MICK WHITLOCK

Classic Trial - - FRONT PAGE - Words: John Hulme with Mick Whitlock, Mike Pearce and Don Mor­ley Pic­tures: Mike Pearce, Colin Bul­lock, Norman Eyre and Bill Law­less

The last time I had vis­ited the Butser Lime Works tri­als venue near Peters­field in Hamp­shire was in 1988. The oc­ca­sion was the rain-drenched round of the FIM World Tri­als Cham­pi­onship. In 2016 a round of the British Tri­als Cham­pi­onship was held at the very same venue, but this time in bril­liant sun­shine. Whilst watch­ing at the haz­ards a guy I had not seen for more than nearly forty years ap­proached me, it was Mick Whitlock. Af­ter ex­chang­ing pleas­antries, he praised me on the suc­cess of my pub­lish­ing ven­tures on mo­tor­cy­cle tri­als. We started to talk about the past years when I made the sug­ges­tion: “It’s about time we gen­er­ated an ar­ti­cle on the White­hawk suc­cess story for the mag­a­zines”. With a slight pause he said he would think about it. We even­tu­ally parted and a few weeks later I called him to ask about the ar­ti­cle. He had been asked by other peo­ple to talk about his life, and I found it quite a priv­i­lege when he said that he would love to gen­er­ate an ar­ti­cle for one of my own mag­a­zines.

From a very early age Mick had al­ways had an in­ter­est in any­thing me­chan­i­cal, and his own ideas on how things could be im­proved were al­ways in his head. He left school and found his way into the dock­yards as a teenager at Portsmouth where he served his time as an ap­pren­tice Cop­per­smith in 1957. His years there were taken up learn­ing all he could about the pro­cesses of join­ing steel to­gether in­clud­ing braz­ing and weld­ing. He soon took note of all the anom­alies associated with the heat­ing and cool­ing process and how this could af­fect the use of steel in man­u­fac­tur­ing. In­side his mind he knew that one day he wanted to man­u­fac­ture his own frames for a tri­als mo­tor­cy­cle of his own de­sign.

Mo­tor­cy­cles

Used by so many young peo­ple around the pe­riod of the early six­ties, the mo­tor­cy­cle was the main form of trans­port cho­sen. He started rid­ing tri­als on a Tri­umph Tiger Cub which was soon fol­lowed by a Royal En­field Cru­sader model. Mick would be at­tracted to the mo­tor­cy­cle show­rooms of Bob Goll­ner Mo­tor­cy­cles based at Den­mead near Portsmouth. Here he could view the lat­est ma­chines avail­able, and soon came the pur­chase of a Sprite tri­als model.

Bob Goll­ner was a suc­cess­ful busi­ness­man and rider in his own right, and he had the de­sire to build his own brand of tri­als mo­tor­cy­cle. Bob spoke with Mick and of­fered him a job in 1966 to build a new tri­als mo­tor­cy­cle and the Chee­tah brand was born. They both be­lieved they could make a bet­ter job than the Sprite with the use of Mick’s fab­ri­cat­ing skills and Bob’s en­thu­si­asm and fi­nan­cial in­put.

Chee­tah Tri­als

They aimed to pro­duce a top qual­ity tri­als ma­chine that could be of­fered to suit the al­limpor­tant pock­ets of the tri­als rider’s needs. Mick soon started to work on a new frame, us­ing Reynolds 531 tub­ing with all-brazed joints as he knew this was the best process for a tri­als ap­pli­ca­tion. To en­hance the look of the new ma­chine it would stand proud with its chrome and nickel fin­ish. The frame de­sign was based around the Vil­liers 37A en­gine.

Bob Goll­ner knew that the se­cret to suc­cess was the su­perb qual­ity of man­u­fac­tur­ing and the way the ma­chine would be mar­keted, and the Chee­tah ticked all the boxes. You must re­mem­ber that around this time the Span­ish ma­chines from Bul­taco, fol­lowed by Mon­tesa and then Ossa, were start­ing to take hold but the die-hard British pub­lic was still proud to be associated with a prod­uct pro­duced in Great Bri­tain.

A brand new com­plete ma­chine would cost £219 supplied in kit-form, but Goll­ner of­fered many op­tions. Frame kits with parts man­u­fac­tured by Whitlock could be pur­chased to up­grade your Greeves, DOT or Cot­ton ma­chines as they used the same Vil­liers en­gine as the base point. The Chee­tah stood very proud and both Bob and Mick were very pleased with the out­come. REH front forks from Robin Humphries could be fit­ted with the ad­di­tion of a front disc brake. Other parts were of­fered in­clud­ing a Greeves Anglian al­loy square cylin­der head and bar­rel, giv­ing you a top of the range Chee­tah model for £269.

Off the back of the re­sources used from this first joint ven­ture in 1968 a Chee­tah frame kit was man­u­fac­tured to take the Tri­umph 199cc Tiger Cub en­gine. As is well doc­u­mented, the sup­ply of the Vil­liers en­gines dried up as did the Tri­umph ones, and the dream was over.

Cheney Frames

With the sup­ply of the Vil­liers en­gines over, the work with Bob Goll­ner would be fin­ished. Mick had now got a good rep­u­ta­tion for his work­man­ship and en­gi­neer­ing skills with many peo­ple tak­ing note, in­clud­ing Eric Cheney. Eric was well recog­nised as a lead­ing au­thor­ity on mo­tor­cy­cle frame de­sign and man­u­fac­tur­ing and he had seen Whitlock’s work first hand, and was very im­pressed.

With his ex­pe­ri­enced weld­ing and braz­ing tech­niques Cheney soon had Mick work­ing on his mo­tor­cy­cle frames for var­i­ous clients in­clud­ing Phil Read. It was a well-known fact that the Yamaha that Read was go­ing to use in the 1971 250cc World Cham­pi­onship needed its han­dling char­ac­ter­is­tics im­prov­ing, and he ap­proached Cheney in the hope he would take him on board to im­prove this. In truth Cheney was not so in­ter­ested in the pro­ject, as he was more off-road ori­en­tated, and so he handed the job over to Whitlock.

Mick had now moved to his own premises at Cow­plain in Hamp­shire, with Cheney still sup­ply­ing him with work. Mick looked on this as a new chal­lenge and worked with Read to fab­ri­cate a new frame for his Yamaha en­gine. The new frame worked very well and Read would go on to take the 1971 250cc World Cham­pi­onship, much to his de­light. Cheney would still find work for Mick in­clud­ing in­volv­ing him in the Cheney Tri­umph ISDT ma­chines and other var­i­ous projects.

Soon other peo­ple would take note of Mick’s high stan­dard of work­man­ship and ap­proach him to com­mis­sion their own ideas. Mick would then do his ut­most to ful­fil their ideas and de­signs.

Whitlock Frames

Mick would soon have many cus­tomers from the var­i­ous walks of the tri­als world who wanted to use his skills. One of his early cus­tomers was John May, the son of Reg of Bul­taco fame. Soon a Whitlock frame was built, and he had his own spe­cial with a BSA Ban­tam en­gine fit­ted. Mon­tala Mo­tors Lim­ited in Guild­ford was the orig­i­nal Mon­tesa im­porter to the UK headed by John Brise. The poor ma­te­ri­als used in the fab­ri­ca­tion of the steel tubu­lar frames were pre­sented to Whitlock, with the idea of pro­duc­ing a much bet­ter one in both qual­ity and fab­ri­ca­tion. Th­ese were built and tested around the Mon­tesa Cota 247 but af­ter var­i­ous prob­lems with health and busi­ness for Brise th­ese were never made avail­able. Frames were fab­ri­cated from his new premises at Horn­dean in Hamp­shire, and in 1971 Sammy Miller ap­proached him to start work on his new Hi-Boy frames and var­i­ous other parts for his new ex­pand­ing af­ter­mar­ket tri­als ac­ces­sories busi­ness.

Mick had al­ways kept in touch with Bob Goll­ner and he ap­proached him to make what is be­lieved to be the first Yamaha tri­als ma­chine, the Goll­ner Yamaha. This was based around the DT 125 model from Yamaha and it turned into a very com­pet­i­tive ma­chine, which Goll­ner rode in the 1971 Scot­tish Six Days Trial. Mick had him­self kept his hand in at tri­als and in par­tic­u­lar he still rode in the ‘Scot­tish’ ev­ery year on a va­ri­ety of his own ma­chines us­ing many dif­fer­ent en­gines.

The early Mick An­drews Replica Ossa tri­als mod­els were now start­ing to make their way onto the UK tri­als scene but they had a ma­jor prob­lem

with the rear chain de­rail­ing. They came with a plas­tic com­pos­ite type of sump shield fit­ted, which was part of the frame, to pro­tect the en­gine but it al­lowed the frame to flex when power was ap­plied and threw the chain off the sprock­ets. Whitlock soon had the job in hand, and the ma­chines sold through Bob Goll­ner had his new chrome frame fit­ted which used an alu­minium sump guard, which in turn erad­i­cated the chain de­rail­ment prob­lem.

For­eign Cus­tomers

Word soon got around about the en­gi­neer­ing and fab­ri­cat­ing skills of Mick Whitlock, which would lead to the start of an in­ter­est­ing pro­ject from a Scan­di­na­vian cus­tomer. The Sachs en­gines from Ger­many had a su­perb build qual­ity and were deemed bul­let proof. They pro­duced a 125cc sin­gle cylin­der air-cooled en­gine which had been used by other man­u­fac­tur­ers such as Sprite. You must re­mem­ber that the small en­gined Mi­cro tri­als ma­chines were still in de­mand and the new Scan­di­na­vian cus­tomer had a vi­sion of build­ing his own ma­chine with the Whitlock con­nec­tion, and he funded Mick to pro­duce a com­plete ma­chine us­ing the Sachs en­gine. Sammy Miller tested the ma­chine and praised its build qual­ity, much to Whitlock’s de­light. Un­for­tu­nately noth­ing ever came of the pro­ject.

An­other man with a vi­sion of his own tri­als ma­chine was Ge­orge Sartin, of Talon Sprock­ets fame. He had spo­ken with the Martin broth­ers in the Mid­lands, who had worked with Sartin to pro­duce the Mick­mar en­gine. Whitlock would fab­ri­cate the frame for the new tri­als pro­ject of which an ex­am­ple can be found in the Sammy Miller mu­seum. With so much in­ter­est in his work Mick would pro­duce some of his own White­hawk ma­chines us­ing the Bul­taco as the ma­chine donor. Sammy Miller would also have him make a Hi-Boy frame for the Ossa en­gine. Miller had recog­nised the grow­ing af­ter­mar­ket parts that the tri­als riders wanted and used Whitlock to gen­er­ate and test var­i­ous prod­ucts for him.

Sin­gle Shock Bul­taco

Now con­tracted to the Ja­panese Honda com­pany, in Easter 1974 Sammy Miller un­veiled his new Miller tri­als tea m. Pend­ing the ar­rival of the first four-stroke Honda en­gines from Ja­pan for his new de­vel­op­ment pro­ject he would mount his five-man team on an ar­ray of ma­chines us­ing both Bul­taco and Ossa power un­til th­ese ar­rived. The ma­chines would be named Millers and rid­den by him­self, Brian Hig­gins, Ge­off Parken, Bob Stan­ley and Mick Whitlock. The new Miller ma­chines would be based around the suc­cess­ful ‘Hi-Boy’ frame kits, and many of Sammy Miller’s af­ter­mar­ket parts, in­clud­ing alu­minium com­po­nents and Gir­ling rear shock ab­sorbers, were fit­ted. Whilst Sammy would use a con­ven­tional twin-shock sus­pen­sion setup on the new Honda tri­als ma­chines the Miller team could soon start to use a new sin­gle-shock frame pre­sented at the team launch.

