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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 Ihatove Trial News

Idemitsu Ihatove Trial Preparation

22nd July 2012
The grass cutting team
The grass cutting team

Yasuo and his team are well on their way with the preparation for this year's Idemitsu Ihatove Trial to be held at the end of August.

Yasuo had this to say -

"Once the snow disappears from the mountain at the end of May, preparations begin for the Ihatove. There are only three months until the end of August in which to finish all the work.

Most of the time is taken up in mowing the long grass. Cutting the grass along a mountain path with a mowing machine is another "moto-sport"

Users of the mountain trails get a big surprise at how quickly the paths are cut, making it easy to access for walking or running and they are very happy and thankful to us.
Everyone working on the cutting feel happy to be appreciated and it makes the task more enjoyable."
We are looking forward to seeing photos and news from the event.

The NonStop team wishes our Japanese friends all the best for the coming months.


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!


Scottish Style Two Day Trial

26th February 2012
Ishi and Kikumi arrive home safely
Ishi and Kikumi arrive home safely

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 images on flickr

» Day 1 NZ NonStop Trial Results «
» Day 2 NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial Results «

Great Asset

26th 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.


"A Great way to start the New Year"

1st January 2012
Heading off
Heading off

Deborah and I have had a hard day at the 'office'.

We both headed out to the trials park to put in some serious hours of work.

The first job today was to make the track up to the bridge larger to cope with our new acquisition (Honda TRX 350 4x4 farm quad); fortunately the bridge is both strong and wide enough to accommodate the quad. Now we have easy access to the second property, where we will be heading tomorrow.

Peter and I put in a full day on Wednesday and have made some real headway. Major clearing of fallen trees has been necessary and repair work due to the recent floods that Nelson has been subjected to over the last few weeks.

I am glad to say that we are on target for the up and coming NZ Ihatove event and we have some really great sections for everyone.


I am really grateful that Deborah is so keen to help, she is a fantastic asset to the cause, and this afternoon she operated the spade for several hours while I was hard at it with the pick and grubber. Deborah impressed me with her commitment and endurance.


2011 Idemitsu Ihatove Trial

19th September 2011
Kenichi Kuroyama
Kenichi Kuroyama

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.


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!


2012 NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial

18th July 2011
2012 NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial
2012 NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial

Work has begun on the 2012 NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial, to be held in Nelson on the 18th & 19th of February.
The 2012 poster and entry form are now available on the Ihatove page
We are working on confirming several special guest riders for the event.

The NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial event will be catering for all levels of rider and promises to be a fun-filled occasion.

We look forward to greeting all the riders again in February and we will update you with more news as it comes to hand.

Please note that entries close 31st January 2012. This is to enable us to produce an accurate program with everyone's name included.

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 Team

18th July 2011
The Team takes a well earned rest
The Team takes a well earned rest

With just over a month to go the Japanese Ihatove team are busily finalising sections for the 2011 event in August.
Every weekend Yasuo has plenty of helpers available for the ongoing grooming and clearing of mountain trails after the heavy snows of their winter which caused quite a lot of damage to existing trails.
The weather has warmed up as their summer is in full swing. With access to a new property and help from the owner to clear sections they have made good progress.
Although they are expecting another good turn out, they have decided in light of the recent earthquakes and tsunami and subsequent radiation threat, they do not want to put overseas guest riders in a difficult position unnecessarily.
Riders are keen to gather again for a positive event, to enjoy the region and the reunion of past friends, to make new memories and boost morale.
When last speaking to Ishi and Yasuo they were all looking forward to this year's event.


Minister electric over the future of Mototrials

29th 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.

Nick meet nick
Nick meet nick

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.

This professional friendly, fun ride, which attracts international riders to Nelson every February, is aiming to now promote the introduction of an electric motorcycle to the sport. NonStop has informed Nick Smith that the Japanese and New Zealand events hope to be two of the first events to have an electric machine included.

Whilst electric trials motorcycles are still relatively new it's an area that is expected to develop as time goes on and technology improves.
Trials Motorcycling, which is ridden at low speeds over challenging terrain, both natural and man-made, is already one of the most environmentally friendly motorsports due to the very low noise output; use of land that is not normally suitable for grazing or cropping; minimal fuel usage and therefore limited carbon emissions (a typical trials bike has a 2 litre fuel tank which on most occasions lasts the full event). Because of the tyres soft compound, low pressure and non aggressive tread pattern trials is also well known for its soft footprint on the land.
Bikes need instant torque to climb obstacles and that is one of the characteristics of electric engines. A few of these machines have already been developed and this trend is expected to grow.

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.

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.

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.


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