A sporting discipline using a bicycle, car or truck, trials is also practiced with a motorcycle. It is a crossing sport using motorcycles designed for ease of use for the rider. But what is motorcycle trial? What are the specificities of the discipline? And what types of motorcycles can take part in it?
Trial in a few words
Trial is a sporting discipline which consists of overcoming obstacles (roots, rocks, tree trunks…) on a closed and timed circuit of about 15 km. The discipline originated in the United Kingdom in the 20th century. Moreover, the meaning of the word trial means “test”. Indeed, the aim of this discipline is to try to pass all obstacles without touching the ground. Motorcycle trials has several categories classified in increasing order of difficulty: the promotion or amateur, the senior S3, S2, S1, S1+ and the expert. Moreover, depending on the season of a championship, motorcycle trials is played either on a natural (outdoor) circuit during the hot season or on an artificial (indoor) circuit during the winter.
Specificities of the trials discipline
The goal in motorcycle trials is to acquire as few points as possible to be a winner. There is no question of speed in a trial, but of balance and overcoming obstacles. On a zone to be covered, which is usually completed in three laps, commissaires count the number of feet placed on the ground by a rider and award marks. Each foot that touches the ground is penalized by 1 point, and failures are scored at 5 points each. Examples of failures are: the rider falling, a handlebar touching the ground, the engine stopping with a press, the motorcycle backing up, help from outside, etc. At the end of each game, the totality of a rider’s penalty points and failures are counted by the registration desk. The winner will therefore be the one with the fewest points.
Characteristics of the trial bike
A trial bike is characterized by its low and slender look, without a saddle and with less design. It is a light motorcycle that cannot exceed 70 kg. Its soft suspension and pneumatic studded tyres (with radiused aluminium rims and mudguards at the front) give it better grip on the ground. To easily pass an obstacle, a trial bike is fitted with a 2 or 4-stroke single-cylinder engine (for experts). It is equipped with a 5- or 6-speed gearbox. However, its torque and tractive force are more important than the engine power for better passing.