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Something strange is happening. So I buy this trials bike a couple months ago to "cross train" for my mx and offroad deal. And I find that I'm not riding mx and off road anymore cause I'm doing all this "cross training!" And when I do ride my fast bike I'm looking at log and rocks and hills and thinking...i could climb that...I think... Moreover when I see a fast or rather hear a fast bike, well, it kinda disturbs this whole zen thing i goin with this big rock I'm playing around on. And then it occures to me that I'm becoming a trials snob!

I used to be slighly embarassed to drive around with this bike in the back of my truck because lets face it...it's UGLY. At least really funny looking anyway. Now it's a matter of intense pride that I ride a funny looking bike. I like telling people about when they ask..when I ride it I almost always draw a crowd. If you like motorcycles you're trials curious...admit it.

I hope I get a grip on this snobery as I've now started visiting trials chat room too. I'm gonna miss you guys!

JB

04 CRF450

04 GG trials

72 Z50

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Hey, I may be coming out to San Diego on business, and may have some time to myself. By chance, does anyone rent trials bikes out your way? I could send my bike out, but it's probably not worth it for the amount of time I'll get to use it. Just had to ask...

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Something strange is happening. So I buy this trials bike a couple months ago to "cross train" for my mx and offroad deal. And I find that I'm not riding mx and off road anymore cause I'm doing all this "cross training!" And when I do ride my fast bike I'm looking at log and rocks and hills and thinking...i could climb that...I think... Moreover when I see a fast or rather hear a fast bike, well, it kinda disturbs this whole zen thing i goin with this big rock I'm playing around on. And then it occures to me that I'm becoming a trials snob!

I used to be slighly embarassed to drive around with this bike in the back of my truck because lets face it...it's UGLY. At least really funny looking anyway. Now it's a matter of intense pride that I ride a funny looking bike. I like telling people about when they ask..when I ride it I almost always draw a crowd. If you like motorcycles you're trials curious...admit it.

I hope I get a grip on this snobery as I've now started visiting trials chat room too. I'm gonna miss you guys!

JB

04 CRF450

04 GG trials

72 Z50

JB, I can see this happing to me when I finally get a trials bike. Rode one once and now I can stop thinking about it. :) I think I will sell most of my mtn. bikes

to buy one.

So where are the good trials chat rooms anyway? :D

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I think you will find that most trials riders have experienced this. It takes a special kind of person to grasp the concept of riding trials. If you are that kind of person, you figure out that trials takes a great deal of finesse and a grasp of the real physics involved in making the bike do the things you need it to. There is a huge difference in knowing how to "ride" a motorcycle vs just "guiding" one as you stand, or sit, on it.

With almost every other form of riding, there is speed involved. With speed, come the gyroscopic effect of the wheels, centrifical force, etc. Get a bike going fast enough, step off, and it will keep going all by itself!

When you slow things down to trials speed, the gyroscopic effect, centrifical force, etc. all go away and leave only the rider's skillset to make things work. On top of that, a whole new set of physics comes into play that are not typically experienced in other forms of motorcycling.

Once you play in that world for a while, and start to get good at it, you can't help but notice how asinine the habits of some people, on other types of bikes, are as they belive themself to be doing things that are really cool.

How difficult is it to find a rider who thinks cracking open the throttle, and simply making noise with their exhaust is cool?

You can find these folks, a dime a dozen, on the trail, on the track, and at the stoplights (especially if they are on a Harley!).

As you get in tune with the "Zen" of trials, you can't help but notice behavior and equally stupid habits like that in other types of riders.

The more you see it, the less you want to act like them or ride with them. You also begin to notice that your other types of bikes don't really require as much skill to ride as you thought they did. Net result is that they are just not that entertaining anymore. When you can take a trials bike out to a neighborhood ditch and challenge & entertain yourself for hours, without disturbing the peace or tearing up the ground, it changes you! :)

You have not become a snob, you have just become enlightened as to what "knowing how to ride a motorcycle" is really all about!

