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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

Peter Oliver's North Island A-Grade Championship debut

19th May 2009
Peter enjoying riding his Montesa 4RT
Peter enjoying riding his Montesa 4RT

Photos kindly supplied by James & Yvonne Killalea

In 2009 Peter Oliver has started the year well to repeat his brother's success in the North Island A-Grade Championship.

To date Peter has won six rounds of his six entered and needs only one more round to take out the top seven of eight rounds for the final result.

Peter is now competing on the Montesa Repsol 4RT and particularly enjoys riding the back wheel and throaty four-stroke sound.

He has been travelling to the North Island with fellow South Islanders Brendan Wadsworth of Marlborough Trials Centre, Motueka's Karl Clark and Blake Fox of Dunedin. They make a good team and have lots of fun on their trips away.

Rounds 1&2 of the North Island Champs
Rounds 1&2 of the North Island Champs

Peter has been impressed by the hospitality shown to him in the North Island and has found the new terrain very different to Nelson but a good challenge to his riding ability, although he still thinks nothing beats the weather in Nelson and the NonStop Trials park.

One of the highlights of his trips away has been Warwick's 'paddock car' and spectacular crash courtesy of Jake's girlfriend. Warwick certainly knows how to mix it with the young guns.

With the final North Island rounds in September, Peter will next be in the North Island to show off his display riding at Mystery Creek in June.


Motorcycling Elite kept on their toes

5th May 2009
Tauranga 15-year-old Gabby Gundry.
Tauranga 15-year-old Gabby Gundry.

Article by Andy McGechan, bikesportNZ.com
MAY 4, 2009: The nation's elite motorcycle trials riders were certainly kept on their toes at the weekend.

Tauranga was host to rounds five and six of the Beta-Novogar North Island Trials Championships on Saturday and Sunday and, with contrasting weather conditions to deal with, the riders also produced some very interesting results.


Kiwi international Jake Whitaker was expected to once again dominate the expert grade at the weekend but he instead suffered a loss at the hands of his mentor, Levin's seven-time former national champion Warren Laugesen.


Although Wellington's Whittaker won this class for the series overall, his defeat at the sixth and final round of the series on Sunday will likely keep him awake at night for the next few weeks. He will no doubt be looking at taking his revenge at the nationals in October.

"Warren beat Jake by two points on Sunday and that certainly put a big smile on Warren's face," said North Island trials co-ordinator Paul McLeod.


"It seems the old dog still has bite."

It was also a close battle at the top of the A-grade class with Nelson's Peter Oliver, Wellington's Carl Robson and Tauranga's Phil Shilton locked in a three-way battle for the lead. Oliver finished the weekend on top, but only just,


"We saw a young rider who has a very big future in the sport in action in the intermediate grade," said McLeod. "Tauranga 16-year-old Jim Lowe-Pattie was outstanding as he battled with Te Kuiti's James Snowdon and Wellington's Nick Ball, winning the weekend in that class by 10 points from Snowdon."

Liam Draper leads Gareth Wadsworth
Liam Draper leads Gareth Wadsworth

McLeod was himself in the spotlight in one of the other championship classes, taking top spot in the presidents' grade, edging out respected Blenheim rider Brendon Wadsworth and the always-tough Warrick Merriman, from Tauranga.

Young Auckland rider Liam Draper was all class as he dominated the junior grade, winning the weekend ahead of Kati Kati's Cameron Ladyman and brother and sister pair Jacob and Gabrielle Gundry, from Tauranga.

"Liam (Draper) is another rider who is showing lots of promise for the future in the sport," said McLeod.

» Results «

Oceania South Island Championship

16th April 2009
Australian youth rider Sam Rummery
Australian youth rider Sam Rummery

Oceania South Island Championship, Nelson NZ, April 11th & 12th.

