New Members Guide
MotoTrials is a rewarding sport and is relatively cheap when compared to other motorcycle disciplines. This guide has been designed to provide new beginners with some of the information needed to start competing in trials events.
Please note: The information below is a rough guide only, AJS MotoTrials Club (AJS MTC) and its members will not take any responsibility whatsoever for any damage or loss of any kind arising from the use of this information.
In order to ride Trials; you will need a specially designed trials motorcycle. There are new or second hand bikes available. A new trials motorcycle will cost around about $10,000, however second hand bikes are available for most budgets, starting at around $2000.
The trials bike is a specially designed light weight machine which is optimized with soft suspension and a low centre of gravity in order to be able to balance and ride over various obstacles. Two-stroke trials bikes are the most common type; however with continued development, four stroke bikes are becoming more widespread.
For younger riders, it is usually suggested that they start out on smaller capacity bikes (e.g. 50cc, 80cc or 125cc machines) as they are easier to handle when learning to ride trials. Even for new adult riders a 125cc trials bike is ideal as it teaches you more about how to use your control of the bike and body position to achieve good riding technique, rather than a twist of the throttle to get you out of, or perhaps into MORE, trouble. The AJS Trial Park is an ideal environment to come and try – contact the club to find out when you might be able to come and try trials.
There are a few trials specific motorcycle agents in Western Australia, which include SJS Moto and MotoDynamics, both of which provide new/used sales along with clothing, spare parts, accessories and servicing. SJS Moto and MotoDynamics often are present at trials during year and both have pages on Facebook. Links to their websites/facebook are available from our website – see the Menu Trials Bikes.
To be able to ride in any event, you will need a helmet which is approved as per the Motorcycling Australia (MA) general competition rules. These rules can be found in the MA Manual of Motorcycling Sport (GCRs). The principle is to buy the best helmet you can afford; after all it is your head you are protecting. Proper safety protection when riding any motorcycle is essential and helmets which suffer serious impacts should be replaced.
Calf-length boots are mandatory at every event, whether practice or competition. Although motocross/enduro or adventure boots can be used, it is advisable to get a pair of trials specific boots if possible. This is because trials boots are usually lighter, with less padding and are more flexible, allowing more movement and control whilst riding and certainly during dabbing or footing.
Although not required, gloves are advisable. This is to help stop blistering and calluses, whilst increasing grip if your hands are sweaty and also avoid scratching when brushing with bushes. Motocross gloves with minimal padding (more flexible for trials) or trials specific gloves are best.
Long pants are required when riding, however they do not need to be specific riding pants. Motocross pants along with trials specific pants are available.
Applying for an MA licence
This is best achieved through Motorcycling Australia (MA) membership and licensing portal called Ridernet.
It is also necessary for first time applicants for an MA license to fill out a MA first time applicants testing form and complete a rider proficiency test (all very basic). Contact the Club to arrange testing – note that this assessment is not difficult and basically if you can start and ride a bike and can stop, you will pass. Juniors (7 till under 16) are a different case, they must have 5 hours coaching with an accredited coach to gain a license, please contact the Club for more details.
In order to compete and ride you need either a day competition licence (purchased online using Ridernet) or an appropriate Motorcycling Australia competition licence – see MWA or Ridernet for the details. The Restricted Licence (senior or junior) is all you need for competing in trials, but if you are competing in any other discipline then you will need the full senior or junior National Licence. For state and national events, you will not be able to purchase a one-day licence and will need to hold a current MA licence.
If you do not want to compete but just want to practice at the Trial Park, you will still need an MA licence with the requirement being a Recreational Licence – this can be purchased online on Ridernet.
Applying for Club Membership
AJS MotoTrials club membership is valid for the current calendar year (Jan 1st to Dec 31st).
There is also another Trials club in Western Australia, which is the Pathfinders Motorcycle Trials Club Inc, which holds regular events, including combined series with the AJS MotoTrials Club of WA Inc.
If you are a beginner to motorcycle riding or are just new to trials, you may find it best to first attend a coaching clinic or practice day. The AJS MotoTrials Club do hold a couple of practice days and coaching days in the year – usually towards the beginning of the year. Alternatively, new riders can start their first event straight away and are catered for at events, with introductory grades.
Practice and coaching days, along with Junior development days will be run from time to time. These days provide you a chance to receive and learn trials skills from more experienced riders. If you are interested in one of these and there are none scheduled, please express your interest to the club secretary.
Practicing is important for improvement in trials, as over time your balance and skill will progress. Also if you wish to obtain a key to the AJS MTC Trial Park, you can practice there anytime (outside of events), as long as you have an accredited Practice Supervisor with you who isn’t riding. Anyone can become a Practice Supervisor, by successfully completing the Motorcycling WA (MWA) course, which is available online via the MWA website – www.motorcyclingwa.org.au .
Please, if at any time before or during the trial, you are unsure of anything, please don’t hesitate to speak to any other riders or officials who will happily help you out.
Before the day:
To enter an event you must Register online using Ridernet. Entries open for an event 10-14days prior to the event and notification to register is usually via Club Facebook page, your e-mail or scroll through events on the Ridernet Calendar of events and also available on Events in the MA App that you hopefully will have downloaded onto your phone. There will be a link available to register with a closing time and date of 11:59pm of the Thursday before the event. After that time, you will not be able to enter the event and there are no entries taken on the day.
