Bultaco UBW 677.

The Dan Shorey, Bultaco "Sherpa "N" 155 cc Trials Bike.


 The first to compete in a trial in the UK or perhaps the World.



This picture of Dan competing in the first trial with the Quickly modified Bultaco Tralla / Sherpa N

It was  at the Banbury NOBAC Time and Observation trial held at "Traitors Ford" on the Warwickshire Oxfordshire border late on in 1961. this trial was a ISDT qualifier so we had some good "Stars" riding in the trial.

If you remember I was an apprentice agricultural engineer,and with my mentor Nobby Clements, we used to visit this farm to service the newly puchased Ford Tractors.

We got chatting to the farmer who ran the farm at the time, and told him that we rode these trial bike things at the weekend and we were always looking for New ground to use for better sections.

He seemed quite keen on the idea, and we walked down by the river Stour that ran through his land.

There were steepish banks on both sides, and to be honest for this part of the world you could not get much better for good trials land.

We had some good stuff already but this land was a bonus.



Here Is a picture from the same trial, and if I remember correctly the winner.

Roy Peplow's brother ,name slips me at the moment but I will remember.


The other prominent person in the shot is "George Hill" a right character, and father of Mervyn Hill who was not only a good trials rider but was better at speedway and grass track.

George had to work miracles to come up with the funding for a TriumphTR20 trials Cub for Merve to ride after he could see how well mine performed.


Just a note if you look Jon's? silencer is also from a BSA and the tank I distinctly remember was a Mountain Cub tank of Cream and Blue.Why?

Well the tank on Dan's Triumph Cub Trials was  Pink so I always had it in my head about Cub Tank colours.


And If you were fortunate to purchase a full set of ORR magazines in the year 2000 you can see this photo in volume 75 page 13 OK.



The picture of Dan on the Triumph Cub with the "Pink" tank, could be at "Saintbury" Quarry.


But in the 1961 Colmore in February , so just prior to the Bultaco arriving. later in the season, after racing  had finished.


Why Pink? When asked Dan said, Well that was what Tony had in the spray-gun at the time.


Back to the plot!


 The Bultaco Sherpa N that Dan was given! and it would have been, because next to Sammy who never opened his wallet  Dan's was kept  tight shut too. The bike was a 1960 Blue tanked "Sherpa N" that was not that much different than the "Tralla" road bike  of the same year.

It had 19" wheels fitted and a high rise exhaust, but still with the street baffles fitted, and much to long, a lot like the Greeves Scottish at the time.

The saddle was still a dual seat and went of to the local saddler at North Newington to be reworked after the pan had been shortened, I seem to remember.

I think a 325X19 Dunlop Universal trials tyre may have been tried first  on the rear, but a 21" front was fitted.

I remember the 325 tyre because Bernie Chequer  was one of Dan's best mates at the time and ended up with these tyres on his James Rigid that I later had.

I had 350X18 on my plunger framed James at the time. 

The mods carried out on the Bultaco were on a weekly basis at the time, most things were changed and I think a 18" wheel in the back was laced up and  used, after a while.

It was one of those bikes that had no starting point.

No one else had known about Bultaco and nobody knew  what to do to improve matters converting a road going two stroke into a trials machine.

And don't forget the original design of the engine had basically been stolen from Montesa.

So without trial and error.It was all New territory getting the little machine to perform its trials riding duties, the gearing and gearbox were troublesome to say the least.


Bert, Dans father would suggest one thing Dan something else, Tony in the workshop just shook his head and sucked on his pipe and stayed out of the situation.

The others tried to stay clear to. The passing trade and mates coming to the Garage  when they were getting fuel, looking at the bike if it was there.Thought it a lot different to the trials bikes we were used to in the UK up until that time. But Dan always had the last word to any modifications carried out whether it was mudguard, levers, carb, or anything else. and it was his way or no way.


The bike that Bultaco Concessionaires where running for there rider Tommy Ollerton differed to the bike that Dan had, in that It ran a "Sherpa S" frame and not the road based frame of the "Sherpa N".


Photo Deryk Wylde Offroad Archive


You can clearly see the swinging arm reinforcing  in this shot and the Matador type tank.

But forks and front wheel are Sherpa "N"? longer rear shocks too?


But dont forget that It was the Now Bultaco trials bike based on the Sherpa "N" that Sammy Miller came to try up the lane at the back of West-Bar in Banbury,that Dan Shorey and friends had sorted out, that helped him make his mind up to go the Bultaco route,and change the face of trials history forever.


Dan at this time was also getting interested in the sidecar side of trials.

And had bought a BSA from John Harris, to try his hand at this sport.

 First passenger was Bernie Chequer, but fell out with Dan quickly in this role.

Next up was Eddie Braggins, he did last quite well until a knee injury side lined him.

We had by this time become owners of the ex works BSA outfit XJO 277, and when Dan wanted a passenger at the last minute for the Tanners Trudge I seem to remember, I was volunteered.




By the end of the trials season for Dan in the spring before the Road Race season started in March1963 was probably the last time Dan rode the Sherpa "N", Bernie took over the ride then I seem to remember, I had the New TR20 Trials Cub by now and was never offered a ride on the bike.

During the Summer of that year we built Dan a Triumph 350 trials bike up at North Bar garage based on a bent bike that had come back into stock after a front end  smash.

But Dan had now settled  into the side car trials side of the sport, and along came a new Kendell

chair that was fitted to a Red Hunter Ariel frame, the engine had been commissioned from Scott Ellis's father Sep.

So Dan's solo trials career was over, and the Newly built Triumph 350 trials bike was sold to George Greenland. ABW ***A.



There is much more to the Bultaco story so hold the line.


I might add though that Bernie Chequer ended up with Bultaco N trials bike to ride and competed on it for at least a season.

 UBW 677. then  seems to have gone missing. shame.



More later