John Fulcher Memorial Classic Trial Results


Experts Classic   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Tot Position  
Brian Barson Kawasaki KT 250 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 7 1  
Duncan Barson Yamaha TY 175 6 3 3 2 2 1 3 1 21 2  
Clubmen Classic                        
MarK Shearer Suzuki RL 50 0 2 0 0 0 2 0 6 10 1  
Johann Van Blerck Swm 280 3 1 2 2 1 4 2 2 17 2  
Martin Kelsey Montesa 250 5 4 7 10 7 11 11 3 58 3  
Expert Modern                        
Steve Shearer Sherco 3 0 1 0 2 0 1 5 12 1  
Dylan Klopper Sherco 2 2 1 3 1 0 0 12 21 2  
Archie Leeming Beta 5 4 3 2 5 1 2 9 31 2  
Brenard Oosthuizen GasGas 8 6 3 5 8 1 7 10 48 4  
Dion Beta 4 9 7 7 1 0 7 14 49 5  
Clubmen Modern                        
Kobus Potgieter EM Electric 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1  
Jason Smit Beta 2 1 1 0 0 1 4 0 9 2  
Eric Pannaye Gas Gas 4 0 0 1 0 1 2 2 10 3  
Will Gould Gas Gas 4 0 0 0 0 0 3 4 11 4  
Charles Oertel Beta 3 1 1 0 0 6 6 8 25 5 20 cleans
Lindley Beta 8 0 3 4 0 3 5 2 25 6 19 cleans
Renier Beta 8 0 3 4 0 3 5 2 25 7 16 cleans
Murray Sherco 5 5 1 3 0 4 5 2 25 8  
Bruce Venter Sherco 11 10 4 10 5 12 7 10 69 9  
Arno Schaake EM Electric 11 12 10 17 19 16 13 20 118 10  



Participants in the John Fulcher Memorial Trial 2019

The day was cool and overcast - perfect for riding trial.  We had a large number of riders, of which 8 were on classic twin-shocks.  Brian kicked off the briefing by bringing out John Fulcher's original Cotton twinshock.  The bike has the gear shift where the back brake is, and the brake lever where normal bikes have a gear shift.

We held a moment's silence in memory of John before taking the group photo above and heading off to the sections.

Clubmen waiting to start

Section 1

Duncan Barson starting Section 1

At the entrance to the forest, this was a winding trail with a tight left turn up hill.  The small branch at the turn unsettled a number of clubmen and had them paddling up the hill.  I cleaned this section most times except for a time when I turned too sharply and rode into a stump.

Dion Graham meandering on Section 1

Section 2

Below the path adjacent to section 3, this section start with a stepped descent and tight right turn for experts.  Clubmen followed the expert line here as going straight would mean trying to cross the log at the bottom at an acute angle.  Then the line turned left back up the hill to exit next to the start.

Johann Van Blerck waiting to ride

Most of the clubmen cleaned this section or lost one or two points.  Inexperienced clubmen struggled with the uphill turn and one or two fell on the downhill steps.  I cleaned it every time except for a dab when a crowd at the start caused me to enter the section at a disadvantageous angle.

Jason Smit on Section 2

Section 3

A new line on an old section - over and between some small rocks, a tight left straight after crossing a smallish log.  Scores were low on this section.  On the first lap I underestimated the tightness of the left turn after the log and had to dab.

Bruce enters the rock gardenWill Gould having fun on his 4-stroke Beta.

Section 4

This is where the clubmen started their laps while the experts started on Section 1.  We were soon passed, and then lapped, by the experts.  This section started with a short steep uphill, then right and up to a tight right downhill turn (that had some clubmen footing and paddling).  The downhill was quite slippery and needed to be managed in order to make the sharp left turn and off-camber traverse to the exit gate.  Scores were generally low, with no fives.

Eric Pannaye starting Section 4 on his modified GasGasLindley at the bottom of the slippery slope.

Section 5

This was a very easy section above the path that went up around a flag, back onto the path, then up in a wide arc to finish on the path again.  Most of the clubmen cleaned it.