De­signed by Sammy Miller he spoke with Mick Whitlock, who had fab­ri­cated a sim­i­lar frame al­most twelve months ear­lier and sent the pro­to­type to Bul­taco in Spain who made the de­ci­sion not to de­velop it fur­ther. Miller along with Whitlock made the de­ci­sion to go along with the idea alone to dis­cover its po­ten­tial. The Can­tilever frame was con­structed from Reynolds 531 tub­ing with a Ø 2” main down-tube, with a damp­ing unit that had been adopted from a For­mula One rac­ing car lo­cated in­side the tube. The damp­ing unit would come from the front sus­pen­sion used on Ken Tyrell’s team cars, and one of his en­gi­neers Roy Topp has been in­stru­men­tal in ad­vice on the adop­tion of the 200lb spring for mo­tor­cy­cle tri­als use. The damp­ing ad­just­ment was at both ends by the way of a threaded top piece with a lock­ing ‘ring’. 1½” of move­ment of the oil filled unit be­comes 3½” at the rear wheel — to briefly ex­plain the sys­tem. As they started to de­velop the com­plete ma­chine, which re­quired a new fuel tank and air-fil­ter box, the Honda en­gines ar­rived and with Miller fully com­mit­ted to the pro­ject the idea was shelved.

Whitlock would con­tinue to ride the Miller Bul­taco and help with parts for the Honda pro­ject.

Beamish Suzuki

As the say­ing goes, as one door closes an­other one opens, and this was the case in the Whitlock story. Around 1975 Suzuki had a huge stock of the Suzuki RL tri­als mod­els, which in truth never sold world-wide in the vol­ume that was pre­dicted. Beamish Mo­tors, headed by the Beamish broth­ers, were the of­fi­cial Suzuki im­porters for off-road ma­chines and with the sup­port of the Ja­panese man­u­fac­turer they de­cided to ad­dress the prob­lem of what to do with the stock­pile of ma­chines, many of which were in Amer­ica. They im­ported a small batch of the RL 250cc mod­els and gave them to Brian Fowler to eval­u­ate what was re­quired to make them into a ma­chine that would sell. Fowler soon iden­ti­fied that the ma­chines were not suit­able for the UK tri­als type of haz­ards.

On be­half of Beamish Mo­tors, Fowler ap­proached Whitlock to fab­ri­cate a new frame for a small run of six ma­chines. He also man­u­fac­tured some of the cy­cle parts to make the RL 250cc into a com­pet­i­tive tri­als ma­chine. Graham Beamish was en­cour­aged by the en­thu­si­as­tic ap­proach to the pro­ject and the Beamish Suzuki tri­als ma­chine was born, and it was launched onto the UK tri­als scene.

Ini­tially com­plete RL ma­chines would be stripped down and Whitlock was supplied with the var­i­ous parts needed to com­plete the ma­chine build. The suc­cess of the pro­ject re­quired a move to new premises at Ham­ble­don, in Hamp­shire, as more staff was re­cruited to pro­duce 25 frames per week such was the de­mand. A new pro­duc­tion tri­als side­car frame was added as the Beamish tri­als model range was ex­tended to in­clude the 250cc, 325cc and Side­car.

Even­tu­ally the Beamish Mo­tors or­gan­i­sa­tion com­pleted a deal with the Ja­panese for them to sup­ply just the en­gines, front forks and wheels etc for pro­duc­tion builds. With every­thing in full flow the White­hawk Com­pany suf­fered a huge blow when Heron took over the com­pe­ti­tion depart­ment from Beamish Mo­tors and can­celled the tri­als pro­duc­tion and or­ders.

Sign­ing On

For the White­hawk Com­pany and staff, this was a ma­jor blow as Mick Whitlock had fully com­mit­ted every­thing he had to the Beamish pro­ject, and in one mo­ment he lost every­thing he had built up! Mick was re­duced to sign­ing on the dole for two weeks, such was the im­pact of the loss of the Beamish Suzuki work. It was a case of stay­ing Ja­panese for the White­hawk Com­pany and its em­ploy­ees as Mike had a look at im­prov­ing the Yamaha TY 80, mak­ing it into a ma­chine for a wider mar­ket as a new pro­ject. He built a new pro­to­type frame in Reynolds 531 tub­ing for the TY 80, giv­ing it the up­grade it had needed for the more mod­ern mar­ket. Lo­cal rider Andy Clinkard would be the new ‘works’ rider and he loved it.

