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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

2011 Idemitsu Ihatove Trial

27th June 2011
Team Yasuo
Team Yasuo

Preparation for this year's Japanese Ihatove event is well on the way, thanks to Yasuo Manzawa and his team of merry men & women.

The effort needed this year is great as there has been much snow damage with many fallen trees.

Hard at work
Hard at work

Yasuo has advised us that they are also considering changing parts of the route for the Classic class to avoid the worst affected areas.

Yasuo has said that to make up for fewer trail challenges that they have added some additional new sections which he claims will be well received.

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 Earth Quake has caused huge disruption in the life of many Japanese and their communities, this has only made the Ihatove team more determined to get things back on track.

I have included some latest photo from Yasuo's website and I am sure I speak for all of us here in NZ when I wish them all the best for the coming months and Years ahead.

Ihatove Adventure Trial 2011

6th May 2011
Alan in full flight at this years Ihatove
Alan in full flight at this years Ihatove

Alan Honeybone

I traveled up to Nelson with Mick and Jill to meet up with Alan (future president) Duthie and stay with Tony & Joy Cameron in their fantastic big house. We discovered that Tony is a pretty good host and a real cracker on the BBQ. Unfortunately this led to a late night and a lethargic start to the next day.

We arrived at 88 Valley for a friendly "play trial" on the Saturday morning, which was organised to the standards of a NZ Champs event. We even had a machine inspection by Grant Oliver who explained the advantages of having wheel bearings in my back wheel and not in my spares box.

Thanks Grant, they do feel better now. After the "play trial" [Mick and Alan Duthie tied for first] we were given two options, stay at Nonstop Park for some training with Nick Oliver or go for a trail ride with Stephen. Being too thick to train I opted for the trail ride. What fantastic ride. A piece of advice though, if you are trail riding with Mick Andrews and he says 'Do you think it's a good idea to ride up there? Don't even think about it. The answer is NO. Else, when you ride up, Mick then points out "it doesn't look too good going down there does it? But we still had to go down.

More misfortune that evening, Tony was a good host yet again and we had another late night. Everyone was a little lethargic the next morning. Alan Duthie's bottle of turbo medicine was added to the coffee, which gave the day a boost and got everyone into a fit state to ride motorcycles.

Arriving at 88 Valley everything was well organised with Olivers everywhere. They must really have the breeding gene. We were broken up into groups of ten to head off into the wilderness to follow a well marked course. Hobbit was our mule, carrying fire extinguishers and other things required to survive for 7 hours out on the trail.

This was my second nonstop trial this year and I must say it was fantastic to be using second and third gear in sections at times. I'm now left wondering why we have moved away from nonstop trials.
I would rate the Ihatove trial the equal of any event in NZ. Mick said he would rate it with the first day of the Scottish [His favourite]. I think this event proves that Stephen is as mad as a meat axe. We have often discussed this after watching him ride but after seeing the huge amount of effort made by the whole Oliver family, I am sure that you would have to be mad to take on such a commitment.

If you only ride one trial in 2012 then make sure it is the Ihatove Adventure Trial.

2011 NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial

6th March 2011

Day two was the Ihatove event itself.
What a day. Two main loops that were a fabulous trail ride amidst simply breathtaking scenery, each loop taking around two hours.
Along the way there were just under forty sections to ride and apart from the six by the car park, you only got one chance to ride them.

They were superb. We rode in groups of 3-4 and marked each other just like in golf. I chose the blue grade for the day and had an absolute whale of a time. I regrettably missed a peg which gave me a 5 (not good) which ruined my overall results (came 4th on 8 points)- The winner was on zero - Yasuo on a Honda Montesa 4RT.

The little Scorpa was fantastic and yes it climbed almost anything. Mind you with no seat at all my legs were screaming out on Monday after five hours of constant standing up.


What I absolutely loved was the genuine camaraderie, the smiles, the willingness to do the best you could, the helping one another spot the best lines, and sections that had been excellently set out. There was no moaning at all from anyone involved, perhaps only that directed at ones self when you had mucked something up.

It seemed full of fun and what trials is all about, when sections are properly marked out
It was relaxed enough that once you had ridden your grade's section and recorded your score , you were allowed to try one at a higher grade that didn't count, which was fabulous for working out what level you were at, plus for skill development. Again In golfing terms - a little like hitting another ball.

