from Jeff DeBell at firstname.lastname@example.org February 19, 2001
Just got home from the Indy Dealer Show. Our own beloved Dwight Rudder was there and we both laughed that when we got home there would probably be 300 vinduro emails waiting to be opened! Well, it's not quite 300, but let me assure you that my inbox was FULL!
But, on to the show.... As I've mentioned, Dwight was there with Parts Unlimited. I ran into him within 5 minutes of hitting town. Let me publicly thank Dwight for doing a yeoman's job in helping me promote the upcoming ISDT Reunion Ride. Dwight was pumping anyone who'd talk to him about it and kept asking me for more flyers to hand out.
If you want to see enthusiasm defined, just look at Dwight's eyes when he starts talking vintage bikes! The man is possessed! THANK YOU, Dwight!
I went to Indy courtesy of Dave Mungenast's Classic Motorcycles LLC. Becky (from Dave's shop) and I decided several months back to do some
advertising at the Indy show as many of the former ISDT guys either work the show or come to check it out. I had a couple of shirts
embroidered with ISDT Reunion Ride on them, got a dozen hats embroidered and printed off 1000 business cards and 1000 flyers.
BRUCE YOUNG of Western Power Sports is going to work on BILLY UHL and
he took home a fistful of cards to hand out in the northwest US where he lives. BILL BERROTH (FMF) wants to come and will try to bring
DANNY LAPORTE and TOM WEBB with him. FRITZ KADLEC is a strong possible. JOE CARSON (72,74)is a strong possible. DREW SMITH (Works
Enduro Rider)is a strong possible, although he has been selected as US ISDE Team Manager for 2001 so his schedule is tight, but he and
brother CHRIS SMITH will talk it up in the northeast along with Kevin Hines.
from Andre Ming, February 19, 2001
The ISDT Reunion is simply a weekend where us old guys that love old ISDT bikes and their riders get to hang with the old ISDT guys that love
their old ISDT bikes... more or less.
The 4th Annual IDST Reunion Ride
September 29-October 1, 2000, Byrd's Campground, Cass, Arkansas
Two day vintage reliability trials with some of America's off-road heroes.
Past participants include Dick Mann, John Penton, Malcolm Smith, Preston Petty, Jack Penton, Dave Mungenast, Leroy Winters, Dane Leimbach, Jeff Fredette, Jake Fischer, Doug Wilford and many more.
Open to all ISDT/E veterans and all vintage off-road enthusiasts. Spectators and volunteers welcome as well.
Plenty of spectating, bench-racing, autographs and awesome old bikes.
For information/entry sheet contact
Jeff DeBell at email@example.com
or write 8918 Robinson Drive, Overland Park, KS 66212-2119
The following articles were authored by Jeff DeBell.
Photos provided by Andre Ming (click on thumbnails for larger prints.)
The International Six Days Trial (ISDT) was first run in 1913 in England.
The event originated as a competition between motorcycle manufacturers to prove that motorcycles could indeed travel as well as automobiles...no small feat considering the condition of roadways and the primitive machinery available in those days!
As its name implies, the ISDT was 6 days of timed travel under demanding conditions. Countries and manufacturers vied for the bragging rights of winning the Six Days. Trophies were awarded to the top finishers and individuals received gold, silver or bronze medals for their efforts. The ISDT has run continuously from 1913 (except for interruptions courtesy of the two World Wars) to 1981 when its name was changed to the International Six Days Enduro (ISDE).
Most purists consider the ISDTs of the 50s, 60s and 70s to be the "real Six Days." In those years the focus changed from just proving that motorcycles could equal automobiles, to proving that motorcycles could go where automobiles could not. While the pre-WW2 years saw the use of modified street machines, the post-War years brought forth the development of purposefully designed off-road endurance machines. The sturdy Czech Jawas and the East German MZs and Simsons steadily eroded the dominance of the British 4-stroke Aerials, BSAs and Triumphs.
There have been numerous scoring and other rule changes over the years, however the most coveted prize is still the World Trophy. Countries vying for the Trophy enter 6-man teams of their best riders. A team that lost even one Trophy rider to injury, mechanical failure, or simply lost time on the trails was almost surely out of contention. The Czechs became masters of the game and were experts at keeping all members on time and all machines in perfect working order.
