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Hey I'm just wondering since I'm startling to really research trials riding now how long it has taken before you could actually clear some sections with your bike and how your skills are now compared to when you first started, also have you done any training programs or bought any training videos or something along those lines, so if you can just chime in let me know.

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I've got plenty of experience riding dirt bikes, street bikes, road racing & various other off-road races (MX, HS, Enduro, etc.) and made the switch from Woods riding to Trials about 20 months ago. Started with '12 GasGas TXT 280 Racing that needed to be "tamed down" with flywheel weight and smaller front sprocket to complete 5 "Senior C" Novice class events in 2015. I rode another year (17 competition MotoTrials events) in 2016 and would consider myself somewhere between Sportsman - Intermediate in New England (or between Intermediate - Sportsman in the rest of USA). The easiest lines (Novice or Beginner) can be cleaned with enough practice during your first year riding Trials. The harder lines (Intermediate or Sportsman) are well worth the time spent riding with someone that has the skills needed to show you how it's done and help explain the techniques. I also attended a "Cross-Training" Trials clinic, a NETA Trials School & then my son & I attended "Trials Training Days" at the Trials Training Center in Sequatchie, TN about a month ago and we both learned so much stuff that we now have many things to practice and refine.

I've watched hundreds of hours of Training videos and reviewing them every so often helps to reinforce the good techniques. Practice, Practice and then Practice some more. Once you figured out how to stand in one place balancing on the bike, you can then proceed to more advanced techniques (Hopping, Nose wheelies, etc.). After a year or so, you should be able to build up confidence to clear most obstacles in your ability class.

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Hm. I started riding trials about a year ago. Im recovering from a medical problem and need to improve my balance (and general physical condition). At first it took everything I had just to start the bike...so embarrassing! I could only ride for 5-10 minutes at a time because it wore me out so completely and it took 40 acres to turn around. I joined a trials club but have never been able to finish all the sections in a single loop.

Fast forward one year. I can start the bike at will now, that was a major milestone! I can confidently climb a three pallet stack, don't laugh. I had a crash last year that kept me from riding for a few months. I can do almost a full lock turn, better at going left than going right. Can handle wheelieing, loose rocks and hill climbs reasonably well now. My progress is slow but with persistence I will keep improving, stopping riding trials is not an option. I have never bought any training vids, YouTube and Thumper Talk has ton of em. Practice practice practice, fall down, learn from it, practice more.

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Thanks for sharing your experience I need to hear as much of this stuff as I can, so soon I can make the move and get one

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If the Trialsmaster is doing his/her job right you should be able to clean sections in your first trial.  One of the things that was stressed to me in my trials club (Central Arizona Trials) was that while the skill levels of the other classes may be going up, beginners are and must be treated as beginners.  This means, at least in any trial that I help set, that I assume that a person with no motorcycling experience whatsoever is going to be riding my sections.  That means that the beginner class maybe too easy, but I try to concentrate on turns and coordination in these sections anyway.  So just keep this in mind, beginner means raw beginner, and you will get the chance to learn the rules of the game and the logistics of attending an event with out any pain.

Edited by GlennRay
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By the way, you have some great trials clubs out there in California.  SCTA and NCTA come immediately to mind.

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11 hours ago, GlennRay said:

If the Trialsmaster is doing his/her job right you should be able to clean sections in your first trial.  One of the things that was stressed to me in my trials club (Central Arizona Trials) was that while the skill levels of the other classes may be going up, beginners are and must be treated as beginners.  This means, at least in any trial that I help set, that I assume that a person with no motorcycling experience whatsoever is going to be riding my sections.  That means that the beginner class maybe too easy, but I try to concentrate on turns and coordination in these sections anyway.  So just keep this in mind, beginner means raw beginner, and you will get the chance to learn the rules of the game and the logistics of attending an event with out any pain.

I ride Novice class with grandson, the easiest sections. Well...I try to ride novice. I can ride the sections, but only for a little while. So far I have never finished one loop, let alone three. The best I have ever done was to complete three sections, not because the sections are too difficult, but because I wear out so fast. It's part of a medical problem I have. Once I start making tired mistakes it's better to bow out than become a burden to the group. It's getting better though. If I can complete five sections at the next meet, that will count as a victory.

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Keep on trying rrefugee!  One section more for you at each trial will move the bar.  Meanwhile your grandson will keep getting to compete!  Endurance can be built/rebuilt up.

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I just started a bit over 2 years ago, never even been to one before.

  1st event I cleaned quite a few of the sections and won the Novice class.  I rode my OSSA Explorer- it has a seat larger tank but same as the full trials model.

