Trials riding What it’s all about

As a rule motorcycling has a name for being fast and noisy but competitive motorcycle trials are neither. There is no speed involved and the machines are very quiet compared to motocross or racing.  The bikes are very low geared and it is the skill and balance of the rider which plays the greatest part.


You may have seen an indoor arena version of this sport on television where professional world class riders have to tackle man made sections such as huge cable reels or waterfalls.  Not many people know that we have had a British World Trials Champion.  Dougie Lampkin from Yorkshire has won many World Championships both in indoor and outdoor trials. Graham Jarvis, who hails from Canterbury, has also won several World Championship events. Graham started his trials career as a member of Kent Youth Trials Club at an early age where many of our club members started riding as young children and then joined our club later.  (He is also now a very proficient Enduro rider for the Sherco marque).


We are one of several clubs around the country associated to the Autocycle Union (ACU) and Amateur Motorcycle Association (AMCA) catering for riders from the age of six up to about seventy years of age or more and of all abilities from novice to expert. Competitions are run on private land and there are usually about fifteen 'sections' marked out in woods, through streams, over logs, up banks and rocks etc.  The riders attempt to ride through these, between markers, from the 'Section Begins' to the 'Section Ends' cards without putting a foot down or stopping. There is an' observer' on each section who give penalty points for this and the rider with the least marks in his ability class at the end of the trial is the winner of that class.  There are various routes in the section marked by different colours ranging from very easy to expert.


Clubs such as ours usually have several friendly landowners who let them use their land once or twice a year. However, we are always on the look out for more land so if anyone out their has a piece of rough ground we can use please contact  us.


If you require advice on the type and size of motorcycle most suitable to you their are some specialist trials motorcycle shops around (see our Links page) who would advise you on this and the type of clothing you require.  The essentials are boots which cover the ankle with commando style soles, an open face helmet and gloves. We do also have an ACU instructor in the club who may be able to teach you or give advice to anyone just starting.  We do sometimes hold group trials training days too. Also we are one of a group of clubs in North Kent who take it in turns in running Beginners & Wobblers’ trials


NB. There is information regarding engine sizes for youth riders on our Membership page.


Graham Jarvis

Dougie Lampkin