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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

Tasman Ihatove Trial!

10th August 2008
Tasman District Mayor Richard Kemphorne
Tasman District Mayor Richard Kemphorne

Posted by:Yasuo Manzawa on the Japanese Idemitsu Ihatove site
Posted on: August 7

The Oliver family are now preparing for the NZ-version Ihatove Trial to be held in two years' time, and the event will be called the Tasman Ihatove Trial! Tasman is the name of the region where the event is to be held. Tasman District Mayor Richard Kempthorne (pictured) has told Stephen he wants to support the event. Mr. Kempthorne has also recorded a DVD message for the Ihatove zenyasai. We are looking forward to hearing what he has to say. Stephen's enthusiasm and dynamism are really something! Take a look at the related article in Issue 2 of the "Ihatove News".


Article in Issue 2 of "Ihatove News" section of the Ihatove website

"Fun Sports Tourism in Iwate" is a Hit in NZ

In Issue 1 of "Ihatove News" I wrote that the Oliver family is working hard to make the "NZ-version Ihatove trial" a reality in two years' time. It has now been decided that the event will be called the Tasman Ihatove Trial. Naturally the event concept and the scoring system will be just like the original Ihatove Trial.

Tasman is the name of the region where the event will be held. When Stephen showed the Tasman District Mayor the presentation I put together for my lecture at Iwate University entitled "Fun Sports Tourism in Iwate," the Mayor got straight on board and said he wanted to support this form of tourism.

New Zealand has a much longer tradition of motor sports than Japan, with trials competition stretching back more than 60 years. It is also the birthplace of Burt Monro (the central figure in "The World's Fastest Indian") and John Britten (the highly talented motorbike designer and manufacturer). To have the Idemitsu Ihatove Trial recognized in this way by the Oliver family, who are extremely well-informed about trials, is not only a most welcome turn of events for us, but a big point of pride in the history of Japanese motor sports.


Nick and Peter to Go to Hanamaki on the Day After the Trial
Posted by: Manzawa
Posted on: August 8

We needed to get formal approval from the Miyazawa family for naming the NZ-version Ihatove Trial the "Tasman Ihatove Trial", so today I called Kazuki Miyazawa (pictured), who gladly gave his consent.

The important point about the naming of the trial is not just to explain what the word "Ihatove" means, but also to tell people in New Zealand about Kenji Miyazawa's way of thinking. Fortunately Stephen can put anything into English and communicate it to the world, so this will be a chance to spread knowledge about Kenji Miyazawa's thoughts.

In that context, I have asked Kazuki if he could prepare something in English explaining Kenji Miyazwa's mindset. I understand that Miyazawa's works have been translated into English, but it would broaden the scope of the Tasman Ihatove Trial if these were supplemented by something officially approved by the Miyazawa family that explains Kenji Miyazwa's thinking in English.

I'd like to have Nick and Peter visit Hanamaki on the day after the trial to accept this directly from Kazuki Miyazawa and take it back to New Zealand. The Tasman District Mayor is sending a DVD greeting for the Ihatove zenyasai, so if he can also see this document explaining Kenji's thinking I think he will understand something of the philosophy behind the term "Ihatove".

I will take Nick and Peter to Hanamaki in the afternoon of the day following the trial - thanks for your understanding, everyone.



Team Italia / Italy Championship

27th July 2008
Team Italia gets the thumbs up from Jake & Braxton Clark
Team Italia gets the thumbs up from Jake & Braxton Clark

Here is Karl's latest report -
Team Italia has got to be right up there with the best in the world with their organization at events and what they are doing for the youth of the sport.

We have just had the latest round on the weekend and they used their new podium truck for the 1st time at the Italy Championship.

It all folds out to a built in podium/ live score board /clock and music sound pumping.

The scores are coming in live on the big screen from the observers with cell phones.

Before the rider starts the section the observer types in their bib number and then what ever points the rider looses for that section it gets put on the cell phone and his score card by the observer and then comes up on the big screen live back at the pits from the cell phone.

