Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1970's

Cycle News 1979 11 14

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 1 of 39

~ ~ ..... M CU, ,.c e CU > o Z 16 have that one shot and you win or don't. Maybe that's just the way it has to be because the country is so big. One event would make a lot of pressure though. Is motorcycling recognized more in foreign magazines? Like Motor Cycle News in England. It's on the newsstands right next to the biggest dailies. They don't have to go to a bike shop. They don't have to go look for it. How do you feel about coverage in the U.S.? I'd like to find out what the problem is with publicity in the magazines in the United States with trials. There hasn't been too much really. Have any magazines contacted you since you won the championship? Not really. The National series this year. It started off evenly. You and Marland won two each, and then you 1000t twice in Texas, in low point trials. Why don't you do as well in the Nationals as you have done in the world rounds? I don't get the same feeling that I get when I go to a World Championship trial. Lampkin and Rathmell find the same problem. I've talked to them about it. But Rathmell, Lampkin and Shepherd enjoy the trials in England because they are usually good. But the trials here aren't as good; the competi· tion isn't as stiff. Comparing your record with Whaley's. You've won eight Nationals, and Marland has won 'n. Yet you've won eight World Trials and Marland hasn't won any. It's just because riding over there is a different thing. He knows when he rides here there's just me he has to beat usually. But over there I'm the last person he usually has to worry about. He has to beat Vesterinen, Rathmell, Shepherd, Karlsson - all those riders. One of them is going to have a good day. He doesn't know who's going to have a good day. It's a psychological thing. When I go over t/lere, I just go to win. I just try my hardest. Either you win or you don't. It's not like a psychological little game with these little sections where you tail behind and sandbag. That's the way it is here. They're little sandbag things you you've got a whole day to ride. It's not trials over here, it's just a different thing. The sections aren't the same whatsoever. The competition is not ne.arly as tough. Over 80. That's more than some of the You can't expect local or National competition to be as strong as World World Championship trials. And Bill Burgener and Morgan Kavanaugh competition. But how would you have travelled a thousand miles to ride change things over here? some V.O.T.E. trials. The sections have to be harder, more difficult. But the organizen laY: "If we make Do you feel you won the Colorado 10 them any harder, where do we get easily becaU8e it was a World round? our riden? Nobody will come ouL You probably weren't tbinking of it Where do we get our checken? There won't be anybody in the as a National too. Right. I didn't even care. Another sport." thing. Like when the sections get really Maybe it should go back to the old hard, like the exhibition sections at El system. Start everybody back in Expert Trial de Espana. and have them transfer to Master class You've won it tbe last four yean. and make tougher sections. Have the I always win in the afternoon sections. regular trials plus kid classes, and add They're pretty difficult byt not really a Master class for the riders who want hard. But they have to be those kind of to improve. sections for the spectators even if local Trials is an amareur sport. There riders like Scott Head and Andre aren't any purses for the World Plouffe get a lot of fives. That's just Championship events. What about the way they have to learn to ride to the amareur riden who don't want to get better. If they just ride easy locaI exrend themselves and risk injury or trials that's as good as they're ever damage to their bike? Yet from your going to be. Scott wants to ride hard standpoint you want the trials as sections, but the local trials are tough as possible. holding him back. I never thought you could show a rider's real ability unless the sections Another rider, Dan Suffin from were hard. If I clean it, and 10 other northern California. He comes down 400 miles for trials our V.O.T.E. club local Experts clean it, what does it puts on. He told me last year's Hal· prove? If everybody fives it and loween Trial was the best he had ever .. _~a.r!a.n.d: gc:~ha- ~~~ .a!1~.I. ~~ ~ It~, ridden. How many points did I lose? you can see t e llU.erence. Li"e set up some really hard sections before I went to Europe the last time, and Scott Head came out. And he really kept trying to get through and maybe get a two. What about your plans for 1980? I'm going over to England the beginning of January. I'll be staying outside of London, with Pete Hudson. He's the import manager for Comerfords. You'll be riding with an ACU (English) license and skip the Nationals. Buically it'll be nine mouths in England. I'll be home some, but I'll be working at Comerfords. I'll be working on . bikes, visiting dealers, doing trials schools, opening up some new dealers, attending shows and demonstrations in Europe. So you'll be ~ble as a resident for British Championship points. How heavy a competition schedule will you follow? I should be able to ride a trial every weekend and ride against Lampkin, Rathmell and Shepherd about every other weekend. What abour rider switches for 1980? Nothing is certain yet. Vesterinen might go to SWM and Coutard might go back to Bultaco. ' How modified was the Sherpa you rode this yea.r? It was basically pretty stock. A diffee· ent air box. The footrests were a little farther back. Why? Because I'm tall. I get my weight back on the rear wheel a little more. And I had the tube on the rear end of t~ frame cut off. That's fairly common. And a little longer exhaust pipe. It makes the bike run more even all the time. What about the larger engine? The factory is still working on the 540cc engine, but everyone but Lampkin rode the 526 in the cham· pionship trials. Lampkin still rides his 548 with the Alpina piston. The factory is aIso working on a six·speed. Manuel Soler was the ~est bed for that this year. What about the new tire you're running? It's a Pirelli CR, developed by Vesterinen and Soler. It's just a harder rubber compound. It doesn't flop around as much in the mud. It isn't so squirrelly. You can run lower pressure than the regular Pirelli MT15. Every· one on the'Bultaco team is using them. So they're making tires for five riden. WID it become a production tire? I hope so. WhOlle gear will you be using next year? Alpine Star boots. They're making a Schreiber model. Nolan helmet. I'm not sure about the clothes. Clice or Brema. Bell helm~t. Champion plugs. Regina chain. Bel-Ray. And there is lOme Schreiber name gear available here. Hatch makes my gloves and Answer Products makes the bars. Looking back, when did you first see younelf measuring up to World Championship competition? Probably during the summer of '77 when I rode at Vesterinen's house. So even afrer you went over for the four trials in early '77 you weren't that sure yet? No, not really. I wanted to try it_ It was definitely more ~nteresting than riding the National Series. How did you expect to do when you went over the fint time? I didn't really know. The best result I had ever seen by an American was when Lane Leavitt had 15th in Spain. I could only hope to do better than that. But I wasn't really sure. I didn't know what I was getting into. I was surprised to get a fifth in Belgium. It IleCIDI your training has always been geared toward that type of bold riding. I've always liked to ride those kind of sections, perhaps because of the riding area I have here. If I saw something that I thought might be possible I'd try it. Then it was: "Oh, I got up that; maybe I can get u~ this." I just kept trying different thmgs all the time. Mter awhile I'd just go out and look for things that were impossible to get up and try them just for fun. That's helped me now because there are DO sections that have really scared me. When did you pnaioe at V~'I? Tbe summers of '77 and '78. He helped me a lot. I could see then that it wasn't riding ability that was going to win the World Championship. It was the getting myself organized, the mental attack, the whole thing. I could see that I could ride as well ,as he could, but he was smarter, better organized, more experienced. By the time the last trial of the year was over, he had things all figured out for the next year. I saw 'that it wasn't going to take a lot more practicing. You have to be in top form at all times, but I could see I had to approach it with a different attitude. What was that attitude?

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1970's - Cycle News 1979 11 14