Fettling the Transalp

Since its inaugral run to Cardiff, done some mods and tuning to the Transalp

After the run to Cardiif and the subsequent false start on a London trip decided to do some further work on the Transalp.

Carb Balance

I got one of the trials bike petrol tanks and extended the fuel lines
I hadn’t used the Carbtune balancers since I has my Tenere, but easy to use with the Transalp, once I’d found an adapter for the front cylinder; unscrew the blanking plug and use the the vacuum inlet nipple for the rear cylinder.

Carb balancing

With the Transalp you need a long screwdriver to adjust the balance through the hole in the air inlet duct. It wasn’t too far out, but was to adjust to get them to the same level.


Speedo: km to mph

Also tracked down on ebay was a set of original VH model clocks, in mph. As I think the bike is infact a French import and that some how it had got an MOT on the km/h clocks.

When the clocks arrived they were in a sorry state, with a crack in the glass and looking a bit scruffy. Also someone had chopped the cable block and fitted lots of bullet connectors instead. I should have asked some more questions before procurement, ah well. Decided to strip both my km/h and the mp/h clocks and just simply swap the dial and mechanism for the speedo.

It is actually easier than it looks and the casing comes apart fairly easily. The only problem with the new mp/h is that the trip odometer seems to be knackered, but at least I can report accurately that the Transalp has a cruising speed of around 70 – 75 mph, as well as pass the next MOT

Front Brake Line Replacement

I bought a Goodridge hose set from good old ebay and somehow, got both front and rear brake lines for £23. Given that the bike is pre-1990, I now have a spare rear brake hose.

The early model Transalps have an interesting layout for the front brake hose, with two flexible sections connected together by a fixed pipe attached to the bottom yoke. Took all this out and replaced it with the single piece of braided hose from Goodridge.

There are a host of threads (and suggestions) on bleeding brakes on the Transalp forums . Interestingly enough, well only if you are seriously into early transalps then the original master cylinders do have a bleed valve, probably to allow for the possibility of getting air in the [horizontal section of solid line ->
http://www.transalp.org.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=20510] which seems to have caused some debate.

Brake Hose Renewal

For me what worked was using a 60ml syringe and an old piece of plastic tube and pushing the fluid in from the bottom up. After a quick look at the Haynes and various threads on websites, the traditional ‘pump-like-a-wally’ method was going to take a while. 10 minutes of trying it anyway proved unsuccessful, so once I’d clean out the bleed valve on the caliper (good advice to do this), it took all of 5 minutes to have a fully working front brake.

Top tips (from me and others) when changing brake lines or servicing the brakes:
– bottom up with a syringe full DOT4 brake fluid works best. Make sure you cover the bike around the master cylinder as you are likely to push fluid out of the top. The overall volume of caliper, hose and cylinder is pretty small
– use the traditional method of 4 pulls on the brake lever and then slacken off the bleed valve on the caliper to get a firmer feel. Ensure that the plastic tube end from the bleed valve is submerged in brake fluid.
– another good trick, is to tape the brake lever back to the bars overnight; this also (slowly) gets air out of the line and is a good emergency measure if you do get some air in the system (say from low master cylinder level). Thanks to Roger for that top trick.

There is still a little too much play in the brake lever before moving the cylinders mightly towards the single front disk, but with look at this further, At over 5mm, the front disk has plenty of life in to for the moment. The pads are wearing evenly and not down to their wear indicators, but potentially need replacing a 1000 or some miles


The bike now has Metzler Sahara 3 tyres front and rear. Yep, I know they are a little more off-road focused but the front and rear do tend to hold the road pretty well. On a recent trip the rear did skip out on a white line when going round the roundabout at the bottom of the A419 in Gloucester, but then lots of tyres do. Personally think they’ll be ok, but will keep an eye on the tyre wear.

Have a trip out into mid-Wales in a couple of weeks so will give them ago across to Tregaron and see how they perform on gravel and in the dirt. I do like a chunky tyre though.

