THE 2018 State MotoTrials Championships were held last Sunday at one of Western Australia’s most iconic, stunning trials venues in Jarrahdale. This spectacular property was described by my daughter as “An Oasis in the City” and it truly is.
The family day event featured the state’s best MotoTrials riders ranging from ten-year-old juniors to over-70’s riding in A, B and C grade, veterans, club class, juniors, twinshock and sidecar categories.
The glorious spring weather was perfect for the crowds to roam the hills and jump over streams to each different section to watch WA’s finest Trials competitors balance and bounce, slip and slide their way through the challenges, obstacles, boulders, streams, wet grassy hills and mud.
The Wilsons-it all started with a random conversation at Lifesaving-now they are as passionate as we are & the girls not only compete but are huge MotoTrials advocates
As we wandered from section to section, admiring the scenery and waterfalls, socialising with old friends and meeting competitors, officials, spectators and the all-important observers, it was evident that MotoTrials is a lot more laid back and relaxed than other motorcycling disciplines.
There is a certain supportive comradery between competitors and a healthy, jovial interaction between spectators, riders, support crew and officials. Competitors stopped and had a chat to picnicking families as they make their way to each section, then as they wait their turn they bounced around on their bikes together trying out new tricks, discussing different lines to take whilst cheering on the competitors in front of them. As two competitors went past doing wheelies onto their next section one of them said “If there are kids on the hill watching, pop a mono for them-they love that stuff”
Then, and this was the most notable difference, before starting to combat a section they call out to the observer “Thank you for Observing” and when they had completed the section the competitors thanked the observers again AND thanked the officials.
The manners, politeness and genuine respect shown towards each other was a pleasure to witness and the positive atmosphere was a tonic to be around especially as a family. Although it was a state championship event there was no evident “battling it out for sheep stations” and that was made even more evident at trophy presentation - competitors stayed, cheered and jeered the podium place getters and another notable difference-EVERY place getter was in attendance to accept their trophy and thank their all-important sponsors and supporters.
AJS MotoTrials Club of WA Inc. President and event organiser, Barry Barton said after the event “As a Club it was great to be back at the Jarrahdale property, as it is one of the best and we would all like to thank WA Limestone and land owner, Steve Della Bona, for supporting this event”
“We would also like to thank Councillor Michelle Rich, Serpentine/Jarrahdale Shire President for also supporting the event and taking the time to come and spectate on the day”
Barry also said “To all the riders officials and helpers a big thank you for making it such a great event”.
WA Trial Championships - CLASS WINNERS
The A grade was won by Neil Price who is now 13 times State Champion, Neil is currently ranked #3 in Australia, has been #1 twice and in the top 5 several times. Neil was also an international Trials Des Nations representative on several occasions.
First place B grader Luke Pantane had just come back from a 2 year layoff but has picked up where he left off and will be trying to get back to A grade next season.
Veteran’s winner Dave Thomas was the top B grader in the State for many years but now over 40 has decided to let the young ones fight it out.
C grade winner Marco Folini has proved his riding ability in the grade as he beat his son who was second. Marco spend a lot of time helping his son to advance to B grade
Twin shock winner Scott Chapman must have been looking for a third wheel as he has been on sidecars for the last several years but has found his love again of just two wheels for a great win
Club Class had a very large field and was hotly contested but Paul Smith took the win after a lay off from trials
The sidecar winning pair was a father and son team of Mike & Lewis Kitney the team have only been together for a short time but love riding together, come win or lose.
Junior winner Ben Walling has only been in the sport a short time but has showed riding skills above his age. He has set his sights on Neil Price in years to come.
For full results click HERE
The A Grade winner on the day, Neil Price said on reflection ”I really enjoyed the day; the sections were set very tough, very slippery and loose. I couldn’t relax anywhere, and there were a lot of line decisions to make as you had to be so accurate in the slip.”
