A LIFE AFTER TRIALS
VESTY: “After retiring from trials in 1983 I knew I wanted to do something that gave me the same level of interest as I had in trials, although working for someone didn’t really appeal to me. It was at this point that I decided to set up my own company.
“After meeting Diane, my wife, in 1981 whilst competing in the British Trials Championship I decided to make England my home and build my empire here.
“Finland was the home of top clothing brands at the time in Motocross and Enduro, though I wanted to do something better. I felt as a rider there were a number of improvements that could have been made to the products I used whilst competing. It was with this in mind and wanting to make the best off-road clothing in the world I came upon the idea of creating Apico”.
Apico was born from one man’s dream coupled with the perfectionist ideals which came from Vesty’s own discipline that made him one of the most successful trials riders of all time. The Apico brand, developed from many late-night discussions trying to make a short and memorable name which had no existing trademark ties, was up against the Finnish clothing brands of Yoko, Tackla and the original JT Clothing.
VESTY: “No other companies where operating as a marketing company, they were manufacturers, and we were somewhat ahead of our time. Factories weren’t as keen on the idea as there wasn’t investment in the bricks and mortar so Apico was the first licensed clothing to be made based around the quality, design and riders that were wearing it; quality was somewhat an issue with some brands back then.”
Motocross was predominant in Apico’s plans although a certain Steve Saunders and Tony Scarlett were some of the first trials riders to be wearing Apico Trials Clothing. Vesty had developed his range on comfortable, lightweight clothing using non-traditional fabrics and materials, having noted during his own career that the somewhat cumbersome nature of the old style clothing could hamper the ability to perform.
It was at this point that Lycra was first used in trials clothing as a two-piece, something that was a revolution in the trials clothing market, and is still used as one-piece suits by riders today.
VESTY: “Laminate Lycra was available through the factory at this time for other clothing products. We added a foam padding layer for the requirements of riding and the off-road trials clothing range was born. At this time Apico were the first to make light, fully elasticated gloves for the off-road market”.
One part of business Vesty learnt very quickly was the reaction of some of the bigger manufacturers, who copied the ideas Apico implemented into the market!
Apico Rider: 1985 SSDT Steve Saunders (Honda)
Apico Rider: 1986 British Experts Tony Scarlett (Yamaha
Apico Rider: 1986 SSDT Martin Lampkin (Fantic)