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1971 AJS STORMER 410 a beauti'ul ready to race classic AJS Stormer 410 twin shock Moto Cross Bike Superbly prepared and recently campaigned a- Red Marley. finishing well withoul fault, purchase to ride it or it's good enough to show Delivery arranged £2495

1960 RICKMAN Matchless Metisse the ultimate pre 65 Moto Cross machine This example nas been lovingly built and is ready to go. the piston is a GSO and this nas short stro'<ed tne motor a little. Other tnan this the bike is as Rickman intended Plenty of oomph and it sounds outstanding. New tyres, new chain and sprockets new rear competition shock absorbers and it starts first kick. You have no excuse this is beautiful! Delivery arranged £8450

Classic Trial Bike Fuel Tank

O Man and machine: TY Yams started John on the road to frail and Trials.

From small beginnings, John Cane's Trail and Trials outfit has become one of the major suppliers of parts and accessories for twinshock trials fans. Here's how - and why...

Classic Bikes

It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good -so they say. But when he was made redundant for the third time in the space of a year, back in 2001, John Cane - then a sales manager for an office furniture supplier - couldn't quite see the bright side of life. As if to prove the truth of the old saying though, he sat down with his partner Sonia and vowed never to work for anyone again. He'd set up on his own and the result was Trail and Trials UK - now a flourishing supplier to the vibrant twinshock trials scene.

"I'd been into trials - and bikes in general - since I was a kid," John reveals over a brew in the Manchester home of Trail and Trials. "As a kid, I grew up watching (Martin) Lampkin and (Malcolm) Rathmell slug it out. What set the seal on it was observing at the Northern Experts Trial in 1979.1 would have been about 15 at the time and I was in charge of a section at Wildboar Clough. That was it for me. I was hooked aid couldn't wait to get my own trials bike and have a go."

But, as happens to plenty of 15-year-olds with more ambition than cash - he had to. John's a Scot and, back then, was living in Fife. He started his off-road riding career following his mates around the local green lanes on his mercilessly thrashed Yamaha DT50 ("...they all had Suzuki SP370sand stuff like that...) and it wasn't until 1981 that he bought his first trials bike - a Kawasaki KT250.

"It wasn't much of a thing," John admits. "The guy who owned it had put the piston in back to front and it was a bit of mess. But I sorted it out with the aid of some well-worn bits from breakers. I loved that bike - and I still own it today. I sold it once, but bought it back about three months later - in a right state again. I'm still trying to find the time to restore it properly, but I will get round to it. I've got a real soft spot for KTs and I've been collecting new parts for it for a while now."

At last, John was ready for his first trial. "It was a Dunfermline Club event, I think," he recalls. "I had no car licence then, so I had to ride the bike to trials. That was it though. I just loved trials from the word go and, though jobs, houses and all the usual things got in the way and I dropped out of riding for a while, it didn't take much to draw me back into the trials scene. And, of course, it had to be on the twinshock side of things. They're the bikes that got me into trials in the first place."

By the turn of the century, lohn was living and working in Manchester. "Well, i was working until I got made redundant anyway," he laughs. "That's when Sonia and I sat down and decided that, if I was going to work for myself, it might as well be doing something 1 loved. About that time, I went to The International Classic MotorCycle Show at Stafford and spotted a job lot of TY Yamaha parts for sale. It turned out they were the parts John Shirt had got left over after converting standard TY models into Majesty Yamahas. I knew what they were straight away and bought the lot. I started selling them off on eBay and soon discovered there was a big

Majesty Trial

international demand for new old stock (NOS) TY parts. Trail and Trials just grew from that." At first, the biggest demand was from the USA.

"I sold so many aluminium bash plates over there," John remembers. The 1974 TY250A had a glass fibre bash plate as standard - and they didn't last too long. A lot of US owners were asking for aluminium bash plates as used on the later models but, the trouble was, I didn't know if they would fit 1974 bikes. I didn't know anyone in the UK who owned an A, so I sent a bash plate to a friend in New Zealand to see if would fit his 1974 bike. It did and I had a ready market for all the aluminium bash plates I could get hold of."

Making contacts all over the world - and the TY world in particular - meant that business grew steadily. "It was word of mouth really," says John. "Soon, people were asking us for other TY parts and I started to look for a source of supply. I did a deal with a major parts wholesaler to buy Yamaha parts at trade prices and things just took off. Soon, I was starting to wonder whether eBay was the best place to sell and, four years ago, we set up our own website. It's been the key to continued success without a doubt. Now we have customers all over the world - the USA, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Chile, Mexico and, of course mainland Europe and the UK. We've even got a customer in The Vatican City."

After a while, some parts were getting all but impossible to source as NOS. "I realised I'd have to look into getting some of the parts that had been discontinued by Yamaha re-manufactured. At first, the parts we had made were mainly for TYs but, as more and more people started asking for parts for other makes, we diversified into supplying and making parts for other makes and models. Now we stock parts for Honda TLs and TLRs and even Kawasaki KT250s. Whatever people ask for, we'll try to help."

John and Sonia have built up the manufacturing side of Trail and Trials steadily over the last three years. "We've had to take it steady," John explains. "We have to put the money up front to have batches of parts made and it soon mounts up. I'd say we manufacture about 30 lines at the moment, with more being added all the time. The first thing we ever commissioned were TY250 footrest springs and our latest addition to the range is a reproduction Majesty fuel tank. It's even better than the original because we've got them made in 2mm alloy rather than the dent prone 1.5mm used on the Majesty. And our tank has the filler neck welded in instead of glued. I reckon it's a good product for £280."

Two of the most popular products on offer from Trail and Trials are electronic ignition systems and

Classic Bikes

O At Trail and Trials they ride what they sell. This means John gets instant feedback from his own products.

Classic Dirt Bikes

O It used to be that there were three spring settings. Now, with a threaded collar there are an almost inlinite range ol settings.

O Just some ol the engines awaiting attention.

O John pays particular attention to the timing on his engines as it pays dividends later in sections.

Honda Tlr Tank Classic Trial

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