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Motorcycle trials, also termed observed trials, is a non-speed event on specialized motorcycles. The ability of the rider to negotiate obstacles within each section without putting a foot down.

An observer monitors the rider through the section and scores each rider for points lost.  The winner being the rider with the least points lost within each class.

What When Where

In the Northern Regions we normally hold an event each month, on a Sunday starting at 10:00am and riding for about 4:30 hrs. National events are held 3 time a year, normally in Gauteng, Natal and Capetown.

Our web site, www.nrtc.co.za, gives all the event details for the year along with Maps, Directions and Results. Entry to our events, for spectators, is free.

We cater for 4 classes of rider:-

Clubman  which is set for the beginner or some of the older bikes.

Intermediate  is for the more established rider, challenging but fun line.

Experts is a more difficult line, you need to hop and bounce a bit at this level.

Masters this is the top level, these guys can ride.




The Northern Regions Trials Club formally the Transvaal Trials Club was established in 1960. Within the club we run Club, Regional and National championships. Other than looking for new riders the club is always looking for people who can assist us with Observing and organization. If interested please contact us, the contact list is on this website.

Boots are similar to MX but have a softer sole with more grip. When you do put a foot down you don’t want it to slip.

Helmets are open face, light and high cut at the rear, due to the riding position.

Pants can be normal MX.

Normal MX type shirt.

Knee & elbow guards are recommended.

The bike does not have a seat and is ridden standing on the pegs for maximum control.

Today’s trials motorcycles have short wheelbases and steep head angles to facilitate turning.

The petrol tank is small and these days forms part of the frame, capacity is about 3 Lts.

The handlebars are positioned so the rider may stand comfortably and shift his weight rapidly forward or rearward.

The soft two-ply radial tyre with special trials pattern for maximum grip also assist traction. Low air pressure lets the tyre get as much ground grip as possible.

Trials suspension is extremely soft to soak up the bumps and twitches.

The dry weight is about 70Kg. Ground clearance, is on the tall side, generally at least 310mm.

Trials motorcycles have 6 gears, three extremely low gears, and three taller gears for riding between sections.

Most bikes run around 250cc. Some smaller displacement bikes 80cc & 125cc are built for younger or smaller riders. The engine is designed to pull strongly from the very bottom of its power range.

A bonus from all of this emphasis on bottom end power and torque is a significant reduction of exhaust noise. Trials motorcycles are the quietest off-road bikes built.


A Trial Event consists of a number of Sections, i.e. 10 sections, which have to be ridden in order to form a Lap. The Lap will have to be ridden about 4 times therefore making 40 sections for the event.

Each section consists of a series of gates that are marked by Red & Blue flags. Red, always on the right & Blue on the left.

Each section will have a start / finish board and section number.

The rider has to ride through each gate in the correct order.

The observer will show you the correct line to take, but it's up to the rider to assess the best line for his capabilities.

To accommodate the different classes, each gate may have the option of a splitter flag. This widens the gate and can be on the left or right of the original gate. This splitter flag gives the rider the full width of the gate from the furthest red / blue flag to the splitter flag. Each Class will have a different colour splitter flags, i.e. Yellow (Expert), Green (Intermediate) White (Clubman).

The lower classes have the benefit of the higher classes splitters.

To read the section from the start board, follow the red / blue gates in order to the finish board.

Then look for splitter flags (White Green or Yellow) which will make the gate bigger for your line.

Not all gates have splitters and therefore you will have to ride through the red blue gate.

You are in the section when your front wheel axle passes the start gate and out of the section when the front axle passes through the end gate.


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, a score of 0 (called "cleaning the section") is earned.

If they touches the ground only once, the score of 1 is earned. If twice, the score of 2 is earned, If  three times or more, the score of 3 is earned, as long as the section is completed without stalling the motor, dismounting, going out of bounds or going backward.

If the competitor fails to complete the section a score of 5 is earned.

The winner is the competitor with the least points at the end of the event. Some events are also timed with penalty points assessed to late riders.


If you have never ridden a modern trials bike, you simply don’t know what you’re missing.  The ability to negotiate rough terrain is unmatched by anything on two wheels, but the real secret is how much fun they are to ride!  The combination of light weight (70Kg), incredible low-speed handling and a torquey engine allow them to go practically anywhere with ease.  Not only will you have fun, but you’ll experience new places to ride, meet new friends and learn new skills that will take you to the next level of motorcycling.  Intrigued?  

You should be.





As can bee seen above Clubmen have full width and can go anywhere between the Blue flag and the white flag.



Clubmen can go anywhere between the White flag and the Yellow flag.

Intermediates can use the Yellow splitter and must go anywhere between the Blue and Yellow flags.



Clubmen can go anywhere between the Green flag and the White flag.

Intermediates can go anywhere between the Green and Red flags.



Clubmen can go anywhere between the White flag and the Red flag.

As there are no other splitters on the gate for Intermediates they have to go between Red and Blue Flags.



Clubmen have no White flag but can use the Green and can go anywhere between the Green flag and the Red flag.

Intermediates can go anywhere between the Green and Red flags.

Below are some examples of gates showing the Intermediate and Clubman lines.

Clubman can use the Yellow splitter or the White splitter.

Intermediates can only use the Yellow splitter. (Not the White)

Clubman can use the Yellow, green or White splitters .

Intermediates can only use the Yellow or Green splitter. (Not the White)

Clubman can use White splitter.

Intermediates cannot use the White splitter and therefore have to go between the Red and Blue.

Clubman have no White splitter but can use the Yellow or Green splitter.

Intermediates can only use the Yellow or Green splitter.