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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

Ihatove Autumn Trial

15th October 2008
Izumi - san and Rumi rode well all day
Izumi - san and Rumi rode well all day

The leaves are starting to fall in Iwate, and last weekend it was time for our Japanese friends to head into the forests for the Ihatove Autumn Trial.

One of the highlights of the day came when Izumi-san became the only Budoli Class rider to make it to the top of a challenging hill climb on the second lap and got a big cheer from all the riders.
Riding like that put him way out in front of the intermediate Budoli class at the end of the day, while Rumi-san won the novice's Neli Class, also by a large margin.

Perfect weather made it a great day for enjoying spectacular scenery and good company.

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Jake wins day two of the Australian Champs

14th October 2008
Jake on his way to second outright in the Aussie champs
Jake on his way to second outright in the Aussie champs

Report by Jake Whitaker.

Well last Monday Nick Ball(my minder), Dad and I all flew out to Melbourne to get a few days on the bike before the trial on Saturday and Sunday. During training I felt really strong and comfortable on the bike and was really feeling confident with Nick as minder.I was really pleased with all the arrangements this year and was looking forward to the event.

Saturday morning I started off a little nervous and had a couple of unlucky fives on the first half of the first lap as I was feeling the pressure. After a good pep talk with Dad and Nick I soon settled in and started to get a rhythm going, unfortunately at the end of the day it was only good enough to secure 4th place on the day.

On Sunday I felt a lot more relaxed in the sections which reflected in my riding as I posted the lowest scores all day. The sections were really big all weekend so I was well at home on the big grippy rocks, I always enjoy this type of section and felt I rode well all day. After winning on Sunday this then put me in 2nd overall for the championship, so not quite what I went over for but still to come back from 4th was a big achievement; one I am very pleased with.

I would like to give a big thanks to Tarp at Montesa Australia for all his help, the bike was awesome couldn't have been better. Mum and Dad. Dad for all the encouragement and advice over the week and of course Nick for doing a wicked job minding keeping me focused and relaxed when it wasn't going too well. It was a team effort and we were really close to pulling it off, so thanks guys. I hope I can pay back the favour when we go over and win it next year.

NonStop welcomes another visitor from Japan

13th October 2008
Very happy faces shows the fun had by all
Very happy faces shows the fun had by all

Stephen Oliver and the NonStop Adventure team recently welcomed Aska Ichinose from Japan to the trials park at 88 Valley. A keen road-rider with a Suzuki GSX600 in Japan, Aska is currently in New Zealand for a year and jumped at the opportunity to try off-road riding.

At first the trials bikes seemed like very unfamiliar machines to her, but under careful guidance by NonStop coaches Stephen and Nick and translation from our Japanese speaking expert Dave Atwool when required, she was soon under way on the rider-friendly Scorpa 125. Stephen always makes sure novices have a safe and enjoyable introduction to off-road riding, and this effort is amply repaid when the initial apprehension on a first-timer's face steadily turns into a grin.

In between sessions, Nick and Peter Oliver entertained the visitor with a spectacular display of advanced riding skills on man-made and natural obstacles.

As light rain gave way to warm sunshine throughout the afternoon, Aska rapidly gained confidence. By the end of the day she had advanced from open, flat terrain to hill trails and creek crossings. As well as gaining new riding ability, it was a great chance to polish her English skills and enjoy some splendid New Zealand farm scenery and good Kiwi company.

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Spring is in the air

4th October 2008
Deborah enjoying her first outing in spring
Deborah enjoying her first outing in spring

Now that spring is upon us and the lambs are playing the flowers blooming and Deborah is back on her over protected and much loved Scorpa 125.

Deborah's first ride involved following Trainer/husband, Stephen around for a while until she re found her confidence and before no time she was off on her own exploring new territory.

Stephen leads the way
Stephen leads the way

Deborah confessed that it had been awhile since her last outing. However, having heard that her good friend Ishiyama was off for a ride before the Japanese winter starts to settle in, this was good enough incentive to head out to the NonStop Trials Park to join her male dominated family and David Atwool for the afternoon.

Deborah is pleased to report that there were no spills or bruises and that she thoroughly enjoyed her first outing for the season.

Deborah was heard to comment that she wished she had made time sooner as she had a great time and felt contented with a huge sense of achievement after overcoming her fears and successfully reaching new heights.

Karl's last report on the World round final and then home

28th September 2008
Karl & Fujigas
Karl & Fujigas

The under development motorsport venue of Parcmotor, close to the town of Castelloli some sixty kilometres east of Barcelona was to play host to the final round. This motorsport venue will be used in moto G.Ps and also Formula One in the future and also some of the best Trials terrain in the world right on hand. On the way from the airport we drove past the Montesa factory on the way to the paddock and it was good to see it in the flesh and how big it was with all the man-made sections the team boys practiced on during the week of testing bikes.

