Bike Related Matter No. 4

Hi gentlepersons of the ACTC and its member Clubs.

Although I believe the ACTC needs a period of stability to encourage new entrants and volunteers (something I’m trying to work towards), I believe it can only be achieved if the existing rules are understandable to all, achieve their aims and are not ambiguous. (Making sure the foundations are sound before building the house!)

I am receiving calls from Club officials and entrants about two things relating to bikes that, a) are causing concern to entry secretaries, scrutineers and potential entrants, and b) causing me concern for the sport. So I have tried to address these areas and think if my proposals are adopted we will achieved the dual benefits of making life easier  for organising Club officials and make the prospect of entering more attractive.

The minimum wheelbase of 1350mm. I believe this was intended to keep the latest, purpose built and super competent modern trials bike from the competitive classes as they would change the sport, but allow them in Class X to try the sport – a worthy aim. However, the wheelbase rule is a very blunt instrument. Yes, it does regulate against the bikes it’s aimed at, but it also bans many bikes that I believe we would like to attract and are being used, as they have a wheel base less than 1350mm. It’s also ambiguous. A bike with a new chain has a wheelbase that can lengthen by up to 50mm when the rear wheel is moved backwards to adjust a worn chain, so a bike with a new chain may fail the test but pass as the chain wears.

 I propose it is replaced by a rule based on the dry weight claimed by the manufacturer of say 90 kg. This would regulate against the super modern model but allow shorter, heavier, less powerful bikes that we wish to attract. I propose that the responsibility should be the entrants to quote this weight on the entry form. If an entry secretary suspects an ‘error’ they can easily check on the website nominated in the rule (or ask me) and move the ‘offender’ to Class X. The scrutineers don’t need this hassle and should be checking safety features.

Tyres. Although the regulations only allow trials tyres or road tyres, there is a concession for Class C, and more aggressive tyres are being used but a blind eye turned. I believe the concession should be removed and the more aggressive tyres (such as enduro type) completely banned. They are unnecessary, trials tyres are sufficient for our sections, the rider’s skills adapt and improve. After all, the cars cope with road tyres!

Class C bikes can be adapted to take a trials tyre. The alternatives erode the sections making them worse for everyone else. But worst still, erosion of sections & cutting up the land in between can lead to the loss of that land by losing the goodwill of the landowner (can we afford to do that?). They increase the arguments against the use of byways (again, can we risk that?). I believe we should also be seen to minimise the impact our sport has on the land.

I’m suggesting that conforming to all regs should be the responsibility of the entrant, that potential problems with tyres and classes be identified on the entry form (and I am always available to consult), and the entrant informed at this stage if possible. We don’t want any ill feeling, or to turn anyone away on the morning of a trial.

I set out below the amended rules that I’m proposing for you to consider, comment on and spot where I’m wrong, so please contact me if you want to discuss any aspect. I’m only as good as the feedback I get, and hopefully we can encourage more to enjoy (is that the right word?) this classic trialling malarkey.

Since circulating the rules that I’m proposing for motorbikes, the consultation process has worked well because I’ve been lobbied by the ‘charioteers’ of Class D. Their concern is purely on safety grounds. It something that I hadn’t thought of, and perhaps its food for thought for the Clerks of the Course.

After zooming (or crawling) up a steep section, it is often necessary to come back down it. The sidecars have the advantage of vertical stability (don’t fall over so easily!), but have twice the weight of a solo but still only one front wheel to brake with. So it is essential that this tyre has maximum grip (or dig-in) to stop it doing the dirt equivalent of aquaplaning out of control down the steep slope. That means some of them would prefer to fit an endure tyre to this wheel only.

As this wheel isn’t driven, and therefore this would not cause erosion of the section, I believe it is a reasonable argument I favour allowing them to fit any tyre and have amended my proposal accordingly:-

Proposed Rule Changes for Discussion – G Lampkin – Dec 2017


Graham Lampkin

Motorcycle Co-ordinator Email: [email protected] Tel. 01282 862749 or 07989 446131))

No Clee Hills Trial in 2018


The Midland Automobile Club much regrets that it will be unable to organise the Clee Hills Trial in January 2018.

