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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

Hampton Honda Race Report

20th September 2010
Ryan's "weapon" Honda 1000cc machine
Ryan's "weapon" Honda 1000cc machine

King of Levels 2010 Round 3 Levels, Timaru

Well it's been a long wait but finally, racing is underway again. This Saturday just gone was the 3rd and final round of the King of Levels series, I never made it to the first two round due to my motor still being in pieces, both of which were really wet meetings anyway but this time the sun was out for round 3.

This meeting was the first for me in just over 6 months so I was a little rusty and it was also my first time out on the New Metzeler race-tec Interacts of which are a close cousin to the Metzeler race-tec slicks which are unavailable at present until the supported rider orders arrive in NZ which is what I will be racing the season on, thanks very much to Forbes and Davies for the assistance there.
Normally I wouldn't go into such detail which non-racing related material but in this instance I feel the need to mention a few things,

Practice: which doubled as a qualifier started with a drama, we all went out and each got 1 lap in before a rider that either didn't have tyre warmers or forgot them (I' not sure) went out on cold tyres and tried to push the bike from the word go, which as he found out doesn't work too well he had a get off at the first right hander and the session was soon red flagged, I knew my battery was low on charge as the bike was slow to turn over when starting I had put a charger on it from the morning but the bike has an extremely high drain, we got the call for the dummy grid, the bike just had enough crank left to start so I thought I'd just scrapped in and the bike will charge if I kept it above 3500rpm.

At the gate, I was surprised to see the steward standing there with his arms in the shape of an X which obviously meant they weren't ready, which I soon found out was because there was not another ambulance on site yet, right there I knew that was it for my battery I couldn't keep the bike running as it would quickly overheat and who knew how far away the next ambulance was, luckily I had the Holmes crew pitted right next to me, where Jeremy decided to sacrifice his battery for me, which I was far more than I would ever have expected him to do but due to his bike being a 600 and easier to push start if we had to, the lower cranking battery would be a safer bet being in his bike, during all this, the ambulance arrived and our class went back out, we both got our bikes back together just in time they started and we got 2 laps in each, I went out on a K1 front and K2 rear I wanted to ease back into things and get the feel for the new brand of tyres, they felt fine at the pace I was riding as It really didn't bother me where I qualified this meeting was all about testing the tyres. I only qualified 8th which is outside of the 2nd row.

Race 1:
Was a close start as the grid positions had been put too close to turn 1 which was things interesting I was running around 5th and riding at a safe pace, I had John Ross go up the inside just after the main straight which caught me by surprise and I run a little wide which opened up the gap for Jeremy to get past as well. I could definitely feel the Metzelers working in the front end so wanting to get a decent understanding of how the tyres characteristics compared to the Dunlop's so I didn't want to push too hard, I found the K2 rear getting loose under power and braking traction under hard braking so I knew where the limits were, on around lap 4 of 6, Warren Hudson railed round the outside of me so it was at that point I picked up my pace and on the very next corner I purposely drifted wide then cut back tight coming into the hairpin holding a tight line to cut across his nose for the next left hander which worked and that was where he stayed I had a couple of slides under power but otherwise the front felt good, I crossed the line in 7th but I'd learnt all I needed to know.

Race 2:
I made the decision to go for a K1 (Soft combo) front and rear, I changed my rear sprocket from a 44 to a 45, re-adjusted the chain tension and slightly changed the front end to allow a quicker transition of direction. The tyre worked far beyond what I was expecting I could turn the throttle to the stop coming out of a turn they just hooked up and drove, felt stabile under speed and also had great control under braking, I could not fault them so naturally my confidence level went up and towards the end of the race I pushed that little bit harder starting to feel it all coming back which was really exhilarating as I'd been waiting for what seems longer than 6 months to get the rush of riding the big bikes, I ended up 4th and feeling really good.

Race 3:
Just when I thought things we going great I had a stroke of bad luck, the call was made for "riders to the dummy grid" so warmers off, bike off the stands and I quickly tested my brakes as I always do making my way to the gate, approaching the gate Eric Oliver-Maxwell pulled out to follow right beside me and another club rider on a ZXR6 did the same on the opposite side we must have been less than 5 metres away from the gates were the two woman closed them right in front of us, I called out "Hey hold on" the reply I got was no your 45 seconds is up, a new rule was put in place where the gate is only open for that 45 seconds then closed regardless, this I was not aware of, so being that we were 47 or maybe 48 seconds we had to start in pit lane and go right off the back of the grid.....

Race 3: ...

