Is It Bou Or his Bike?

So, we are celebrating a new World Indoor Trials Champion following last weekend’s penultimate round on Saturday in Menorca – and there was me thinking we might have to wait until the final round in Madrid later this month..

Twenty year old Toni Bou is the new champion and it has to be said that the young Spaniard has certainly upset the form books by defeating his challengers in a style that few could have envisaged.

And he did it on a Montesa 4RT!!

So, is the celebration for Bou or for the Montesa? Well, both of course, but when Bou moved from Beta at the start of this year to the Montesa, all the doom-mongers said that he was making a backward step. And at the time, many would have put their money on Adam Raga retaining the crown rather than on Bou, the relative newcomer to the series, taking the title on a machine that is totally different to his previous bikes.

General opinion throughout the sport would say that the Montesa four stroke is a great clubmans bike but not a machine for the World Championship events, either indoor or outdoor. Past results have virtually confirmed that, for whilst Fujigas and Lampkin have both given the 4RT some great results, neither have been able to mount a sufficiently strong run at either title to threaten the two strokes. It’s no secret that when you watch the 4RTs, they have not in the past seemed to have the necessary revs and “lift” to get up the very biggest obstacles – at least, not in the hands of current or previous factory riders.

But now, well, Bou has confounded everybody. Not only has he immediately found fantastic form on the four stroke, who would bet against him being the strongest challenger for the outdoor title when it starts up again in a couple of weeks? This is actually a difficult piece to write because many will immediately say I’m criticising Fujigas, Lampkin and Marc Freixa who you will recall was also a factory rider in 2005, but that’s not the case. Presumably the bike Bou is on is like the other factory bikes, and if it’s not, then such a machine would be available to the other teamsters. It’s just that Bou has been able to get enough out of the bike to claim a very well deserved crown. So all credit to him on his success and all credit to Lampkin and Fujigas who have persevered with the machine and aided in its development to the point where it IS possible to be World Champion on a four stroke.

Thinking about Bou’s quick rise to fame, virtually the first time Toni made an impact in the UK was the 2006 Sheffield Indoor Trial. You may well recall that when the British fans saw Lampkin lose any chance of going into the final, it was to Bou that they transferred their allegiance, and they gave him all the backing he needed to pull off that first, big win. Last year proved to be the learning year for him, but now, just two months into 2007 and he has nabbed his first world crown.

It will surely give him the most fantastic boost for the outdoor series and whilst there is no point in making predictions about the 2007 outdoor championship, Toni Bou has proven once and for all that it can be done on a four stroke, and by winning indoors, he has taken what many would say is the more difficult title to win on that style of machine.
It will certainly be very interesting to see how the championship develops – and it’s not long now.

What Bou on the Montesa has proven is that now there can be no question about four stroke versus two stroke, which is good news not just for Montesa but also the other four stroke manufacturers, Scorpa, Sherco, Beta. It can be done, now it’s up to you (or should that be Bou!!)

Now, if I have one criticism of Trials Central (sorry about this Andy!), it’s that subjects can very quickly disappear from the front page, due to the incredible popularity of the site. There is a case in point when late last week a subject cropped up – the Off-Road Vehicles Registration Bill, which disappeared within a day or so, not because there was no interest in it, but because other subjects had been posted which meant the heading disappeared off the list. Don’t know how Andy gets over that, in fact even if he needs to. It means that those that log on need to do so regularly, probably on a daily basis just to check that subjects dear to their heart have (or have not) appeared. Perhaps everybody logs on once a day anyway. Do you?

Anyway, the subject in question was the proposed legislation that, if made law, would force the owners of ALL off road motorbikes, and sellers of ALL off-road machines, to have the vehicles in question registered.

There are any number of reasons why this should or should not happen, and many of them have been adequately covered already in TC – to find it go to this link, and because the comments adequately cover many of the points you will ask, there’s no point in me going over them again.

However, I do have two comments: 1 if the Bill becomes law, it should ensure that when you buy a second-hand bike, you will know its history and there’s less chance of you buying a stolen machine, and 2 how I hate the fact that this dreaded government wants to govern every aspect of my life, AND charge me over the odds for doing so, from Council Tax downwards (or upwards). Sorry about that, rant over!