VINTAGE TRIALS SCHOOLS
VINTAGE TRIALS SCHOOLS
The Introduction for a group of VERY LUCKY students! with none other
than Mick Andrews as Chief Instructor
Many riders currently taking up the sport of Vintage Trials do not seem to appreciate the differences
between the older machines and their current counterparts and the differences in techniques and
skills required to ride both.
To ride any motorcycle there are some basic skills required and of course to ride either vintage or
modern there are some fundamental ingredients which are common to all. When Trials Schools are
run many Novices and Beginners arrive expecting to be able to ride away after 2 hours and compete
with their new found knowledge and skills. Well life, and Trials in particular is not like that! All that can
be achieved in a 2 hour limited school will be little more than a few pointers and little or no progress is
likely to be made due to the time frame. Learning the art of trials riding takes time and for most riders
there is an apprenticeship, or the school of hard knocks. Good balance and stance are fundamentals
as are smooth handling of controls. While there is a desire to clean everything there should also be
the reverse attitude of not to 5 anything! Let’s work backwards in our training and progress from the 5
to the 3 and onwards until, as my mentors used to say, “stay on one section until you clean it 3 times in
a row, then move on or tighten it up”
Mick takes the students through fore and aft weighting
To run a REALLY worth while Trials School I personally would want my students for a minimum of 3
days, or in these hard financial times 2. How would a course for beginners be designed? Apart from the
riding there are many aspects that need to be discussed and demonstrations given, here are some;
Phase 1. Machine knowledge and Trials Bike Preparation, choice of riding equipment.
Phase 2. Pre trial work, conditions, altitude, terrain.
Phase 3. Post trial work, washing, cleaning, servicing, + the to do list.
Phase 4. At the trial, paperwork, timing, fees, membership etc
So if I plan a School I would want my students for the night before where, over a few beers we can
cover Phase 1 with a nice clean bike as the demo model.
The First Day
Basic warm up, machine examination for individual suitability, stance, posture, 1st & 2nd gear
exercises and figure 8’s.
Break and Phase 2 over coffee.
Uphill/Downhill, posture, braking, throttle techniques and control.
Slalom turns, then one handed Slalom on the flat.
Mick demos the “one handed slalom”
A Basic Section, walking the line, hazards, recovery zones, choice of gear, what ifs.
Walking n’ Talking the line through a basic section
More walk n’ talk
Now YOU try, and remember EXAGERATE Everything!
A solid clean on something that this rider had mentally deemed as
Continuous Section practice
Graduated Sections, more practice
Beers, Phase 3, tire change demo, carb cleaning demo, brake cleaning demo
The Second Day
Figure 8’s the Tight Turn, The Lofted Turn & Planned Dab, when to use the clutch?
Looking through the turn
Knees, counterweight (body English), bar and peg pressures
Adverses, logs and steps, drop offs, rocks, sand and mud, where to lOOk !
The “Do’s & Don’ts”…….. debrief, “what have we learnt?”
Where do I want my front wheel?
Beers, results, Phase 4
Debrief the students
It also seems that if you offer a FREE school very few turn up but if you charge $30 for a 2 hour
session you get about 12 riders! So I’m thinking as we move into spring/summer I might just run a
couple of courses up here in Colorado and then finish off with a 2 Day ITSA style event.
Plenty of room for Big rigs at our RV Park and several little Motels in town with plenty of parking and
all within a short walk of the bar so all I need is some convenient “Trials Real Estate” nearby and we
could be all set.
Still upbeat re the Pre 65 Scottish, although funding is still a key issue, so if you can help please do
not delay and any contributions can be offset against one of these future Trials Schools. Time as
they say is of the essence and the cutoff is 3/31/09………. God, I would hate to lose that entry, I seem
to have lost more than enough in the last year.