Needless to say I was not at all impressed. By all means the meeting has to be run efficiently but I believe this is a little too harsh especially at a club meeting, if has to be 45 seconds then so be it but I'd have to voice my opinion and say that any riders in line of sight of the gate so be allowed to go through. Anyway the lights went out and I really had to fight the overwhelming urge to drop the clutch and run the flag marshal down that was holding us back, through turn one they went turn 2 then half way down the next straight she finally let us go during this time I had been lifting the revs higher and higher in anticipation waiting for the drop so that was soon to take its toll on my clutch.

I will admit I was a tad fired up which as a result allowed me to ride closer to the limit I rode extremely aggressive making my way through the pack (safely) but at some pace, straight away I knew something was wrong with the bike I could feel it losing drive and I soon knew it was the clutch, I decided to use this opportunity to gain some experience in passing and carry on, the clutch continued to get hotter and hotter which gave me less and less drive even with this major disadvantage I made it all the way up from 19th to 5th but on the final lap coming onto the main straight whilst pulling out to make the pass to take 4th and gaining on the leading pack my clutch gave up, it redlined in every gear I clicked so I knew it was toast I was forced to back off and coast with my hand up to signal other riders, I slowly made my round the remainder of that lap crossed the line in 7th but even still I felt satisfied with my effort, I knew I'd had slow 1:10 lap times, but I had been doing this all in the infield by carrying more momentum and high all round corner speed without being able to get full power down the straight so that will be good skills to call upon later on.

Most important of all, the Mezeler Race-tec Interact K1's held up awesome even in under 20' track temperatures and on a 1000cc superbike! I was very impressed and can only look forward to my progression in the sport and the new season making a few adjustments making the bike feel even better.

To my sponsors back on board for the 2011 season, thanks very much to; Hampton Honda, Bluewing Honda, Smart Collision Repairs, Forbes and Davies, Castrol racing NZ, Darbi Accessories, SPY Optics NZ, PRV NZ, Powerbar sports nutrition.

I'm really looking forward to the new season and involvement with you all

Ryan Hampton #366



Weekend of riding

12th September 2010

The hardy few had yet another great weekend of riding. The camera came out today as there was a break in the weather and we all got a few hours of riding with no interruptions from the forecast rain.

A few of us are still a little camera shy, but not Andy who put on a great show for the cameraman. See attached photo.

The Hardy Ones
The Hardy Ones

Also managed to get everyone together for a group shot and sneaked a few of Nick on the Project machine as he really starts to come to grips with it.

Everyone enjoyed the camaraderie while getting in some worthwhile practice in the wet conditions. It is apparent by the improvement in everyone's riding that time on bike with a few pointers from Nick and Stephen is proving to be a magic combination. This will be handy practice for the up and coming NZ Champs followed by the Nelson rounds of the Sth Island Champs in November.

Having fun and improving your technique, this opportunity that is unique to the Tasman District.

Nick had a good catch up with Ian Parkes the farm owner today and presented Ian and his wife with a meal voucher for a night out on the town in appreciation of allowing us access to their property.

It was pleasing to be told by the farmer that he is more than happy with the relationship we have built and mentioned that due to our small numbers compared to the MotoX Events and NMCC events where he receives a handsome payment for the use of his land, he understands that we are not in a position to generate any large income to match the speed events. We are very fortunate as I believe the farmer receives some where in the vicinity of $1000 for every event held. He mentioned that this is better than farming as he still gets to use 70% of the said paddock.

Andy in full flight
Andy in full flight

Keep an eye on your emails as there is more than likely a NonStop ride most weekends.

Johny will keep you all posted when the next club ride is confirmed.

If anyone is keen to contribute to the NonStop Trials News page we are more than happy to up load your article.

I have on numerous occasions mentioned that we are happy to include a club news page on this highly viewed site. So far we have had no takers however the offer is still open.

NonStop day out


Trials bike riding

11th September 2010

Trials bike riding on the Coromandel Peninsula by Dave Britten

Dave negotiating one of the many river crossings
Dave negotiating one of the many river crossings

So, do you like mud? How about ruts? If the answer's Yes to both these questions, you'll just love exploring the Maratoto Track, which crosses the Coromandel Range from Hikutaia (10km north of Paeroa, 20km south of Thames on SH 26) to Whangamata (on SH 25), and climbs and descends 400m along the way.

In a previous life this was a telegraph track (we started our adventure on Wires Road), then a logging road, but now it has been allowed to deteriorate to its present condition, that of extreme 4WD or bike access. The Coromandel is littered with these old bush tracks, most of which are still public, and the Maratoto is one of the most challenging.

