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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

Off Road Coaching Manual

9th September 2011

We are very pleased to announce that with the support of many, the publication of our first "Off Road Coaching Manual" is now available.

Coaching manual
Coaching manual

You or your friends may access the manual by emailing us requesting a hard copy or a high quality PDF version.

The manual is free; your only cost will be postage.

Alternatively you can click on the Coaching Manual button on the right of the page. This will give you access to download the manual from a lower resolution PDF. It has been very well received and with the endorsement from the MNZ Trials commissioner the manual is looking to be a valuable asset to the off road M/C fraternity.

Riding dirt bikes as a sporting activity ranks right up there with the best.
The excitement that is on offer, the adrenalin pumping or simply the freedom of exploring new terrain keeps us involved in the sport of off road riding.
Hopefully with the help of this manual you have gained some valuable tips on how to ride better and certainly with more control. We wish you many years of safe and enjoyable riding.

" Proud to be involved in Off Road Motorcycling in NZ"
Team NonStop


Time on the bike.

4th September 2011
Great back drop
Great back drop

With the imminent advent of the Masters grade, the founder of NonStop, Stephen Oliver has decided to put in some time on the bike.

He freely admits that it was high time that he brush up on some of the basics and continue to improve his skill level with regards to the more modern techniques.

Stephen had this to say: "It has been awhile since I spent some selfish time to work on my own riding but I feel it is necessary now that I have been given the opportunity to help Stef Downes.

Putting in the hard yards
Putting in the hard yards

This has been really great and has played a big part in giving me the extra enthusiasm I need to focus on my riding, which will in turn help me with Stef and her goals. Although I am fifty-one years old and some may see this as some what of a hurdle, I believe that it is even more important to maintain a reasonable level of fitness with a couple of rides a week.

If this is done then you are able to continue to ride and have a lot of fun on a trials motorcycle to a ripe old age.

However it is important to ride at a level that caters for your ability in order to avoid unnecessary injury.

Self preservation is right up there for me.

Stephen and Deborah have both put in many hours over the last decade to successfully lift the profile of the trials machine and the way in which it can be ridden; not only has this increased exposure it appears everyone else is also putting in a bigger effort.

See Flickr photo gallery "Stephen in Training"


2011 Idemitsu Ihatove Trial

30th August 2011
Kenichi kuroyama sets off on day one
Kenichi kuroyama sets off on day one

The 2011 Idemitsu Ihatove Trial has been another successful event with two fine days of sun shine.

Yasuo has quickly skyped us tonight to let us in NZ know the outcome and was very happy with the success of the weekend and the mood of the competitors. As he was about to leave for the closing ceremony he will give us a more detailed account of the weekend over the next week.

The event has maintained its high standard of "no casualties" with the 400 plus riders completing the course incident free with big smiling faces.

Shozo with both sons Takumi and Ryo were present as was Kenichi Kuroyama, having just competed in the Japanese round of the World Series only a week ago. Yasuo told us how Kenichi is quite the entertainer, performing for the riders at the welcoming function on the eve of the first day of competing.


1st major outing for Stef and her Beta

29th August 2011
Stef at the recent Sth Island Champs
Stef at the recent Sth Island Champs

It was the Weekend of the South Island Champs in Blenheim and the Beta 125's debut Trial. Going into the weekend I knew the biggest challenge for me was going to be getting used to the bike as I had only had it for just over three weeks. In that time I had been out riding as much as possible but riding a trial was a different story.

It was wet and I was keen to get in some good practice time in the wet conditions before the days riding began. A short ride down the road found me at an area with other fellow riders. I was still unsure as to how the Beta was going to react with certain obstacles so I tried a few different rocks, a bit of a slippery hill climb and a loose quarry rock slopes.

