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Unlike most other forms of motorcycle sport, Trials is not racing. It is simply you and your bike pitted against the terrain. Trial is a sport of balance, skill and concentration. One at a time, competitors will ride over an obstacle course of boulders, streams, hill climbs, logs, drop offs, and nearly anything else they can find. 

The rider must negotiate the obstacles within each section without putting a foot down.

An observer monitors the rider through the section and scores each rider for points lost.  The winner being the rider with the least points lost within each class.


If you’re anything like the rest of us you will have been awestruck when you first saw mototrials.

here are the basics of what you will need to get started.


The bike does not have a seat and is ridden standing on the pegs for maximum control.

Today’s trials motorcycles have short wheelbases and steep head angles to facilitate turning.

The petrol tank is small and these days forms part of the frame, capacity is about 3L.

The handlebars are positioned so the rider may stand comfortably and shift his weight rapidly forward or rearward.

The soft two-ply radial tyres with special trials pattern for maximum grip also assist traction. Low air pressure lets the tyre get as much ground grip as possible.

Trials suspension is extremely soft to soak up the bumps and twitches.

The dry weight is about 69Kg. Ground clearance, is on the tall side, generally at least 310mm.

Trials motorcycles have 6 gears, three extremely low gears, and three taller gears for riding between sections.

Most bikes run around 250 or 300cc. Some smaller displacement bikes 80cc & 125cc are built for younger or smaller riders. The engine is designed to pull strongly from the very bottom of its power range.

A bonus from all of this emphasis on bottom end power and torque is a significant reduction of exhaust noise. Trials motorcycles are the quietest off-road bikes built. Join the Facebook Group to see bikes available for sale.


Boots are similar to MX but have a softer, flatter sole with more grip. When you do put a foot down you don’t want it to slip.

Helmets are open face, lightweight and high cut at the rear, due to the riding position.

Pants can be normal MX pants.

Normal MX type shirt.

Normal MX type gloves.

Knee & elbow guards are highly recommended but are optional.
Second hand items are often for sale on the Facebook GroupThe group members are incredibly helpful and will also show you where to get new gear. Reach out to them.


Trials SA is the main and biggest club in South Africa focusing more inland around Gauteng

There is also the Western Cape Trials Club and the Eastern Cape Trials Club
See the Contact page for the person to contact for each region or follow the link to become a Trials SA Member.

If you are unsure about joining the club and first want to get a feel of the sport, head over to the Social Media links , join the pages and chat with the community.


In the Northern Regions we normally hold an event each month, on a Sunday starting at around 10:00am and riding for about 4:30 hrs. National events are held 3 time a year, normally in Gauteng, Natal and Capetown.
Under Events you will find all the event details for the year along with maps, directions and results. Entry to our events for spectators is free.


Trials SA, formerly Northern Regions Trials Club formerly the Transvaal Trials Club was established in 1960. Within the club we run Club, Regional and National championships. Other than looking for new riders the club is always looking for people who can assist us with observing and organization. If interested please Contact Us.


We cater for 5 rider classes.

-Social, perfect for new starters or those that have never taken part in a trial and want to find their feet. 
-Clubman, which is set for the beginner or some of the older bikes.

-Intermediate, is for the more established rider, challenging but fun line.

-Experts, is a more difficult line, you need to hop and bounce a bit at this level.

-Masters, this is the top level, these guys can ride.


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 the ground with a foot, a score of 0 (called "cleaning the section") is earned.

If they touch the ground only once, the score of 1 is earned. If twice, the score of 2 is earned, If  three times or more, the score of 3 is earned, as long as the section is completed without stalling the motor, dismounting, going out of bounds or going backward.

If the competitor fails to complete the section a score of 5 is earned.

The winner is the competitor with the least points at the end of the event. Some events are also timed with penalty points assessed to late riders.


A Trial Event consists of a number of Sections, i.e. 10 sections, which have to be ridden in order to form a Lap. The Lap will have to be ridden about 4 times therefore making 40 sections for the event.

Each section consists of a series of gates that are marked by Red & Blue flags. Blue on the left & Red always on the right.

Each section will have a start / finish board and section number.

The rider has to ride through each gate in the correct order.

The observer will show you the correct line to take, but it's up to the rider to assess the best line for his capabilities.

To accommodate the different classes, each gate may have the option of a splitter flag. This widens the gate and can be on the left or right of the original gate. This splitter flag gives the rider the full width of the gate from the furthest blue / red flag to the splitter flag. Each Class will have a different colour splitter flags, i.e. Yellow (Expert), Green (Intermediate) White (Clubman).

The lower classes have the benefit of the higher classes splitters.

To read the section from the start board, follow the blue / red gates in order to the finish board.

Then look for splitter flags (White, Green or Yellow) which will make the gate bigger for your line.

Not all gates have splitters and therefore you will have to ride through the  blue / red gate.

You are in the section when your front wheel axle passes the start gate and out of the section when the front axle passes through the end gate.

Below are some examples of gates showing the Intermediate and Clubman lines.

Trials SA
Trials SA
Trials SA
Trials SA
Trials SA
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