At Chehalis amongst all the blackberries and heavy morning dew on fresh mown grass there
lurks a new beast, difficult to see on radar,  and nearly went undetected by the ever vigilant
“no riding officer’s”…… it’s the One Trick Cub by Ray Iddon with the “Stealth” tank.

The Prototype “One Trick Cub”

When the August morning fog had lifted along with the mild hangover, there was Ray’s latest
creation the Tiger Cub in a redesigned, but original frame, rebuilt wheels, and a major alloy
welding job on the Stealth fighter looking fuel tank.


002 … for Adrian Lewis

Ray is currently building 002 for Adrian Lewis of Lewisport USA ….. so Vintage and class A riders
beware you could be in for a **** kicking when Adrian gets it. However, between you and me
Ray says there will be a learning curve as some people seem to think a 65 Cub will handle and
perform like a modern Gasser! Well like myself get ready to do your apprenticeship and we will
ask the same questions after a few events.

Early Frame Work

Let’s have a look at what Ray does, first the frame work, blocking in the top tube area having
altered the head angle, now you can have whatever forks you like either Betors as on the test
bike or maybe the lighter ceriannis on later models. All the clever holes in the tube can hold all
the electrics and keep them out of harms way.

Hubs all prepped ready for bearings and shoes

Do you have it in a wider fitting?

The Hubs are stripped down, refinished and new bearings and brake shoes complete the deal
before lacing and truing. Tires and tubes are choice of owner.

Now that’s Neat!

The All New Left side Oil Tank

Another new inovation is the left side oil tank which will accomplish two things, direct
connection of the oil pipes without the usual bends and a straight inlet tract for the carb. Some
much improved footrests will complete the basic mods for the frame. Mudguards (fenders) of
any type can be fitted along with the optional top rear tube for the back end.

In action Chehalis 2007

The tank is a work of art! and you either like it or not but it uses the standard mounts so can
always be changed and there are options to fit other types if so desired…. can’t think why?

F117 eat your heart out!

Motor wise these will, in the main, be later model 199cc bog standard motors with electronic
ignition and there is more development and sourcing going on as I write. The exhaust on the
prototype sounded fine but was not the prettiest around and I’m sure Ray will be redesigning
a Mark II for future models. Carburation on the test bike was a flat sided Del Orto and on my
very brief test ride didn’t give any cause for complaint.

002 engine at the ready…. junk that Amal!(only there to stop the dirt)

A simple flat plate seat rounds off the machine

As slim as it gets

The name ” One Trick Cub” came to Ray in a dream or alcoholic daze but either way it does fit
the new creation and as far as I know is one of the few adaptations on the good old Cub this
side of the Atlantic. If there is any interest Ray will build a second batch to customers orders
and I will supply his e-mail on request.

Testing, testing, testing

Latest updates from Ray now include the improved footrest brackets (much needed from my
experiences!) an improved exhaust system  and a neat front mudguard stay to fit ceris if you
plan using those forks.

The Much Improved Footrests

Plated Exhaust with an Expansion Box… wonder what that does?

Fender Brace for the Ceris…..YES Please!

Ray also has a very rare short stroke ex-factory 410 AJS which he might be persuaded to part
with if the greenback count is high enough.

He also has a lovely Honda 4 in pristine condition which could be yours for around $4500?


Photography  by Brenda and Ray

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  • 4/15/2008 8:35 PM peter limbert wrote:
    Hi Tony / Ray
    Very much like the “improved” cub footrests, could you make me a pair? – as yours, standard frame etc

    Reply to this

  • 4/21/2014 12:55 AM Justyn Norek wrote:
    Hi Tony,
    I love Rays Cub trials, can you kindly give me contact (email) to Ray please ?
    Great article about special Cub !
    Best regards
    Reply to this
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Lovely to look at

Straight from the Sammy Miller showroom

 After years of wanting a little Tiger Cub I finally plucked up the necessary and ordered the one
in the brochure from Sammy Miller. It arrives in Houston and after waiting for Homeland Security’s
scanner to get to the container it is released and arrives 2 days later. Suitably oiled up it starts
and another adventure begins. Trials being trials I’m not into any purist nonsense of original this
and original that, I want a bike that is competitive, reliable and fun to ride. If we go for the purist
crap we would be back on Dunlop 4 plies and 350 x 18 back wheels!

First observation on the test run is the awful old forks and the clunk they make topping out
during any lofting of the front wheel. Not overly impressed with the throttle response and it’s
fitted with an Amal throttle which is too small for my hand.

Phase 1 with the Yamaha front end

As I have plenty of TY250A model forks and yokes I will try a set of these as my opening gambit.
Brian Crawford machines me a new stem to fit the British bearings and when it arrives its a pity
to fit it as it is a true work of art! So the Cub front end is removed and a whole Yamaha front end
goes on which is quite legal under AHRMA rules. This set up is good, the handling is fine but the
Yam bits extend the wheel base by over an inch.

First outing is just before Christmas 2006 at Keith’s place over at Table Mesa, which being
Scottish in nature is always one of my favourite venues. It behaves like a Pig! fouls up a plug and
stalls twice on very similar simple sections where I would not normally expect any problems. You
can’t shut it off and roll up the bank, rather keep the power on until you get there. There is No
second bite of the cake!  Well Mister Amals finest will have to go as I’m not enjoying this too

Table Mesa Christmas 2006

Back to the drawing board and BJ Racing provide the first of my wardrobe of carburettors in the
shape of the Keihin which needs an adapter to fit the Japaneese spacing. Wow! the power and
response off the bottom end is fantastic but on closing the throttle it backfires, maybe the inlet
tract isn’t long enough? It also can be trickling along and then it is almost like “pinking” and you
get the impression it will stall at any minute. All adjustments of idle speed are not to my liking as
I don’t want to get into this clutch business as that’s not my riding style. Oh well, let’s give it a
try and see what happens. Try a Mikuni but can’t get that quite right either so back to Keihin.

Phase 2 Yam forks and Keihin carb

The opening round of the season is Wittman and it actually behaves well enough and despite
having to clutch it once to prevent a stall (maybe 4 stroke inexperience) it sailed round to a class
win in Premier Lightweight Expert. But I felt I should have been able to do a bit better than I did
and I wasn’t as happy with the bike as I would have liked. After the event I’m looking at all the
other Cubs and I take a test ride on one fitted with the Del Orto. Now thats what I’m looking for!
Perfect response, no backfires, all the way down to the stall and instant pick up….Ok, where do
I get one of these?

Just catch Martyn Adams of Serco before he leaves for Australia, and yes he has one on the
shelf already prejetted and ready to fit apart from the inlet adapter. More work for Brian Crawford.
I have also got a set of brand new Cerianis but Brian is backed up so he can’t get to a new stem
and axel for a bit. No matter I have a complete set of B50 forks and yokes and these have the
3/4 inch stem so let’s see if they fit.

The B50 forks and yam front wheel

Phase 3 now with the Del Orto

Off to Kingman with the big forks and the Del Orto and after a few problems with the front brake
I end up with the low score of the day in what was a pretty tough event.

Brian now completes the bits for the Cerianis but at this time I have stayed with the B50 set
up as it seems to be working and I’m now using a TY swinging arm bolt as the front spindle.
Diamond Don’s event goes well and I don’t notice anything untoward on the bike and have a
reasonable ride and certainly can’t blame the Cub for any marks lost.

Another CAT event and seems things are getting more consistent with just the odd infuriating
stall. 3 Rocky Mountain Events and here we enter the first series of events to come which are
going to require major surgery for the bike, not me! At the first 2 Day at Cotopaxi I stall it twice
and have a couple of “moments” but moving over to Milliken the first of what will be 4 Base over
Apexes takes place. A steep uphill, drop into a ditch and turn. Seems simple enough and as the
front wheel enters the ditch the tire bumps a little gnarly root stock thing and I continue over
the bars, bike and all landing on my head with both hands on the bars and both feet on the
rests and the bike on top of me. Must have looked quite comical but a real crushing blow to the
ego. At the time, not withstanding the annoyance, I didn’t pay it too much heed as I had been
suffering from a stiff neck caused by a trapped nerve which if I bent over and turned my head
quickly could easily make me dizzy. I did of course start thinking that perhaps my normally good
balance was begining to go off and then what do you do as a trials rider with no balance????

Milliken and back to my favorite bars

Donner comes and goes and as I only lost 3 marks in 2 events not really a problem evident here.

Some new clever levers

Chehalis, and a rare bit of clutch work through those trees

The operation moves up country to Chehalis WA and on the first loop a very similar incident to
the Milliken one, when on the second section I round a downhill tree and again hit a little gnarly
root outcrop that almost stops the wheel again, but this time I escape with a dab. Not so lucky
on the second lap when coming round the same corner I go straight over the bars and the back
wheel clouts me up the bum!  ……. am I losing it ? Is this the begining of the end ? Has old age
finally caught up with me ? As it transpired the rest of the sections secured the win so the mind
tends to dismiss the incident.

Casper and on Day 1 in a simple turn in a river I catch the front wheel AGAIN and once more I’m
face first in the drink with hands and feet still at the controls…..S***!   That’s 3 times and this is
becoming annoying. By now the motor and I are at one and I’m getting the same amount of
sensitivity from the little beast as I would expect from my trusty Yams but this handling problem
and landing on my head is getting to be a real pain.

On to Sandia and not really much that should be a problem but once again just how wrong can
you be ? First loop, and on what I would consider a tightish turn, at the top of a small hill the
wheel again stops on a little rooty thing and over the bars I sail landing on my helmet and
sunglasses still with hands on the bars. This has got to STOP!! No more problems and a fine win.