Soft Panniers

Acquired some nice Belstaff soft panniers from eBay, prior to the planned trip to Scotland. The only issue being the stock exhaust and its location on the right hand side. Whilst it may get swapped out at somepoint, for now decided to put a plate over the exhaust to prevent the exhaust and pannier bag meeting.

With some scrap galvanised, managed to paint it up and fit it between the RH side panel and the rear indicator. Have left a large air gap between plate and exhaust, partly for cooling but to also ensure that the weight of the panniers doesn’t force it onto the exhaust.

Crankshaft End Cap

The cap is completly knackered, and well rounded off. An attempt to remove it with a flat head fitment to my impact driver also wasn’t successful. I managed to do the valve clearances on the rear cylinder without it, but going to need to think of a way of removing (and potentially replacing it) before working on the front cylinder.

Frank Jones Trial

Following the heavy rain in Wales on Saturday there was always going to be lots of water and mud in the Builth Wells area. Nobody came away disappointed

The start of the trial was at Cilmery about 3 miles west of Builth Wells, in the heart of some excellent trials country. First time at this trial for me ( a result of a combination of apathy and foot-and-mouth) so looking forward to new sections and a new area to ride around.

I didn’t come away disappointed.

Relaxing before the off

Signed on at the Prince Llewelyn pub in Cilmery with plenty of space for parking just down the road. All nice and informal after the more rigorous process at the Ilkley trial , and after a coffee and a bacon sandwich all ready for the off.

Around 70 entries with a few different bikes in the twinshock class. Dan and Andy from the Wye Valley club joined myself, Gavin and Mark as the usual suspects. Mark and I had our usual discussion on how not to come last and in a good Olympic spirit target the man to beat in an attempt not to pick up the wooden spoon.

1. Neuadd-Isaf Wood


First up, after a couple of miles heading back into Builth was a straightforward double sub. Some turns around trees and a stream before a bank heading out to the end cards. Not so bad and managed to get two cleans.

2. Bwlch

Short road section up to Bwlch as the sun came out. Lots of bikes parked and people studying the section, giving the indication that it might be an interesting section.

Infact, what should have been a small rocky section, had a bit more water than usual for August and a nasty rock step at the end. Lots of early 5’s (including all the sidecars) had made people a little cautious.

Wye Valley riders...loitering

Watched Colin Leese take a couple of dabs and then sat back with the massed throng of contemplative riders and waited for the next attempt. Up steps Phil Wiffen for the clean, followed by a couple of 5’s and a 3.

It wasn’t easy for the rigids, but the line to the right was the one to go for and after Gavin took a spectacular dive for a 5, time for me to step up and give it a go. Concentrated on keeping to the right, following the line taken by Peter Gaunt and it was time to give it a bash. Through for a 2 (i think) but kept it moving, as it was good to see TSR22B was being applied.

Gavin goes for the 'early bath' at Bwlch

The second section here was also tricky, but with not so much water and an easier step in the stream, managed to keep the balance at the top of the climb and get through the mud at the end for a clean.

Infact. the first section is one of those that is worthy of an article about it all of its own. Straight, one route, water a plenty and a nice rock step at the end. Excellent stuff.

3. Cwmrhybin/Corryn

Nice off road run and round to the sections at Cwmrhybin/Corryn which consisted of some turns and drops into the stream. Nice long single sub sections and not too bad severity wise.

4. Goitre

Just off the road the route to the sections led through a nice bog and down into a stream. The main section here was a long double sub, with some slick banks, tight turns and a turn out left to the end cards.

Chose 2nd gear for the banks in the first sub and managed to get the bike up the tight turn into the main climb, then down into 1st for the stream and tight turns into the second sub. All went well till the final turn, when hit the corner wrong and ended up too high. Lots of effort for a 5, first of the day, but on a fairly tough section.

Third sub at Goitre was a short stream section with a greasy corner to exit. Cleaned it was especially pleased with the corner, shame that it was beyond the end cards. Ah well.

