Tomas Melander bought this Monark 125 in 1974 and promptly parked it hence its exceptional condition. Who would not want a gem like this.
It’s that time of the year, the first 2015 from Bonham’s, this time in Las Vegas 8th January 2015, which for any grown kid with a love for heritage motorcycles is the biggest candy store of all time. Often with prices so high it is an insight into what the multi-millionaries of the world like to do with their small petty cash.
As ever there is a wide range of quality Indians, Harley’s including Dirt trackers and other American makes but like always there is a very strong showing of quality British Classic hardware especially from Triumph but including Vincent, Brough, AJS and Matchless.
One of our favourite and most helpful ISDT sources of original history of the event is the legendary Deryk Wylde. He knows because, as Max Boyce would say, “Because he was there”. Deryck holds a considerable original archive of images and experiences but rather than keep them gathering dust in his mind is keen to share them. Already he has passed onto us the original Clerk of Course and course markers maps for the post war Welsh ISDT events. We also frequently get source material from Deryck who writes regularly of the popular feet up trials centric ‘Trials Central‘ Website which also is a good source of ISDT material.
Deryck has a long history with journalism and has entered the world of e-publishing making his ‘Off Road Revue’ magazine now as an e-publication available from Trials Central for a very reasonable subscription fee ( we’ve already coughed up the dough its such good value). We are very keen that everyone not familiar with Trials Central gets the chance to catch up with this important magazine.
The mission of SpeedTrackTales is not just to capture as a record the history of the people the bikes and places of the International Six Days Trial. It is also important we learn of, and reflect on the social and cultural conditions of those times that contributed to both the development of the sport of Reliability Trials and its evolution to be renamed Enduro as well as the history of land access and the impact of the modernisation of highways and land management during the era. In many cases the sports happily co-existed with local people going about their own daily business.
The road twists and turns all over the place, and it seemed to be full of country folk shepherding home animals from Corwen market.
For this article reproduces an article written and published in the weekly ‘Motor Cycling‘ 28 November 1934. The article is a test of two models of Triumph the 5/5 and the Twin models for 1935. The test compromised of a tour around North Wales, but in particular it took in the classic roads in regular use by the ISDT and reliability trials of the time such as ‘the Reliance Trial’
Early on Wednesday morning we were skirting Bala Lake and heading for Hirnant Pass, en route for Lake Vyrnwy. The lane we traversed were shockingly surfaced. It was an endless procession of large culverts, cart ruts, slimy mud, rocks and everything else imaginable.
It is clear that by 1934 the area was very familiar to many in the Motorcycle industry as a place to both test Motorcycles and to undertake adventure tours by motorbike. It goes without saying to do this motorbikes were required to be reliable and handle well where road surface conditions were still poor. Places like the Bwlch y Groes, Eunant Pass and the Allt y Badi regularly feature in both test articles and event reports.
Long, gruelling climbs made no difference, either. Taking the Eunant Pass from Lake Vyrnwy,” we climbed another 1,000feet, which brought us out near the top of the famous Bwlch-y-Groes.
The article, coincided with the holding of the annual ‘Reliance Trial’ in the North East Wales area, the report for this event can be found here.
I have been slowly sifting through the images found over xmas on the Stilltime Collection website having built a database so I can collect all the details the images allow and then linking those facts to information we hold across the site on the people bikes and places. The image below of a group of men taken around two of their motorbikes including a Matchless and Triumph with a UK Vehicle Registration MX 621 makes it is likely these are part of the British contingent at the event and has been identified as being taken at the ISDT 1935.link to image at stilltimecollection.co.uk Obviously all dedicated British ISDT enthusiasts and if anyone can help identify any of the persons in the photo we would be so grateful.
I am very grateful to the great granddaughter of RC Yeates, Jessica Fraser who helped with the identification of the rider and the bike’s owner. RC Yeates rode under a Motorcycle Union of Ireland license for Ireland on a Triumph 495. His race number was #223. Although loosing only 2 points on day 1 and 1 on day 3, Robert retired at the end of day 4 despite loosing no points that day. Robert appeared for the Irish Vase team in the Welsh based events of the ISDT 1937 and ISDT 1938 where further images can be found of him.
Limited ISDT interest again however of interest to many may be this Ex Works BSA XB31 Trials bike of 1947 ridden by Irishman Terry Hill to victory in the 1949 British Experts Trial.
further details here
My personal favourite from the auction, but judging by the guide price I am not alone in considering the bike is from possibly the greatest motorbike builders in the interwar years who were able to use great engineering tools and design to focus on the future rather than concentrating on building ontop of existing traditions and reputation. Although they may no longer be making Motorcycles the parent company remains at the forefront of the Motor Industry.
Thus read the article headline for the report on the ISDT 1951 that appeared in the 27th September edition of ‘the Motor Cycle‘ for 1951.
The article can be read in full via our online library of vintage magazine articles held at issuu.com here
Fifteenth Success for British Teams in the Trophy Contest: Netherlands Team Wins Silver Vase on Speed Test: An event of Varying Severity in Northern Italy
The issue’s Editorial read
ONCE more a British team has won the International Six Days’ Trial. This success brings the number of British wins to 15 of the total of 26 Trials that have been held. The British quintet completed the six-day course of some 1,200 road miles and the final hour’s speedtest without loss of marks to beat the Austrian team by one mark. Although there were only three teams competing for the International Trophy – the third was Italy – the lustre of the success is not diminished, since no team could have done better.
“The story of the Royal Enfield in the International Six Days Trial 1948, 1949,1950, 1951, 1952, 1953” is the title of a palm of a hand sized original publication produced by Royal Enfield in 1953 that recently fell into our hands and is of such great interest we reproduce it here. Royal Enfield, who could boast not only great bikes but a factory team that contained some of the sports greatest factory riders of the time including Vic and Johnny Brittain as well as Jack Stocker show how their successful domination of the results sheet at the ISDT meant the commute to work was going to be a lot more successful on a Royal Enfield than it might be on a lesser qualified motor cycle.
When I restarted Taff’s site, all I had to begin with was a website copied to a harddisk drive that I had been able to download in its entirety from his old server. Since then I have been greatly helped by Taff and his friends like ‘STB’ and Brian Catt. Between gifts , loans and acquisitions I have been able to get back to the original hard copy material and started to scan to archive these materials so as to enable people to access and view this material at what ever time and place suits their convenience. Below is an image of some of the material I now control that may be one of the most intact archives of the Event even considering the FIM and National Federations material.
Hot on the heels of the 100th anniversary of the first ever holding of the ISDT sees the 90th anniversary of the making by Bayerische Motoren Werke of it’s first Motorcycle. By the 1930’s they had become one of the most successful of the ISDT manufacturers with credible action in the hands of some of the best motorcyclists of the time such as Georg Meier.
Needless to say BMW have announced they will not be taking note of any of the requests from this blog that they reintroduce an updated retro styled version of these old boxer airhead twins but will instead be producing a tastefully blinded up version of its well received but hardly ISDT capable R 1200 GS Adventure, the R 1200 R and the R 1200 RT, each with the name affix „90 Jahre BMW Motorrad“.(90 years of BMW motorcycles)
All three models will present themselves in a special, subtly-reserved dark design. Only the fork stanchion and the calipers, which are anodised in gold, and a brass plate in the cockpit allude the significant birthday. BMW has not announced the prices for these three models….. I’ll take one on test if BMW are reading this!