What is Motorcycle Trials?
Motorcycle Trials is all about riding a motorbike over and around obstacles. The idea came from manufacturers proving their bikes could go further and over rougher terrain than others. The original name was Reliability Trials, then came Observed Trials, and then just plain Trials. Today the emphasis has moved onto the rider as it assesses his/her ability to keep their feet up through the demanding and technical sections that make up modern trials.
The victor in a Trial is the rider who has completed the course, usually consisting of laps of up to 12 individual sections, on the least marks incurred throughout the day. On each section there is usually a judge, know as an observer, who watches each rider through their section (some Club Trials use self-scoring or a buddy system, if observers are not available). The parameters of the section are determined by flags, tapes and markers, and riders must steer their bikes through pairs of flags or between tapes, and over all obstacles, which may be in that path. Usually red flags/markers/tapes mark the right hand side of the section, and blue for the left hand side. The ultimate aim is to get through the section without stopping or putting any feet down. If the rider does dab (put his/her feet down) then a 1 point penalty is incurred, and up to a maximum of 3 marks can be incurred in one section through dabbing. Continuous dabbing is called footing and the maximum of 3 marks still applies, except that a maximum of 5 marks is awarded if the rider fails to get through the section. If a rider manages to get through the section without the loss of any marks then a clean is awarded (0 penalty points are incurred by the rider).
So, it is only possible to score 0 or 1 or 2 or 3 or 5 in any one section, the minimum being 0 (clean) and the maximum 5 (fail).
The rider with the lowest total of marks at the end of the day is awarded with the premier trophy. There are many classes which can be entered which cater for beginnerís right through to experts.
CVMG Trials Classes
Classic Twin Shock: This class is aimed at later machines from the late 1960's to the early 1980's. Examples are Bultaco Sherpa including the six-speed 199B, Ossa MAR andYellow Gripper, Montesa Cota, Honda TL 125-250, Honda Reflex, Suzuki RL, Kawasaki KT, Yamaha TY 80, 175 and 250, Hodaka, SWM, and Fantic. Bikes must have twin shock rear suspension; no monoshock suspension is allowed. Motors must be air cooled. Brakes must be drum brakes. Disc brakes are not allowed. All components,including frames, engines, forks, and brakes must be from the period. The Twin Shock class will include Expert, Intermediate, and Novice divisions (at the discretion of the event organizers).
Vintage Heavyweight: This class is aimed at pre-1967 250cc and larger four-stroke machines such as the Ariel HT, Triumph Twins, and Royal Enfield Bullet. Unit and non-unit construction are acceptable. Modifications and major components are limited to those of the era, typical of machines prior to 1967. The Vintage Heavyweight class will include Expert, Intermediate, and Novice divisions (at the discretion of the event organizers).
Vintage Lightweight: This class is aimed at pre-1967 four-stroke and two-stroke machines smaller than 250cc such as the Triumph Cub, BSA Singles, Villiers-powered Greeves, DOT and Cotton. Other machines will be allowed in this class at the discretion of an official. Unit and non-unit construction are acceptable. Modifications and major components are limited to those of the era, typical of machines prior to 1967. The Vintage Lightweight class will include Expert, Intermediate, and Novice divisions (at the discretion of the event organizers).
Rigid: This class is aimed at early machines with rigid or plunger-type rear suspension. The frame must not include a rear swingarm. Front forks must be telescopic or girder and must originate from the same country of origin as the motor and frame. Modifications and major components are limited to those of the era, typical of machines of the 1950ís. There will be a single division for all Rigid machines.
Sidecar: Any pre-1980 twin shock sidecar trials machine is eligible for the Sidecar class. There will be a single division for all Sidecar machines.
N.B: these classes may be altered at the discretion of the event organisers and depending upon local conditions, machines entered and experience level of the riders.
At the discretion of the event organizers, sections may be divided into different lines for different classes.
Classic Twin shock: Expert line 1; Intermediate line 2; Novice line 3
Vintage Heavyweight: Expert line 2; Intermediate line 2; Novice line 3
Vintage Lightweight: Expert line 2; Intermediate line 2; Novice line 3
Sidecar: line 3
Rigid: line 3
Technical Inspection and Modifications
Scoring Procedures and Sections
0 - Clean
1 - One dab
2 - Two dabs
3 - Three or more dabs (footing)
5 - Failure
5 - Failure to enter section
Definitions for Trials Rules
21st February 2003
(Thanks to Bob Coy and Nick Pearson)