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Upcoming Trail Ride Event

Mar 28 2021 - 15:00
Llandovery (SA20 0NB Wales)
Llanerchindda Farm, Cynghordy

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All worth it? Oh Yes!

Zschopau 2011
In facts:
  • 240 entries
  • At least 5 European Champions
  • 1 Paris Dakar Legend
  • 3 Dozens of riders in their 60’s, and few in their 70’s
  • 5 machines categories
  • More than a dozen of nations represented (even UK)
  • Nearly 30 different makes of machines
  • 32 miles lap (x 3)
  • 4 special tests
  • 100’s of Marshals
  • 100’s of public smiles and cheers
  • 3 Stands for the riders, providing water, sugary stuff along the course (Whoaaa!)
  • One sunny day not too hot or too dusty
  • Only 2 accidents requiring the ambulance
  • A goody bag for everyone (including posters of the event and some paper serviettes???? That is still a mystery)
  • Channel crossing to Zschopau and back will set you up with 1200 miles…
  • 4 countries to cross to get there (luckily no motorways tolls!)
Yes and all the above for a mere 40 euros fee….
OK, add 3-4 tanks of petrol (that will be the car of course!) and the bits & pieces…
But echoing my friend’s comments…and mine!
Simply the best ….so far!
Bravo…bravo ….
And …… all could have been a nightmare……….
We got heavy bursts of rain the previous days and temperatures dropping quickly…
And when you see the special test and the steepness of some hills, mixed with ruts and soft soil…you kind of pray for the rain to stop…

Then came the “race day” Saturday morning……. the day started dry with blue skies, what a relief…

Classic = Class as well!
A short ride out the town straight into the woods off a small track and the rocky uphill that reminded me of Hawkstone with loosen rocks and very steep. (Mark Molineux words)
What a special, or more precisely the 4 special tests were superb, rocky, slippery, steep hill, fast, and all that with some public support and great organisation… (Paul “Elvis” words)
OK, I could not do this event (see June newsletter) ....and to be honest, when all riders made their way to scrutiny and placed their machines in the fantastic park fermė, it did sank a bit in my stomach….I felt like maybe I should have stayed in UK????
No…….. That actually would have been a very bad option, as the day unfolded and more time was spent talking to other riders, taking pictures and discovering some bikes we did not know they existed…so it was becoming a very interesting weekend…



a legend... Mr Schek ...78 year old... giving us hopes!
what a guy! ...what a bike!  
123...Yves...a friend on a French machine..a Portal 250cc in mint condition...that was at the start,
do not ask what was left at the end
Number 166, a UK hero ...(Paul on a 250 Puch Frigerio)
and another one ... Mark on the 347 Puch 
very proud they should be...
Paul finished halfway of his category
and Mark a very respectable 9th place where normally in large cc category lots of local heros were fighting hard
As well, for once that I am not riding, it was something new to me to be mixed with the crowd, most of all within the largest and excellent “special test”….


(Click below & extend the slide show to 6 seconds for better results…)




 44....Mark Reul, Belgian Champion on a 100cc DKW

That is good sport!


70% probably very enthusiasts and knowledgeable in bikes and the rest were family members, kids, toddler in prams, lots of pretty ladies too….and all cheering they loved ones, or simply the bike that make the best noise, the “oldie and the odd” ones, the ones that falls into corners, or of course some “German stars” ….Ho yes, I may not know them at this moment, but it was obvious some riders were arousing the crowd, cameras snapping fast as people jumping one side to the other of the barrier tape…
I was at this point enjoying it so much…. Nearly forgetting that my bike and race number were in London….
Then you really take time to witness some incredible 60’s & 70’s bikes or very small cc’s machines passing in front of you, doing their best to stay on despite the lack of power or technology, I was too cheering up those riders for their bravery
machines from a different planet !?