Great day out
Great day out

With a bit of experimentation I found my feet and was ready for the day ahead.
The sections on Day One were a mix of slippery climbs and descents, quarry rocks, and camber turns. After the first couple of sections things weren't really going to plan, I had collected two 3s and a 5. I was suffering from lack of confidence in what the bike could handle. I had so far been using second gear thinking that I may struggle for traction and power.

All I had ended up doing was riding too fast for the section and getting offline. There was also no real reason for me to assume I would struggle to find grip. So first gear was selected and once I had adapted found it to be much more user friendly. The rest of the day went well and I was pleased with the improvement in my riding.

Traction is not an issue for the 125
Traction is not an issue for the 125

Day Two and snow was on the forecast, it had rained most of the night, so it was looking wet. I was feeling a lot more comfortable on the bike after the previous day's efforts and looking forward to seeing the difference in the days riding ahead. The sections were similar to the day before with a couple of them being reversed. I got to open the Beta up on a couple of hill climbs, but a bit of a rock slab proved to be the highlight of the day for me. I had to be confident when attacking it as it was either you are up or you are not.

It had a good run up so I chose to use second and hit it with a few revs. The Beta handled it a lot easier than I had first thought and was more fun than daunting by the end of the day.

By the end of the weekend I no longer believed that it lacked power, it had plenty, enough to get me in trouble. Traction wasn't an issue. And there was no need to use higher than first gear purely for the reason of it's a 125. I did learn that you do need to ride it differently than a 250.

It needs more revs, clutch work and technique to get it to do the same thing but it did everything just as well providing you did all the above. But really the most important thing is that I had a great weekend and it was just so much fun to ride!


Stef coming to Grips with Beta

28th August 2011
Stef in great form
Stef in great form

Stef coming to Grips with Beta

I have just spoken to Stef and she has informed me that it was another very successful day and the machine is bedding in nicely.

Putting in the effort
Putting in the effort

Stef had this to say. "I have just finished tidying up the bike after Day 2. It's going well. Good thing about today was it was a club day out at the Pioneer Trials Park so there were other riders around and I could copy more of what they were doing. The Inters/Expert rider Glen Smith was out and I got to go with Glen, he gave me some training which I thought was quite good for me as it challenge me to do some things I had be avoiding on the new bike up to this point..

I was studying the photos last night, just seeing where my weight etc is on certain obstacles. The photo of the tyres I have included in this email inspired me to move my weight back as I struggled so much trying to get up them. They are those big tyres that you can only just get a full bike on. Glen was riding it so that he would get up on the first tyre where the front wheel would be hard up against the second and he would then attack the second.

I was quite surprised when I managed to do what I wanted it to do, which was to ride non stop by carrying the front wheel from off the bottom tyre to the next tyre and to my delight succeeded in reaching the top.

Overall I'm really impressed with the bike. I think it will be great when I have fully adjusted to it. I already feel very comfortable on it and can only see it getting better."


Stef Downes, goes 125

26th August 2011
Stef coming to grips with her new mount
Stef coming to grips with her new mount

Stef Downes has recently shelved the Scorpa and taken delivery of a new Beta 125 Evo.

It wasn't long before Stef had the machine all assembled and ready to ride.

The inaugural outing was at the Pioneer trials park.

Stef had this to say "The Beta is running well. We started out a bit slow just trying to get used to it and bed in some brakes. Some minor adjustments were required after the initial warm up period. Then threw it at some more serious stuff to see how it handled. Most things it did quite well, better than I expected for a first time out.

A couple of times I would do something and it almost wouldn't do it (bigger rocks) so would give it another go with a few more revs and we handled it way better. I definitely found that I will have to ride the clutch and be more aggressive with the throttle.

We have some concrete steps out at our area which the Scorpa does easy, at first it took a bit more effort on the 125 as you can not afford to be lazy. The power is there if you want it but I will need to work for it some more.

Great little bike
Great little bike

I can ride it just as slow, creeping around but using the clutch more. I have found that using clutch and holding the revs as opposed to just using the throttle. However this comes as no surprise as this is what I have been told to expect.

