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Classic Trial - - CONTENTS -

1981 WTC

1980 was a year of change in the tri­als world as Bul­taco were in sig­nif­i­cant fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties and the world was watching the Span­ish man­u­fac­turer. Now based in Thames Dit­ton, near Lon­don, its fac­tory sup­ported rider Bernie Schreiber and he had some tough de­ci­sions to make. With the fac­tory doors closed at Bul­taco, Bernie was ap­proached by Ital­ian Pi­etro Ku­ciukian who was the team man­ager of SWM. He wanted to buy a Bul­taco and sup­port him to ride it on the understanding he would move to SWM for the 1981 sea­son. He de­clined the of­fer, to take up an op­por­tu­nity at the Ital­ian mo­tor­cy­cle man­u­fac­tur­ers Ital­jet. He moved to the green ma­chine mid-sea­son in 1981; a blue Bul­taco painted a dif­fer­ent colour, win­ning the last four rounds of the FIM World Tri­als Cham­pi­onship. Overnight the Amer­i­can world cham­pion from 1979 be­came a devel­op­ment rider!

Leopoldo Tar­tarini, the owner, was full of ideas and he be­lieved Schreiber was the best and could win on any ma­chine. Ital­jet were new to the tri­als game, and soon Bernie re­alised he couldn't win on his own and that he also needed a good ma­chine.

This pic­ture from the Mauri/Fontsere Col­lec­tion and the Gi­ulio Mauri Copy­right ar­chive sees Schreiber ar­rive at the open­ing world round in Spain 1981.

The Span­ish pub­lic are mo­tor­cy­cle en­thu­si­asts at heart and wanted to see just how good the new com­bi­na­tion of Schreiber and the Ital­jet was. In a poor sea­son be­set with prob­lems, the Amer­i­can dropped to sixth in the FIM World Cham­pi­onship in a chal­leng­ing year. In 1982 he would move to SWM un­der the guid­ance of Pi­etro Ku­ciukian.

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