After the success of this year’s trial, especially, perhaps, for the motorcyclists who were able to compete on the trial for the first time in the event’s 70-year history, it is a huge disappointment that the club is unable to put on the trial next year.

The club thanks and expresses its considerable appreciation of considerable work undertaken by the team, notably Simon Woodall, Adrian Tucker-Peake, Graham Austin, Richard Houlgate and Jonathan Toulmin, all of whom have been instrumental in organising the Clee Hills Trial for the Midland Automobile Club over the last 24 years – the only classic trial run in the Midlands.

MAC intend to run the event in January 2019.

2017 Championship Tables (up to Allen)


2017 Wheelspin League (up to Allen)
2017 Crackington League (up to Allen)
2017 Navigators League (up to Allen)

2017 North Regional League (up to Allen)
2017 South Regional League (up to Allen)
2017 Midland Regional League (up to Allen)
2017 West Regional League (up to Allen)


2017 Pouncy & Red Rose Leagues (up to Tarka)

2017 North Regional Pouncy and Red Rose Bowl (up to Tarka)
2017 South Regional Pouncy and Red Rose Bowl (up to Tarka)
2017 South West Regional Pouncy and Red Rose Bowl (up to Tarka)
2017 West Regional Pouncy and Red Rose Bowl (up to Tarka)


Could all competitors check that their scores are correct. Please quote your competition number for that event if querying a score.

John Bell   e-mail: [email protected]

Bike Related Matters No. 3

Random Thoughts: The Trip: It went by too quickly. The bike spat its dummy out at the Exmoor Clouds (Sammy was right – trials can be lost in the workshop!), but a well run event. Then my sisters garden got a short back & sides (free lodging in return) before the Tamar – another good event and Troggy kept going. Life doesn’t get better than this.

Bike Classes: It has been noticed that a few proper modern trials bikes (Beta Rev, Beta Evo, Scorpa, Gas Gas, Honda TLR, Montesa Cota etc) have been entered, and not always in class X. Yes, they are welcome, but unfortunately these Classic trials are really suited to trail bikes and old pre 70 stuff, hence the ACTC regulation that says any bike with a wheelbase of less that 1350mm should be in class X and won’t be scored in the championship. I think most of these bikes have a wheelbase in the region of 1320mm. So please enter, but enter in to the spirit of the classic trials (and class X). I realise that you are probably coming on a bike you already have, but our sections are not difficult enough to challenge your bikes. So please come, we hope you enjoy and enter more, but we don’t want to add to the burden of the Entry Secretaries or Scrutineers by having to correct entries. You never know, it may lead to a different bike! I hope existing riders will make sure that potential newcomers know about this.

Whats in a name? Personally I’m not keen on the name ‘classic trials’. Yes, the nature of the event is classic (and long may it be so), but most of the vehicles aren’t. Perhaps this is because I’m familiar with pre-65 bike trials, but in conversation I usually refer to Long Distance Trials. Does the name put potential entrants off, thinking they would need a classic bike? And we’re not all doddery old codgers like me.

Where are all the young guys? A couple of years ago at the Yorkshire Classic I rode around with a guy of about 20 – his first event. He seemed to enjoy it, but I’ve not seen him since,. These guys are the future, how did we let him escape?

Championships: In 2018 we’ve got a two pronged championship – regional and national. If you enter the regionals it costs only £10, (and it counts in more than one region). But for just £17 you can register for the national and regional championships, further more you also get a quarterly magazine (hard copy or email) and email alerts of new posts on the website. I genuinely believe that the more involved you become with this type of sport, the more you enjoy it. So why not have a bash in these championships?

Tyres: The regs. say you should run on trials pattern tyre, they aren’t expensive and are easily available (Pirellis seem the most popular). The only exception is class C, because the bikes come with a 17” rim on the rear and trials tyres are 18” (could change the rim perhaps?). Anyway, please conform with the regs, make life easier for the scrutineers by arriving with the correct tyre, and having some respect for the organisers & land owner by not churning it up with more aggressive tyres. There is plenty of grip in a trials pattern tyre and you may be moved to class X if you arrive not conforming with the regs.

