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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

Group gathering

27th August 2010

A group gathering at NonStop Trials Park proved to be great fun for everyone.

Johny and Isaac, "great to see  father and son combination"
Johny and Isaac, "great to see father and son combination"

Spring is nearly upon us, lambs are everywhere and the flowers are starting to blossom.
As Nelson comes to the end of its winter our friends in Japan are near the end of their summer.

The last major event in the Iwate prefecture is this weekend where Yasuo and his team are holding the 34th Idemitsu Ihatove trial.

Here in New Zealand we are starting to prepare for the NZ Nationals in October with the NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial set to run at the end of our summer on the 19 February. So this weekend was a great start to what will be a busy and exciting season.

Johny and Liz have added a new Honda CRF 50 to the fleet for their son Isaac and he looked very comfortable riding around in the afternoon sun.

The team of riders had a variety of riding available to them with sections marked out to test their trialing skills and plenty of fun time between.

By the end of the day everyone looked very tired but contented and happy. See you all again this coming Sunday.

» More images «

Ihatove Countdown

25th August 2010

Iwate Prefecture is gearing up to welcome the 34th Idemitsu Ihatove Trial, which takes place on August 28-29.

Yasuo and some of his team "Final prepartion"
Yasuo and some of his team "Final prepartion"

The organizing team has finished the massive job of clearing vegetation from the course and is currently busy setting sections. To give an idea of just how long the course is, this involves a three-day trip for the team, which sets sections along the way and stays in a different location each night. Hard work, but the camaraderie and stunning scenery make up for the sweat! Once the sections are in place, there is another two days' work setting up the start/finish area and headquarters.

Everything is on schedule, and NonStop Adventure wishes the team all the best for another hugely successful event this year.


Jake Whitaker 2010 Aussie Champion

23rd August 2010

New Zealand local Jake Whitaker has taken out the 2010 Australian Moto Trials Championship at Thunderbird Park - Mount Tamborine, on Sunday 22 August.

Jake Whitaker current Kiwi & Aussie Champion
Jake Whitaker current Kiwi & Aussie Champion

Overcoming challenges from some of Australia's best riders including; Brisbane local Boyd Wilcocks, West Australian Neil Price, and reigning Champ Colin Zarczynski, the 19 year-old put in a solid effort, keeping his points low enough to take the win.

Speaking at the end of the day the Kiwi, and reigning (and three-times) New Zealand Moto Trials Champion, was thrilled to take out the Aussie Title on his fourth attempt.

"It's a bloody good feeling!" Whitaker said.

"I've wanted this title for about four years now so it's a really good feeling.

"I had a stunning first lap on Sunday, scoring only four points - I felt way more comfortable on the bike than I did on Saturday, and I really enjoyed it out there.

"I'll now go finish the New South Wales Series, there are a few more rounds of that, and I'd like to do another stint in Europe however it all depends on sponsorship!"



Good News

10th August 2010
Intro level machine "The Randoner"
Intro level machine "The Randoner"

Thanks to the foresight of Mr. Norihito Akiyama who is now Japanese importer of GasGas motorcycles from the beginning of this year, GasGas are producing an entry level machine to help get bums on seats.

Norihito was the Scorpa importer for many years previously.

Randoner with long-ride kit
Randoner with long-ride kit

He requested that there was need for GasGas to develop a new multi-purpose 4t bike for the Japanese market, and GasGas agreed.

It has Yamaha's 125 4t engine adopted electric starter for beginners and ladies.

The new machine has been called "Randoner"

GasGas Japan website here

Mr.Akiyama has made arrangements that GasGas will ship a prototype Randoner to Japan, and he'll exhibit it only in the Japanese Idemitsu Ihatove event!

It is also worth noting the Takumi Narita and his brother Ryo are currently riding under the GasGas banner.

Takumi is keen to compete in the ISDE when preparations are complete.

Takumi and Ryo along with their father Shozo will be taking part in this year's Japanese Ihatove event at the end of this month.


NZ Ihatove Trial Commemorative Tray

9th August 2010
NZ Ihatove Trial Commemorative Tray
NZ Ihatove Trial Commemorative Tray

Last February Yasuo and our Japanese friends presented this Joboji-nuri lacquer tray (designed by Yasuo) to the Tasman District Council as an expression of Japan-NZ friendship to mark the holding of the inaugural NZ Ihatove trial.

Since they didn't have a stand for it, they looked for one that would fit over there.

The council has found a perfect stand, and now it is displayed in the showcase in the entrance hall.