Then spent 10 minutes getting back to the gate by the road; Gavin headed off to the left to follow the fence line, whilst I ploughed through the central part of the bog. Dropped the bike cursing in one particular deep bit, but wasn’t too upset after watching one of the sidecar crews trying to rescue their unit from the morass.


Nice run on the road through Llangammarch Wells and on down to the A483 near Beulah. Through Beulah, spying a couple of riders diving into the shop for some refreshment. Our supporter for the day, Clive was on hand with the petrol so it was a quick top up before heading up to the double-sub at Aberannell.


First half was about 2nd or 3rd gear in the mud, whilst the 2nd sub dropped through a stream, up a bank and then back into the stream for an exit waterfall. Mark managed to find too much grip on the KT and launched out of the first sub, unfortunately missing the end cards by the proverbial mile. Got through with a slack dab on the first sub.

Back on the road through Beulah and then a short off-road section down to the next section at Dolderwen.


Single section here by a peaty colour brook, with the only difficulty (for me) being a turn up a bank to the end cards. First rain of the day caught us here, which managed to avoid by loitering under the trees for 15 minutes.

7. Tyncoed

Over the bridge and up to the road and on to the 7th group of the day at Tyncoed. First up a drop into a stream and then a turn up into a muddy gully. 2nd gear was enough as it only became bottomless after the end cards. This was (surprisingly) the location of Steve Bisby’s only dab of the day, but he could rightly put this down to some a set of rather worn wheel bearings.

The next double sub was excellent and along with Bwlch, was probably the section of the day. First sub into the stream, was a first gear turn and jab up a rock step; second sub involved more stream and then a 3rd gear blast across a mud patch and then up the exit slope. Gavin didn’t get enough and in my haste to get up into 3rd and turn didn’t get a strong enough run at it. Steve made no mistakes here and was through for a double clean.

8. Pen Rhiw Moch

Short section of road and track up to the next two sections up on the top of the hill. The drop into the bottom involved a tight turn bringing the rear around with the brake and then a blast up to the end cards. Lots of spectators here, waiting for the first attempt. Gavin got the TLR moving to find plenty of grip and flew through the end cards, literally as he parted company from the bike, to the delight and applause of the massed crowds.

Pen Rhiw Moch: waiting for others to rise the section

Managed to clean the section, but noticed that the Beta was missing a bit as I pulled away in second. Got enough from the bike to take a straighter line out and through the end cards, also with a spectacular jump, with the bike.
I looked at the next section and overestimated the grip I’d get and ended up with a three on what should have been a cleanable section for me. Ah well, the great views for the top made up for the marks dropped, but back on the road to the next group.

9.Pentre Llwyn Llwyd

First up a long stream as a double sub. Opted for a higher gear, though bottom would have been fine. Again the bike missing a bit, it seems when coming onto main jet, which was a bit of pain.

Gavin at Pentre Llwyn Llwyd

The third sub started with a tight turn, which got a dab from me, and then across some snotty looking roots and up a grass/rock slab. Really nice section.

10. Sarn Helen

Again, some relatively short roadwork took us across to the Sarn Helen group, which were two fairly straightforward sections in the stream, followed by a turn-on-banks type of section. Made a mistake on this last one and took a dab on the slope.

11. Llanfechan

The penultimate group was more of the same, mud and streams. Three good sections here, where again dropped a couple of dabs; needlessly.

Wet feet

Mark had spent all day trying to avoid getting his feet wet and watched me go knee deep at a couple of places. Therefore, nice to see him take the shallow route and submerging above his boot.

12. Rhosforlo

Last group was just off the main road short of Cilmeri and was two sections involving tight turns among the muddy banks. First gear the order of the day and the 29th section completed it was off back to the start, as the observer for the 30th had given up and gone home waiting for the riders to turn up.

An excellent trial, which had (as usual) had some low scores (Steve 2, Dan 3, Phil Wiffen probably clean) but had the right mix of sections and covered some excellent ground.