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I grew up on a trials bike (I'm from Yorkshire, near Dougie Lampkin's home town - trials is a religion 'round here) but as if often the case, kinda lost interest during my teenage years and eventually got back into dirt bikes riding enduro.

I rode a friends Montesa Cota 315 about a year ago... sold all of the enduro bikes and bought a new Gasser. I haven't ridden anything else since and practise at least 2 or 3 days a week. I'm "born again"!

An excellent online trials resource and very active discussion form can be found at Trials Action. Tell 'em neo sent ya!

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This is cool. I've always been intrigued with trails and have nearly bought a bike on several occasions. I keep going back to the tried and true for me, which is enduro-style off-roading. As I get older, I must give it a try. Where else can you have so much fun on a motorcycle with a gallon of gas and no license plate..in near total silence!

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Because trials appears as a "slow" sport, it is amazing how many people think that it is something they will try "when they get older". Once (if) they ever do so, they are blown away by the fact that it is so physically, and mentally, demanding. While an "old man" can do it, it is definitely not an "old man's" sport. Because the skillsets required are never mastered, I have never met a late starting trials rider yet who didn't wish they had found the sport sooner, as they would now be a more accomplished rider.

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Hi JTT your English trials riding friend here...

Both he and i aren't sure about 4 strokes for trials bikes... yet.

The trials bug bit me when i was 5... 33 years later i am still mad about it. "put your brain in gear and feet up" Motorcycling!! :)

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I am the reverse of most you. I have spent all of my time riding trials and just recently jumped off my Gas Gas TXT 280 Pro and climbed aboard a 2004 WR 450.

I will say that after I raced a couple of Hare Scrambles I realized that alot of people can't turn a motorcycle. They can fly like the wind in a straight line but when they come to a turn , or god forbid, a log across the trail, you almost ram them from behind.

Trials is a great way to learn to ride a bike without the casts. :)

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I have a 98 Montesa 315. I bought it this year from a friend and only used it about an hour. Too goofy for me and I have no time for it. If anybody wants it I want $1,800 for it. I've been into moto's my whole life but never realized how much I sucked on a motorcycle til I got the Montesa. E-mail Txtel16@aol.com for info. Bike is in CT.

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Too goofy for me and I have no time for it. I've been into moto's my whole life but never realized how much I sucked on a motorcycle til I got the Montesa.

Your comment is interesting because reflects something I believe I see in trials all the time. People think of trials as a skill, and it is. But more importantly, it is a mindset that comes from a particular type of character. Exactly what that is, I am not sure, but you can easily see it in the subtlety of your comment.

You realized you "sucked on a motorcycle". Everyone entering trials has this revalation. The difference is whether or not there is something inside the rider that will allow them to remain content with continuing to "suck". Those that can find peace with that realization get out of the sport. Those who can't however, remain addicted to trials for a lifetime, because no matter how good you get at it, you realize you still "suck" and can improve with practice! The very definition of "riding a motorcycle" then becomes that practice and improvement.

Trials is a very personal and mental sport. You are primarily competing with yourself, your ability to improve your skills, and your ability to use those skills consistantly. If that mental challenge is not a component of the person's character, they will never stick with trials (or become good at it if they do).

After you have been in the sport for a while, you can work with a new rider for just a short time and almost always tell whether they will stay with it, or not!

Like you, I have ridden motorcycles my whole life. (37 years of it anyway) Yet with all that background, in about an hours time, you determined that it was "too goofy" and that you had "no time for it". In 1999, in about an hours time, I determined that there was no way I could stay away from it!

What is the difference? We were both skilled motorcycle riders, with years of experience, before trying the sport. Trials depends heavily on developing skills. But developing trials skills depends heavily on some mysterious piece of a rider's mental makeup and character that makes them stick with it.

Another fascinating phenomenon that supports this thought can be found around the pits, or camp sites, at a trials event. You notice that there is the absence of all the ego trips and machismo that you typically find in other forms of motorcycling. Again, this seems to come from the rider's realization that they are competing, mentally and physically, with themself far more than they are competing with the other riders.