The 2009 Oceania Trials Championship, held in conjunction with the first two rounds of the South Island Trials Champs, was a special event in Nelson this year with the introduction of a special guest rider from Japan to compete against the teams from Australia and New Zealand.
Through their association with the Japanese Idemitsu Ihatove Trial, Stephen Oliver, founder of local NonStop Adventure, invited Takumi Narita, the Motorcycle Federation of Japan trials coach and ex World podium finisher to be guest rider and coach at this year's Oceania Champs. NonStop is keen to see the introduction of a Japanese team in future Oceania events and upon his return to Japan Takumi will be meeting with the FIM (Federation of International Motorcycling) to share his observations and experience at the event along with the results achieved over the weekend.
As well as this Takumi's visit heralded the introduction of a new event for 2010, the Tasman Ihatove trial, which will be based on the very successful Idemitsu Ihatove trial now in its 33rd year in Japan.
Both the Oceania and Tasman Ihatove events, along with the NonStop Adventure motorcycle training Academy, have the blessing of the Tasman Mayor, Richard Kempthorne, Motorcycle NZ CEO, Paul Pavletich, the Nelson Motorcycle Club (which celebrated 100? Years in NZ in 2008) and the local farm owner Ian Parkes and family, along with Robert Eggers and Goldpine, who are one of the major sponsors of the NonStop Adventure trials park in Wakefield.
Trials motorcycling is a challenging, fun, family oriented sport which teaches great riding skills that can be applied in all disciplines of motorcycling as testified to by great NZ Motocross and Enduro riders -Josh Coppin and Stefan Merriman.

Nick Oliver giving it his all
Nick Oliver giving it his all

Nelson lived up to its reputation with great weather for the two days of competition along with a one-day coaching special held after the event.
A large field of riders from throughout New Zealand impressed the many spectators who visited the local trials park on both Saturday and Sunday and those watching were impressed not only by the great riding style and friendly nature of Takumi Narita but also the skills of Wellington rider Jake Whitaker, who last year achieved 10th placing in the World Youth Championship; Warren Laugesen, 7 times New Zealand Champion; Jason Baker, 10 times South Island Champion, along with well-known local riders Stephen, Nick & Peter Oliver and the Australian team of Alex Coleman, Sam Rummery and Simon van Baalen.
Although riding on unfamiliar terrain on borrowed bikes the Australian riders enjoyed being part of the competition and NonStop coaching.
The experience of the New Zealand team gave NonStop riders Jake Whitaker (Expert), Stephen Oliver (Masters) & Peter Oliver (Youth) a convincing edge on both days to take out the Oceania Championship title for 2009.

In the first two rounds of the South Island Champs the highly skilled Expert Class saw a hard fought battle for top three places. Jake Whitaker, who is riding at international level, easily took out both days ahead of the other Expert riders. Surprise second place on day 1 went to local Nick Oliver, but the experience of Warren Laugesen saw him dig deep and take a narrow lead over Nick of only two points after the two days of riding to take out second place. Two other local riders - Karl Clark (Motueka) and Jason Baker (Blenheim) took out 4th & 5th.

Again in A-grade a battle ensued between guest rider Takumi Narita, riding a Scorpa 125; Chris Birch, a multi NZ Enduro Champion and top international star; veteran trials and enduro NZ Champ Stephen Oliver and his up-and-coming son Peter Oliver.
Takumi lead the overall field but top three in the South Island Champs changed between Chris, Peter & Stephen on each of the two days with a final close result of Peter, Stephen and then Chris after the combined score was totalled. Chris took the lead on the first day with an outstanding ride on the flowing, hill-climb sections well suited to his enduro riding experience, but after bad arm cramp on Day 1 Stephen pulled out some top rides to pull ahead of Chris only to have Peter score a lap of just 2 points on Day 2 to beat his father by 4 points.

Takumi mixing it with top up and coming prospects
Takumi mixing it with top up and coming prospects

In the highly contested Intermediate grade young NonStop riders Blake Fox and Calum Anderson had good results mid field but first place was taken by Sam Reid with second and third place hotly contested between Warwick Merriman and Glen Smith. After a count back and double-check of the score cards it was in fact Warwick Merriman that took out second ahead of Glen on the number of cleans.