I (Montesa 4RT) went with John Nicholson (Gas Gas 250), who had successfully campaigned to keep the track open when it was on the verge of being closed forever, and he regularly returns to hone his skills.

John Nicholson & Dave at their destination
John Nicholson & Dave at their destination

For about half the distance there's a chance of meeting oncoming 4WDs or hunters on quads, but the eastern half is just for motorbikes, and it's obvious why. Narrow, steep in places, and deeply rutted by careless and excessive use of the throttle on a knobbly tyre in the wet, the Maratoto is not for the faint-hearted. Even the DoC sign advises that riders be in groups of at least three, and once you try the sticky mud, which clogs tyre tread and boot soles in moments, you know why.

Trials bikes have the torque, the traction, and the light weight to be maneuvered through the obstacles with comparative ease, but it is never easy. Over the wet winter, most of the streams that intersect the track have washed out each crossing, and create real difficulty in continuing. Ruts are everywhere - often you can see the line that used to be the track before being churned up, and another path through the trees must be attempted. The deepest rut we encountered was 3 m. Yes, that's three metres deep. Not too bad when heading east, as it's downhill, but on our return it was near impossible to climb, and we resorted to the old rope around the lower triple clamp trick, to get enough pull to climb up the slick face.

The return journey was not so easy
The return journey was not so easy

Near the summit, there's an overgrown track that is extremely hard to find, that leads to an abandoned and rusty steam engine, once used for hauling logs.

The most significant ford is that of the Tairua River, which is noticeably wider and deeper than any stream we encountered, but on the bright side, there's a rudimentary shelter nearby where a wet rider can collect his thoughts. Or eat his lunch. Or have a rest.

Both of these latter activities are worthwhile, as the Maratoto Track demands a lot from any rider, but the effort makes the ride worthwhile, and there's a real sense of achievement when arriving in Whangamata. It might only be 20km, but it takes half of the day.

Now all that's left is to return...



NRC NonStop Research Centre

10th September 2010

The team at the NRC have been busy putting some of the finishing touches to the Project Trials machine.

Nick gives the new machine the thumbs up
Nick gives the new machine the thumbs up

Nick and father Stephen have jointly been developing and testing the new machine and although the project has gone smoothly there is always more involved than first meets the eye.

Stephen was keen to have Nick as part of the initiative as he felt it would be a great experience and opportunity to learn more about the mechanics and the feeling of satisfaction when something of this nature comes together.

Over the last few decades Stephen and Nicks grandfather Allan have had many similar projects involving trail, enduro and trials machines and this experience proved invaluable when working on his most recent creation.

handling is top notch
handling is top notch

Basically the transplant of the engine went well and then it has been just some fine tuning.

It was calculated that a combination of the well proven Montesa chassis with the worlds best trials suspension made in Japan by Showa along with top quality DID rims etc and finally the ever reliable and well thought of Sherco 290 engine would have to produce a good if not interesting end result.

Well the outcome has been better than expected, with Nick giving it the thumbs up.

The Kiwi Rider has requested to do an article on the project and has asked New Zealand's top Trials rider and newly crowned Australian Champion to do the honours. Jake is as we write booking his tickets to fly to Nelson soon and test ride the machine. He is then to report back with his own opinion of the new creation that the Team at NonStop are so excited about.

» More images «

Trials Practice Area

9th September 2010
Pioneer M/C Trials Practice Area
Pioneer M/C Trials Practice Area

It is great to see that the Pioneer M/C Club are well under way with the Waimakariri Trials Practice Area. The Christchurch Club has been allocated an area of about 2 acres, 3kms upstream from the Waimakariri River bridge on the north side to set up a trials practice area.

The Club has been working with Kate Roughan from Ecan regarding what the club can put there. The focus has been on permanent materials to keep the area as maintenance free as possible. It also means what they set up won't fall apart.

So far they have got 10 concrete cubes (the river protection ones), 9 large boulders up to 1 metre in size, 1x small rubber track, 1 x large flat rubber track, 3 medium size tyres, 3 large size tyres and 6 very large tyres, approx 15 concrete pipes starting at 600mm diameter up to 2 metres in diameter, 2 large round concrete troughs, one 2 metre square concrete slab, 3 water troughs and other assorted concrete bits and piles of dirt which is a good start.