Review of stance and other things shows I’m too far forward and and bent over. Thinks bubble?
when has this ever happened before in the rich tapestry of life? That Sammy Miller f******
Hi-Boy, I could never ride that thing either! Further investigation shows my baby Cub has long
rear legs and a bit short in the back and is behaving like a rodeo bull rather than a Tiger Cub.
2-3 inches back and down we go with a lot of mega welding and strengthening but the job is
done and now the footrests are where the rest of the fleet’s are and the handling is now first
rate…… problem is now I will be fresh out of excuses for the 2008 season.

Along way back and down, and a stop for the brake pedal

A double header at Dickson and after getting used to the “pegs” I’m on song and get the class
win. Hollister to wrap it up and it handles beautifully for a single dab that was preventable with
a little more thought.

No Excuses and ready for 2008

……. and what for the future? maybe those Ceris? maybe chrome everything? I fancy cutting out
the lower tube and bashplating the bottom to get rid of the hard rubber thing that won’t sit on
a stand.

Here, Kitty, Kitty!

TONY (the TIGER TAMER)  DOWN… with help and suggestions from my photographer Brenda

Over 100 fun articles to read on these winter nights! Just look down the Archives list.

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  • 1/27/2008 11:52 PM Steveo wrote:
    good write on the saga of getting older iron to work better,trial and experimenting.The rewards of finally getting it right,usually make sense of our efforts,its not rocket science,its passion.I for one believe in the sense of oneness with your machine, that comes from hours of intimate wrenching with a goal in mind.If theres anything better than having a great ride,its doing it on an older bike.Riding modern trials with a twin-shock rather gets peoples attention,especially when you manage to beat them! Thanks Tony ,Steveo
    Reply to this
  • 1/29/2008 2:43 PM Marc Price wrote:
    A great read. I have a TR20 restored by Ken Heynes last year. My forks clonk as yours did and the Amal is also Cr@p! You have made all the right changes for all the right reasons. Time I did the same. Where can I find an address for Serco to get a jetted Del Orto please?
    Best wishes
    Reply to this

    1. 1/29/2008 4:46 PM Anonymous wrote:
      Martyn Adams went to Aus in Mar/Apr 07, I’m not sure whether Serco is still trading and I no longer have his number. However if you find the correct Del Orto I can give you the jetting I’m using on the standard 199cc engine.
      Reply to this
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Provisional Layout ?

OH YEZ!……OH YEZ! Hear Ye, Hear Ye,  The AHRMA Trials season opener kicks off at Az Cycle
Track some 30 miles outside Phoenix on the California side. Currently I have walked the site,
might actually ride it soon, and so far, as at 5 Jan 2008 have identified about 14-15 potential
sections of varying terrain without having to resort to importing man made obstacles.

The main area is a purpose made motorcross circuit with extra training facilities for beginers and
juniors. There is also a big enduro trail/cross country section which will in no way impinge on our
activities. The entire motorcross arena is in a 50′ deep ex-quarry which is now predominately
loose dirt. For those who are interested in the motorcross there is a fair bit of “cotton waste”
and compost in the track and from what I saw it looks excellent for old scramblers and their
riders. For the campers, level area on a hardcore (ABC) surface, so no mud in the van even if it

Ed, Evelyn, Earl Burrows and myself should have no trouble knocking out and taping the 12
sections I propose and I believe we can easily do this in 2-3 days and have time earmarking
other areas for future events.

Let’s see what we have, clockwise loop leaving the start heading west to what could be 1 & 2
or just a single section in a deep ditch filled with branches and tree stumps.

Short ride to 1 or it might be 1 & 2

A little bit of brush to clear 1 & 2

Follow the western edge of the MC track to No 3, a series of turns and log crossings.

Simple entry to 3… it won’t move!

The turn back to 3. 1 goes over at the left, 2 at the right, 3 turns round

100 yards to 4 which could be some fun in the very loose and fine wash sand… it’s tough
getting traction just walking through it so we won’t need too many turns to take some marks!

No 5, I like the look of with a 3 way split on the log and an earlier turn for the 4 line.

This is 5! 1 line left, 2 line right, 3 turn early…… not going to be easy!

No 6 is a long line of broken roadway chunks and will be the only “rocky” one that I found.

Just across from 6 lies the tough 7. 1 and 2 line runners may find this tough but maybe a
“gimmee” for PI, 3 and 4 line operators.

Now a huge Ironwood at 8 has us coming out of the sand in the wash then finding tons of grip
before the conveniently angled tree root which will be graduated in severity for the appropriate
line. Maybe a tougher than normal exit for 4 but 2, PI and 3 should cope. 1 liners I plan turning
back around the tree’s other root for a challenging exit.

No 8. 4 extreme left, 3 1/3 in from left, 2 on the natural, 1 up by the tree

Rejoin the top edge of the quarry where we previously were at 3 and continue to the ditches
of 9 A&B, could be 2 sections here or just one long one, plenty of scope.

