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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

NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial

10th January 2010
Christening the new Bridge
Christening the new Bridge

: Sneak Preview by David Atwool

The other day I headed to 88 Valley for a sneak preview of the course for Day One of the NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial to be held on February 20-21. Although the sections themselves had not been put in at that stage, I got to ride the three big loops that will make up the overall course.

Checking out the spectacular scenery
Checking out the spectacular scenery

The thing that struck me most was the huge scale - the distance covered will make the NZ Ihatove quite different from other events on the trials calendar.

Well-formed trails whisk riders from the base area to the hilltops in no time and the sweeping views give a bird's eye perspective on the surrounding countryside, which stretches right out to the mountains and sea.

The massive area available offers almost endless scope for challenging and enjoyable trials sections to suit entrants in the "Pro" and "Sport" categories as well as those opting for a more leisurely ride in the "Recreational" class.

The course spans two properties, which have been linked by an impressive bridge. The construction team of Bruce Corkill from Wellington, Stephen and Nick Oliver completed this bridge over a couple of days - a major mission given the need to haul all the materials up into the clouds.

Offering spectacular scenery, long-distance trails and flowing terrain ideally suited to non-stop rules, the NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial is shaping up to be an event like no other. Don't miss it!

» More images «

The 8th wonder of the world (The great Ihatove bridge)

9th January 2010
Delivering the materials for Bridge construction
Delivering the materials for Bridge construction

While everyone was enjoying their Christmas/New Year break Stephen has been hard at work preparing the adventure trails for the inaugural Ihatove event in February.

With a willing hand from Wellingtonian Bruce Corkill, and his engineering skills, Nick & Stephen were able to complete an engineering feat to be proud of 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.

Stephen was fortunate that Ian & Sue Parkes generously provided their 4-wheeler and trailer to enable the materials and equipment to be transported to the top of the farm.

Due to the limited towing capacity and the huge expanse of bridge required for Deborah to be able to negotiate the bridge safely, multiple round trips of approx 1.5hours each were required to deliver all the materials up the steep track to their final resting place.

» More images «

WOW that was fun!

7th December 2009
Peter and Heather join Nick of NonStop / Karel of Pro Rider
Peter and Heather join Nick of NonStop / Karel of Pro Rider

NonStop had our first day out with the very professional Karel Pavich of ProRider

Karel had this to say -

Joint venture gets the thumbs up.
Joint venture gets the thumbs up.

"We had the first Trials Riding Skills course with Stephen & Nick Oliver from Non Stop Adventure coaching us. Purpose built, lightweight trials bikes were supplied along with plenty of step-by-step instruction.
These bikes are incredibly responsive and it was great to see everyone's confidence level grow so quickly.

The terrain was magnificent, we got to ride around bush & streams, up the top of a big hill with huge views and then finished with a fun course put together especially for us.

There are so many skills you can take into your road riding from here, especially weighting the pegs (hard not to since we are always standing), looking ahead, body positioning. The riding is nice and slow so you can really work on your technique.

What a blast! You need to try this"

The Team at NonStop have found Karel to be very passionate and enthusiastic with all she takes on and we are keen to work with and along side Karel in her endeavours to upskill the NZ motorcyclist.

The next outing will be the 10 of January 2010 so check out the ProRider web site to make a booking.
ProRider website here

Exploration Day Two

8th November 2009
Natural Stream Gullies
Natural Stream Gullies

Sunday has come around so fast and here we are at the Hunts property for the second day in a row and looking forward to another great adventure.

Today will involve more work, as there is some grooming needed. Fortunately because of the nature of the NonStop type section, we will only need to trim the odd overhanging branch, groom potential sections, remove some debris and a small amount of building to make an already good section better.

I must say that we are fortunate that there is not as much preparation required as our good friends in Japan have to undertake in preparation for their event. The farm is well grazed so getting out the weed eater will not be necessary.

We have found a small waterfall today that will be an added attraction and looks great.

I am also setting out a number of direction markers and arrows to see how things hold up over the next few weeks. Our biggest concern is the wind as on the odd occasion, especially evenings, it can blow; so I hope that they will stand the test of time and be up to it.

» More images «

Day of Exploration

7th November 2009
Water crossing Ihatove Adventure style
Water crossing Ihatove Adventure style

Saturday was a day of exploration as neither the boys or I have had the opportunity to venture into the neighbouring property.
Richard and Melitta Hunt have been very friendly and have made us feel very welcome while using this great farm to host part of the NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial.
The family have made the farm available to other groups and are please to see others enjoy what is on offer.
The boys and I were amazed at the variety of terrain which consists of very well groomed farm tracks, native glades of beautiful NZ forest, Scottish Six day type creeks and gullies and steep but very rideable hills in abundance. We are heading out again tomorrow as the time today has gone so fast.

