YES, PLEASEFor some time now I’ve been looking for a new trials helmet and although there are some nice ones
out there I still can’t see what I really want.

Old Faithful by  YES

Since the advent of the purpose made trials lid there have been some excellent designs, and in truth
enough colors to satisfy Jacob. However, I don’t seem to have been able to find quite what I want or
anything that comes close to my 9 year old bonnet by YES. At the time they were one of the first with all
the guts that came out for washing, were extremely light, had a good neck cut and an adjustable peak.
Fortunately for me I bought 2 of them over a couple of years, the standard Black one still in use today,
and the Dougie Lampkin World Champion replica with all the red/black/silver graphics. The replica
model was used during the Yamaha heyday but since moving over to the thumpers it has been
sidelined as the colors don’t match the Enfield or Cub.

Time for a color change on the DL replica ?

Try as I might I can’t find any dealers worldwide who stock this helmet, whatever happened to the
company? The only one I have seen is in Scottishtrials virtual shop and of course is in red!  I have
tried other helmets from Shoei, Hebo and looked at the newer ones from Shiro.

XC-ting Toni Bou, looks good but I don’t like the graphics and the latest from Wulf looks like a YES
replica and is very well priced. Tried a Premier one which looks a bit like “Jack in the Box” and also
bought a NAU in a Union Jack color scheme but not overly happy with the fit.

Very nice helmet from Shoei, but not my colors!

Good design from Shiro

Toni Bou replicas but OTT in graphics

The new Wulf looks good and is well priced

My NAU in Union Jack colors but not the best fit

Nothing for it…….. up into the loft and down comes the DL replica and off with all the old decals and
logos. Yes, nutty is going to paint it in “my” colors for the 2010 Enfield year. Purple as the main color,
silver peak maybe ? Union Jack emblem on the front and RE decals down the side with a gun
carriage too boot!

Over the years I think I can say that my painting has improved and using the maxim ” Preparation
prevents piss poor performance” I had better spend a few moments in that department before
reaching for the rattle can. A lot of masking around the rubber edges and the air vents but at last its
ready to spray. One last can of the “special” Enfield color left so on it goes without any flecks, dribbles
or runs, and no dogs either to add a hair or two!

Patience once more as I want to finish the job off with a hard clear coat but lurking in the memory is
an incident many moons ago when I tried the same thing on an alloy tank. The great finish I thought I
had immediately blistered like I had sprayed it with paint remover……… I rather think it might have been
an oily finger mark that caused it.

Recently, and often ongoing, is the subject of helmets for trials on Trials Central. A lot of opinions
which of course everybody is entitled to, but some common sense has to be applied to the subject of
helmets and protection. I see an increasing number of Novices and Beginners turning up with all
manner of body protection, MX boots, Chest protectors, a Neck brace?  MX helmets and even some full
face models and the near suicidal flip up models as well!!

As an MSF Instructor and as a motorcyclist I always advocate wearing the best helmet you can afford
and for road use it makes sense to use a full face model which obviously gives the most protection.
For me the best “road” helmet is Arai based on fit and comfort but I have nothing against  AGV, Suomy,
Shoei or any of the other top brands, but I would never contemplate wearing one for trials any more
than a road racer would turn up with an open face trials helmet .

My road going Arai

True there have been some nasty facial accidents lately but I must say these are abnormal rather than
something that happens every weekend. So unless you are planning on crashing into everything and
head butting every tree or rock wall you come close to then stick with the well proven dedicated
equipment that has been designed for trials use and is worn by the vast majority of us.

Any form of competition has an element of “risk” so study the risk ladder and see which rung you are
prepared to stand on and what level of equipment you need to stay safe and have an enjoyable day.
Here endeth the lecture!

With the pleasing base color on, a test run of the clear coat on the peak…….. not bad, give it a few
minutes to see if I have another disaster on my hands…….. looks good…….. first coat on the titfer……..
ummm!  Another coat this morning and then leave well alone before decal time.

Time for those tasteful decals, land of our birth, gun carriage by etc, my own blackcat for luck and
a couple of warning signs for spectators and the DL replica is transformed for the 2010 season and
a couple of hundred dollars is saved.

The new look from the left side

…and the right with the warning on top

Checker’s guide to the Dab!



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  • 1/19/2010 10:08 PM Steveo wrote:
    Helmets,for me feel fine when new but get loose after broke in and sweated up.My answer is to make a custom fit by attaching tapered strips of closed cell foam with pieces of tape,until I get the desired fit,then gluing the pieces in permanently.A proper fitting helmet should not wobble when one shakes their head.
    Reply to this
  • 5/1/2013 11:09 AM Justyn Norek wrote:
    HI Tony,
    I am very keen about trial.I have many interesting photos of trials bikes and would like to exchange them with your photos of splendid bikes.
    Please sel me k now if you are interested.
    BEST regard Justyn Turin Italy
    Reply to this
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“Sergeant Major, have you greased the wheels on the Enfield ? ” 

As we roll into 2010 time to think of greasing wheels and getting the gun carriage out of hibernation
prior to an assault on that Premier Heavyweight Championship. The Royal Enfield, made like a gun,
faster than a speeding bullet etc, etc, will take to the foray this year having been benched for 2009
while the Cub sought vengeance in the Classic Division. So far the Enfield has only lost 7 points in its
7 rides and already has a couple of minor Championships under its belt so maybe 2010 will be its

Why an Enfield you ask? A very good question and one that I really have little idea why I ever bought
the beast other than it had been ridden in the Pre 65 Scottish in 2005 and was one of Don Morley’s
machines when he was a factory rider for the company.

It was purchased via ebay and was residing in “deepest” Scotland and the then owner, Willie, said
he would make a crate for it from washed up wrecks and driftwood and Allied the shipping company
would do a “door to door” for considerably less than I had just paid to have the Tiger Cub sent from
Southampton. Only problem here was US Homeland Security who said the “wood” had to be of a non
Al-Qaeda variety, or failing that the whole thing could be sprayed with an Osama juice to prevent
terrorist termites!….. for an extra $200.00 !

Once more the truck pulls into the yard and after unpacking I’m left dumbstruck as I view my purchase
……. what have I done?  How in God’s name can you ride this in a section let alone the Pre 65 Scottish ?
Well its straight and true and the wheels are round, and after oiling and fueling it starts and I trundle
round the yard with it trying to imagine if I could actually go Trials riding on it without breaking my neck.

What have I done………. ?

A lot of mental wrenching was done over several beers trying to come up with a more modern look and
a practical design for the frame to shorten the wheelbase by 4 inches and get some ground clearance
higher than the stock 5.5″ !!! It has a motor akin to the size of a Harley and the rear frame comes around
the primary chaincase and has the swinging arm pivot behind the assembly giving the massive 55.5″
wheelbase, so thats where the dawn attack will go in…….. but how ???

