profile to the old Yamaha-engined models the whole machine, including the trademark sculpted fuel tank, is considerably narrower than before.
The 2011 Sherco-derived engine is mounted conventionally in the chassis and ancillaries like the exhaust and airbox are all brand-new for this application. So with an all new 2011 Scorpa fired-up it's over to Woody Hole to give us the first impression...
I have to say that my very first impression, on seeing the SR280, is that Scorpa has made a really bold statement with the colour scheme.
The orange and black is very striking and it really puts a marker down that Scorpa has moved-on while at the same time retaining the distinctive Scorpa profile.
Personally, I think it looks good.
Looking closer at the bike it is pretty obvious that the development and production guys done a really good job.
The engine is much smaller than the old Yamaha TYZ lump and Scorpa has done a pretty smooth job of mating the engine to the chassis including all-new exhaust and air-box.
And it is a really strong chassis featuring a separate flat-plate sub-frame.
This is best illustrated by the fact that you can pick the bike up by the exhaust rear box and it doesn't flex at all. It remains rock solid.
Firing the bike up, an easy couple of kicks, the exhaust gives a real sharp, crisp note and it takes a bit of getting used to after the old flat Yamaha noise.
They really have done a brilliant job on the exhaust as it actually sounds like a torquey, grippy motor - and it turns out to be exactly that.
On bike tests I used to make a fuss sometimes about setting the handlebars and levers and stuff but recently if it has felt near-enough out of the box I have just got on with it.
I rode the Scorpa exactly as presented and, while I could have tweaked the levers and bars it was actually absolutely fine.
As with all modern bikes the riding position felt good straight away and I could just get on and ride it.
The first thing people want to know is how the rear suspension felt. To be honest, if you just got on and rode it without knowing I don't think 99% of people could tell you whether it had a link o not. I actually tackled a lot bigger steps and rocks on the Scorpa than I normally would do in a test, simply because it could.
Brendon encouraged me to go for the real big stuff just to show that the rear suspension was a major update. The shock was set-up well, it's supple but not too soft and it never
bottomed-out, just soaked-up the hits. The front forks are conventional Marzocchis and as you'd expect worked absolutely fine.
In fact the suspension overall was nicely matched. The whole bike feels surprisingly well-balanced. It does have a massive amount of steering lock and while it will turn on a sixpence without tucking I think that beginners or novices could get caught out if they just yanked the bars onto lock. For the competent rider this extra lock offers a lot of potential.
The front brake was good with one finger operation and plenty of power coupled with a good feel.
The rear brake was about the only point about which I could offer some criticism. It worked well enough, you could lock the wheel if you wanted, but didn't offer a lot of feel, it just felt a bit wooden.
Gearing with the five-speed box is as per Sherco. First and second are very close, then a bit of a gap to third and then fourth and fifth a jump away.
First and second are your normal section choices, third is for faster, steeper hazards or when you want to burn through mud, while the motor would pull fourth for flat-out hillclimbs.
The clutch is quite aggressive, it picks-up the drive quickly but has a definite, controllable biting point so that you know exactly when it is going to set-off when you are attacking big steps and you want the timing just right.
The engine is set up for bottom and mid range and is very, very torquey.
You can attack a section, then back the motor right off and then just pick-up the grip from the bottom-end again. Very impressive.
Although it was dry at the test venue, the steep terrain contained some really slippery rock sections and the engine was perfect for just seeking and finding grip.
Overall, the whole bike just feels so much smaller, lighter and more nimble than before, with the new engine allowing everything else on the bike to be slimmed-down and tucked-in.
Even with the slimmer tank you don't look down and see engine cases sticking out like before.
Having said that it is still a strong, robust bike.
Although it has shed quite a bit of weight it has not been built to be the lightest model around.
It is a very strong package, especially around the rear where that flat-plate sub-frame holds all the ancillary bits absolutely solid.
The bottom line is that while the Yam-engined models were very much niche machines, with a definite section of buyers, the 2011 Scorpa is now much more mainstream.
It goes and handles in a similar manner to the current established marques.
If you are looking to buy a new trials bike the 2011 Scorpa is definitely worthy of your consideration.


The Gods are kind

21st September 2010
Paul Dowel in Action
Paul Dowel in Action

With NZ Nationals close approaching the hard core Team headed out for another weekend of practice. The forecast was for rain all weekend, so the aim was to choose a venue so we could scrub up on our traction control skills.

As it turned out the Gods smiled upon us and although the ground conditions were wet and slippery as ordered we were blessed with two days of fine weather.

Day one was very successful.Tony Cameron rode with very little self preservation and consequently started Day two sporting a few additional bruises. Paul looked sharp all weekend while still riding with a good amount of self preservation in mind this equals no injuries, well done Paul.

Stephen handed out some well intended pointers which as always were much appreciated by all. Mark was smiling all day as he was seen to be successfully pulling off some real sharp moves. We are now going for mid week rides so anyone unable to make the weekend rides are welcome to join us either contact Paul or Stephen. This was another fun and meaningful weekend.


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