The Ditches and Washes of 9

Now for some old fashioned climbs! A classic down and up for 10 with some twists for the 1 & 2

No 11 I propose to be a “single liner” WFO type section which will be the “Graduated Hill” give it
all you’ve got Scotty and the score is where the front wheel stops, use all the footing you wish
it’s only the front wheel that counts!

12 will be in the corner, should we use it, and as motorcrosser tire tracks are there it should be a
confidence builder and another “gimmee”.

13 is in the other corner and overshadowed by a big cliff. A diagonal line for 4 riders then
varying difficulty turns after entry for 1,2 and 3 riders.

By the Cliff on 13

14 is their retention area but could be a super “mudhole” if it’s wet or we ask them to fill it.

There will be a bit of “gardening” to do and a couple of bushman saws to clear some branches.
So far the potential looks good when we consider this is “true desert”….. and the owner is more
than helpful and wants us back.

Tony Down

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Your Mother’s Worst Nightmare…. The ZX12R!

One of the perks of being A Motorcycle Safety Foundation Instructor (there are many) is that we
can have free track time if we wish. As a kid I always wanted to go racing, not road or scrambling
(motorcross) but Grass Tracking or …… the Ultimate……… SPEEDWAY. Well joining the RAF put a
stop to any thoughts of that so it was trials and enduro for me. Further discouragement to road
racing comes with the 1975 ISDT in the I.O.M. and a trip round the circuit on the Monark. That
track is unbelieveably rough!… potholes, traffic lines and arrows on the road, variable surfaces,
zero run off, badly repaired road works, manhole covers etc, etc. Although a couple of us were
circulating at speeds up to 95 mph on enduro bikes you just can’t imagine anybody lapping this
place and averaging 130 mph!!!

As part of the ongoing instructor requirements you must be a “student” once a year so I elect to
do a track day to take care of that portion of training. I had bought a Kawasaki ZX12R the
previous year, which was an unbelieveable deal at the time and I had only used it to go back
and fro to TEAM Arizona for weekend teaching duties. Now the ZX12R is not a bike that you
would call “User Friendly” goes like the proverbial with 186 horses and would probably top out
somewhere in the 190-200 mph if you were crazy enough or had the ability.

When I first got it I wondered what I had let myself in for as it certainly wasn’t easy to ride,
even at 60-70 it was hoppy on braking and coming out of corners. My first reaction was that the
rear spring was on too firm a setting and that it was set up for around 130-140 and not for
normal road use of 50-70. As soon as I put it on the stand it is easy to see what the problem is
.. the chain is ROCK Solid with no free play at all. Nice pre delivery inspection! With the chain
properly adjusted it is better but the power is not for the faint hearted and you sure have to be
SMOOTH with this one but the overall ride is pretty exhilerating to say the least.

One day I take Brenda on the Barlett Lake run just so that she can see what one of these
beasts is all about. Just so happens there is one section where the Sherrifs can’t hide as its
sheer sided and there is no pulloff area. It starts with a gentle right hander as you crest a rise
then drops gradually through 300 feet into a long sweeping left hander with a long, long view
up the straight to the crest of the next hill some 3/4 mile away. Over the first crest downshifting
to second and as we have intercom I’m telling her to hang on tight as I wind it up.
“Power coming on, 80 in second, upshifting to 3rd 110, up to 4th” and just as we get to 130 and
I’m about to think about 5th an enormous bug hits me full visor, right side, and goes all over me
…. might even have been a small bird, the test run is terminated and we gently coast back to


Are you ready Boots?

Now its track day and I’m ready and so is the bike, all the coolant has been drained and “Water
Wetter” installed. a new tire is on at 4000 miles and I’m full of fuel. Down at the track all the
“glassy” bits have to be covered, lights, turn signals, reflectors and mirrors. Bike and safety
equipment through scrutineering and I’m ready for the briefing. First timers (yes that’s me) wear
red flack jackets and may not be overtaken in a corner. So the group is divided up and we have
beginners, good fast guys, and then the semi-pro racers.

All the Glassy Bits covered, and a nice Red Flack Jacket

The beginners get the briefing and we will go out for a couple of sighting laps following an
Instructor who will then wind it up a little for the next three laps and then the game is on.
2 other Instructors will circulate in the pack and maintain overall safety. After 8 laps or so we
will get the “checkers” and then we leave the circuit. We will get about 4 sessions during the
course of the day.

The session Starts well enough and we all circulate in the right handed manner that only road
racing on bikes and Formula 1 car racing does. Everything else of course goes left handed. Riding
these sighting laps at 60-80 seems pretty routine, and indeed it is as most people are in familiar
territory at these speeds, the only difference is the width of the track which is at least twice the
width of a normal road and in some cases even wider than that.  Consequently there is a huge
perspective change and as the speed goes up and you venture into the unknown, braking points,
downshift areas, turn in points and the correct apex position becomes increasingly difficult to

Man! He’s just a bluuuur!