Dougie Lampkin was telling us that the venue is one of their many practice areas that they used to use when he was riding for Repsol. So it was good to get some insight on the rocks and where to ride from him. We arrived around lunch time Friday and every one was out practicing so before I had a chance to say to Jake "let's go" he was saying "come on Karl, let's go". The practice site was one of the smallest we have been on this year and it was just man-made rock sections. As a minder you had to keep your eye out for incoming riders as guys were riding in all directions.

After lunch we had to walk the sections as the girls rode the world round on Saturday. We were thinking they were just going to be big dry rocky Spanish-type sections but were quite surprised that there was only one man made rock section and the rest were just under trees on natural rocks but were longer than normal and would be tight on time. Saturday was sign in and then practice from 11.00 till 1:30. After lunch I worked on Jake's bike and then it was up to section 15 to see the women ride the last section before Laia Sanz took her 8th world championship.

Sunday we set off in the middle of the youth grade. Jake finished off the day in 12th and finished off the year in 10th position. Alex Wigg came in 2nd for the weekend and also overall. James came in 7th and finished off in 8th for the year. After we finished we were able to watch the top riders ride section 15. It was a man-made rock section and was good to see the different lines the riders were taking. James, Michael Pume and Marc Freixa all got 5's, Dougie got a good 3, Fuji got a clean till the last rock but unfortunately got a 5 which cost him a podium finish. Raga and Fajardo lost 1. This section was very difficult until Toni Bou turned up. Toni Bou made this section look so easy with a clean. Toni celebrated his win by jumping on the rock and punching the air and then the crowd started chanting Toni Toni Toni. After the race it was time to say goodbye to James Dabill and Jack and others that we have gotten to know over the year.

Karl  trying out his new bike
Karl trying out his new bike

I would like to thank Future Trial for their support over this year and also Pat and Michelle for giving me the chance to support Jake this year in his adventure.

One more day at work to go until we fly home on Thursday and last night we had a going away dinner at Farbio Lenzi's house. Farbio is a very kind person and there could be a possibility for him to come to New Zealand in the future, we wish him and the team well in the TDN this weekend and in the future.

Looking forward to catching up with you all back home at NZ Champs, I have many stories to share from this year. Signing out from Italy.


Nelson Motorcycle Show

17th September 2008
Nick and Peter doing it in style
Nick and Peter doing it in style

More than 5,000 people flocked to the Motorcycle Show held at Nelson's Founders Park on September 14. The Rotary Club fundraiser event featured trade displays, classic bikes and an impressive lineup of big machines from the local Ulysses Club, as well as trials stunt riding by NonStop Adventure riders Andy, Nick and Peter Oliver.

A big crowd of spectators swarmed around the trials display area as each hourly show-time approached, and the Oliver boys made sure they were not disappointed. Nick and Pete warmed up the crowd by taking their motorcycles over the obstacles set up for the show courtesy of Goldpine, before handing over to Andy for an exciting display of bicycle stunt riding - especially popular with the kids in the audience. Nick and Pete then returned to take on the biggest of the obstacles in gravity-defying fashion, a sight that left spectators gasping.

Founders Park is a fantastic venue for this type of show, as motorcycles can be parked along streets lined with historic buildings. Perfect spring weather attracted large numbers of family groups, and the park offered plenty to entertain anyone who tired of looking at the huge array of bikes. The event was such a success that the Rotary Club is already making plans to repeat it next year.

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Portugal round & Jake winning the International grade

15th September 2008

We all flew out to Portugal early Thursday morning to set up for the last Euro round and 2nd last world round. The round was held in a town near Pardedes and the paddock was held in a car park of a newly built recreation centre. We were all set up by tea time and some of the boys sneaked out for an early practice. Friday morning was practice and was held on big grippy rocks. After a quick lunch it was out to walk the sections on the big loop.

The sections looked good with half on rocks and the other on the side of hills under gum trees with rocks. It was then time for sign on and scrutineering and we were informed that they were running an International grade as well as a European round so we decided to enter in the International grade as Jake can't take points in the Euro round as he is not a European.

Saturday and Jake had a good ride to get first place on the top step of the podium in the International grade. Alex Wigg had a great ride for the team to win the top euro grade and take 2nd over all for the year. After the race we prepared the bikes for the next day and just before dark four of us mechanics took the minder bikes up to the practice area for a play, was great fun to just hang out and try to out do each other on a hill climb. The mechanics are a great bunch of guys and will miss hanging out with them.