“The weather was magnificent and the crowd was awesome, and quite supportive. I felt shaky on the first few sections and when i got to the hardest section 5 i was concerned as i had dropped a few points already. I had 3 lines to pick from to cross the creek and i took the risk and jumped it. That woke me up and i felt like i got on some form from there for the rest of the lap.”
Neil went on to say “I had the consistency from there and lowered my score each lap so was really happy, especially with how little time i have had on the bike. It was an awesome day and a credit to the AJS Club and a great day to showcase the clubs and the sport which is such a fun, cheap and social way to get into Motorcycling."
Pathfinders Trials Motorcycle Club President, Peter Dumitro, commented on the clubs website after the event:
“Well how good was that? Congratulations to the AJS Trials Club, what a state championships it was! There’s nothing like taking a trip down memory lane. For many of us this property was our second home back in the day. This property has seen generations grow up and continue. I was speaking to Luke Patane saying it feels like only yesterday that we were riding around in the car park area on the small bikes. It’s funny how everything seemed bigger back then too!”
“Thank you to all the organisers, event officials and the AJS committee you can see a lot of work has been put into this. Without you all this wouldn't have been possible! Congratulations to all the winners and place getters. Some great rides and a multiple amounts of different lines were chosen”
The Pathfinders website states that “Today between the two Clubs, there is a healthy respect and a willingness to co-operate. Which is great, because after all, we ride moto trials motorcycles to enjoy the competition, enjoy our challenge of our sport and have a good time”
I would say that after what I saw on the weekend, truer words have never been written-Congratulations to BOTH the AJS MotoTrials Club and Pathfinders Trials Club for working together to hold a successful championship and a fantastic event for everyone that attended.
Also for creating a special trip down memory lane for many of us, it was such a joy to walk from section to section on Steve Della Bona’s amazing property whilst reminiscing with my daughter about my childhood Trials adventures. I even made her wear the dreaded wellies just like my own mother did!
Thanks also to the event organisers for inviting the staff from Motorcycling Western Australia, everyone had a fabulous day, leant a bit more about our sport, met some great people, saw some spectacular action and got some exercise in the sun!
I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday….other than maybe giving it a go myself and judging from the response to video clips and photos on the Motorcycling WA Facebook page, I’m not the only one!
To View a Video Clip of spectacular trials action click HERE
To View Random Fun Photos and Videos from the day click HERE
To find out more about Moto Trials and how to get involved, spectate or become an “observer” visit both of the clubs websites or Facebook pages:
AJS https://www.facebook.com/AJSMotoTrials/ or http://www.ajsmototrials.com.au/
Pathfinders https://www.facebook.com/pathfinderswamototrials/ or https://www.pathfinderstrialsmcc.com.au/
Understanding Moto Trials:
Trials, or MotoTrials as the sport is known, test a rider’s ability to navigate a section of terrain without putting down his or her feet, stalling the motorcycle or crashing.
Trials bikes are off-road motorcycles, and are specially engineered to produce smooth usable power across a range of engine speeds. They are light and nimble, featuring relatively soft, but responsive suspension with success relying on rider skill, balance and throttle control rather than power and speed.
Unlike most other forms of motorcycle sport, MotoTrials is not racing, it is simply a competitor and their bike pitted against the terrain.
MotoTrials 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 also compete in ALL weather conditions!
From Juniors aged 7 years through to Veterans from 40 to 70 years plus, there are classes to cover all rider ability levels such as Expert, A, B and C Grade, Club Class, Juniors and also Veterans (40 years plus).
Whilst it is spectacular and sometimes appears dangerous at the top level, speed and other competitors are not factors likely to cause incidents, so the sport remains very safe and there are very few injuries sustained due to the low speeds and "one at a time" use of sections by competitors.
Photo Credit: Kylie Folini Kearnsfirstname.lastname@example.org
Article: Linda Russell-Media Officer-Motorcycling Western Australia