2017 has been a busy year, and happily, I have managed to ‘get out more’ and ride some events. Firstly the wet Captain’s Trial on my BSA C15, a proper Pre-65 event, then the Blue Bar Two-Day, a very good twinshock trial, and the ever growing and incredibly popular Highland Classic TwoDay followed by the Bultaco Revival Nostalgia in Cumbria, all on board my 325 Bultaco Sherpa. All these adventures were planned, I may add! It is really good to see first hand how other clubs and promoters put together their events and many thanks to these clubs for accepting my entries so that I could enjoy my motorcycling hassle free.
I am now heavily involved as General Secretary with the Inverness & District, both club and limited company, having taken over from Dave MacKay who carried these duties out for over twenty-eight years. I fully appreciate that few thanks come a secretary’s way, but this year both at the Highland Classic and after it I was congratulated on the trial by many of the riders. It is not all down to me of course; there is a hard-working team of ‘core’ people underpinning that trial, which is par for the course at most if not all events countrywide. I would like to thank on behalf of our team at the Inverness & District our ‘Trial Partners’ namely Apico Factory Racing; Putoline Oils and this publication Classic Trial Magazine. The riders and officials benefited directly from their generosity and input which they bestowed on the event, helping to make it the success that everyone has been raving about. Thanks also to our two guests Rob Shepherd and Nick Jefferies, who carried out their duties impeccably. Of course, the landowners play a huge part in any event, and that is why we have the ‘Address to the Trial’ which features our main benefactor the Laird himself, Jamie Williamson, the owner of the Alvie Estate. There are class winners but no outright trial winner, and that in itself helps retain the friendly atmosphere.
A motorcycle trial needs some forward thinking and flexibility to keep it fresh, and something people want to come back to. It is noticeable that ‘our’ trial lacks the abundance of red tape that some others do, and we try to make it both easy and fun to enter.
As for time, it comes at a premium the older I get, but that doesn’t prevent me making some plans! My latest is to build a ‘new’ trials motorcycle for fun and a bit of competitive riding. The basis is the Drayton frame kit that I have purchased for a 343cc BSA B40 ‘GB’ motor which was ‘left over in a corner’ after I sold my 343 BSA, the machine featured in the story of the ‘Full Circle BSA’ which appeared in the February edition of this very publication. The well-proven Drayton trials kit was delivered to my door and come as a true package deal. This consists of a fully assembled powder-coated frame with swinging arm, aluminium oil tank, oil pipes, aluminium fuel tank, cap and tap, head races, seat, brake pedal and engineplates. What more does a chap need? The delivery reminded me of the old kit-form trials machines of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Pictured from left: Rob Shepherd, Nick Jefferies and John Moffat