Time to speak to my engineering guru, Barry at Premier Motorsports.  Barry likes a challenge and is a
master craftsman, welder and one of the best “spanner men” I have ever met. The creature from the
black lagoon is put on the scales, or rather the scales are offered up to it via the craftsman jack and it
weighs in at 309 lbs!!!  Many bolts later the engine is free of the frame and also weighed out of curiosity
and shows the same as a complete Raga Gas Gas…… and this is an Enfield “works motor” with all the
lightweight mods!!!

Get the hacksaw !

The whole thing literally hinges on the swinging arm pivot point so out with the hacksaw and saw
through the top tube…. I hope I get this right!  Now machine some new longer gearbox bolts so that
where they connect engine to gearbox we can hang a downtube from the upper section and make the
swinging arm carrier similar to the Cub. Shorten the front downtube to raise the engine, machine some
new engine plates and set the headstock to modern day Beta angles.

Reconfigured frame, and the swinging arm now inside gearbox &
primary chaincase

A slight bend in the top tube, machine a head steady plate and the 3 piece frame should all bolt back
together. Now cut the swinging arm in two, and reduce the width so that it fits on the downtube inside
the primary chaincase and gearbox. Slip in a sneaky KTM bolt and the reconfigured SA fits perfectly. I’m
planning on a Ty 250 rear wheel so a huge sprocket from BJ Racing  and shocks, new tank, billet yokes
and bash plate from Spartan Engineering in Devon. I also went for their “lightweight ” front wheel with
Cub style hub.

The big sprocket and reversed mount TY tensioner

In retrospect I should have narrowed the upper frame rail at the rear as its still a bit wide for trials
today. With suitable chroming of parts, and a reversed TY chain tensioner, it all goes back together
along with an Ossa VM26 Mikuni which just happens to have the same perfect fit flange mount. Figure
that one ???  Metric and British Whitworth and they match!  Small brain teaser with the jetting of main…
increase main jet size with a 2T and come down on a 4T.  The Majesty used a 290 main and 30 pilot
whereas this beast runs a 100 main and a 40 pilot.

It all bolts together

Time to behave like a Jamaican Drum maker so some gentle panel beating with a soft hammer to the
underside of the new tank to accommodate the rocker boxes of the raised engine. The rebuild is done,
the new super shiny front wheel weighed exactly the same as the Enfield full width alloy hub but due
to the square peg brake arm would not fit !  The old front wheel was retained, the gas betors were
angled on the frame and Barry made an exquisite full bash plate to finish the job off.  Upstairs Magura
front brake lever some low rise Hebo bars to take into account the very long fork legs and a very clever
integrated decompressor and clutch lever from Works Connection.

All finished and an Indian Enfield chrome mudguard

Another work of art bash plate from Barry

The really neat clutch & decompressor by Works Connection

……. and then it ran for a Day! The Prince of Darkness Lucas Racing Mag went into a sulk and was
sent to rehab in the UK and has been a joy since its return.

So, 2008 and it has its first outing at Milliken and swept round on a zero card with some amazing
“Oh CRAP!!” cleans on sections where Jeff Smith had 3 “5’s” due to ground clearance or lack of.
It felt a bit like being on a show jumping horse when you arrive at a series of big log crossings from a
tight turn……. as I came out of the turn I thought “OC, it will never get over those” but it just rumbled into
them and went up and over without any hesitation on just idle power.

First ride ever for me on a big’un and a zero score

Two rides at Donner for just a single dab when I lost the brake pedal on a rock and didn’t even notice.
On to Casper and 3 very easy events for the loss of one mark and then the final ride of the year at
Sandia where five points were lost in the sand on the first loop but then it flew round clean on the rest
of the sections for it’s 7th class win of the year and the Championship.

Two wins at Donner for the loss of 1 mark

3 more wins at Casper

Win No7 at Sandia

So for 2010 beware “the speeding bullet” or “the lumbering gun carriage”.. The ENFIELD is back and
ready to take on the other BIG GUNS in the remake of “THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT, OR HEAVY

“Into the valley rode the 600”, well a 350, in this case……….. Turks, Aj’s,
Velos, BSA’s, Matchless and Ariels take cover !


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  • 1/7/2010 6:55 PM daverhodes wrote:
    Tony this is one of the best Trials articles I have ever read – it captures the whole spirit of Trials and why vintage guys do what they do. Well done and best of luck on the RE.
    PS I just got a clipping from a guy in the UK of a Picton Trial in 1955 which I floundered around in 1955 – Our Team got 3rd in the event in spite of my efforts – We had myself and another rider on a James and a third rider on a Norton 5T – It was muddy – it was ‘orrible and I didn’t want to see my bike for at least a week. – Geoff Duke won the event on a special Ariel Colt.
    Reply to this
  • 1/17/2010 8:42 AM Glenn Swanson wrote:
    Tony , I will never forget the 5 minutes you let me spend on the bullet in dickson ,Still rates as the most comfortable and TORQUEY trials bike I’ve ever swung a leg over …And add to that it’s a work of art too !…
    Reply to this
  • 10/6/2010 10:55 AM Brian wrote:
    Beautiful work, is the tank the Hitchcock’s/motor works one?
    Reply to this
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With the 2010 season nearly upon us decision time as to what to ride and where? Will it be another all
out attack on the Classic Expert Class or the Premier Heavyweight division on the Enfield that never got
a ride in 2009 ?

The Cub has had a pretty good track record over the last 3 years, all the mods that have been done are
all to my liking and she is an absolute delight to ride.

Taking the stock Sammy Miller Cub from his showroom and shipping it to the USA was the starting
point back in 2006 but it didn’t get used as I was campaigning the Superglitzmobile in the Modern
Classic Int division and that was the all consuming passion of that year. With the Ahrma season over
and the hard fought Championship wrapped up it was time to let the Cub loose in anger.

First event was at my friends Keith’s venue at  the now famous CAT Table Mesa Mine and at this stage I
had only changed the front end over to a Yamaha system with Brian Crawford machining me a beautiful
billet stem to fit the 3/4″ bearings. Steering was predictable but the Yam front end pushed the
wheelbase out by another inch so plans were in mind to find something more suitable to bring it back
to the datum. Other problems encountered at this early stage were the awful Amal twistgrip which has
a very narrow span and my gorilla paw flopped over the end. Well that was an easy quick fix to the
Domino but the other joke component by Mister Amal was the secondary kill switch called the
carburettor! Open the throttle quickly and the engine coughs, splutters and stalls. Now of course some
of this was a learning curve switching from the Two strokes to Four and the major differences in
engine characteristics, throttle handling and a lot of other  do’s and don’ts. Quick as a flash two “5’s”
were in the book on simple up the bank round the tree type sections when I closed the throttle thinking
I had the right approach speed and enough inertia to get up the hill! Where the trusty Yam would have
run up the bank with ease the moment you close the throttle on the 4 stroke you get a large dose of
engine braking and when the brain realises things are not as you expect a second handfull on the go
faster lever results in nothing other than a stall!!!