Thanks to all at the Builth Wells MC, the observers and my fellow competitors. All good stuff. Next trial will be the Wye Valley AC Trevor Hunt (Memorial) Trial, regs on the ACU Western Centre website , which is set for 28th September

Beta Twinshock Spares

During the recent trip to Yorkshire for the Ilkley Dales trial came back through Leeds and picked up a range of spares from Ian Brown.

Due to his increasing interest in Enduro (and therefore breaking bones in his body) Ian had decided to sell the Beta twinshock special he’d built with a 260cc engine [ Get in touch if you are the new owner]]. He’d also accumulated a collection of spares and ever conscious of the rarity of my own [Beta I decided to buy the job lot.

Boxes of Spares

I’m going to hang onto some of these of course and also know that given that there are relatively few early twinshock Beta’s kicking around demand for spares isn’t going to be high either. Steve Goode still has lots of spares for twinshock and early mono Beta’s.

Once I’d destroyed the wasp net in the barn I check the list of spares and have attached it to this document. If you are interested in any of the parts get in touch via email and I’ll let you know on availability. I’ve also got quite a few SWM spares round the place, so also need to list these.


New Parts : some still in Beta packaging
Please email or phone to check stock and pricing
malcra@hungerstone.net +44 7720 079845

| New Genuine TR240 Seat | 1 | £75 |
| Main Bearing Oil Seal Set | 1 | £5 |
| Plastic Frame Plugs (swinging arm bolt) | 1 | £5 |
| Beta Front Number Board (white) | 1 | £15 |
| Air Box | 2 | £30 |
| Exhaust Gasket | 1 | £3 |
| Venhill Featherlight Clutch Cable | 1 | £20 |
| Venhill Front Brake Cable | 1 | £20 |
| Venhill Superlight Throttle Cable | 1 | £15 |
| Front Sprocket Guard | 1 | £15 |
| Motoplat Heavy Flywheels | 2 | £25 |
| Lower Rear Mudguard White Moulded Plastic Plates | 2 | £15 |
| Rear Frame Loop | 1 | £15 |
| 125cc Con Rod | 1 | £10 |
| Front Mudguard Stay | 1 | £15 |
| Clutch Side Crankshaft Pinion with Weight (worm cut gear) | 1 | £10 |
| Rear Brake Pedals – Chrome | 2 | £15 |
| Carbon Reed Blades | 1 | £15 |
| Full Set Driven and Alloy Clutch Plates | 1 | £25 |
| Side Stand Spring | 2 | £4 |
| Swinging Arm Chain Runners | 4 | £5 |
| Clutch Operating Levers | 8 | £8 |
| Rear Brake Lever Return Springs | 2 | £2 |
| Kick Start Return Spring | 2 | £5 |
| Clutch Actuator Shaft | 1 | £10 |
| Brake Actuator Shaft (oval) | 1 | £8 |
| Flywheel Keys | 2 | £1 |
| Piston Circlips | 4 | £2 |
| Base Gaskets | 2 | £2 |
| Flywheel Cover Gasket 125cc | 1 | £2 |
| Flywheel Cover Gasket 240 | 1 | £2 |
| Clutch Centre Pull | 4 | £3 |
| Steel Washers Small ? | 1 | £1 |
| Rubber Inserts C Shaped ? | 5 | £1 |
| Clutch Basket | 1 | £30 |
| Piston c/w Rings 125cc | 3 | £30 |
| Piston Ring 125cc | 1 | £10 |
| Con Rod Assembly 240 | 2 | £40 |
| Copper Head Gaskets 240 | 2 | £5 |
| Alloy Fork Yoke Centre Nut | 4 | £3 |
| Kick Start Gear | 1 | £10 |
| Little End Bearing | 2 | £10 |
| Set of Clutch Springs | 1 | £5 |
| Gearbox Needle Roller Bearings | 3 | £5 |