The next prize in the pecking order is the Vase cup. Today this is called the Junior Trophy and team members must be 23 years of age or less, however in the original ISDT age was not a factor, and many countries would enter Vase "A" and Vase "B" teams to double their chances of bringing home the Vase cup that year. Manufacturers also entered teams, again to hopefully reap the bragging rights of winning the manufacturers' competition. Club teams were also entered, and prizes awarded for top club finishers as well.
The modern ISDE is scored on the times that riders post in a number of special tests each day. The trail work is usually only of moderate difficulty and is more to route riders from one special test to another. Time lost on the trails is rare, and the order of finishing is determined by hundreths of seconds in the special tests over the course of the six days of competition. In the "good ol' days" of ISDT competition, it was an accomplishment merely to reach the next checkpoint on time. The trails were long and tough, the machinery had limited suspension and was not nearly as reliable as modern mounts. In order for a rider to finish on gold medal time, he could not lose even a single minute being late to a check over the course of the event. In addition, he had to post timed special test times within the top 25% of his class. This was no easy feat, and the best riders had to have superhuman endurance as well as expert mechanical skills as he could receive no outside assistance in working on his bike and critical parts such as engines, hubs, shocks, etc were marked so they could not be replaced.
The ISDT has been a predominantly European event, however the United States has hosted the Six Days twice. The first time was the 1973 ISDT in Dalton, Massachusetts. It was in this year that the US won the Vase cup for the first time with a Husqvarna-mounted team of Dick Burleson, Malcolm Smith, Ron Bohn and Ed Schmidt. The ISDE was held in Tulsa in 1994 at the John Zink Ranch.
The ISDT Reunion Ride is aimed at preserving the spirit of the old-style ISDT. There are some considerable concessions made, however, so as not to ruin the fine vintage bikes that many competitors bring to ride. The trailwork is of an easy to moderate level, the time schedules are liberal, and riders have as much fun riding the event as they do bench-racing and renewing friendships.
A partial list of ISDT veterans who have appeared at the Reunion Ride includes John Penton, Jack Penton, Preston Petty, Dick Mann, Malcolm Smith, Dane Leimback, Doug Wilford, Jeff Fredette, Dave Mungenast, Tommy McDermott (1949 gold medal!), John Smith (rode with Steve McQueen in 1964 ISDT-Erfurt, Germany), Jake Fischer, Chris Carter and many others.
The ISDT Reunion Ride is the only event of its kind in the United States. If you are a Six Days fan or just want to meet some of the guys who were your heroes when you started out riding and racing, this event is for you.
From Jeff, March 27, 2000
Hello Six Day enthusiasts, October 6-8 is still the tentative date for the Reunion Ride and should be firmed up early next month at the Razorback Riders meeting. Some of you I have added to the list since some of our prior discussions, so the following will be new to you, but it is still pertinent to the Reunion Ride business.
I spoke with Dick Mann this afternoon about the Reunion Ride and asked his opinion on some of the ideas we've circulated here on line. First of all, Dick sounded very good...his voice is a little gravelly, but the fire is still there when you start talking vintage motorcycling with him. For those of you who may not know, Dick had quite a bout with throat cancer about 18 months ago and was incapacitated for quite a while. His health is, according to him, pretty good and he said he will be in Cass, AR this fall barring any unforeseen setbacks and the price of gas staying below 5 bucks a gallon!!!
What I specifically asked Dick about was the thought of offering a two-loop Ride, with the second loop optional. I explained to him that we had identified three types of riders the Ride caters to (and one it doesn't), those being
1) guys who come with no intention of riding, for whatever reason (no bike, no body, no inclination, etc), and want to bench race, renew old friendships, relive old glories, ogle the vintage bikes, etc...
2) guys who bring a vintage bike to ride, but who also want plenty of time to bench race, ogle, etc. and
3) guys who bring a vintage bike to ride, want more miles to help them relive or try to experience some of what the old 6 Days was like, and who'd also like some free time to bench race, ogle, etc.
The 4th group is the hard core competitors and we felt that AHRMA offers vintage motocross, GPs, flat tracks, trials, roadraces, etc to satisfy their cravings.