First mods, the complete Yamaha front end

First changes in the carb department were a Kehin carb from BJ racing and this indeed was a step
forward giving tremendous performance off idle but a nasty backfire through both exhaust and carb if
the throttle was shut quickly. Sometimes a little “pinking” sensation as you trundled through sections
on idle but overall an improvement but I think the inlet tract was too short. Nonetheless in this
configuration I enjoyed a win in Premier Lightweight Expert at Wittman at the Ahrma season opener
in Feb 2007.

At Wittman I had the opportunity to test ride some other Cubs and tried one set up with the Del Orto
carb from Serco……… what a difference, perfect response, no hesitation and almost like being back on
the Yam. Luckily for me Martyn Adams had one all set up for the 199cc motor and a King’s Ransom
later I have one fitted complete with the K&N filter.

Smooth as can be with the Del Orto and K&N

Time to get the front set up and I have a set of NEW Cerianis complete with yokes that I purchased off
ebay. Brian is too busy to do another stem and front spindle for the Yam wheel so I’m  left in the
workshop wondering what I can do.  Looking through my inventory I find a set of 1970 BSA B50 four
stud forks and their yokes, yet another cheap ebay find.  Well, the stem will be 3/4 inch so a Sunday
morning is spent trying to configure the set up.  If I put the legs in arse backwards I can use a mounting
lug for the Yamaha brake anchor and if I saw off some huge lump of alloy for some BSA fixing it should

With new seals and boots fitted the legs go in and with taper bearings in the top the upper yoke is
raised giving a little more upright stance…. good!  The wheel fits but the spindle is too short so more
digging in piles and I eventually opt to use a TY175 swinging arm bolt which is just the right length. Up
top manufacture some stops for the bottom yoke and test them for steering lock….excellent! All that
remains is to make some extension brackets to fit the SM front mudguard stays to the slightly lower
BSA stanchions. With everything complete the wheelbase miraculously comes back to the original
Cub specifications.

BSA B50 forks backwards and a Yamaha wheel

Next outing is a local CAT trial at Kingman and here the Cub goes well but in left turns I can feel the
front brake beginning to apply, seems a spacer washer is required to stop any twisting of the brake
plate so a simple fix. In this configuration I do the Diamond Don’s Ahrma event and have a good “head
to head” with Bob Ginder and Mike Parsley. I should have won this one but blew it on the very last
section. Nearly all the marks I lost were dumb dabs or panicky use of the clutch, or so I thought.

Kingman AZ where a little “binding” on the brake was noticed

Milliken and some great rides but a couple of mystery “5’s” going over the bars and landing on my
head ruined the day and I couldn’t catch Mike Buchholtz who rode 2 great loops before I could compete
on even terms.

Back to my favorite Renthals

Donner with only a single mark lost all weekend and now a switch to my favorite handlebars and a set
of new levers using a Magura front brake and a Moose needle roller bearing clutch on the other side.
Confidence is building and now a run up to Chehalis for my one and only visit to the North West.

The new “Moose Clutch Lever” is fitted

At Chehalis only two sections that present a problem and one is a fun mud climb on an adverse bank
and the other that takes me for another classic A over T is a section I considered a simple cleanable
affair. Now the score is on 3 for the base over apex rides and 15 wasted marks for the season.

September and again at Casper I drop into a river and the front wheel stops dead and I fly over the bars
head first for yet another A over T……. this is getting annoying!  Sandia a week later and on a simple
bank turn,… head first into the dirt with hands on the bars and feet on the rests!!!  This head banging
has got to stop!!  A review of Brenda’s photographs and a grinding through the memory banks comes
up with the same conclusion……. its that Miller Man and his Hi-Boy frame and footpeg position. Over to
the workshop and out with the tape measure…….. sure enough front spindle to center of rests is 2″
shorter than my Yams and the pegs themselves are 2″ higher too boot!!  With a trip to Bob’s place in TN
only a day away I manage to persuade Barry at  Premier Motorsports to drop everything and reconfigure
my footrests.

Replated for extra strength and 2 down and 2 back the pegs go on but I now need to lower the rear
brake pedal as the Cub uses the stud cover on the engine case as it’s stop point. A bit of alloy does the
task and screws on the case further back. TN for the 2 day and the Cub excells in all handling
departments and is a delight to ride.

Replated, 2″ back and 2″ down and the new mod on the brake stop

In the Premier Lightweight division I have a clear points lead over Bob but on countback I need one
more win as a second place won’t help. Hollister is my last event of the year and of course I can now
win the Championship if I get a win, or I can elect to check. With the new handling and a small dose of
overconfidence I sail round the first loop clean and lose a dab on the second going too low on a bank
and having to take a prod to get back on course. Third lap clean for a total of 1. Well bad luck, someone
else has gone clean and I’m second! I could have still won had I flewn down to GA and checked there
but at that point I gave up!

2008 and this year the plan was to go for the “double” as under the rules, or so I thought, I could
compete in both Int on the big heavy Enfield as my Ahrma card was still stamped INT and then at MY
discretion I could ride ONE class above my card and ride Expert on the Cub…… and nobody had said
a word when I rode Premier Lightweight Expert all the way through 2007.  With Trialsmaster points at
Buckeye 6 more wins were required and these were achieved at Perris (1), Donner (1), Cotopaxi (2),
Milliken (1) and another (2) at Tooele. Riding the Enfield is quite a task lugging 300lbs of gun carriage
over obstacles various but 7 wins went in the book so the double was done, or so I thought until it was
noted that under some stupid rule you can only score Championship points for the class stamped on
your card!!!! You can imagine my views on the subject which are not PRINTABLE here.
WON 2 LOST 1 !!!

A great fun ride for the Win at Perris

Enjoyable “double win” at Cotopaxi

The last two wins at Tooele

2009 and no changes planned for the Cub, other than oil, tires and chain its into full battle for the
elusive Classic Championship. Starting at Buckeye with a win on day 1 and Trialsmaster duties day 2.
Due to finances and the wish to do the Pre 65 nothing until Milliken when a clean card was achieved
after a real good mental and physical arse kicking in Scotland. Another clean card on day 1 at Turkey
Rock and another good win on day 2 after a less than stellar first loop. With Donner out due to Brenda’s
injury nothing until Cotopaxi at the end of August so 2 wins here wraps up the Championship and with
insufficient rounds left as Sandia gets the CNX I elect to ride out the season at Casper on the Cub
finishing with 9 rides, 9 wins and a Trialsmaster duty. Of  course with 20/20 hindsight had I entered
Prem Lightweight I would have won that division as well as Len Sims did all season……. but that
would be a worthless Championship in my view.

The “Trampoline Pit” at Milliken for a zero card

Another zero card at Turkey Rock

So what would I LIKE for 2010? well, a bigger motor perhaps either 230 or 250cc, an alloy bash plate
like the Armac frame design as although the SM hard plastic one is effective it is very difficult to get the
bike to balance on a workshop stand. Other glitzy things would be a chrome frame ? the Armac
exhaust ? and their pretty little tank ?