The classic bike fraternity were out in force and I saw some fantastic riding on classic old machinery that would make many a modern rider gasp.
Also riding in the Expert class was Stef Downes a young lady who was amazingly good- way beyond where I could ever be.

All day long the Oliver family were there to help, from Stephen's mum and dad, to his brother and of course his wife Deborah, plus the skilled yet fun-loving sons. Pete is a real comedian.


So do yourself a favour and add "ride a /another trial" and contact Stephen Oliver at NonStop Adventure.
Do it before it's too late and I promise you won't regret it. Next years event will almost certainly have a suitably modified trail bike class added
Life is too short to not pack it full of different experiences.
My bucket list just had added to it- "Ride another Ihatove trial!" Maybe I will see you there in 2012?
Allan Boot

» NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial Results (Sunday) «

Ihatove Report - written by Allan Boot (Part 1)

5th March 2011

The Bucket List

Most of us know what a Bucket list is - the movie with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman reminded us that it's those things you mean and want to do before you die, but mostly never make the time to do.

Life Coaches stress the importance of always having 150 things on your bucket list so you are always looking ahead and setting goals. I totally get that stuff - being a part time life coach helps!.

So it is that I found myself in February, at the 2011 NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial run by NonStop Adventure NZ, based in Nelson. Two weeks prior I re-read my bucket list which had on it "ride another trial" and thought - "practice what you preach".
So how did this event make my bucket list?
Trials had been my first love of off-road motorcycling and in my "youth" from 15-25 had me keenly involved.

Youth has well and truly passed me by and at 53, the screws, plates and replacement hips are the result of a life lived to the maximum with a few off-road motorcycling injuries taking their toll.
Still, you have to live and I have loved the last 5-6 years on my various CRF250X's, mainly doing trail rides and was looking forward to plenty more until some low life stole my 2008 CRF in 2010, serial No. JH2ME11088M4000223- reward offered!


I have been pondering "what's next". Family and friends say a wheelchair, but I want to wear out not rust out and motorcycling is very much in the blood.
I decided Trials should do less damage and is the golf of motorcycling, where you compete against a course, other competitors, but mostly against what your mind says you can and can't do.
I had followed the progress of the Oliver family in Nelson and their Ihatove Trial - see sidebar for more details and it looked like a great thing to do.

So luckily for me, a quick phone call two weeks out and accommodation, flights, entry and lease of a bike is arranged. It should be called "One stop"- Not "NonStop". However, I'd recommend you get your request in earlier than me for next year as the lease bikes are in hot demand for international guest riders.

After being picked up early on the Saturday morning by trials guru Nick Oliver, we head out to their fabulous property 25 minutes out of Nelson.
Wow, wow, wow- as we drive in, there are fantastic creeks, banks, logs, hills and all manner of potential sections just everywhere. I see plenty of potential crashing spots too.
I'm introduced to my bike for the weekend, a Scorpa 125 4 stroke. I must say that being on the "larger" size I am a little nervous but the plate on the front says "Peter Oliver- Expert" and Nick is waxing lyrical about what he can do on one of these "Don't be afraid to rev it " he says. I'm not Nick, but I take it for a spin and was pleasantly surprised. What a marvellous wee bike and I realise just how far trials bikes have come since I last competed some 16 years ago on a Honda RTL 250.


Rust is everywhere- not on the bike but on me and I manage to make simple sharp turns and hills look hard, until after 10 minutes or so there's a modicum of control.

Day one is a low key affair with the 50 or so entrants treated to a 2 lap trial of 10 sections per lap followed by an afternoon of coaching for those that want it- Yes Please!

