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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

Jotagas Debut Win

24th April 2012
Ross Dansy and the Victory
Ross Dansy and the Victory

Ross Danby and Jotagas win the 2012 Victory Trial.

Following on from a very positive 4th place result in the opening British Championship trial held at Nevis range last weekend Jotagas UK No 1 rider Ross Danby has claimed the first ever UK national Victory this weekend at the Victory trial for the new Spanish brand.

Ross had a fantastic ride losing just four marks in an inclement climate testing the new machines limits to the full.

Ross Danby "I am very pleased with the result and it's just reward for the effort that both my-self and importer Steve Saunders have put into making the machine a winner""This is a very important result for Jotagas and we will now concentrate on the Scottish Six Days trial in two weeks' time"

Jotagas are staring to gather momentum, the production of the machines is going well and the demand is high. And it is fantastic to see such great results being achieved at such and early stage.

Jotagas coming soon to NZ

22nd April 2012
The new Jotagas JT300 in action
The new Jotagas JT300 in action

By now most of you will have heard of Jotagas, the new trials and enduro manufacturer from Spain. The trials machines have just landed in Australia and will soon be heading to NZ.

"This is a really exciting time for the NonStop Adventure Team. We are honoured to have been chosen to import/distribute and represent this high quality JTG brand in New Zealand".

The people involved in the project are world class riders and development engineers so the burning desire to be the best lives on within them. Recent tests of the production machines, and magazine articles, confirm it is an incredible new machine and very desirable.

The latest issue (No.32) Trial Magazine UK has a test comparison of the Jotagas and Gas Gas 300 for those interested in finding out a bit more about the bikes.

Our good friend Steve Saunders has been testing the machines and he has given me great feed back saying that he is very, very happy to be importing these bikes, and that they will blow people away!

At this stage we will not be setting up a dealer network in NZ, as we feel that the market is too small to justify it. For the interim, bikes will be supplied via our Australasian Importer who we will be working very closely with, until the brand is established in NZ. I cannot speak highly enough of the Australasian team who are passionate and have a very professional approach.

Any enquiries should be directed to NonStop Adventure NZ Ltd and we will be able to offer a really exciting package when you purchase a bike from us. There will be a couple of options which will both give you a great start on your new Jotagas.

The first couple of bikes ordered have arrived in New Zealand, and although they are spoken for, a second shipment has already left Spain.

The NonStop team is keen to run a series of test days for those that are interested, so give us a call or drop us an email to register. You will then have the opportunity to see for yourself the quality and rideability of these new machines.

We can't wait to get started!"


Stephen, Deborah & the NonStop Team

Lots of Smiling Faces at NZIAT

29th February 2012
collaboration at its best
collaboration at its best

By Youji Ishiyama

The weather was perfect for both days of the 3rd NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial, and the event was full of smiles - on the faces of the riders and of Stephen Oliver and his organizing team.

This was my second NZIAT, following the inaugural event in 2010, and this time I opted for the Pursuit class (green line). I managed to end up in first place, but smiles mattered more than results. Just one look at the photos shows how much everyone enjoyed themselves. Although it was a competitive event, the great atmosphere over the barbeque lunch and the get-together at Club Waimea impressed me most of all.

Stephen mentioned that the biggest plus this year was the leading role his three sons played in the preparations, and all the dedicated behind-the-scenes work put in by his wife Deborah, not to mention the help of his parents Allan and Lorraine, who came all the way from Christchurch. Having seen the whole family's happy faces, I am confident that future events will be just as successful.

By the way, Team NonStop member Stef Downes hopes to ride in the Idemitsu Ihatove in the next two or three years. Japanese riders are looking forward to meeting Stef and competing with her.

I rode this year's event with Allan Boot, and as he said in his 2011 article, the NZ Ihatove really is an experience to put on your bucket list!