Pretty Exhaust, nice tank and a flat bash plate

Armac bash plate without the bottom tube

Currently that is all pie in the sky, and in truth the machine wants for nothing, so let battle commence
again for that Classic Championship and if I get my behind kicked then I really can’t blame the bike as
she truly is ………The NO EXCUSE CUB


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  • 1/4/2010 1:16 PM wayne wrote:
    I may have something you could be interested in then
    Reply to this
  • 1/11/2010 7:36 PM David Armstrong wrote:
    Dear Tony Down:

    While I think your Cub is peachy keen, why not a 4 speed Bultaco for your Classic class exploits? I think you would get along better with a bit more power then a Cub can provide. A 4 stroke for f—s sake……

    Dave Armstrong
    Reply to this

  • 1/26/2010 11:21 PM JBustamante AlvarezdeLaC wrote:
    Fabulou s is the word for all the work you’ve done on the Cub. I’m planning to bring a ’48 Plunger Bianchi to one of the early events. Girder front.125. Look forward to the coming year. ALl the best,Jose.
    Reply to this
  • 5/2/2010 7:23 PM RD wrote:
    Can someone tell me where I can purchase the renthal handlebars (no cross bar) that the author of the Cub story likes so well on his trials bike? Thank you.
    Reply to this
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Happy New Year

A Trials Rider’s delight……… mud & rivers

Only 6 weeks away and it all starts again so time to preview the season and see where I would like to
ride and then depending on finances SEE where we can actually afford to go. On a personal side my
rides will all be of the “2 Day” event type as basic economics mean that 1000 mile journeys for a 1 day
event are out of the question, plus I always enjoy a 2 day event more with the evening social side.

Ed and Evelyn have been hard at it behind the scenes building another potentially great season of
events while trying to accommodate everyones wishes, well those that bothered to reply! Now if you
don’t have an INPUT don’t complain because YOU were asked.

Ed needs a little help from Evelyn until his new glasses arrive

The season cracks off with a 2 Day at Buckeye, AZ Cycle park, over Valentine’s Weekend 13/14 Feb,
where we have been for the last two years. Although primarily a “sand” venue we surprised ourselves
last year by finding quite a few rocky sections and I’m sure as I’m the Trialsmaster for this event we will
be looking to build in, and find a lot of new sections for your delight. Like it or not, I might be using a
Graded Climb again for nostalgia. For those that haven’t been its a good venue with plenty of hard core
level parking, the weather will be mild around the 60-70 point on the thermometer and the evenings
around the 45 mark. If there is sufficient interest I will run a Trials School for Beginners on the Friday.
This could be an all day affair starting at 1000 and finishing around 4’ish as normally not much is
achieved in the standard 2 hour lesson. Please let Ed Peacock or myself know WELL in advance if
you wish to attend.

More rock sections this year at Buckeye

Later in the month on 26 Feb the circus moves to Gatorback Florida for their event. I know Ed enjoyed
it last year but too far for me to travel …… maybe one year.

Having whetted the appetite a month off to get all the last minute mods done in time for a new venue
at Jordan Valley Ranch, Terlton, OK on 4th April. Not sure what to expect here but I’m sure it will be
good as Ed has been negotiating this one for quite a while. The following weekend is Diamond Don’s
in the Texas Bayou. A very good social event with Crawdads and brisket and Texan hospitality. Being
a multi discipline event weekend there can be clashes of interest here as from my experiences trials
always comes off worst at this venue. Never really understood why as there is a ton of trials acreage to
use but it seems we tend to use past sections and invariably clash with the cross country loop. If you
are doing this one remember it is usually WET so be prepared and take some rain gear! Again as its a
single day and RV parking is getting expensive I will be leaving this one off my personal calendar.

The Pre 65 Silver Jubilee Scottish 2009

Moving into May my mind is normally full of Scottish memories from the distant past and the 8 rides
and finishes of the 70’s. Of course last year I was lucky enough to get a ride in the Pre 65 Silver Jubilee
so those memories are still fresh in my mind as are having a “properly” prepared bike and the
knowledge that I will never own a bloody BSA as long as I live!!! Apart from that the month offers a 2
day at  Jeep Skool Windham, OH on 22/23 for those on that side of the country while a week later I will
be at Tucker Ranch Cotopaxi in Colorado for their 2 Day on 29/30 May. I like Cotopaxi with the wide
variety of sections and the good fun loop rides around the ranch. The drive-in always makes a good
section especially if you are driving a big rig!

Great variety of terrain at Cotopaxi

The old favorite “Falls” section at Tucker Ranch

Into June and another new trials venue at the road race circuit of Elkhart Lake WI, or Road America as
we see it if you watch Superbikes. Again too far for me so it will be interesting to hear how this one went
and how many turned up.

I also suspect that Steamboat will be on again in June and I’ll be trying to make this one in 2010 as we
were unable to do it after Brenda broke her foot last year. I also want to see the sections where 6/7
Premier Heavyweight Experts sailed round on a clean card… and if Derek Belvoir isn’t there I must be in
with a chance on the Enfield if it gets decided on age! Not an Ahrma National but still a trial I’ve always
wanted to do.

July starts the second half of the season with another personal favorite at Donner Ski ranch on the
California/Nevada border. A truly fantastic setting at around 6000-7000 feet with a perfect climate for
summer trials riding. I have always had good rides here and was very sorry to miss it last year when
spouse was injured and couldn’t come out to play. Normally a 50 strong entry and some great vintage
style sections with a spot of everything including a little water and mud. As always scheduled for the
second weekend of the month, on 10/11 this year. Well worth the trip and a great social event but bring
a jacket as the evening temps can dip down in the 40’s.

The near “Perfect Trial” at Donner

Also on the July menu is another new venue for Mountainfest at Morgantown WV again too far to travel
for a one day event but should appeal to the Eastern members.

Into August and Chehalis again on the 14th. Always a good trial with the biggest turnout at any event
on the calendar and one that perhaps should be a 2 day in view of the numbers. The terrain and
sections are well suited to vintage events although I find the lack of practice, or the ability to ride round
and view the sections to be very annoying and from a personal point of view I will be missing this one.
With the amount of Vintage entries I am always surprised we don’t have more events in the North West
to cater for this large section of the Ahrma community.

A non Ahrma event that might just see an attendance this year is the Ute Cup in mid August. All
accounts from last year say that the severity of the sections was much reduced taking it back to its
solid Intermediate roots. 40 miles a day at around the 10,000′ mark sounds like fun to me and a real
possibility to test “that” SWM Jumbo if I can persuade Richard.

Casper in September…. it has it all !

September and once again the showcase of the year with 6 events in 14 days! you can certainly qualify
for your class in just 2 weeks of superb trials. The Casper event is another 3 day following it’s success
of the last two years and is without doubt  an exceedingly well organized affair with a great selection
and variety of sections ranging from the rivers and banks by the start to some muddy spots where cattle
and mountain springs converge. Dry banks and huge boulders on the other side of the valley are
included with lots of roots and fallen trees and if all that wasn’t enough there is always the man made
obstacles of “Lego Land” by the start to entertain riders and spectators alike. Don’t miss it on
4/5/6 Sept.

