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

Thanks,

Graham Lampkin

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

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