New Zealand Trials News
2012 NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial18th July 2011
Work has begun on the 2012 NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial, to be held in Nelson on the 18th & 19th of February.
Those that are happy to pay in advance may wish to take advantage of the Early Bird Entry (10% disc on Ihatove event), which is available until 31st Dec 2011.
Japanese Ihatove Team17th July 2011
With just over a month to go the Japanese Ihatove team are busily finalising sections for the 2011 event in August.
News Flash11th July 2011
Jake had a fantastic ride in Italy on the weekend while contesting the European Championship. Against the world's best riders, with the help from his minder Karl, Jake rode well all day on the Saturday to finish fifth.
These results have kept Jake in good stead to achieve his goal of a top ten finish at the end of the 2011 season.
Winter is finally upon us.9th July 2011
Steve gets a phone call from youngest son Pete who wants to have a ride on the 2RT which he is quickly growing fond of. They both agree just a quick ride on the rocks by the Haven was in order.
He managed to pull out a stylish performance and Steve managed to capture some great shots to add to the Flickr gallery. (See the Flickr link on the right hand menu.)
Over the last couple of weeks NRC (the NonStop Research Centre) has put the finishing touches to the 2RT, upping the power delivery slightly and freshening up the rear end with the added mod of lowering and positioning the foot pegs slightly further to the rear of the machine. This was one of the reasons why Pete was keen to give it another try out on some more technical terrain.
Pete's comments were that it feels good and I'm happy to ride this bike as it is a little bit lighter and slightly more manoeuvrable than his 4RT, although he did add that the four-stroke is still the most fun to ride when just out for a hoon.
Growing the Sport8th July 2011
The overarching hurdle that any change needs to pass is:
Unlike our Northern Hemisphere compatriots, so many of us in New Zealand, young and old, are in fact lucky that we can still enjoy our trials riding, without too many restrictions and encumbrances.
We have debated rule changes about sections, marking, observing and grades every year and with every change of MNZ personnel.
All sports face the same dilemma, where there is a change in personalities and thoughts, all are keen to leave their mark so they feel that their time in their new role has been worth while.
For instance, in my experience of trying to encourage new people into the sport, the No- Stop rule would definitely be favourite. Also I believe as a spectator that this style of riding is favoured by the general public.
If we took the really radical step of actually asking all those out there who ride, organise and observe which observing rules they would vote for, the result would most likely swing towards "Stop allowed" as that is what most of today's riders have become used to.
I am happy and more than capable of riding that style but I know and overseas experience shows that it won't encourage the numbers necessary of new riders to grow the sport.
However, if clubs believe that the "No-Stop" rule suits them best then let them use it, and if the "Stop Allowed" floats their boat then let them go with that. It's only at National championship level that a system known in advance and clearly communicated needs to be in force. I foresee a blending of the two styles. Non stop for some grades, stop allowed for others.
In England the clubs running No-Stop are the fastest growing clubs. Sections do not need to be as difficult and amateur riders who do not have as much time on the bike do not find them as intimidating. Less difficult sections allow for a faster setup time and easier observing and as I have already mentioned in our experience spectators much prefer a flowing style of riding.
At the end of it all we should be thankful we still have places to ride, people to organise and observe, and in general a discipline that has many advantages. i.e. it caters for all ages, gender and physical abilities and the competition is firstly against the course and obstacles, secondly against fellow competitors and thirdly and probably most significantly it's about challenging oneself to consistently achieve things you haven't done before.
Motorcycle Trials is also one of the least expensive motorsports to access. For the majority of riders the biggest portion of your success depends on the ability of the rider rather than the machine or the size of your wallet.
I think the emphasis should be focused on unity and looking after the land and property owners and securing new venues that are suitable for every level of trials or potential trials rider. If the sport is to grow we need to find a means of exposing the fun side of trials to the very young so they will then pester their parents to become part of the local trials scene (club).
At this point in time we need to be up-skilling our current members on how to make the 'newbies' feel more welcome and part of the trial family. Most new to the sport are looking for a fun activity and camaraderie. Non-riders also need to be nurtured and included to help with observing and the running of events.
We have a sport that is recognised as being one of the easiest to run and organise, let's not be our own worst enemy and make it more difficult than it need be.
There is one other important question every rider or trials enthusiast should probably ask him or herself - "other than riding and enjoying my sport- what have I actually done this year to put something back in?"
Minister electric over the future of Mototrials29th June 2011
It's not often you see a Government Minister for the Environment endorsing any form of motorsport and even more intriguing when that Minister is also the Minister of ACC.
The Honourable Dr Nick Smith however, has good reason to smile about the relationship with this group.
Local Nelson-based NonStop Adventure NZ trials group, amongst other things, including training Motorcyclists of all ages and abilities to be better off-road riders and therefore reducing the likelihood of injury, also run the annual NZ Ihatove (Dreamland) Adventure Trial motorcycle event, a sister event to the highly successful Japanese Ihatove Trial, the largest trial of its kind in the world, having been run annually there since 1977.
Whilst electric trials motorcycles are still relatively new it's an area that is expected to develop as time goes on and technology improves.