Hard to beat the variety as Casper

My favorite section of 2009……. Casper Day 2, section 1

5 days later and a 400 mile jaunt down I80 its back to Tooele just south of Salt Lake in Utah. A long
rubble filled uphill drive to the start but well worth the 30 mins at 5-10 mph to get there. On a personal
note I’m very pleased to see this one back on the program this year as I really enjoyed the sections two
years ago. A very good variety and quite a few Scottish rocky river beds but also some mud holes and
loose rubble hillsides. As I said last time this place has a ton of potential and I’m looking forward to
11/12 September.

A lot of potential at Tooele

Last one in September is at Milliken on Saturday 18th and I rather suspect will be another technical
trial with a lot of tight turns and delicate throttle control on the grass banks, and that pipe maze.

The Pipes they are a’calling

Into October and a first time 2 Day at the TTC, Sequatchie TN. I’ve seen the terrain there so as the
name implies a great woodland venue, with roots, rocks and slippery climbs await the entry. Too far
for me but on paper looks like regular for future seasons. One week later and Barber has its trial for
the Southern and Eastern contingent if there is not a clash with some of the ITSA events. Last event
of the month is back in California at Hollister Hills, again a long way to go unless Brenda gets her
wine tasting in Napa Valley.

The year wraps up with the normal Aonia Pass event in GA on 16th November.


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  • 1/26/2010 11:36 PM Jose wrote:
    Also looking forward to the Toeele event. Never been there before. Might be doing the Le Mans start in RR for the little Honda Twins, as I have 2 Honda SL 175s. Steamboat last year was great! – only time in my life I felt like Steve Mc Queen riding the Honda Twin on the grass track. Afterwards, I went to congratulate a BSA 250 rider in the pits, who had finally caught me and overtook near the end of our moto, and he said the best thing I have ever heard in my life: ” I couldn’t pass you!” Cheers, JBAC.
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Here we go again! That time of the year when I get to show all my culinary skills or otherwise as I
attempt another full Traditional Christmas Lunch. Through the wonders of television and the increasing
number of cooking programs I’m surprised we are not all Master Chefs and holders of many Michelin
Stars. The only Michelin things round here are fitted on the No excuse Cub.

Daily the television assaults the brain with all the “how to’s” for dumbarses concerning all kitchen
matters as though this is a first time experience in the catering department. I wonder how my Grand
Mothers and theirs before them ever coped without any of this non stop brainwashing…… but they did!

Of course this year I have been unable to outsource some of my traditional British fare due to financial
reasons and also not having a handy British store locally to get all my personal Christmas favorites.
No Paxo stuffing this year, or Haywood’s pickled onions, and no Branston for the cold turkey days or
sandwiches. As I’m the only Christmas pudding lover no Mrs Peek’s either and no Christmas cake to
take on shooting trips in the New Year.

The turkey is currently and theoretically dethawing in the fridge but I’m never that impressed with that
as within 24 hours of serving its normally still as hard as a boulder and will end up in cold water in the
sink. My sous chef went shopping yesterday for all the fresh vegetables and when I inquired where
the Swede were she pointed to the crisper where I found 2 very large turnips!! Poor yes? but I still like
swede and not cattle fodder.

Never mind the “The Christmas Eve Trial” will soon be underway and I’m checking/observing the
very slippery “Chimney Pot” section which doesn’t get too many cleans!

A good entry for this year’s event

A jovial mood at sign up and the Rider’s Meeting (Ho, Ho …Ho) 

Some sections were difficult to walk in the conditions

Kris Kringle, with a good line, records the first “clean” on Chimney Pot
in the Christmas Eve Night Trial

Joulupukki from Finland with a cautious approach on Chimney Pot

Santa takes a nasty “5” on Section 2 “Swiss Chalet”

Saint Nick makes “Rooftops” look easy

French rider, Pere Noel, crosses the boundary for his “5” on “Fir  Trees”

Scrooge (UK) in a spot of bother on the steep drop offs of Cozy Comfort

Local rider Richard brought the revamped JUMBO but was disqualified
for “excessive gardening” in the sections

As expected Father Christmas ran out a clear winner

Well now its Christmas morning and soon time to start thinking bird and stuffing and veggie prep but
there are a few other matters to attend to outside. About 1900 last night another traveler turned up with
RV and sleigh to stay a week!  We had the park plowed yesterday but Lloyd seems to have hit the
electric stand on the pull through slot. Needless to say that put the power off on Slot 1 and with no
power to the water lines heat tape that has frozen solid!  With a family of 5 in residence and all taking
showers I now have to run water from another slot on a daily basis to replenish their tanks. Strangely
another festive traveler arrives tomorrow so I have to check their slot in case Lloyd has had a double
Whammy! Shoveling snow and running water lines is not exactly a pleasure when the rest of the world
is “…..dreaming of a White Christmas”

The morning moves on and its now 1030, the bird was suitably prepped and mummified with festive
stuffings, all hand made by yours truly, the first batch of veggies have been prepped with the bullet hard
swede all cut up and waiting in lo-lurk are all the spuds and parsnips for par boiling prior to roasting.
Just the sprouts and leeks to clean and as I like them crisp and nutty they will not be on the stove until
1400 as I’m aiming for 1430 as the sit down time. Sous chef will be on mashed pots, the green bean
thing and sweet corn for the microwave.

Stuffed and bagged

Now thats Swede !

The Dangerous cocktails (limit 4) are lurking in the wings, so time to douse the sugar lumps in brandy
and add the cherries.

The cubes are in

Bird in, remembering not to close the latch this year! Swedes they are a boiling and the Rv’ers have
water. First round of clean up complete, more logs brought up, fire lit, Christmas carols playing on the
crisp air and the leeks and sprouts are in their pot. Christmas Cocktail No 1 in hand let the day

Sous Chef, Brenda, ready for her part

1345 bring pots and snips to a rolling boil, turkey looking good, swede mashed, buttered and
seasoned and CC no2 has vanished! 1400, clean up Sous Chef’s debris, remove bird and start
sprouts and leeks, CC no 3 in hand! Fryer switched on, table laid, guests playing pool.

Spuds & Parsnips to the rolling boil

OK Swede, the beatings will continue!

1430, bird carved, all veg ready, second call for pool players to SIT! Last CC consumed as they are
very Dangerous!!! Blow out begins, and this year I actually remember eating it and can honestly say
I’m looking forward to left overs. Time for the Christmas crackers, either the CC’s are working too well
but I have to explain the simple art of crossing arms and pulling crackers and then the wearing of
ridiculous hats!

How to …….. Christmas crackers

1530- insensible… more pool, many fire logs, old films and chocolates later another Christmas Day is
put in the archives.