Of course the correct technique would, and should be, to be consistent and then progressively
put the speed up as you gain confidence and become familiar with the track.  True to form, and
always having enjoyed the thrill of speed, and also given the opportunity to open this beast up
a bit (legally) you can imagine what is about to happen. Having only ever fallen off a bike on the
public highway twice, and both on the same morning trying too hard to get selected for the
1971 ISDT, I’m not about to repeat the trick as some degree of common sense and self
preservation has taken over with increasing years. But here comes the POWER!

In Deep, Apex late….. power on the diesel John!

Through the twisty bits I seem to have a good line and I’m hitting the apex in the turn about
where I want to be but coming onto the straights I’ve always been a bit reluctant to rev 4
strokes to ridiculous high levels and I tend to short shift at around 7000 rpm but of course
without other traffic to contend with straight line speed is up to 140-150 on the straights and
now I’m in the unknown?????!!!!!

Where do I brake at this speed?  Where do I turn in??
how much engine braking?  Where should I apex??

Laps 3 through 5 go reasonably well and I think I’m circulating quickly enough until I come out
of a couple of 180 turns when some riders blow by me like I’m standing still which does nothing
for the ego. Lap 6 I try a little harder and then push a little more on lap 7 until I frighten myself
on about 3 different ocassions. First was braking when I downshifted but maybe dropped from
5th straight into 3rd and had the backwheel hopping all over the place, next to add to the fun
I turned in too early at the end of the super wide straight and hit a tar snake at around the 100
mark as I started the turn in……..000000OOOhHHH! Some more errors of judgement finding the
apex too early and the natural problem caused thereby, and running wide without being able to
get all the power on. Fortunately the checkered flag comes out and thankfully the embarassment
comes to an end.


A lot of rethinking before the second session and then we are at it again, just go as fast as you
like and try not to make the same mistakes. This time things go a bit better and I don’t get
carried away. For the big straights I’m braking longer in a straight line, going deeper into the
corner, turning later which gives a later apex and allows the power to be applied quicker with
the bike more upright and holding a tighter line. By about lap 5 I’m getting the hang of it so try
for a fast lap but again I hit the tar snake and that spoils the lap. Lap 7 is regaining confidence
and then the finish flag is out and I’m quite pleased the session is over as I’m getting dammed

I’m hot, I’m tired……. and that’s enough!

Hot and tired the third session is going to be the last so go for fun and a level of smooth
consistent riding without breaking lap records or my neck. Now I’ve always considered my self
pretty good on the open road with a fair number of road skills and an ability to read the road
as it unfolds and still set a pace a lot of others would find difficult to keep up with, but today
either I’m trying too hard or just not being as smooth as normal and I’ve committed just about
every cardinal error there is. Still keep it all in the memory banks and knowing what I learnt
today it will be good to instruct others and is also a good reminder that just maybe, once in a
while we are not quite as good as we think we are!

User Friendly 155 horses and about 170 mph

Drop Dead Gorgeous

No more plans for road racing but I do have the 929RR Rothmans and another 186 horses in
the shape of the MV F4 1000 which makes an awesome sound when its up past 5000 rpm.
I’ll be back……

Ciau! 186 horses from Wopoli, might make 190+ ?? Now that’s a REAL Bike!


(Thank God you can’t afford one of these when you are 16!!!)

Now don’t forget all those Oct/Nov/Dec articles….. find them in ARCHIVES

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Although Superglitz was built in Jan/Feb 2005 she didn’t get to grace the AHRMA circuit until the
back end of 2005 with rides at Casper and Albuquerque. With too many bikes in the stable I was
spoilt for choice in 2005 and never really stayed on one bike long enough to kill all the gremlins
and get the proverbial together!

Despite some fabulous rides in deep egg timer sand at Sandia NM I still managed to throw it
away and lose the tie break to my Nemisis, Rich Palmer, but on reflection after this event I knew
what a fantastic bike I had under me. Overall the AHRMA season finished on 103 points and third
place from my 6 rides.

The remainder of the season is spent on AZ trials and Superglitz does all that she is asked and
only got left at home once when the TYZ came out for a test run at Table Mesa.

Now 2006 is going to be a different proposition and I’m going head first into the Championship
with a determination that is becoming all consuming. The opener at Wittman has me in total
indecision and I can’t make up my mind on Superglitz or the newly finished Ossa. I only take the
one bike and it’s the Ossa which goes exceedingly well and takes the win on 2 from Rich on 4.

Day 1 Perris…. what a Great trial

A local AZ outing on the Yam and the decision is made that this will be the year for Superglitz!
A double win at Perris and I really have my “A” game on and things are looking good for me with
3 wins from 3 events and Rich Palmer having only lost 2 marks more than me in 3 events back on
2 seconds and a third due to tie breaks on age.