| Front Brake Light Switch | 1 | £3 |
| Set of Barrel Stud Sleeves | 1 | £5 |
| Gearchange Selector Claws | 7 | £3 |
| Kickstart Shaft Oil Seal | 1 | £2 |
| Gearbox Steel Shaft ? | 1 | £3 |
| Clutch Basket Washers | 3 | £1 |
| Gearbox Steel Half Moons | 4 | £1 |
| Gearbox Steel Circlips | 10 | £1 |
| Gearbox Shaft Pointers | 3 | £1 |
| Gearbox Shims | 4 | £1 |
| Rear Brake Rod Castle Nut | 2 | £1 |
| Gearchange Spring | 12 | £1 |
| Mixed Gearbox Nuts and Shims | 1 | £5 |
| Owners Manual TR240 | 1 | £20 |
| TR34 Front Disc Mounting Plates | 6 | £1 |
| 125cc Engine c/w Electrics 54mm Bore | 1 | £100 |
| 199cc Engine 68mm Bore | 1 | £ POA |
| 250cc Engine 72.60mm Bore | 1 | £ POA |
| 199cc Head and Barrel 68mm Bore | 1 | £50 |
| 250cc Head and Barrel 72.60mm Bore | 1 | £50 |
| 260cc engine complete, TR34 | 1 | £100 |
| Set of Crankcases inc Clutch Cover and Lever | 1 | £40 |
| Set of Crankcases inc Clutch Cover, Crank and Gearbox | 1 | £40 |
| Complete Exhaust System 125/240 | 1 | £60 |
| Front Wheel c/w Brake Plate and Spindle | 1 | £80 |
| Dellorto PBHL 24 Carb | 2 | £25 |
| Dellorto PBHL 25 Carb | 1 | £25 |
| Dellorto PBHL 26 Carb | 2 | £25 |
| Set of Brake Shoes | 1 | £8 |
| Rear Chain 125cc ½” | 1 | £10 |
| Rear Sprocket 125cc 1/2” 53T | 1 | £12 |
| Front Sprocket 125cc ½” 11T | 1 | £7 |
| Speedo Drive | 1 | £10 |
| Alloy Sump Shield | 1 | £30 |
| Airbox c/w Filter | 1 | £30 |
| Carb to Airbox Hose | 1 | £15 |
| Timing Cover Back Plate | 1 | £10 |
| Front Sprocket Guard | 1 | £40 |
| Front Sprockets 10T +11T | 2 | £10 |
| Throttle+Front Brake+Clutch Cable | 1 | £40 |
| Air Filter inc Frame (round deep type) | 1 | £20 |
| Tool Box Tray | 1 | £20 |
| 125cc Crank c/w bearings, con rod,clutch side pinion and nuts | 1 | £30 |
| Chainguard | 1 | £10 |
| Full Set Clutch Plates | 1 | £30 |
| Flywheel Cover 125cc | 1 | £20 |
| Flywheel Cover 240 etc | 1 | £25 |
| Flywheel Cover 240 etc Plastic | 1 | £30 |
| Front Mudguard Stay | 1 | £10 |
| Motoplat 125cc Flywheel | 1 | £30 |
| Clutch side Crankshaft pinion with weight – straight cut | 1 | £5 |
| Gear Levers | 2 | £5 |
| Petrol Tap | 1 | £5 |
| Reed Valve Blocks | 2 | £10 |
| Inlet Manifold 125cc | 1 | £10 |
| Inlet Manifold 240 Straight | 1 | £20 |
| Inlet Manifold 240 Angled | 1 | £20 |
| Inlet Manifold 260 Alloy | 1 | £10 |
| Inlet Manifold Conversion to fit bolt on carb | 1 | £20 |
| Set of Footrest’s c/w springs, spacers and bolts | 1 | £15 |
| Motoplat Ignition Coil Red | 1 | £20 |
| Piston Complete inc Little End 260cc | 1 | £40 |
| Piston Complete 250cc | 1 | £40 |
| Full Set of Clutch Plates | 2 | £30 |
| Set of Steel Clutch Plates | 1 | £20 |
| Full Clutch Basket c/w plates and Cover | 1 | £50 |
| Clutch Basket | 1 | £10 |
| Clutch Centre | 1 | £10 |
| Clutch Cover (plate) | 1 | £5 |
| Rear Brake Return Spring | 1 | £3 |
| Plastic Swinging Arm Spacers | 1 | £3 |
| Plastic Frame Plugs (swinging arm bolt) x2 | 2 | £3 |
| Various Gearbox internals inc 2 x selector shafts and 1 x kickstart shaft | 1 | £40 |
| Copper Head Gaskets (x3) | 3 | £5 |
| Set of Barrel Studs and Nuts | 1 | £5 |
| Clutch Basket nut and washer | 1 | £2 |

