A few days before the TDN we were invited to the amazing Hotel Puig Franco, and Noassar training area in Northern Spain to experience the Vertigo Combat in the flesh.
The day was to consist of two parts. First a Technical workshop to inform the newly appointed Importers, and press of the intricacies of the hi-tech Vertigo Combat, and to let us see first hand the amazing amount of design work that has gone into this “clean sheet” design.
The Vertigo Head Engineer, Francesc Romani, was on hand to answer all our questions, and I have to say I am SOOOO looking forward to working on this bike, some of the design elements will blow your socks off.
Cassette gear cluster, Really fast removal of crank and rods, Internal type flywheel, Gasser type main bearings, but with better lubrication channels, and no “spun bearings” issues, and lots more. I can’t go into a lot of specifics as the bike is still in prototype stage, but be prepared to be excited!.
After a fabulous lunch we headed out in a small group being lead by Team riders James Dabill, Francesc Moret, with David Cobos and Brand ambassador Dougie Lampkin to test the new bikes on the incredible terrain around the Hotel Puig Franco. The Noassar training area is hundreds of hectares of beautiful natural landscape, and sections that had something for everyone. It was the perfect testing ground to find out what the green machine was really capable of.
It was inevitable that their would be differing opinions on the bikes performance, being a group of riders from Multi World Champions down to us mere Old Vets, but I did not see one face that was not smiling broadly after and during the test. Most remarks were about the easy riding character, and smooth linear power of the injected two stroke, and the high quality of the componentry and quality finish of the overall package.
Fair to say I think when the Combat is finally released to the market it will make a lot of fans, and drag the benchmark for trials motorcycles a lot higher.
The suspension was outstanding – (Tech front forks, and Reiger rear shock), offering incredible traction and feedback. A fantastic turning circle, and a simply beautiful clutch – along the design lines of the Gas Gas diaphragm clutch, so excellent feedback, and no jerky, clunky take up like found on a few more traditional designs.
The engine was linear and smooth, and the four maps available on the day had their own very distinct characteristics, which bodes well for the future of the bike suiting many different terrain types, rider abilities, and personal setups.
Overall I was very very impressed by the bike, but also the professional and well considered approach of the Vertigo group. Manel (the company owner) is in no rush to get the product to market. His push is for perfection, and I think the Vertigo Combat is well on the way to achieving something like that ever elusive goal.