Happy Holidays, everyone!
Regular readers of the blog know that I’ve been thinking about dirt bike riding for some time. I am looking for some variety and new challenges.
Well, I finally pulled the trigger, using money from this year’s budget that I didn’t spend on road trips and gear. I bought a new (zero hours on the clock) 2018 Honda Montesa Cota 4RT260 from a dealer in Wichita, Kansas.
It’s a trials motorcycle.
What? No seat? What’s up with that?
Trials riding, sometimes called observed trials, is slow speed riding over obstacles with the objective of not putting your feet down. It is done standing on the pegs.
Trials competition takes place on closed courses designed to test rider’s control. A course will have specific paths rated for their difficulty. Ratings start at novice, then Clubman, then C, B and A courses.
In competition, putting a foot down, failing to navigate the obstacle, going backwards or leaving the boundary of the course results in points. Like golf, the lower your score, the better. See the above link for more on scoring.
Let me show you some examples.
Here’s are some riders traveling along a beginner’s course in Australia.
A C grade course with some great rider narration
And here’s a 2019 compilation video of one of the top names in trials, Toni Bou. You’ll see him riding up and over natural and man-made obstacles (common in indoor trials riding events) as well as just messing about.
Common to all the videos is the theme of control and balance.
As mentioned in the past, my training at the gym focuses on three areas: core, balance and reactive (fast-firing muscle) exercises. This type of motorcycle riding will be excellent cross training and help elevate my riding skills to the next level.
There is a local trials group here in the greater Seattle area. I plan to participate in many of their events in 2020 (as a total novice).
I’m arranging shipping as quickly as possible. The bike will most likely arrive in mid-to-late January. In the meantime, I will attend a training class in early January with the local trials group mentioned above, hoping to get a little training time on someone else’s bike to get me started.
Congrats Keith! You are about to have as much fun as a person can have on an mc. It will frustrate the heck out of you for awhile until you get the hang of it a bit. But– but you will have fun and learn things that don’t seem possible.
Go Keith!! I’ll look forward to photos, narratives and videos of your new sport.