A large Presidents field was also hotly contested with long time riders Brendon Wadsworth, John Lawton and Steve Wade taking out top three places.

NonStop riders also took 2 of the 3 places in the Clubman grade with Paul Simmonds a clear winner ahead of Daniel Penney and Francis Sydenham.

Junior riders Ryan Dunn, Liam Draper (12) and Brady Inwood had great rides to complete both days of competition and will be the ones to watch in the future.

A social grade also gave Dick Gardener and Dave Atwool the chance to try their skills within the sections that allowed all levels and age of rider the chance to compete and safely enjoy a challenging, fun ride. Trials is one of the few sports that can see father and son, father and daughter riders and it is possible to have young riders of less than thirteen up against riders as old as eighty.

Chris Birch getting some hot tips from Takumi
Chris Birch getting some hot tips from Takumi

On Easter Monday a large group of riders, including the Australian team, took advantage of the one-day coaching session offered by NonStop Adventure with their guest coach Takumi Narita sharing from his vast experience with the assistance of NonStop's great friend, highly talented Japanese translator and fellow trials rider, Dave Atwool of Blenheim. He did a wonderful job of conveying Takumi's advice to all the riders who could then put into practice what they were being taught.
Many riders tackled new levels of obstacles and extended their comfort zones to go home feeling greatly encouraged by their experience and ready to apply their new found skills at the next trials event. All of them appreciated the efforts of Stephen and the NonStop team in securing Takumi for this truly inspiring session.

Of course, none of this could have been possible without the great support of Ian Parkes and family who make their property available for such a positive event for the families that attend trials competition and coaching. They were pleased to see so many spectators come out to the two days of competition and enjoy the friendly family atmosphere.

Many thanks to the great team of NonStop Adventure, Nelson Trials Group and the Nelson Motorcycle Club, for their combined efforts in making this event so successful.


» Results «
» More images «

Oceania Champs gets underway

12th April 2009
Takumi meets Liam (12)
Takumi meets Liam (12)

Nelson put on its best weather again for the first day of the Oceania & Rounds 1 & 2 of the South Island Champs.

A field of 56 riders lined up for a big day of riding with 7 of the 10 sections within easy walking from the carpark. The good parking and easy access to viewing the riders made for a great turn out of spectators to see the best riders in the region.

Special Japanese guest rider Takumi Narita wows the crowd and his friendly open personality saw him becoming the crowd favorite to watch.

After day one the NZ Oceania team of Jake Whitaker (Expert), Stephen Oliver (Masters) and Peter Oliver (Youth) took the lead over the Aussie team of Alex Coleman (Expert), Simon van Baalen (Masters) and Sam Rummery (Youth).

Time to ride for Takumi
Time to ride for Takumi

The South Island Champs results were also a surprise for many with the hotly contended Expert grade being fought out among Jake Whitaker of Wellington (World Youth No.10 2008), Warren Laugesen (7x NZ Champ), Jason Baker (10x South Island Champ), Karl Clark (just back from minding for Jake in Europe) and Nick Oliver (Nelson).
Jake's win was no surprise as he easily took out the first day's riding but the surprise of the day was Nick Oliver in second place.

In A-Grade/Masters/ Youth first place went to Takumi Narita (Japan), second to Chris Birch from Auckland (a top Enduro rider), and third to Peter Oliver (Nelson Youth rider) followed closely by Stephen Oliver (Nelson Master rider)who had trouble with bad hand and arm cramp but soldiered on to finish the day.