(Click below & extend the slide show to 6 seconds for better results…)


125 Maico with Disk Valve....Try to find another one!
a rare beast (Simson 500cc)
notice the period rider & van, all fit the day!
MZ factory, Look at these twinshocks!!!!!
That is a proper tool for the Job, 500cc of efficiency!
and what about that one! 100cc, still with enclosed chain and still looking the business!
So, what is the outcome of such experience….
From Mark, Paul and Philippe….it’s definitely a thumb up and we will come back next year or another…kind of unfinished business...
And Yes, we should bring an Union Jack flag…  and make sure UK is represented with more riders and lots more presence….it would be great to create our “English Team”………. And that we may share our Teas and biscuits with our German or other countries friends….all in English of course!   
Another point I would like to make… and that will not be comparing UK events as they are still new to this game…
but even in France, Belgium and Italy…. Classic enduros became either too serious or too small to attract Riders & Sponsors…
So, Yves (my friend from www.isdt.eu) a well experienced rider and others from respective mentioned countries…..commented on the fact that the spirit of “classic machines” was lost… if you really want to ride a very old machine for the pleasure of riding it…well only Zschopau, Mendes, Brioude and Isny provide this incredible atmosphere…
Repeating their words….
Getting older (the rider and the machine) it is true that we tends to prefer quality to quantity: less entries and top performing machines, but more rare ones, fewer events, richer in history and a selected course most suited, that does not exhaust the driver nor the machine….
So beware UK, we may become even worse off than the continent if enduro are cared for a dozen of hardened riders that have something to prove and older machines do stay into an heated sheds… or these mix & match with modern events that slaughter machines and camaraderie…