All in the entire bike feels great, soft suspension. Brakes are taking their time but will be good. The bike has an awesome lock and is really light. Power is a matter of getting used to.

A little more time on the bike and I will have it sorted".


Thirsty Work

4th August 2011
Thirsty Work
Thirsty Work

With just a few weeks left before this year's Idemitsu Ihatove Trial in Iwate (27-28 August), the organizing team is making the final push to get everything ready.


Gaining permission from multiple land-owners is no easy task in densely-populated Japan, but thanks to the great community relations fostered by Yasuo and his team, the locals are all looking forward to welcoming riders once again.


This year the organizers have had the extra challenge of working around disaster damage, but fortunately even the spectacular final seaside section is still usable, in spite of some new hollows gouged out by the tsunami.


The team have spent every weekend clearing sections in the summer heat and were relieved to get a cool day recently when the temperature was "only" 27 degrees. No wonder they work up a mean thirst!


Jake rises to the occasion in the Highlands

3rd August 2011
Jake in fine form at the British World Round
Jake in fine form at the British World Round

Jake Whitaker has ridden his last event in the northern hemisphere for 2011. The world round took place in Scotland at Fort William, in the same area as the famous SSDT, held every year for the past 100 years, which was celebrated only a few months ago.
Jake and his team arrived in Fort William on the Friday evening and early on the Saturday morning he headed out for some practice to familiarize himself with the very slippery conditions in contrast to previous weeks in Europe. After a couple of hours of tuning himself in he started to hone his technique and build his confidence, in order to take on what was in stall when the race began on Sunday.
After practice and taking a good look at the sections, it became very apparent that the riding in Scotland was going to be like no other world round that he has ridden. Jake made the comment that many of the sections reminded him of home.
The majority of the sections needed to be ridden non stop, just because they were so long and with this type of terrain it was much better if you are able to get into a good flow and keep as smooth as possible.
He started the event feeling really good and put in some great rides but as he tired he came a little unstuck and gave away a couple of threes on the longer more demanding sections, however, he made amends and put in some great rides on the more technical group of sections. He admitted that he was lacking consistency and added points to his tally with a few time penalties for running a little behind time after the long mountain trails. Even after these points incurred unnecessarily, Jake still managed to earn a well deserved top ten finish.
He explained that although this was a good result he was really hoping for something a little better as this was his last ride for the season and it would have been a great note to finish on. Fortunately this weekend's result was good enough to move him up the overall ladder board from 13th to a very respectable 10th place in the world championship with only two more rounds to go.
Jake now returns home to defend his current New Zealand and Australian Championship titles.


Stef in Trialing Paradise

24th July 2011
The weather Gods where kind all weekend
The weather Gods where kind all weekend

Great company, fantastic weather and two days of trialing in paradise, that most only get to dream about. This is the best way to sum up the first of several scheduled fun coaching weekends for Stef Downes at the NonStop Trials Park in the top-of-the-south. Stef is the newest member of the NonStop Team, and as already introduced in last months Kiwi Rider, is keen to take full advantage of what is on offer at this first class facility.

In Stef's own words, I never knew I would have so much fun under the watchful eyes of the Oliver men while coaching was in progress and this went on all weekend at varying levels. NonStop founder Stephen has a lot to offer and covers the basics in a very thorough manner pointing out that without this firm grounding and foundation it will be difficult for any rider to progress to their desirable grade in the sport. We would cover an area of riding technique and then go and have a play around and apply this in a fun environment.
The only real pressure is what one puts on themselves, and as Stephen pointed out, this is the way it has to be otherwise it just becomes far too serious and a chore.

The Team on the day
The Team on the day

On this occasion it was Stephen that was doing most of the coaching, while Nick and Pete gave a hand when needed.