Sun and Fun at 3rd NZIAT

29th February 2012
smiles all round
smiles all round

Sunshine, happy faces, stunning scenery and great riding: does life get any better? Once again the NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial came up with the perfect recipe for summer fun, and all-new sections plus an innovative grading system put the icing on the cake.
This year's NZIAT featured a warm-up non-stop trial on Saturday, followed by the main Ihatove event on Sunday. Forty-odd riders gathered on Saturday morning, and the bikes included an impressive range of beautifully restored classic and twin-shock machines. Guest rider Youji Ishiyama of Japan was back to ride his second NZIAT, joined by local riders of all ages.
The Day One course consisted of 12 sections, with entrants riding two laps. Groups of riders started at different points on the course, and with no queues the riding was relaxed with plenty of time for advice, encouragement and joking around. Everyone was finished by early afternoon and riders made quick work of the generous barbeque lunch. For those with energy remaining, the rest of the afternoon was spent in laid-back practice with some impromptu coaching by Nick and Pete Oliver. Yakking and snoozing also proved popular options.
On Saturday night everyone gathered at the Waimea Club for an evening of catching up and recounting the highlights of the day over drinks and dinner. To round off a great day, prize certificates were awarded in a wide range of classes.
Sunday dawned fine again, and fortunately there was some cloud to keep things a touch cooler as the day progressed. This year's main Ihatove event comprised two big trail loops with a superb array of sections set out along the way, many of them brand-new. In the best Ihatove tradition it was a day of flowing sections that were always challenging but never dangerous, soaring trails, spectacular views, and plenty of laughs.
The new grading system (white/blue/green/yellow/red) provided lines suited to riders of all abilities, and everybody seemed to find their ideal level. With the event now in its third year, organization was slicker than ever and the format was fine-tuned to provide just the right amount of riding in the summer heat. Congratulations to the NonStop Adventure team for putting together another hugely enjoyable Ihatove trial.

Scottish Style Two Day Trial

26th February 2012
Ishi showing off his Team shirt
Ishi showing off his Team shirt

The 2012 NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial has come and gone for another year and what a great weekend it turned out to be. Nelson lived up to its sunny reputation with the third weekend in February once again bringing ideal weather.

After many weeks of hard work and preparation by Stephen, Deborah, Nick, Peter & Andy, it was great to welcome everyone to Nelson and see so many happy faces. With a similar number of riders to last year the organisation ran smoothly and we were able to introduce some new initiatives, which proved popular with all riders, in preparation for 2013.

We would like to thank everyone for their feedback, which will help us fine tune this event for everyone in future years. We were pleased with the response and suggestions. We have already come a long way since the inaugural event in 2010 and the demand for this unique event will ensure it remains a permanent event in the trials calendar.

Our good friend Yasuo Manzawa has always insisted that growth will be in proportion to experience and now that we have a good team on board helping with the preparation and the weekend's activities, we see a bright future for the NZ Ihatove. Founder, Stephen Oliver, thanked his family and team of volunteers for all their help, and this year actually managed to enjoy the camaraderie along with everyone else. He can see the advantage of a good event 'recipe' and how important it is to have skilled, enthusiastic team members on board.

Our guest rider this year was Youji Ishiyama (Ishi), who is now officially a NonStop team member, and proud to wear the 'team' shirt, even in the Japanese winter snows. He was accompanied by his wife Kikumi, and he tells us that they are already looking forward to their next trip to New Zealand.

This year's format proved to be an improvement on last year, as we are keen to give the competitors options rather than being tied to the same-old-same-old. Following the example of the Japanese Idemitsu Ihatove Trial our event is based on the Scottish Six Day Trial which makes this event like no other currently run in New Zealand. Incorporating both trail time and trials sections, across a range of picturesque terrain the ride gives plenty of time on the bike, enjoying beautiful scenery and enabling a large variety of challenges along the way.

With five lines and seventeen classes, all riders were able to choose a suitable category which suited their bike, age and ability. All riders unanimously agreed that this allowed them to ride within their comfort zones for the weekend, yet still retain the challenge of competition. Judging by the smiles on everyone's faces it was a popular decision.

Although we will continue to call it the NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial we have added the slogan 'Scottish Style Two Day Trial (SSTDT)' so people within the motorcycling fraternity will have a better understanding of the event.

We continued with the social evening and prize-giving on Saturday night, which was extremely popular. This included a slide and video show of previous NZ & Japanese Ihatove events and the facility allowed us to socialise as a group with a restaurant and bar on tap. This will be our regular haunt until we outgrow it!

We are already planning for next year's must-do event for 2013 with the confirmation that Steve Saunders and his son will be our special guest riders.