Tasman District Council has ties with other Japanese cities and there are lots of fine gifts displayed there, so we are very pleased that Yasuo chose something that is very beautiful and different from the other gifts on display.


The NonStop Winter Project part 2

8th August 2010
Nick and Peter give it the thumbs up
Nick and Peter give it the thumbs up

Peter and Nick get to see and ride the project bike for the first time.

The sun was shining this afternoon so we all finished work a little earlier and headed out for a small play.

"When can you make another one Dad ? "
"When can you make another one Dad ? "

Peter said "I thought it was going to be a pile of shit Dad, but it's great, when can you make another one."

Nick made a more thorough assessment and recommended a couple of minor adjustments.

Nick puts it through it's paces
Nick puts it through it's paces

Nick made the comment that it felt great to ride being very easy to control and well balanced. Nick summarised by saying that he would much prefer to ride this machine rather than the Sherco that he has been riding.

Both Nick and Peter agreed that it handled similarly to their 4RT's but felt lighter and more maneuverable, which would make it a more capable bike at the top level of competition.

The boys are always hard on their Dad, so I believe this to be the case. Mission accomplished.

I now have a two-stroke that rides similar to the 4RT but with all the benefits of the two-stroke. I believe the only other two-stroke machine currently available with such a high standard of build quality is the latest EVO Beta.

Having ridden the new Evo, only a month ago, when Jake was down, it was then that I realised that the Beta had gone away from the normal European design and had a similar feel to it as the Montesa.

I can now set too and tidy the machine up and then we can decide who will ride it. Maybe I will have to build another one.

The next report will be in September after Jake returns from his assault for the Aussie titles.

Jake has agreed to test ride the machine a give an unbiased review. We are looking forward to Jake's input as he has a very good understanding of what is required of a modern day trials machine. Watch this space.



Team Extreme initiative

7th August 2010

Over recent years attempts have been made to increase the popularity of and the numbers attending the sport of trials. The idea was to introduce this more rider-friendly discipline to the general public as a safer option to the go-fast alternatives. Steve at NonStop Adventure decided to give Team Extreme a free reign to see if they could come up with a formula that may work.

"Yeah baby"
"Yeah baby"

After some brainstorming it was decided that we needed to establish the reasons limiting the ability to attract people to the sport. The general consensus was that young people coming through need considerable financial backing from parents as it is unaffordable for most to do it alone and those that do have the financial resources normally pursue other forms of elite recreational activities.

The other limiting factor is that although it is a great challenging sport, and once up-skilled is great to be involved in, the initial time and discipline needed to reach this level can be quite off-putting and many of the younger ones prefer a more quick fix of adrenalin and the satisfaction of going fast.

The boys have quite a few mates that are keen to join in the activities out at NonStop Adventure but the cost is one of the biggest inhibitors; not having the funds to purchase the said trials machine. The next level are the bracket who are keen but are over-committed financially with mortgages etc, have family commitments and do not have the time available to commit to this form of sport.

Fuel this baby up Pete
Fuel this baby up Pete

And the third group are at the other end of the spectrum where they prefer to get involved in the classic trials where they get to mix with their own age group with similar interests where they can enjoy the camaraderie. There isn't the same perceived pressure with regards to the severity of terrain and they prefer riding with less chance of injury.

So the general consensus from Team Extreme was that there needs to be a cheaper form of machinery to introduce to younger potential riders that are keen to experience the fun of Trials / trail type of riding; not totally involving speed, but negotiating trail type terrain and incorporating a wee bit of trials technique to assist in improving their trail riding skills. Ideally it was agreed that the new machine had to be under the two thousand dollar bracket which narrowed it down to being Chinese.


Nick Oliver did a lot of research and checking around finally making contact with the NZ Motor Factory Company. Nick was very impressed with the quality of the product, service and personnel he dealt with during his enquiries. NZMFC import several forms of 125 /140 pit bikes with the larger wheel, having the little Lifan four-stroke engine and a four speed transmission with manual clutch. This motor is very torquey and revs out well. This machine, the Forza, has enough performance to keep the younger ones entertained. Although the machine is not capable of full blown trials it is more than capable at an introductory level and selling for less than $1500 this makes it very affordable for the younger generation to get involved on their own accord.

Great for wheelies
Great for wheelies

The parts are also very reasonably priced. eg. a complete shock absorber sells for $85 making it very affordable at an entry level. So Nick and Team Extreme under the Banner of NonStop are promoting this introductory level bike with the view that some of the participants having had a lot of fun and enjoyment themselves will eventually upgrade, when they can afford to do so, to a second hand trials type machine.

