Classic Trial - - READERS LETTERS -

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

Photo: Colin Bul­lock

Clive Dobson in ac­tion at the 2015 Pre-65 SSDT on his rigid Nor­ton.

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