More results to follow ... See some of the photos from the day on >more images< below

» More images «

Oceania Motorcycle Trials Championships - Easter 2009

5th April 2009
Guest rider Takumi and junior contender Peter Oliver
Guest rider Takumi and junior contender Peter Oliver

Oceania Motorcycle Trials Championships - Easter 2009

The Tasman region is the Easter venue for the 2009 Oceania Motorcycle Trials Championships being held on the 11th & 12th April, with a large field of entries including many of the top trials riders from across New Zealand and Australia. We are privileged this year to also host special Japanese guest rider Takumi Narita, who will be holding a one-off coaching day following the trial on Monday 13th April.

Takumi Narita has many years' experience both in Japan and internationally. He is a multiple Japanese trials champion and rode with the Oliver family in the 2006 Idemitsu Ihatove 30th Anniversary Trial. Earlier in his career Takumi rode internationally to podium-placed results in the World Outdoor Trials Championships. He has a tremendous depth of experience and great zest for riding and having fun. Takumi promotes 'free ride' trials, a style which quickly attracts young people to his energy and enthusiasm.

Peter showing good form at a recent practice session
Peter showing good form at a recent practice session

The world of trials sees man and machine in harmony almost defying the laws of gravity to triumph over natural terrain and man-made obstacles in a way quite unlike any other sport. This physically and mentally challenging sport tests the balance and skills of all riders, from novices to the world's best. Requiring high levels of balance and technical skills, trials has long been recognised as a foundation upon which all other motorcycling sports can be built. Tasman's own Josh Coppins, at world class level in motocross, uses trials for cross-training and is a supporter of the Nelson host, NonStop Adventure. It is absolutely awe-inspiring to watch world-class riders conquering the unbelievable.

This is the first time in many years that the South Island has hosted the Oceania event, and thanks to the nationally-respected professional trials park at 88 Valley in Wakefield, developed and operated by Stephen & Deborah Oliver's NonStop Adventure NZ, this is a highly anticipated Championship. It will also be a warm-up for NonStop Adventure for the inaugural 2010 Tasman Ihatove Trial, to be based on the highly successful Japanese Idemitsu Ihatove Trial, now in its 33rd year.

Nick Oliver will be keen to impress
Nick Oliver will be keen to impress

Both Stephen and his son Peter Oliver have been selected to represent New Zealand in its Oceania team of riders to compete against Australia for the Championship cup, along with their fellow NonStop Adventure competitor and 2008 World No.10 Youth rider, Jake Whitaker of Wellington they will compete in the three Championship grades of Masters (Stephen), Expert (Jake) and Junior (Peter). Older brothers Andrew and Nick Oliver are themselves past Oceania Champions, Nick having won the Junior title for the New Zealand team to Australia in 2008.

The Oliver boys have become well-known Nelson riders with their participation in many national trials events and the Idemitsu Ihatove Trial in Japan in 2006 & 2008. They also ride in the Goldpine NonStop Adventure Display team, which has ridden at Mystery Creek Field Days and the Nelson Motorcycle Show at Founders Park. Nick Oliver recently rode for Top Gear Live in Auckland.

Riding commences at 10.00am and finishes around 3.00pm Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th and will be signposted from Wakefield. Admission is Free.
Call Gordon: 03 544 7127


The Bond Sisters - shaken but not stirred!

9th March 2009
Rebecca and Tabitha enjoy their ride and the scenery
Rebecca and Tabitha enjoy their ride and the scenery

Tabitha & Rebecca Bond are your modern day adventure-seekers, experiencing the thrills that life has to offer.
After seeing what great sights were on offer in New Zealand from the NonStop website they contacted Stephen who advised the girls to familiarise themselves with the operation of clutch and throttle, so that they could find a reason to visit us for a NonStop Adventure.
After a three-month learning curve, learning to ride motorcycles, the girls headed to New Zealand from Bangkok, Thailand for four days of trials training, adventure riding and motorcycle mechanics.
Luckily for them Nelson managed one day of rain which was a great opportunity to hunker down and learn the intricacies of motorcycle maintenance - all of which they dutifully filmed on their handy-cam for later reference.

