The Art of Balance

A few choice illustrations by a fine Canadian artist include these action trials paintings. Very evocative of a Highland scene with appropriately clad riders in tweed, flat cap or boiler suit.

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An Ariel Hunter set up for slow speed over rugged terrain. Sammy Miller special.

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James: two stroke beaut! Lightweight and geared to hop like a rabbit; in the bright hands of course.

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Suzuki mid wheelie: another two stroker being revelled over damp grass. The Barbour jacket uniform of the ISDT rider. Must be Scotland!

Don MacMillan

3 Comments to “The Art of Balance”

  1. David,
    Now then cuz..
    You’ve excelled yourself this time.. you’ve sent out some good stuff over the years but this is surely outstanding.
    I’d forgotten about this artist.. his work is lovely.. watercolours [?] as almost photographs. Not easy, usually the preserve of illustrators and graphic artists [what I wanted to be.. it didn’t work out !]
    How did you find him..? How did you know about him..?
    I remember him from a time when his work was used on the back cover [sometimes] and the inner back cover [sometimes] of the MOST beautiful motorcycle magazine produced in the UK, late 80’s and thro’ the 90’s. I have every copy.. it was stunning and
    bi-monthly only. “Motorcycle Legends” it was. And still much missed.
    Do let me know.
    Regards
    WF
    ps: this is SO nice.. I’ve put it into my archive. Excellent. It’s well seen you’re into Trials mode now son..!

  2. Damnation..!
    I’ve lost half this text.. again !
    The bike in the middle isn’t a BSA Bantam.. it’s actually a James. Sorry.. but shhhhh! don’t tell anybody and I won’t either !
    As I say, I’ve seen these illustrations before.. and I’m sure this is one William Lomas.. who back in the day.. [late 40’s to 1957] was a world class road racer of epic talent. Eventually a World Champion for Moto Guzzi on 350’s. Twice. In the golden era of the 1950’s when factory competition was as ferocious as today. My hero..
    He was also a very fine trials rider of great talent and developed the James lightweight trials bike, without factory input as I recall. And only then, the factory got involved. Early 50’s when the heavyweight 350/500 brit singles still reigned supreme.. as in the Sammy Miller picture above.
    Lomas was years ahead of the game, and it was the mid 60’s before Miller, then the greatest trials rider in the world.. jumped ship to Bultaco and started the 2 stroke, lightweight era.
    I knew Bill Lomas well enough.. from the mid 60’s [I was 16 ish] to his death in 2007. We weren’t mates, I wasn’t asked round to dinner.. but I knew him and his wife Cath, well enough.
    I used to see him around, and spend ages with him. We knew the same people and were “connected” if you like.
    He was a grand fellow.. great company and a fab’ story teller.. the best.
    He WAS and remains my all time HERO. [Even allowing for SMBH.. the TRUE goat!] But he’d become a Guzzi man thro’ and thro’.. he railed against the Brit bike industry for total lack of foresight, for not taking chances on new ideas and for bankrupting it’s core business.
    I miss him.
    WF
    Notice that EVERYBODY here is wearing.. BARBOUR ! In the day, it was the ASPIRATIONAL kit to have.. not bloody Belstaff !
    The towrag Italian owners have portrayed their Belstaff kit as being used by an S. McQueen in the ISDT. Rubbish..!!
    The generic term for a vacuum is.. Hoover. The same term for wax riding kit is.. BARBOUR !!
    Buggers.!!
    WF [again]

  3. Hmmmmmmmm..
    I’m a bit worried about the Bill Lomas thing. It is, in itself factually correct.. BUT.. I’ve got the funny feeling that the chap on the James may be another world class racer and top Trials rider.. Stanley Woods. Can’t be sure but..
    Hmmmmmmmm.
    Regards
    WF

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