The Forza is capable of running a trail / trials type tyre and has a similar exhaust note to the Montesa 4RT trials bike. Although it is early days yet, Nick has already sold a half a dozen of these bikes, with more on the go. Nick is currently running NonStop ride days as he starts to nurture more interest, showing new riders how to have fun and up-skill. So far the results are very encouraging.

An added bonus for the guys is that the girlfriends are also keen to ride these smaller, easy to start bikes with seats and competition is hot for who gets the next ride. When the boys are riding their trials bikes the girls can follow on the pit bikes and be more involved in the experience.


Check out the NZ Motor Factory website NZ Motor Factory website here

» More images «

The NonStop Winter Project

7th August 2010

My father was here for my fiftieth birthday a couple of weeks ago. Dad and I spent time going back over our history, which included making modifications to many machines and even building then from scratch. When Dad went home I decided that he had inspired me to put my thoughts into practice and create a NonStop machine. I have to admit that some of the motivation is that I have been a little disappointed with the build quality of some of the recent machinery, considering the prices that the factories are now charging.

Right side view of the NonStop Creation
Right side view of the NonStop Creation

This is a project that I had considered several years ago after the FIM back pedaled on the decision to go totally to four-strokes; however I decided then to put my energy into establishing the NonStop Trials Park.

I was sad to see Honda put so much into developing the best four-stroke trials bike in the world only to see the world renege on their commitment to go totally four-stroke at championship level of competition. However this is pretty typical of a governing body when they discover that they run the risk of losing financial sponsorship from companies that would not have the resources to compete with Honda/ Montesa
Briefly I have made what I consider to be a very good reliable two stroke trials bike. I have used mainly the Montesa 315 rolling chassis and the Sherco 290 engine and associated parts.
I have then done my own minor modifications which I will explain later.
The Sherco engine is very reliable, lighter, and a more modern and narrower trials engine than the Montesa 315. (Although I have always thought highly of the 315 engine)

Left side view of the NonStop creation
Left side view of the NonStop creation


The result is a lighter feeling machine than the original 315 while retaining the excellent chassis and suspension. The engine is stronger but still smooth and controllable. I have grafted the Sherco titanium header pipe (slightly shortened) to the 315 centre exhaust and muffler as well as using the 315 air box and stayed with the 26mm carburetor.

I am in the process of finishing off the cosmetics and overall look. I have already test ridden the machine in its present state and I am very pleased with the outcome. The machine is very well balanced, it is much better that I had hoped for. I have a few more ideas that will be interesting to test but even as it stands I cannot find fault. I will do more testing this weekend.


The Story Begins

5th August 2010
Far left Yasuo Manzawa far right Shozo Narita SSDT 1974
Far left Yasuo Manzawa far right Shozo Narita SSDT 1974

An interview with father and son team Shozo & Takumi Narita

The 30-Year Road to Producing a World Champion

Japanese riders participated in world-level trials competition for the first time at the beginning of the 1970s. Thirty years later Japan produced its first world trials champion, shortly after hosting the first Japan round of the World Trials Championships. These two milestones fulfilled long-held wishes of the Japanese trials fraternity and led directly to the position trials enjoys in Japan today.

One father-and-son team is at the very centre of this history. The father, Shozo Narita, strove to popularize trials from the sport's early days in Japan, while his son Takumi carved his name in the record books as the third Japanese rider to compete fully in the world championships and is now section coordinator for the Japan round. Over two generations the activities of this father and son in the trials field have brought Japan closer to the rest of the world.

For the full story go to Trials Torque which has "The Story Begins" Part 1: The Dawn of Trials in Japan


All Revved Up

4th August 2010
Takumi joins Yasuo & his team for a weekend of grass cutting
Takumi joins Yasuo & his team for a weekend of grass cutting

The 34th Idemitsu Ihatove Trial is scheduled for 28-29 August, and the organizing team is all revved up and ready to go. They have been out every weekend clearing sections - those of you who took part in the inaugural New Zealand Ihatove Adventure Trial back in February will recognize Takumi Narita (with chainsaw) and Yasuo Manzawa. Great as the brush-cutting gear is, fellow NZIAT rider Yoji Ishiyama tells us he is keen to have 1,000 sheep to keep the vegetation down, as they do here in NZ!

As well as all the usual trials grades, this year's Idemitsu Ihatove offers a 400km "touring" course for trail bikes and a special course for novices aiming to enter the main trial next year, complete with coaching by Takumi. The mainstay "classic" course has been reduced from 25 to 20 sections per day this year, in the interests of making sure everyone finishes in good time.

NonStop Adventure wishes our Japanese friends all the best for another highly successful event.


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