"Ten minutes interview with"
Steven Gard 
Steve, an easy guess, this passion for motorcycle is few decades old...how did it started and what was your first bike.
A 1950’s Raleigh Wisp 49cc Moped taken illegally from a friends Dad’s garage, quick trip to the local Bicycle shop with 2/6d for a new Carb Float, which they actually had on the shelf. Fitted that, stopped the carburettor flooding, (wish it was that easy on my 380 CZ) and we were away. 14 years old and the back alleyways of Mitcham were my first off road playground.
Honda PC 50 “Magic Wheel”, you know the one, has the engine mounted in the rear Wheel.
Ended up wrecking that in local Woods, it most definitely was not a Trail bike.
In UK a lot of us know you as a Bultaco fan, you still wear often the jumper and few Bultaco goodies… what is all about?
Bultaco’s along with CZ’s were THE bike’s to have in the early 70’s. Nick, my brother in law, brought a very nice little Bultaco Mk 5 Matador SD in about 1975. It proved to be a great little bike that could more or less do anything off road. I was riding an ex works 380cc Greeves Griffon Enduro when he first got it, I then changed to a new CZ 250 Enduro. We were Tail riding, doing a few Club trials, MX’s and Enduro’s. The little Matador was always a better all-rounder, I decided that as soon as I could I would have to have a Bully!
In 1978 I managed to buy a Mk9 250 Frontera, a quick bike that had to be ridden right up on the power band, great fun when you’re 19-20, but not something I would fancy now!
So my association with Bultaco’s goes back to then, I still have a couple, including one of my all-time favourites my Mk9 370 Frontera, a smooth turbine like motor, in a light good handling chassis.
You have a little collection of vinduro, some machine are English, Spanish, Japanese, East Germany etc… tell us a bit more and why these machines?
I have always kept one or two Enduro/Trail bikes on the go, they were my only form of transport in my late teens-early twenty’s. As I got a bit more space and money I slowly acquired more bikes and parts, (as we all do). I always preferred European competition bikes especially Czech stuff. 
I have reached that stage in life where some may say I am having a midlife crisis, or am going senile! I have started to collect the keystone bike’s I’ve previously owned. I now have the following:
Enduro/Trail Bikes:
1971 CZ 175 Trail.
1973 Kawasaki 250 F11 Enduro.
1973 Triumph TR5T Cheneyised 500.
1975 CZ 250 Enduro (being rebuilt now).
2 x 1975 ISDT Jawa’s from 75 GB Team, 250 & 350.
1975 Bultaco Mk 9 Frontera (another 75 ISDT bike).
1980 PE 400.
1981 Bultaco Mk 11a Frontera.
1965 Cheney Jawa 500.
1967 BSA Victor Metisse 441.
1974 CZ 380.
Plus various old road and modern Enduro bikes. 
What is your favourite bike into your garage?   
Jawa 350 ISDT...............see attached story!
If money was not objection, what dream machine you will purchase & cherish?  
I haven’t really got one machine that appeals above all others. I think I would rather have a broad collection of usable off road bikes, although I have always fancied a 1930’s BSA V twin or a Brough Superior SS 100.
You are a lucky 6 foot 4 inches rider, so any machine or terrain will suit you, do you have a memorable tale of a particular bike that you loved & hated?
CZ 250 Enduro, letting me down with electrical problems on the 1977 Pathfinder Enduro, having to push bike to a road for recovery, then sitting at the end of the Greenlane watching all other competitors flying past. Nick rode down to Basingstoke on his Matador (40 odd miles with no problems) to spectate and found me there. Hated it.
CZ 250 Enduro, riding along The South Downs Way mid-week in the middle of Winter, low rain clouds just above my head, Grey choppy Sea down to my right, rain swept Sussex spread out down on my left, miles of deserted, rain flooded Trails behind and in front of me. With bike nailed in fifth, and up on the pegs, charging through the puddles, seeing a gate hundreds of yards ahead through the murk with a tractor beside it, the Farmer jumps out, opens the gate wide before I get there, then waves his hand over his head encouraging me not to slow down! Loved it.
Coming back to your riding experience, can you let us know what races or events you did years ago and few tales with it?  
I can tell you many tales of our Welsh trips, but I think we should save them for another time.
A basic outline of my riding history in the 70’s-80’s:Trail riding,
Essex Enduro Club, local Enduro’s and Croydon MCC Trials and Scrambles.
90’s - present Day: Classic MX, the odd Classic Enduro, and good old Trail riding.
That was long ago, in this present time, what kind of events you fancy to be involved with?  
Steam Fairs! .......No, any of our Vinduro events, any Stand-alone Classic Enduro’s, the odd classic scramble and a good Trail ride with friends.
Now settled in Beautiful Sussex with your family ….landscape gardening is not a hobby but your business and livelihood, what else would you dream of achieving or regret not having completed within motorsport.
Riding an ISDT in the 70’s.
On what bike are you actually spending hours in your garage, is that a full restoration?  
Three at the moment, and there all driving me mad. Getting the Jawa 500, Victor Metisse, and the CZ 380 ready for Mortimer Classic Scramble this week end.
I’ll give you more info and photo’s on the CZ as it develops, it is going to be the bike CZ should have marketed in the mid 70’s.
Do you do all/most of the job in classic restoration?  
I bolt all the bits together, and get the bikes running, but shop out any engineering. Spray the odd panel and Tank, then just fettle and maintain the bikes.
We all are “petrol heads” and do not mind having grease on our hands, any anecdote of something gone wrong?  
A group of us had set up a MX practise track on the old Croydon Airport site. We were on our road legal Enduro bikes, but were trespassing and riding illegally, and were regularly chased off by the local Police and Council officers. One Sunday afternoon after an hour or two on the track, we had all stopped and were having a chat when somebody shouted “Old Bill”. Sure enough about half a mile away across the old Grass runway a Police Escort van came tearing towards us. One by one all the bikes fired into life and roared off……………………………………..except my 380 Greeves Griffon. I kicked and kicked, but that Bastard bike would not go, so it was a very sweaty, red faced young man who had the pleasure of the company of The Met’s finest! 
Then there was the time the Griffon expired on the famous Welsh trail “Monks Trod”, I tried to bump start it down the valley, and reached the bottom with no success, but that as they say is another story.
I have a lot of other examples of mechanical nightmares, in fact I’m just going to correct one now!
Anything else you may reveal…????
Keep your time cards clean ...........
Thank you Steve to take time out of your shed and your busy trade… see you at the Beacons Rally 
 A   Story
Nearly a love story....
Very appropriate as we talk so much of East Germany machines 
(by Steve Gard)