This news has generated a lot of interest from several other international visitors that are keen to take part. As always, we will continue to keep you informed.
With Steve Saunders visit to Nelson it will make sense to take full advantage of what he has to share and so with this in mind we are intending to run a third day at next year's event.
Friday will be dedicated to the Steve Saunders Boot camp which will be open to everyone at all levels. We will start the morning off covering the basics and advancing as the day progresses; there will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions and get to know Steve.
Saturday will be the NZ NonStop Trial where everyone should be on fine form after the wisdom and insight learnt from Steve from the previous day.
Sunday will be the fun filled NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial.
Ihatove photos in flickr

Heath test rides the JTG300

12th February 2012
Freezing cold, but Heath has the warm fuzzies
Freezing cold, but Heath has the warm fuzzies

.. Steve Saunders, the UK distributor of Jotagas, took delivery of a couple of the JT300's just in the nick of time to get them to the Telford classic show for the public to see in the flesh over here for the first time. 2 days after the show a lucky few dealers and myself got to sling a leg over the machine and see what it was really like.

I had watched all of the Pol Tarres videos that have been popping up online to give me tips ... !
The venue for the ride will be familier to all those either in the West Country or who attended the BVM test day in November last year. Something I am sure you will remember is the mud, and how it just seems to stick to everything and polish off to leave an almost gripless surface. Just to add a bit of excitement it had also snowed over the weekend and then frozen!! This was going to be a test that I doubt it would have had so far back in Spain.

We will start... at the start! Pol Tarres is about 9 foot 7, so the bike looked small in the vidoes. Well let me tell you, it's bloody small even when 5 foot 11 me stands near it. The dry weight is 64kg's so with a couple of litres of fuel and oil in the legs and gearbox i reckon 68kg's tops. It is very low slung at the seat area and the thin swooping head brace on the frame makes it look even lower. Because of the flat frame/tank area it does look a little wide when you stand on it and look down but like the Ossa it is an optical trick... this bike is seriously small.

Steve goes vertical
Steve goes vertical

The frame is Aluminium and very well finished, and of course the bit that all will have noticed is the side mounted rear shock. Because of this position you get masses of room in front of the rear tyre, even the Cotswold stone/clay/mud and snow couldn't get any where near bunging this up. In fact I would say you would need to pick up a hefty branch, rock or something similar to cause any blockage problems on the JTG. (see image below) Steve had fitted some small spacers on the front mudguard stay which prevented any issues at that end as well...

The side shock and linkage obviously brings concerns about whether it will intefere with your boot or leg whilst riding. I ride with my ankle close to the frame, no idea why just something I have always done, and didn't get any feeling of getting caught in the shock. The only issue I had was with the lower shock mounting bolt. My boots are a bit worn and have a ridge in them just at the point of the bolt head, and I felt it catch under the bolt a few times. A dome head allen key bolt thingy would completely cure that. The rear silencer and it's guard protrude enough that whilst moving your weight around on drops, climbs etc it keeps you well away from the shock and spring. And talking of the rear suspension... blimey! It tracks so well and climbs over anything without trying to ping you up in the air. I was watching Steve and Dan from Amped ride the rocks and tree stumps and the rear just stuck to the ground and pushed the bike over, if you want to pop it off the ground you can just flex your legs but for the ordinary rider like me it just rode over everything with no drama....

Plenty of clearance
Plenty of clearance

... so the ride was superb, great feedback but no tendancy to try and make a trick rider out of you. On to the engine, and I was a bit concerned that the 300 may not have been the best bike to let everyone just get on and try. How wrong I was, it was powerful, yes, but as smooth as anything.

I have only ridden a trials bike 5 times in the last year, and two of those have been on 30 year old or more machines, but at no time did I ever feel it was taking me away. No doubt if you grab a handful in the wrong situation it would fly but there was no sense that i was on a bike too powerful for me. Steve did show us that it has more than enough for the biggest of sections but it doesn't seem to want to kill you from the off!

very functional
very functional

I did mention the finish on the frame but it is worth mentioning the overall engineering, it is very good with some neat little touches. They have changed the very noticable rear brake pedal from the one seen at the launch in November, and it sits out of the way and works very well. The engine outer side casings are not plastic as used by almost all other marques but alloy, the front brake pipe has a neat little clamp/guide on the front forks, the beautiful forged swing arm, lovely S3 cylinder head and the fuel tank vent pipe that isn't part of the fuel cap.

