About Observed Trials

What is Observed Trials?

Observed Trials, is an off road motorcycle competition event using specialized motorcycles. The sport is based on riding or negotiating thru a marked course rather than speed to a finish line. Observed Trials competition originated in Europe, and is still popular in the United Kingdom and Spain. Observed Trials became popular in the U.S. in the early 70s.
New trials bike specs:

  • Modern Trials motorcycles are extremely lightweight 140-160 lbs.
  • No real seating and are designed to be ridden standing.
  • The suspension travel is short relative to a motocross or enduro motorcycle.
  • The steering head angle is much sharper allowing a tight turning radius.
  • Also specialized trials tread on radial tires that operate between 3-5 psi of air.

Motorcycle trials is often utilized by competitors of other motorcycle sports (such as motocross or street racers) as a way to cross-train. Trials riding teaches precise throttle control, and balance. Advanced/Expert riders will move/hop both ends of the motorcycle whilst balanced in place. They are able to clear tall objects from logs to huge waterfalls. This sport is both equally mental and physical.

The Trials event is comprised with separate obstacle courses called sections which are connected via a trail called a loop. The competitor rides through the marked sections attempting to avoid touching the ground with his or her feet. The obstacles in the section are usually natural but maybe partial constructed elements. The designated line thru the section is carefully contrived to test the skill of the rider. The competitor may stop at the entrance of a section and walk thru it before riding.

Each section is divided into separate lines to accommodate the different skill level of riders. The skill-rated classes are Rookie, Novice, Intermediate, Advanced and Expert. There are also separation/classes for age groups, ie; +35, +45. There are no engine displacement classes. Most Trials events contain 8 sections connected by the loop. All of the sections are ridden 5 times. At the end of the event the rider is scored on 40 section rides.
In every section, the competitor is scored by an Observer/Checker (hence the sport’s name) who counts how many times the rider touches the ground. Each “dab”/touch is penalized 1 point.

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 they earn a score of 0 (which is called “clean”) If they touch the ground (or supporting object) once, they receive a score of 1 if they touch down twice, they receive a score of 2. If they touch the ground three or more times, they earn a score of 3 as long as they complete the section without stalling the motor, dismounting, or going out of bounds, if the competitor fails to complete the section a score of 5 is accessed. The winner is the competitor with the fewest points at the end of the event. Events are also timed with penalty points assessed to late riders. The best score would be 0 the worst score maybe 200.

Support questions please contact: Laverne Bowen @ 716-930-0766