The other three days became four days of riding as the girls were enjoying their NonStop Adventure so much they sacrificed a shopping day for another day of riding.
Over their time in Nelson they visited all three NonStop properties at Wakefield, Glenduan and Havelock, taking in the sights and overcoming their fears for a challenging and exciting trip which far exceeded their wildest expectations - just having a bike without a seat was a new experience for the girls!

They were impressed with Stephen's ability to judge their skill level and tailor their training to get the most from them despite their reservations. The girls confirm that they felt very confident in Stephen's ability to keep them safe and return home unscathed, but at the same time gaining the best from the opportunities presented to them.

The Bond sisters making the most of whats on offer
The Bond sisters making the most of whats on offer

On previous adventures they have sustained varying injuries but with a trip to Laos on their return home they were pleased to be heading back in fine spirits and much better equipped to ride the next leg of their journey.

The two sisters assure NonStop that upon their return home they wish to arrange for two Scorpa motorcycles to be shipped out for their use and already plans are being discussed for a trials park of their own in the countryside of Thailand. They are also planning a return visit to NonStop later this year.
With their great sense of adventure and determination one could almost be forgiven for believing them to be related to another great character better known as James!
Scorpa France website

» More images «

NonStop in Top Gear

16th February 2009
Nick with Richard Hammond - Top Gear Live
Nick with Richard Hammond - Top Gear Live

If the rest of 2009 continues at the pace of the first two months things are looking good for NonStop Adventure New Zealand Ltd.

We have been very busy since Christmas with many tours and enquiries for our specialised services, with demand for both tours & coaching and mixed adventures.

We have also had confirmation from Goldpine of their intention to use our NonStop Display team again at Mystery Creek this year.
This is all looking good for an exciting new phase on our journey.


A day out from multi award-winning BBC TV series Top Gear Live going live, NonStop was approached for Nick or Pete Oliver to perform at this prestigious event after their display rider Jason Finn had to return to the UK at short notice. The Top Gear Show Manager had visited the NonStop website and seen how professionally the NonStop Display Team present themselves at events such as Mystery Creek, so with a quick phone conversation Nick was on the plane the next morning after Team Extreme top rider Peter Oliver turned down the gig choosing instead his first outing for the season at the North Island Champs on the Montesa 4RT.

It was a great experience for Nick, with Wednesday upon his arrival full of anticipation as they sourced the bike, which was kindly supplied by Triple X Moto's Steve Lloyd.
Nick was super impressed with the friendly and supportive Top Gear & Auckland pit crews and it was great to meet Richard Hammond and Greg Murphy who are such nice guys. He spent most of Wednesday afternoon adapting back to the two-stroke having ridden the last few months on the 4RT Montesa, so after sorting the bike Wednesday afternoon and an early Thursday morning practice were spent fine-tuning the act.

Nick giving it his best.
Nick giving it his best.

This involved him jumping over and nose-wheeling towards Top Gear's Richard Hammond who arrived with Jeremy Clarkson a couple of hours before each show for rehearsals.There was some added excitement at the first show as Nick's back tyre 'kissed' Richard Hammond's chest (who was arching his back for effect!)
In all, there were ten shows over the four days with sell out crowds at each show yet Nick experienced butterflies before every show, performing in front of such international high-profile celebrities and large crowds who were depending on him not to cause injury.To cap off his trip Nick managed to corner the anonymous test driver 'The Stig' in the pits for a photo after the show.

All-in-all a great experience and great exposure for NonStop Adventure and Team Extreme.

Thanks for this opportunity go to Brett MacLeod of dmg World Media Australasia Top Gear Live, who had this to say "Top Gear Live is a phenomenon," says Brett. "We're seeing huge enthusiasm for anything bearing the Top Gear brand and we know this exhibition will become a must see for all car enthusiasts from throughout New Zealand."


Scottish invasion

24th January 2009
Boys ready for action
Boys ready for action

After a successful visit to NonStop, Stephen Corry went home to Scotland and inspired his son Stuart to also visit and take advantage of Stephen's training skills.