Tak­ing wins on the new White­hawk 80 it proved a mas­sive hit with the school­boy mar­ket, and Mike Whitlock was back in busi­ness with the ma­chines on sale in De­cem­ber 1979. What’s in­ter­est­ing to note is the fact that with the South­ern based Andy Clinkard con­test­ing the ACU Youth Cham­pi­onships on the ma­chine it brought to­gether the North and South of the coun­try in the school­boy events, mak­ing for a very com­pet­i­tive cham­pi­onship.

As with any­thing that went through the White­hawk work­shops the White­hawk 80 would be con­tin­u­ally evolved, lead­ing us to the White­hawk MKII. This was an ace card to play with the new model as riders could pur­chase the new frame kit with big­ger wheels and con­vert their ex­ist­ing one as an up­grade.

Th­ese ma­chines opened the door for a mas­sive de­vel­op­ment of youth riders who had an easy to ride, re­li­able ma­chine, which could be up­graded as the riders grew into the next classes. Mick put a school­boy team to­gether of three riders headed by Clinkard, and the suc­cess con­tin­ued. Even in 2017 the Yamaha TY80 pow­ered mod­els are still run­ning and in de­mand for the young rider en­ter­ing the tri­als world, such was the su­perb build qual­ity of the first White­hawk frame kits.

White­hawk Yamaha

Mick had watched John Shirt Snr de­velop the suc­cess­ful range of Majesty tri­als ma­chines, and off the back of the White­hawk 80 he de­cided to pro­duce his own range of White­hawk Yamaha tri­als mod­els. Us­ing the out of date Yamaha TY mod­els as donor ma­chines he would fab­ri­cate his own frame kits and com­po­nents to sup­ply the com­pleted White­hawk Yamaha tri­als ma­chines in 125cc, 175cc, 200cc and 250cc en­gine sizes.

From the dis­may at the fin­ish of the Beamish Suzuki pro­ject Mick now en­joyed the suc­cess with Yamaha. Once again he had to move to big­ger premises, stay­ing in Hamp­shire, at Horn­dean to meet the pro­duc­tion re­quire­ments. For the next few years this was the main­stay of White­hawk, but as with any­thing, new mod­els come out and peo­ple move.

With the in­tro­duc­tion of the world chang­ing mono-shock Yamaha that was in­tro­duced in 1983 it put the fi­nal nail in the cof­fin for the twin-shock White­hawk Yamaha. The door was closed and he moved into smaller premises nearby where with the help of friends he got in­volved with mak­ing of BMX frames and opened a small BMX shop, giv­ing him the life­line for an in­come. Th­ese were very sat­is­fy­ing days as the busi­ness pres­sure was re­moved, and he made many friends in the BMX world. It was dur­ing this time that the Mini Moto and Pit Bikes started to sur­face, and af­ter a chance meet­ing he came into con­tact with Gor­don Ed­wards who was based in Amer­ica. He ended up fab­ri­cat­ing many frames for GEM to sup­ply the grow­ing mar­ket in this area of mo­tor­cy­cling.

The End of an Era

With a pas­sion that would not die, Mick was ap­proached by Craig Mawlam when he pur­chased the Majesty brand and the stock of parts. He com­mis­sioned Mick to make a new batch of Majesty frames with the bless­ing of John Shirt Snr. As usual th­ese were to a very high stan­dard, and off the back of this came some more frame-fab­ri­ca­tion work. The Honda four-stroke twin-shock ma­chines are very much still in de­mand, and a small batch of RS and TLR replica frames were made along with alu­minium swing­ing arms.