The most important area that Stephen wished to address on our first encounter was the ability of riding smoothly and in full control, as in his opinion this is the first requirement before moving forward to the next level. Without this truly sorted it would always be unnecessarily difficult to master the more advanced techniques needed to be able to compete in the top grades.
While Stephen was concentrating on one-on-one training with me, without the distraction of fellow riders, the Oliver Boys "Team Xtreme" would be off in the distance which I could only describe as having fun and hooning around. Although they are ultimately egging each other on to try new challenges and having a great ride, it is also quite apparent that this is a fun way of bettering oneself and honing your bike skills.

It is very easy to see why the Oliver father and sons combination works so well as they can all ride together pushing each other to new heights, Stephen included. In fact, on many occasions, it is father that still leads the way and pulls off some crazy rides at which point Nick and Pete, in Pete's words," not to be outdone by an old fart," immediately lift the anti.

For me it was an opportunity of a life time to be able to hook up with this team and it has put a whole new meaning to enjoying my sport.

Stef  demonstrates great style
Stef demonstrates great style

All in all a great weekend

Side note from Stephen

We at NonStop are very impressed with Stef's riding ability and it has become apparent over this weekend that she is very capable and has developed an extremely smooth style of riding due in no small part to her father Brent, a long time campaigner of our sport. Stef has good technique and we believe the timing is now right for some extra input from the team at NonStop. Stef has a lot to offer and is at a level of maturity that she can put a considerable amount back into the sport. She has good people skills and will be a great role model for all newcomers to our sport and this is another area that Stef is keen to excel at. We at NonStop are keen to support Stef in all these areas and look forward to growing together for the betterment of trialing here and abroad.
This Coaching is kindly supported by NonStop Adventure NZ Ltd, Goldpine, MTF, Novus and many of our other partners, which make it possible for us to support members of our trials family and to help grow the sport.

» More images «

Podium for Jake

23rd July 2011
Jake finishes on the high note
Jake finishes on the high note

On Thursday night I rode in another Italian Indoor Championship, we arrived at the venue a few days earlier which was cool as the venue was very close to the sea so along with Jack Challoner, Davide Zaccagnini and a few of the other riders we went for a run to check out the sights along the beach, then jumped in for a swim to cool off.

Thursday afternoon I had the qualifying lap to ride in which didn't go to plan what so ever, We had a puncher on the first section landing a bit to heavily on a sharp steel edge of a skip bin, you only have 6 minutes to complete 4 sections so any any problems during that time have to be sorted fast, however we got back up and running and completed the lap loosing 6 points but 5 for time penalty's, I was very lucky to make the top ten and get into the semi final in 9th position.

Jake in full flight
Jake in full flight

I was feeling good on the bike and lost only 4 points in the semi final leading the event for awhile and finished the semi final in 2nd place, this still didn't secure me a spot in the final as only the top 4 riders go through and i had 4 dual lane races to get through i won two of them and lost 2 when you come second in these races you get 2 points added on to your score, with my two wins this gave me enough to make it into the final which was awesome and a big improvement from my first indoor event earlier in the season considering I didn't even qualify.

The sections in the final are much more difficult and bigger than the qualifying and semi final lap, I started the lap off with a 5 on a big steep after not realizing the bike had clicked into 4th gear after scrapping it along the edge of a pipe before the steep which gave me a big shock when i went to set off. It was then very close between all 4 riders and at the last section I was fighting for 3rd position, The last section was probably one of the most difficult and biggest and defiantly
the most ballsy thing I have had to do especially when I arrived at the top and had to drop off front wheel first 5 meters up.

I cleaned the section to finish with my best result of this year on the podium in 3rd position, i was really happy with the result along with the rest of the
team.

A big thanks to my team Top Trial everyone for there support Karl Clark for minding and again all of you back home for your words of encouragement.

This weekend on Sunday I have an Italian outdoor event which is held again on arena type sections in a place called Lazzate, I have ridden here in past years and have enjoyed it every time so I'm looking forward to getting back there and giving my best shoot for another good result.
cheers,
Jake


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