1968 Perce Simon


The Hoad and Perce Simon na­tional tri­als took part over a week­end of tri­als ac­tion and were made up of very sim­i­lar con­di­tions. Steep, sandy, tree-rut­ted climbs and masses of bot­tom­less mud with not a rock in sight. Throw the first three gears away as it’s all usu­ally full throt­tle and flat-out ac­tion. The area for the two days of ac­tion had seen heavy rain, mak­ing for a real ‘mud plug­ging’ week­end. The com­bi­na­tion of Sammy Miller and the Span­ish Bul­taco were com­ing to the event hav­ing won on the pre­vi­ous three oc­ca­sions, could he make it four in a row? Who would bet against it! At the Hoad Trial the pre­vi­ous day he had to play sec­ond fid­dle to an on-form 21-year-old Paul Dunk­ley on the Chee­tah tak­ing his first na­tional win, push­ing Miller down to sec­ond. He ar­rived along with 109 solo rid­ers who would at­tempt 20 haz­ards over two laps and 17 side­cars who would cover 20 haz­ards but only take in the one lap.

Miller had started very strong and was hold­ing a clear ad­van­tage in the early part of the first lap when dis­as­ter struck. En­joy­ing the au­tumn sun on a cloud­less day and with a very low sun Sammy was cruis­ing along one of the many New For­est tracks when he failed to see a di­ver­sion sign for the trial and a road block which con­sisted of scaf­fold­ing poles. It stopped him and the Bul­taco dead, re­sult­ing in some sore ribs and a gash on the bridge of his nose. Bat­tered and winded from the im­pact he got back to his feet to find the Bul­taco with a bro­ken top yoke, bent han­dle­bars and twisted front forks; the gate was a write off! He strug­gled back to his ve­hi­cle where the bro­ken parts were re­placed, and a cup of cof­fee and some pain killers were taken. In a show of sheer de­ter­mi­na­tion he bat­tled on to take a well-earned vic­tory in front of Derek Ad­sett with a clear win­ning mar­gin.

Derek Ad­sett (250 Greeves): Keep­ing the Greeves flag fly­ing, the fu­ture of the man­u­fac­turer in tri­als was tak­ing its di­rec­tors to the Puch fac­tory in Aus­tria. The sup­ply of Vil­liers en­gines was rapidly dry­ing up. In the show­rooms a new 250 Greeves Anglian was priced at £295.00 and a Bul­taco at £275.00. With Miller’s con­tin­ued suc­cess the writ­ing was on the wall for Greeves.Sammy Miller (252 Bul­taco): With the Bul­taco back in one piece it’s a blood­ied Sammy who con­tin­ued on, to take his fourth con­sec­u­tive win in the Ring­wood Mo­tor­cy­cle & Light Car Club’s Perce Simon Trial. Bro­ken ribs and se­vere bruis­ing were di­ag­nosed after the trial on a visit to the lo­cal hos­pi­tal.Paul Dunk­ley (250 Chee­tah): It was not to be a dou­ble win­ning week­end for the Dunk­ley and Chee­tah com­bi­na­tion. De­spite the crash and the sub­se­quent in­juries Miller was still a class act and, in truth, no one had an an­swer to his rid­ing skills.

Gor­don Far­ley (250 Greeves): That’s an­other five for the ob­servers to record. The ground was sod­den with the pre­vi­ous week’s rain adding to the deep muddy bog­land in the New For­est. With rider after rider at­tempt­ing the haz­ards a deep groove opened up on the sec­tion ‘line’ and de­spite a fast at­tack it stopped Far­ley in his wheel tracks.Chris Cullen (250 Chee­tah): A good qual­ity of fin­ish and the use of su­pe­rior rear and front sus­pen­sion were some of the at­trac­tions to the Chee­tah tri­als mod­els. Based in the south of the coun­try they proved very pop­u­lar in the lo­cal cen­tre events. Some of the tri­als mod­els also sported a disc front brake con­ver­sion.Mike Jack­son (250 Mon­tesa): A sales man­ager for both Greeves and AJS, it was time for Mike to try one of the new Mon­tesa Cota 247 mod­els in 1968. When he was ap­pointed Gen­eral Sales Man­ager for the Norton Vil­liers Cor­po­ra­tion in 1970 he moved to the USA and raced AJS mo­tor­cy­cles in West Coast Desert events.

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