Der­rick Ed­mond­son:

Classic Trial - - OPPORTUNITY -

“I first moved to the Honda tri­als project with Steve Saun­ders in 1986 be­fore joining Eddy Le­juene in 1987. I still find it hard to be­lieve that Steve did not win the world cham­pi­onship in 1986, he was def­i­nitely the best rider by far. The dy­nam­ics of the team changed in 1987 and Steve moved to Fan­tic and so I swopped over to be the me­chanic/min­der for Eddy. Both rid­ers were a plea­sure to work with and I was very dis­ap­pointed when the tri­als team fin­ished, but I very much re­spected the de­ci­sion. I knew the four-stroke RTL Honda in­side out; in a strange way they were ‘my’ ma­chines as I had spent two years of my life work­ing on them. The de­vel­op­ment 272cc was quite a spe­cial ma­chine. The crankcases had started out as TLR ones but had been ex­ten­sively ma­chined to suit the new ma­chine. HRC al­ways lis­tened to any ideas I had, which was al­ways re­as­sur­ing. The clutch was be­ing used more and more in the tri­als world and I sug­gested that both Eddy and Steve needed a bet­ter clutch in their ma­chines. HRC ad­dressed this and a CR125 model clutch was ma­chined to fit. John Jnr looked more at home on the drum-braked 250cc than on the 272cc disc-braked model. The power was very strange on this ma­chine. In truth Eddy Le­je­une had spo­ken in depth to me about it and he never re­ally mas­tered it. John was a very promis­ing young rider, and maybe it was too much for a six­teen-year-old but I just wanted to give some­one the op­por­tu­nity with the HRC ma­chines. When John wanted to re­turn the ma­chines I fully un­der­stood the de­ci­sion. I last rode the 272cc in the Scott Trial in the Oc­to­ber 1988 be­fore it was re­turned to the HRC base in Bel­gium; yes it was some ma­chine!”

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