The acquisition of my 1975 ISDT Jawa started way back in 1973.
I was 16; my Uncle Bill had sold me his old Honda PC50 Magic wheel moped. I initially used it as my road transport, but at every chance I rode it through the local Woods, and as every Dirt bike rider knows, once your tyres are muddy, that’s it, you’re hooked.
At 17 I brought my first Motorcycle, a 1972 gleaming red and silver CZ175 Trail.
So began a 36 year association with Czech bikes.
With this new bike I could now bottom out forks and mangle front mudguards at a much higher speeds. I could bend rear shocks, locking them at the bottom of their travel, much more efficiently. I could bail out over the bars, hitting the ground with a greater impact and higher velocity than I had ever managed before.
Oh what fun my old CZ and I had.
Owning a CZ brought me into contact with their dealer network; on the walls were posters and photos of their MX range, the 250 Enduro, and most exotic of all, the all-conquering Jawa ISDT models. I vowed one day I’d have to own one.   
By the summer of 1975 (as the ISDT Jawa I now own was being hand built in Czecho) I had sold the CZ, seduced by the sleek modern lines of a Kawasaki F11 250 Enduro.
A group of mates from the Croydon MCC were planning their annual camping trip in June to follow the Welsh 2 Day Trial. The Welsh was, and still is one of the biggest Enduros held in UK, attracting all the top riders and machinery of the time.
I had booked the time off work, and was desperate to go but had trouble with the Kawasaki which needed new main bearings.
I had a car, but try as hard as you like, you can’t follow the course of the Welsh in a Triumph Herald.
All the Croydon MCC boys left for Wales a couple of days before the event, to recce the course and do a bit of trail riding.
I dejectedly went down the Pub.
Leaning at the bar and telling a mate how life can be so unfair to a bikeless 18 year old, He listened for a moment and said:
“I’ve had a bike stuck up my back passage for 2 years…………wah-wah-wah! (Sorry just had a `Carry On’ moment).
What he actually said was:
“I’ve got a bike it’s been standing down my side alley for 2 years, if you can get it going you can use it”
“What is it” I asked,
“A CZ 175 Trail” he replied.
The Motorcycling Gods had surely seen fit to smile on me (They must be Czech).
The next day armed with my tool box, fresh fuel, spare points, plugs, and various other CZ bits from my old 175, I got the bike running.
The following morning saw me strapping my tent to the tank, rucksack to the back mudguard, and heading west out of London on the M40 for the 200 mile drive to Wales. What a sight that must have looked to other Motorway users. A rusty, corroded CZ, covered in rapidly drying Green Algae, exhaust smoke spiralling away behind it, piloted by a lanky youth, wearing a bright yellow Nova full face helmet, with a hastily added Jeff Smith style MX strap on peak.
With my feet on the rear foot pegs (nearest I could get to rear sets) and my chin on the tent this novel form of streamlining allowed me to reach heady speeds in excess of 65mph!
Thinking back now I can’t believe I didn’t get stopped by the Police, but that’s how things were back in the `Day’.
The CZ performed faultlessly, and by mid-afternoon I was in Rhayader campsite, talking bikes with my mates, who had been out riding the parts of the next day’s Enduro that were on public byways.
They reported they had seen a couple of the rare Jawa ISDT bikes about, I couldn’t wait for the off in the morning to see how they performed. 
An early start saw several members of the party breaking sweat, the 360 Frontera wouldn’t go, and a Husky was popping and banging, and refusing to rev, the B44 Victors clutch steadfastly refused to grip, so no kick starting that.
I took a casual stroll up to what had been laughingly been nicknamed `The Beast’. Surveying the cobby and dirty lines, I gently patted the tank, (much in the same way as I would have gently patted the tightly covered, high cut, hot pant clad, behind of my girlfriend, and with possibly the same meaning, i.e. you and I are going to have some exciting dirty fun later!). I switched the ignition and fuel on, pushed the gear lever into the case, and swung it back through an arc, engaging it as the kick starter, gave it one lazy prod with my size 11 boot, and it rattled into life, with all the vim, vigour, and excitement of…. ……..…well a CZ175, ring..ding..ding..ding..ding.
Eventually we rode the trails up into the Welsh Mountains, picked ourselves a good spot on the side of the Claerwen reservoir (As our Vinduro Trail ride May 2011) to watch our Heroes on the special test.        
The speed and skill with which the riders negotiated the test was amazing, we were determined to emulate them on our way back down the mountain.
