A combination bike of Ossa/DMW/Yamaha  all pre 74 components

It would seem from reading through all the threads on trials central that the twinshock
scene in the UK is starting to have all the development nonsense that is currently plaguing
the Pre 65 Trials group. Unless the ACU steps in and defines what the rules are it will
develop into another shambolic mess that is causing so much discontent with the Pre 65
Trials men.

For the same reason that we are seeing a slow but increasing awareness and enjoyment
of the 70’s twinshocks on this side of the Atlantic the UK scene is in full flow but seemingly
with little if any rules to guide the prospective competitors by. What will this mean? ….well
it will follow that another batch of “cheater bikes” will be produced and will no doubt ride
in classes that they are truly not eligible for.

BJ Racing’s reworked 1985? Honda Reflex

People love to use their skills and time developing something that gives them an edge in
competition, so rather than whine and complain about it give them a class where all those
talents can come to the fore. The ITSA scene has just that class, MODERN TWINSHOCK.
Very simple rules ANY MACHINE as long as it has Twin shocks, an air cooled motor and drum
brakes. Those ARE the rules, clear and simple, no requirements to cheat, put whatever else
you wish on the machine in any area and RIDE IT!

If you wish to adapt a late model twinshock for the job using lightweight materials, good
for you. If I were to venture into this then perhaps I might think of putting twinshocks on
something like the RTL Honda from the mid 80’s. They had a good air cooled engine, a good
riding platform and drum brakes….. all I need to do is take all the mono shock linkages out
and all the piping that was never pretty and fit some custom alloy falcons down the back
and you might have yourself a sweet handling machine.

Trevor Kemp’s “V Special” Majesty using “That frame” and Mono forks

I for one, think the ITSA rules are pretty clear and have a simple enough class system that
the top class can have any modifications you like for machines produced after 1979 and also
all the stock bikes of that period.

The Historic class is for bikes in the 73-79 zone and here you could argue that a
72 Ossa/Bultaco/Montesa is not much different to the 73 model so perhaps all Spanish 5
speeders should be in the same class and put into Historic and let that be and end to it.

The Pre Historic class has everything produced prior to 73 which seems a little unfair to be
humping a big old AJS through sections competing directly against a 72 Ossa MAR. Maybe a
few changes coming in that area, and why not while the Organization is still in it’s infancy.

However, you have the “Rules” and YOU decide which class you wish to ride in and on
what machine….. and of course there are still the three ability levels of Expert, Intermediate
and Novice.

Another thing I like about the ITSA format is the sections which are tailored to
the rider and the class. Take a standard trial and lay out 25 sections. 5 x A, 5 x B, 5 x C,
5 x D and 5 x E. The sections are lined with traditional blue and red tapes and have
conventional start and finish gates, and NO splits within the section.

Dustin in action at Dickson on the Honda

So taking our Premier class of Modern Twinshock the Experts ride the 5 x A and the 5 x B.

Int                      5 x B and the 5 x C

Nov                    5 x C and the 5 x D

Beg                    5 x D and the 5 x E

Historic            Exp                    5 x A and the 5 x B

Int                      5 x B and the 5 x C

Nov                     5 x C and the 5 x D

Pre Historic          Exp                     5 x B and the 5 x C

Int                      5 x C and the 5 x D

Nov                     5 x D and the 5 x E

Bob on the “Standard???” TY

Using this format there are no more “missed the split” FIVES! and the sections go back
to the 60’s 70’s style of single line, same for everybody, Novice or expert and of course
you didn’t have Int in that period so you rode and lost marks, quite a lot of them, if you
were a Novice and that way you got to improve watching the experts ride the same line
as you were on.

There are some obvious differences between the capabilities of machines from the 50’s
and 60’s but, boy WE do pander to some of these sectors and make sections so easy that
they are not really reminiscent of anything a trials section should be. Here I can remember
my first experiences of the Scottish in 1970 when I wasted a long time at Culross, maybe
nerves, looking at the first couple of sections wondering what I was “missing” but
eventually I discovered these were “traditional sections” that had been in the trial since
it’s earliest days, and yes, they really were that EASY for a 1970 Montesa.

What then is the appeal for the Vintage/twinshock movement? Why would trials riders
want to ride an obselete and grossly inferior machine in competition?  I think the answer
comes in many shapes and sizes!

ONE, most of us like the thrill of competition.

TWO, a touch of nostalgia maybe?

THREE, the sections that modern machines can attempt and clean is probably outside what
most older gentlemen are prepared to risk and still enjoy.

FOUR, along those same lines the sections that are used are NOT dangerous or too

FIVE, there is a pleasure in rebuilding an “old” bike, putting it into a competitive state, and
riding what you built……. and the overriding pleasure of having fun with a lot of like minded

Yours truly on the toughest “B” of the day at Dickson


Tony Down       Old School

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  • 3/19/2008 8:02 AM Outlaw Dave wrote:
    A very good write up, on how things “Should” be. – I concur wholeheartedly.
    In our Outlaw Series, which I started some 22 years ago, the rules are simple – Anything thats twin-shock.
    Outlaw Dave
    Reply to this
  • 3/20/2008 10:44 AM Steveo wrote:
    twin shocks rock!My riding buddies bugged me for years,”Why do you ride that old bike so much when you’ve got a new one collecting dust?”This took me some years of riding before the light bulb finally came on,and I realized what it was.I’m older and slower,just like my bike,so we naturally get along better.Besides,I can ride my ty closer to its limits than I ever could a modern bike.As well ,in vintage trials,the sections are easier and hence more fun.for me trials is about having fun and sharing with my trials family,if there’s one thing better than beating someone on a modern bike,it’s doing it on a vintage bike-it kinda gets their attention.For many riders the older bikes have been shuffled off to the side and forgotten,its a treat to ride one and pay homage to where our sport has come from.With some decent shocks and bits,it is amazing how well these “older” bikes can perform,they are very under rated. Happy Trials all,Steveo
    Reply to this
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