Most of the teams have a mechanic back at the pits to keep an eye on the big screen to see how the other riders are going though out the day in the top grade.

Then the mechanic will ring the team manager out on the circuit to let them know what their rider needs to get on the section or for the lap.

The man made sections are some of the best I have seen this year and they go to a lot of effort to make these. The pits were held in a car park in the middle of a town.

Team Italia has a new podium truck
Team Italia has a new podium truck

They have between 100 and 150 riders to most races and the youth sections are separate to the top 3 grades sections. The Observers are the same observers all year and are paid to travel to the rounds.Team Trucks in the pits are as big as at the world rounds.

The queues to line up for the sections still make Jake and I laugh when we see the arguments that go on between the riders with pushing in to get to the start gate. It is so tight on time for the day and with having so many riders you have to just fight to get to the section.

Most riders have their own mechanic to hold their bike while the Rider and minder look at the section so they don't get behind in the line by too much.

The rules are that the mechanic can hold on to the bike but can not stop another rider getting past if he wants to get in front.

Podium/ live score board /clock and music sound pumping.
Podium/ live score board /clock and music sound pumping.


Team Italia are very stuck on the rules and they will open up engines if they think it is needed. On the weekend team Italia opened 4/5 engines after the race to make sure the riders on the 125cc were 125cc.

The youth riders even have their own minders and are very vocal in the section.

They have youth classes which are up to 16 and then journo /Master/ which is similar to our A grade back home. Senior grade is about the same as our Expert back home. And their top grade is hard.

I would say some of the sections would be as hard as world rounds top grade but not all with a few easier ones thrown in there.

James Dabill said that Spain is the only country that is running sections to the same standard as the world rounds in top class.


South Island Championship Rounds 4 & 5

23rd July 2008
Slippery conditions were the order of the day
Slippery conditions were the order of the day

Christchurch's Pioneer M/C club hosted rounds 4&5 of the South Island Champs this weekend. The sections had been well marked, with a lot of thought put into the organising of the event.

The members of the Pioneer club are to be congratulated for their efforts and friendly approach. This all made for an enjoyable weekend of trials riding despite the very slippery conditions underfoot. Both of these rounds proved challenging for all riders with high scores recorded in all grades. The results are posted on the Pioneer web site and below.

NonStop are happy to report that our Nelson team performed well, taking podium positions in five of the six grades.

The father-son combination of Gordon and Callum Anderson secured first place in the junior grade (Callum) and second in the clubman grade (Gordon).

Nick gives it his all
Nick gives it his all

Stephen Oliver enjoyed riding on familiar territory, as neither property was new to him. Having ridden at Kaituna Valley many times in his early years, Stephen felt quite at home on the slippery terrain. This showed in the results, where he took out first place in his grade with a very tidy score.

Youngest son Peter earned a well-deserved first place in the A grade and his older brother Nick secured a hard-fought 2nd place in the elite Expert grade.

Both Nick and Peter showed their frustration at times during the course of the event, as many of their sections where not achievable on foot, let alone on a motorcycle. But as their father said, it is all character-building and helps to train the mind to deal with hardship, which is great for life in general. Having said that, the boys thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and were on a high note all the way back to Nelson that evening.

The final two rounds, 5&6, are to be held in Nelson on the first weekend in September. Things are shaping up for an exciting showdown.

» Event Results «
» More images «

Classy Clothing

8th July 2008
Boys strike a pose
Boys strike a pose

Nick & Pete are proud to show their new Goldpine sponsored riding apparel which was unveiled at the Mystery Creek Field Days.

Thanks to Goldpine the boys not only have a great set of Goldpine branded shirts and trousers but also a full set of NonStop Adventure shirts with our major sponsors, trousers and new sponsored helmets displaying the Goldpine, NonStop and Ihatove logos.

We think you'll all agree that they look great and portray a professional image to the general public and lifts the profile of both NonStop Adventure and the sport of trials.