I had managed to borrow an 8mm Cine Camera and shot all my favourite riders and bikes, paying particular attention to the ISDT Jawas.
Now I had seen these bikes in the flesh and ridden in anger I still desperately wanted to own and ride one, but knew full well they were out of my reach.
It’s strange now when the film is played back, that those vibrant, exciting moments in time, when I could smell the mud cooking on hot engines and the sweet scent of burnt Bell Ray, hear the crackle of racing exhausts, and the rasp of stone and rock spraying from rear tyres, have now been reduced to flickering, colour washed images, time- warped forever in a silent June 1975.
At the end of the day heading back down the mountain all six of us thought we were John May or Dave Jeremiah, and we were riding to be picked for the ISDT Trophy team, but it was just youthful daydreaming.
Throttles were opened wider, the red mist descended, a race was on:
Hold the CZ nailed to the stop, the bloke in front is braking for the next corner, that’s it go past him on the inside, brilliant, done it, short straight, an Ossa 6 day replica on my inside, another corner, don’t brake, chop in at the corner, got the Ossa. Who’s next?, only two bikes in front now, the 360 Frontera next, I know he doesn’t like that bike, he’s scared of it, no way I can keep with him on the straight, so out brake him at the next corner, he starts to brake, corner coming up, a quick glimpse a the speedo, needle reading between 60-65 mph, what the hell am I doing? I’m riding a CZ 175 trail completely flat out into a sharp left hand corner, a ragged rock face on my left, a sheer drop down into the reservoir on my right, and a big fat bloke on a Frontera directly in front. Something has to give!
Trying to pass on the inside again, going in, apex of corner coming up, the big bloke decides to join me on the inside line, a 4.50 Dunlop Sports carrying 18st of England’s finest brushes the CZs puny Barum 2.75 Trail clad front end away. A split second of free flight, which was quite enjoyable while it lasted, led to one of those sickening moments of impact that you know is going to hurt.
When we eventually stopped the bleeding, my entire left side, including my shoulder, elbow, hip, leg, knee, was bruised and cut, but luckily no bones broken.
The borrowed CZ now definitely ‘hung’ to the left, it had a bent l/h fork leg, the bars were 2” lower on the left. The steel front mudguard was tucked up nicely under the left of the headlight, and it had a freshly scraped pre rust shine to all its l/h side paintwork. That’s all right then…………. I’ve only got to ride it 200miles home!
The journey back to London could be best described as interesting, the now somewhat eccentric handling of the little CZ keeping me fully occupied, and not a little sweaty.
On reaching home repairs and straightening out were undertaken on the bent CZ, mainly with the use of a large club hammer, and an old hydraulic jack.
It was dark by the time I returned the bike to my mate, I mentioned that I had dropped it, but his opinion was that if it got me back 200 miles from Wales, it can’t be that bad, so just go ahead and stick it back down the alley, and throw the cover over it.
As far as I know it’s still there now!
All the talk at Club nights during late summer of 75` was of how the British ISDT Teams would be Jawa mounted, and what great bikes they were. Having seen them in action and watched them on film I was as desperate as ever to get one, and would only have to wait another 32 years for the pleasure.
Some of the next bikes I have owned are:
Ex works Greeves Griffon 380 enduro. (Should have kept that one), & 250 Griffon MX.
CZ 250 Enduro & 250 MX.
Yamaha DT 250 & 400 MX.
Bultaco Mk9 250 & 360, & Mk 11 Fronteras, & 250 Sherpa
Various BSA Victors, & Triumphs, all either MX or Enduro trim.
Cheney Triumph & Cheney Jawa 500.
And after 32 years of waiting a 1975 350 ISDT JAWA, and a year later a 1975 250 ISDT Jawa from the same British team.
I saw the ISDT Jawa on eBay. I had been looking for one for a year or so, but they very rarely come up. When they do they sell very quickly, or change hands privately, and I always seemed to be one or two days late hearing about the deal.
Looking at the description and history that the seller had added, I decided I would put in a winning bid.
Ridden to Gold by John May (Trophy team), 1975 ISDT Isle of Man. The bike is still marked with original scrutineers paint, and in very original unmolested condition.
After the ISDT all the British team bikes were taken back by the then Jawa/CZ importers Skoda GB, to their headquarters in Kings Lynn Norfolk.