Passing the Scruitineer….

At the Ilkley Trial, the scruitineer rightly picked up on a few loose spokes in the rear wheel. This turned out to be more that just a few (lets say 40%…) and with the nipples being rusty and worn, simply tightening them wasn’t an option

Basically the wheels needed to be re-spoked. Mark mentioned that was a guy in Bedwas (near Caerphilly) who’d done some wheels for him, so I dropped them down their on the way to Cardiff for a meeting. Day later, got a phone call to say that the wheels had been done. 55 quid per wheel for the rebuild with heavy duty steel spokes.


You can contact Gerald Pettit (no relation to Kevin) who did the work: 02920 861452. Excellent job.

New news item

After some trouble with my hosting provider UKHosts having one of their web servers compromised, I decided it was time for a change. I’ve move the website to a Linux VPS hosted by Linode . Its a virtualised Xen server running Linux (Fedora 9) and gives me full root access via ssh and the chance to set things up my way and hopefully more securely.

I’ll still be using the SPIP content management system for now. Its proved to be pretty robust and managed to recover it pretty easily after the hack at UKHosts.

The hungerstone.net domain is still active, but I’ll also use the opportunity to bring in the twinshock.org.uk domain as the primary domain for website access.

Thanks for using the site (there are already around 2500 page views a month) and if you would like to contribute to the site, with classic trials reviews or about bikes you’ve worked on, then let me know and I can add you as an author.

Honda Transalp

For some reason, I’ve always liked Transalp’s, that is the early 600 models

So, the combination of Sunday afternoon and itchy ebay finger meant I ended up with a 1987 XL600VH Transalp, from the first year of production.

Transalp at Storey Arms

The combination of 80’s trail bike looks, reasonable size and something different to ride on the road has been great. For £700, I think I’ve got a pretty good bike for a blind buy. It was imported (I think from Italy) in 2004 and the panels, frame and engine are all corrosion free and still have that Honda quality finish.

Work done

Since I’ve had the bike, I’ve done the following:
– engine oil change; I’ve gone for Motul 20/40 semi-synthetic which was about £20 and came with a free Hiflow filter from LM Spares
– valve clearances: as this is the original model, the clearances are a lot finer than on the later engines; there wasn’t much adjustment required
– tyres: the front Pirelli Scorpion A/T has perished walls, so needed to be changed and the Bridgestone BT45 Trailwing on the rear is coming to end of life. I fancied something different on tyres and after reading the extensive thread on the Transalp forum I went with some Metzler Sahara’s (I know, I know….) as planning to some of the off-road bits round home. The front went straight on and once scrubbed in, ran really well on a trip to Cardiff in the wet with good feel. The rear is yet to be fitted, but has less rubber/road contact than the front

To be done

There are some niggly bits to finish
– the clocks are in Kmh (its an import) and have no stickers or mods which therefore surprises me how it has an MOT certificate. Will probably go for one of the Motrax mechanical convertors but still waiting to see how the bike performs. There are some original MPH clocks at David Silver Spares which are pretty reasonable (the VH ones being cheaper than the later 600 models).
– the brake master cylinder cap screws are rounded off and will need drilling out and replacing. Also, as its an early single front disc model I am thinking of replacing the hoses with replacement Goodridge hoses .
– front spindle clamp has a broken stud on the bottom of the fork. This needs extracting and replacing
– carb balacing. On the list of things to check, something I do a lot since frying a piston on a Yamaha XS500 I once had.