» More images «

Preparations begin

6th November 2009
Fulton Hogan markers get a clean
Fulton Hogan markers get a clean

I caught these shots of Stephen this evening. He has been preparing for next year's NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial for several months. With the NZ National calendar finished for another year he has stepped up the game plan as there is much to do.

The team at NonStop are keen to have everything as completed prior to the event as possible, so things will run smoothly when the New Year is upon us.

Stephen has been fortunate to have secured several hundred used roadside markers from one of our many sponsors, Fulton Hogan.

Thumbs up for NZ Ihatove
Thumbs up for NZ Ihatove

He is cutting them in half and reshaping them to be used as route markers, which will then have directional arrows attached. This way the pegs can be out in place weeks out from the event and the arrows attached closer to the time.

The entries are starting to flow in, which is very encouraging; so this will be an event to remember and one that everyone will be keen to attend annually.

We will be doing regular updates to keep everyone informed as to how things are coming along. So watch this space.

Best in Trialling



5th November 2009

The Team at NonStop Adventure Ltd are proud to announce that we have launched the 2010 NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial portion of our web site. This promises to be an exciting part of our National Trials calendar." To access the page, click here.

NonStop True to Form

2nd November 2009
Team NonStop Peter,Nick,Andy,Stephen,Callum and David
Team NonStop Peter,Nick,Andy,Stephen,Callum and David

Wellington was the venue for this year's National Trials Champs with a contingent of NonStop riders once again taking out top honours. NonStop riders featured on the podium in five of the six grades, winning four.
NonStop riders Jake Whitaker, Karl Clarke, Nick Oliver and Jason Baker made up four of the five Expert riders; Peter Oliver took out A-Grade for the second year running; father Stephen Oliver stole the show in Presidents ahead of Marlborough's Brendan Wadsworth; and newcomer Dave Hart was third in Clubman behind another NonStop visitor Gavin Fox of Dunedin.
In the NZ Junior title, local Tasman rider Callum Anderson was the sixth NonStop rider in the last seven years to take out the title; an exemplary record and a great reflection on the efforts of NonStop director Stephen Oliver in raising the level of Youth riders in the South Island to compete successfully in NZ's National event.
Past Junior titles include Stephen's three sons Andy, Nick & Peter and local rider Daniel Penney. As well as being Junior NZ Champs, Andy, Nick & Peter have all competed and succeeded in the Oceania Champs over the last several years, all taking the Youth title against their Aussie rivals.
You can see this local talent in action at the Richmond A&P Show November 21st & 22nd, where the Goldpine site will be featuring the popular Goldpine NonStop X-treme Display team.

NonStop rules

15th October 2009
Dougie Lampkin - riding nonstop
Dougie Lampkin - riding nonstop

Further to the debate regarding nonstop rules - The Team at NonStop have this to say :

We enjoy riding both styles but in the interest of the bigger picture, including spectators, We are happy to see nonstop rules reinstated.

Nonstop rules allow a large number of riders to take part in events with less delays during the competition, a minder is not usually required (both to keep track of time and for placement of the bike in preparation for an obstacle etc.) and instead of a few highly skilled riders with expensive technical bikes, more riders can take part on less expensive machines.

We have had feedback both for and against. Comment has been made that Malcolm Rathmell is old school and past it, but in defense of Malcolm - with age goes experience and wisdom and often older riders have seen different styles come and go and speak from both sides.

A good rider should be able to adapt to either set of rules, and see it as a further challenge rather than a threat to their tried and true experience.

Funny how the rules changed away from nonstop when Dougie had won 7 straight world titles and looked set to continue his winning streak and take the title of 8 wins from the 7 times world Spanish rider Jordi Tarres. The Spanish just could not seem to beat him under the nonstop rules and they are the most vocal against changing back now. I personally believe they feel threatened and in light of the English terrain and use of nonstop rules at club level an English world champion could be on the cards again.

We will be interested to see which way it falls. No doubt money talks louder than a majority rule.

comment from Deborah -

Having watched trials for a number of years now and given it a go as a rider -from a spectator point of view, whilst trying to video events etc... there is nothing more frustrating than watching someone take 5 minutes deciding what to do next on a section. Should you turn off the video camera and miss their next move or do you give up and move on to the next section to actually see some action. This was highlighted at the Oceania event with Takumi Narita's free flowing smooth style which was a joy to watch and even though he was on a 125 machine his technical skill was tremendous and a great crowd pleaser.

