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  1. A few other names missing off the list from the top of my head Rob Crawford Phil Houghton Tony Buckley Dave West John Shirt Wayne Braybrook
  2. I have a lot of respect for Doug, his late father and his immediate family. I have spoken to all on many occasions and know how decent and down to earth they all are. This is why I'm a little disappointed from what I witnessed, oh and it was not just one occasion by the way. I agree it may not have made any difference to the overall result and also if the observer is consistent with all, then fine also. My point was the win would have (in my opinion) been more well received should the controversial actions not have taken place. There is one thing getting a relaxed decision from a friendly observer, but to blatantly "bend" the rules and put an observer under pressure is not very sporting at any level be it professional or amateur. In fact one could argue that at the amateur level where clubs rely on volunteers and the prize for winning is more about pride than possession, then surely a more "sporty" attitude should be taken?
  3. Some controversy around it though, seems he had some questionable scoring aimed in his favour. Shame that such a well respected and talented trials icon has to resort to "bending" the rules. There is nothing left for him to prove, he is the most and undoubtedly the greatest trials rider GB has produced and possible one of just a few in the world. He has lost some of my respect due to the antics I witnessed at the SSDT.
  4. Excellent choice Hughie! you won't find any better bike to begin your modern trials journey on. Have fun my friend and be sure to keep us updated with your progress!
  5. This is one that appeals to some and I can see why, the lack of noise makes them less noticeable and in general people also don't associate electric powered vehicles as "motor" vehicles so they are less alarmed when they see one ridden in areas not allowed, thus less likely to report them. However this will probably change over the years as electric vehicles become more popular, the "nuisance" association as per combustion powered vehicles will prevail also. Thus eventually people will frown on and/or report them. The only positive that might stick with the general public is the notion that electric vehicles are "friendlier" to the environment. On a side note, I've ridden the very latest EM bike and its very good! However the cost of replacement batteries and the lack of regaining lost grip, puts me off purchasing one. You have to ride them similar to a four stroke to make them grip, which takes a little getting used to. I like the traditional clutch and feel of it and do like the addition of a idling sound when the throttle is shut off. Both make the experience more similar to a petrol bike, which helps an old fossil like me! I'm sure in the near future the younger generation will quickly adapt, and at some point frown upon petrol engine bikes!
  6. For me its more of the way certain riders think they have a right to, and consider themselves more important than others because they are considered "top riders" so have a terrible attitude towards other riders. I can understand that the sections can alter whilst they await their turn, so feel they need to get in there before it changes too much. I've been on the receiving end many times (like I'm sure most have) were I have rode a section to find a big rock or a hole has appeared that wasn't there when I walked it. But this is still no excuse, they should just accept that its luck of the draw and things do even out in the long run.
  7. I think the GP model have the Tech forks which If I recall are the same spindle size as the rear. So the bearings will be 6004RS, someone else may correct me on this. You can knock the bearings out quite easily by using a long blunt flat screw driver for the first bearing by moving the internal spacer over slightly to one side and then just catching the edge of the bearing to tap out. Once this one is out just use a socket the same size as the spacer to easily tap out the other bearing. To re-fit knock in a bearing one side using a socket that is the same diameter as the bearing outer case then insert the spacer and do the same for the other side. the whole job takes ten minutes provided nothing is too corroded or damaged. Personally I like to flick out one of the rubber seals and fill with water proof grease then re-fit the seal, for added long term lubrication. However the bearings are pretty cheap to buy and simple to fit so its probably a bit over kill.
  8. Even if you have nowhere to practice, just doing figure of 8's and stop start balancing as smoothly as possible will help you get some connection with the bike and teach you body movement. Unlike road riding, for turning in trials you tend to lean opposite to the bike and also when riding your legs become part of the suspension, this is why you stand on the bike rather than sit. Just learning these 2 aspects makes a huge difference.
  9. Hughie, You have been given some sound advice so far. If you are not happy with the bike then I would advise to try and test out other bikes to see if you can find one you are happy with. However, trials is totally different to road biking. No offense but there is little to no technique, other than the very basic principals, like gear changing etc that you can take from road riding and apply to trials. Many road riders turn their hand to trials only to find it totally alien and very difficult, as Guy Martin found out! Trials is a fine art and takes years of practice and experience to master. The issues you have described maybe partly down to the bike, things can be altered to help over come this to some degree. But I suspect that the majority of the problems you are experiencing are down to a lack of proper trials riding technique. My advice then would be to, No1 go get some tuition, No2 go and practice with other trials riders of varying abilities, No3 do the mods required to tame the bike as much as possible, No4 try out different bikes.