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The boys stop in for a Christmas cocktail

With a minor improvement in the weather Richard set off to come and collect the refurbished Italian
SWM which during the rebuild phase I had found myself becoming quite attached to. Sadly I didn’t get
to give it a full test but there are still a few minor things that Ugly Betty requires so I shall see her again
as soon as the bits arrive.

The truck pulls in and once more the place is full of EleFants, but of the Ducati kind. These are the
Italian ones with the small ears, and having been forced down from the high mountains due to snow
they will be over wintering here while they too, get their revamp for summer climes and once more take
to the roads shouting “Chao” as they scootle round the mountain roads scaring young bimbos and
bimbettes alike.

Where the hell is this Dolores place ?

Like a lot of Italian made things they are made for touring the Mediterranean and don’t respond well to
the damp and wet. I can remember my Alfa Romeo would not start first thing in the dewey October fogs
of a RAF base but by lunchtime when the fog had burnt off it would burst into life in the Autumn
sunshine. These two Ducatis require a complete electrical rewire as there are a host of well
documented problems with Battery wires that catch fire, misfiring problems and then as the ride
continues a dimming of headlights!

He has them in Red……..

or blue if you prefer

Having now rebuilt two of Italy’s fine trials bikes from little more than scrap I rather fancy a JPS Fantic?
Now I believe one of those would look really neat in that livery especially as their tanks needed that extra
something to give them a bit of character. Everybody who has ridden them seems to think they were the
best bike of their times so maybe I’ll be searching the pages of Craig’s List to see what can be found.
Realistically they should be as cheap as chips as you can’t ride them anywhere at the moment but we
will keep pressing until we get our way.

A dead Jumbo

The reborn Jumbo with a little help from Blackcat

Just heard from Ed that the RMTA will be having two classes for Twinshocks next year at their events
with corresponding state Championships. These bikes will not have any age limit so that will let in all
the non-Ahrma allowed machines so we could see prices rising soon as people now have somewhere
to ride these machines. Better get looking for that Fantic or persuade Richard to let me ride the JPS
Jumbo or the very glitzy Cagiva that I built and also ended up in his stable. Failing that I could always
resurrect the Superglitz Yam that Mick Andrews rode at Sandia or take everyone on using the faithful
No Excuse Cub.

The mind turns back to the day we went to collect Gina Cagiva from Mountain Man Vern. Vern, who
claimed to be MMI trained at Phoenix many years ago, was also the recipient of Shadetree
Engineering’s coveted award the “Master Bodger Trophy”, a bit like the Heissman for Motor Cycle
Mechanics, and in subsequent years had added many “rosettes” and “Best in Show” awards to his
trophy cabinet. The finest of these were, “The Bondo Bodge” for leaking tanks, the “Silicone & Electrical
Tape Master Class” on perished rubber Inlets, and my favorite “Wheel Lacing with Broken Spokes”
whereby you must attractively bend the broken spokes around the remaining good ones without the
wheel collapsing. Vern was clearly the winner here exhibiting one of his finest pieces of work with no
less than 8 broken spokes in the rear wheel! ……… and finally to get the judges critical vote for the
“Rat Pack Award” which is the old (ridden hard, put away wet class) Vern had caught their attention by
riding through a wet slurry mix of concrete and cement and plastered the engine cases, rims, bash
plate and all other alloy items with this winning compound.

Vern actually rode it out to my trailer!!!

What do they teach at MMI ?

Vern’s entry for “THE BONDO BODGE”

A clear winner in the “RAT PACK COMPETITION”

The engine after some TLC

The tank unit is professionally saved

Another mega rebuild flashes through the mind’s eye as I reminisce over Gina Cagiva, was the heap
that went on to become the Majesty, also in Richard’s collection, and I will have a pleasant time
reacquainting myself with some of these old friends. What became the Majesty lived in the motor cycle
junkyard here in Dolores. For many years I had always said I would stop there and see what was in the
piles amid the knee high grass. Eventually I do and find the remains of a TY250A Yam which had been
scrapped after “little knowledge dangerous team” had played with it and taken parts off out of curiosity
but with no idea what they were looking for or any idea of how to rectify the problem. After some
discussion my original offer of $50.00 was rejected and he beat me down to $30 to take it away!

The $30 Majesty starting unit

Yes, its the same bike with just “a few” mods

Enough of this time to get back to the Elephant house and start on the next two before they wander off.

Well, maybe two!


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  • 12/26/2009 1:46 PM Don wrote:
    Merry Christmas Tony and Brenda! The house lights look great as does the Cagiva Trialer. Nice lines and very pretty color scheme.
    Reply to this
  • 12/30/2009 10:43 PM Steve Fracy wrote:

    If you send me your email I can send you a pic of my lovely Fantic 300 that has been tweeked slightly, but very original and like mint!
    Reply to this

  • 1/24/2010 8:58 AM Ed Peacock wrote:
    I have 3 Fantics in the shed keeping each other compamy. A 240 a 301 and a 303 as soon as I hit the lottery I will ship them to you for a little tune up
    Reply to this
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With Thanksgiving done for another year time for the next ritual of Christmas decorations. Friday and
into the loft once more for the upstairs collection and then with most of that brought down into the
spare bedroom time to have a look in the big box downstairs for all the outside lights. Now last year
we won the Town prize so Brenda is keen on another full out attack. We have 17 strings of lights and
this year the test shows I might just as well have binned the bloody lot as only 4 strings are working!
How can this be? They were all working last year when they were turned off and put away? I don’t

Too late to go into town so turn my attention to the upstairs tree which has two sets of lights built in
and a motor to drive the colored disc over a halogen bulb. The motor works fine but blow me if the
bloody halogen bulb hasn’t gone as well!

Down in the workshop as I’m not putting up lights a quick look at Ugly Betty and I discover the
manufacturer’s of the engine have left a couple of plastic inspection covers on the clutch case to aid in
the location of the cable which I’d previously though was a real lash up. The cover comes off and now I
need to see what’s inside….. reach for the trusty torch (flashlight) and …lo bugger me if that hasn’t
failed as well!

Today’s mission will be a full assault on Walmart’s lighting division and maybe, just maybe we will see
again! We were planning on the blue/white theme again but we are told by helpful assistant that what’s
on display is all they have! Well clearly this is not the case, as they still have 3 weeks to go but they are
out of nearly all the new expensive LED series but the saving grace is the others are slightly cheaper.
Sod’s Law they don’t have enough of the blue/whites so its going to be a multi color theme this year
with just maybe the leftover blue/whites up in a bare cottonwood tree out the front. That suggestion fell
on stony ground this morning!

Seems to take longer each year to build up keenness to be out there as Chevy Chase stapling wires
and lights everywhere while up the ladder

Joy of joys

Replacement bulb found for the upstair fibre optic tree and that was finished by Brenda with all the final
touches. She also discovered the “spare” bulb in its box! Meanwhile I finally got the clutch cable
organized on the Jumbo and cemented up the hole with aquarium silicone.

Upstairs done!

When it warms up a bit the ladder will be out and 16 sets of lights will adorn the property, until then I’ll
be working in the lodge room downstairs putting all the knick knacks on the dead animals and birds.