The 'trails' I ride are much like an intermediate or harder section with lots of logs, roots etc. What was hardest for me was the tight turns. I have worked hard on the tight turns and I'm much better now (still have work to do). Of course, out on a trail ride nobody is county 'dabs'.

 

I would suggest letting the bike do as much as the work as possible- balance and control are key for me.

 

Mark

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You are correct Mark.  A trials rider should never be "Muscling" his bike into a position or manuever.  When your balance and control are correct it is almost like "how did I get here"?

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Everyone is different.  Just do it and have fun.  You can have just as much fun as a Novice as you can as an Expert as long as you are challenged but not over your head.

 

I'm a slow learner, not naturally athletic and started in my 40s.  I've got one year under my belt and am still riding novice and probably will for at least the remainder of this season. I've seen a brand new guy show up to an event, enter in the intermediate class and ride extremely well off just pure natural talent and athleticism.  So don't judge yourself by other's progress and don't judge others by your progress.  

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On 5/14/2017 at 9:23 AM, Doc_d said:

Everyone is different.  Just do it and have fun.  You can have just as much fun as a Novice as you can as an Expert as long as you are challenged but not over your head.

 

I'm a slow learner, not naturally athletic and started in my 40s.  I've got one year under my belt and am still riding novice and probably will for at least the remainder of this season. I've seen a brand new guy show up to an event, enter in the intermediate class and ride extremely well off just pure natural talent and athleticism.  So don't judge yourself by other's progress and don't judge others by your progress.  

I'm on the slow track too. I been riding trials for a year, my grandson has been riding trials since Christmas and he is already better at it than me. I expect to ride Novice this year, my objective is just to complete all sections and loops at the meets. At first I was embarrassed at how poorly I did, but  the nice thing about trials is that people are supportive of those like me that are slow to progress. The challenge of trials keeps me going and it's a blast to ride with grandson. I'm not too concerned with others opinion of my riding, I do my very best and Im having a great time.

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And that my friend is the one and greatest point about riding trials.  It's not about how well you do, its about getting out there and enjoying the company of other like minded people.

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Unfortunately I think the closest place to ride real trials for me is at the TTC in Tennessee. I would really like to try different levels of sections, and I'm hoping to take a class there this year. I would really like the social experience of group training, but considering its only $200 more for the 1 on 1 training for 2 days, I think I could get a lot out of it with more focused instruction.

Before the class, my idea is to gain some familiarity with a bunch of different techniques so that instead of learning them for the first time at TTC, I can go and refine what I learned on my own. And hopefully the fact that I film myself a lot of the time will help reduce any bad habits that I would need to unlearn. I think when I'm first learning something, I'm probably too inconsistent for an instructor to give solid advice on what I'm doing wrong, since I'm doing something different every time. 

I have room in my back yard to set up one section - I'll try to set something up in the next month or two and take some pics, maybe you guys can tell me what class it might be. It definitely won't have any turns tight enough to need hops or nose wheelies yet haha. I've noticed an obstacle that becomes routine, suddenly gets difficult right out of a tight turn, or when you need to immediately do another right after.

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For the ones I've ridden, Novice sections have a lot of tight corners. Very tight.

  Your bike will turn quite tightly without mucking about with hops etc. that was difficult for me and I still work a lot on that. I'd suggest getting to full lock turns, push the bike down, keep bodyguard up.  There are quite a few training videos out there and you can see what is to be done. BUT you can't see what you are really doing. So far I've avoided even working on hopping and stuff, figuring I still need to learn how to turn the darn thing. (But I'm not all that concerned with getting better, just having fun and not getting hurt)

Mark

   (But I'm not that great a rider, so maybe not listen to me)

Edited by lotus54
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Hey trials fans! I have achieved a major victory this weekend...I was able to complete 22 sections!!! It was a two day meet and I completed all sections and loops (3 loops of 6 sections) the first day. The second day I only completed 4 sections of the first loop then had to stop due to an unfortunate encounter with a barbed wire fence. I'll heal up, the fence won't. The plan is working! I still have a lot of work to do but so far so good. 

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My first event last year, which was my first event ever, was two days.  Each day had 40 section attempts for a total of 80 section attempts.  I finished the first day but my clutch hand (actually forearm) was so sore the second day I opted out of doing it.  Actually I was sore everywhere but the clutch forearm was the deal breaker.  I just did my first event this year which was the same two day event.  I felt fine at the end of of the second day and would have enjoyed riding some more.

I rode with a new guy this year and he also opted out of doing the second day.  So it's pretty common to have to take some time and work up to doing a large number of sections. You'll get there.

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