Day 2

Another “Don Smith” Day 2

I’m on Rails Today

Up in Colorado for some planting at our Cozy Comfort RV Park in June and a quick trip over to Bull
Hollow to take on the Rocky Mountain boys. Not quite so good on the first loop but then 2 stellar
laps to finish off with and a handsome win by 17 points…. great for the confidence.

Another can of A-Whoop!

Donner next in mid July and both Rich and I make the trip and also Dan Straka is there to make
it a 3 way duel. I lose a dumb dab on the opening section and then clean everthing else for 3 laps
until the last section where I lose another dumb dab just after the begins card. Rich looked like he
was heading for a certain 5 but miraculously got through for a clean and clinched it by 1 point.
Day 2, I have a clean card, whereas Rich took a 5 going the wrong side of a marker and then Dan
stalled his Honda for his 5 to tie with Rich. Rich loses AGAIN on the tie breaker as he is TWO days
younger than Dan! With 5 events completed out of the 7 scoring rounds I have 4 wins and a
second so I’m in with a very good chance.

Donner Day 1

Donner Day 2 in the Pines

Next event is Casper Wyoming and having had a great ride in 2005 I’m feeling reasonably
confident. Day 1 and I lose a respectable 8 that perhaps could have been 6 but Dan has a
barnstormer of a ride and finishes on a fantastic score of 5.

DAY 1, The Rivers at Casper

Day 2, and inexplicably I “5” the first section by stalling it going round a rock and then lose
another 5 further round the loop when a branch locks the rear brake and stalls the engine again!
The lost 10 cost me dearly dropping me to a lowly 3rd place with Dan riding well again to take
the lead and Rod Villand, fresh off a double win in Minnesota, slipping by me for 2nd. Well that’s
trials, and as second sucks what does third do?

Day 2 Casper and more Rivers

Sandia again and after running a beginners school in the morning I’m really on my “A” game and
have an uncontested event by myself losing only 5 to second place’s 32!

Sandia and one of my best rides EVER!

Return on Saturday to AZ for Alto Pit where again I’m in the mood and take low score of the day.
What a super weekend, wish they were all like that.

Having fun and best ride of the day Alto Pit

Back up to Colorado and another interesting ride at Moab where although I feel I’m riding some
sections well I also have the impression I’m making a real Horlicks of some of them. However the
loop scores don’t reflect this and I have a clear lead going out on the last lap which I actually

Last AHRMA ride of the year at Hollister and now the results are in from Dickson and Rod Villand
takes a first and a second giving him 3 wins, 2 seconds and a third compared to my 5 wins and
2 seconds. There are 2 more events in his neck of the woods, so he could also end up with 5
wins and 2 seconds and then its a tie break based on age and I haven’t got a clue how old he
is. So what’s to do at Hollister? If I ride and win, no problem, that would be 6 wins and a second
and he couldn’t catch me, ….. but if I didn’t win, then we might have to go through that tie break
and that would be really annoying …..or I could check and take the full 20 championship points
and although not the best way to win it would guarantee it for me. Taking it under advisement
I elect to check as I would have been a real pain on the way home if I hadn’t won. As it
transpired Rod didn’t ride the last 2 events!

2 more CAT events wrap up the season and at the last one the Tiger Cub was brought into play
to get ready for the 2007 assault on the Premier Lightweight Expert Class.

My Favorite Picture 2006 (Thanks Brenda!)

Tony Down         Superglitz wins AHRMA National Modern Classic Int Championship for 2006
Superglitz wins AZ Vintage Championship 2005 & 2006

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The 2001 Beaver Marquis….. OK Nice Beaver!

 Having served our apprenticeship on the 1996 Safari we decide to go and take a look at
something a little more up market as the AHRMA long distance trials were proving to be so much
fun. September 2005,  E-bay has a superb Beaver Marquis listed and after drooling over the 30+
pictures we see the vehicle is just down the road from us in Mesa AZ.

Arrive and salesman shows us everything new in the inventory, which are OK, but seems
reluctant to show us what we came to see. Eventually we get to the Beaver…. it even looks
better than the new ones and is a 2001 with 21,000 miles. Open the door and the smell of real
wood and leather wafts across the parking lot, step on board and its a jaw dropping experience
and you are inside decadent oppulence that would make the Orient Express look tacky!

The inside of the Orient Express

This is something else and within the week we take delivery of the monster. It was a very simple
choice really, either 2 and 1/2 acres of prime desert and scrub with a few cactus or this, a
remodelled kitchen, a vacation home in Colorado and a MV F4 1000 for me! Not really that much
to decide!

Desert or new kitchen ?

A Mountain Retreat as well

A new Toy for ME!