In any event, I asked Dick what he thought of offering the Group 3 riders the chance to ride the course a second time (on Day One only) to get some more vintage trail miles under their belts. He thought that was a good idea as it would also allow the Group 2 guys to stop after the first lap and have plenty of time to spend in the pits. We talked briefly about how it should be scored and came to the conclusion that only the first lap would be scored...the second lap would be optional and would not count in your score. This way the Group 2 guys would not be penalized just because they preferred to relax and visit instead of riding for another couple of hours. This seems to be a fine compromise to me, and unless I hear strenuous objections I will recommend this option to the Razorback Riders.
Please understand that none of us who started this ball rolling in the first place want to be viewed as critical of the Reunion Ride in any way....if it was the same as last year we'd all show up again and have just as much fun...we are simply offering ways to make the event appeal to a larger number of people. Also understand that the Razorback Riders have limited manpower to offer for this event and we will be asking the checkers to stay out in the woods longer. An option would be to make a series of interconnected loops that would use the same checkpoints twice, but that is something we can work out later.
Back to the ISDT....Dick's main concern about the Reunion Ride centers around the tenets of AHRMA. The original intent of the Ride as envisioned by Dick and by Leroy Winters was two-fold...
first to reunite old ISDT veterans and
second to have them and other enthusiasts compete on VINTAGE machinery.
With that in mind, the Reunion Ride scores high points on the first part...getting 6 Day vets together, because we have several new ones each year. The Ride scores well on the second point too, but each year has seen different problems with the course set-up...the first year being too tough on the old bikes, the most recent one perhaps being a little too easy, and the middle year probably being the best overall to date in terms of the course layout.
The trouble with running vintage enduro courses is finding the proper type of trail...one that is moderately challenging on a vintage bike yet not so hard that bike and rider wind up broken. The types of trails we need for the vintage riding are those which we consider pieces of cake on our new power-valved, ultra smooth 12 inch suspension equipped bikes today. The Razorback club is doing their best to find the best compromise.
Dick also mentioned that he would personally like to see more special tests in the course. This is what the 6 Days was all about. The 200 or so miles you rode each day were not terribly tough trail miles.. sure there were tough spots, but for the most part the courses were designed so that you could ride at 75% and not lose time on the trails, arrive at checkpoints with a bit of time to spare for repairs, refreshment, etc.
The 8 or so special tests sprinkled throughout the course each day were a different story.
The riders had to ride them at near 100% and make no mistakes. The fastest guy in each class set the standard for that special test that day, and everyone else accrued penalty marks for every second slower they were than him.
Dick said that was a vital part of the 6 Days...you had to know how to ride quickly yet conservatively for mile after mile of trail, and then had to be able to instantly go to afterburner when you hit the special test.. and once you exited the test you were back to quick and conservative again to keep your bike and body together for 6 days.
Perhaps we can figure out a way to add another terrain special test each day...but that will be up to the Razorback riders and their available manpower.
Anyway, just thought I'd update you a little bit...if you have any thoughts on the above proposal, let me know. In the meantime, get those vintage mounts ready for October and the time of your life!
For additional information and the 2000 Reunion Ride dates, contact Jeff DeBell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From Jeff, May 22, 2000
Day 1 riding and the Banquet will be Sept 30, Day 2 riding and the grass track motos and awards presentations will be Oct 1st.
Due to a number of issues, the dates were moved up two weeks from what was
The Sept 29-Oct 1 dates were only finalized a day or two ago. There was a distinct possibility that the Reunion Ride could have been completely cancelled this year, so I am glad that some of the problems were resolved and a date finally established.
The Reunion Ride will be AHRMA sanctioned, however the rules will be loosely
If you would kindly send me a postal mailing address, I will forward it to the organizers so you can be mailed an entry form. I will NOT give your address out to anyone (other than the organizer) without first asking your permission to do so.
I will keep you updated on news as I hear it. I hope all of you will be able to attend this fall. Even if you do not wish to ride, there is plenty of spectating and bench-racing to do.
If you will be available to VOLUNTEER as a checker, timer, etc, please let me know and I will give your name to the organizers, OK?
Take care and I hope to see you all this fall....get those old bikes running now!!
Dwight Rudder and I have just started a new email list aimed specifically at vintage enduro/ISDT bikes and events. If you'd like to
check it out, you can click on the URL below. Hope you'll join in!