He was accompanied by his mate Drew Stevenson who together are on an OE including Australia and Canada on their journey.

Stuart has been riding for 12 years, starting off on TY80's (as did Nick & Peter Oliver) and moving through the Gas Gas 125, 200 and 250cc bikes.

Drew, although not as experienced at motorcycle trialling, has had experience with scrambling starting on a 50cc machine and moving to the 125 & 250cc bikes. He also enjoys quad-biking.

Stuart, for the first time riding a Montesa 4RT showed a high level of skill and experience and hit it off with the Oliver clan.

Both Stuart and Drew plan to spend a full year in New Zealand in 2010 when they will hopefully catch up again. Stuart has expressed interest in purchasing a bike and competing in the South Island while he is here where he will fit in quickly at the higher level of competition.


4RT's the flavour of the month

23rd January 2009
Nick & Peter love their new Montesa Repsol 4RT's
Nick & Peter love their new Montesa Repsol 4RT's

2009 brings some exciting changes for the NonStop team. Both Nick & Peter have elected to ride Montesa 4RT Repsol after their father Stephen, founder of NonStop Adventure, decided last year to evaluate the 4RT.

The Montesa 315 model has served NonStop well for many years both in the NonStop Adventure Tours and in the sporting arena with its durability and reliability and being a good all round sound bike.

Stephen decided mid season last year to acquire for himself a Montesa 4RT. Having ridden four-stroke machines earlier in his career he was well aware that the recent development of fuel-injection would be the key to the four-stroke's success and this has proved to be the case with Honda Montesa. It has eliminated the trait of stalling unexpectedly at low revs. Honda has thereby overcome this deterrent to the four-stroke machine.

Peter putting the 4Rt through it's paces
Peter putting the 4Rt through it's paces


It didn't take Steve long to adapt to this new machine. There have been a few comments around regarding four-strokes and one of the features of the machine is that being fuel-injected it is very sharp off the bottom end of its power delivery. However, it is also necessary when attacking large obstacles to be very generous with rpm.

Having spent time on the bike and familiarising himself with the characteristics of the machine he now finds this is an added bonus and all his riding has improved and you can be very precise and accurate when negotiating a large variety of terrain.

NonStop having given this machine the thumbs up went on the hunt for replacement machines for both Nick & Peter. By Christmas time last year NonStop had acquired four 4RT models ranging from 2005 to 2007. They will be using the machines in standard trim. They are adequately powered and excellently suspended and have fantastic balance.

Many of the European factories are now catching up with their development plans and will most likely have a machine equally competitive with the Honda Montesa and with environmental concerns the future looks to be more pro four-stroke than ever.

Nick coming to grips with his Montesa
Nick coming to grips with his Montesa

NonStop have decided to take the bull by the horns and follow their lead. They had already decided to use the Scorpa 125 with it's variations of 175-200cc four stroke range. This machine is proving popular with all the NonStop Adventure clients and is the pick of the bunch. It is very rider friendly and easy to control.

Another added reason for the four-stroke is the Oliver boys connections in Japan and with the strong relationships they have built up they are very hopeful there will be opportunities in the future to ride and compete in Japan and because the four-stroke is very dominant and the machine most Japanese use, particularly the 4RT, it makes a lot of sense to become familiar with the use of the machine.


NonStop Satellite Coaching

22nd January 2009
Peter , Steve & Francis on day 3 ready to roll
Peter , Steve & Francis on day 3 ready to roll

At the invitation of Steve Armistead along with Colin Downs, Peter Osborne & Francis Sydenham, Stephen took three days out of his busy schedule to fly north for some specialised Trials training in the Hamilton district.

Stephen was very impressed with the hospitality and how well organised the days were as Colin & Christine Downs provided bed & breakfast, Peter Osborne the lunches & Steve with the flights and hydration.

Good fun was had by all with some polishing up of existing skills and some new skills learnt. The Hamilton area has a lot to offer with varying terrain and beautiful landscape.


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