Year after year, I find the enjoyment of trials, and the people in it, to be far more due to a function of a special kind of character than a special kind of skill. I don't know it that makes someone a "trials snob" or not, but it does appear to be an unavoidable truth as you stay with the sport.

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DG, I had wanted one for a long time and finally my friend got tired of me bugging him to sell it to me. I should have borrowed it first! I thought I'd hop on and start riding over cars! Instead I found myself in motorcycle bizarrio world! I would love to spend the time to learn to ride it better but my riding time is so limited now that I just never grab the Montessa when I get a chance to go riding. Two friends have just purchased new Gas-gas trials bikes but haven't gotten to ride them yet. One guy is a really fast motocrosser/motard racer and I'm wondering how good he's gonna be on the trials bike.

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I thought I'd hop on and start riding over cars! Instead I found myself in motorcycle bizarrio world! I would love to spend the time to learn to ride it better but my riding time is so limited now that I just never grab the Montessa when I get a chance to go riding. Two friends have just purchased new Gas-gas trials bikes but haven't gotten to ride them yet. One guy is a really fast motocrosser/motard racer and I'm wondering how good he's gonna be on the trials bike.

CT, don't be so harsh on yourself.. Give it more time than just an hour.. Being a fast rider is no advantage. You don't need to pack the Trials Bike up to ride it.. Practice in your yard.. Start it up, pull in the clutch and see how long you can stay in one place.. slip the clutch when you lose your balance and then stop again.. Your bike should be quiet enough that the neighbors won't mind. Just practice balance, slow turns through some markers. RELAX.. The "Harder" you try, the more difficult it is. It takes time to get the feel. When you do, your other bikes will feel MUCH better too!

In my 30 years of riding Trials, I have NEVER mastered it. At times I have brilliant rides and at other times I fall apart.. It's much like Golf.. Looks simple.. NOT!! It's a personal challenge: You against your own skills.. Riding over cars comes some time after you learn to ride over sticks, then branches then small logs and eventually over logs and trees above your handlebars!

In my constant quest to master the sport, I keep coming back to one of the basic concepts that seems to make up most of what goes right and wrong.. I video taped myself and was appalled at what I saw. I see the same behavior in almost every person that rides a Trails Bike for the first time. Yet I had been riding for at least 7 years by this time!

Sorry, this might get long. Here is one of the key secrets as short as I can make it: balance... *Relaxed* balance. Simple word, but very difficult to grasp the true meaning.

Basically, you and your bike should remain independent of each other. The bike should be able to react without taking your body with it. In this case, being "one with the bike" is NOT a good thing. Almost every new rider will show the one basic flaw we all seem to instinctly have. WE GET A GRIP ON THE BIKE AND THEN HANG ON!! Worst thing you can do.. It took me years to learn NOT to grip the handlebars! I would get arm cramps in competition. It took me YEARS to realise that I was riding flat footed and that my ankles were locked into the bike's frame.

Summary: The bike should be able to lean left and right without tipping you. The bike should be able to tip up and down without pulling or pushing your body from it's "centered" position over the center of the EARTH. If you are holding tight to the grips and if you have braced your boots up to the frame of the bike, then every movement of the bike will be pushing you away from your balanced position and all of your weight will be added to what the bike has to deal with. If the bike pitches left and you go with it, then there is no way to get back to balance without adding throttle, steering or a foot to the ground.

If the bike pitches up or down and you are firmly attached to the bars, then your body will be jerked up and down, rearward and forward with it.. Again adding weight to the suspension and throwing you off of your balanced "Centered" position.

And last, if you accelerate and you are firmly attached to the bike.. especially if your feet are stuck in one position and your legs are fixed, your body will tend to be left behind the bike until your arms reach their limit of extension.. Then, it will be your arms that transfer the speed increase to your body and that will lift the front of the bike and will prevent you from making any turns.. You will be busy hanging on and will not be able to tip the bike left or right to make slight adjustments to your direction of travel. Conversely, if you apply the brakes, your upper body will fall to the bars and compress the front suspension beyond it's normal state.. again losing optimum control.

