To view this page ensure that Adobe Flash Player version 11.1.0 or greater is installed.
JIMMY ELLIS Jimmy Ellis won the first SX of ’78 at the Seattle King- dome. Jimmy, and his dad/me- chanic George, were so excited to ride for Honda. They’d been competing rather successfully against the Japanese factories for their entire pro career. Now they were going to ride for the big boys with all the money. Jimmy was dogged. He would keep pressing and press- ing and never let up. In Bishop, training with Jimbo P, Jim Ellis and I challenged each other to a run “to exhaustion” race up an incredibly steep, rocky and deep sand hill. We started up sprinting and eventually, barely one leg in front of the other, slower and slower, and looking over at each other pleading to please give up. Hundreds of yards later, we both collapsed in high altitude oxygen debt. MARLY WHALEY Marland Whaley was Team Honda’s Trials Champion. The Trials Team Leader was Bob Nickelsen and Joe Guglielmelli was the other rider. Marland was a great champion and helped vault the sport of Tri- als in America to a world class level. The rider who aspired and eventually won the US Trials title from Marland Whaley was Bernie Schrieber who went on to win the World Champion- ship. Bob Nickelsen spent many years with American Honda in many positions. He was very intelligent and introduced me into trials. I bought a TL125 and he and I would spend many after work hour evenings at the Honda headquarters on Alondra Blvd., in Gardena, CA riding tri- als bikes all over the facility… Kinda’ like kids nowadays ride their skateboards, roller blades and BMX bikes in public areas. I tried to find what Mar- land Whaley and Joe Gugliel- melli did after leaving the sport. Marland I couldn’t find. Joe was from Walla Walla WA. and I found a Joe Gulielmelli Sod Farm there, but no info. I also found a WA trials Blog that said he died years ago in a motorcycle crash…so I wonder if Joe Jr owns the Sod Farm. I don’t know. DONNY SANFORD I have to tell you a funny story about Don Sanford, an Enduro rider on the team from Texas. One day at the Team Honda shop on a Saturday af- ternoon, Don was there after racing a Saturday Saddleback local race. He was vociferously complaining about some kid at the race who kept trying to wreck him and was grabbing his throttle cable to stick it. He was ready to kill the kid, and Don was a pretty sturdy guy. Since he was from Texas, and didn’t know the local scene like I did, I asked, “What kind of bike and what was the num- ber”? He said, “It was an Open Class Yamaha and his number was 925”. I started laughing my ass off , and Jon R and ev- eryone else looked at me until I stopped laughing and said, “KEPT TRYING TO WRECK HIM AND WAS GRABBING HIS THROTTLE CABLE TO STICK IT.” DIRT ILLustrated \\\\\\ April 2013 + Page 82