The bike come fitted with a good smattering of S3 parts including the Hardrock footrests which, as we found out on the day, allows the mud to drop straight thru... that was my pet hate of the Beta's, the cupped standard footrests that trapped mud.
From my couple of rides I can say that the bike tracks well, steers very well (the turning circle was very tight without pushing the wheel out) and the riding position was spot on for me with no adjustments needed. The new Formula front brake was good and the bendy lever thingys seem like a very good idea. And to answer many peoples question about what did it feel like comared to other bikes... it seems to have the best of the Beta rolled together with the best of the GasGas. Great modern engine with the Beta type ride quality. It has loads of power but it is delivered smoothly and the bike seems to grip on stuff that I can never find grip on...! Actually, nearly forgot, I saw something possibly never seen before... Steve Saunders looped the bike! On the big, steep and muddy climb he blasted up at the end It got so much grip he stepped off the back and managed to save it from the trees... just!

So as you can see I loved it, but the proof of the pudding is when you try one. Steve is presently introducing his dealer network to the bike and sending feedback directly back to Jordi Tarres at the factory. Shortly the dealers will have a limited supply of the bikes themselves so check out your local JTG stockist and have a try yourself and make your own mind up.
Many thanks to Steve Saunders (jotagasuk) for the invite and to the Dan & John from Amped for indulging my flash gun!!

Testing Section

28th January 2012
Ihatove host Nick checking out sections
Ihatove host Nick checking out sections

Nick has been the 'test dummy' for some of the Ihatove sections for this year's event and has pronounced them all ride able.

Nick, Andy and Peter are looking forward to hosting riders again this year and enjoying seeing everyone having a great ride with great company in a great location.

We have been working hard to add some new challenges this year with both new trail and sections being opened up. There is so much potential that NonStop intend to continue developing the park and the Ihatove event in the future.

» More images «

Disturbing the Locals

27th January 2012
Wild piglets making a quick exit
Wild piglets making a quick exit

During the preparations for the 2012 Ihatove we have been disturbing the locals who find it entertaining to have a regular visit from the Oliver clan as they go about their task of trail and section setting in their backyard.

The weather has been treating us kindly and we can honestly say summer has finally arrived.
February is shaping up to be a repeat of last year of quite warm temperatures. As there is plenty of growth in the grass after all the rain we are predicting the grass will be a potential fire hazard; so if anyone has their own portable fire extinguisher, please bring them along. We will have a supply as well.
We work on the theory that if you have it covered it most likely won't be needed.

Herd of deer keeping a close eye on us
Herd of deer keeping a close eye on us

As you will see by the photo of our little piglet friends we have encountered on numerous occasions a number of different litters with combinations of colours and at this point as they are not aware that humans are a threat we have been able to get quite close before they do a runner.

The herd of deer was a surprise but quite a special sight to see so many close at hand and the bulls were rather intimidating but never fear they were just being stored on the property for the recent Rodeo.

Great Asset

25th January 2012
Honda quad "Great asset"
Honda quad "Great asset"

With the addition of the NonStop quad bike this year grooming the trail and sections further afield on the Hunt's property 'Highfield Farm' over the bridge has been more achieveable and has saved a lot of time and hardship getting equipment to and from the track.

Stephen has enjoyed the ride and the views and has mentioned on numerous occasions how impressed he has been with the smooth torquey engine and stability on some of the steeper terrain, although he is fully aware that complacency can end in disaster on such a machine which once started will bounce their way to the bottom!

Thanks to the recent Nelson floods one of the more remote gullies on this part of the track which was popular last year, has become even more accessible for some great riding.

Family Time Out

23rd January 2012
Great company / fun times
Great company / fun times

The Oliver clan took a break from Ihatove preparation to enjoy the company of local riders Paul, Tony & Greg, not to mention the new grandsons Logan and Charlie and their doting mums Ember and Megan.

Once again three generations were on show and it will be a great occasion at the Ihatove in February to have the opportunity for a photo shoot of the four generations all together when great grandparents Allan and Lorraine Oliver arrive.

It is good to have Allan well on the road to recovery after last year's setback. Him & Lorraine are in good spirits and looking forward to this year's event. With the addition of the quad bike Allan will have an alternative means of transport to keep a video and photo log of the action.

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General Enquiries to Stephen & Deborah Oliver
P O Box 752, Nelson, New Zealand
Tel: 64-3-545 1053
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