Make sure you check your bike is mechanically sound (check for loose spokes, check throttle free-play etc) and is fit for scrutineering.
– Petrol (Mixed if a 2-Stroke) – or charged batteries if an electric trials bike
– Calf-length boots
– Riding Pants, & Top
– Valid MA Licence
– Proof of Club membership (Club membership digital card on your phone)
– Directions to the event
On The Day:
On the day of your first trial, make sure you are properly prepared. Make sure you bring everything (bike, boots, helmet, riding clothes, fuel, licence, proof of club membership, spares, sunscreen, water etc). If you are unsure of the directions to the venue, these will be part of the Supplementary Regulations that you can download when you register for an event on Ridernet.
Arrive at the Trial with plenty of time. There are things to do before starting. The sign on desk is usually open at 8:15am, you must have signed on by 9am – these times and cut-offs will be included in the Supplementary Regulations available when you register online for the event. If you arrive late it is up to the Clerk of Course whether you can ride.
You will have pre-registered on-line in Ridernet but you will need to go to the registration desk to sign-in. It is wise to take your MA Licence (eg on the MA app) and your digital Club Card to the registration desk in case checked; complete the form for self-scrutineering your bike; & for some trials, collect either a riding bib or a punch card.
If you are a new rider, please let the Race Secretary know when you sign on, to ensure that you have another rider to ride around with you and show you the ropes if necessary.
As per the 2022 Manual of Motorcycle Sports (MOMS) the club uses self-scrutineering so you will need to read and tick and sign the form at the registration desk that you and your bike comply with the Rules in the MOMS (Chapter 16 Trial). There will be a scrutineer present who will check bikes at random as well as check sound.
Bikes must not be ridden at the venue until you have been signed on and signed off for self-scrutineering. Once signed on and signed off on scrutineering, you may then get your bike warmed up (and you too) and practice your riding but NOT on the sections set out (or prohibited areas though). If it is an open event, you can only ride in the designated practice area. You should also not walk the sections prior to the event.
When a car horn sounds, it signifies the Rider’s Meeting/Briefing is about to begin. Make sure you are not practising too far away around the time of 9:15am, as this is the usual riders briefing time for an event which begins at 9:30am. At this meeting the number of sections and number of times they are to be ridden (number of laps), along with other information will be specified. You MUST attend this riders briefing.
Usually at each event, the section setter will lead all the riders on a lap of the venue, pointing out all the sections, this is the direction you must follow, when riding from section to section. You must not ride against the flow of the sections. In order to take part in the introductory lap, line up with the other riders when advised. Be careful when riding this lap, especially due to the volume of riders and some of the obstacles on the tracks.
The pits are where the riders park their cars and setup. Enclosed footwear must be worn in the pits. Please make sure that you do not speed in the pits, due to the potential dangers, with spectators families with young ones and officials walking.
For full day events a lunch break usually takes place (except during state events). The lunch break usually occurs from 12:30pm to 1:15pm, during which sections are closed for riding
Riding the sections
Walk each section during your first lap. This means before you ride a section, hop off your bike and walk the line of your grade. Find the best line for yourself (usually the one you consider to look the easiest, provided you go through the correct gates) and take note of any obstacles or objects which are challenging or hazardous.
You should enter at the entry gate (usually white or green) and exit via the end gate (usually red), unless otherwise specified (such as “intro grade only” exits). In each section there will be grade markers which you must ride depending on the grade you ride. An “X” on a marker will indicate the marker’s back and should not be ridden through in that direction.
In certain sections, the specific order in which gates must be ridden is not clear, usually try and stick to the white tape and don’t cross your line (or you will be scored a “5”). For trials rules, click here. ###
White tape follows the left hand side of the section, while red tape follows the right hand side.
If observers are not being used at an event (lately this is the situation at an Earlybird [Summer] Series), sections will need to be ‘buddy-observed’ by the riders. Have your ‘buddy’ mark off your score on the board at the end of the section or your punch card. Do the same for your riding buddy. For safety reasons and to ensure valid scores you should not ride a section with no one else present.
Formal protests may be lodged (with the appropriate fee) with the Clerk of Course who may then refer the protest to the Steward of the event, as per the MA GCRs.
Remember, arguing with an observer may cost 10 points while arguing with an event official may cost 100 points.
After the Trial:
After you and all the other riders are finished, it is expected that you help pull the section tapes and markers (exceptions can occur on the first day of two day events). This involves going to the section allocated by the last number on your bib and help put all the section tapes and markers in the bag provided at each section then bring them back to the car park.
At the end of the day, once everyone has finished and the results are tallied, a post-event meeting will be held, in which the scores will be read out and officials thanked. The commencement of the meeting will usually be signalled by the sound of a car horn. It is not compulsory to stay for the results or even to complete the event, however it is appreciated if you can stick around to help pack up the sections.
Remember more hands make light work.
On the day of the event the key officials are:
The Steward: This person is the Motorcycling Australia representative and is in charge of ensuring the event complies with the MA General Competition Rules (GCRs).
The Clerk of Course: This person is in charge of the overall running of the event.
The Race Secretary: This person is responsible for rider entries and scoring and reporting to MWA.
At each event a Scrutineer is also appointed to ensure that your bike and your protective equipment meets the requirements of the rules of Motorcycling Australia. If you or your bike do not meet these requirements you may not be able to ride in the event.
For more information, please consult the Manual of Motorcycling Sport – the MOMS.