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Trials

 

Unlike most other forms of motorcycle sport, Trials is not racing. It is simply you and your bike pitted against the terrain. Trials’ is a sport of balance, skill and concentration. One at a time, competitors will ride over an obstacle course of boulders, streams, huge hill climbs, logs, drop offs, and nearly anything else they can find. Trials’ is the world's most popular participatory motorcycle sport. In Australia about one thousand riders compete, - in Europe hundreds of thousands compete regularly. Trials riders compete in ALL weather conditions!

There are classes for everyone, from Junior’s (barely walking up to 16 years of age), through to Veteran's aged from 40 to 70+. There are classes to cover all rider ability levels, with Expert, A, B, C, and Clubman / Novice levels. There are also classes for Masters (35+) and Veteran (40+). Other classes include Sidecar and Post-Classic (twin shock). Whilst it is spectacular and may sometimes appear dangerous at the top (expert) level, it is a very safe sport. Speed and other competitors are not factors likely to cause incidents, so the sport remains very safe. Very few injuries are sustained due to the low speeds and “one at a time” use of sections by competitors. Riders in the top classes attempt seemingly impossible obstacles, and in the process perform some of the most amazing skilled and trick riding – including air turns, bunny hops and bouncing the front and rear wheels during turns.

The Bikes
Today’s Trials (specific) bikes are specially made high-tech machines. Very light (~70kg), low seat height and lots of power. They are usually single cylinder, liquid cooled engines, around 250cc capacity. They have lots of ground clearance and suspension travel. Hydraulic disc brakes - front and rear. Tyres are super soft compound, and run tire pressures of about 4-6 psi. Modern trials bikes are mostly manufactured in Europe by makes such as Gas Gas, Beta, Scorpa, Montesa and Sherco. Although new models cost around AU$8000 to $11,000, you don't need a new bike to start riding and enjoying yourself. Second-hand models with mono-shock rear suspension and front disc brake can be bought for around $2,000 - $5,000. Often, many riders prefer to ride older machines which have their own category.

The Sections
A section is typically a taped out area of natural terrain, incorporating obstacles such as rocks, creeks, mud, tree stumps, etc. Different colour markers within the section determine the passage through the section ("line") a particular graded rider must take. For example an A grade rider will ride between red markers, B grade follow yellow markers and C grade follow blue markers. Clubman riders do not need to follow any markers, and can choose any line through the section. The higher the grade a rider attempts, the more difficult the line is through the section.

Scoring
A rider receives one point each time he/she puts a foot down (a "dab"). After three points in any one section the rider may continue to dab or stop without incurring any more points. If the rider falls off or stalls the bike with their feet on the ground or if the bike moves backwards they are given five points (a "five"). At the end of each lap the section scores are totaled to give a lap score, and when the rider completes the designated number of laps a total score is tallied. The rider with the lowest score is the winner. A typical course consists of 7 - 12 sections spread over an area of varied terrain, with riders completing 4 or 5 laps.

Wollongong MCC
Wollongong MCC has a dedicated group of Moto-trials riders that compete all over the state & country.
We have 5 seperate Trials riding areas at out Mt Kembla complex.
We currently have two riders within the top five in Australia within their specific groups (Juniors & Veterans)
We have riders between the ages of 8 to over 80 (yes 80) years old.
Moto-Trials is generally much more "laid back" & social than Race events as riders congregate at the start of each section while waiting their turn.  This often leads to plenty of comments / heckling as riders tackle the obstacles.

What you will need
- you need to be a member of an Motorcycling Australia affiliated motorcycle club (~$50/year)
- an entry fee to each Club Trial ($25 - $50)
- as with MX or Enduro you need a MA Competition Licence, either National (same as MX, Enduro etc) or a National Restricted Licence (for Moto-Trials & about $100 cheaper than National Licence)
So, with some basic riding gear - helmet, boots and gloves - an old bike you could be riding for less than $2000!

The sport of Trials is by far the safest and cheapest form of motor sport. At the same time we doubt you will believe the places a bike can go. So if you're looking for excitement, take a look at a trial. You won’t believe what you see!

For more information contact:
Gary Boniface  0419 545777 or email   garyboniface@bigpond.com

Motorcycling New South Wales: http://www.motorcycling.com.au
Motorcycling Australia: http://www.ma.org.au
or visit www.trials.com.au our dedicated Australian Trials specific website.