Mike Pearce

Clas­sic Trial Magazine would like to thank Mike Pearce for sup­port­ing Mick Whitlock with the gen­er­a­tion of this ar­ti­cle. Mike Pearce is a for­mer em­ployee of White­hawk and a long-term friend of Mick Whitlock, and this story could go on for­ever as they rem­i­nisced about the years spent to­gether in their younger days as we talked about the ar­ti­cle and its con­tent. I am sure we will have missed some parts of the story out, but above all we now have the White­hawk years on record.

There may be one fi­nal twist to this tale though. On the 31st Oc­to­ber 2016, Mick Whitlock cel­e­brated his 75th birth­day, and with it the lease ran out on the gas bot­tles he has used all his life to pro­duce the White­hawk prod­ucts. The lease has not been re­newed but as yet the bot­tles have not been col­lected!

Many of the pic­tures used in this ar­ti­cle have come from Mike Pearce and Mick Whitlock. If you are the copy­right works orig­i­na­tor of any images please feel free to con­tact Clas­sic Trial Magazine, as with the pass­ing of time they can­not re­mem­ber who gen­er­ated some of the images.

A very early pic­ture of a young Mick Whitlock.

Bob Goll­ner on a very early Chee­tah tri­als model. The Chee­tah frame us­ing Reynolds 531 tub­ing with all-brazed joints was an early ex­am­ple of this mas­ter trades­man’s work. It would stand proud with its chrome and nickel fin­ish and was de­signed around the Vil­liers 37A en­gine. 1967 and the Royal En­field’s al­ready show­ing small Whitlock mod­i­fi­ca­tions — the cig­a­rette was a per­ma­nent fix­ture! From the four-stroke Royal En­field to this two-stroke Gaunt Suzuki. Mick loved try­ing dif­fer­ent ma­chines.

Mo­tor­cy­cle dealer Bob Goll­ner knew the se­cret to suc­cess with the Chee­tah was the su­perb qual­ity of man­u­fac­tur­ing and the way the ma­chine would be mar­keted. The new ma­chine stands very proud. The 1967 Chee­tah works team left to right: Mick Whitlock, Chris Cullen and Arthur Dovey. In 1968 a Chee­tah frame kit was man­u­fac­tured to take the Tri­umph 199cc Tiger Cub en­gine. REH front forks from Robin Humphries were fit­ted with the ad­di­tion of a front disc brake. As is well doc­u­mented, the sup­ply of the Vil­liers en­gines dried up, as did the Tri­umph ones, and the dream was over for the all-British ma­chine. Ex­tra brak­ing power from the disc brake was most wel­come but at the cost of the ad­di­tional weight it added to the ma­chine. With­out the cig­a­rette Mick sam­ples the de­lights of this early ra­dial cylin­der head Bul­taco. The Whitlock suc­cess stands proud on the of­fice cof­fee ta­ble.

Mick had al­ways kept in touch with Bob Goll­ner af­ter the Chee­tah ven­ture and he ap­proached him to make what is be­lieved to be the first Yamaha tri­als ma­chine, the Goll­ner Yamaha. This was based around the DT 125 model from Yamaha and would later have its en­gine size in­creased to 175cc. Two very happy peo­ple: Mick Whitlock on the left and Bob Goll­ner on the right with the new Goll­ner Yamaha tri­als model. How on earth did the once mighty BSA mo­tor­cy­cle em­pire miss the op­por­tu­nity to put a tri­als BSA Ban­tam into pro­duc­tion. This joint ven­ture be­tween Eric Cheney and Mick Whitlock gives us a vi­sion of just how good it could have been with its novel frame ar­range­ment. The ex­haust front pipe is used as the front down-tube! You can al­most see Mick’s head tick­ing about new ideas as he sits on the White­hawk Bul­taco. Giv­ing 100% as al­ways, Mick on his spe­cial Bul­taco in 1970. While work­ing for Eric Cheney this Bul­taco was built with a new frame. The qual­ity of the steel tub­ing from Spain was still very poor.

