trials?

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Feb 24, 2001
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#1
i have been looking at trials bikes for a while now. Right now i am just a trailrider and will soon (previding i get my bike fixed) be entering some enduros. But trials bikes are so neat. what's it like ti ride trails, not acutal competion, but just for fun. i have heard it is a great way to hone motorcycle skills. how much does a used trials bike cost? are they hard to maintain? how (if i got one) could i make a personal trials course? thanks for any help
 

Patman

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#2
Too freakin' cool! That's about how I'd describe it. TexKDX let me mess around with his beautiful 315 and I am hooked. I can totally see how learning the PROPER techniques could make riding a long travel bike more precise and involve less effort. I plan to have a trials bike myself by the end of summer and should have my own little playground nicely setup by this time next year for sure. All I can say is try it I an SURE you will like it.:)
 
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#3
I have been thinking the same thing. They look like a blast.

I have been looking for a place to try it out up here in the Northwest but haven't found any thing yet.
 
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#4
I love trials bikes. They look so fun. There was a '92 Beta 260 in our newspaper the past couple weeks. It was so tempting. Then I saw a picture of one, gold frame w/ purple plastic, nope doesn't work for me. I've kinda got my heart set on a Gas-Gas. If only I could find a fairly new used one in my area.
 
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#5
motosoup.com usually has whole bunch of trials bikes listed. I browse at them from time to time. But i have two many toys right now.:(
 

Lemming

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#6
Just Do It!

You'll love it. I was thinking the exact same thing around the first of the year. I was bummed that I couldn't hop on my EC200 every night after work. After all I have 3 acres, unfortunately, I have neighbors on each side, so a small track was out of the question.

Instead, I bought a '01TXT200 and I havn't regretted it for a moment. I now ride at least a half hour every night afterwork (talk about stress relief). I do believe that it is making me a much better enduro rider. I find that I stand much more, even in places that I used to duck paddle:scream:

The best thing is that I can ride my TXT without bugging my neighbors or my wife:cool: The thing doesn't make much noise at all.

After having the bike for only a few months, I competed in my first comp. It was a blast and I plan on continuing. In fact, if I have a choice between an HS or trials, you'll find me on the TXT not the EC:confused:
 

TexKDX

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#10
Sorry it took me so long to respond - I've been out riding my trials bike :confused:

Is if fun? I sure think so! It makes me feel like a kid again. Being 37 years old, I grew up on bikes that had short travel suspension and did alot of slow going in the woods. Same thing on bicycles. Long before mountain bikes were out, me and the buds rode our sting rays in the local woods. Riding trials reminds me of this.

All it takes is a small area and a little creativity to make an excellent practice area for trials. One point that has come up already I'd like to emphasize is getting the training to do the techniques correctly. The bike is designed to work a certain way. When moves are done right, they are effortless. Conversely, when done wrong, the bike will spit you off. In between those two extremes the bike can be ridden the "wrong" way, and most of the time this is done with opposing forces like pulling on the bars against the footpegs to turn, a big no-no. Yea, it will work for some things, but for more advanced moves like front and rear wheel floaters require the basic turn to be done correctly in order to work easily. Riding relaxed with subtle inputs with your weight is at the foundation of how a trials bike works. Yes, "big moves" like flip turns require considerable muscle and weight throw timed with lots of throttle and a drop of the clutch, but by and large for novice-to-intermediate riding the moves are subtle and relaxed.

There are actually many opportunities to get good trials training. A bunch of the top US riders do clinics and travel to your club. Also if they are in town for a trials show at the local autorama or something you can get one-on-one or group lessons before they leave town as they have all week to get to the next show or event.

On the maintenance side, the bikes are ultra-low maintenance. Mine has been in service since January and ridden 3 times a week or more, seen 6 competitions, and is still on the original pads chain and sprockets. All it needs is an occasional bath, chain oiling, and tranny fluid change. You don't chew up pads chains and wheel bearings like you do on the dirt bikes. I ride with a few guys that get new bikes every year and ride them 2-3 times a week plus about 20 events a year. All they do is oil and washing, maybe chain and sprockets when they sell it.

Tires are about $200 a set, but the front will go a year and you'll need 2 for the rear in a year if you ride 2-3 times a week. Rocks will shorten the life and take you to maybe 2 fronts and 3 rears if you ride alot.

Balance, throttle control, steering with your weight, and terrain reading are all techniques that will help your other riding and come with the trials riding.

Bike cost? The most you can spend on one is $5800 brand new. I hear you can buy a new Gasgas for $4100 right now thru the right sources. To get an idea on used bikes, take a look at www.motosoup.com and click on the trials listings. Personally I would nor recommend anything older than a '94. That way you get a hydro clutch, lighter weight, and decent handling. These bikes go in generations with refinements for a few years then another generational jump. If you decide to spend less and go older, then the Aprilia Climber is a great old war dog in the '92 vintage. To give you an idea, there have been a few '94 GGs trading hands in the area for $1700. 96-97 betas are trading in the $23-$2700 range depending on condition. When the guys on 2001s go to 2002s, assuming great condition the 2001 Montesas should be available in the $4300 range. These bikes list for $5800 and sell discounted for between $5300 and $5500. Getting a 1-2 year old GG in the 3s should not be a problem. Go by condition, not year, as mechanically they have not changed much in the last 4 years. Sherco/Bultaco has only been in the game again since '99. Any of these years would be fine for you, just know the '99s rear suspension was in need of work for advanced moves but was fine for club level riders. The '99 and 00 have a reputation for not turning with the front wheel on the ground very well, and the '01 is supposed to be a little better but not on par with the GG and Montesa in this regard. Not a problem for the advanced rider, he just picks the front or back end up to make the turn!

You can read up on the sport at my club's site, www.werks4me.com/hatt It has a nice primer on it.
 
Joined
May 10, 2001
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#11
trials is way cool

I've been riding trial for a couple of years now and let me tell you
it is a blast!!!! You can ride all day on a couple of acres.... Every thing on
trials is done on or at low speed so it is easy to learn then after a while it
comes natural on your either bike what ever that is..... The first thing you will
notice is your hillcliming will greater inprove then clutch and throttle control will come slowly
If you are considering a trials bike make sure that it has a hydrulic clutch, and try to stay away from Beta's @ don't get me wrong they are good bike but parts are a bitch to get
 

Patman

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#12
Here's the part that TOTALLY freaked me out. I am use to "holding" my bike between my knees and steering with my upper body and butt. Well I felt like a complete idiot when I rode TexKDX's Montesa because there IS no bike between your legs to hold! Then there is the HEAVY flywheel and the flyweight bike to deal with. It was pretty weird riding a bike that I had about #50 on as well. THEN, yes THEN Tex tells me "Don't hold on to the grips! Relax your hands, the handlebar was just a convenient place to put the controls. Use your feet to steer the bike.":eek: AHHHHHHH! My world has been completely turned upside down. All of a sudden I feel like a little kid again learning to ride for the first time on my 1973 CT70! I'm nervous! Hey this is pretty cool. :think I think I like this.:) Sooooooo now we go shopping.

I should add that if you get a chance to go see a club trial DO IT! I went both days and thought it was really a learning experience. Then I putted around on Tex's bike and the hook was set.:eek: