David Lahey – Contributor from Australia

David Lahey
David Lahey

The item I enjoyed the most from the past four issues was written by Justyn Norek Jr and Justyn Norek Sr and covered the history and a ride impression for a home-made trials bike from the early 1980s, built around a Honda XL250 motor.

This story tickled me for two reasons. The first is that builder/rider Patrick Elliot had been frustrated with not being able to buy the type of trials bike he wanted, so he made his own. In the early 1980s Honda was obviously capable of making terrific trials bikes for the exclusive use of their works riders but was yet to make a competitive four-stroke trials bike that people could buy. In 1979 I was in a very similar situation, wanting a decent-handling Suzuki or Yamaha four-stroke enduro bike, so I built my own, cutting up a brand new Suzuki SP370 and a Suzuki RM250C to make my own (and I still have that bike).

The other reason the story was so much fun was the photos. They showed enough detail of the frame, wheels and suspension to allow working out, bit-by-bit, which donor trials bike components had been used by Patrick to simplify the construction of the bike. I find that nowadays, well-made old hybrid trials bikes like Patrick’s are a source of fascination.