Sunday world round and Jake had another strong ride and was unlucky to finish out side the top ten with one five that Jake received for a kicker that had been moved out by the rider before him. Without this five he would of finished off the day in 8th spot. Competition is very tight over here and every point is so important.

Pit area
Pit area

Alex finished off with a strong 3rd in Junior and will have to wait till next year to take the top spot over all in Junior as French man Loris Gubian has taken the 1st place on points now and can't be beaten. James Dabill had a good ride to beat Marc Freixa on the day.

We stayed in the truck after the race Sunday night in the paddock so we could work on the Future bikes for this weekend (as the truck goes directly to Spain from Portugal) before flying home Tuesday morning.

Highlights for me for the Portugal race was Jake winning the International grade and riding the circuit between the sections as it felt like we were riding in people's back yards as the houses are so close together.

South Island Champs R5 & 6 -Review by Gordon Anderson

10th September 2008
Headquarters -South Island Champs
Headquarters -South Island Champs

Here was Gordon's (I'm Scottish don't tell me how to run things) roundup of the weekend after organizing his first Championship event -and what a success it was! Congratulations to Gordon, Catherine & Alison for their 'team' effort.


Hope you all got home safely after the weekend. Thanks to you all for turning up. It was great having a championship round again up here in SUNNY Nelson. There is more than enough data in the results to keep even the geekiest amongst you amused for hours, however for those of you that really just turn up for the camaraderie and friendship, I have saved you the bother and listed the high and lowlights of the weekend:


1. The weather!!!!!

2. The scenery and weather!!

3. You guys.

4. Jason Baker clinching his 10th SI Expert title. Is this unprecedented? Surely. Well done Jace. However.......

5. Nick Oliver for winning his first Championship Round in Expert grade (on brand new, never been ridden sections). Better keep practicing Jason!!

6. The weather.

7. Brady Inwood for surviving the Saturday on his first ever Clubman (Junior) competition, let alone championship competition. Welcome to the Champs Brady.

8. Stef Downes for wining the wet T-shirt competition, 2 days in a row.

9. Bryan Penney for returning after an absence of 2 years to take out Presidents on Saturday's tough did that feel Ross?

10. Callum Anderson for being the only person with a clean lap on the tough acclaim normally reserved for Steve (clean lap.again) Oliver!!.

11. Daniel Penney (ex SI Junior Champ) returning after an absence of 2 years. Unlike Samson, he has not lost any talent by cutting his dreadlocks off!! (Pioneer - Daniel is now in Chch. Ball is now in your court.).

12. The weather

13. No Brendon (all right for oil?) Wadsworth!!

14. Paul Jackson for 7 cleans on section 10 over the weekend. This must be incredible because Steve Oliver only managed 6!! That man obviously likes a rough ride!

15. Sam Reid for getting the better of Darryl on the Sunday. And I thought those long arms and legs were only an advantage for hanging on on the big stuff? Who knows what could have happend if he didn't have the bike problem Chch. Bring on the Nationals!!

16. The weather.

17. Dave Atwool, the first ever social rider at a SI Champ round. Well done Dave. You forced the use of an unprecedented number of trafficators in an event. Confused the s**t out of the Red and Yellow Dunedin boys. They don't need trafficators, they only use red and whites in their club trials!!

18. And finally, Bob Coke presenting the prizes. Fantastic to see you out there again Bob.
Hope to see you in Alex.

1. The most obvious LOWLIGHT must go to Steve Oliver who felt he had to imitate Roy Orbiston on Saturday night. Hope the eyes get better soon Steve.

2. Bryan (Bandito) Penney for not riding Intermediate!!!!. Nobody can hang on quite like you Bryan!! No pressure Bryan but just get up there. Have you never heard of Staus Quo!!..

3. Only one rider down from the North Island. Thanks for flying the flag Steve. Although according to Paul Jackson this is a highlight of the weekend.

4. The fact there is no Master's class to put Steve (Orbiston) Oliver into!!

5. The fact that the Junior Title had to be decided on a ruling after Callum and Blake had tied over the series each with three 1sts and three 2nds over the six rounds. Never mind Blake, home turf for the Nationals.

6. Me for ending up a miserable last in my own event. Not only last but finished off the weekend with 3 fives... in front of friends and family!! I'm sure next time will be easier.

Finally, a big thanks to our Championship sponsors, Trailsport NZ, Nelson & Marlborough Trials Centre and Kapiti Motor Cycles. Thanks guys, it all helps.