A comparison often made when describing trials is, "It's the golf of motorsport" due to trials many similarities to the sport of golf ie. it caters for all ages, gender and physical abilities; has a handicapping system (grading); typically you ride in groups of 4 and record each other's scores and the competition is firstly against the course and obstacles, secondly against fellow competitors and thirdly and probably most significantly it's about challenging oneself to consistently achieve things you haven't done before.
Many top level motorsport champions use motorcycle trials to hone their technical skills, for fitness and to relax in the same way as many top sports people turn to golf.
NonStop Adventure trials group very much welcomes the Minister's endorsement and support as they work hard to grow this form of motorcycle sport and the safety of motorcyclists throughout NZ, while promoting the enjoyment that it has to offer, rather than the fierce competitiveness of racing disciplines.
2011 Idemitsu Ihatove Trial27th June 2011
Preparation for this year's Japanese Ihatove event is well on the way, thanks to Yasuo Manzawa and his team of merry men & women.
Spring is in the air and although the work is hard it is great to be at one with nature and once again experience the lovely fine weather that it brings.
As we are all aware the earthquake has caused huge disruption in the lives of many Japanese and their communities, but this has only made the Ihatove team more determined to get things back on track.
Top NZ Trials Rider joins Team NonStop23rd June 2011
New Zealand's Top Women Trials rider Stef Downes has joined the highly successful Team NonStop.
Although Stef is based in Christchurch, she has decided to take advantage of the mentoring and first class coaching facility of the NonStop Team, located in the Tasman District of Nelson and supported by Goldpine NZ.
Stef is keen to be involved in a team environment and have proven performers help her reach her own personal goals within the sport.
Peter and Nick Oliver, the two youngest stars of the team, are keen to have Stef on board.
She made the journey North earlier in the year to compete in the NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial where she secured a podium finish; the envy of many of her male competitors.
On this same weekend Nick and Peter shared some one-on-one training with Stef for the first time. She was so impressed with the experience she made contact with the NonStop founder Stephen Oliver to see what could be arranged.
Stef was pleasantly surprised when Stephen offered her a position on the team.
This will involve attending and representing NonStop, at National and International competitions and hopefully at the Japanese Ihatove event in 2012. Australian trials guru, Paul Arnott (importer) is keen to support Stef's ambitions abroad.
Stef is currently well ranked in the NZ Intermediate Grade where her main rivals are male counterparts. However, she is keen to continue to develop her riding skills to be able to compete at the Expert level of competition in this country.
Stephen Oliver says that Stef has a lot to offer the sport both on and off the track and we are very excited to have the opportunity to work with her as we see her as being a great asset to the growth of trials.
To date Stef has had good results and is improving well; she was part of the winning NZ team at the Oceania Event last year in Australia and has competed in Oceania Events here. If selected this year she will take on our Aussie friends again at the NZ Nationals in October in Hamilton.
She is currently looking at upgrading her Mount to the latest state-of-the-art trial machine which will help put her on a level playing field with some of her competition. The latest bikes are lighter and more agile which helps tremendously with the modern techniques of riding style.
We would have to say after talking to Stef, seeing her ride and witnessing the enthusiasm she possesses, that she has all the traits that a sponsor is looking for. We wish Stef success and a long career of motorcycling and look forward to supporting Stef as she pursues her ambitions and goals. Watch this space!
Rumi back on track5th June 2011
Youji Ishiyama and Rumi Takahashi were two of our Japanese friends to attend the inaugural Ihatove trial in 2010.
We at NonStop are pleased to share this good news.
Team Xtreme go playing.2nd June 2011
Nick and Peter of Team Xtreme spent the weekend comparing the Montesa Cota 316 and the 2RT and at this point it looks as though Nick will stick with the Cota 316 while Peter is keen to give the 2RT a try.
The pair put on a great display of technical riding for the cameraman and after 6 hours of riding headed home to get ready for another full day's riding on the Sunday, where we decided to head to another venue and give the trial park a rest.
This was a good choice as it helped to define the bikes strong points and get a good picture of what they are capable of. The Cota 316 has the power and is very well balanced which makes it exciting to ride; it was concluded that it would also be more tiring for the rider to hang on to for the duration of an event.
The surprise was the 2RT which proved to be well powered but not over the top and would suit all levels of rider. Its handling was fantastic as it shares the same chassis as the 4RT. Both Nick and Peter ended up referring to it as the "Small Bike"; as the name suggests the 2RT feels very small and controllable.
Team NonStop are continuing to develop both machines as time permits, however in their present state we feel there is not a lot that can be done other than personalising the machines.
So, while our Japanese friends are busy marking out and grooming the Japanese countryside for their home Ihatove event in August and Jake is contesting the world rounds, we are playing and NRC is developing new trials weapons for no particular reason other than the fun and satisfaction that goes with the creation.
There is a rumour that there is a chance that a small capacity four stroke in a modern day rolling chassis is next; one of our Japanese friends has already done the exercise and made a great job; we are waiting for some photos which will help us to achieve a good result with this new project. Watch this space.
General Enquiries to Stephen & Deborah Oliver
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