Vintage Trials Motorcycles
Twinshock trials is a growing sport across the United States and the rest of the world. The restoration of vintage trials motorcycles like Yamaha TY 250′s and Honda TL 125′s are becoming commonplace. The Japanese vintage trials motorcycles are popular due to the influx of these bikes during the seventies. It’s not uncommon to find one in your neighbor’s garage and you can typically pick one up for a very fair price. Other more modern twinshock bikes like Fantic and SWM are also being included in vintage competition. Most of these events allow any twinshock, air cooled, drum break bike to compete.
Some of the vintage organizations in the United States include the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association (AHRMA) and the International Twinshock Association (ITSA). The rules are slightly different in AHRMA compared to other vintage clubs. AHRMA does not recognize the early eighties air cooled twinshock machines such as Fantic and SWM as a VINTAGE trials motorcycles. The majority of the other clubs do choose to include all of these “twinshock” bikes dating up to the mid eighties.
Observed trials began around 1909 as a way for manufacturers to test the reliability of their motorcycles. As the manufacturers started to compete, for the title of best machine, so did the riders. After the Second World War, obstacle crossings, time and penalty points were introduced. With the new rules, came observers to score the riders. In the late sixties and seventies production trials motorcycles started to make their way onto the market thanks to innovators like Sammy Miller and Mick Andrews. Montesa, Ossa and later Yamaha made exceptional machines. In the mid eighties the technology started to make major advancements. Mono shock suspensions, water-cooled engines and disk brakes were introduced. These were the precursor to the “modern” trials motorcycle.