Dear John, I hope you are well. I don’t normally write to magazines as in my car world it can only cause me grief. I was going to write about Issue 11 but then never got around to it and then Issue 13 came out asking for information about the four-stroke Kawasaki.
Firstly though, Issue 11. On page 4 it shows a picture captioned ‘Scottish Six Days 1975’ including Alan Lampkin, John Metcalfe, Nigel Birkett and Dave Thorpe. I believe I am the half face you can see on the left hand edge which is interesting because in 1975 I was doing my A levels but 1976 was the first year I rode the Six Days. 1976 was the last year to start from Edinburgh so with my start number I can claim to be the second to last rider ever to leave the old cattle market. If you look at the numbers in 1976 I was 248, John Metcalfe was 246, Nigel Birkett was 235 and Alan Lampkin was 230 and also in the picture Alan is not wearing the same crash helmet as he is on page 27 in the 1975 SSDT.
Secondly, and the main reason for writing, on page 84 of Issue 13 you ask for information about the four-stroke Kawasaki trials machine built by Bob Gollner. I rode it for about a year in the early eighties, either 1983 or 1984.
At the time I was more into car rallying and as it was not being used much I had sold my much modified 1982 340 Bultaco. Reg May had used this ‘Bulto’ to try out some ideas as he was a good friend of my dad’s, also his son, John May worked for my dad. I still wanted to do a few ‘social’ trials, e.g. Jersey Two Day etc, so Big Len Hutty lent me the fourstroke Kawasaki. I spent a lot of time sorting the carburation but in the end it was quite good to ride.
If I remember, it had a special set of gears and had to use the fourstroke rear wheel for the cush-drive. I must have given it back before the end of 1984 as I bought a 300 Fantic to ride in the 1985 SSDT. I have checked all my photographs and do not have one of me riding the machine. There was at least one other four-stroke Kawasaki built as Roy Palmer used to ride one. The last I heard was the original Gollner bike was owned by a Kawasaki collector in the South Eastern Centre.
Regards, Clive Dopson
Clive Dobson in action at the 2015 Pre-65 SSDT on his rigid Norton.