When the news broke in 2014 that an­other new tri­als brand from Spain was to be pre­sented to the com­pet­i­tive mar­ket­place, for many peo­ple it was a case of ‘Oh no, not an­other’. In the volatile econ­omy of the present day that the world lives in would it be a case of ‘All show and no go’? The man be­hind the Span­ish brand, Manel Jane, is a hugely well-re­spected suc­cess­ful busi­ness man in his own right but, most im­por­tantly, he has a pas­sion for the sport of tri­als. The truth is that he is, quite rightly, very proud of his new Ver­tigo brand. His front man for the new project needs no in­tro­duc­tion: Dougie Lamp­kin! He mir­rors the same pas­sion as Manel Jane, a pas­sion which has seen him dom­i­nate tri­als over a decade when he was the one to beat – and still is in cer­tain events such as the Scot­tish Six Days and the Scott Trial. Around the world Lamp­kin still car­ries huge re­spect and has thrown him­self into the Ver­tigo project with the be­lief that we are sure to wit­ness it turn­ing into a win­ner. Their new rider would be Great Bri­tain’s James Dabill and he would de­but the new ma­chine on the big­gest pos­si­ble stage avail­able, at round one of the 2015 FIM X-Trial World Cham­pi­onship on home ground in the UK at Sh­effield in front of over 6,000 pa­tri­otic fans. For the brand Ver­tigo ‘It’s Go’!

The new ma­chine had been shrouded in se­crecy, with very lit­tle in­for­ma­tion and no images avail­able un­til the cov­ers were taken off at the Mi­lan show in Italy in late 2014. This cre­ated so much ex­cite­ment in the tri­als com­mu­nity, and the fact that Lamp­kin would be in­volved car­ried so much cred­i­bil­ity as he would have never com­mit­ted his time and his name to a project un­less he con­sid­ered it vi­able.


A Ver­tigo team photo ses­sion was or­gan­ised be­fore the de­but at Sh­effield, where the 2015 team was pre­sented in its new Jit­sie team rid­ing kit. I am sure you can ap­pre­ci­ate the team is very pro­fes­sional and to get ev­ery­thing or­gan­ised and in place in such a tight time-frame does not ‘just hap­pen’. Jan ‘Jit­sie’ Car­di­nals had the team cloth­ing made in the cor­rect team colours and in all hon­esty it would be fan­tas­tic to see the two-man team of Dougie Lamp­kin and James Dabill rid­ing to­gether in the WTC. The look of de­ter­mi­na­tion in Lamp­kin’s eye gives you the ‘We mean busi­ness’ vibe, but I am sure you are all aware that Lamp­kin has long since re­tired from the tough world of the WTC, hav­ing won twelve world ti­tles and ninety-nine in­di­vid­ual world round wins. His mo­ti­va­tion as a win­ner is still there for all to see as we wit­nessed with his win at the 2014 SSDT.

James ‘Dib­sta’ Dabill fin­ished fourth in the X-Trial World Cham­pi­onship and in sixth po­si­tion in the world cham­pi­onship rank­ings in 2014. He car­ries a strong be­lief that he can move fur­ther up both the X-Trial and world cham­pi­onship with the sup­port of the Ver­tigo team and Dougie Lamp­kin. He is on a two-year deal and, as with any devel­op­ment ma­chine, it will be a case of testing and more testing for them both as they travel on this new adventure.


The ma­chine that Dabill would de­but was the Ice Hell ver­sion, which had only been in his pos­ses­sion for three weeks, and on closer in­spec­tion it is still very much a pro­to­type – which is ev­i­dent if you take a close look at the plas­tics.

The mo­tor is very con­ven­tional and ba­si­cally a 300cc two-stroke sin­gle cylin­der liq­uid-cooled type with the ECU sys­tem man­ag­ing and con­trol­ling the per­for­mance of the en­gine in all sit­u­a­tions. The gear­box is a six-speed unit. The wa­ter pump is unique in the fact that it is elec­tric pow­ered as op­posed to the con­ven­tional me­chan­i­cal ones usu­ally found on the other tri­als mo­tor­cy­cles on the mar­ket. The di­aphragm clutch as­sem­bly is large di­am­e­ter and is claimed to pro­vide a smooth and pro­gres­sive ac­tion. The air in­take has a high po­si­tion in the steel tubu­lar lat­tice frame, with the alu­minium fuel tank sit­u­ated as low as pos­si­ble at the rear around the rear shock.

Weigh­ing in at a claimed 63/64kg the ma­chine utilises many cy­cle com­po­nents that are read­ily avail­able to other man­u­fac­tur­ers which, no doubt, will be fine-tuned for the Ver­tigo.

Fin­ished off in a white colour scheme for the frame, the aes­thetics do make it stand out on its own and no doubt the fi­nal pro­duc­tion ma­chines will look and be much bet­ter fin­ished off.


In the warm-up area the Ver­tigo looked and sounded im­pres­sive. The ex­haust note from the twin out­lets came out very sharp and crisp with each throt­tle open­ing.

It was funny in a strange way but it all ap­peared to work very well, but in re­al­ity when you think about why shouldn’t it, as it has ob­vi­ously seen many hours of devel­op­ment al­ready. The mo­ment Dabill rode into the arena he was un­der scru­tiny and when he took the ma­chine through the first haz­ard part­ing with no marks you could see the look of re­lief on the team Ver­tigo per­son­nel’s faces – it works! The power out­put from the ma­chine is cer­tainly up to the rigours of the big in­door haz­ards and the pair­ing of Dabill and the ma­chine looks very com­fort­able in ac­tion.

In the event Dabill parted with too many marks in the six haz­ards to make a chal­lenge to the top four po­si­tions but you must give credit where it’s due and the per­for­mance of this new ma­chine passed with fly­ing colours. Noth­ing broke and the mo­tor sounded very strong. It’s ob­vi­ously not go­ing to be de­vel­oped overnight, but we are sure that now they know that it all works well they can con­tinue the devel­op­ment of the ma­chine in the heat of com­pe­ti­tion and see what prob­lems, if any, it will throw at the Span­ish team.

The Ver­tigo even looks com­pet­i­tive stood still!

No pres­sure! Dabill en­ters the Ver­tigo into the Lion’s Den at Sh­effield Arena as 6,000 fans wait. 41



Power from the 300cc mo­tor was never an is­sue.


James Dabill mod­el­ling the Jit­sie kit be­fore the crowds en­tered the arena.

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