It is only through the assistance of great companies like Goldpine that our minority sport is able to make a mark in the New Zealand public arena.

Both of these sets of sponsored riding apparel will be worn overseas, firstly in Japan in August, as we proudly acknowledge our sponsors not only Nationally but also Internationally.

» More images «

Winter Warm-Up

7th July 2008

A couple of weeks have passed since the Goldpine/NonStop Display team performed at Mystery Creek..

Nick keeps it serious while Pete clowns around
Nick keeps it serious while Pete clowns around

The boys had a great time and were totally exhausted upon their return, so we decided to have a couple of weeks off the bikes to rekindle their enthusiasm and catch up with girlfriends.

It must have worked, as both Nick and Peter were very keen for a ride this weekend despite the cold winter conditions. The 3rd and 4th rounds of the South Island Champs are only a couple of weekends away and the Ihatove event in Japan is getting closer by the day.

The boys went out on Saturday and had such a great time they headed out again the next morning for another full on day.

Nick and Peter would like to offer special thanks to Goldpine for the fantastic winter jackets that the team were supplied with at the Field Days. As you can see from the photos the boys kept warm, helping to make the winter ride a much more pleasant experience.

» More images «

Hot riders

6th July 2008
"Hot riders"
"Hot riders"

The 32nd Idemitsu Ihatove trial is approaching quickly for the two youngest Oliver brothers of NonStop Adventure. The boys have just received a poster from Yasuo Manzawa the founder of the event, promoting the upcoming trial.

2008 Idemitsu Ihatove poster
2008 Idemitsu Ihatove poster

It was very pleasing to see that our New Zealand representatives are pictured alongside Kenichi Kuroyama and Fumitaka Nozaki. As mentioned in the previous article, Nick and Peter will be riding with these top world class riders. This will be an invaluable experience and a once in a life time opportunity.

The boys' good friend Takumi Narita will also be taking part and we are told that Takumi will be the team leader. Takumi speaks good English so communicating as a group will not be a problem.

All three Japanese riders have competed at world class competition level and Takumi and Kenichi have been on the podium numerous times during their trialing careers.

The heading above the four is an introduction of New Zealand's and Japan's "Hot riders" and tells that they will be performing a demonstration on the friday evening before the event.


Trials riders and the environment

5th July 2008

Takumi Narita recently played a major role in the section designing for the 2008 Motegi World Trial Championship held in Japan .

Takumi Narita
Takumi Narita

Takumi makes the point that trials is an environmentally-friendly motor sport: "Some people have the impression that trials is just about damaging the environment on motorbikes, but trials enthusiasts love both motorcycles and nature, and value the environment.

By communicating this message to people who have had no involvement with trials, I hope that this event, set out in an area where spectators can enjoy the natural woodland environment, will get more people interested in the sport."

"Takumi Narita also heads a Trials Academy for the MFJ (Motorcycle Federation of Japan) that trains the riders of the future. He recommends the use of 125cc bikes."

"Last year Narita entered the All-Japan Champs in International A Grade riding a 125cc machine and proved the potential of 125cc bikes by winning the championship spectacularly." We at Nonstop posted several articles on this topic (see Trials News and Trials Torque).

NonStop are pleased to announce that Nick and Peter will again get the opportunity to ride with Takumi and as an added bonus have the company of two of Japan's top champions Kenichi Kuroyama and Nozaki san when competing in the World's largest trial, in this years 32nd Idemitsu Ihatove event in August.


Many Hands Make Light Work

2nd July 2008
Many hands make light work
Many hands make light work

The Idemitsu Ihatove Trial organizers had a big day last weekend, with two teams heading out to clear sections for the upcoming event.

"You make fast progress with this kind of down-to-earth work when you get a big group together, plus I really feel it's more enjoyable that way" says Ishiyama-san.

"It also reminded me how many great trails there are on the Classic course and just how beautiful the mountain scenery is, with its farmhouses and fields."

The team has a busy time ahead, with working bees already scheduled for every weekend in July.