So whats it like ?

Really as expected. Not too quick, but solid, stable and great in traffic. The test run of a 120 mile round trip to Cardiff (with detours) was a good start for the bike. The engine thumps along and pulls ok from 4000 rpm and above. All in all, excellent for a 21 year old bike.

Ilkley and District MC : Sammy Miller Round 6

Only two of the usual suspects headed north for a hot sunny weekend in Yorkshire for the latest Sammy Miller Products round .

A much reduced contingent headed north to Yorkshire and the 6th round of the Sammy Miller Products series, hosted by Ilkley and District Motor Club. With just myself and Mark carrying the flag, it was a hot, sunny weekend centered around Pateley Bridge. Drove up on the Saturday evening and the 4 hours from Hereford was a result of low levels of traffic and a driving style aimed to economy.

Put the tent up in the Nidderdale showground and after trying some tea infused with methanol [One of the main problems with Trangia stoves is where the burner gets put when you pack it, in the kettle] we decided to adjourn to the Rose and Crown. Despite being torn between being eaten by midges outside, or being assaulted by a pub singer inside (who had previously owned a TY125 it turned out) we stuck it out till around 0h30 before heading back to the tent. We now had our excuse for the poor performance on the morrow.

No doubt that the Ilkley club organise a good trial. The scruitineering was closer than many, with a few loose spokes coming to surface on the Beta and Mark’s steering being 3% out-of-true. Also, they’d arrange the fuel stop etc, which was excellent given that it was a 30 mile lap and the range of the Beta is about 26 miles before reserve.

Fantic central ?

Signing on in triplicate, followed by a bacon roll and we’re ready for the off. As usual away at the back of field of 70-odd bikes. Though overcast, there was the expectation that this was going to be a hot day out on the road.

Start at the Back

Watergate : 5 Sections

Just a short run up the hill (a steep hill with a couple of hairpins) and nice to see the Beta running well back on its diet of Castrol TTS. Some smoke, but the that smell was back (not as good as Castrol R though)

Early Form ?

Amazingly, both Mark and I clean the first section, though I had a slack dab on the 2nd section. This was like the others; grass banks with rocks and loose boulders. The 3rd sub had an awkward corner, and then a sharp exit over rocks. The 4th and 5th subs were similar but managed to come away only having lost 5 marks. Not too bad for me.

By the time we left the group, the sun was coming out and it was clear the day was going to be a hot one ! Nice run across the moor, and then a short off road section took us to the next group.

Cock Hill Mine : 3 sections

Saw a dab from some of the top boys on the first section and then managed to go to slow, so a 3 in the first section, then a dab to prevent the front wheel washing out in the second. I hate those type of sections.

Nearly got run over by Neil Gaunt’s Ariel in the first section whilst attempting a photo,. That would have been a good way to finish the trial.

Cock Hill Mine

A quick look at the onlooking crowd indicated that the third section here was the crux. A very rocky stream (more rocky that Wales, we’re in Yorkshire !) which was wasn’t going to get any easier the more you looked at it. It saw me take 3 early on, but got it back on track and get through the section. Mark lost control of the Kwak, followed by a comment from the audience “eee, they were like that back in the 70’s”. It was the beginning of his love affair with stream sections for the day.

Bit of a spin on the road, back down the steep hill into Pateley Bridge and back past the show ground before heading out past the reservoir to the next group. By now a glorious day, coupled with some great scenery which made the road work not too tiresome.