Bambi is dressed

Harley too

Lodge room complete

By lunchtime its warmed up and I can complete the 5 pillars of wisdom and the first section of lights
under the balcony. Next phase is the new multi colored sets of the ice type and they go up but by now
the temp has come down and I’m done. Tomorrow its the run along the upper balcony and then the
upper lights over the window and arches and then finish off with the Angel and moving headed deer.

So far I’m not seeing much enthusiasm from the rest of the town either, maybe Humbug or just the
economy. Trying to get that “Christmas Spirit” is not coming easy this year which is very sad as I’ve
always loved the season and all it’s happy memories but this year will be a total first with absolutely
NO presents to wrap or put under the tree. Bizarre really as I would normally spend a lot of time
carefully selecting various wrapping papers as I saw them to get the desired effect and mix of colors
under the tree. Well If you don’t have the money you sure can’t spend it!!

With all the outside lighting up and tested it looks good but as nightfall approaches one string of the
new lights fail! I don’t remember having had this much of a problem in previous years but there again I
used to buy all the lights at Walgreen’s. Brenda checks her lights for her downstairs tree and the new
from last year bunch aren’t working either!! So yet another visit to the exchange section and finally I
have all my outside work completed and we connect to the Nuclear reactor for another year.

More new lights on the downstairs tree

…… bang on cue, it snows

Different, so now up to the Judges to decide if we retain our title and win the prize for the second

Will we win ?



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Here at the Zoo, in the elephant house, we are proud to unveil our latest creation the “JPS”    Is it the
“John Player Special” edition of the SWM or “Jumbo Parts by Shadetree”?  Who can tell?   Is this the
rave machine, or are the readership in for a big disappointment, all will be revealed …..SOON !

The crowd is on it’s toes as the moment draws near….. eager children and trials riders alike press
forward to get their first glimpse …..avid members of the press are ready with cameras and notebooks
………. a roll on the drums……..what will be under the cloth?    Why is Nigel Mansell here? …… and all
these other Formula 1 drivers, …….”Oh hello Jenson,…….. nice to see you Lewis”…. are they at the right
venue? ………. and then we have all these circus people from Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey and
Chipperfield’s, what do they know that I don’t ?

No, its not one of “these”, although I would loved to have driven one, but I did WIN a day driving
Formula Fords at Thruxton when I was in the Royal Air Force… (yet another story)

Not a new one of “these” either!

So what is under the cloth? ……….wait for it, …… more drum rolls please………… and SWOOOSH

 Finally after close on one month in the rebuild phase the SWM Jumbo is finished and offered
here for comments. What started as a restoration on a less than desirable piece of junk has
been completed, oil has been replenished, fresh tires and cables, new bars and fenders, tired
alloy brought back to life and the whole thing given a new livery that might promote
“pride of ownership”.

It is now free to roam the plains, play in mud holes, knock over trees and generally do what it
was intended for. However I suspect it may join the other 80 strong machines the owner has
in his warehouse. Maybe one day I might be allowed to take it on a non AHRMA trial and see
how it performs. What a disgrace that AHRMA still refuses to let the last of these post 79 Twin
Shock machines compete.

The last few days leading up to the event have been problematic waiting for other people and
as always the POST! My fingers are crossed as I type (may account for the sfpeqlling errors)
but the throttle cable did arrive yesterday so I’m now left waiting on 3 different sets of logos
and Wayne Weedon’s Gold Number plate. Hopefully in the 2 days remaining before going to
press there will be a breakthrough and it will all come together. I have faith! Need to keep
praying as today’s post had nothing!

I’m running out of time to make the deadline, the last few touches have been done, cable
fitted in the new Domino, kicker and shifter repolished and fitted, last checks on the rewired
kill switch. Just the new grips to put on and maybe bend the left footrest back to shape…..
C’mon post don’t let me down now.

Another day and nothing! Grips fitted, footrest reshaped, but the postal system has let me
down again. Today would have been the day but I can’t go to press with an incomplete

Some progress the Wayne Weedon Gold No Plate arrived, many thanks Wayne, and do
check his other “bling” especially if you are a Bultaco fan. No sign of the logos which were
posted on 23 November. Never ceases to amaze me how difficult it is to get a letter across
the Atlantic! So now I’m 3 days behind and getting annoyed.

….Monday and its started to snow! Forecast is for about 8″ and it will go on until Tuesday
evening, seems I’m delayed even further but the white might be a good contrast and back
drop. So another 2 days loom of nothing and patience is being stretched beyond belief.
Some logos arrived along with nearly a foot of snow which has now moved to blizzard
conditions. No outside photography for the next few days! Can’t even get to the workshop
and amid all this fun only ONE of the tank badges arrived despite ordering and paying
for 2, so bear with me. I suppose I could do a “naked shoot” along the lines of Playboy,
sort of a “topless” SWM, Miss December, may be appropriate for a thing called UGLY

….Wednesday, and still no sign of the missing logos which are the final hold up. Forks
were as stiff as a brick and although the 220cc of SAE10 was loaded I have drained some
off to test the action. There may still be some of the Shadetree mix in those forks and I
may be draining and flushing a few more times to get it right. While inspecting other trivia
I noticed the rear brake pedal still needs a “tweak” so with time on hand another mini task
before Richard comes to collect his beastie.

Saturday, and maybe Richard will be coming to collect Ugly Betty this weekend so I must
fit the tank and seat arrangement with or without the missing decals, but I now see we are in
for yet more snow so that may affect his travel plans and give me some grace time.

The SWM logos finally made it so I’m only short one JPS roundel. Another foot of snow
forecast for today but the show must go on. Outside photography would seem out of the
question so maybe have to bring Ugly Betty in by the “I love Me Wall” and complete the photo
mission there after the snow melts off her tires.

The blizzard has gone, the temps are up and the crowd is here! So at last here it is….

The ALL NEW SWM TL350 JUMBO, JPS Edition……

The “JPS”


Now I can breathe!

Lest we forget

Looking better

Yuk !

Oooooh! …….Wow!

What a mess!

Hard ridden, put away wet…..

Just a few more pictures as I doubt you will ever see this one in action

Wasn’t me ….it was a Harley that marked it’s spot!   …. you may not get to
ride me to my full potential……. but I know a man who can…..

One of the chosen few that could ride a Jumbo

Yet another rebuilding saga from the “Blackcat” workshops


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  • 12/16/2009 6:43 AM ross wrote:
    Very pretty, worth the wait and your effort.
    Reply to this
  • 12/16/2009 7:54 AM Steve wrote:
    That was enjoyable Tony! Beats a phony O.C.C. episode any day!
    What’s next? It’s going to be a long winter!
    Reply to this
  • 12/16/2009 10:26 AM Jack Knoops wrote:
    Nice one Tony, Mart were’t bad on one either!!!
    Reply to this
  • 12/16/2009 12:14 PM Don wrote:
    Tony – Bravo!!! the bike turned out great. I still don’t see why you think the bike is so ugly? We’ll talk later. I really like the colors – much better than stock. I hope you get to ride the Jumbo before the old owner picks it up.
    Reply to this
  • 12/16/2009 9:55 PM TooFastTim wrote:
    That’s what happens when a Gasser Raga mates with an SWM Jumbo!

