FIRST IMPRESSIONS BILLY BOLT
You may ask why we invited Scorpa supported rider Billy Bolt to have a quick spin on the new 2016 model 300cc. Committed to the Ossa project for the BTC and WTC he was thrown a lifeline by Scorpa UK importer Nigel Birkett and the French company when production problems hit the Spanish manufacturer Ossa. Billy first threw his leg over the Scorpa for the WTC round in Japan.
“I owe a huge debt to both Nigel Birkett and Scorpa for the opportunity to stay in the WTC in 2015 when the problems at Ossa came to light. The move from one brand to another was more difficult than I first thought it would be, due to the radical design of the Ossa which featured the fuel tank very low at the front of the machine and its superb clutch action, but this is a story for another day.
“The Scorpa is quite an easy machine to ride as the controls are all easily at hand or foot and it’s only a case of making a few minor personal adjustments that need to be carried out to be comfortable and in control of the motorcycle. The Scorpa I rode today was literally brand new and sold, so I had my ear bent by both ‘Yoomee’ and Nigel not to do any damage, which is not easy with my, shall we say, different riding style and, yes, I did crash – sorry!
“I have been involved with the changes to the 2016 model, having tried and tested the new exhaust system, and it certainly improves the power delivery and the motor’s ability to rev for ever; it certainly can sing! Add this to the changes to the CDI settings, which made the power very user friendly in all situations. In my opinion the diaphragm clutch system is the best in the world. The Scorpa has a conventional ‘basket’ type clutch and it was in this area where I found it took me the longest to adapt, but for 99% of riders it will be fine.
“In action the machine rides very well, with a pretty low feel to the handling which aids overall balance. It’s very stable up river beds, but very agile when a quick change of direction is to be made. The gearbox has five good usable gears as opposed to the majority of the opposition that has six. This is not an issue for me as I am very happy with any machine that is in gear and goes forward! The steel tubular frame has a good feel about it and it’s very easy to grip between the legs for machine positioning.
“Changes have been made to make for easier maintenance, such as access to the radiator to check coolant levels. Other changes include the move to Marzocchi front forks, which I do like, and general refinements in certain areas to improve quality and maintenance, which has to be a good thing. The move to Scorpa has been good for me so next time you see one why not ask its owner if you could throw your leg over it – but please do not ride it as radical as I do if it’s not your own!”
36 TRIAL MAGAZINE