  10. I'd be surprised if they chose to build trials bikes, I don't see there is any room in the market place for another brand starting out. If so it would have to be something very radical. But you never know! Interestingly I have heard rumours that KTM off road will be phased out and their off road section will be focused on the current brands Huskies & Gassers. Which would mean there would not be a "KTM" branded trials bike but will remain as Gas Gas. Would be nice if they updated the current gas gas trials bike though. I have owed gas gas's since the first water-cooled version back in the early 90's. I have a 2021 300 one now that is still a great bike but I feel is now a little dated and could do with some improvements.
  11. There are some really light weight comfy full protection suits available these days, like totty says ^^^ that cover your shoulders and elbows in addition to back, chest and kidneys. I have an Alpinestars (cost around £150) version that I use for enduro, its so light weight and comfy, I now also use it for trials, especially so if the terrain is hard and rocky. I also now wear decent knee protection (my knees are shot) to try and preserve them from further damage. Again if you get the decent ones you hardly notice you are wearing them, until you crash and they save your joints from impacts! I think if possible go to an off road motorbike/cycle shop and try a few on. Its important they fit correctly to be comfy and also work correctly! I bought a Jitsie one offline a while back and selected the wrong size, although it was the one that was recommended for my build and size. I have since returned it for a better size fit, but to be honest I still prefer my Alpinestars enduro full armour one.
  12. My personal gripe is the rules around marking, which has promoted inconsistent scoring in the sections. Not the observers fault, by any means. The rules are ambiguous and inconsistent, so it becomes confusing for observers on what is actually allowed, especially for those who are inexperienced. I think a stop and stop with foot down is fine, this helps riders to just settle and regroup to continue the section and is no big deal in my eyes. But reversing in my opinion, shouldn't be allowed, by this I mean purposeful reversing where a rider intentionally backs up. However, I appreciate that this can also create some ambiguity, especially when someone is stuck on a rock, tree root, log etc... and they are slightly rocking back and forth and the rear wheel is spinning to get the bike moving again. I guess though this for should be down to the observers' discretion especially if the rider is physically putting a lot of effort in to keep the bike moving. I've said this in previous posts; The world and the top flight at major championships is a totally different level to the one most riders are accustomed to. The style of riding is foreign and unattainable to most people, only for the select few very talented riders. Maybe its now that the sport requires a split - Extreme/Elite Trials (both indoor and outdoor) and Trials - with 2 sets of rules designed to be compatible with the style of riding for each category. Maybe in the extreme trials a rider can do pretty much as they please, reverse, cross path... within the section boundaries but are timed. In normal trials, stop is allowed however no reversing or re-crossing paths... On a good note, I think the timed sections in British championships is a step forward. Though after watching the last few rounds its obvious that either the sections require to kept at a certain length or the time extended slightly. The 1 minute is just a bit too tight, just a few seconds extra will make just the right difference.
  13. The only common trouble I have ever had owning many water cooled bikes is the thermostat. Which is easy to bypass should it fail during a trial, if you carry something to bridge the connections. Other than that I did have a bike where the fan ran backwards, this caused no issue until riding down then road at which point the bike boiled quickly and seized. Not sure what the main benefits are of water cooled is over air cooled, other than I assume more consistent running temperatures and the water cooled bikes do seem more powerful than air cooled equivalents.
  14. Unfortunately I have witnessed with my own eyes a top Spanish rider who competed a few years back be given a very harsh result on a section. Counter to this, a top British rider given, well lets just say... so long as the bike eventually got to the ends by one means or another, he got a favourable result. Don't get me wrong I have competed in the trial many times, the club, the volunteers and all involved should be commended for putting on what I still believe is the best trial in the world! I would just like to see the top riders back in the frame, and they should be encouraged to do so by their teams and sponsors... I'd like to see them have a fair crack at the trial with consistent observing for all riders across the board. I think it would also boost the prestige of the trial once more, and encourage the younger generation from all countries to give it a go, and/or even make it their goal to win it some day. Lets hope that Toni does decide to give it a go like he once mentioned 10+ years ago!
  15. This may well be the case at world level trials (my bold) where the style is different than most of us are accustomed to. But, its a combination of throttle, clutch, brake and body positioning - reacting in sync that makes a good all round trials rider. Learning to time all these so that you get the desired effect takes years of practice and skill. I guess the benefit of better clutch control is that if you miss time the throttle you can pick this up with the clutch. Try the thumb throttle and let us know how you go on, I'm interested to see if you do find a benefit. maybe with the modern style of riding where the clutch is heavily relied on may suit the thumb throttle.
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