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World Trials Champion, Martin Lampkin − 1950 to 2016

Published: 05 April 2016

Updated: 05 April 2016

Martin Lampkin died on April 3, aged 65. He was truly a larger-than-life character in the sport of trials and the wider motorcycling community. 

Nicknamed ‘Big Mart’, his career in trials spanned a period of great change in the sport as it evolved from European to World status, and he was indeed the first ever FIM World Trials Champion in 1975. In his career Lampkin will be best remembered for battles with long-time rivals Malcolm Rathmell and Yrjo Vesterinen as well as spearheading the equally legendary Bultaco trials bikes. 

Martin’s heyday was during the 1970s and early 80s when he notched up a European and World title, three British trials championships, three consecutive Scottish Six Days Trials and four Scott trials. Brothers Arthur and Sid (Alan) Lampkin were equally well-known to many TV viewers, indeed the Lampkin name became synonymous with off-road motorcycling and the sport of trials at a time when British TV afforded Saturday afternoon air-time to off-road sport. 

Beyond his own career, he maintained his presence in the world of trials supporting his eldest son, Dougie. With the ever-present Lampkin determination, Dougie went on to notch up 12 world titles with his father at his back wheel. Lampkin’s impact on motorcycling was far-reaching because of his character and his warmth. For those within the trials sporting community it was hard not to feel part of the extended family because he was such an integral part of it. Legendary comes too easily at these times but Lampkin was truly a legend in his own lifetime with a ready and wry smile, a dry wit and warm heart. He will be sorely missed.

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