Monday, April 12, 2021

Torbay Trial 2021

UK motorsport has resumed and one of the first long distance trials off the mark was the Torbay Trial organised by the Torbay Motor Club

At the time of entry I didn't have a suitable bike to enter but my good friend Matt steeped in to the breech with a space in the chair of his Ariel VCH / Canterbury combo.

The day dawned with good weather forecast and off we set to the start point in Devon, just the other side of Exeter. With Covid-19 restrictions in place setting off on the trial was a cinch, just announce your name to the guy on the gate when you arrive and turn up at the start line on time, all paperwork having been filled in and checked in advance. With a 9am start, that bought another half an hour in bed on a Sunday morning, bonus. Hopefully trials organisation can continue this way after all the pandemic stuff is over.

The course of the trial was over some forty miles with 17 sections packed in. The event was very slickly organised and bikes were kept well separate from cars. When you ride an old clunker in a mixed old / new and cars / bikes trial you usually find yourself slipping further and further back as the trial goes on and getting stuck in queues of cars waiting to have a go at the sections. The sidecars were flagged off first, six of us, we the only vintage combo entered - the others soon lost us! 

There were only a handful of older bikes entered, the majority coped with the sections pretty well. There were no cleans at the end of the day in the sidecar class and the top scorers just dropped a few points so I guess that means that the sections were pitched about right. Predictably on the Ariel we had the worst score of all competitors, to be honest this is expected when you enter a trial mainly for more modern stuff on an unmodified, heavy and rigid-framed early fifties machine. We only cleared one section but at the end of the day that wasn't the point. We turned up for a day's riding, had fun and broke neither riders nor machine so all in, a success and proof of the pudding is that we'll probably be back next year.

Beautifully prepared Honda XL185 looks like it
received a lot of lockdown polishing!

This little unrestored rigid James Commando trials
was a gem and acquitted itself pretty well.

Villiers 2T twin engined Cotton is an unusual choice
for trialsing but a really pretty bike.

Triumph-Metisse aiming up for a section.

Matt on his Ariel VHA.

Checking out the next section. They
always look less steep in pictures...

Honda XL185 starts a section.

This contraption was eye-catching amongst the
four wheeled entrants.

Finally some slightly short clips shot in wobble vision... all fairly self explanatory.

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