|In early March, JTV-1 was taken to a secret location near Bristol for its first test. On hand were five young test pilots from 8-13 years old, including Oliver Mizen who brought along his Toro (JTV-Proto) as a benchmark. Straight out of the box (well, off the trailer) JTV-1 didn’t work - the smallest obstacle had it lifting a rear wheel and losing traction. So while our intrepid pilots waited patiently in the cold, the assembled gathering set to work making alterations.
The wide 4-ply tyres seen at the show proved too stiff even when aired down to 2psi, so off they came and on went a narrow set of 2-ply Dunlops. Running at 5psi, the behaviour of the vehicle was transformed: instead of lifting the rear, the JTV now waved a front wheel over obstacles, thus maintaining better traction. Next we added 45kg of ballast to the rear and soon found that JTV-1 would comfortably traverse the severity of terrain envisaged for Junior Trials sections.
The brakes proved a little disappointing, a combination of new linings not bedded-in and a poor pedal feel. Satisfied, however, that the vehicle was safe to use, Kevin Mizen laid out a number of trials sections during the afternoon. Judging by the grins from our test pilots, they had a good time.
With thanks to Kevin Mizen for arranging the venue and setting out, our pilots Oliver, John, Jason, Jamie and Robin, Tony Ryan and the team form BCT Engineering for being on hand, Bruce Tigwell, Debbie Darby and Chris Tomley from the Off Road Committee and Robbo Aliperti.