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wetfeet

Alta Suzuki

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hi guys dont know if i am in the right place but anybody got any pics of the little suzukis that were about in the early mid 70s i think martin lampkin rode one for a while and gordan farley but i could be wrong also any pics of the little jawa 90cc bikes please

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From memory:

Alta Suzukis were produced in Wales in 1969/70 (the only motorcycle to be manufactured in Wales?). They used the 118cc Suzuki engine with "twin" gearbox (three ratios which could be put in high or low mode). They followed Peter Gaunt's own conversion of the 118cc Suzuki road bike for trials use in 1967. Altas were made by a relative of the Taylor family who were also responsible for Alta cars (pre-war?). Works riders for Alta included Martin Lampkin and John Hemingway (father of Ben and Dan). The works bikes graduated to 128cc using pistons from the Suzuki Super Six 250 road bike. The ultimate version was a monocoque alloy framed model. Rising costs of buying in the engines put the firm out of business in 1970, but they were great bikes by all accounts, providing more low-end grunt as required for British trials than the rival 125s of the time. I think there are some pictures on the Eurospares.com website, among loads of other interesting stuff there.

Peter Gaunt went on from Suzuki power to produce the 88cc Gaunt Jawa, using the engine from the Jawa Cross 90 trail bike, in 1969 I believe. This was a little jewel of a bike, at the time the lightest and cheapest trials bike on the market, but Gaunt was one of the few who could get the best out of the buzzy engine, winning the Irish Experts on one beating the top-line opposition of the day. After the Jawa, Peter Gaunt went on to produce a 175 CZ and 350 Ducati trials bikes. Possibly also pictuies on Eurospares, or try googling for images.

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thanks for that clean the reason i started thinking about them was i was reading the new classic dirtbike mag and the editor said he has a monocoque frame in his loft??and it just got me thinking thanks again for all the info

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I have got photos of Alta Suzukis, but I no longer post photos on Trials Central, this facility has now been removed from the website.

Big John

Edited by Big John

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just been to that site you gave me clean thanks for that its fantastic its like an aladins cave

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About a year ago I had a very brief shot on a Gaunt Jawa which was in good order so presumably representative of the model. To say the engine must have been buzzy in its day is something of an understatement. Opening the throttle gave the impression of being fired from a cannon which increases my admiration for Peter Gaunt's riding skills.

I always fancied an Alta, a very neat bike - does anyone else remember the gent in Scotland who rode one in collar and tie at all times. I wonder if it's still in Scotland.

Going off at a bit of a tangent, there was another pressed steel frame 125 Suzuki in Scotland. Trevor Hay rode a self-converted road bike in '69 or so with some success. Its light weight was demonstrated when, Trevor claimed, he heard the revs rise as the back wheel came off the ground when the wind lifted him from one lane of the Forth Road Bridge to the other. Wouldn't have fancied riding a low geared 125 to and from events, the Bulto was slow enough.

A bit later on Stuart McLuckie converted one of the blue tank tubular framed 125 Suzukis and rode under the G P Chatham banner. Needless to say this had the trademark McLuckie expansion system and was, ahem, "crisp".

I'll stop rambling now or I'm likely to go on all night.

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Aha 2/4... Stuart J McLuckie, there indeed is a name from the past!

Now in Canada I believe? Spoke to him at last years' Pre65 at Kinlochleven, not looking a day older!

Big John

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A bit later on Stuart McLuckie converted one of the blue tank tubular framed 125 Suzukis

I hope it was nothing like the Stuart McLuckie conversion Kinell & I had the pleasure of getting a lift in at Duluth 2 years ago. Huggy Bear would have been at home in that beast! :wacko: The phrase "passion wagon" would be a gross understatement! :wacko:

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Ah yes, but it had all the right accessories :wacko:

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The Alta Suzuki was produced by the Taylor family and I am fairly sure the business was situated in Swansea, S.Wales.

I think I rode in a Sammy Miller round somewhere this year where someone was riding one around? I seem to think it was it was the Greensmith ?

Further to the query in one of the early posts on this subject as to trials bikes made in Wales - I am sure the HRH or HJH was made in Neath - not far from start of St Davids and I am also fairly sure Rob Griffiths - the Welsh Scottish Six day stalwart may have ridden one at some time

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Yes John, it was a real pleasure to see him again. The latest project he was talking of was the building of a wide wheelbase mini pick-up. Goodness knows where the parts are going to come from over there. Will it end up blue and yellow like the one he used to haul the CZ with here I wonder.

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Yes John, it was a real pleasure to see him again. The latest project he was talking of was the building of a wide wheelbase mini pick-up. Goodness knows where the parts are going to come from over there. Will it end up blue and yellow like the one he used to haul the CZ with here I wonder.

Knowing Stuart, more than likely!

Big John

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Big John,

How come - no more of your nostalic Trials pics - have I missed something here - I cannot believe what I have just read - I would like to know how this situation has come about ??. Brian H

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Sorry Guys, but you must now be a Trials Central Supporter to be allowed to upload photos. there was a thread on TC last week.

Not that I am averse at all to a charge being levied for use of this fantastic website, but I thought at the moment it was a matter of choice, it wasn't compulsory.

Don't get me wrong I haven't taken the huff or anything.

I must abide by the rules (always have, that's me all over) and to be honest I haven't a clue about photobucket etc, so unfortunately I'm stuck. There is so much old stuff here to share but maybe that's for another day!

Big John

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