So, how to stay "Centered" above gravity while the bike dances around? Give the bike room to move. Take a RELAXED stance (as you do in snow skiing) over the bike. Keep your ankles AWAY from the frame and allow your toes to rotate around the foot pegs as the foot pegs move left and right, up and down. Allow the handle bars to come up to you, drop away from you, tip left and right away from you as you stand relaxed above the bike. As you accelerate, SINK YOUR KNEES TOWARD THE STEERING COLUMN so that your toes point down and the bottom of your feet are now on the front of the pegs (this will move your entire body mass forward of the foot pegs, but DON'T bend over at the waist to do it).. The foot pegs will then "PUSH" your body at your feet instead of "PULLING" your body from your arms.. (if you do it correctly, you can add full throttle with your hands lightly above the grips and never need to take hold of the grips) the same with braking.. get to the back of the foot pegs so that the foot pegs are holding you back and there is NO pressure on your hands as you brake.

Turn by tipping the bike back and forth between your open legs using your feet on the foot pegs to do it.. Keep in mind that as the bike tips left, the right foot peg comes left too.. So now, to stay centered, you will need to allow more of your weight to rest on the right foot peg and less on your left peg. This also means that your right leg will want to be higher.. Your right knee will need to flex more as your left knee will extend to follow the lower left peg.. Same applies to the handle bars as the right bar comes up and the left goes down... So, right elbow flexes while left elbow straightens to stay with the bar.. Your arms should be like flexible rubber bands... just following what the bars want to do WITHOUT causing your upper body to move from it's Centerd position.

If 40 pounds of bike is leaning left, there should be a corresponding 40 pounds of your body on the right peg to compensate.. All aimed at keeping the combined weight of you AND the bike aimed straight at the center of the Earth DIRECTLY through the center of the TIRE'S CONTACT PATCH with the ground.. The moment that combined weight drifts from the center of the tire's contact with the ground, you will no longer be balanced and will probably add throttle (speed) to introduce centrifigal force to bring the weight back to the center of the tire, BUT, no longer pointed directly at the center of Gravity!! Now, you are at the mercy of every slippery or loose object on the ground.

There are other ways to explain the same thing and more I could say about it.. So, before you sell the bike.. Play around in your yard or any vacant lot you can and concentrate on this MAIN and CENTRAL point.. REST your hands on the TOP of your grips so that you can lay your open fingers over the levers. Pretend you have an egg shell under your hand that you must NOT break. Set your feet to the outside of the foot pegs even to the point that the boot hangs over the end of the peg. While balanced, rock the bike side to side with your feet between your open legs while remaining balanced. Check to see that your leg suspension is working at your Ankles and Knees... Your Waist should be still.. your back and head up and relaxed, arms relaxed following what the handlebars want to do without affecting your upper body. Most people will lock their ankles and use the knees and waist for suspension.. WRONG!!! Start with flat ground or up hills. Going down is more difficult as the bars are further away from you and it's difficult at first to reach the bars without falling into them. Concentrate on keeping 100% of your weight over the foot pegs.. Turn by pressing the foot pegs side to side.. NOT the handlebars!

When you add gas, see that your feet are picking up the force.. Remember, foot pegs should PUSH your body as the bike accelerates.. your hands should be relaxed on TOP of the grips.. just going along for the ride.. NO DEATH GRIP!! Your legs will most likely become tired quickly. Give them time. About 15 - 30 minutes at a time. When they become stronger, the proper stance will be easier to hold for a longer time.

Like I said, sorry to go on so long.. If any of this makes sense, you should start having fun very soon and your new skills will transfer to your go-fast bike too. Then, you will no longer "suck"........... as much :)

If the bug bites you, there are some very good training DVD's and tapes available.. I think Ryan Young's latest DVD is a SUPER good one.. VERY basic, but it's ALL there.. After 30 years, his basics in the DVD have really helped me remember the simple stuff that we seem to forget.

