Mys­tery Ma­chine

Classic Trial - - CONTENTS - Words: Peter Lohre and John Hulme

Heuser Tri­als

I have had this brochure shot for many years, and when look­ing through some old com­puter files re­cently, I found this ar­ti­cle about its builder. I tried to find its orig­i­na­tor, Peter Lohre, who I lost con­tact with many years ago, to no avail. It’s such an in­spir­ing but sad story that I have de­cided to print it. Peter, if you are out there, please could you con­tact me? I would love to have a catch-up.

Peter Lohre talks about his friend Peter Heuser. “There are cer­tain peo­ple who for some rea­son you can never for­get in life. Peter Heuser was such a char­ac­ter.”

The first meet­ing

The date­line is the early sev­en­ties and the venue Trois­dorf, West Ger­many. I first heard of a Fina brand petrol sta­tion owner Peter Heuser at a time when his mind was fo­cused on a brand new breath­tak­ing mo­tor­cy­cle the Ital­ian Benelli six-cylin­der ma­chine. He had never seen any­thing like it. He liked it, and he started a Benelli sales busi­ness. As ev­ery­body knows about Ital­ian mo­tor­cy­cle man­u­fac­tur­ers, they are most won­der­ful with their de­signs and most du­bi­ous in their re­li­a­bil­ity. Frus­trated as he was, Heuser changed di­rec­tion and looked to­wards the Bri­tish Isles. Wasp of South New­ton, Sal­is­bury came into fo­cus.

He con­vinced Robby Rhind-Tutt to build him a Norton-en­gined tri­als spe­cial. He took it over to Ger­many and started play­ing with it. That was when I first met him as a rider. I heard a deep sound crawl­ing up from be­hind the hills in my usual tri­als prac­tice grounds. Heuser turned up with this fas­ci­nat­ing tri­als side­car out­fit, shout­ing at his pas­sen­ger. He usu­ally shouted at them all the time. This chap walked away, and I was given the hot seat in this spe­cial. We got along, and I be­came his num­ber one tri­als pas­sen­ger and Peter Heuser more or less fin­ished my solo ca­reer — not that it was any­thing to men­tion.

We quickly dis­cov­ered that the old Norton lump was too clumsy for modern-type sec­tions; steep hills or muddy bot­tom­less pits were more suited to it. One day Peter bought a Suzuki 250cc two-stroke en­duro en­gine that he wanted to be fit­ted into one of th­ese Wasp frames.

Trav­el­ling man

The next step was to travel to South New­ton near Sal­is­bury where he had spe­cial light­weight tri­als chas­sis tai­lored around us. The process took five days from bare Reynolds 531 steel tubes to a hand-brazed rolling chas­sis.

Us­ing a CCM en­gine as a stop­gap, it turned out not to be any good. When I went to CCM at Bolton Ju­bilee Works, I blew up Heuser’s newly ac­quired 2.8 Litre Capri on the M4 at full speed. Oil poured out ev­ery­where; the Sal­is­bury Ford deal­ers said they had not seen any­thing like it be­fore!

The Suzuki en­gine con­nec­tion led to Beamish Mo­tors at Port­slade near Brighton. The Beamish Suzuki was the side­car to have in the 1970s.

Heuser be­came the sole im­porter to Ger­many, and we were both in busi­ness as ‘works’ rid­ers. Deutschmark af­ter Deutschmark was poured into or­gan­is­ing a na­tional Ger­man Side­car-Tri­als Cham­pi­onship and we were al­ways having the lat­est tech­ni­cal mod­i­fi­ca­tions fit­ted to our Beamish Suzuki.

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