All the dealers throughout the country were then informed they were for sale on a first come first served basis.
The second owner of the bike was Ray Bessell of Maylandsea Essex.
Ray got a call from his good mate Brian Atkinson, a good Eastern centre MX rider and East Ham (London) BSA dealer, who by this time was selling Jawa/CZ’s. Brian had been informed that morning that six of the ex ISDT bikes were for sale, so come and pick the best of the bunch as quick as you can. He immediately phoned Ray who was riding well in Enduros at the time, and wanted a top bike to help his results.
They drove up to Kings Lynn that day, and Ray picked John Mays 350 as the best and least abused bike of the six. He thinks he paid about £400 for it.
He rode the bike to and from work, about 45 minutes each way, for a week to familiarise himself with it. He found it had no vices, and could more or less see any other bike off in the traffic light GP’s. 
He entered the 1976 Welsh two Day Trial on the Jawa, and said it needed no work, and very little preparation for the event.
He ran on Gold standard right until the last hour of the event, when he crashed in bad visibility, injuring his wrist. He managed to finish gaining a Bronze medal. The Jawa behaved faultlessly.
Ray moved to France shortly after and the bike was sold for approximately £575 to somebody in the South of England. 
It was owned after this for a decade or so by the well-known Southern centre rider Charlie Harris, who I don’t believe used it much, or competed on it.
He then sold it to the last owner who placed it on eBay.
When I picked the bike up I was offered many rare spares that I of course purchased. On checking it over in the workshop it needed only a change of tyres, tubes and oil, to prepare it for use.
It sailed through it’s MOT test (annual government safety test). And is now fully road legal.
It starts readily, first or second kick cold, first when hot. The forward kicking kick start, looks like it could be hard, but is very easy and comfortable to use. Even stalled on steep slippery hills, it causes no problems.
I have used the bike recently in the Norman Retro Enduro France.
Although a quirky looking bike, as soon as you sit on the well-padded seat, any feelings of strangeness disappear. All the controls fall readily to hand, and even with my 6’4” frame the riding position feels very good.
It engages gears smoothly, the clutch is incredibly light, and shows no sign of slip or drag.
The engine characteristics can only be described as fantastic. It will pull like a trials bike in first or second, showing no signs of gassing up. As soon as you wind the throttle on its power comes on in an ultra-smooth, controllable line, and as you work up through the box you realise just how effortlessly quick it is, and how they won so many ISDTs.
It feels un-burstable, and ran all day through the Enduro without the slightest problem, through fairly deep river crossings, that were taking out later more modern bikes, to flat out through the Apple strewn French Orchards.
It handled very well on the MX special test, turning in quickly, and displaying no vices, its performance only limited by the short suspension travel, and the “Bottle” of its rider.
I finished the event successfully, and I can say that after riding all day the bike was still running as well as it had at the start, and I felt remarkably fresh and ready for another lap, had a big smile on my face, all because the bike had been such good fun and easy to ride.
The following weekend we travelled up to Wales for the Cambrian Rally.
2 Days of approximately 100-120 miles per day through the forestry in the Cambrian mountains.
The event attracts well over 200 riders all on modern Trail and Enduro machinery. Having had so much fun in France I elected to ride the Jawa again.
The looks and comments from the modern riders were great as I wheeled the Jawa to the start.
The bike once again behaved and handled superbly and I rode the whole two days with a big grin on my face.
Nothing the muddy, soaking wet Welsh forestry could throw at me stopped the bike, and on the special tests I took great pleasure in blasting the Jawa flat out past bikes 30 years its junior.
Another event was successfully completed, and a lot of modern riders had seen exactly why Jawa’s won so many medals.
After 32 years the wait for a Jawa has been worth it, it’s a brilliant bike.
I think I can say the best I’ve ridden, roll on this season!
Whoaaa! that was nice!
New Stuff...
Photo of the Month 
Ryedale 2007
Waterproof tasting!!!

That concludes the July issue.....

more stories you send me, more good read for riders alike!

New "layers" for late August newsletter... or maybe September...

Hummm... Holidays will delay a bit !  

Thanks, Philippe.