If your friends start riding, go along and work together.. Don't try to outdo each other.. help each other acquire the skills.. Then, it will be you guys as a team against the terrain.. Not against each other. Very much like Golfing.. After all, it was developed in the British Isles, Scotland and Ireland dating back to about 1905 according to books I've read. :D

If you and your friends ever decide to enter a local Trials Event, just go together and don't worry about how Newbie you look.. Most good riders understand what it was like starting out.. And if you should ask them for a few tips, it's almost certain they will bend over backward to help you if you are sincere... I know I would!

Have fun no matter what you do,, or don't do it :D:D

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Oooo... Sorry!! I knew it would be long, but not *THAT* long.. Any questions? PM me and I'll do what I can without filling up all of the forum. :):D

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DG. All I can say is thank you. You put words to my exact thoughts on the matter.

One of your statements reguarding the atmosphere sourounding certain types of motorcycling events is especially true. I have yet to meet a trials poser. I believe many of these loud music adrenelain junkie types really are just posers. Not in the sense they wear all the latest gear, hang around the pits, but, don't ride. Rather they seem to lack some fundamental understanding or appreciation of why many of us ride. I believe many of these rable rouser types would not appreciate trials as it is such a personal experience. No friends required.

The title of my original post was very tounge and cheek. I've been riding a long time, most my life for sure. I crave riding and up until recently I wasn't sure what about it I liked. There were many possibilities: speed, noise, dust, pain, sweat, ect. These were obvious. Trials showed me that what I reallly loved, what keeps me coming back, spending cash, and time on this sport is the mental part. The personal satisfaction.

I've got a new lease on life. I love trials, and I'm loving my MX even more. Again, DG, awsome summary. I don't know how old you are or how long you've been riding but, your wise beyond our years.

JB

04 CRF 450

04 GG trials

01 DRZ

72 Z50

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Again, DG, awsome summary. I don't know how old you are or how long you've been riding but, your wise beyond our years.

Thanks. I will be 46 this April and I started riding when I was 8 years old. Throughout the 70's, really after first seeing "On Any Sunday", I fell in love with trials bikes and what their riders could do. I immediatly recognized that that was where the true skill was, but all of my motocross/enduro buddies kept talking me out of that Honda TL125 I had my eye on! (Because the Montesa Cota 247 in the movie was way to exotic, of course!)

Time goes by, and in 1999 a lady I work with saw some motorcycle pictures in my office and commented that her boyfriend rode bikes and they had just come back from a competition in Italy. Turns out, he was a minder for the Trials de Nations team. She asked me out to a local trials event and that was it. I immediatly came home, sold off some bikes for funds, and purchased a 97 Beta Techno to get started on. Trials is a remaining passion since that day in 1999, and I regret not having become involved in the 70's so I would be a better rider now. A cool side note is that in addition to my modern bikes, I now own that 1974 Montesa Cota 247 that was way too exotic back then! :)

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Very well said. Eventhough I'm a trials newbie, I've come to realize you speak the truth. Not one of the previous 27 bikes I've owned was as much fun as my recently acquired trials bike. I'm of the opinion, however, that trials riders are born, not made. At least in the sense that you either really like riding one, or you really don't. There doesn't seem to be much middle ground. I've let a few friends ride the trials bike and they just didn't get it. I've had mine for a couple of years now and have yet to ride a competition, but I very much enjoy playing around in my driveway and backyard. If it came down to it, I'd sell my street bike and my dirt bike before the trials bike.

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2ply. I was just reading your ridding tips. I went out ridding with my son this weekind. He is only 7 and pretty slow. So while I was plodding along behing him on the CRF250X I started trying some of your tips. Like having the pegs push you instead of draging behind the bike via your arms. It really works. Its hard to get used to but works very well. As does turning with your feet / pegs instead of the bars. All very interesting concepts.

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