Brian BarsonBrian Barson on Section 4

Section 6

Below the path, this section meandered to a tight off-camber u-turn before returning to a left turn up a slope to finish on the path.  On the first lap, I didn't see the flags at the bottom of the turn and decided to ride a higher line with a tighter turn.  I saw the other clubmen walking the lower line, but assumed it was to keep the turn less tight.

Anyway, before I even got to the turn, a branch snagged my front brake lever and caused a dab.  Then, after what I thought was just a 1, Brian informed me that I had fived due to missing the gate.

Martin above the off-camber turn.Duncan Barson styling it around the off-camber on his twin shock

Section 7

A familiar section below the path, with a downhill and tight left turn, followed by a left uphill that could easily get out of control.  Then weaving through the trees to end with a tight left floater turn onto the path.

Jason Smit starting Section 7

Kobus' new electric bike was giving problems, so he and Blasie shared Blasie's bike.  So Kobus ended up riding Clubmen with us.  Here he is at the start of the section.

Kobus Potgieter on a shared electric bike.Charles Oertel on Section 7Martin watching Blasie on the Electric Motion on Section 7

Section 8

This section started with a scary-looking right off-camber curve (which turned out to be trivial). 

Jason Smit on the scary-looking off-camber.

Then down left, along some logs with a sharp sandy turn right uphill.  Clubmen got to keep more left and avoid the root step that had a number of experts struggling.  Some low traction uphill, a log then the finish.  On the first lap I ended up on the expert line after the turn, and had to fight up the root step for 3.  On the second lap I made it up the turn and had a good line above the root step, but my front wheel went exploring and slipped out on the root to give me a five.  After that I cleaned the section.

Murray about to take the uphill right turn.Mark Shearer sporting a twin-shock


Photos here courtesy of Bronwyn Barson and Rory Bruins.

Member for

8 years 2 months

Here is the report of this trial as submitted by Brian to the Nomads Magazine:


The 27th running of the John Fulcher Memorial Trial took place at Veels Ter Ver on Sunday 3rd November 2019 in perfect trials weather, a cool and cloudy day. The trial got underway after the traditional moments silence, with an exceptional entry of twenty two riders, five on twin shock bikes, including Martin Kelsey on a Montesa all the way from Durban.
The course was unusually short due to large trees blocking the path, and with the large entry some delays were inevitable. The experts started on section one and the clubman on section four, but it wasn’t long before the experts caught up with the clubmen.
For many years I have been the only rider on a twin shocker in the expert’s class, so the trophy has always defaulted to me, but this year my brother joined me on the TY 175. The Yamaha is well suited to this event and Duncan rides it really well, to give me something to think about. I still have John Fulcher’s 1974 Cotton trials bike, and was spurred on by a Facebook group I’m on to give it a makeover, so it’s look-ing good and goes quite well, despite it being very different to ride. I did one lap on it, but decide to stay with the Kawasaki for the rest.

In the twin shock clubman class the competition was between Mark on his Suzuki, Johann on his SWM and Martin on a Montesa.
New to the trial this year were some electric bikes belonging to Kobus, with his lat-est model being a non-starter for some unknown reason, so he used last year’s model.

Sections were much the same as in previous years, with a few modifications, and were basically easy as confirmed by the results. The thing with an easy trial is you have to keep your concentration as silly (unnecessary) mistakes are costly and can’t be recovered.
A newcomer to trials was young Arno Schaake who was about to make his debut on Mark’s Beta 80, only to be side-lined with a frayed throttle cable. He was however able to ride a few laps on the electric bike after others had finished. He is the son of Riaan Schaake who rode with us in the mid-nineties.

Preparing the course had the usual challenge of trying to limit damage control by the ever-present and inquisitive baboons. As far as possible I kept out of sight and put markers in as close to the ground as possible. This year I tried a new approach of speaking nicely to them and it all seemed to work as nothing was disturbed. They even came and watched at the end of the trial, some riders not even knowing they were there.

The day was ended off with a braai and awarding of the trophies.