New Zealand Trials News
Jotagas Debut Win24th April 2012
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 NZ22nd April 2012
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 NZIAT29th February 2012
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 NZIAT29th February 2012
Scottish Style Two Day Trial26th February 2012
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.
Heath test rides the JTG30012th February 2012
.. 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 ... !
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.
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....
... 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!
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.
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.
Testing Section28th January 2012
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.
Disturbing the Locals27th January 2012
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.
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 Asset25th January 2012
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 Out23rd January 2012
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.
General Enquiries to Stephen & Deborah Oliver
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