I like the fact that sections are to be ridden in a "non stop" manner as I was never any good at all that hopping and bouncing stuff anyway. The new scoring system of 1- 4 for "dabs" and a five for stopping or crashing is simple too.
Not sure which grade to enter, I try the Social "green" option. After two sections, I find that a little on the easy side so move up to the Clubman "blue". There's still Intermediate yellow and Experts red ahead of me.
What to say. I had an absolute blast, rediscovering a few past skills and finding the challenge perfect. In fact on a few sections I even tried the odd yellow bit, mostly this being at the upper end of my current skill level.
Coming around to ride over an above-handlebar sized obstacle for the first time sure does put your heart in your mouth.
One prays that both distant muscle memory and the recent watching over the past two weeks of trials instruction clips on You Tube will carry the day.
It may not have been pretty but I did manage some nice clean rides.
A great days ride and I surprised myself with a second placing.
In the afternoon we had a fantastic training session where the Oliver family- Father Stephen and sons Nick, Peter and Ginga all dazzled us with what they can do on a motorcycle, and not only trials bikes. Nick and Peter took a CRF 230 places it simply shouldn't go. I couldn't help thinking that any off-road rider would benefit from a day spent with these boys, to find or sharpen skills. This would apply to those Enduro riders wanting to sharpen up Enduro Cross, or advanced skills too.
Dinner and drinks in a local club, watching some of the days footage and catching up with different personalities -there was a Pom out on his honeymoon, a German guy just back-packing around and the original founder of the Japanese event, Yasuo Manzawa who as it turned out was a great rider.
And last but not least, Mick Andrews was there from the UK. Mick is a living legend in the trials world; I first saw Mick live when Yamaha launched the TY 250 back when we were all riding TL 125's and Bultaco ruled the day, some 35 years ago! Remember the Mick Andrews replica Ossa?
A great guy and still a great rider even at age 67!

See the Ihatove Photo Gallery here

» NZ NonStop Trial results (Saturday) «

Final Preparations

14th February 2011

Its all go at the NonStop Trials Park in Nelson as final preparations are completed for the NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial this weekend.

A great field of riders will be winging their way to Nelson to take part in what will be a fun event.

Mick & the classic boys survived the weekend in Christchurch and are looking forward to their next outing full of enthusiasm.
Special thanks to Tony & Joy Cameron for hosting Mick & Jill during their time with us.
Special thanks also to all the supporters and volunteers involved in running such an event. We would like to thank Francis and his team at Novus as well as Gavin & Dave and their team at MTF for their new sponsorship of this event.

Below is a link to our draft program; at the printers as we speak.
The first of our international riders arrive in Nelson tomorrow.

» Draft Ihatove Programme «

Never a dull moment

4th February 2011
The Sun starts to go down in paradise.
The Sun starts to go down in paradise.

While everyone have been enjoying their Christmas/New Year break Stephen has been hard at work preparing the adventure trails for this years NZ Ihatove event this month.
With a willing hand from favourite son Nick and his very help nature, Nick & Stephen were able to complete the lockable gates on the now famous bridge in the middle of nowhere spanning the great Parkes/Hunt farm boundary, in order for the Ihatove trial to take in all the wonderful scenery and trail opportunities on offer at 88 Valley.

Stephen was fortunate that Nick purchase a CRF230 last year and has generously made it available to mark out the trail and Trials sections and to enable the materials and equipment to be transported to the top of the farm.
After several days of trail blazing, Stephen and Nick have been grooming and marking sections on the two Ihatove trail loops. Tony, Jason and Paul will be joining Stephen this Sunday to put the finishing touches to some of the sections to be used for the NonStop Trial competition on Saturday.

After some extensive gully clearing we now have an interesting and flowing course which is easily navigated thanks to the brightly coloured course markers (as seen in the accompanying photos). The white markers with red, yellow and blue clearly show the route for all the classes, with white arrows on coloured backgrounds easily directing the flow of the section. Some extra tracks have been cut for easy entry and exit points for the many recreational / Social / Classic riders this event has attracted.

Countdown to Ihatove

15th January 2011
The end of a hard days setting out
The end of a hard days setting out

The pace has picked up in the lead up to the NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial. Founder and leader in waiting of NonStop, Stephen & Nick Oliver have been working hard finalising the two loops for the Ihatove Trial and designing the sections and obstacles for the NonStop trial and NonStop 'KickStart Scott trial'.
These events are shaping up to be lots of fun while challenging riders at whichever level they are riding. After suggestions from the inaugural trial riders in 2010 some new ideas have been incorporated for this year.
As this event is run there will be developments to ensure the continual growth in popularity of the weekend to put February in the Tasman District of Nelson on the calendar.
Interest is being shown from widely diverse riders looking to put the fun back into their riding.
International enquiries are also on the rise and a great off-season ride for visitors from overseas, as well as a good pre-event training session for the Scottish Six Day in May.

