Ever fancied doing a bit of trials, but unsure of where to start? Insidebikes sent experienced road tester, and trials newb, Marc Potter to Lancashire to spend a day climbing rocks and avoiding dabs…
If you’ve ever ridden a trials bike you’ll know that it’s a weird experience.
There’s no seat, the gear lever is miles in front of where you want it to be and there’s no petrol tank to grip your knees around. In fact, they’re as skinny as a e-bike minus the pedals. They’re flat out about 40mph, and the tyres look like they’re flat. If you’re a road rider, they’re about as far removed from a road bike, as a motorcycle sidecar is. But that doesn’t mean that plenty of road riders are looking to improve their road riding skills by learning the art of trials. And my trials skills are limited at best…
I used to own an old Gas Gas 200 for messing around at a mate’s farm, but the extent of my skills was popping a wheelie occasionally, and riding it in to a bush when I launched it in to a bramble bush on full gas.
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With visions of riding like Toni Bou and Dougie Lampkin, we headed up to Inch Perfect Trials in the picturesque venue and rolling countryside of Whitewell, Lancashire to turn ourselves in to trials legends. Or be able to ride up a muddy bank without getting stuck, at least.
Inch Perfect Trials has rapidly set itself as the destination of choice for anyone new to trials riding, or for riders looking to get some expert tuition for everything from club trials to riders getting some extra tips before they take on the Scottish Six Day Trial.
Our group was made up of a mixed bunch of riders from club trials competitors, to people who’d never sat on a motorcycle before.
Three of us used to riding motorcycles on and off-road took mint Montesa four stroke trials bikes, and the newbies chose the brilliant Electric Motion trials bikes. They’re electric, look every bit a trials bike but have no clutch or gears to worry about. You just twist and go. And they will go. Go over anything that stands in their path with the right rider on board. And even with new riders who had never ridden a motorcycle, let alone a trials motorcycle, they were soon riding up and down grass banks and up a rock-strewn stream.
I’m certainly experienced when it comes to riding bikes, but not trials. And the instruction gave me loads of confidence and got rid of bad habits like always reaching for the clutch in a moment of panic.
I was soon riding up and down a tricky, muddy grass bank clearing the section, and riding with a big smile on my face.
We then progressed to a rocky stream which got more technical the higher up we rode. I was taught to look well ahead and pick my line early. The Montesa will literally ride anywhere, and with some coaching from our instructor we were soon clearing the section without putting a foot down, and overcoming some slippery rocks using the Montesa’s immense grip.
The whole day includes bike, fuel, kit rental and instruction, plus a lunch in the on-site café afterwards where you can compare stories with other groups.
If you’ve never tried trials, or are looking for some grade A instruction on how to ride better, the guys at Inch Perfect Trials are the best place in the UK to visit, with a three-hour beginner experience from £50 per person and courses available for riders as young as 12.