The Team also have a sign there and one more to come so they can acknowledge the support of various companies. This support has been by donating products and transporting it to site for free which is a huge cost and time saving for the club. The companies that have supported them so far are;

Ecan, the land
Hynds Pipes Systems, concrete products
Clarke machinery, rubber track
Readymix concrete, tyres
Porter Hire machinery, tyres and rubber track
Beaurepairs tyres, tyres

Without their support the project would be impossible.

Now that they have a large jigsaw puzzle of bits in a paddock the team are running a series of working bees to create a tidy workable trials practice area for all grades. Steve Hand has offered his services with the digger, bobcat and truck to dig in, shift around and set up which is great as many of the items are simply too heavy to move manually.

Kate from Ecan has said she will put on a BBQ lunch which is great.

They are still sourcing smaller concrete pipes from 150mm to 300mm and concrete lamp posts etc and have asked fellow riders if they know of any suitable material to notify the Club.

So the park is coming together well and promises to be a great facility for the Trialing community. Job well done.
Check out the Pioneer web site for photos here


Australian Champion

2nd September 2010

Jake Whitaker reports on a successful Australian Championship assault.

Jake riding high
Jake riding high

Arrived home last night after a successful trip to Aussie. The Australian titles were held just out of Brisbane at Thunderbird Park on the 21st and 22nd August.

On the Friday before the event in the practise area I was feeling good about the weekend as it was almost exactly the same as the training area I have been spending a lot of time at.

Very slippery river beds and rocks in and out of the rivers. A very different style of riding as I find the best way is just to keep flowing on this sort of terrain instead of lots of stopping and starting. The less hopping you do the better and wheel placements are so critical with absolutely no room for error.

Saturday Morning I felt awesome, ready to ride and to let all the hard work that has been put into my riding over the last year pay itself off. My first lap was average and I was currently sitting in 3rd place,I didn't put it down to nerves as I wasn't feeling an awful amount, instead I felt I just hadn't warmed up and found that rhythm yet. However I definitely rode a lot stronger in the second lap and managed to claim the lead over the weekend to win the first day.

Jake out classsed the competition
Jake out classsed the competition

Everything was in place leading into Sunday, Currently leading, Great bike, Awesome team, felt like I hadnt even been on the bike for a full day the day before, my fitness was good. I was able to completely block out the previous day which was necessary as the points were close and any pressure could have led to some mistakes. I rode my own event all day competing only against myself, forgetting about any other rider and what they may be doing differently. I was so in the zone and comfortable that I felt like I was just out training like any other weekend.

It was awesome to be able to do that and was the first time ever that I have experienced that feeling. I made one big mistake on Sunday giving me 5 points on my card for timing out on section 9 on my second lap by a split second. I finished the rest of the lap off faultless to section 15. At this point in time I had not seen or heard anything about the scores on the first lap. I knew that I rode my best riding back to the pits and that I was definitely in the running for the title.

Jake looks at home on the rocky terrain
Jake looks at home on the rocky terrain

To look up at the score board to see my first lap of four points and my overall lead of 22points ahead of second place was a feeling and a moment that I wont ever forget.

Winning the Australian title means a lot to me and something that I am extremely proud of. I have worked really hard for it over these past few years and to finally win it makes all the hard work worth it.

I couldn't have done it without such a great team behind me, So a massive thanks to Team Kaos Darryl and Estelle Boorer, My Minder Nick Ball as always awesome effort, My Mum and Dad For all the support and for believing in me along with my Girlfriend Georgina. Darren and Annette Stockman for all their encouragement and help over the two days. Karl Clark unable to finish the weekend after an extremely unlucky problem occurred and made any hope of a good result impossible, I feel for ya mate and wish things could have worked out differently for you, However Thanks for the words of encouragement and following me around on my final lap on Sunday.

On the 28th I competed in my first ever Arena trial on the Gold coast, The 2010 Queensland Invitational Arena Moto-Trials Championships. This was a really cool event with some big spectacular sections. My biggest competition was Kyle Middleton one of Aussies best riders. We were neck and neck all day with only ever a couple of points separating us, swapping over the lead back and forth. I won all the race sections of the event against Kyle but he got me near the end of the day. There was a misunderstanding with the timing of the sections and I timed out after a really good clean ride. Kyle was riding well and I am happy for him to take the win. Well done mate, See you in a few weeks time for the next NSW round.

A big thanks to my sponsors, Team Kaos, Spectro oils, Pro grip,DID chains, NGK, Hutt boyz choppers, Hynes pipes, John and Rebecca Lawton at Kapiti Beta.