2011 NZ Ihatove preparation

5th January 2011
Nick and Stephen,complete loop one and two
Nick and Stephen,complete loop one and two

Stephen & Nick have been working on the trails for the 2011 February Ihatove Adventure Trial at 88 Valley and have the bulk of the two loops sorted for this year. It is great to see all the hard work from last year paying off in a much easier preparation season for the new event.
There will be some changes from last year's inaugural event taking into account suggestions from the first batch of riders in 2010. The team at NonStop are always keen to fine-tune the experience for its riders. To allow more time for socialising as well as great riding there will be a BBQ lunch break for riders on Saturday as well as an evening get-together Saturday night.
It's great to see the entries rolling in and we look forward to hosting Mick Andrews & Haruo Kimura as this year's special guest riders.

2011 NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial weekend (19-21st February)

5th January 2011
1988 Stephen gets to meet Mick
1988 Stephen gets to meet Mick

Saturday 19th February -(am) Scruitineering followed by a NZ NonStop Trial
A conventional trial running nonstop rules
-(pm) NZ NonStop 'Scott' Trial
A time event, run over an off road course, divided into sections.
OR -(pm) Social/Recreation Coaching

Saturday 19th February Social evening. Club Waimea, Richmond - Restaurant & Bar available. Time to socialise, meet special guests Mick Andrews & Haruo Kimura and see video footage of the day's riding.

Sunday 20th February - NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial
2 separate spectacular scenic loops (taking up to 2 hrs with multiple on-route sections per loop), 4 lines - Social/Classic B, Recreation/Classic A, Sport/Classic A+, Pro

Due to the interest from the Classic trials fraternity this event will be classic-friendly, bringing all riders together for a fun and challenging ride.

The inaugural 2010 NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial has been very well received with premium coverage in NZ, Japanese, English, French & Italian trials magazines. As a sports tourism event it is also supported by the local Tasman District Council and a draw card for international participants.

NonStop Adventure are pleased to announce that in 2011 we are privileged to be facilitating the reunion, after many years, of long time friends, riding compatriots and two main players in the development of the Yamaha TY250; Mick Andrews, accompanied by his wife Jill and Haruo Kimura.

Mick Andrews, three times Ihatove participant, having been a special guest at Yasuo Manzawa and Shozo Narita's Japanese event in 1990 (picture). Kimura has also worked as development rider for all the Yamaha trial bikes and in recent years the very popular Scorpa 125 which uses the Yamaha motor, with the Ihatove Trial in mind. As this article goes to print Kimura is currently finalising the development of Kenichi Kuroyama's Yamaha/Scorpa works bike for the 2011 Japanese Championship season.

As an adventure weekend this privately run event caters for a large diversity of riders and no licence is required.

As an optional third day of riding Monday, 21st February will be a half day NonStop Adventure tour ride to Havelock, Marlborough Sounds.

2011 NZ Ihatove entry forms now available!

19th October 2010
2011 NZ Ihatove Adventure trial poster
2011 NZ Ihatove Adventure trial poster

Work has begun on the second NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial, to be held in Nelson on the 19th & 20th of February 2011.
The 2011 poster and entry form are now available on the Ihatove page along with the new format for the event next year.
We are very happy to announce that it has been confirmed that special guest riders for the 2011 event will be Mick Andrews and long time friend and Yamaha development rider Haruo Kimura. Mick is in NZ for a 5 week tour and will also ride in Upper Hutt, Wanganui, Kapiti and Hamilton.
This has been made possible by the efforts of Robert Cochrane and Yasuo Manzawa with the additional support of many.
The Pioneer M/C Club are host to Mick and wife Jill in the week prior to the NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial, when Mick will be offering coaching, and this will be a great opportunity to rub shoulders with this world-famous icon of our sport.
The NZ Ihatove Adventure Trial event will be catering for all levels of rider and promises to be a fun-filled occasion.

The sections and trail are well underway with most of the markers already laid out.

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 2011. This is to enable us to produce an accurate program with everyone's name included. While entrants need to provide their details before or on this date, payment of entry fee will be accepted on February the 19th in the morning when signing on. Those that are happy to pay in advance may wish to take advantage of Early Bird Entry (10% disc on Ihatove event), which is available until 31st Dec 2010.

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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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