See you all in Alex.
Gordon Anderson

NonStop dominates the final showdown -SI Champs Rds 5&6

9th September 2008
Callum Anderson in fine form
Callum Anderson in fine form

Rounds 5&6 of the South Island Champs were held in Nelson on September 6 and 7. Fierce competition at Expert level was a highlight of the weekend, with Nick Oliver putting the pressure on defending champion Jason Baker on Saturday and finishing Day One in top place. Jason came back with a vengeance on Sunday to clinch his 10th South Island title, while Nick took the number 2 spot.

Nick was by no means the only NonStop rider to feature in the results. Peter Oliver won A Grade for the weekend to secure the top championship placing, and father Stephen did the same in Intermediate. In Junior Grade Callum Anderson dominated the weekend and managed to pip close rival Blake Fox for the top championship placing.

Over the weekend, NonStop riders ranked No.1 in five of the seven grades, and No. 2 in the remaining two grades. These results show that NonStop Academy training is really starting to pay dividends, thanks to the vision of Stephen Oliver and Bob Cooke and the support of Tasman District Council. This training facility - the only one of its kind in Oceania - has provided great opportunities for Top of the South riders to improve their skills, and NonStop looks forward to welcoming more riders from further afield to take advantage of its coaching programs and hone their skills on the stunning 88 Valley property.

The event had a relaxed atmosphere, with lots of family groups riding, observing and helping out. Sunny skies on both days put everyone in a great mood and, to judge from the smiles on people's faces as they headed home, provided the perfect antidote to a long, wet winter.

Many thanks to the Nelson club and observers for all the effort they put in to make this a top event.

Here is just one comment received from a first time observer of trials at the NonStop park - "Thanks for the opportunity to be up close to the action last weekend. It was very exciting and I had a great time. Apart from the skill level I was taken aback with the courtesy and friendliness of the riders. Almost everyone thanked me at the end and, while there was plenty of youthful exuberance with young guys hopping about for practice and fun, I saw none of this macho bravado sometimes associated with motor sports. It had a nice family atmosphere about it, and I'd like to thank the organising and "catering team" for looking after me (us).

Please let me know if/when there is a "have-a-go" day or similar, time permitting, I will give it a try".

Because of the success of this event, the Nelson Trials Group has confirmed that they are keen to host the South Island Champs in conjunction with the Oceania event, during Easter 2009. As this coincides with the school holidays, after the competition there will be a training camp at the NonStop trials park for anyone interested, with particular emphasis on Youth. You are welcome to contact Stephen or Gordon if you are interested.

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Idemitsu Ihatove trial roundup

8th September 2008
Narita and Oliver brothers
Narita and Oliver brothers

Nick & Peter arrived home safely after a full-on time in Japan extremely tired but very happy with their awesome adventure. They have many memories to cherish and consider themselves fortunate to have had this opportunity to return to the Ihatove trial so soon.
Yasuo Manzawa facilitated many meetings for them with strategic contacts in Yamaha and also a meeting with Kazuki Miyazawa (descendent of the poet who created the Ihatove name which means 'dream land'). This meeting was to get his formal permission to use the Ihatove name in the New Zealand Tasman Ihatove Trial.

Thanks to the large number of highly-skilled riders who entered, the Classic Class was even better than in recent years, and spectators went away very satisfied. Kuroyama and Nozaki, taking part in the Ihatove for the first time, were surprised by the high level of the sections and commented that they didn't lose so many points even in the All-Japan Champs. They also mentioned how much fun the course was and said they will have to come again, since the beautiful scenery they had heard about was all covered in mist.

Kenichi & Fumitaka Team Japan / Oliver brothers Team NZ
Kenichi & Fumitaka Team Japan / Oliver brothers Team NZ

Yasuo made the comment that 'Nick and Peter have improved immensely since two years ago'. Takumi, who rode with them, said that Nick was at the level of a Super-A Class rider, and his result reflected this. However, the fact that Takumi - who was practically raised at the Ihatove Trial - out-rode the current top riders to take first place really shows what a major presence he is on the trials scene.

Results were also very pleasing with top placing going to Takumi, followed by Nozaki, Nick & Kuroyama, then Ryo (Takumi's younger brother) with Peter not far behind. All five riders were on a level playing field competing on Scorpa 125cc bikes.

The boys were treated like sons by Yasuo Manzawa and the Narita brothers relate very well to the Oliver brothers with Takumi being 'big brother'. Nick and Peter would also like to thank all the Ihatove staff for their support and friendship which means a lot when you are away from home.
We at NonStop are looking forward to returning the hospitality to our Japanese friends when they compete at the Tasman Ihatove trial in 2010.

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