Interview with Sherco UK importer Malcolm Rathmell

13th October 2009
Malcolm Rathmell and wife Rhoda
Malcolm Rathmell and wife Rhoda

Trial Magazine talks to the UK Sherco boss about the future of trials.

The Team at NonStop enjoy all forms of Trials and particularly Adventure Trials Riding. However as you are probably aware we have always supported the NonStop Rule for all the reasons given by Mr Rathmell in this Trial Magazine interview. This makes for great reading.

Question: What is your reaction to the article written in the British press by Adam Raga with regard to his protest to change the rules for trials next year to non stop?

MR: Firstly, I have known Adam for many years and respect him both as a person and as a rider but regarding the article written in the British press last week I feel he is way off the mark.

It is, of course, true to say we have an economical crisis which has certainly affected new bike sales but to a very great extent this really is not the problem. We had this very same situation over ten years ago and after returning to a type of non stop (where a stop was counted as a one) it was very effective in selling bikes and increasing entries for all levels of trials.

Question: How do you feel trials is different to other sports in this regard?

MR: If I wanted to do any other sport (apart from MX) it would be possible to do it under exactly the same rules and conditions as the top people. Maybe not as good but I could still start and finish and pretend I was Nadal, Ronaldo, Rossi, Woods, etc. Who is going to go and watch a World Championship Trial and then go home and want to try to do it?

Question: Why is it so important for the rules at World Championship level to change?

MR: For the reasons stated above as World Championship is the 'shop window' for our sport and at this time we are running trials throughout the world with rules where there are only, in effect, maybe four riders who can correct their mistakes. So what chance has anyone else?

Question: What do you think about the new 'Spanish system' which Adam recommends?

MR: I personally can't think of anything worse. So we now expect a customer to pay over 4,000 to ride a three hour trial. For me this is not trials which, for the majority of people who have to buy a bike, is a social sport where you meet friends and have a good DAYS riding.

Question: Do you think trials have become elitist again?

MR: For sure, just as it was over ten years ago. I don't agree that changing the rule will make the sport harder for the young rider. At this moment there are 4/5 riders who can apply these rules, there are 4/5 who can do it sometimes and the rest just don't stand a chance? The fact is that the best riders are much better at getting out of trouble than the lesser riders, simply because they have had all week to practice with one/two minders. They have mastered the art of recovery which, unfortunately, for the younger and lesser rider it is not possible.

Question: So you don't agree with Adam's theory as to why Danni Oliveras will have to retire at the end of the year?

MR: Definitely not. Adam must be very careful because if we do not do something to make the sport accessible again for everyone it will be riders like Adam who will find themselves without a contract. Danni isn't getting paid, even though he is a good rider, simply because the manufacturers cannot afford to pay him.

Take a look at the paddock. It is 100% paid for by the manufacturers. I personally don't know who the boss of Gas Gas is but I find it very noble of him to respect the other teams. For sure they want to win the World Championship but, most importantly, they want to sell bikes and stay in business, just as the rest of the teams do. Adam must understand that for the factories to continue in competition and the World Championship we have to sell bikes, if only to pay Adam's wages!

Question: What do you think the FIM should do for next year?

MR: For me it is obvious that we must return to basics. Outdoor trials is, and always will be, a participant sport and we must make the sport accessible to everyone. If we do not do something to change the face of trials then the manufacturers will be unable to produce bikes.

Question: How do you feel about Adam's comments regarding observing?

MR: The big point for me is that riders must start accepting the observer's decision and not argue. The rule is very simple - if you stop it is a five. If you keep going it is a one, two or a three. The normal system with WC at present is for the rider, minders, helpers, mechanics and team manager to argue until the observer changes his mind. We have to be strict like in football with the yellow and red card. The observer, who is purely voluntary, is not the problem. The non stop system is not the problem. It is the rider complaining which is the problem and not accepting a five when it is given. Factories and importers must make sure their riders abide by the sporting code of trials.

Question: So your advice for the future?

MR: We must return to non-stop (or dynamic trial). The advantages of this are no minders, less cost for the manufacturers and everyone having one chance on each section, without time. This brings all the advantages to young riders to compete on a more even playing field and involves fewer personnel for clubs running events. More importantly, it opens up far more land to ride on.

Non stop worked very well for over sixty years without problems until some smart arse (no doubt sat in an office like all modern day decisions are made) decided to start messing with the rules. We have been messing with the rules for over 20 years with different systems, none of which works. Many sports have returned to basics - trials must do the same.

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P O Box 752, Nelson, New Zealand
Tel: 64-3-545 1053
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