    Did you run out of purple paint?

    Very tidy young Tony.
    Reply to this

  • 12/17/2009 5:06 AM Glenn Swanson wrote:
    Tony ; If I still had my ’72 Lotus europa JPS (#40 out of 100 ), The Jumbo would look just right sharing a garage stall … But one way or the other you’ve got to get a few hours of peg time on it , Your thoughts on what beauty is will change …
    Another unique bike from the Down Mind …
    Reply to this

    1. 2/1/2014 8:39 AM John Hilton wrote:
      Hi Glen
      I stumbled across your comment about your No 40 Lotus Europa JPS alongside the photos of your JPS bike. I’m the current owner of that car! See the Europa Registry for pictures. I’d love to know more about your car. Do you have any pics and do you want to share some info? I’m in the UK. The Europa Registry will enable you to make contact if you can’t see my email address on here. Just scroll down the Europa Special listing and you will see my name. If you click it you can send an email. Would be good to hear from you.
      John Hilton
      Reply to this
  • 12/18/2009 10:24 AM Michael Hasychak wrote:
    Work of art! Now if I can get your address I`ll send you a TL125!
    Reply to this
  • 12/19/2009 2:08 PM Chris wrote:
    Lovely job, but having tried to paint plastic tanks in the past and found the paint bubbles after a short while, I wonder how your SWM tank was painted?
    Reply to this
  • 12/22/2009 5:58 AM Dick Clears wrote:
    Hi Tony, Really tasteful and it looks purposeful too. Looks like your hard work paid off. From chrysalid to butterfly sums it up for me. Regards from an old team mate.
    Reply to this
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Where are my Decals??

Thanks to a virtually non existent postal system that still refuses to deliver the goods in a timely
manner I have been forced to wait and wait to get the decals and logos to adorn UGLY BETTY. Over 2
weeks now to get a couple of simple envelopes from England to Colorado and not much better from
Phoenix to here! Of course I have no TRUE idea when these items were dispatched, or even if they
have been, as “trust” like so many other things in modern day life seems to be waning as the fabric
of Society slowly shreds.

Might be in here ?

There can be all manner of excuses, Postal Strikes in the UK, “The Christmas Rush”, “Thanksgiving
over here”, and no doubt a whole bunch more that I haven’t heard yet but I personally find the whole
thing totally unacceptable!!! There are DAILY flights to just about every City in the US, and yes, I’ll buy
the fact that overseas mail is subject to Customs but why oh why does it take over 2 F****** weeks to
get a letter across the pond. Chay Blythe could row it over quicker!

Somewhere in the sorting office maybe ?

As you have probably gathered I’m not too happy with the state of affairs, however there is nothing I
can do other than politely ask when the items were sent and then be patient. Patience is unfortunately
not my strong suit, never has been, and as I get older joins the same bag as suffering fools gladly !

Wayne Weedon sent me one of his nice Gold Number plates and I’ve managed to get the SWM front
brake cable retainer connected but now I’m running into a minor problem attaching same to the forks
as the cable ties don’t like the single point fixing. Looks like I’ll be drilling another 4 holes in the plate to
get it on to my satisfaction.

Wayne’s Plate drilled and fitted

So now I have Jumbo complete but its a bit like a Christmas tree without the lights and decorations…..
just doesn’t look right! The plate is now on and looks good, the kickstart now misses the footrest and
all the other minor trivia items have been done. The forks are as stiff as a brick but that may be
temperature related plus the fact they haven’t moved in over 3 years to my knowledge. Might have to
drain them again and try less oil until they move more freely. Crown nuts dismantled, cleaned, and
refitted, …. marginal improvement but I’m still of the opinion that  220cc per leg is a bit much. I’ll try
150cc and see how that feels.

A “naked” Ugly Betty from her Playboy shoot

Now December 7th and the snow has started again with the forecast of 100% snow for the next 2
days with accumulation of to 16 inches! However, the post DID get through and the two envelopes
from the UK arrived. In from the cold and feverish excitement to open the well sealed packets. The
excitement turns to shocked anger as the first contains only one sticker for the tank and the invoice
states that I ordered and paid for 2 !  Quick telephone call to Phoenix to see where the SWM badges
are as last Monday I was told they would be in the post. They were not sent until FRIDAY !!!! so I’m
guessing this Wednesday or Thursday.

This morning the snow has turned into a blizzard and looks really nasty with a 30 mph wind blowing.
Snowfall now over 12″ so their prediction of 16″ could easily be correct. A lot of power surges and
dimming of lights and apart from dog walking this is a day for staying IN! Dug my way out to the
workshop and drained off some of the oil but there was still some of the previous Shadetree lubricant
in there??? Down to 150 cc a leg and at least they move freely but I’m thinking a good flushing is the
order of the day and then progressively refill up to the 220cc spec. Needless to say nothing in today’s
post even from Phoenix.

With nothing else to do time to try and affix the decals I have and hope the others come today. The
seat section area went well with the 4 put in place to stop the legs rubbing off the new paint so that
end is complete. Moving up to the tank a quick rewash to get rid of any bits of dog and cat hair which
could ruin the whole thing and begin lining things up. The JPS center piece goes on easily  and looks
good followed by the roundel over where the SWM logo will be. Now for the gold elephants and they
go on perfectly but the bloody JPS roundel has started to lift! I had a couple of these gel Yamaha ones
that did exactly the same so now its going to have to be some sort of super glue and hope I don’t make
a mess of it. Nothing again in today’s post!

Only 1 of these arrived….. and now it’s lifting!

Now Friday and running out of time again as nothing from Phoenix yet again, I just wonder if the guy
ever posted them….. very frustrating as I want to get the photo shoot done. Also I need the tank in my
hands rather than try and fit everything in place with the tank and seat on. Amazing that some logos
have glue that will never part company yet others can’t stick the bloody thing to a sheet of paper! I’m
looking at cutting up some other logos as I’m at my wits end and seriously unimpressed but I will give
my man in Phoenix one more day then he is toast!

Time seems to have beaten me on this one as the owner may be coming to collect the Jumbo this
weekend and I’m still short of 3 decals. Just a very slim chance they may arrive today but once again
its forecast for a load more snow so that could delay things even further! C’mon Santa, we have done
“The dreaming of a White Christmas”…. thank you! now please fill the rest of the wish list….
“All I want for Christmas is my TWO front decals”


P.S. Finally! the long awaited decal from Phoenix arrived……Hooooray! They look good and are now
fitted and Richard says he will be here on Sunday.

P.P.S The weather forecast is for another winter storm today with over a foot of the white stuff so I’m
doubting whether Dick will venture out in it with a trailer? I think I would wait.

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