I drive it home and first impression is that it is a bit bouncy! I’m thinking I’d better tell her to
wear a “sports bra” for travelling and on reflection thinking perhaps I should get one too! It also
has an annoying high pitched scream a bit like the “low air” warning but air pressure is good and
the brakes are excellent. This one is a 42 footer, has a “his and her’s” bathroom with 2 toilets,
gorgeous shower and every appliance you could think of. 2 slide outs, double blinds and drapes
all electrically operated, under floor heating, insta hot water, a 10,000 watt generator (enough
for a small village) and navigation, and other computers for everything else.

His & Hers Sinks and Seperate Loos

The first run is going to be Sandia for mid September 2005 and knowing what I need I get the
all singing/dancing multiplug for the trailer. Filled up with water, a fridge/freezer that works and
no “smudging” required I move the huge bus a little closer to the house and as I set off the
pantry door opens depositing a bottle of virgin oil and a packet of flour into the goop! Well at
least we have a clean floor and another item for the check list of things to lock before departure.

Thursday and up through Flagstaff and along I40 to Albuquerque with that little high pitched
whine again, but Brenda can drown it out with music so forget it. En-route she collects 14 hand
controllers from around the bus, God knows what they are all for? Anyhoo, on the front dash
there is a very pretty little roll top desk thing which only houses the navigation DVD so this looks
like a good stowage for all of those. Much cleaning and windexing is taking place as we hurtle
along brushing 18 wheelers aside with 500 horses and watching them fight for control as they
join the “Benouli Club”. This coach has the TAG axel and with the extra weight/length and power
I’m not fighting for control and in fact it drives like a sports car and is exceedingly comfortable
apart from the bouncy ride.

Sometime later there is a sign “BUMP”…… well what’s new here? …….. we rocket over the
continental divide and bus, trailer, dogs and Brenda are now in space as the Beaver Marquis
emulates the Wright Brothers early attempts. We land to an almighty crash, the air suspension
taking it in manly fashion, and as we do I can only assume that the impact sent the lower half of
the steering column upwards as the Titanic horn sounded without me touching anything.

Bras back in place, disgruntled dogs back on seats, we continue to our destination. Suitably
parked and leveled the whine goes away and the self leveler is pretty clever! Lots of hissing and
puffing as airbags empty and fill and then it all stops and says “I’m level”

Sandia is cold, windy and a bit wet which is not what we were expecting for mid September but
the event was great and a lot of entertaining done in the new coach. This one has an auto
awning retract system which rewinds if the windspeed reaches 15 mph……..and it did! sounds
good, providing the system detects it, otherwise you have yourself an America’s Cup land yatch!
Prior to entertaining, we discover the roll top writing bureau thing is now locked as all the hand
controllers that were neatly stacked inside also got airborne and came down forming a log jam
inside. Some removal of dash required here but we now know not to put them in there again
and also leave the wine glasses in the bar rack as that’s where they are designed to go!

Saturday and off up to our RV park and check on work in progress. No more problems other than
the slight whine? ….. and so the first mission is complete. Take it back to find out what the whine
is all about only to find its another “gotcha” and when you get on the road the little green light
that shows “all up” on the jacks sometimes goes out and just needs to be reselected and all is
quiet! Yet another RV learning experience. A couple of local trips and we discover the generator
can sometimes quit for no good reason and also the DVD keeps stopping and freeze framing, and
one gas burner is difficult to light. Believe me when you are driving hearing a continuous click
clicking of the gas igniter it is disconcerting as you await the fearful explosion to come.

Back into service again and Brenda’s parents come for a visit. The Coach is ready and we collect
it and they elect to come back with me and all is well until our exit off the 101 loop when a whole
line of cars slam on the anchors! the airbrakes come on and Brenda’s mother, who was in the
leather recliner with footstool, shoots forward like a sled on the cresta run and collides with the
immovable desk breaking a couple of ribs.

The generator was plugged up with road grime flying up on to it’s own radiator and took 3 cans
of Gunk to remove and the new burner for the stove had to come from France? Already I’m
wondering about this “bumper to bumper” warranty as every time the part is $498 and we have
a $500 deductable per visit!

On the way home from Colorado the shower door keeps jumping off it’s rail but other than that

Perris…. not stuck

2006 comes along and first trip is Perris for a double header and amazingly all goes well, on
reflection there must have been something but apart from denting a rear panel on a rock I think
that was it. Next major outing is the BMW rally in Panguitch UT and here the insta hot starts
playing up and the house A/C doesn’t seem quite as cool as one would like.

Entertaining at Panguitch

Next up Donner in mid July and we set off into the setting sun to our first night stop the other
side of LA. It has to be the hottest day of the year and by the time we join the lunatic drivers in
LA  most things including the driver are overheating and just to add to the amusement the driver’s
A/C is now blowing warm! Arrive at our planned, and reserved nightstop only to find our 50 amp
slot has been given to a f****** Winnebago and we have 30 amp which won’t power the
cigarette lighter in this coach much less the ac! No choice run the gene and then camp security
arrives who says we can’t use the gene after 2200. I explain to Dum Dum that we WILL be
running the gene and he is welcome to rearrange a popular phrase concerning sex and travel!

