Saturday, August 17, 2013

The White Horse Road Trial

The White Horse Road Trial is a good old fashioned navigational trial. It's organised by the West Wilts section of the VMCC. This type of trial used to be a popular Sunday activity for the motorcycling clubmen of the fifties and sixties. I'd never entered one before but it was a good day out and as easy or hard as you made it.

The official title for this type of trial is a navigational scatter trial. The concept is: you start from one of several possible start points. You try and collect as many checkpoints as possible within an alloted time (up to a maximum twelve in total) and you choose your own route. Green lanes carry extra points and there are extra points for older and smaller machines. I was riding my '61 Dominator 99ss with Matt on a borrowed '51 Matchless G3, Dan on his '62 Dnepr K750 combo and Bill on his '80 Guzzi Spada combo.

We went all out for points by trying to do all of the green lanes. I soon discovered that the high geared and sporty 99ss is not really a suitable green lane tool but it got me through ok all the same. A number of the green lanes in Wiltshire are restricted to motorcycles only, they've got gates to stop four wheelers coming through. An outfit will also fit... just - see the pics!

In the end we rode for nearly the full six alloted hours. The Dnepr developed a significant oil leak half way around so cut off for home (and made it with aid of several oil fills along the way!) The Matchless broke a clutch cable shortly after Dan and the Dnepr disappeared. Dan was the only one carrying spare solderless nipples so the Matchless was dumped in a barn to be collected later with a note through the farmhouse letterbox. Bill won his class, the Norton came second. Neither classes were hotly contested! It's a small but sociable event and definitely worth entering again.

Matt on the 1951 Matchless G3.

Norton Dominator 99ss - not an ideal green laner.

Will it go? Dnepr tackles gate post.

Maybe! Still, there's a lot of Russian steel mass heading for
the gate post so I don't fancy its chances should push come
to shove...

Nicely used 1950 BSA B34.

Discussing tactics.

Lovely DOT 8E Villers engined trialser from 1957.

Not sure if this BSA v-twin was entered or not. Either way
it warrants a picture. Not sure if it is a J12 or J34 model.

This Scott with unusual Monarch forks won its class.

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