West Wood : 2 sections

The first section in the wood was an interesting beast; a tight drop into a stream and then a 2nd or 3rd gear run up the stream and then out into a full blast through mud to the end cards. Turns out probably the crux section of the day and lots of 3’s and 5’s. Got through with a scrambled 3, but wasn’t getting easier at the back of the field. Second sub was an interesting up-and-down-round-trees was, with a small step out of the end. A clean.

Rayners Field: 3 sections

Just when you think things are going well; you screw up. Twice in my case. On probably the easiest section of the day, I simply missed a marker. On the next section I choose the route over a rock rather than round it, another 5. Mark showed the way to go by riding round the rock and cleaning the section. I blame a large thistle in the first section, but actually being a prat is a better summary of events. Last section was a short stream section with a bank and turn out to exit. Didn’t get a 5, but took a slack dab instead.

I still not good at a) avoiding stupid 5’s and then b) loosing others by being annoyed for loosing the first one.

Covill Farm: 3 sections

Mark at Covill Farm
Short run over to Covill Farm for 3 subs, the second of which being the most tricky, My crap run of form continued when stalled the bike in the turn out of the stream. The collection of 5’s building up. The last section took another slack one on the traverse across the camber. The good start was a distant memory so the focus was on trying to not come last.

West House Farm: 3 sections

First section was out on the grass slope at the farm and wasn’t too bad. The second sub, across a rock bank and then up through a stream bed with a sharp exit to the right. It didn’t look straightforward and was happy that I got through for a 3.

Thought I clipped a marker on the last section, which was straight-forward but managed to loose the line early on and then struggled to stay on the bike.

To the lunch stop was just outside Lofthouse and picked up the sandwiches ordered at the start, as well as a coke. Quick chat with a few people, though didn’t take up the ice-cream on offer.

The route card showed a 13 mile run to the next group, which usually means a numb bum. But, this was a different, with a superb off road run across the moors. Superb going with some great views.

On the Moor

Back onto the tarmac on the other side of the moor and then a run down some narrow lanes to the next group.

Winksley Moor: 3 sections

Thw Winksley more group started with an interesting a run up a rocky gully followed by a couple of stream sections. I managed a couple of 3’s and a 1 whilst Mark continued his water aversion and picked up a set of 5’s/

Woody at Winksley Moor

A great spot to spectate and by now the roar of pre-65 sidecars and the nice weather brought out a few onlookers to watch the action.

Kingstone Farm: 4 sections

The first section was interesting, with the only way of cleaning it involving a run-up and launching off one slab to clear the next rock. You could weave you way through them, but this involved at least a dab. I went for the airbourne route and got it wrong, so another 5 was come my way. Mark, after stating his desire to make it into work the following day decided on the twisty route and only two dabs.

Next couple of sections were fairly technical and though dry plenty of places to drop marks. Managed one clean, but then had a 5 at the last twisty number that curved round the rocks. Again, once off line you were then doomed. Fairly short bit of road work and off to the last group.

Wath Quarry: 5 sections

It was the last two sections that finished me; a 5 for missing a marker followed by a careless 5 when by back wheel washed out a marker; should have done it in 2nd. A lovely place for sections here, with some great views out over Pateley Bridge, but by now it really was hot and my thoughts were on getting back to the start.

Last Group

Short run back down the hill to the finish, though not really waymarked you just followed your nose. Through Pateley Bridge and back to the showground. A brilliant day out, with about 6.5 hours on the road.

Malcolm on the last section

Well organised trial and given its only the second year the Ilkley Club have done I am really surprised there wasn’t more that the 70 or so entrants.

Though Mark beat me by one mark (you can find the results on the Ilkley Club website ), we didn’t come quite at the bottom of the field. The usual low score rides, but some people dropped more than usual on the way round.

One of the aims of writing these articles is to encourage more people to enter the Sammy Miller series; though I dropped a few, it wasn’t hard. The good riders will drop low marks, but the aim should be to encourage the clubman riders to make an appearance also.

Thanks to Anthony Searles father for his photo’s, which I’ve included in this article.