Beautiful Dash

Donner goes well and the duty repair, costing $498 to repair a little ac pipe is complete.

All ready for Casper and time for some new wiper blades from Napa. As expected these don’t
quite stay in contact with the windshield and I’m driving looking through an arrow slit like a
mediaeval  archer. On arrival at Casper the main house AC quits along with the insta hot water

They repair the AC as a new unit won’t be available until late October, and that would be
covered under warranty, or they can repair it for ……….$498!!!

Sandia, cold, windy and now the little awning auto retract windmill sensor has gone! Just left
the ship without any word… just went. On the way home stop for gas and while doing my
walkround notice one of the tires on the TAG axel is a most peculiar shape…. fortunately the
truck stop has one that doesn’t cost $498 , but we are close at $380!

Back to service once more as the “insta hot”  has arrived and we need the alignment checked
on this Tag axel. Our next trip is a “Brenda Bonus” …. a few days in the Napa valley, wine
tastings, trip to SanFran on the new Harley, across to Hollister for the last AHRMA trial and a
quick run down to Clint Eastwood’s bar “The Hog’s Breath” in Monterey.

Pick up the bus Monday lunchtime and start prepping for the Tuesday dawn departure. Water
on board, I’m about to load tools when there is that well known scream from inside “TOE-KNEEE”
………”there is no ******* water!”

Sure enough no water, but I had noticed that the panel for the inside water services was lying
on it’s side in the bay, which presumably they had undone fitting the “insta hot”…… tap the water
pump and it runs for 30 seconds then stops…… well that’s shot. We carry on loading food and
clothes, although I must say the more you use these coaches the easier it gets as a lot of
clothes and non perishable foodstuffs stay on board. Can’t load the trailer or bikes as that
Harley is coming and I’ll never lift that lot.

Many tears later and a lot of whining (justifiably) we are finished and none too impressed with
the last service, or lack thereof. By the time I get back from the yard at 0700 Brenda has ripped
Holiday Motorhomes a “new one” and they are very apologetic and say it’s all their fault and
they meant to fit a new one but forgot….. or some other pathetic excuse. I leap into the bus and
drive the 40 miles in the wrong direction to Mesa and find the mechanic standing in the yard with
the water pump in his hand. 45 minutes later I’m back on the road again and heading home.

Quick loading of trailer and bikes and we are on the road at 1200 some 5 hours behind schedule.
To save any more tears I drive the 14 hours and a little after 2 in the morning we pull into our
berth in the State fairgrounds at Callistoga CA. (we are now back on Brenda’s schedule!).

The Rock, no not me, the Prison

The Chowder

Perfect Line-Up on the “Bridge”

Do all the duty things, the ride to San Fran, the chocolates, the pictures of the rock, the chowder
lunch and back over the bridge. Next day the duty wine tasting and all that entails. A lovely trip,
now down to Hollister but we miss the turn as the Ranger had told us the OTHER side of the
road……. 12 miles later we manage to turn round and by the time we get to the location my
learned colleague has decided a sleep is preferred to another Harley ride.

Some wine you say?

Home on the Sunday and now RV’ing is over for 2006 so in again to Holiday Motorhomes for a
few odds and sods, a generator and engine service, check all ac’s and some bodywork repairs
caused by me with the rock at Perris and a whole load of “pin-striping”. Need a few locks
changed and a general spruce up for 2007.

Still a nice Beaver!

Get a bigger bed

What have we learnt after 2 RV’s ?

1.   If it can go wrong it will!
2.   Keep checking your generator, it’s your lifeline
3.   Make sure all latches, tits, knobs, doodads are secure
4.   Don’t park where other people tell you
5.   AC’s break with monotonous regularity
6.   Everything, and I mean everything has a circuit breaker, fuse or both!
7.   RV plumbing is a nightmare
8.   RV entertainment systems are designed to be non user friendly!
9.   Have you found ALL the hand controllers?
10. King size bed=a must
11. Warranties are not that good!
12. Don’t piss off the Driver or Stewardess

While we are at Holiday Motorhomes and waiting for the Tech to do his write up Brenda goes to
look at the newest Beaver Marquis and I find her and, excuse the pun (with Eager Beaver
Salesman), looking over a 2006 with everything and only 7000 miles.

I’m somewhat indifferent about the 2006 but of course it does have some nice new features, as
you would expect for something costing $625,000, but I’ve seen enough and I’m ready to go.
Salesman invites us to come in and talk figures……. I decline and tell him as our bus will be there
for a week he can go play figures all he likes and can call me providing he doesn’t insult me with
any dumbarse offer. ……. and with that we leave.

The following day he rings and quotes us a price……….


Tony Down & Brenda  and Cadbury as “DOOF” the dog.

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