ALL ABOUT TRIALS COMPETITIONS
First, you don’t need to compete if you join a trials club. Some riders find they enjoy freestyle riding which is simply riding anywhere within a given area looking for suitable challenges and obstacles. A true trials bike can only be ridden on private and/or club property, unless you have one of the registerable cross-over bikes mentioned.
Like most clubs, Western Districts Trials Club has a mix of practice and observed trials competition events. Recreational riders can still enter competition events but on a non-competitive basis e.g. using a recreational licence instead of the full competition licence. All social or competitive riding happens in a very friendly, supportive and non-competitive atmosphere!
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?
You need to become a member of a trials club. You can find out how to join our club on our Memberships page
You need to have the proper licence from Motorcycle Australia for insurance purposes. It is $135 a year for a recreational licence, or $240 a year for National Restricted Licence. If you get the recreational licence you can still enter competitions and be scored on each section but your score won’t be entered into the competition scores.
Costs for junior riders (under 16) is $140 for a Junior Restricted National Licence.
Day licences are available also for most competitions at a cost of $75 for a competition licence and $30 for a non-competition licence. This is good if you want to try the sport without committing to the cost of a full licence.
Check the 2018 calendar of events on the Events page
Once you’ve chosen an event, you need to download the supplementary regulations or (‘supp regs’ for short). These are published on the Motorcycling Queensland website and Trials Australia. If they haven’t been posted, you may need to contact trials club hosting the event and ask them to email the supp regs to you. Send the completed form and payment to the Club Secretary. For some events, entries are only processed through Ridernet or another online service.
The supp regs will tell you where the event is, and what time to show up for the machinery inspection (or scrutineering). Click here for details on ensuring your bike will pass the machinery inspection.
WHAT HAPPENS ON THE DAY?
After your bike passes machinery inspection, it will stay in a compound with all the other bikes until the competition starts.
You will sign a disclaimer form and be given your scorecard on a lanyard to hang around your neck, then attend the rider’s briefing where additional information about the competition is given to the riders. This always includes the number of sections, the number of laps, and the location of the sections.
Usually new members will be given someone to buddy up with – if this doesn’t happen don’t be afraid to ask for someone to show you the ropes!
Usually you will then commence riding all the sections for your chosen grade. Generally you will do this four times. Where possible an observer will score you at the end of each section, but at times you just score yourself when the club is short-staffed. Just ask around for the punch at the end of each section to punch your score card (details on scoring below).
After each lap, you need to return your card to the score tent. If you decide to leave early or not finish all laps, you still need to return your score card to the score tent so the officials know you have finished riding.
HOW DOES SCORING WORK IN A TRIALS COMPETITION?
The rider attempts various sections marked out without touching the ground with their feet. Obstacles in the section may be natural or constructed elements.
In every section,the observer (hence the term “observed trials”) counts how many times the rider touches the ground with a foot. Each time a competitor touches the ground with a foot the penalty is one point.
The possible scores in each section consist of 0, 1, 2, 3, or 5. If a competitor makes their way through the section without touching the ground with a foot, they earn a score of 0 (which is called “cleaning the section”).
If they touch the ground once, they receive a score of 1.
If they touch down twice, they receive a score of 2.
If they touch the ground three or more times, they earn a score of 3 — as long as they complete the section without stalling the motor, dismounting, going out of bounds, or going backwards all of which score 5 points.
If the competitor fails to complete the section a score of 5 is earned. The winner is the competitor with the fewest points at the end of the event. Some moto-trials events are also timed with penalty points given to late riders.
MORE ABOUT THE RULES & REGULATIONS
Want to get into all the rules in detail? Download and open the Manual of Motorcycle Sport and read the Moto-trials section (no. 19) to learn about the following rules for competition:
Section 19a Australian Championships
Section 19b Competition classes
Section 19c Competition rules
Section 19d Technical regulations
Section 19e Class technical regulations.