Thanks guys, could not do it without you all.

Jake


Tomoko Hirata: Famous in NZ?

1st September 2010
Yoshikazu and his wife Tomoko Hirata  at this years Ihatove event.
Yoshikazu and his wife Tomoko Hirata at this years Ihatove event.

Tomoko Hirata: Famous in NZ?
Posted by: Manzawa

I was surprised to discover that the woman who is shown splashing through the creek on the NonStop NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial poster was riding in the Classic class at the Idemitsu Ihatove in Japan this year! Tomoko Hirata introduced herself to me on the beach at the end of the trial and mentioned, "actually, that was me in the photo". After riding at NonStop, Tomoko and her husband Yoshikazu took part in an enduro bike tour, enjoying the perfect motorcycling holiday in NZ. I'm glad they were able to create such great memories.


Blue Skies in Iwate, Showers in Nelson

31st August 2010

The 34th Idemitsu Ihatove Trial finished up without a hitch on August 29, and the riders in Iwate enjoyed perfect weather for their highly successful event. Congratulations to the organizing team - running an event with hundreds of entrants and a course spanning hundreds of kilometers is no mean feat.

Fun in the rain at the N/S Trials Park
Fun in the rain at the N/S Trials Park

Unfortunately the weather was not so warm here in the Southern hemisphere, but that didn't stop a few hardy riders from braving the odd shower to get out on their bikes at the NonStop Adventure trials park. Paul Dowell and Tony Cameron topped the bill for energy and enthusiasm, turning up early and riding full-on all day. They were joined in the afternoon by Stephen and Nick Oliver and David Atwool, and everyone relished to chance to polish up skills and have some fun in a laid-back atmosphere.

The Ihatove is over for another year in Iwate, but the NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial is now less than six months away, and we look forward to welcoming some of our Japanese friends when summer returns to Nelson!


Ishi sends email

31st August 2010
Takumi and Rumi give the new Randoner the thumbs up.
Takumi and Rumi give the new Randoner the thumbs up.

We received an email from our very good friend Youji Ishiyama immediately at the completion of the Japanese Ihatove event.

Ishi mentioned that everyone had all finished their Ihatove event with big smiles.

Ishi also wished to thank us for our cheering and support.
He mentioned that he would send a more detailed report soon but included a great shot of Takumi and Rumi along side the brand new GasGas Randoner.


Ishi has been to New Zealand on two occasions; once with his sons to visit the NonStop Team and secondly to ride this years NZ Ihatove event.

Ishi has been part of the management team for many years and is known as Yasuo's right hand man.

Deborah made a life time friend of Ishi when we visited back in 2006 as they rode together all day and he ran beside her while she rode the sections looking out for her wellbeing. He's just a really neat guy.


Full of keeness and ready to ride

28th August 2010
Ishi with his team of keen helpers
Ishi with his team of keen helpers

On schedule and looking set to go is the report from our friends in Japan as they put the finishing touches to the 2010 34th Idemitsu Ihatove Trial.

Father Shozo with his boys Takumi and Ryo
Father Shozo with his boys Takumi and Ryo

The skies are blue and the weather forecast is looking good for the coming two days.

Participants setting up camp for the weekend
Participants setting up camp for the weekend

Participants are arriving and the numbers building quickly, many setting up camp at the start/finish site where they will be happy campers for the next couple of days.

The Narita trio have arrived with Father Shozo accompanying his two sons Takumi and Ryo.

Yasuo is very busy at this time , he has many tasks including greeting guests, taking photos and updating the web site. We are all very fortunate that he is so capable and full of passion and enthusiasm; this is what makes this event so successful.

His right hand man Ishi also shares these attributes and is another great team leader we has posted a photo of him and some of the team member with this article posing for the camera on the start/finish podium.

This atmosphere is fantastic at this time as everyone is excited and full with the anticipation and keenness for tomorrow's adventure.

Back in 1973 Yasuo and Shozo rode TL125s in the Scottish Six Day, having faced all the challenges of that event and experienced Scotland's spectacular scenery; they decided to hold a trial in Japan to give the local riders a taste of Scottish -style riding.

Nowadays the Japanese Idemitsu Ihatove event attracts around 600 entrants each year, ranging from first-time novices to All-Japan trials champions.

Seeing all this happy activity at this event increases the enthusiasm to start preparing for our own NZ Ihatove Adventure trial in February 2011.

We have been working with some key people and can safely make it known that there will be some existing news in the form of special guest riders with the reunion of special friends who have a long history in the world trials scene.


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