The en­gi­neer­ing and fab­ri­cat­ing skills of Mick Whitlock would lead to the start of an in­ter­est­ing pro­ject from a Scan­di­na­vian cus­tomer who had a vi­son of build­ing his own ma­chine with the Whitlock con­nec­tion, and he funded Mick to pro­duce a com­plete ma­chine us­ing the Sachs en­gine. Un­for­tu­nately noth­ing ever came of the pro­ject de­spite the ma­chine’s po­ten­tial. Whitlock soon had the job in hand to im­prove the new Ossa, with the ma­chines sold through Bob Goll­ner hav­ing the op­tion of hav­ing this new chrome frame fit­ted which used an alu­minium sump guard, and which in turn erad­i­cated the chain de­rail­ment prob­lem. The early Mick An­drews Replica Ossa tri­als mod­els were now start­ing to make their way onto the UK tri­als scene but they had a ma­jor prob­lem with the rear chains de­rail­ing. They came with a plas­tic com­pos­ite type of sump shield fit­ted which was part of the frame to pro­tect the en­gine, but it al­lowed the frame to flex when power was ap­plied and threw the chain off the sprock­ets. Lov­ing his tri­als rid­ing as much as ever: Mick Whitlock on the Ossa is in the cen­tre with Roy Collins on the left and Ed­die Austen on the right. The 125cc White­hawk cer­tainly looked the busi­ness.

Sammy Miller tested the Sachs en­gined ma­chine and praised its ca­pa­bil­i­ties, much to Whitlock’s de­light. With so much in­ter­est in the ‘Hi-Boy’ frame kits Sammy Miller would also have him make a Hi-Boy frame for the Ossa en­gine. Miller had recog­nised the grow­ing af­ter­mar­ket parts that the tri­als riders wanted and used Whitlock to gen­er­ate and test var­i­ous prod­ucts for him. Ge­off Parken stands out­side Sammy Miller’s tri­als shop with his new ‘Hi-Boy’ Bul­taco. On this ma­chine in 1974 Parken took a sur­prise win at the Vic­tory Trial, which was a British Cham­pi­onship round, as a Novice rider.

This is the Bul­taco sin­gle-shock frame de­signed by Sammy Miller af­ter he spoke with Mick Whitlock who fab­ri­cated it. Bul­taco in Spain made the de­ci­sion not to de­velop it fur­ther due to the costs in­volved. It was con­structed from Reynolds 531 tub­ing with a 2” Ø main down-tube and a damp­ing unit from the front sus­pen­sion of Ken Tyrell’s car team, with the help of one of its en­gi­neers Roy Topp. With all the com­po­nents clamped in place fab­ri­ca­tion could com­mence. The frame jigs were al­ways very busy places. Pro­duc­tion in full flow.

David Clinkard on a pro­duc­tion Beamish Suzuki, which car­ried so much Mick Whitlock in­put to make it the suc­cess it was. The Beamish Suzuki side­car, seen here in ac­tion with John Gaskell in charge and Harry Wood in the side­car. He won three con­sec­u­tive British side­car ti­tles. Com­pleted side­car frames ready for as­sem­bly. The start­ing point of the suc­cess­ful White­hawk Yamaha was the TY80. Mick Whitlock still gives so much credit to the suc­cess of the White­hawk Yamaha TY80 pro­ject to young Andy Clinkard’s wins on the ma­chine bring­ing it to the head­lines of the tri­als world. The suc­cess of John Reynolds on the Beamish Suzuki is well doc­u­mented in is­sue 16 of Clas­sic Trial Magazine.

The White­hawk youth tri­als team: Andy Clinkard, Kevin Bleas­dale, Neil Hubbard. Kevin Bleas­dale was from Cum­bria and a school­boy cham­pion. Sadly he died many years ago ice-climb­ing on Mount Fuji. With the help of friends he got in­volved with the mak­ing of BMX frames and opened a small BMX shop. Th­ese were very sat­is­fy­ing days as the busi­ness pres­sure was re­moved and he made many friends in the BMX world. As with most of his projects Mick Whitlock was al­ways very hands-on. His at­ten­tion to de­tail was some­thing he very much prided him­self on, which was re­flected in the fi­nal prod­uct. The very early White­hawk as­sem­bly line. It’s not a case of who had one of the White­hawks but who did not. A very young Dougie Lamp­kin did.

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