NonStop Adventure would like to wish Yasuo Manzawa and his passionate team all the best in their preparation for the up-coming Idemitsu Ihatove event.


Karl reports in from Italy

1st July 2008
Toni Bou signs autograph for Braxton and Jake
Toni Bou signs autograph for Braxton and Jake

As you all know Karl Clark and this family, wife Debbie and two sons Jake junior and Braxton are all living in Italy while Karl has been doing a great job as Jakes minder. Both Karl and Jake are part of the prestigious TRW factory team.

Karl has been posting regular articles on Brendan's NMTC web site. So check this site out, it has up to date Reports on this once in a life time experience.

Article Kindly supplied by the Nelson Marlborough Trials Centre. You can access Brendan's site from our "Thanks to our partners" Link on the right of this page.

Karl had this to say.

Tolmezzo was the 6th round which was four hours north from the factory close to the Italy boarder. We are getting some really hot weather now as when we arrived there in the afternoon it was 39 degrees at 6pm, pit set up was in a big car park in the middle of town. Friday morning was sign in, practice and walk the sections, it was a big loop with lots of road driving to be done, and one of the riders didn't stop at the lights and got a ticket. Saturday night was a rider presentation in the middle of town and a Miss Tolmezzo competition as well. Jake even got to take a hot babe up on stage when he was called up at prize giving.

Saturday was a European round which Jake was doing as well, as the junior class is 125cc and ride the same sections as the youth world round the next day. The top Euro grade ride the Junior world grade line, and no rider in the top world 15 from last year can compete in the European class to give other riders a chance. Michael Brown won this grade and will be the guy to take it out this year.

Karl preparing Jake's TRW machine
Karl preparing Jake's TRW machine

After the race it was time to get Jakes bike ready for the next day and get an early night.

Sunday was another hot day and was going to be a close finish time as we were going to catch up with the top riders and needed to over take them to finish on time. We caught up to the top 10 on our 1st section on the second lap so it was a good chance to pass them as they spend a lot of time looking at there 1st few sections. All worked out good and finished with time to spare. Jake finished in 11th and beat the guy that is in front of him in the overall results.

This was the first time that Debbie and the boys got a chance to get to a world round and see the sights. The boys got to meet Toni Bou and Laia Sanz, got there signature on there caps, Laia even wanted to give the boys a KISS but they weren't keen (I am sure they would of if they were 10 more years older) Ha Ha,

Dibs had a good ride to come in 6th and Wigg had a hard day and things didn't go his way with some observer calls. Bou, Raga and Fuji were riding really well again and I am still amazed to see what they can do.

The Team Repsol truck with all the bikes inside it and Fuji's motor home turned up at the factory today to park up till Friday so they don't have to drive back to Spain before this weekend.

We are busy getting all the bikes ready for the next round this weekend in Czech Republic and head off on Friday morning.

Jake and I will be keen to close the gap on the guy in front in 8th over all.

Cheers

Karl


Ihatove Trial Team Gets Cracking!

26th June 2008
Yasuo Manzawa and his Ihatove Team
Yasuo Manzawa and his Ihatove Team

The Idemitsu Ihatove Trial organizing team is already busy preparing for this year's event, scheduled for August 30 and 31.

August probably seems a long way off for Nick and Peter Oliver, who will be heading to Japan to ride in the trial, but for the Ihatove staff it's just around the corner.

First they have to check every forest trail and hill track in a course that runs 400 km from mountains to sea. Then there's the mammoth task of clearing vegetation from all the sections. June is the rainy season in Japan, and humid summer conditions mean there is always plenty of new growth to be cleared. Plus there's the important task of making courtesy calls on the many local businesses that support the event, and coordinating with major corporate partners including oil company Idemitsu, Yamaha and TV Iwate.

Fortunately they have a highly experienced and motivated team to get stuck into all this work. Go for it, guys!

We are sure your efforts will make the 32nd Idemitsu Ihatove Trial another outstanding event.


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