Contributions: This is your chance to have a say. Ideas, comments, complaints, thanks, ideas to improve your bike or a trip you’ve done – send it to me & it can be incorporated into this ‘blog’.

[email protected], 07989 446131 or 01282 862749

Camel Classic Trial 2017 Regs Available

Camel Vale Motor ClubEntries are now open for the 2017 Camel Classic Trial, to be held on Sunday 3rd December.

2017 Camel Classic Trial Entry Pack

“The Camel Classic Road Trial first ran in 1983 (called the Octo for the first two years) thanks to two new trialers Hans Viertel and Pete Allen. The event flourished every year and soon became a round of the Chester Motor Club Trials Championship and later ACTC and ASWMC Championship rounds. The original organising team of Hans and Pete were still running the event 31 years later in 2014.

Sadly Hans suddenly passed away in 2015 which was a huge loss to Camel Vale Motor Club and the trialling community. Hans was described by many as a true gentlemen and he is greatly missed by all. He really was totally immersed in trials; be it as a competitor, marshall or organising the Camel Classic in December every year. We hope his memory can live on in this event for many years to come.

Again this year the Camel Classic will be run as a dual permit event so that non-championship competitors may enter under the Clubmans permit and will not be required to produce a Competition Licence.

For the first time ever in 2015 we invited motocycle solo’s and outfits to enter the trial. This was a success and all the riders enjoyed the event so we will continue this for future years.

Hope you enjoy the event!

Start Venue : The Borough Arms, Dunmere, Bodmin, PL31 2RD

Bike Related Matters No. 2

Hi Guys,

A word about the championship. First it has a new Secretary, John Bell. John is an experienced trials driver, a hard working volunteer and wants to encourage all to enter. From 2018 the bike championship will be scored on the overall position (amongst bikes) in each event. This makes sense. After a suggestion that therefore all classes should ride identical routes, the Clerks of Course present at the AGM made it clear that they wish to retain the right to make subtle changes (such as restarts etc), class by class to eradicate the advantages any class may have from the competitive nature of the bikes. Therefore in theory, a rider in any class has an equal opportunity to win that event (if they ride well!), negating the riders of the most competitive class having an advantage and always winning. Again, that makes sense. Some may disagree, if you have a view . . . . . emails to me please!

So the ACTC have done their bit, made the championship as fair as it can be. It removes the excuse of ‘unfair advantage’ for not entering it (discuss). The regional championships are now in place and are ideal if you can’t travel far. This means it could be construed as rude to not register – come on, have a go, you may be surprised by how well you do.. You also get a quarterly magazine and email alerts of new posts on the website such as entry forms & regs for future events.

In October I’m making my annual pilgrimage to visit my sister in Devon. Completely by accident(?) I’ll be there the week that starts with the Exmoor Clouds and finishes with the Tamar – how did that happen? It means that I should be at both events to listen to your views (but after the trials please). If you’ve anything of interest I can always incorporate it in this slot – less boring than me prattling on! You can contact me by email ([email protected]) or phone mobile 07989 446131, landline 01282 862749. All I ask is your name & contact number (no anonymous or rude suggestions please).

Most importantly, keep on enjoying the trials and encourage your mates to share the fun! A word of advice, stay behind the handlebars – it hurts if you get in front of them!


Awards Dinner

Due to various circumstances, the usual summer awards dinner has been rescheduled. So in 2018 there will be an awards dinner for both the 2016 and 2017 championships. This will take place on Saturday 17th March, at the Padbrook Park Hotel, Cullompton, Devon.

This is the night before the Torbay Trial, it is only a 25 minute drive from Cullompton to the start of the trial, there are rooms and plenty of trailer parking at Padbrook Park so hopefully people will make a weekend of it.

More details/menus etc. to follow, for any additional information please contact Alan Selwood – 07890 962191 or [email protected]

Could anyone with a current trophy please contact Alan to arrange collection (ideally from the start of a trial).

Rooms can be booked at Padbrook Park, just mention the ACTC to get the group rate.

Padbrook Park Hotel
EX15 1RU
01884 836100